Thursday, April 20, 2017

Anglo-Irish vs. Later Ottoman Turk

A Headless Body Production

Venue:   Lancaster Host, Lancaster Pennsylvania.
Event:    HMGS's Cold Wars
Players: Don Carter and Phil Gardocki running Anglo Irish
                  Dan Woyke and Matt Kollmer running Later Ottoman Turk
Game System: Warrior Ancients Doubles Tournament with 2000 points per team, round 3

The Forces:
The Anglo-Irish, Late Period
Commander with + 5 Reg 'B', SHK,
Ally General with 2 Irreg'B' HK, 3 HC
Monty Python's Knights of the Round Table, 6 Reg 'B', SHK
2 units of Irish Lancers, 6 Irreg 'B', 1/2 HK, 1/2 HC
2 units of Irish Horse, 4 Irreg 'C', JLS, SH

4 units of Galloglaich, 2 with 16, and 2 with 24 Irreg 'B', 1/2 HI, 2HCW, JLS, D
           List rule, always fights a rank and half.  Can counter charge if willing, can            
           counter charge impetuously if eager.
2 units of Longbow, each of 24 Reg'D', half HI, 1/2 LB, Sh, half MI, 1/2 LB, unemplaced stakes.
2 units of Bonnachts, 27 Irreg'C' LMI, 1/3 2HCW, JLS, SH, 1/3 JLS, SH, 1/3 JLS
            Capable of skirmish, shield wall and barbarian rush rules.
2 units of Kerns Irreg 'C', 1/2 S, SH, 1/2 JLS
Bombards, 1 unit of 2, Reg'C', each with 4 crew.
18 units, 2 commands 1999 points, 21 scouting points 

Later Ottoman Turk
1 unit of 6 Reg 'A/B' EHC/HC, L,B,SH
1 unit of 9 Irreg 'C', MC, B
3 units of  8 Irreg 'C', LC, L,B,SH
3 units of  24 Reg 'C', HI/MI LTS, HG/CB, SH

1 unit of  24 Reg 'B' HI HCW/JLS, B SH
2 units of  6 Irreg 'A', LMI, JLS, SH
1 unit of  12 Irreg 'C' LMI HCW/JLS, SH
3 units of  12  Reg 'C/D', LI, B
4 units of Serbian Knights, 6 Irreg 'B', 1/2 EHK, 1/2 EHC
1 unit of  4 Irreg 'C', LC, L, SH
1 unit of 2 1 Talent Stone Throwers Crew of 5.

The board is mostly a bunch of low hills.  With a couple of woods, one of which was in a great spot to anchor a flank to :)

This game is already in progress:
On the Anglo Irish left, numerous fast running Turks are going to turn the flank.
The fight will mostly be from just left of center to the right edge.  The Turks have a solid line of shooters with a wide mix of hand to hand weapons.  Their rear area is a mix of Heavy Cavalry and Super Heavy Knights.
Their lone bombard is facing both Light Infantry and Light Medium Bonnachts.  They also have assigned a general to the bombard to help direct its targeting.  I'll have to consider that in the future.
And the line stretches on and on, and onto the next board.
The Irish left flank is well defended with 24 Longbow, 16 Galloglaich, and the Bombards.  Reserve units are the Galloglaich Clan Ramsay, and two Knights units.

The Turks have won the initiative an are moving first.  Inundating the low hill with massive amounts of infantry.
The Turks are going to try to turn the flank that the Galloglaich have anchored against the wood.  Spoiler alert, there is an ambush there.
Irish Nobles march to provide mounted support for the flank units.  Clan Ramsay marches to the hill.  I expect the Light Horse will be shot up, and recall.  Then Clan Ramsay will expand and fill the gap.

The Turkish Light Horse advances with impunity.  They are one large unit, which I am sure served them well in previous games.  But today, they are facing Heavy Infantry with darts.  Which on average will do 2 CPF a turn to them.  More if they don't commit their Knights (Far right flank) to range for a soak off.

Longbow advance, but do not shoot.  As shielded Heavy Infantry, their job is to receive missile fire, not deliver it. 
A decent picture, 'nuff said.

Turn 2:
Well, the game is shaping up.  Using their superior mobility, the Turks have turned the Anglo-Irish left flank, and are focusing all their knights on the right.  The middle is held by massive amounts of missile armed foot troops, all with decent secondary weapons.  The Turk doesn't look vulnerable anywhere.  I suspect much of the foot are 'D's, interspersed with Jannisaries, usually Reg 'A'.

The Anglo-Irish were prepared for the turning of the flank, and have their forces anchored to a wood.  In the wood is a substantial ambush.  On the right, are 40 figures of Galloglaich, and they have been known to beat a Knight or 2 in their day.
Talk about announcing your intentions.  5 units of Knights and Cavalry face their left flank.  They are expecting a flank march, with 200 points missing from the Anglo-Irish setup.
Ambushes are revealed.  Kerns with slings, javelins and shields against LI Bow.   Also advancing out of the wood is a warband of Bonnachts.  The Turk suddenly realizes, that while they may win the battle, but it won't be won on this flank.
The Galloglaich advance to tease the Light Horse.  On average their darts can disorder 8 figures of Light Horse in Skirmish.  The Knights are there to charge and possibly catch the Turkish Skirmishers.  Or, turn the flank of the Turkish Infantry line.
The Longbow were not shooting anyway, so they might as well put out the stakes.
ok....  After a bold move to the left, the Serbian Knights turn around.
Turn 3:
The Turkish Light Horse accept the Galloglaich dart challenge, by the targeting priority to split fire on a hill.  That is OK, I don't have to shoot.
The Ottoman foot has stakes too.  Meanwhile, their archers roll a plus 3 and disorder the shielded Heavy Infantry Longbow.
Looking for a cheap kill, Ottoman Light Horse charge the Kerns.  The Kerns pass their waver, but the Bonnachts waver after a taking 2 CPF by the Bombards.
Turn 4:

Archer on Archer action.  The Ottomans have the advantage in morale and hand to hand weapons, the Longbow have heavier armor, and incoming missile fire.
With another good missile fire roll, the Galloglaich Clan Ramsay is disordered.
On the far right, things are not looking good for the Irish.  The Galloglaich Clan O'Lyre (blue standard) is disordered by archery fire.  Clan Jordan is taking a knight charge in the teeth.
Most units fear taking a charge of SHK in the teeth, but not the Galloglaich. On the surface, it doesn't look good.  Knights hitting 5@7 for 30 verses 6 @3 for 15.  But the Serbians had to hit Clan Jordan dead center, and so are coming into a hail of darts, for 18 @ -1.  Normally a -2, which would reduce their impact to 20, not enough for a push back.  The Serbian Knights will need a little luck here.

Which they didn't get.  The missile roll was an up 1, which is 18 plus disorder.  The Knights were recoiled disordered.

The Longbow are wavering, the Bonnachts are wavering.  Send in the Irish Light Horse!  After the die rolls were made, the count was dead even.  Both sides licked in combat.
Turn 5:

So the Turks send in another cavalry unit, destroying the Light Horse, and routing the Longbow.
If you were wondering how the Longbow shook initially, it was because The Galloglaich Clan Ramsay was destroyed by their opponents.
Brave Sir Robin, seeing the plight of the cowardly Longbow, said, "I'm good with that."  And shook in sympathy. 
Final shot.

At this point the Anglo-Irish called it in.  While their right flank and left flanks held, their center just collapsed in mass, and their reserves, including 2 units of Knights, that were to fill the holes also wavered and shook. 

Alexander and the Gauls.

A Headless Body Production
I really need a better method of titling these things.   Aside from being repetitious, they sometimes sound like "Santa Clause verses the Martians", or "Abbot and Costello Meet the Wolf Man".

And it makes a difference.  A good title can attract double the normal viewers, a bad title half.   For example, my recent battle report AztecvsSwiss, all one word, got 300 hits on it's first day, and 800 in a month.  Great numbers for me.  Last year I had a series of titles with references to local food, like "Liebfraumilch and Swiss Cheese"  and "Spanish Salsa and Swiss Wine", neither of which have done half those hits even after 11 months.  

Any suggestions from the audience would be welcome.   Visit the Blog Archive bar to the right.   It should be just about --------------------------------------------->>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Offer some criticisms over the titles.   

Venue:   On Military Matters Bookstore.  Owner Operator Dennis Shorthouse
Event:    Team practice for the upcoming Cold Wars team tourney.
Players: Phil Gardocki running Gauls, 80 BC
                   Allen Kaplan, Dennis Shorthouse, Alexandrian Macedonian
Game System: L'Art de la Guerre, 300 points per side.
Theme: Open, team no restrictions

The Forces:
Gauls circa 200 BC: The Commanders are Larry the vain hell-hated scullian, (Competent), Darryl the yeasty dizzy-eyed whey-face (Competent), with Darryl the mewling pox-marked lewdster (Ordinary) and Darryl the clouted milk-livered codpiece (Ordinary).
      6  Gaestati, Medium Swordsmen, Impetuous (elite)

      19 Warriors, Medium Swordsmen, Impetuous

      3 Light Infantry, Javelin  

      2 Horsemen, Heavy Cavalry (elite)
      4 Horsemen, Medium Cavalry (elite)
      2 Scouts, Light Horse, Javelin
One Corps is organized around the Gaestati, which are all elite.   Two Corps is are of around 9 Warriors each, and the last corps is a strong Cavalry force.  Which is something I don't believe anyone expects.
Their break point is 37.

Alexandrian Macedonian, 
Lets see, Pike, Impact Cavalry, Thracians, and more Pike
Two corps are organized around very strong pike formations.  One is a louse order foot formation of Medium Foot, and suited for terrain fights, the last has most of their Impact Heavy Cavalry.
Their break point is about about 32.

Dennis has a wonderful bookstore in Hopewell New Jersey, that he has been running for many decades.  Imagine going through a library that is nothing but military history.  If you don't think you knew him, he is a long time supporter of Historical Miniatures Gaming Society, and held the coveted #1 spot in the dealers area for over 20 years.  So if you have been to any of HMGS's events at the Lancaster Host, you probably have met Dennis at some time.

The Scenario:
Practice session for the upcoming team event at Cold Wars.

The Board:
The Gauls have lost the roll and will defend in the plains.  The select a field, two plantations, a hill and a gully, while Alexander selects a road and a coastline.  But the Gauls have been at work and have 400mm fortified line raised.

Pretty much a wide open field.  The blue tape is the actual edge of the board.

Two plantations and a field. 
You may have noticed the Gauls were pre-deployed from board edge to board edge.  I had to point out to Dennis and Allen, that this was not the whole Gallic army. 
Turn 1
This game is already in progress.

The Macedonians have an unreliable commander for their loose order command mostly consisting of Thracians, and like the last game, Alexander the Great invades Germania, he went unresponsive.
But when your main body is 12 units of pike, who worries about flanks.  Besides, the Gauls are all just medium infantry.
Sorry for the bad picture.  The Gauls have 400mm of manned fortifications defending their flank.  Alexander had deployed his command of 6 Impact Cavalry here, but decided to rerun it behind the lines, sending 3 units of Light Horse to pin the oversized and unmaneuverable Gaul command.
The Gauls have 3 commands deployed.  And two ambushes in the left side plantation.  So the question is, is there 8 units in the plantation, or is there a flank march?
The Gauls, lacking in subtlety, did not keep the Macedonians waiting to find out.  The flank march will be arriving on turn 2.
The walls seemed to be there just for show.  Darryl's, the clouted milk-livered codpiece, not to be confused with Darryl, the mewling pox-marked lewdster, troops leap the barricades and push forward.
Darryl, aka the clouted milk-livered codpiece, will split up his wall defenders, 6 units to play with the lights, possibly run them off, and 3 more to support the rest of the army.
The other brother Darryl, the mewling pox-marked lewdster, rolls a one for command points, and so the elite Gastati advance, but only three UD's
Ambushes were revealed as well.
Turn 2:
So far, this is looking very good for the Gauls.  The Phalanx's right flank is exposed and unsupported by an unresponsive ally.  The flank march with 8 cavalry units will arrive.  And if the left side of the Phalanx is solid, it is still matched unit for unit.
Thessalonian light horse advance and loose, scoring a hit.
Pike advance, with two Companions covering their flank.
The rest of the Phalanx advances as well.  One Taxis is canted to prevent flank problems.
Javelins fly, a Greek Light Infantry is hit.
The Gauls screwed up last turn and got withing 4 UD's of the Thracians.  Resolving their unresponsive problems.  It was a bad mistake.  This gives the Thracians a turn to respond to the Flank March arriving next turn.
Alexander triple moves his 4 Companions to catch the flank march. 
And start to charge down the line.  The first 3 fights did not go well for the Gauls.

The Greek skirmisher stay put between the closing lines, and manage to score a hit on what will be the most important point of the line of impact.  The Taxis that was refusing the the right is already engaged as well. (upper left)
The flank march arrives.  The line of Gauls goes on and on and on.
Turn 3:
The lines are within a U.D. of each other.  With some units already in contact.  Will the Phalanx continue it's broad advance, or will it hold and hope to blow holes in what is already engaged?

Ignoring the threats to their flanks, the Thracians charge! and disorder their foes.
And in a predictable set of die rolls, the massed pike roll over their opponents.
The remaining Thracians line up with the Companions.  
Gallic Cavalry is elite, but not impetuous.  The Flank March has been successfully countered by Alexander, so it is time to play smart.  Two charges are made against medium foot sword.  The other Greek troops are spear armed, and have a significant advantage against charging Medium Cavalry, but not so much if they charge the Medium Cavalry, so they can wait their turn until the swordsmen are gone.
And this why you run Gauls!  Charges all down the line.  Thracians and Pike both are destroyed, others are disordered.  Some Gallic foot are also damaged, but the dice were clearly in favor of the broadsword swinging Celts.
In the middle, the elite Gastati scream and charge.  Losing 2, and winning 3 of the encounters.  But their flank supports have been destroyed and their flanks have been turned.  Only the fact that pike are classed as unmaneuverable will keep this from rapidly falling apart.
Pike maneuverability and Darryl (the clouted milk-livered codpiece) parsing off a couple more war bands to keep things honest.

So now only 4 war bands are chasing 4 light horse. 
Turns 4 and 5:
Far afield, Alexander's Companions charge.  Destroying and disordering a Gallic horse unit.  But one of the Companions is also destroyed.  In the foreground, Thracian Swordsmen are destroyed, and Medium Spear have been turned.
Both pike and war bands fall like flies.  Most of the right side Phalanx has been butchered.
So too, however, the elite Gastati are dying in droves.
Darryl, however is keeping this side solid.
Turn 6:
To avoid being flanked, the Medium spear retreat while in the Zone of Control, taking a disorder for doing so.  Alexander's Companions have flanked some Gallic Cavalry, but the fight still goes on.
Larry, the vain hell-hated scullian, has a great surplus of war bands, but next to nought in command points.  Basically he cannot take advantage of his victory here.
The left side Phalanx, calmly obliterates all foes.  But they too cannot take advantage of their victory.
Really, do I need to cover this part? 
Disaster on the Macedonian right.  The Gallic elite cavalry, though surrounded and disordered, held it's ground.  One of the Companions is struck in the rear and destroyed.  And while it looks like nothing happened with the Greek Spearmen, the brightly flocked unit is actually a Gaul war band.  It was in range for a uncontrolled charge, and destroyed its foe.
For the want of a few command points, I could pick up this spare here.
The Phalanx has a similar problem.  Those units that could turn and assist, require 2 command points to do so.
Turn 7:
Macedonian spear charge, and Gallic cavalry evades.
Last pike standing on the Greek right destroys another warband.
Another Warband is culled from the herd.  The Gauls are 7 points away from their break point of 37.
The Macedonian medium sword is caught and killed, disordering a Companion.  Off in the distance, a Gallic Light Horse is racing for the camp.  The Macedonian demoralization level is now 28.
Larry gathers command points, hitting a Taxis in the flank.  A followup uncontrolled charge, disorders it.  The modifiers are +5 to -1 and the pike just disappears.  The Macedonian demoralization level is now 30.
On the Macedonian left, their foes in front are all destroyed, including Darryl, the mewling pox-marked lewdster.  The Gauls are now 5 points away from their break point of 37.  One Taxis is turned, and supported by a Heavy Spearmen.  The Spearmen is destroyed, while the pike holds fast. The Macedonian demoralization level is now 32.

Alexander looks at the chaos that is his right flank, and orders a general retreat.  On the Phalanx left, Seleucus and Ptolomy listen in disbelief at the calls of retreat from the horns.  Retreat?  Why?  There are no enemy left to contend with.  What is that young fool thinking?

The Pike commanders, by rank and file, turn in orderly precision, and begin to back away.

Larry(the vain hell-hated scullian), Darryl (the yeasty dizzy-eyed whey-face), and Darryl (the mewling pox-marked lewdster), could only stare at the orderly withdrawal in wonder.

Glossary for non L'Art de la Guerre players.
Corps:  A group of units.  Commanded by a general.  The word Command is interchangably used for the word Corps.

Disorder: A unit is disordered if it takes any hits at all.  This results in a -1 on any combat die roll.  There are no multiple levels of disorder.

UD:  Units of Distance.  The units of measurement of the game.  This will vary by scale.  For 15mm scale, each UD is 40mm.  For 25mm, it is 60mm.