Friday, June 30, 2017

The Weekend, Round One.

A Headless Body Production

Venue:   Continental Inn, Lancaster, Pa

Event:    "The Weekend IX" LADG team tourney.
                  Round 1 
Players: Phil Gardocki running Anglo Irish
                  Mark Crotteau running Yuan Chinese
Game System: L'Art de la Guerre, 200 points per side.
Theme: Medieval team

The Forces:
Anglo Irish circa 1400: Commanders  Larry, who art violently carried away from grace, Darryl thee loggerheaded motley-minded bladder, and the wither'd like an old apple-john, Darryl, all are barely competent.
      4 Galloglaich, Heavy Swordsmen, 2HW (Elite) 
      2 Billmen, Heavy Swordsmen, 2HW (Mediocre)
      1 Foot Knight, 2HW (Elite)       
      4 Longbowmen,stakes 
      2 Longbowmen (Elite)
      2 Irish Nobles, Heavy Cavalry
      2 Light Cavalry, Javelin 
      4 Kerns, Light Infantry, Javelin
       1 Javelinman

       The Corps will be called "Battles" as that was the naming convention for England in Medieval times.
Yuan Chinese
        The inscrutable orientals, students of Sun Tsu, have masked their forces.  What is known is that they brought allies from the island of Java, and they didn't bring coffee.


About a decade ago, Otto Schmidt and his wife started organizing "the Weekend".  Emphasizing game play at the expense of vendors and admission fees.  For the price of the hotel room, and delivering a couple of bags of snacks, you can play.  Games available run the gamut, from prehistoric dinosaur mayhem to Vietnam.  Possibly beyond, I have only attended two of them.  He also has a yahoo group, The Society of the Daisy, dedicated to polite discourse on gaming. 
Napoleonics on a grand scale.

Last year he asked me and Walt Leech about running a L'Art de la Guerre tournament, and while I thought about it, Walt jumped all over it.   And boy did he. 20 cut foam boards, about 12 plaques, and a shrine to LADG with columns and helmets.  

The Scenario:
"The Weekend" team tourney, Medieval period.

The Board:
The Anglo Irish have won the initiative roll and will attack in the plains.

With 3 elephants, Mark did his best to create an anti-knight army for the Medieval period.  As did almost everyone else this day, including yours truly. 
From center to right, the Chinese have a mix of swordsmen and cavalry.
A luminescent ambush marker and 20mm dice. I seem to have seen a number of articles about using casino dice, promoting their perfect balance.  I have even heard suggestions that they be required in tournaments. 
Knowing the Chinese will have a mobility advantage, Darryl's battle is hugging the coast line.  Larry's battle right next to him.
To his left, Darryl has another battle consisting of Longbow, Javelinmen, and horse. 
With a few quickly built fortifications to bolster the flank.
Turn 1:
Following the plan thought out before the sides were picked, Larry double moves his Galloglaich forward, while the Longbow lag behind.
The main battle is 5 wide with elites.  2 mediocre units are there to either expand if necessary, or cover a flank.
The other brother Darryl will take up shooting positions in the field.
I forgot the Javanese command was an ally.  He rolls a one to be unreliable!, but the Irish Lights are already within 4 of the Javanese lights, so his reliability is assured.
Most of the Chinese forces advance at the double as well. 
Accept where they are blocked by skirmishers.
Turn 2:

Units approach to missile range and arrows fly.
The Anglo-Irish are shooting well.  5 hits on 6 shots. 
Darryl decides to call up the Javelinmen into the field.  It seems like the Chinese cavalry are just stumbling along, but the Elephant is a more immediate threat.
Disaster!  The Javanese charge the Irish lights.  Who evade and escape, but the Javanese roll a 5 in pursuit, and collide with the Longbow shooting line.  Destroying 2 of them on contact.
Misfortune follows.  The main battle line loses one of it's skirmishers, the other is damaged.  The other longbow line also takes a hit.
The only part of the battle that is following the plan was the slow advance of the Chinese cavalry.
Turn 3:
Turn 2 was a total disaster.  Instead of getting 3 rounds to shoot and then have the Javanese approach in manner where they are also flanked by the main battle line, the Javanese race past the main battle line and collapse the flanking longbow.

Darryl goes to the front lines of his remaining longbow unit.  Clan Ramsay and the main battle line advance and slide, covering Clan O'Lyre as it flanks the Javanese swordsmen, destroying them.
Irish lights posture in front of the Javanese.  But the Irish Nobles have no desire to face the elephants and head for the center.
Larry's 4 best units face off in what looks like a favorable matches.  The Billmen are dropped back to cover the flanks or support the Longbow.
The stakes come out.  They do nothing for the swordsmen, but do cancel impact and furious charge for the elephant.
A Javanese elephant, supported by a swordsmen threaten the Irish Nobles.  Their other swordsmen flank charge Darryl's elite long-bowmen.  The dice are rolled, and it is a tie.  The flank seems to be holding.
In the right, Darryl loses one of his longbow-men as well.  But the Javelinmen manage to pull a win scoring two hits on the Chinese swordsmen.  In the upper left, the Chinese Light Horse goes for maximum annoyance, as it races the gap past the English Billmen.
The Chinese Cavalry have finally arrived in field.
Turn 4:
I missed taking pictures.     We'll catch up on turn 5.
Turn 5:
In a moment of panic and bravery, and hoping to luck, the Irish Nobles charge the Javanese Swordsmen.  They come in at a 1.  (normally 2 verses Medium Infantry, but -1 for the elephant)  The Swordsmen are +2, having support.  The Swordsmen win by 2, which is enough to overcome better armor.    The thought here was to tie up the Javanese in time to bring the billmen in.  Not a good thought, but it was there.  Also, Larry's main battle line charges.  The Chinese cavalry opts to evade, leaving the disordered elephant to it's own devices. Luck favored the Javanese, and Clan Ramsay takes two hits.
The Chinese elephant continues to be held to the stake line, while it's supporting swordsmen are destroyed on both sides.  Now it is the Elephant's turn to receive a flank charge.

The Anglo-Irish suffer a total collapse in command dice rolls, or they would have been able to turn this around.
The Billmen have been unable to advance due to other priorities.   And the Irish Nobles pay the price.
I had been having problems with the camera all game.  I think the board was so homogeneous, that it couldn't get a lock on the range, or a face or something.  The flash kept refusing to fire.  At this time I thought I had worked it out, but now I have a date/time stamp embedded on all my pictures.  But at least the flash fires now.

The Anglo-Irish were not the only one with command problems.  The Chinese Light Horse, after making it's daring penetration, hasn't moved for 3 turns.  On the main line, I get to use one of my customized fallen elephant markers for the first time. 
Despite being flanked, the elephant still destroys its opposing Longbow unit.

The Irish Light Horse was a bit too daring, and was caught and destroyed.
Turn 7:

Another Javanese Swordsmen falls, but the way to the camp is open.

Clan Ramsay kills an elephant, which rampaged into the English Foot Knights (heh!)
Note to self, if you surround an elephant, he is going to rampage through you!
Final shots

The final score was 22-15, in favor of the Chinese.  This is one of the few times I can attribute luck to my defeat.  Everything was set up well.  My positioning was good.  I distracted for most of the game 4 Cavalry at the cost of 1 Light Horse.  My main battle line did OK, only killing an elephant but it did tie up  7 other units in the process.  And Clan O'Lyre and two Billmen got into the flank action, as designed.   But that long pursuit lead to eventually the camp falling.  Other wise we would have gone to turn 8 with a score of 18-15.  

One mistake was committing my Irish Nobles to soon.  They didn't need to be in the fight that turn, and they are allowed to evade if charge.  Another turn would have made a difference.  That would have had the last Longbow in a field and supported by Javelinmen to shoot at Heavy Cavalry.  Galloglaich engaging their opposing Chinese sword.     Billmen and Clan O'Lyre bearing down on the last Javanese sword.  A close game indeed.

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