Sunday, July 30, 2017

The Number of Beast

A Headless Body Production

Venue: Fredericksburg Expo & Conference Center
Event: Round 3 of the Warrior NICT Tournament at Historicon
Players: Phil Gardocki, running Anglo-Irish
                  Scott McDonald running Seleucid

Game System: Warrior, 1600 points

Theme: Open, all lists, all mods.

The Forces:
The Anglo Irish
    CIC, "Larry", with half HK,L,SH, half HC,L,SH

    Ally, "Darryl", with half HK,L,SH, half HC,L,SH

    2 units of knights, with half HK,L,SH, half HC,L,SH

    Galloglaich Clans Jordan and Ramsay, with 16 HI,2HCW,JLS,D and 16 MI, HI,2HCW,JLS,D
     Bonnachts 12 LMI,JLS,2HCW,SH and 24 LMI, JLS,SH
     3 units of Longbowmen,  8 Reg'D' HI,LB,SH and 8 Reg'D' MI,LB
     Kern Ramsay and Jordan, light infantry, half sling, half javelin, all shield.
     1 unit of Bowmen,  half sh, all bow
     Light Horse, 8 LC, JLS, SH
     2 Bombards

The Seleucids
      Scythed Chariots times 4.
      Some Pike, Spear, Lights, Super Heavies and Extra Heavies.
Historicon!  The Mecca of the Miniature Wargaming world!  Gamers put on display their signature pieces normally moldering in their basements.
Flying warships over the humble village of Milton Keynes.

Bound 1:
But that is not this game.   This game is about Pike and Chariots facing armored axe-men and knights.  Normally, I start the game with map descriptions and deployment and orders, but I forgot to take the supporting photographs for all that.  This game is in progress.  You'll just have to keep up.
The Seleucid forces deployed a good mix of forces on their right flank, only to be looking at air.  The Irish deployment starts at the middle of the board, and goes right.  So most of this force will have to march a lot to get into theater.
In the middle, the Seleucids deploy a rather small number of pike, supported by some cavalry and chariots.
On the Seleucid far left, are three units of lights, one Irreg 'D' light infantry, and two of light cavalry. 
The Anglo-Irish left is anchored by Welsh longbow men and bombards.  Supported by 2 units of knights.

The Irish light horse is on that flank to counter the Seleucid light horse and foot.  And bolstering them is a unit of 16 Welsh heavy infantry longbows.  The Seleucid lights are not turning this flank!.

During the deployment, everything looked well in hand.  The forces I have on the left to face the Seleucid right are more than adequate and cost effective.  The Longbow, as shielded heavy infantry can't be shot away, nor can the chariots even cross the stakes.  And the extra heavy cavalry is just so much fodder here. 

But when Scott took a bio break, I did a count.  There are points missing.  A lot of points missing.  Did he roll the characters for 2, or 3 generals?  I recounted twice and the conclusion is the same, there is a flank march running.  This changes the nature of the game.

Per "Rush" orders, the chariots race to the nearest valid target.  The other Seleucid units move more cautiously.  They know I have units missing as well and Scott is not one to leave an ambush unrevealed.  And he is right.  I have Kerns hiding the center woods, and another of archers in the far left woods, which is largely off frame.
The center chariots move as fast as they are able, which isn't far.  The difference between marching and tactical is only about 40mm.
The Seleucid Lights have chased the Irish lights, and get a passel of arrows for their trouble. 
It was a very good roll for the longbow, this light horse unit is recalling disordered.

I think I really screwed with Scott with my deployment.  Not just with leaving the left flank open, but I deployed very deep on the board.  His forces were on the center line, but mine initially started just 240mm in.  So the gap between the forces was longer, and not easily calculable.  So he is winging the approximate distances instead of mathematically knowing how far away thing are.

Seleucid spear enter the wood, but the pike unit stays out of bombard range.
An ambush is revealed!  12 Kerns, half with javelins.  Facing an all javelin unit (but 'D's) of 16 lights.
Another ambush is revealed.  More Kerns!  The Seleucids are not turning this flank quickly either.
Bound 2:
The Seleucids roll for a flank march, but if fails.
A small unit of Seleucid light horse runs interference against the longbow.  Larry (HK) positions himself and the Knights of the Round Table (Also HK) to receive the flank march.  The Longbow attempt to counter to turn a bit, but fail.
Chariots and EHC come to within charge reach of Clan Jordan. 
One of those rare good missile shots, slingers against LI in the woods.  That's 12 and disorder against a 4 man LI unit.
An up roll for the chariots, Clan Jordan is recoiling.  But the Bonnachts are in shield wall and destroy their chariot.
Kern Jordan stands against a charge, and is destroyed on contact.
Bound 3:
The Seleucid flank march fails to arrive.

On the left flank, the Seleucid Chariot is shot and shakes on a waver check.  Seleucid light horse find a unit of 16 LI Bow.  Both of these events pretty much lock up the flank and nothing else really happens there.
Clan Jordan, already disordered, receives a cavalry charge.  Even unimpetuous, the cavalry are on the 9 chart with mounted vs disordered foot and shield-less.  Both roll up, and Clan Jordan is routed!  The Knights of the Round Table follow Sir Robins lead with "Run Away!" and shake.
Larry makes a staff move to contact the shaken Knights of the Round Table.  But otherwise continues to prep for the flank march, and gets the Irish light horse in position.
Bound 4:
And on the landward horizon appeared the silhouette of a Seleucid cavalry unit. Another came, and another, striding over hills and trees, plunging into the right flank of the line of the Anglo-Irish. Between them lay the silent, grey steel clad knights of the great general "Larry".  With a keen eye he assessed the situation, he inched forward, setting the range at 140 paces from the enemy general.  Then, with a deafening horn and shout of defiance, he swung about and drove at full speed towards the waiting Seleucids.

Larry rolls an up one!  The Seleucid General on the flank march is routed on contact.  The resultant waver checks causes each unit of the flank march to shake, and puts the entire flank march into retirement.

At this point the game was within 20 minutes of the time limit and we called it.  The Seleucids had an advantage in the center, but largely the hole was contained.  On the left side of the hole was a solid 36 man shield wall.  On the right was a heavy infantry longbow, and in a turn later, a tired heavy knight unit.  The Seleucid forces were just too far away to engage the Irish in a timely fashion.  

In short we realize that only one Anglo Irish unit was possible to grab at this point, the shaken Knights of the Round Table, but if they rolled a 3+ when charged by the LI, they could win the fight and come out of shaken.  

The end score was exactly 333 to 333.  A total of 666, so we are going to call this game, the Number of Beast.

In Came the Byzantines.

A Headless Body Production

Venue:   Continental Inn, Lancaster, Pa

Event:    "The Weekend" LADG team tourney, fourth round.
Players: Phil Gardocki running Anglo Irish
                  Aubrey Hopkins running Komnenan Byzantine
Game System: L'Art de la Guerre, 200 points per side.
Theme: Medieval team

The Forces:
Anglo Irish circa 1400: Commanders  Larry the puny spur-galled knave, Darryl, the dissembling rough-hewn miscreant and Darryl, a low and disreputable fishmonger., all 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 Javelinmen

       The Corps will be called "Battles" as that was the naming convention for England in Medieval times.
Komnenan Byzantine
        Following the instructions in Emperor Maurice's Strategikon, the Byzantine forces were well masked, and thus unknown.


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. 

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 lost the initiative roll and will defend in the mountains.  Steep hills and forests abound on the board.

The board is littered with bad terrain.  And both sides hid much of their forces in it.
I have to get used to the idea of Byzantines with Knights.

I am not sure if the camp placement is legal, but it was the 4th game today, and we all were a bit froggy.
Of Darryl's command, most is hidden except the Light Horse and his Nobles.
The clear area starts about the middle of the board going to the right.
And on the right, we have Long bow manning fortifications. 
According to Google Translate, "Saethyddion hir" means bowmen, while "Hefyd
Saethyddion hir" means more bowmen.

Turn 1:

The Byzantine ambush is revealed.  2 Psiloi.  Their advance is supported by Light Horse maneuvering through the woods.
The Byzantine commander is brilliant, but his command points are not without end.  So his heavier cavalry doesn't advance as far as they may.
Their left command makes adjustments and goes to the far left.
The Anglo Irish reveal their ambushes as well.  Longbow and Javelinmen and Kerns.
The Irish Main Line performs a standard forward march.
Darryl (the low and disreputable fishmonger), holds his forces behind the lines.
Turn 2:
The Byzantine lights clear the woods.  Darryl's lights are not thrilled at the odds.
This is not readily visible but in the upper left, a large force of Byzantine Cavalry break left from the woods and head left on the double.   
Another example of Byzantine mobility.  5 lights engage the Anglo-Irish main line, while the cavalry cuts left.
On the Byzantine left, the cavalry makes a right face.
Irish Javelinmen charge Byzantine Light Horse, sending them into the woods.  Irish Light Horse take advantage of this to run down some Psiloi.  But luck wasn't with him, as the roll was a tie.
Welsh and English Longbow veer right and shoot.
In the center, Longbow fire is making itself felt on the Byzantine Light Horse.
Since Byzantine Cavalry isn't committing to the field, the Longbow abandon their fortifications and assist the lights.
Turn 3:
With the Light Horse stalled, the Psiloi go for a flank.
Total confusion, as the Byzantines abandon the center.
The Irish center angles to face the Byzantine cavalry force.
Some Byzantine Lights run for the flank.
On the left, the Irish Light Horse pulls a break off move.
The center is slow and steady.
Darryl see an opportunity, and commands the Irish Nobles to charge the flank of the Byzantine Medium Cavalry.  It was expected for the Byzantines to evade, probably off board, but they stood their ground instead.  The dice roll, and the Byzantines stand with 2 hits!
Turn 4:
No matter how this ends up, these guys get a medal for just surviving.
Darryl's positioning looks good here, but he is having a lot of command control problems.  5 groups and only +1 on the die.

The main line is still slowly turning, forcing the Byzantines into a pocket.
One Byzantine Medium Cavalry falls, but their Knights have arrived to play.
These happy few are going to cash in their paychecks.

In the upper right, you can see the Byzantine center command has redeployed again.  Darryl's Longbow change their formation to adapt. 
Longbow stakes come out. 
You gotta love Brilliant Commanders.  Byzantines running 4 groups, mostly at long range.
Not much to report here.  Reforming the Longbow has given the Byzantine Lights an opportunity to recover.
Byzantine Knights Charge!  They run down a Longbow and the Irish Nobles.
The Irish Light Horse have friends to help keep these miscreants at bay!  Two Kerns in the woods.
Since half the Byzantine Cavalry managed to get out of the pocket, Larry's main battle line is going to have to re-orientate.

Turn 6:

It was a long run, but the Irish Camp is in sight.
Byzantine cavalry commit in the center, and immediately start taking arrow hits.
After 6 turns, part of the Irish main line of battle is in combat.  Clan Ramsay charges a solitary knight, with support by English Longbow.

The game was called on time, I think the score was 9-5 in favor of the Anglo-Irish.

After the game, Aubrey asked me what he could have done better.  I didn't think about it then, but most of the Byzantine Cavalry were Knights, and could have dismounted in the face of fortifications and stakes.  Heavily Armored 2HW Infantry would have made short work of the Longbow.