Thursday, July 6, 2017

Feudal Irish against Warring States Chinese at NJCon 2017, round 2

A Headless Body Production

Location:97 Sunfield Ave, Edison NJ, 08837 
Event:NJ Con's Fire in the East  
Players: Phil Gardocki, playing the Feudal Irish 
                  Walt Leech, Warring States Chinese

Game System: L'Art de la Guerre, 200 points per side. 
It's the second round of the L'Art de la Guerre tournament at the 2017 NJ Con's Fire in the East convention.

The Forces Feudal Irish Commanders  Thee cullionly plume-plucked varlot, Larry, Thee clay-brained guts, thy knotty-pated fool, thou whoreson obscene greasy tallow-catch, Darryl, and Darryl, with which confusion now hath made his masterpiece! 
       4 Nobles, Elite, Heavy Swordsmen, 2HW
       2 Galloglaich, Elite, Heavy Swordsmen, 2HW
       11 Medium Swordsmen, 2HW
       6 Kerns, Light Infantry,  Javelin
Breakpoint, 24

The Warring States Chinese:  One ordinary two competent generals commanding: 
       5 Medium Impact Swordsmen
       6 Elite Impact Heavy Swordsmen
       4 Elite Heavy Chariots
       2 Bowmen
       2 Light Horse
       2 Light Infantry
Breakpoint about 22.

Note: the action doesn't really start until turn 5, if you want to just scroll down to it.
NJ Con 2017, a Napoleonic battle rages in the interim between rounds 1 and 2.

NJ Con 2017, a  dungeon run on another table.
New additions the from Lost Battalion Game's "Sergeants, Hell on Wheels" game.  A wooded hill and a villa.

The Board:
The Chinese elect to attack in the woods.  The Feudal Irish select two wooded hills and 2 woods.  The Chinese select a coastal zone and a road.  3 of the woods wind up on the Chinese side of the board.

Chinese allied swordsmen on the left, heavy spearmen in the center.
Heavy Chariots on the right.
Darryl is living up to his Shakespearean insult, "Confusion now hath made his masterpiece"! As his command on the left is entirely in ambush.
Thee cullionly plume-plucked varlot, Larry is in his customary position behind all the elite heavy swordsmen.  The other Darryl is holding the flank with the benefit of some fortifications.
The Chinese fear no ambush, and double move their infantry forward.
The line of spear is keeping in line with the heavy chariots.
Off on the flank is a bit of skirmisher action.
Darryl gets a good command roll and pushes free from the trees in a near perfect line.
Larry orders a left face, and lines his troops up on the fortifications.
The other brother Darryl will await the chariots.
Turn 2:
The plan is to attack on the left, hoping 2HW will defeat just sword.  The center with the elites will wait and see the results.  On the right it is hoped the fortifications, and numbers, will deter the chariots from charging in.

Both sides are hugging the coastline. 
There is a small gap between the Chinese spearmen and the swordsmen.  I wonder how conforming works here.
The chariots seem undeterred by the piles of rocks.
Change of plan.  Darryl orders a retreat to lure the Chinese Mediums into the woods.
The elite heavy 2 handed swords line up on another fortification.
Darryl's medium swords hold their lines.
Turn 3:

The retreat is complete, turning around again.

The other Darryl also performed a strategic retreat, just out of range of the chariots.
Larry pulls back some of his heavy foot as well, to line up with Darryl's mediums.
Turn 4:

The Chinese foot continue there steady advance.
Their chariots show no fear.
Heavy foot is in place.  It looks like turn 5 will have charges all down the line.

The Chinese will not be lured into the woods.
The Chinese spear step forward, but do not charge.
One chariot is damaged by skirmisher fire, the other 3 bravely charge in.  Two Irish war-bands are obliterated.
Darryl leads his forces to charge the disordered chariot.  His numbers are +0 (medium swords vs knights) +1 flank support, + 1 general, +1 2HW winning fight, for 9.  The chariots are +1 vs all, +1 impact, +1 flank support +1 elite, +1 armor -1 disordered, for a total of 7, and so only take one hit.
Neither side is committing on this flank.
Irish nobility and Galloglaich ready for next turn's charge.  Clan Ramsay stays behind the fortification to cover the flanks.

Two good die rolls and the Irish right flank still holds.
Turn 6:
I really screwed up on the left, and Walt knew it.  I cannot attack without totally clearing the woods.  Giving his mediums a + 1 advantage down the line.  I keep doing this.  30 years of WRG is just not dismissed so easily.

The Chinese adjust their right flank.
The only charge Darryl's mediums with their center.  Another Irish warband is destroyed.
On the right, the Chinese chariots are performing cleanup operations.   Attacking the camp and the remaining lights.
The only high point of the right flank was a unit of Kerns managed to destroy a light horse.
Galloglaich and Irish Nobles charge!  Despite their advantages of elite, winning ties, having an overlap, and 2HW, they lose 4 of 4.
Darryl takes advantage of the Chinese adjustment and frees a warband from the woods.
On the bottom of the turn, the center's position worsens
The camp is sacked.  But uncharacteristically, the Kerns win another fight. Two Light Horse are destroyed.
Turn 7:

With nothing else to do, a chariot charges a Kern.

Sensing a win, the Chinese are taking no chances, and retreats before Darryl's posturing.
Another warband falls.

Final shot.

On this turn, the Irish hit their break point of 24.  The Chinese lost 2 light horse, a chariot, and had two hits otherwise for a score of 8.  A convincing win for the Chinese.

What went wrong?
On the right, there was a failure to engage.  There was a thought that the Chinese were going to barrel right in, and there were attempts to maneuver the line for possible flank exploitation.  In the end, no combat was fought, and no points for either side.  Which for the Chinese side was fine as they totally crushed the Irish right.

On the right, there was just unfavorable match ups, even if there were flank supports.  Losing the camp on the second try was somewhat unlucky, but not as unlucky as losing every combat in the center.  

Potentially, if the left flank broke even, and the center prevailed, the score could have been  21-24, still a loss for the Irish, but a good fight.

There are two real reasons for the loss.  The first is the design of the army.  For a general purpose battle, there is a lack of good anti-cavalry troops.  There was too much reliance on 2HW.  The second reason was the lack of maneuvering on the side of the Irish.  If you are standing still, you are yielding the initiative to your opponent, and Walt took good advantage of that.

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