Sunday, August 13, 2017

Octoberfest in Ireland

A Headless Body Production

Venue:   Continental Inn, Lancaster, Pa

Event:    "The Weekend" LADG team tourney.
                   Round 2 
Players: Phil Gardocki running Anglo Irish
                  Conner Tobin running Medieval Germans
Game System: L'Art de la Guerre, 200 points per side.
Theme: Medieval team

The Forces:
   Anglo Irish circa 1400: Commanders  Larry the drunken Fustilerean, Darryl, an obscene knave, and he who carries an unnecessary stench, Darryl, 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.
Medieval Germans
        The evil Germans, channeling the future von Clausewitz, have cunningly masked their forces. 

Breakpoint about 21

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.  
A shrine to L'Art de la Guerre

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

The Board:
The Anglo Irish have lost the initiative roll and will defend in the plains.
On the left, German Knights face both the useless and the unknown.

Their center is solid, with pike and armor, their left a smattering of Knights.

Larry has his forces deployed in a standard sort of way.  Longbow on the left.

Galloglaich bolstered by Foot Knights in the center.
And way down wind is Darryl (unnecessary stench, not the obscene knave), with more Longbow.
Turn 1:
Taking advantage of the fields, the Longbow men shift left. 
While Larry cants his line to the right. 
The thought here is to offer the flank of the Heavy Infantry to the Knights, who will be in range of the Longbow, who are in turn protected by the fields.  Knights only move 2 in the rough and are -2 in combat.
Darryl adjusts his lines a little.
Turn 2:
Arrows loose, and two Knights are hit.
The main German battle line ponderously advances and wheels.  The German Crossbowmen prove to be marksmen as Irish Kerns wither under their sites.
Give these men an award for being The Bravest Men in Ireland.
Longbows ranged in? Check.  Knights disordered? Check. 
Pike formation way over there? Check.  The Boys from Stafford and the English Billmen turn and face the German column.
Darryl is not planning to go anywhere near that horde.  And orders the Bravest Men in Ireland to return.
Turn 3:
The Knights form up for a charge.
The Pike continue to advance at a crawl.
No action on the right either.
Turn 4:
The Longbow refresh their quivers, and let fly again.  Scoring two more hits.
It may be hard to tell if the Pike are actually moving or not.
Irish Light Horse sticks it's nose out, just to keep the Germans from executing a double move.
Irish Nobles charge German support cavalry, who opts not to evade.  Probably to avoid having the Nobles hitting the knights in the rear. One of the Knights is beyond caring though as arrows reduce them to ruin.
The German hammer is about to fall.
Turn 5:
Bugger dies für einen Verlust!  The Knights turn and leave.
Ouch Time!
The Pike block is going in alone.
The Longbow are now chasing down the knights.
There is a line of ranging shots in the ground marking the spot where the Knights will not go.
Turn 6:

Two Knights down, and Darryl (obscene knave) doesn't know what to do. 
We thought the German Pike line was all in range, but on measurement only 2 of 5 were in range, so the Germans hold back charging this turn. 
Move along, nothing really to see here.
Darryl assigns 2 Longbow, assisted by Irish Nobles and Light Horse to run down the remains of this command.  He sends the English Longbow (elite, in red) to assist the main battle line. 
The Irish are not going to initiate the charge here.  The Germans have the advantage with pike and armor.  The Galloglaich with elite and wining ties.  But Larry is not in a hurry as the Boys from Stafford already have a flank charge lined up.
The Knights won't come into range, but the German Light Horse will.
Turn 7:
The harassment continues.  The Germans attempt to get out of range.
With a clash of steel the main battle lines collide.  Luck is with the Irish this day as they win 3 of 5.
German Swordsmen advance in an attempt to force the barricades, but are rebuffed by an arrow storm.
Conner was a good sport here, but there is just no putting a good face on this.
The German Infantry is rapidly collapsing.  Irish Nobles charge from the rear and take out a German bow unit.
A German Light Horse is shot away.  The German Swordsmen are now disordered and flanked.
Turn 8:

Conner wasn't going to go down without a fight and charges his Knights. 

The German center, though damaged and flanked, has fight in it yet, as they start pounding back on the Irish.  (OK, technically it is the English Knights and Billmen that are being pounded on, and that's a good thing)
And at the bottom of the turn, it suddenly is over. 3 German Heavy Infantry units crumble.

On the left, Darryl is left facing a single unit of skirmishers.

The final score was about 21-6  
This is what happens when everything goes right.  On the right, my opponent effectively had a command trapped by Longbow in terrain.  Made worse by successful early shots disordering his front lines.  The center had the luxury of waiting for his infantry block to arrive and setting up flank shots on that line before the arrival, and on contact, winning 3 of 5 fights, when they should have lost 3 of 5.  Then on the right, his forces were not what he needed to force the fortifications.  

The terrain broke my way both defensively and offensively.  Defensively, in getting two fields to march and project power into his lines, and Offensively, causing his troops to compress unfavorably.

There is a saying, "There are a thousand lessons in defeat, and none in victory."  There may be one lesson here, do it again, if your opponent will let you.

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