Sunday, November 5, 2017

Timurids vs Burgundians at Fall In

A Headless Body Production

Venue:   Lancaster Host, Lancaster Pennsylvania.
Event:    HMGS's Fall-In
Players: Phil Gardocki running Timurid Persian
                  Jim Tobin, running Burgundian Ordinance
Game System: L' Art de la Guerre, 25mm, 200 points

The Forces:
The Persians, lead by Timur the Lame (Strategist), Babur (Brilliant), and Ulugh Beg (Competent)

      4 Persian Heavy Cavalry, Impact, Bow (elite)
      4 Persian Heavy Cavalry, Bow (elite)
      4 Turkomans, Light Cavalry, Bow (elite)
      1 Light Infantry Bow
      2 Persian Archers, Bowmen (Mediocre)
      2 Timurid Archers, Bowmen
      2 Hostages, Levy Expendable, (Mediocre)
      2 Stampeding Herds
      1 Elephant (skinny)

Burgundian Ordinance.
Charles the Bold  wasn't telling, and I didn't ask.  


The Board:
The Timurid's win the initiative and elect to attack in the plains.  The Terrain falls as listed.


The Burgundian line is anchored to the plantation.  Charles the Bold's right seems to have all his best troops.  Heavy knights, both on horse and on foot.  His left flank is well equipped with bow and crossbow and can cause considerable damage to my command on the way in.
Babur's command is all elite bow horse.  He his mission is to distract as much of the enemy line as possible.
Ulugh Beg's command is the weak corps.  But it has enough long range projection power to be noticed, and an elephant should anyone get close.
About the elephant.  It is a Ral Partha model I won 30 years ago and has been looking for a home to play in.  I know its skinny.  Comments made included, "It looks like you starved the poor thing." "Is that a real elephant or a mastiff?"  "Is that an elf riding it?"   Walt announced he was going to launch a GoFundMe drive for a fatter elephant.

This is a lousy, cheap, camp. But the ambush markers are nice looking.  Timur is in one off them along with his best cavalry.
Turn 1:
Babur races across the board, stopping at the 4 UD mark.  A saber of Turkomans splits off to check out the plantation, and possibly flank a knight.
UD stands for Unit of Distance.  A sliding scale depending on the scale of the figures.  For 25mm, a UD is 60mm.
Ulugh Beg makes a single advance.  His mission is not to engage, but not to allow flankers for the wings either.
The cotton represents different things for different units.  For the Levy units, it represents "Late arrivals or early departures."  It also marks the units as unequivocally a Levy Hostage unit and not accidentally a bowman unit.   For the cattle it represents the dust you would expect to have kicked up for having a herd go by.

Timur comes out of ambush and double times it across the board.  He has enough command points for that, and for the Turkomans and the cattle.
In LADG, each commander rolls die each turn and can move as many groups of units as he has command points.  Groups can move twice, as long as they stay more than 4 UD's from the nearest enemy units.

But not every unit plays well with others.  The cattle can only form groups with themselves and so require their own command points to move.
The Burgundians respond.  They hold their knights in check, and advance and bend their infantry lines to deal with the attack on both wings.  The Burgundian light horse knows a bad deal when they see one and run for the edge of the board.
The Burgundians reveal an ambush here.  It looks like a unit of heavy cavalry.  Which, upon reflection, is not a legal ambush in the field.  Well, the day was early, the second coffee hadn't kicked in and neither of us caught it.
Charles the Bold bends his main battle line, but his left flank is hugging the field.  Not a bad idea considering all the impact heavy cavalry coming his way.
Turn 2:
The Persian cavalry closes to missile range.  WTF, whose shooting back?
Ulug Beg, moves his line forward just enough to shoot at the Burgundian light infantry.

The Turkomans abandon their charges and trade shots with Burgundian light horse.
Charles the Bold proves to be clever.  His light horse exploits a hole in the lines and traps a Persian heavy cavalry.  Preventing it from fleeing from the knights.
Babur, ever the pragmatic opts to flee while he can.  His other Turkoman unit is not so lucky and is shot away by longbow fire.
Off in the distance, the Burgundians decide to reinforce victory, and pull their knights out of the left flank and redeploy them to the center, and presumably the right. 

So far, superior Persian archery has not been a factor. 
The Persians are 4 points towards their demoralization level of 18.
The Burgundians are 1 point towards their demoralization level of 19.

Turn 3:
So far, this has not been going well for the Persians.  Which is to be expected, as the Cavalry is a poor match for everything in the Burgundian army, and they are getting out shot as well, which is their strong point.

The Persian take revenge, and trap and kill the Burgundian light horse.  Whatever the final score will be, it won't be xx-0!

Persian bow come into range of heavy knights.  The arrows might as well be a gentle mist on the heavy armor.  But the Burgundian light crossbow does take a hit. Timur's impact cavalry adjust their formation to about 4.5 UD's from the Burgundian firing line.
A different view here.
Burgundian heavy foot, disordered by earlier bow fire, decides to charge.  The Persian cavalry eyeballs the distance to the knights, and realizes the knights are too far away, by about 5mm, and elects to stand.  The pluses are 1 to 0 in the Persians favor.  They win by 1, but Burgundian armor rules the day.
Persian bows find their range, and eliminate the Burgundian light crossbowmen. 
The Burgundian firing line doesn't like the match up it sees, and retreats deeper into the field.
The Persians are 5 points towards their demoralization level of 18.
The Burgundians are 6 points towards their demoralization level of 19.
Turn 4:
Babur had his moment of bravery, and remembers that his main orders are to survive and distract. 
Ulugh Beg has similar orders.  His archery is useless against heavy armor, and he pulls back.  The hostages realize what their role they are going to play, and the early departures begin.
Timur has made his decision, and is going in.  The Burgundian firing line was retreated, so it is only going to get one shot before contact.
The Burgundian knights move forward at speed.  They are still 5mm behind the Persian line.
The main infantry line of the Burgundians advance without fear.  And with good reason.  The Persian archers are not only weak, some of them are mediocre as well!
Burgundian archers turn and loose!  The skies darken, but not anywhere near the Persian cavalry. 
Turn 5:
Babur's cavalry realizes that geometry and the tyranny of the board is not going to let them escape the hammer that is the Burgundian knights.  But they can survive another turn!
The Persians charge!  The match-ups are far from ideal, but some of the attacks have support, and that will have to do.
Luck and elite troops win the turn.  Stampeding cattle trample a foot knight for two, while a longbow unit takes one from the Persian heavy horse.
Same scene, different angle.
Burgundian knights know they have the edge, they just have to follow through.
The Persians are 5 points towards their demoralization level of 18.
The Burgundians are 7 points towards their demoralization level of 19.

Turn 6:
One knight is parsed off of that line to support they crush that will be Ulugh Beg's command.  The early departures of the hostages become more noticeable.
Off in the distance, alone and unloved, a unit of Turkomans await orders.

Burgundian Knights charge the stampeding herd, taking the pressure off their foot knights.  All the hand to hand fights are ties, so other than a missile hit on Persian archers, the situation is still status quo.

The Persians are 5 points towards their demoralization level of 18.  (there was a successful rally off panel)
The Burgundians are 7 points towards their demoralization level of 19.

Turn 7:
With the edge of the world looming, Persian horse turn and fire.  To no avail.
Babur ZOC's the knight, protecting the hostages.
While the Persian archers retreat again, the Persian elephant charges.  The dice exchange is poor, as the elephant, and both herds of cattle lose their fights.  However, Babur's last Turkoman unit gets orders and dives for the Burgundian camp.
Heavy knights charge, and the Persian cavalry flees off the board.  There they will commune with the animal spirit that was their elephant.
Now the board has split into chaos.  Knights charge the Cavalry away.  Hostages take a charge in the teeth, and live.  The elephant is destroyed. 
The Burgundian firing line is cracking.  One unit is destroyed.  While the cavalry that was sent to rescue them has multiple hits.
The Persians are 9 points towards their demoralization level of 18.
The Burgundians are 14 points towards their demoralization level of 19.

Turn Last:
The clock is winding down, and with a little luck, the Burgundians could be pushed over the edge.  With that in mind, the Persians launch a series of ill advised attacks.

The first one involved throwing Timur Tamerlane into a fight.  He is now communing with the animal spirits as well.

The Persians are 14 points towards their demoralization level of 18.
The Burgundians are 14 points towards their demoralization level of 19.

In the very upper edge of the picture, elite Turkoman light horse attack ordinary light horse, and are dispersed to the 4 winds.
The Persians are 15 points towards their demoralization level of 18.
The Burgundians are 14 points towards their demoralization level of 19.

In the upper right, another Burgundian shooter is destroyed.  But so to a Persian cavalry.
The Persians are 17 points towards their demoralization level of 18.
The Burgundians are 16 points towards their demoralization level of 19.

The game was called on time here.  The Burgundians have a winning draw for their score.

What went wrong here?  In the beginning, early over confidence in mobility to avoid combat.  Jim disabused me of that in short order.  Then the Persians advanced according to my doctrine, approach to just out of bow range, and rely on the archers to step into range so they can shoot, and then be charged.  Jim would have none of that either.  But this also allowed me to setup the stampeding herds.  And for a brief moment, I had an elephant, and two herds in a line fighting.  And I forgot to take a picture.  You can see the dead in the last shot.  I am sorry that I don't have dead cattle figures.  

There was a missed opportunity to loot the camp, if I had gone for it one turn earlier, the game would have been mine.

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