Monday, January 29, 2018

Lionheart's Journey. A quest for redemption.

A Silly Title Production

Venue:   Huzzah Hobbies, Ashburn, VA.
Event:    L' Art de la Guerre Team Tournament.
Round:  2, Medieval Period.
Players: Phil Gardocki (Team Jersey Boys) running Burmese
                  Richard Woolford (Team SMAC) Feudal English
Game System: L' Art de la Guerre, 15mm, 200 points

Big praises for Huzzah Hobbies.  Their staff excellently handled our unreasonable demands with both panache and grace.   They provided a clean, large gaming area sufficient for out 48 players AND a large number of Magic, the Gathering players.  Well Done!

The Forces:
The Burmese, led by the Kings Narathihapate, King Pagan of Bassein and King Pagan of Thaton, all Competent.
      5 Elite Elephants
      4 Medium Spearmen
      5 Bowmen
      2 Elite Medium Swordsmen, 2HW
      4 Light Infantry, Bow
      1 Elite Light Infantry, Firearm

Richard I,  who is a great strategist, has brought a collection of knights, longbowmen, and spearmen.  His breakpoint seems to be about 20. 

Anyone that has read my Anglo-Irish battle reports knows of my running joke of naming my generals Larry, Darryl and Darryl.  So too, the Kings Pagan and Pagan.  But it is not entirely a joke. Using Wikipedia as a sole source.  Burma had a number of kingdoms, some were merely city-states, but the name Pagan was a common royalty name.  I can't say they took to the field together, but the possibility existed. 

The Board:
The English win the initiative, and elect to attack into the mountains.  His reasoning was elephants don't like mountains either.   The Burmese select two steep hills, a gully, and a brush.  Confirming the rumors of Richards bipolar nature the English select an impassable and a road.  After the dice fall, all the terrain was on the side of the Burmese.

The Burmese deployed strong left and center, with their weakest command just right of center, but anchored in the brush.  The English also deployed strong left, stronger center, ant their weakest command on their right.  After deployment, a number of mounted knights were replaced with foot knights.
With his knights now on foot, Richards forces look very formidable. 

His left command, facing a cleared off area, is still mounted.

With forces in ambush, King Narathihapate is hugging the hill's edge.

King Pagan of Bassein holds the center, while King Pagan of Thaton holds the right.
Turn 1:
Richard orders a general advance down the line.  But only his spearmen on the his right double time.
Even his Impetuous Knights on his left only manage a short advance.
King Narathihapate passed orders to his lesser kings.  "Let them come."

Turn 2:
For brevities sake, I'll just drop to the bottom of turn 2.  But truth be told, the approach takes another 5 turns, so you might want to go to turn 7.

The English proceed with a cautious advance.  With some shuffling of the command structure.  The Burmese reveal their ambush, a spear and a bow unit which ascends to the summit of the hill. 

The English send their left command knights on a wide swing.  The rest of the Burmese battle line makes a 1UD advance and a shift to the right.
The rest of the Burmese line remains anchored to the brush.
Turn 3:

Noting the near total lack of movement of the Burmese, Richard continues a cautious advance. They are greeted by Merry and Pippin.  
And we will just let that out of context movie reference sit in.
The left wing of knights contracts to a column.

First volley is served.  15-love Burma.

Second serve is a fault.  Score remains 15-love.

King Pagan can see where this is going, and adjusts the sites of his bowmen.
Turn 4:
Yes, it's the type of game that has the audience heading for the bathrooms during the boring parts. 

King Narathihapate has taken up a position next to his archers, as it looks like there is going to be an exchange of fire.  The better to rally with.

The English Javelin armed lights score a hit as well.  The score is 15-All.

On the Burmese right, the English pull up short and turn earlier than expected.

The English have retired their shooters, and so the Burmese primary target is now Foot Knights.  There isn't much percentages there, so King Narathihapate orders is men on the hill to pull back as well. 

Faced with a pending knight charge, King Pagan has withdrawn his bowmen as well. 

In the brush, King Pagan re-re-sites his bowmen, and puts out his firearm armed lights as a tease.
Turn 5:
Both players are playing cagey here.  The Burmese made on mistake with pushing their bowmen forward in the center for a fruitless shot.  Only to be threatened by knights that would kill them.  They then were withdrawn, but with damage.  If the English have made a mistake, it is in overcompensating on their left, but then doing nothing with them.  But in points its a win for them as they are tieing down about 73 points to their 55.
The English main battle line is advancing inexorably forward.

Missiles fly to no effect.

The knights on the flank also advance cautiously. 

Visible to all, the Burmese on the hill turn and face.

Shots again, both sides pick up a hit.

And, nothing much has changed here.
Turn 6:
Having over used the word cautious, the author turns to the online thesaurus. 

King Richard is circumspect in his advance.  One point of luck in his favor, his light javelinmen disperse their Burmese counterparts.  An elephant is now without it's cover.

Shots are traded on the right.  Both sides pick up a hit.

One of the English Spearmen has picked up a hit from missile fire, so there is little chance they will try to force the hill.  So King Narathihapate has his bowmen point down the project point of contact.
The English light javelinmen pick up their MVP award.  That is three hits in as many turns.

The Welsh longbows are also proving accurate.  They score a second hit on Burmese spear.  And in what may be a first, the only Burmese light foot armed with firearm score their first hit ever.
Turn 7:
It has been a long and judicious march for the English, faced by the equally leery Burmese. 
Clash!  Knights hit supported bow for only 1 hit.  King Narathihapate, looking for an early advantage against medium foot, leads from the front.  He wins, but not big enough, and so is involved in battle with reduced command points.

Other than two victories, the rest of the crush of battle goes the English's way.

On the English left, the knights put up a strong posturing, but no contact.

English foot knights are struck in the flank, but still plow under their foes.  However, they they find themselves friendless as their supports are destroyed in turn.
King Pagans men, after taking losses on the charge, now hold their own.  One of his elephants finds a knight and tramples it.
Taking a chance, King Pagan orders his elephants to charge alone.  The god Samantabhadra smiles on his audacity, and declares him worthy, and another knight is sent to their god.
Turn 8.
While this may have been tedious to read to this point, and I know, it was tedious to write.  Only about 45 minutes have passed.  When you don't move much, the turns fly by.
Richard I's army has 15 points towards their break point of 20
King Narathihapate's army has 8 points towards their break point of 22

The English foot knights are not cowed easily.  They turn to face the Burmese archers on the hill, slaying them in turn.
A cheer starts in the center of the line, then joined bot others.  An elephant has fallen.  The beasts can be killed.  Hearkened by the news, lesser men renew their efforts.  A Burmese archer unit is routed, then another.  Soon, all that is defending the camp are disordered light infantry.

With no good options available to it, a knight charges a guard foot unit.  Scoring a hit.  To distract the elephant, the English lights charge it.
Throwing all risk to the winds, King Narathihapate joins his archer on the hill.  The foot knights are taken from the rear and are ground into the mud.
There is nothing King Narathihapate or Pagan can do about the center.  Their only hope is to demoralize the enemy army before the camp falls.  King Pagan leads his elephant troop deep into the enemy lines, scoring 2 hits on the enemy longbow.

On the far right, the English skirmishers can only do so much, and are also tromped upon.
Turn 8:
It is now position vs losses.  The English have the advantage in mobility and have blown a hole in the Burmese line 4 elements wide.  But they have paid a price for that hole.
Richard I's army has 19 points towards their break point of 20
King Narathihapate's army has 14 points towards their break point of 22

To secure his right, Richard throws in his last reserves.  Spearmen flank charge an elephant scoring 2 hits.  Skirmishers charge another beast, causing it to rampage through the lines.  Knights charge bowmen, but are halted.

Even as a strategist, Richards command points are not unlimited.  He opts not to push for the camp in the hopes of a military victory instead.
Welsh longbowmen are destroyed.  So to a Burmese guardsmen.
Richard I's army has 18 points towards their break point of 20
King Narathihapate's army has 19 points towards their break point of 22
Once again King Narathihapate joins the fray.  And by doing so, avoids losing another elephant.

King Pagan turns his troop of elephants around, but they are too far and too late.

Hoping to repeat his luck, King Pagan charges another lone knight, and just misses destroying it.

But that one point from that knight was enough to push the English over the edge to their break point of 20, the the Burmese breakpoint of also 20.  As the English had a smaller army, it was a narrow win for the Burmese.

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