Saturday, February 10, 2018

Burma Has Fallen

A Headless Body Production

Venue:   Huzzah Hobbies, Ashburn, VA.
Event:    L' Art de la Guerre Team Tournament.
Round:  3, Medieval Period.
Players: Phil Gardocki (Team Jersey Boys) running Burmese
                  Marc Crotteau (Team Beltway Bandits) Mongol
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

Genghis Khan is a master of subtlety and obfuscation.  I am not even sure which Mongol army is being run, let alone the troop types.  Assume mostly Elite Medium Cavalry Bow, and some Heavies with impact.  Surprising few lights though.  At this point the break point seems to be 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 Mongols have won the initiative, there is no surprise there, and elect to attack the the Burmese in the mountains, which is a surprise.  The Burmese select two steep hills a brush and a gully.  The Mongols a steep hill and a road.  After the dice were rolled, the gully was filled in.  Both sides have a steep hill in their center deployment zone, and another steep hill dominates the Mongol right.

The Mongols split their commands into 3 parts, well separated by distance and terrain.    That gives them maximum flexibility.  And with 3 brilliant or better generals, and mostly mounted forces, they can take advantage of that.

The Burmese decide to fight only on the left side of the board.  Using their smaller command as flank guard, and another steep hill as a base.  Most of their forces are occupy about 50% of the board, with little danger of being flanked.

Lets just get the elephant in the room over with, at least not the obvious ones :)  This is the Mongol camp.

On the Mongol right, a small command of 5 units.

In the center is the main horde 8 units.

On the their left, 7 more units of foot.

But King Narathihapate isn't going to play on that side of the board.  Let the Mongols redeploy.

Because there is this steep hill in the center of the board that he is going to hang his flank on.

Leaving enough on the right to keep the attention of Subedei's forces.
Turn 1:

The Mongols slide to the right and advance.  Genghis sends his forces around the hill to join them.

In doing so, Splits his forces

Subedei double times his lights, but his mediums move cautiously.
There is a problem.  The Burmese still have a gap on their left, its wide enough for the agile Mongols to take advantage of it.  But King Narathihapate has allowed for this, and has a spear unit in reserve.  All he needs to close the gap is to not roll a one.

And there it is.

King Narathihapate now has a decision to make.  He sees an opportunity to pin some of the Mongol pony's against the hill, if he is bold.  OR he can close that hole on his left flank. He throws caution to the wind and advances.

King Pagan advances with him.  An ambush is revealed on the hill to be more spearmen.

On the right, King Pagan reveals his ambush.  Should Subedei try to slide by the hill, it will have to either swing wide, or risk arrow fire.
Turn 2:
The Mongols are also bold.  They flow through the gap like water, and engage the Burmese spearmen flank position.

Genghis sees the trap offered to him, and decides not to risk shooting the gap, and withdraws his cavalry but 1.  The Burmese are in a near perfect line, and he is going for the other flank.

Subedei assesses his options, and advances slowly.
On the flank, the melee is in full swing.  The Burmese flank guards have paid the price for their inability to cover the gap and take two hits in successive missile shots.  Their brother spearmen, adjacent to their elephant, roll well, and damage their Mongol opponent.  Burmese Bowmen turn the Mongol flank, and in doing so, shoot and scatter the Mongol light foot.  The remaining pony from Genghis's command is charged by an elephant, lead by the great King Narathihapate himself.  But fortune favored the Mongol tribal leader as they were not obliterated on contact.

King Pagan wheels his ponderous line, keeping his flank protected.  His archers reach out to shoot, but their arrows find no targets.
Nothing to see here.
Turn 3:
The Mongols are doing what they do best.  Turning the flank and maneuver
But King Narathihapate is not without his own tricks.  Mongol ponies are also flanked, and two are destroyed.
Burmese archers have found their range and are scoring hits.

Subedei has decided that break time is over and approaches.  Mongol archery proves accurate.
The Mongols are 13 points towards their break point of 20.
The Burmese are 12 points towards their break point of 22.

Turn 4:
Give the Mongols points for hutzpah.  A pony conforms to an elephant, with support, and scores a hit.  Their other pony, which was flanked, defeats it's spearman opponent,and conforms to the flanking tormentor.

Sorry for the blurry shot.  Shooting a gap between the elephants, the Mongols charge the bowmen destroying both.

Subedei is content to shoot it out.  The score here is 2-1, Mongol

This side is winding down,if only because of a lack of units.
So to, the center. 

Subedei now has 3-1 in his favor.  He'll call that a win.  (because it is!)
The Mongols are 15 points towards their break point of 20.
The Burmese are 18 points towards their break point of 22.

Turn 6:

Fatigue? Lost film?  Lens cap?  I don't have the finale pictures!

On the Burmese left, another Mongol pony were picked up, an elephant in front, and a bowmen on the flank will do that.  In the center, the Mongol's hold their own against the elephant, but pick up a Spearman.  On the right, Subedei picked his moment, and charged, destroying one guardsman, damaging another for 2 more points and the win!  The score was 22 - 17.

My attempt to exploit the Mongol command separation almost worked.  It did partially, but Marc was able to take advantage of Mongol agility and extricate most of the trapped units.  His patience on the far right in the end lead to the final victory.  He have his bow fire time to work, so when he did charge the Elephant supported guards, they could do so with good effect to gain the final points he needed to win.

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