Saturday, April 14, 2018

Parthia is Knocking on the Door.

A Headless Body Production

Location: Lancaster Host Convention Center
Event:        Cold Wars 2108
Venue:         L'Art de la Guerre 25mm Team Event, Round 3.
Players:      Phil Gardocki, Steve Turn, List 241, Medieval Polish
                     George Deutsch and Bill Smith, List 102, Parthia 
Rules Set: L'Art de la Guerre, 300 points
Description: A battle report between Poles and the Parthians.
Polish forces:
Medieval Polish led by the master strategist Vytautas Didysis, and aided by Józef Kostecki , Karaim the Tartar (played by Charles Bronson) and the despicable Konrad Wallenrod.
7 Winged Hussars, Heavy Knight impetuous, mostly elite
6 Medium Cavalry Crossbow
4 Lithuanians, Light Cavalry, Javelin
4 Tartars, Light Cavalry, Javelin. elite
2 Handgunners, Light Infantry, Firearm, elite.
2 War Wagons, Crossbow
3 1/2 Heavy Spearmen 1/2 Crossbowmen
1 Heavy Cavalry Impact

Breakpoint 30

I haven't seen a Parthian army since WRG-6 days, but the mix is hard to forget.  Cataphracts (Camels and otherwise) and Light and Medium horse archers. 
Breakpoint, around 31

I don't know who won the initiative, but the Polish are defending in the plains.  They select a hill, a gully, and a field.  The Parthians select a road and something that got removed in the adjustment phase.
I'll get two apologies out of the way at once.  One for the blurry picture, but an important one as it shows the Parthian right most command is on the road.  They saw the war wagons and want nothing to do with them.  Which for me means that was 20 points well spent to cause that kind of disruption on turn 1.  The second is about the camo patterned ground cloth.  It was ugly when I sat down, but I didn't think about what it would do to the narrative. 

The Parthian right center command.  A strong camel contingent.  Clever, Camels throw a -1 on other horse troops in melee, but doesn't affect shooters.

I may never see cataphract camels again, they were worth two shots.

Cataphracts is why you play Parthians.  I would expect no less than 8 elements.

Konrad may be unreliable, but I am not worried about the camp falling.

This is a great panoramic shot.

Defending our right, 10 units of missile cavalry.  I think we can actually out shoot the Parthians here.

Turn 1:
The first move has the Parthian right hand command racing down the road to the middle of the field.
And while easily 65 points of their army is enjoying the roadside scenery, hordes of horse archers race across the board to pin the Polish line down.
The Polish lights are totally unprepared to stop the onslaught.
But if the onslaught cannot be resisted, it can be constrained.  Massive numbers of Polish Crossbow armed cavalry race up the board edge.
Seeing no one to defend the camp from, Konrad begins to position his spear crossbowmen, focusing fore on the Parthian right.
Vytautas is patient.  He cannot catch the horse archers, and at -1 shooting to +2 armor, they cannot easily harm him either.  He will await the arrival of the Cataphracts.
The Polish firing line on the right is established.  Racing up the flank are Light Horse Lithuanians and Tartars.
 Turn 2:
Outnumbering the Lithuanians 2-1, the Parthian Light Horse charge.  Who flee past the knights to safety.
Another majestic panorama shot.

Shots traded, and the score is 1 each.
Shots traded here to no effect. 
Józef Kostecki loses control of his knights and they charge.  The first line of Parthian Horse Archers flee.  But Józef rides hard and fast and impacts a Cataphract Camel!  The line of Horse Archers with the Camel Cataphracts hold their position and fight!  The dice are rolled, and the Light Horse stands undamaged, while the Cataphract Camel is run down with iron shod hooves. 
Both armies just stare in wonder at the event that just unfolded.
Shooting and rallying.  Success on both sides here.
Turn 3:
Another missile trade off, Medium Cavalry vs. two lights.
The shock did not last long as the Parthian commander sees an opportunity to defeat the Poles in detail.  A Winged Hussar is flanked and disordered.
The Parthians were having a lot of low command rolls here, but their formations are slowly coalescing. 
The Parthians decide to bolster their threaten left flank.  A couple Light Horse avoid the ZOC's and squirt out to the far left.  Their position is replace by approaching Medium Cavalry.
More blurry shots.  I want to blame the camo pattern.  But truth be told, I think it has to do with the setting sun coming through the windows behind the Parthian table.  The camera kept switching from flash on to off.
Józef's Winged Hussars charge Parthian Medium Cavalry, leaving the Hussar behind and engaged with Cavalry and Camelry.

Vytautas still waits for his moment.
The Poles have 3 points towards their breakpoint of 30
The Parthians have 8 points towards their breakpoint of 31

Turn 4:
While the Cavalry Crossbow rallies off their disorder, the Parthian Light Horse gains position in the rear.
Both of Józef's Hussars are broken.  But the game was not one sided as this has fragmented the Parthian lines, and allowed Foot shooters to gain position and shoot. 
Parthian Cataphracts are in range.  A second line of Cataphracts are safely behind them if they are needed.

The Parthians take advantage of their position and charge, Medium Cavalry on Medium Cavalry.  With flank and rear support from infiltrating light horse.  Two Polish units are disordered, but one blows the spots off the dice and destroy their opponent on contact.
Despite having advantages in numbers on their right flank, the Poles have not been able to capitalize on them due to low command rolls. 
Konrads Crossbowmen continue to poor it on, dispersing a light horse.
Without two Hussars to worry about, Józef can focus on his remaining troops.  Comforting words rally the elite unit of firearm lights.
He has been waiting all day for it.  Steve orders a massive knight charge!  5 gallop forward, 4 hit their targets!
Lithuanians get their moment.  While the Polish right flank fights for it's life, Lithuanian Light Horse, strike a Parthian Light Horse in the rear, destroying it, then conforming on another Parthian in the Polish rear.

Yes, I had a strategic pause for dramatic effect, we are back to the Knight charge.  The Knights Pointa Z Lanca, and Żółty i Zielony each cause two hits on impact.  The Czerwony i Biały rode right through their opponents.

The Poles have 7 points towards their breakpoint of 30
The Parthians have 22 points towards their breakpoint of 31

Turn 5:

The Parthians right flank is fragmented and suffering from low command point rolls.  Otherwise they would be able to handle the small command facing them.  Lithuanian javelin, supported by Foot Crossbow, shoot away a Parthian Cavalry. 
On the left side of the line, Cataphract Camels sidle up to the Knights Pointa Z Lanca in a way that causes fear in the knights, but not their frontal opponents.  The hand to hand result is mixed.  Knights Pointa Z Lanca and Żółty i Zielony are disordered, but Vytautas personal Hussars destroy their opponents.
A Polish Medium Crossbow falls, but also a Parthian horse as well.
Something you don't see very often.  A war wagon advancing to shoot.  The Light Infantry, Firearm is the primary shooter against a Cataphract Camel, with support from Tartar and Lithuanians and score a missile hit.

The Winged Hussars are having a great day.  Four Cataphracts destroyed, at a cost of one cohesion hit.
Karaim has a few command points this round.  Two of his cavalry charge, sending off a few Parthian Lights.  But the real reason was to provide some support for when the second line of Cataphracts engage the Knights.
The Poles have 10 points towards their breakpoint of 30
The Parthians have 28 points towards their breakpoint of 31

Turn 6:
I don't seem to have taken many "final" pictures here.  I must have been tired after 6 games.
Lots of confused shooting here.  Keeping up the pressure on the Parthian commands on the left.  On the right, A Camel Cataphract takes the Knights Pointa Z Lanca in the rear and destroys them.
On the far right side, Vytautas having joined and rallied the Knights Żółty i Zielony, just in time to receive a supported Cataphract Charge.  He leads from the front and rolls 6-4, causing 2 hits. the Knights Zielony I Czerwony destroy their Cataphract on contact, causing an collateral hit in the rout path for a total of 4 points and a game win.

It was a good ending for Poles.  We had a losing draw, a winning draw, and a victory.  But in this game, we did not rely on the tactic of a strong flank attack to win the game.  All the commands participated in the win.  The Infantry command by putting pressure and missile fore on the Parthian right, the Medium Cavalry command on the Parthian left.  The "Joint" command with it's exciting, and suicidal charge which ran down several units and caused a disruption that the Parthians never recovered from, and last the main "Strike" command that pretty much was just strong and steady throughout the game.

1 comment:

  1. Not a shock that the poles win here the parthia s are out matched