Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Greco Civil War

A Headless Body Production

Location:  Allen Kaplan's Man Cave
Event:         Kaplicon
Players:     Philip Gardocki playing Hellenistic Greek
                      Allen Kaplan playing Alexander the Great

Game System: L'Art de la Guerre, about 200 points per side.
The Forces:
The Achaean League, Commanders Critolaus (competent), Diaeus (competent and a real name!) and Diaeus (also competent and a real name).
     10 Pike, 4 Mediocre
       4 Hoplites, Heavy Infantry, Spear
       4 Light Infantry Bow
       2 Horsemen, Heavy Cavalry, impact
       4 Light Cavalry, Javelin
       Break point 24

Philip V, the second to last Macedonian king and his generals, all competent, possibly ordinary.

      4 Taxis of Pikemen
      1 Taxis of Hypaspits, Elite Pikemen
      1 Hoplites, Heavy Infantry, Spear
      3 Agrarians, Light Infantry, Javelin and MVP of the game
      3 Companions, Elite Heavy Cavalry, Impact 
      3 Hippakontasi, Light Cavalry, Javelin
      2 Elephants
      3 Thracian Peltasts, Medium Swordsmen, 2HW
      1 Peltasts, Medium Swordsmen
       Break point 22

The Greeks win the initiative and elect to attack the northern barbarians in the plains.
Hmmm, the faded text is a bit light.  But with lots of fore-shadowing.
Allen complained how restricted the board was. I had to point out that my terrain was the waterway and the road.
A road to nowhere.

The plan is rush the field, and turn the flank of the enemy pike, while facing with our own pike.

Diaeus's orders, should he deign to be present, are to hold the flank against the companions and possibly the elephants.
 Turn 1:
A single javelin armed light infantry in the field, against 4 light horse, supported by heavies.

Critolaus rolls a 1 for command points, so the whole block shifts and moves 1 UD.
And look who decided to show up!
The Agrarians have hutzpah!  They win the missile exchange against the light horse, then move over to shoot it out with the others. 
The Macedonian pike block moves forward at a slow pace.
Macedonian peltasts and elephants ascend the hill.  Behind them, the companions decide to redeploy in the rear.
Leaving their Hippakontasi to pin the second Greek pike block.
Turn 2:
Well this is going pants fast.  Outnumber 4-1, the Agrianians win another shot out. 

The center pike block is holding steady.  I want my heavy horse in the rear before engaging.  Off course, I rolled a 1 for command points, so dice were reinforcing that strategy.  Also, more foreshadowing, THE game winning move* is in this frame.

Without the fear of facing Companions, this pike block lines up to receive the elephants and peltasts.

The Agrianians are just daring the Illyrians to charge.
The Macedonian Phalanx fits perfectly in the gap.  The Companions behind them seal the deal on closing the run on the camp, or turning the flank of the Phalanx.
The Elephant command is primed to exploit the gap between the Greek commands.
While the Hippakontasi pin down the right side of this pike block.  But that is what the Hoplites are for.  At 8 points, they are cheap flank guards.
Turn 3:
Well the overall plan is falling apart, for both sides it seems.  Diaeus's attempt to force the field is a disaster.  But the Macedonian Companions didn't like the match up and has spent two turns redeploying to the other side of the board.
The Agrianians take a charge in the flank, and win!
The center command is following the plan, to wait for the field battle to resolve before advancing.  That assumed that Diaeus's cavalry would actually win.
Diaeus's pike block advances closer to the hill. 
This is ridiculous.  The Agrianians have out scored their weight.  Now if I want this piece of terrain I'll have to commit heavies for the job, and then I'll be facing Hypaspists to do it.
The Macedonians have decided that I am not going to commit the heavies, and have 180'd their Companions.  Luck has turned against them in the fight for the hill.  My archers have scored their only hit of the game.
The rest of the elephant command didn't do so well.
Turn 4:
After a third rethink, I decided to commit the heavies after all.  No impact, but then neither do the Hoplites.  The horsemen managed to score a hit on the Agrianians, but not before they scored another hit with their javelins.  Which makes 3 missile hits so far, as well as finishing off a light horse.
I decided that bow fire wasn't working today and was thinking of redeploying my lights to one of the two fields instead.
Both pike and elephant commands are cracking.  The elephants are cracking a little bit faster.  The Hoplites acting as flank guard have run off some of the Hippakontasi.  The other Hoplite is being deployed to help on that flank.
Turn 5:
In theory, the Greeks still have the advantage here.  But the body count says otherwise.
By the way, I should call attention to Al's casualty counters, now that there are some to look at.  They are great looking.  Mine are double sided tokens printed on post card stock.  You are not seeing very often because most of my casualties are DEAD instead.

Still following the plan.  Except now we are waiting for a resolution of the Elephant command battle.
The Greeks have traded an mediocre pike for an elephant and two peltasts.  But the Companions have arrived to keep the Greeks busy.
Turn 6:

The Agrarians have finally been dispersed. But it cost two dead light horse, and one damaged heavy. 
The main Phalanx advances to contact.  I know it's a minus 2 for the field, and I am giving a plus 1 for the hill, but I have support, and general to rally the Hoplites, and more important, rolled a 5 to his 1!
Fleeing the Acheon tyranny, the last elephant, Galactica, leads a rear guard action in a futile quest.
That is about as far as I can take that quote out of context.

In my turn, I turned my Hoplites around, to get to the road, in order to rapidly get in the Companions face.  The lights took my exposed bum as a dare.  Another 5-1 die roll and ...
The Macedonians must have mistaken my Phalanx's lack of forward progress for timidity.  They send a Taxis into the field, forcing my lights to flee, and destroying my heavies. 
However, this victory comes at a cost of fragmentation.
The Companions arrive and spread out.
Turn 7:
Is that an Ice Cream truck I hear in the back ground?  In April?  My inner child want's to run it down.  But that would be silly, I have toy soldiers to play with.

Well the final result in the battle for this field is 3 losses.  The remaining Heavy Cavalry could take the Hoplite in the flank, but, since that has not been working out, they make a run for the camp instead.
The Thracians are still tieing their sandals, when the Pike ran up the hill at them.  Another 5-1, and the Thracians are gone.
Note, when you see the pike turned around the wrong way it is just so our figures don't get entantled.

The last elephant, surrounded and wounded, fights on. The Macedonian lights continue to score missile hits.
The Greeks have an 8-6 advantage with shooters, but the Macedonians out scored them by 6 to 1 in hits.
The Macedonian pike block charges.  Sending off Greek Light Horse.  But lost the initial hits 2-1
On the hill, tactically, the Macedonians now are in a good position.  Pike on Pike, their's is not in the rough, while the Greek pike is.  Their Thracians hit a pike block in the flank.  Their last Elephant however, has trumpeted his las.
This is a chaotic situation.  One where cavalry triumphs.  The Companions charge the disordered Hoplites, and supported on 3 sides by lights, and just roll them over.
Turn 8:
The clock is running down, and the score is really close.
Which one?  That one!  Normally I retake these finger shots, but I missed this one.  A Greek pikeman is destroyed, but a Macedonian Hoplite is hit in the flank.  Greek horse are attacking the camp!
The battle on the hill has changed again.  The Thracians are taken in the rear and destroyed.
On the far right, the Greeks are playing defense. 
Why is that poker chip out there?  Once I can see, but it's been there since turn 6.
The Macedonian Hoplite falls.
Once again, the Greek pike are turned around to simplify the figure handling.
So to, a Greek Phalanx
The Macedonian horse begin to surround the Greeks.
Turn 9:
Reform the lines.
The Greek pike on the hill are daring the Macedonians to join them.
There is too much cavalry, and to few command points to pin them.  But at least the poker chip has been picked up.
The Greeks and the Macedonians trade losses in pikemen.
Another Greek Hoplite is surrounded and swarmed.  Taking 3 hits, and it survives!

After 3 tries, the Heavy Cavalry penetrates the camp defenses and begins looting.  This drives the score for a Greek win!

The score was 23 -22 for a Greek win.

First prize for the first looted camp.
Al is a swell guy for putting this on, and providing the prizes.

*And that move was retreating the damaged Light Horse to auto rally range.  The horsemen rallied, and so the game did not end in a mutual destruction.