Saturday, June 29, 2019

2019 MATT, Round 3, Greeks vs. Carthage

Location:  Allen Kaplan's Man Cave
Event:        4th(?) 5th(?) Annual(?) Mid Atlantic Team Tournament.
Players:    Philip Gardocki representing Team Tri-State Area playing Hellenistic Greek
                     Dennis Shorthouse representing playing Carthaginian 
Theme:     Punic Wars

Game System: L'Art de la Guerre, about 200 points per side.

Something completely different:
I think I have built enough credibility that I can spend a little for a friend.  In honor of D-Day, Lostbattalion games is printing a set of normal playing cards with art of that fateful day.  If you are interested, here is the link:  D-Day 75th Anniversary Playing Cards.

The Forces:
The Achaean League, Commanders Larrilaus (competent), Diaeus (competent and a real name!) and Diaeus (also competent and a real name).
       8 Pike, 2 Mediocre
       2 Hoplites, Heavy Infantry, Spear
       2 Thorakatai, Medium Infantry, Armor, Spear
       1 Cretans, Light Infantry Bow
       3 Peltasts, Light Infantry Javelins
       2 Horsemen, Heavy Cavalry, impact
       1 Horsemen, Heavy Cavalry
       5 Light Cavalry, Javelin
       Break point 24

I had to ask, was there any other lists at the MATT that were not Carthage?  Apparently yes, just not on my table. 

Since Carthage was ground into the dust by the Romans, little of their records remain to be studied. 

Forces seem to include:
      Elephants and more Elephants!  They dumped the zoo for this one!
      Many Swordsmen, impact.
      You will have to make a judgement on the cavalry.
       Break point 26

The Carthaginians won the initiative and elected to attack in the plains.  The Greeks select for terrain the mandatory field, a coastal and a gully.  The Carthaginians select two fields.  The gully was removed during the adjustment phase.

Looks like a good table for me.  I expect to see the elephants on the left maneuvering through all those fields, but I plan on fighting in the center and right.

The first Carthaginian command goes down, and there are two elephants.

And against my cavalry command, 2 more elephants.  Backed by spear.  Ut-Oh, this looks like a slow moving train wreck, only faster.
 And the third Carthaginian command goes on the far left.  With a large gap between center and right. 
Diaeus's command (2 Pike, 2 Thorakatai plus lights) are facing most of the Carthaginian army. 

While Larrilaus and Diaeus face the remaining Carthaginian command.
 Turn 1:

Alea iacta est

Well, the plan is set.  I'll try to to isolate the one Carthaginian consisting of 4 heavy spear and 2 elephants, while delaying the rest of the Carthaginian army.  Diaeus's short command has his work cut out for him.
The Carthaginian attack rumbles across the board. 
On the Carthaginian left, their command moves forward a little bit. 
Diaeus needs to gain as much time as possible, and if the Thorakatai just stands there, they will just be speed bumps.  Time to let the  ambushes do their work of preventing double moves.
While the main body moves at the double, sliding right.
Diaeus's cavalry command starts to redeploy.  Off the bottom of the picture, the Heavy Cavalry has turned and is double moving to the left, leaving the lights behind. 
Turn 2:
Normally, redeploying a command once placed does not end well, but I didn't see a better option here.

The Carthaginian lights hoped to double move to turn the flank, but run into Peltasts hiding in the fields.

In the center is the typical missile exchange.  On the Carthaginian left, their command advances as well.  This could be an attempt to get engaged while they would have a flank advantage.
The Greeks begin to cant their line to deal with the flankers.  The main Carthaginian line will not be able to turn as fast.
Also arriving mid field is the Greek Impact Heavy Cavalry.  This will act to support the main battle line.
As the Greek pike advance, they contract to give the cavalry room to advance.
Turn 3:
I expected to get about 3 turns out of the Peltasts in the field.  I figured Dennis would try to eliminate them with as little commitment as possible.  But Dennis had a different idea.  Go big, or not at all.  The Peltasts looked at the whole force arrayed against them and ran straight off the board.

The Carthaginians split their right side elephant command in twain, giving the Greeks less time to react.
In a surprise move, the Carthaginians prove that they too can pull a strategic withdrawal.
Ideally, the Thorakatai would have lined up on the pike extending the line, but the Carthaginians are not going to cooperate on this.  But still they are in a line, and beyond 3, so another turn is bought.
Another turn to possibly catch the retreating Carthaginians.
Turn 4:
The Carthaginians continue to turn the line.  Things are looking ugly for the Greeks here.
But in the center, the pressure is relieved for the Greeks as the disordered Carthaginian light horse backs out of range.
The Carthaginian left continues to retreat.
Turn 5:
At the top of the turn, the Carthaginians charge the Thorakatai, but did not win any impacts.  On the bottom of the turn the Greeks manage to form a cohesive line and luck favors the Greeks with a pair of Carthaginian disorders.

In one of my more bone headed moves, Larrilaus sends forth his light infantry to harass the Carthaginian lights.  Yes there is a chance of killing a couple, but more likely they will turn around and swat their pursuers. 
Larrilaus pike continue to advance. But the Carthaginian slingers are freakishly accurate, and keep damaging the end unit.  Which I don't have time or command points to rally, and don't want them engaged, so I have dropped of  Hoplites hoping to use them as reserves for later.
Turn 6:
The Carthaginians have 4 points towards their demoralization level of 24
The Greeks have 3 points towards their demoralization level of 24

The second half of the Carthaginian elephant command charges.  Destroying Greek Light Horse that bravely stood defending the Thorakatai flanks.  The Thorakatai have proven their mettle this day, defeating an elephant and holding off the supporting foot.

The Hoplites rally, but now the end cap pike is disordered.
How long can this go on?  The edge of the board is only about 4 UD away.  And the Greek Heavy Cavalry is now running up the side.

Sorry for the poor photo.  Diaeus throws his Heavy Cavalry into the fray.  It may be terrorized by the elephant, but still has an armor advantage over its medium infantry opponent.  And, it will keep the mediums from turning the flank of the Thorakatai, buying more time.
Faced with a shortage of command points to do naught else, the Carthaginian light horse just stands there, and one is picked off by a Peltast.  But the Carthaginians manage to inject a heavy horse in the gap where it has an abundance of targets.  Harrass the main pike line?  The Greek Peltasts?  The Greek Heavy Horse?
Another turn marching, another pike takes a hit.  At this point Larrilaus does not have the luxury of dropping back any more troops to rally.
The Carthaginians have 8 points towards their demoralization level of 24
The Greeks have 8 points towards their demoralization level of 24

Turn 7:

The odds are defied again, as the Greek Heavy Horse, unsupported and terrorized, hold their ground, but on the flip side, The disordered Carthaginian medium foot holds it's ground as well. 
With the Carthaginian Heavy Horse now ZOC'ed, the only command points has the Carthaginian Light Horse turn and charge the Greek Light Infantry.  The only amazing thing is that more of the light foot wasn't killed.
The Carthaginians can no longer ignore the Greek cavalry riding up their flank and parse off a Heavy Spearmen to challenge them.
The Greek Heavy Horse is not going to rely on luck smiling thrice, and breaks off.  The Thorakatai defeat another opponent.  It is now a matter of who can pull themselves together first.

A pike unit charges the Carthaginian heavy horse, and is disordered by javelin fire for it's trouble.
The pursuit continues, one turn to go.  But the pursuers are not as strong as they used to be.  They are fragmented and disordered.
And time is beginning to run out as well. 
The Carthaginians have 9 points towards their demoralization level of 24
The Greeks have 10 points towards their demoralization level of 24

Turn 8:

Dennis rolls well for command points, and proceeds to perform a series of maneuvers that just left me astounded.  I went from having this flank "well in hand" to a disaster in on move.

In the center, the race is on to see who can wipe out who first.
The Carthaginians realize their one Heavy Spear was going to face a hammer and anvil attack and be lost, and so attacks first.  They charge the Heavy Horse.  Diaeus goes to the front.  The Greeks are +4 to +1 for the Carthaginian.  Both sides roll sixes, causing 3 hits on the spearmen.  Against the main pike block, the Carthaginians turn to face at last.  3 of the Greek pike are disordered and there will not be any overlap advantage.
The Greek left flank is in jeopardy.  The Thorakatai hold their ground, while the freed slaves (pike) go after the elephant.  The Carthaginian light horse is attacked in the flank by heavies, but despite it's advantage, didn't roll high enough to disperse them.
In the center, chaos also in sues.  Greek Heavy Horse turns and destroys a Carthaginian light horse.  And, in an unusual situation, a pike unit manages a flank charge on another light horse. 
The main battle lines finally collide.  Luck favors the Greeks as down the line they win every adversarial dice roll off.
The Carthaginians have 17 points towards their demoralization level of 24
The Greeks have 11 points towards their demoralization level of 24

Turn 9:
Time has been called, so this is the final turn.
The last Thorakatai is lost, while the disordered Carthaginian light horse is rallied.
The Carthaginians have 16 points towards their demoralization level of 24
The Greeks have 12 points towards their demoralization level of 24

A Greek Pike is surrounded, but is not destroyed.
Luck continues to favor the Greeks on the right, with two Carthaginian units destroyed
The Carthaginians have 18 points towards their demoralization level of 24
The Greeks have 12 points towards their demoralization level of 24

And in the bottom of the turn, the rest of the Carthaginian left is destroyed, sans it's second elephant.
The Carthaginians have 21 points towards their demoralization level of 24
The Greeks have 12 points towards their demoralization level of 24

The Greek Freed Slaves have been destroyed, but at a cost of a disordered Light Horse
The Carthaginians have 22 points towards their demoralization level of 24
The Greeks have 13 points towards their demoralization level of 24

And in a final effort to gain the last point, the Greeks bring up a general and a light horse in it's fight against the Carthaginian light horse.  +3 to zero, but only managed to disorder them. 
The Carthaginians have 23 points towards their demoralization level of 24
The Greeks have 13 points towards their demoralization level of 24

A winning draw for the Greeks.