Sunday, June 16, 2019

2019 MATT, Round 1, 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
                      Nickolas Begue representing team Bedlam playing Carthaginian 
Theme:     Punic Wars

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

Requiem for our God Father: Otto Schmidt passed away this week.  He was the God Father of the MATT.  Even though he never played the game, it was his "Weekend" event that provided the venue for the MATT.  

I first met Otto some 15 years ago over a game he had written titled "If You Build It, It Will Sink."  Naval combat in the age of Gilbert and Sullivan.  He would mention that it was an era of incredible technological advances whose pinnacle of achievement was the Titanic.  The game had in it actual ships of the era, including the American USNVesuvius, with it's pneumatic dynamite system, torpedoes thrown over the side by able bodied seamen, UFO shaped monitors, as well as other ships best left on the drawing board, like rocket propelled Patrol boats.  

His acerbic wit was summed up in the statement, "Forget the enemy, it is the sea that is trying to kill you."

In addition to his quick wit, he was an organizer and a doer.  He was a successful business owner and his skills lead to being a successful game convention organizer.  We have been blessed for his efforts and diminished by his passing.

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

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

Forces seem to include:
      An Elephant, Mediocre
      Many Swordsmen, impact, elite
      You will have to make a judgement on the cavalry.

The Greeks won the initiative and elected to attack in the plains.
West Sicily, Tuesday, 8:12am.
Eléfantas Sicilanous was the preferred delivery vehicle for deep dish pizza preferred in the area.  It's gentle gait insured the toppings would arrive in a well distributed state in 30 mina or less.
Though, that means the pizza would weigh about 18kg or less.  We are not sure, so the actual translation.
The theme has now changed to Pun-ic wars 😉

The center of the Army of Carthage is mainly Heavy Swordsmen, Elite.  The Cavalry Mediums.

Diaeus's horse is unsuitable for his opponent, so his mission is to just distract and delay.

His other brother Diaeus will have to face off against the Carthaginian mercenaries, but they will be well supported by Larrilaus pike.
Well anchored to the river Halycus, the pike plan run the Carthaginian cavalry off the board.
There is nothing the Greek Cavalry wish to fight, so they head for the high ground.
Diaeus goes for the flank support position, letting Larrilaus lead the way.
Which Larrilaus does in a big way.
The barbarian hordes are trying to deliver the elephant in a timely fashion.
Facing a shortage of command points, the main Carthaginian line barely clears the gully.
The Carthaginian manages an even slower pace.
Turn 2:
In what I regard as ALDG's one "gamey" move, a unit of Peltasts moves a couple of millimeters behind a the Carthaginian Light Horse, preventing it from evading.  The Light horse is then caught by the Greek Pike for a +4 to zero roll.  And as karma rolls around for such a slime ball move, is not killed.
The rest of the Greek Cavalry retreats to a safe distance to avoid similar tactics.
The main battlelines are drawing themselves up.
With a surplus of caution, the Carthaginian line advances.
One gap appears on the Carthaginian left.  Two units of foot left behind as they belong to the cavalry command.
For the Carthaginian cavalry charges in mass, causing the Peltast to flee, allowing the "caught" Light Horse to escape.
An interesting end for the bottom of the turn.
Turn 3:
Diaeus decides to show a brave front.  His Heavy Horse is in a good position on top of the hill, while his Light Horse probes around the rear.  The Carthaginian camp is fortified, so there is no profit to be gained there.
The Greeks have set themselves up to be engaged either on the end of this turn, or the top of the fourth.
On the far right, the Carthaginian horse is sent running. 
The Carthaginian Elephant command decides to acknowledge the threat to it's flank.
While the Carthaginian center decides to attack while it still has any advantage. In a series of rolls that were even(ish) the Carthaginians pull a number of wins.
The Carthaginian Cavalry postures in front of the Greek Pike.  Just to keep the out of the main action.
Turn 4:

Diaeus decides not to play the circle round game and recalls his probing lights.  Those Heavy Horse are going to be needed to flank the main Carthaginian line.
The Greek center is holding up.  The phlanking phalanx just has to destroy two units of medium sword and then crash into the Carthaginian rear.
Repeat: "The phlanking phalanx just has to destroy two units of medium sword"
With gaps all around, the Carthaginian horse are showing their skill at being a nuisance.
The Carthaginians brought that elephant all this way, and damn it, it is going to see action.

Though at this rate, it is going to have to move faster.  The Carthaginians are running out of Greeks.

The Carthaginian demoralization level is at 4 of 22
The Greek demoralization level is at 9 of 24

Turn 5:
Diaeus leaves his hill and is heading for the center.  Will he get there in time?

Probably not.

Desperate measures for desperate times, a Greek Light Horse stands in the way of a flanking Heavy Spear, and wins.  The Medium Swordsmen in the rear held the pikemen up for long enough to earn special awards after the fight (posthumously, of course) 
There is a chance this pike will actually run the Carthaginian Cavalry off of the board.
Both sides are trying to get their odd commands to do something useful.  And neither are going to get there.
For the win is in the center.
The Carthaginian Cavalry has managed an escape.

The Carthaginian demoralization level is at 7 of 22
The Greek demoralization level is at 12 of 24

Turn 6:
The Greek center has taken a drubbing, but there is still hope.  The Carthaginian horse has slipped away from the frontage of one pike block, but in front of another, then the camp awaits.
A unit of Greek Light Horse goes down, but that opens a Heavy Spear up to a flank shot from a Greek Heavy Horse.  And somewhat pinning a bunch of Carthaginian units in the center.
But the brave Gauls, or what ever those foot troops are, have managed to avoid defeat again.  Its +3 to zero in favor of the Greeks to win and pursue.  That will expose the Carthaginian horse to being run off and the camp to looting.
But, it was not to be, as Gauls continue to fight on.
Emboldened by the Greek disorder, the Elephant corps charges forward, dispersing Diaeus's lights.
Carthaginian Heavy Infantry, turn and charge, catching a Greek pike in the rear.
The Carthaginian Cavalry leave one horse unit behind, just to keep things interesting.
The Carthaginian demoralization level is at 7 of 22
The Greek demoralization level is at 17 of 24
Turn 7:

With adroit horsemanship, Diaeus recalls his blown horse, replacing them with two more.  A Carthaginian goes down, his companion just avoiding destruction. 
While in an act of "2 little, 2 late" Larrilaus finally cleans up the Gauls facing him.

The Carthaginian elephant finally makes his delivery, but in over 30 minutes, so the charge was free.  The Greek Horse stays in an attempt to kill off a heavy infantry, but to no avail.
Final shot of the game

With that, the Greeks reached their demoralization level.  It was a hard fought game against an unscrutable and wiley opponent.

The Carthaginian demoralization level is at 12 of 22
The Greek demoralization level is at 24 of 24

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