Saturday, July 6, 2019

Medievals Irish vs Germans

A Headless Body Production

Location:97 Sunfield Ave, Edison NJ, 08837 
Event:     NJ Con's Fire in the East  
Players: Phil Gardocki, playing the Medieval Irish 
               Al Kaplan, playing Medieval German

Game System: L'Art de la Guerre, 120 points per side. 
It's the first round of the 120 point L'Art de la Guerre tournament at the 2019 NJ Con's Fire in the East convention.

Special rules:  The board is 20 by 20 UD's.  Costs for Generals and Camps are reduced.  All armies are subject to 1/2 min/max sizes.  Terrain size is reduced to 5 UD maximum.  Battlegroup size is limited to 4 elements wide.  Time limit is 75 minutes.

The Forces Medieval Irish Commanders is Larry, who art mark'd for hot vengeance and the rod of heaven. and Darryl, a flesh monger, a fool, and a coward.
       1 Irish Noble, Heavy Cavalry
       4 Galloglaich, Elite, Heavy Swordsmen, 2HW
       4 Bonnachts, Javelinmen
       4 Kerns, Light Infantry,  Javelin
       2 Light Horse, Javelin
       1 Levy
Breakpoint 16

For the Medieval Germans, 2 Commanders of uncertain quality.
4 Heavy Knights
3 Pikemen
1 Heavy Swordsmen, 2 handed swords
1 Medium Cavalry with Handguns
1 Light Cavalry with bows
1 Light Infantry

Breakpoint 12

The Board:
The Germans win the initiative and elect to attack in the forest.  Larry anchors his army against a convenient lake, and selected two forested hills. The Germans selected a road and something else, which wound up getting removed in the adjustment phase. Unfortunately for the Irish, both their hills were on the German side of the board.


The German right is a unit of Halberdiers and 3 units of Pikemen

The center are 4 units of Heavy Knights
Their left is two units of missile armed cavalry, I think Medium Cavalry, Firearm and Hungarian Light Horse Bow
Darryl hugs the coastline with his Javelinmen.  Larry hugs Darryl with his Galloglaich.

His flank hanging protected by skirmishing heavies and lights.
While the road is covered by a single unit of levy.
The cotton on the levy unit represents dust from late arrivals and early departures.
 Turn 1:
Forward! March!  Right oblique, march!
Forward! March!

The Levy don't have any cover, so they brought their own.

Seeing that the match-ups are perfect for the Germans, Larry decides to confuse both friend and foe with his next set of orders. 
I have seen these switcheroos work, and I have seen them fail badly.  So why do it?  Because the worst that can happen at this point is I lose, but that is going to happen anyway when the pike hit the Javelinmen, and the Knights hit the Galloglaich.

Turn 2:

The Germans respond by canting their infantry line, and continuing to advance their knights.

And in an unexpected move, the Hungarian Light Cavalry manage to get behind the line of Irish cavalry.
Question here.  What are the options for the circled Light Cavalry?  I think it can only respond to the knight in front of it, and that is to exit the ZOC, but it cannot because it is ZOC'd by the Light Horse to it's rear.  Possibly, it could turn 180 and charge the Light Horse, but then it would be crossing the ZOC of the Knights which is not allowed.

In the end, we decided the Irish Light Horse was royally screwed and moved on.
And off to the right, a bloody little battle that didn't mean nuthin, 'cept to the few that remained.*
Larry continues with his cunning (defined as: doomed) plan
Leaving Darryl with his skirmishing Javelinmen to deal with the knights.
Turn 3:
The initial moves are over, and the German infantry decide to not advance.
The knights score a cheap kill
And the Levy find they cannot all hide behind the rock.
The Irish are 3 points towards their demoralization level of 16
The Germans are 1 point towards their demoralization level of 12

The line of Galloglaich complete their lineup on the German Pike.
And Darryl's Javelinmen are just close enough to cover Larry's flanks.  And a bit of luck as the unit of Kerns manage to actually disorder a knight with Javelins.

The Levy's won't last very long, so the Light horse will be sent to hold far right.
The Irish are 3 points towards their demoralization level of 16
The Germans are 2 points towards their demoralization level of 12

Turn 4:
You sat though badly translated verbiage.  You witnessed a chess like match what would be described as unexciting by a golf commentator.  Time to start this fight.

OK, not quite yet.
Knights charge, but come up short hitting Darryl's line of Javelinmen.
The Levy are summarily dismissed. 
The Galloglaich charge!  It was a glorious charge, the kind we dream of that our troops would make.  They manage decisive wins on 3 out of 4 fights.  Ironically only losing the exchange against the damaged pikemen.
This is not a flank charge.  But missile harassment on the knights flank.
More harassment fire, but ineffective.
I am beginning to like javelinmen.  I think their cost is a bit high at 7, but against knights, the ability to skirmish is just the thing.  I have 32 points distracting 62 points at this time, and the Germans are broken up into 6 groups, requiring a lot of command points to give orders to.

Turn 5:
The luck of the Irish turns as Clan O'Lyre and the Boys from Stafford both are disordered by the German Pikemen.
Even further bad luck, as the Knights turn on their harassers, and catch them.
And again, the Irish Javelinmen trip over themselves and are caught in the evade.
The Irish are 11 points towards their demoralization level of 16
The Germans are 5 points towards their demoralization level of 12
But the axes swing both ways, as two pike units are destroyed.
And a knight is trampled by Irish Nobles.  This may be their first victory ever against knights.
The Irish are 12 points towards their demoralization level of 16
The Germans are 8 points towards their demoralization level of 12

Turn 6:
The game has a 75 minute time limit and so this will be the last turn.  Both sides are 4 points away from demoralization.

The infantry battle trade off kills in their lines.  Fresh Knights futilely charge.
The Irish are 13 points towards their demoralization level of 16
The Germans are 9 points towards their demoralization level of 12
The rest of the German Cavalry are trying to pull themselves together.  German Light Horse charge a disordered unit of Kerns, but roll way down, dispersing the Light Horse.

The Irish are 13 points towards their demoralization level of 16
The Germans are 11 points towards their demoralization level of 12

At the bottom of the turn, The German Halberdiers are caught both front and rear and are destroyed, sealing the win for the Medieval-Irish

Final overhead shot.

So what went right?  A bad deployment was corrected by decisive first turn action.  This was assisted by my opponents slower troop types.  Knights only move 3, while pike just are slow.  But even then this was a very near thing.  One concept is sacrificing a unit to hold a flank for a while is a much bigger cost, percentage wise, with 120 points vs 200.  The levy is not combat worthy at all and losing it to buy a couple of turns is still nearly 15% of the way to demoralization.  

The Galloglaich did well, chopping up pikemen, but so much relies on luck on turn of impact.  Elite and winning ties only goes so far against a base of +2.  

In a straight up fight of Javelinmen evading knights, eventually the knights win.  So given more time, this is a bad tactic that just happen to work out this time.  If the German Medium Cavalry had not been distracted by the Levy, it would have turned the flank of the Javelinmen, and then they would have been destroyed.

I guess the Levy sacrifice was worth while then.

*Stolen from Harry Chapin's "Bummer"

No comments:

Post a Comment