Sunday, July 28, 2019

We are Siamese If You Please

A Headless Body Production
Location:  Lancaster Convention Center
Event:       Historicon 2019
Theme:     Silk Road
Players:    Phil Gardocki playing King Porus of Purus.
                  Steve Roper playing Yul Brenner of Siam :)
Game System: L'Art de la Guerre, about 200 points per side. 

The Forces:
Classical Indian (list 79)
King Porus and Prince Malayketu, Competent, Prince Porus, included and ordinary.
      3 Elephant, Elite
      7 1/2 Medium Swordsmen, 1/2 Bowmen
      4 Heavy Chariots, Elite
      1 Medium Cavalry, Mediocre
      6 Light Infantry, Bow
      1 Herd of Stampeding Cattle
Breakpoint of 22
After much reflection I decided to revamp the list a bit.  I traded an elephant, the light cavalry, and the guardsmen (medium infantry, 2 handed sword)  for a couple of light infantry, an additional 1/2 bow/sword and the herd of cattle.  The main reason was to increase the amount of light infantry in the list.  Many of the battles where I have lost, my opponents out lighted me.

Yul Brenner, as the King of Siam, (An ok dancer and singer, but has a great exotic presence)
Mostly Impetuous Medium Swordsmen, some Elite
Some Medium Cavalry
3 Levy expendables
Breakpoint of 28(ish)
A word on our venue:
Historicon has been the Mecca of miniature game players for decades. This year it has new digs.  The Lancaster Host had taken advantage of HMGS's good will for decades, and failed, despite years now of upgrades, to provide a facility that is up to snuff any more. 

The Lancaster Convention Center is a delightful venue.  Well lit, excellent food, multiple elevators, spacious, convenient plentiful and clean bathrooms.  There was one spot I could stand and see 3 in short walking distance.

But, this facility comes at a price.  Downtown parking, and high priced rooms. 

And where else do you get to see Helms Deep?
Thank you HMGS BOD!

Back to the game.

The Board
Following the road along the Chao Phraya River, King Porus's forces finally encounter the local inhabitants. 

Segway#1:  How long does an ear-worm (George Carlin referred to it as "Brain Sludge") last?  I don't think I have heard the song "We are Siamese" in more than 4 decades, but it came unbidden as soon as Steve announced the army he was playing.  Apparently it was in his ear too and he was more than happy to spread it around.  "Gilligan's Island" immediately packed up and left the skull.  However as of this writing, the 1812 overture is fighting a brave rear guard action, and is actually gaining ground.
Chao Phraya River, Siam,  either 322 BC or 1322 AD, depending, Saturday.
Anchored to the coastal area, Siamese have deployed 3 expendable levies.  From there it is mostly Medium Swordsmen, with the occasional elephant to reduce the monotony.
The line, now some 20 units long extends nearly to the hill on the hill.

King Porus's command is also anchored to the river.

With his princes commands, his line only stretches 14

Turn 1:
Porus was lolly-gagging, and didn't have enough command points for a double march.  The Prince, however races ahead.
The other prince deliberately holds back, he is on flank guard duty.
The Siamese surge forward

And from behind the hill, more Siamese (if you please)
The flank guard job just got a lot harder
Turn 2:

I don't like the canted lines the Siamese have adopted, but I also have more archers than him, so I am content to shoot for a while.
His line is almost entirely impetuous, He will have to charge sooner or later.

His line is so much longer, I think it will be difficult for it to come into play in a timely fashion.
Medium sword vs Heavy Chariots is a bad match up.  Throw an elephant into the mix and it is almost even.  Indian archery is proving its mettle.
Steve did an excellent job of lining up his elephants on my chariots.  Effectively reducing my main strike force to mediocrity. 
While I also had a light bowmen too close, it was cut off and caught.
But it was not a total loss, one of the Siamese swordsmen was destroyed, and routed through a disordered light.
The Siamese have 7 points towards their demoralization level of 28
The Indians have 8 points towards their demoralization level of 22

Turn 3:
Both Steve and I commented that this game was not going to hit the time limit.

Elephants charge on the left, destroying a levy, but the others, even though disordered, still stand.
One chariot is destroyed, but the other two score wins.
One of my hybrid bow/sword charge a flank, and roll an epic fail, and are disordered.  And, in case you are counting, there are even more Siamese yet uncommitted.
The mayhem on the left continues.  Another chariot is crushed by 10 ton elephants, and the Siamese have penetrated the Indian lines.  The Siamese levy are heroes, by not being destroyed.
King Porus's right flank guard is in tatters.
Freshly rallied, the Indian Cavalry does what it can to hold back the enemy.

The Siamese have 10 points towards their demoralization level of 28
The Indians have 15 points towards their demoralization level of 22

Turn 4:
Another levy down, but too late to be helpful.  King Porus leads an elephant forward, stomping another Siamese unit flat.  Prince Porus (white striped chariot) charges the Siamese reserves to an impressive win.
And what of the Stampeding Cattle?  Was I cleverly holding them in reserve?  No.  I forgot all about them on turn 1, and on turn 2 didn't have enough command points to move them, and turn 3, they were out of command range.  Only now did I have enough command points to move them.
The right flank guard are still holding out.  The Siamese command is also having command problem with all those groups and unmaneuverable units.
The Levy is finally trounced, it is time to turn the Siamese right flank.
An elephant rampage event!  Totally surrounded by Siamese, it only matters which one gets a disorder.
But the Indian right flank has totally collapsed, and with it, the army morale.  A very convincing win for the Siamese.
The Siamese have 12 points towards their demoralization level of 28
The Indians have 22 points towards their demoralization level of 22

So what went wrong?  This should have been a good match-up for me.  I had the quality edge.  While the Siamese had the quantity edge.  But most of their quantity was not actually put in play.  About 8 of their units never engaged in any capacity.  

I think my mistake was I gave the initiative to Steve on 2.  I stopped and lined up my troops to optimize my missile fire, and allowed him to select the points of contact.  Elephants on chariots, with predictable results.  Defanging my main shock weapon.  Also, by going after the Levy, I reduced my effective attack groups by another 3 units, to zero gain. 

Steve went on to take 2nd place in a this tournament.

Segway #2: And the ear-worm battle continues, the 1812 Overture has been soundly defeated, but a flank march has shown up, it is Lancelot singing "C'est Moi" from Camelot. 

Addendum:  The ear-worm battle went on for months.  Harry Chapin, Pink Floyd, Nights in White Satin, none lasted long.  Losing out to a marathon session of "The Scarecrow of Romney Marsh".


  1. Visually engaging and educational. I have never played or played against Siamese.

    Just curious: What is the largest ADLG game you've played? Do you have a limit in points? Do you think there is a certain number at which the ADLG rules would become bogged down for lack of a better phrase?

    Re: The ear worm. "C'est Moi" is definitely one of those to sing along with (in the car when no one is looking of course. Might I suggest "Politics and Poker", anything from "Catch Me If You Can," and or "Brush Up Your Shakespeare"?


  2. The largest I have played is 400 points. Romans vs. Germans. It took about 4.5 hours. That puts about the same number of figures on the table as Warrior for 1600 points and a standard FOG game, which run about 4 hours as well.

    "We are Siamese" was finally defeated, dead, and buried by Disney's "Scarecrow of Romney Marsh"