Sunday, January 12, 2020

Burgundian Ordinance vs Ayyubid Egyptians

A Headless Body Production
Venue: Fall In 2019
Event: L' Art de la Guerre, Theme
Rules Set: L'Art de la Guerre
Theme: Open Tournament
Players: Phil Gardocki playing Burgundian Ordinance
              Jeff Herzog playing Ayyubid Egyptian

This battle report is a little unusual. Normally I write these up within a week or so of the event, so I have some memory of the happenings. But I was writing up other events, then Thanksgiving, then our living room ceiling collapsed. So now it's 8 weeks later. Usually, I give up at that point and just let it go, but this time, I had an afternoon, and decided to go with a write up.
Now I do not remember this game, I don't recognize the opposing figures, there is only a vague idea what day it was, and I don't remember who won. So I am going into this with only a name and plethora of poorly produced pictures. So if the plot is meandering like the author doesn't know where the story is going, it's because that is the case. Lets see how it goes!
Oh, and the Eagles are on at 16:25, so I have a time limit.

The Forces:

Burgundian Ordonnance
Commanded by Lawrence, the Competent, his brother Darryl (Which turns out to be French in origin) the Competent and his other brother Darryl , the Ordinary, and somewhat unreliable.
5 1/2 Heavy Spearman 1/2 Longbowmen
3 Foot Knights
3 Men-at-Arms, Heavy Knight, Impact, 1 Elite
2 Light Cavalry, Crossbow
2 Demi-Lancers, Heavy Cavalry Impact
2 Handgunners, Elite
2 Crossbow, Mediocre
Breakpoint of 20

This will be the third run of a brand new army. The army, not the figures, which is a remounting of spare Swiss and Anglo-Irish figures. With a couple recently purchased knights and spearmen. All freshly flocked and ready to go. Coincidentally, I played a practice game against Ayyubid's a few weeks earlier, so I had some idea what to expect.

Ayyubid Egyptian (derived from photos and memory and has zero chance of being accurate)
Commanded by Saladin the Strategist. Historical fact, Salah ad-Din was a Kurd.

6 Mamluks, Heavy Cavalry Bow, some elite
4 Kurds, Heavy Cavalry Bow, some elite
2 Turkomans, Light Cavalry Bow, elite
2 Bedouins, Light Cavalry Bow, elite
3 Light Infantry, Bow
1 Cavalry of uncertain armor, weapon, morale, but has an included general
Breakpoint 19

The Board:
Salah ad-Din wins the initiative and elects to attack in the plains

Salah ad-Din takes the field on the right.
A nameless commander takes the left.

The third Egyptian command cannot be seen.

Twixt the fielded hill and another field is Lawrence, the Competent, next to his somewhat unreliable brother Darryl. The line is a mix of Longbow and Foot Knights arrayed to receive.
Crossbowmen behind fortifications protecting the far flanks.

And like the wily Egyptians, the the third Burgundian command cannot be seen.

Turn 1:

Oh shit. Salah ad-Din is running a flank march. It can only be on my left. The hill is rough terrain, but my army doesn't turn very well, and doesn't like the rough either.

But on the plus side, he doesn't know if I am running a flank march, or hiding in the gully.

Salah ad-Din's troops move forward at a stately pace, banners unfurled in a breeze. 
So too, does his second command of horse.

Salah ad-Din rolls 6 for his off board command, his flank march will arrive on turn 2!

Before the enemy line there is wonderment! As the Burgundian lines split and splinter into what can only be described as panic maneuver.
A panic that includes Darryl, who curls up in a ball and refuses to send any orders!
But his other brother Darryl is emboldened. Emerging from the gully are 5 units of lancers, many of them knights, and supported by crossbow armed light horse.

Turn 2:

I have gone from having the battle "Well-In-Hand" to playing like a rank fool. My only plus is Darryl's force of knights should be able to clobber the Heavy Cavalry arrayed against them. The Kurds are have impact in their mix, and so cannot evade. The problem there is that once done, my knights are effectively out of the game. And I cannot win with just the 12 points I could get on the right side of the board.
My main body is somewhat ready to receive the flank march. I will be able to expand my line, but I have to yield the high ground to the Egyptians. Meanwhile I am hoping my second line of two 1/2 longbow/spearmen and knight can hold off Salah ad-Din's force of 6 Heavy Cavalry.
Wait! What? That's it? 3 Light Infantry and a single Heavy Horse? Shit, I soiled my armor over this!
Salah ad-Din laughs as he pulls his main body away from Darryl's unresponsive command and redeploys them to destroy Darryl's knights.
And this folks, is why you buy the strategist!
Lawrence has been totally conned here. He sends forward his bowmen to see what points can be gained here.
His other force double marches to almost bow range.
Darryl orders a disengage as well. 
Well, I have been well and truly skunked here. My best command is now facing a force it cannot catch, and even if could, is not worth much. My middle command has gone unresponsive, and my right side command is now outnumbered about 2-1. Well played Jeff.

Turn 3:

The score is 1-0, but you can't say the game has not been exciting so far.

The Egyptians push towards the exposed flanks.
That's multiple flanks. The cardinal sin of infantry armies is to break up like this.
Salah ad-Din's Cavalry begins to from up on their left.
Lawrence runs a couple of lights off the board, and begins to turn his longbow to support his other line.
Lawrence's hanging flank turns a Longbow to shoot. His brother Darryl has recovered from his extreme anxiety attack and advances to shooting range.
His other brother Darryl clears the gully.
The Egyptians now have a problem. If they are caught in the gully, they will be at a -2, plus the Burgundians will have higher ground.

Salah ad-Din's Egyptians have 3 points towards their breakpoint of 19
Lawrence's Burgundians have 1 point towards their breakpoint of 20

Turn 4:

The Egyptian flank march commander pulls out of range.
Salah ad-Din's forces begin to put on pressure.
It's a trap! They know it's a trap, we know it's a trap, we know they know it's a trap.
The flank march is somewhat defeated, it's time to put those longbows to work.
The shoot out seems to be in the Egyptians favor. Which can be expected as they are elite vs. ordinary.
Even behind the fortifications the crossbowmen are picking up hits. But then that is elite vs mediocre.

Salah ad-Din's Egyptians have 4 points towards their breakpoint of 19
Lawrence's Burgundians have 3 points towards their breakpoint of 20

Turn 5:

The Egyptians adroitly maneuver out of arc. Leaving the Burgundian lines in total disarray. 
However, where the Egyptians decide to focus has lousy terrain for them.
The gully is now invested with Egyptian heavy horse. A vulnerable position, but out of range of the knights, who can only charge 2UD in the rough terrain.
Lawrence's forces advance and try to put them selves in good order.

This can be repeated from this turn onward. My best troops are pretty much out of the game.

Salah ad-Din's troops are in a pocket, and continue to shoot it out.
Both sides pick up hits. This is becoming a game of who's rally rolls are better.
Darryl takes advantage of his position. He rolls well on his command dice. His Demiknights charge off the Egyptian Bedouins, then occupy the space on the flank of the Egyptians with one of his light horse. The rest of his knights take the high ground looking down at the Egyptian horse in the gully.

Salah ad-Din's Egyptians have 5 points towards their breakpoint of 19
Lawrence's Burgundians have 3 points towards their breakpoint of 20

Turn 6:
What started as an exciting game, has now evolved into a chess match.

Egyptians on this side of the board pause to rally
In the center, the shoot out continues, but taking advantage of their superior command structure, the Egyptians maneuver for position.
The Egyptian left is in trouble, but the Burgundians are now being pocketed as well.
Lawrence's forces advance and try to put them selves in good order.
Darryl's forces have a successful rally and reorder their lines. The Egyptians are not getting past them!
On the right side barricade, the first Burgundian unit is destroyed. (Dead foot marker to follow)
And in the most cinema graphic moment of the game, the whole of the Burgundian Heavy Knights charge. Spurring their chargers down the treacherous slope and flanked by their light horse. One Egyptian heavy horse falls, two others are disordered. 

Salah ad-Din's Egyptians have 10 points towards their breakpoint of 19
Lawrence's Burgundians have 4 points towards their breakpoint of 20
Turn 7:

Once again, Salah ad-Din's forces skedaddle out of range.

Suddenly, the Egyptians are over half way to demoralization, so he needs to protect every point now.

So too, his heavy horse that had been trading shots with a Longbow unit.
On the Egyptian left, Salah ad-Din orders a supported charge on an isolated Demilancer, disordering him. The fight in the gully continues uninterrupted by outside influence. Another Egyptian horse unit is destroyed.
Lawrence's forces advance and try to put them selves in good order.
Darryl can't wait for his brother and keeps up the pressure.
Their other brother Darryl has cleaned up the gully. If the Egyptians want them, they will now have to go in and take them.

Salah ad-Din's Egyptians have 13 points towards their breakpoint of 19
Lawrence's Burgundians have 5 points towards their breakpoint of 20

Turn 8:

Jeff finally rolls a successful rally, his general is now undisordered. 
Salah ad-Din's heavy horse begin to surround an orphaned Demilancer.

This Demilancer (Heavy Cavalry, Impact) was pulled out of the line on turn 2, and Darryl never had the spare 2 command points to get him back, and has been watching the battle from afar.

His brother Demilancer has been overrun.
Lawrence's forces advance and try to put them selves in good order.
Darryl's knights continue their charge, and catch a Bedouin on the evade. A Mamluk is shot to extinction on the left.
In the field, another Mamluk is being arrowed from both front and behind.

Salah ad-Din's Egyptians have 16 points towards their breakpoint of 19
Lawrence's Burgundians have 6 points towards their breakpoint of 20

Turn 9:
The orphaned Demilancer, struck from both rear and flank, manages to survive.
Salah ad-Din starts an organized withdrawal.
Foot Knights charge a Kurdish lancer in the flank, and plow it into the field
In a desperate move, Egyptian commander makes a run for Burgundian camp. And gets fleched for his efforts.
MVP award for this half Longbow, half Spearmen unit. Shooting 2 enemy horse units into oblivion. 
Final shot of the chaos.

Salah ad-Din's Egyptians have 20 points towards their breakpoint of 19
Lawrence's Burgundians have 8 points towards their breakpoint of 20

What went wrong? The overall plan was ok. My best forces were arrayed against his best, where I think I had the advantage. But, Jeff saw that as well and went elsewhere, leaving my best command with nought to shoot at but a few light foot and a couple of light horse. My reaction to his oncoming flank march left my main lines in total disarray from which they never recovered.
What went right? Upon seeing how badly things were going, I managed to pull my right flank back behind the relative safety of terrain, and some fortified shooters. This allowed me time to reorganize for the punch when I needed them.

And the Eagles won! The was pretty much a tie for the first 3 quarters, and then the New Jersey Giants collapsed in the 4th. To be fair, this was their quarterbacks 2nd start in the NFL. And the rest of their team is pretty much crap, but the many of the Eagles starting receivers were on the practice team 2 weeks ago. Here is to an exciting post season.

1 comment: