Saturday, April 25, 2020

A Wailing of Hebrews*

A Headless Body Production
Venue:   A Double Header at Al's
Event:    Prep for USTT 2020 
Players: Phil Gardocki running Celts
               Al Kaplan running Ancient Hebrew
Game System: L'Art de la Guerre, 15mm, 200 points per side.
Theme: Biblical

Nothing like an early off day for a bit of mayhem.  In practice for the USTT, Al and I will be doing a double header.  First Period 4 (Medieval) and then Period 1 (Biblical).

You have to love L'Art de la Guerre with a 2 and a half hour time limit that makes it possible.

The Forces:
The Celts, commanded by Ordinailx, Competenx and Competenex II
14 Warriors, Medium Swordsmen, Impetuous
6 Slingers, Light Infantry Sling
6 Horsemen, MEdium Cavalry, Elite
2 Scouts, Light Cavalry Javelin
2 Levy, Mediocre
Breakpoint of 30
Ancient Hebrew
4 Heavy Chariots, Impact some Elite
1 Light Chariot, Bow
lots Jewish Warriors, Medium Swordsmen
2 Philistine Mercenaries, Heavy Spearmen
Breakpoint of 22

The Board:
To the left is a plantation and a field.
In the center, 7 chariots, well screened by lights.
On the right, another field, and 6 units of foot, 4 mediums and 2 heavies.
The third command is not seen.  And there are way too many points for it to be an in the ambush.

Competenx I has a force of 7 units of warriors and 3 slingers.
Ordinailx is in the center with an identical command.
Competenx II is stuffed on the right flank with 8 units of horse.
Turn 1:
So there is a flank march running.  But I think I am going to ignore it.  All my cavalry can evade, so a panic move should only be inconvenient.  And if it occurs at the right time, it could be beneficial.
Competenx I only makes one march move.  He is not in a hurry to meet the chariots, as that is a 2-0 match-up.
Ordinailx moves as far as the ambush marker allows.
Competenx II forms a column to bypass the field.
The creaking wood announces the advance of the chariot forces. 
Jewish warriors invest the field.  The Philistine Mercenaries redeploy in the rear to catch the flanking Celt cavalry.
The Hebrew third command rolls a 3 and is still not seen.

Turn 2:

Competenx I recalls his lights. 
The strength of the Celt army is it's size, 30 units.  So there is no sense sacrificing 6 points for what may only be a single hit on a Hebrew light.
Ordinailx trips an ambush, which delays his advance into the field.
Competenx II continues up the side of the field

An ambush is revealed!  I think they are Gibborim Warriors, elite swordsmen.
No flank march!  Wonderful.
The Jewish Warriors cant their line slightly to avoid flank charges.
Turn 3:

Both sides are advancing and sliding, going for a support edge on the flank.  The Chariots are doing it better.
Ordinailx also advances and slides, looking for both flank support, and cavalry charges.
4 chariots vector in on Competenx I's line.  Their lights shooting proves deadly.
Two chariots charge the left side of the Ordinailx's line.  Running over man and beast.
The Ancient Hebrews have 1 point towards their breakpoint of 22
The Celts have 4 points towards their breakpoint of 30

Turn 4:

Competenx I holds the line.
Ordinailx orders an impetuous down the line.  The dice are kind, and wins 4 out of 4.
Competenx II has a critical shortage of command points, and decides to improve his position instead of engaging the heavy spears.
It is now the Hebrews turn to cause death and destruction.  Winning 3 of 4 charges.
They parse off a chariot, which runs over another warrior, pursuing down the line.
They lose their flanking hinge warrior, exposing the Philistines to a flank charge as well.  But the rest of their warriors, manage to hold the line.
The Ancient Hebrews have 6 point towards their breakpoint of 22
The Celts have 10 points towards their breakpoint of 30

Turn 5:
The Celts are dying fast, already a third of the way to their break point.
But there are still possibilities. 

Abandoning the lines engaged with the chariots, the impetuous troops charge the Hebrew warriors.  The screams and howls fail to impress these seasoned soldiers, as they skillfully vivisect the line.
Re: That was awful.

And while the Hebrew line on the right is totally penetrated and flanked, IT STILL STANDS, holding up troops that are needed elsewhere.
And as a bonus, Ordinailx was nailed, leaving the command uncommanded.

The only upside is the Hebrew camp is in charge reach.
Competenx I's command is down to the nubbins.  A whole clan traded for a single chariot.
With help from a chariot, one Hebrew Warrior pursues his opponent.  The Philistines still are holding up the entirety of Competenx II's cavalry command.
To be fair here, command points have been thin here, but what can you expect for only having 2 points for generals.  In this case, Competenx II could have flank charged the Philistine OR gotten the Light Horse in charge reach of the camp.

The Ancient Hebrews have 10 point towards their breakpoint of 22
The Celts have 24 points towards their breakpoint of 30
The pile of Celt dead
Turn 6:
This battle continues.  (boring)
The center Celt command has no command points to spend.  But one Philistine has fallen
The Hebrew's are now looking for fresh targets.
Their Warriors in the field take a Celt in the flank and destroy it.
The Ancient Hebrews have 16 points towards their breakpoint of 22
The Celts have 28 points towards their breakpoint of 30

Turn 7:
The Hebrew camp has fallen, but getting 6 more points seem impossible.

A victorious Celt warband pursues his opponent.
The Ancient Hebrews have 17 points towards their breakpoint of 22
The Celts have 28 points towards their breakpoint of 30

Another warband charges with cavalry support, but fails to disorder his foe.  The Philistines, surrounded continue to hold their position.
With that, we called it.  Al could easily picked up 2 points and possibly 4 without any trouble, at a risk of only losing 2 in the process.

What went wrong?
My hipshot is, Celts suck.  I took them to NJ Con, and took second to last place, last place being someone that only played 2 games.

But, philosophically, that is probably not true, it is that they do not line up with my play style.   Re: You ain't playing them right.

Army composition.  I like the strong cavalry wing of this army, and use it with Germans and Gauls to good effect.  But here, there was too much cavalry, and most of it didn't get into combat.  I might have been better served by more warbands as a second wave.

The command points is a killer for the Celt army.  I didn't have a problem holding back or charging, but just turning and getting the cavalry to do more than two things was a killer.  Once again, if the cavalry can't turn or engage, then why have it?

The Hebrew army is very well suited to handle the Celts.  The Celt impetuous charge is de-fanged by chariots and swordsmen, and so is virtually useless.

*Original title was A Wailing by the Hebrews, but that was just too much foreshadowing.

Saturday, April 18, 2020

A Swarm of Samurai

A Headless Body Production
Venue  An Undisclosed Basement
Event:    First outing of a new army 
Players: Phil Gardocki running Samurai
               Phil Gardocki running Koryo Korean
Game System: L'Art de la Guerre, 15 mm, 200 points per side.
Theme: Pacific War

The Forces:
Featuring my brand spanking new army, Koryo Koreans.  Freshly delivered last week.  Verses my "Paint-is-still-unchipped" Samurai, painted last fall by Fernando in Sri Lanka.  For more on that process, click here.

Koryo Korean (list 212)
The Koreans are commanded by Kim-Lar-Re, the Competent, his brother Kim-Dar-El, the Competent, and his other brother Kim-Dar-El, also Competent.
2 Guardsmen, Heavy Cavalry Impact, Elite
2 Horsemen, Heavy Cavalry Impact, Ordinary
2 Militia Horsemen, Medium Cavalry Impact, Mediocre.
6 Spearmen, 1/2 Heavy Spearmen, 1/2 Crossbow
1 Cataphract, Elite
2 Light Cavalry, Bow
2 War Wagons, Crossbow
1 Light Infantry, Bow
1 Hwacha, Heavy Artillery.
1 Guardsmen, Crossbow, Pavise, Elite
Breakpoint of 21

The Samurai are commanded by Larry-San, the Competent, his brother Darryl-San the Brilliant and his other brother Darryl-San, the Ordinary and unreliable.
7 Samurai, Medium Swordsmen, Bow, 5 of which are Elite   
4 Yari, Medium Spearmen, Mediocre
6 Mounted Samurai, Heavy Cavalry, Bow, 2 of which are Elite   
4 Bowmen, Pavise, Mediocre
Breakpoint of 21

Last weeks battle went poorly for the Samurai, but I think that had a lot to do with how poorly they were handled.  So, same field, similar lineup, and Lay-On!

The two Samurai foot commands are deployed a bit tighter together.
The horse Samurai are pretty much deployed the same.
No difference with the Korean left.  War wagons and rocket launchers.
Korean Spearmen ready to ascend the hill.
Korean lancers ready to charge.
Turn 1:
In this game, the two Samurai foot commands will be advancing hub to hub.  There is little gain engaging the Korean left flank, so defeating it is not a priority.
All Samurai foot troops do a double march.
Ending just out of shooting range.
Samurai cavalry advance just one bound.  They are out numbered and need to be cautious.
But double marching has it's penalties.  The Samurai are in range of the Hwacha rockets.
At the bottom of the turn, the Hwacha's fire again, disordering another Samurai unit.
Korean Spearmen advance to the top of the hill.  Missiles fly, with the Korean Spearmen taking two hits.
Korean Cavalry advances to outside of effective bow range.  They have the advantage and know it, and so are willing to be cautious.
Turn 2:
Darryl-San has a dearth of command points.  He spends one to threaten the Korean Lights in the field.
Darryl-San also has a shortage of command points.  But he is happy with his position. 
Larry-San's Cavalry moves to within ZOC.  This prevents any creative sliding attacks by Korean lancers.  Arrows reach out and disorder two troops of Koreans.
Korean Light Infantry is recalled.  War Wagons are in range.
The Hwacha fires again, causing another hit.  Elite Korean Cataphracts charge Mediocre Bowmen.  Even though the bowmen have support on both sides, the fight is in favor of the Cataphracts.  But the dice declare it was a stupid move anyway.  The missile exchanges on the hill have been decisively in the Samurai's favor.
The marksmenship of the Samurai is a marvel to behold.  5 of 6 Korean lancers are disordered.
The score is 9-4 in favor of the Samurai.

Turn 3:
Darryl-San holds back and attempts to rally his disordered forces. 

Ditto for Darryl-San
Larry-San will have none of it.  With 5 out of 6 Korean lancers disordered, it is time to charge.
The view at the Tree of Woe.  The score is 12-9, in favor of the Samurai.
Hwacha's score again.
Cataphracts do a break off move.
Both sides lose a cavalry unit.
The score is now 14-11.  Both sides have a break point of 21
Turn 4:
Yari on the flank.  But sometimes, this is just not enough as the dice roll 1 to a 5 in favor of the Koreans.
The end result of the dice is 2-3, and another Samurai horsemen is destroyed.
The score is climbing fast, 17-13
The Hwacha rocket launchers are credited to it's first unassisted kill
Almost every missile unit is disordered.  But the Samurai shooters are all elite, so this is to their advantage.
The Korean Cavalry, so proud on parade, is being torn to shreds by their Samurai counterparts.
Taking the score to 19-15
Turn 5:
The Hwacha destroys another unit.
But so too a Samurai archer destroys a Korean Spearmen.
The last Korean Heavy Cavalry falls. Kim-Lar-Re is nearly captured in the process.
It was enough, with the final score 21-15.  A Samurai win!

So what went right with the Samurai this time.
First, the foot archers were committed to just shooting. 5 of them are elite, and so the exchange rate was much in their favor.
The Samurai horsemen were also committed to shooting and covering their flanks.  They had a favorable set of shots initially on the Korean lancers, prompting the Koreans to delay and rally.  And that worked, but then 4 more hits were applied on that turn, negating the Impact advantage.  So the Samurai charged, and the rest is history.