Sunday, May 3, 2020

A Burden of Germans

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

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:
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       
2 Foot Knights   

1 Pike, Mediocre   
3 Men-at-Arms, Heavy Knight, Impact, 1 Elite  
2 Light Cavalry, Crossbow
2 Demi-Lancers, Heavy Cavalry Impact
2 Handgunners, Elite          
2 Crossbow, Pavise
Breakpoint of 20
Medieval Germans (derived from vague recollections and only have the barest resemblance to reality)
4 Heavy Knights, Impact
1 Medium Cavalry Crossbow
6 Landsknechts, Pike, 3 of which are Mediocre
4 Foot Knights
2 Halberdiers, Heavy Swordsmen, 2HW, Armor
2 Hungarians, Light Cavalry, Bow
2 Militia, Light Infantry, Crossbow
Breakpoint of 22

The Board:
The Burgundians win the initiative and elect to attack in the plains.
Along the mighty Aalbach river, the Germans erect their camp.

Displayed in front of their camp, is a mighty host of foot.

To their left, a slightly less mighty host.
And on the far left, proud knights that will be the the hammer to their foot's anvil.
Before the mighty host, and defending the camp, is Darryl, commanding the weakest of the Burgundian battles.
 That probably wasn't well thought out...

Lawrence's Battle is well arrayed in the center.
His other brother Darryl, faces a dilemma.  He faces a foe without benefit of surprise or position, that he is actually superior to.  This doesn't happen very often, and he is much confused.
 Turn 1:

Darryl advances his heavies, leaving his crossbow behind.
Darryl's mission is two fold.
      1) Don't die (too soon), and
      2) Support Lawrence's command.
Leaving the crossbow behind in terrain secures mission 1, and advancing his longbow mission 2.  Since he is facing slow moving troops he shouldn't get into trouble too fast.
Lawrence advances on the double,  The matchups are not too bad, mediocre pike vs mediocre spear on contact.  With some disorder on the Germans thrown in.
Darryl's Knights advance to the limits.  His Lights staying out of range to avoid being surrounded.
The Germans (correctly) assume that Darry's forces will not be racing across the field and left face and march.
So to the middle command.
Their knights halt in front of superior force.

This may seem strange, but Al doesn't run this very often.  And it was only after he deployed that he realized that his foot commands were not identical, but that one was full of mediocre troops.  So he was trying to get his good command in a better position, and his mediocre command to support his knights.

Turn 2:

Larry's lights advance for a shot, and get within 4 UD of the German main lines to keep them from double movement.
Darryl decides to call out his Crossbowmen.  The German pike cannot move forward when they turn, so even if they race across the field, it would be turn 7 before they can get to the crossbowmen.
Lawrence advances to arrow range, but the Germans are well screened by a single light foot.

Darryl's line trots to about 2 UD's from the German lights.

Missiles are exchanged, and the Germans are winning 1-0.

The Germans recall their lights as the battle makes a right face. 
Ditto their middle battle
Their knight command does nothing.  They don't wish contact any sooner than necessary.
The Germans have 0 points towards their breakpoint of 22
The Burgundians have 2 points towards their breakpoint of 20

This is embarrassing, as the Burgundians are a shooting army, and yet the Germans are winning the missile exchanges.

Turn 3:

Darryl holds his ground.

Lawrence decides to hold as well.  He is willing to see how well the knights are going do.

And Darryl pulls a sneaky move, surrounding the German lights before charging with knight and lance.  He leads from the front to help seal the deal.  The German Hungarians had no chance at all.
The German main battle advances.
So to their secondary battle.  They have to secure a win before the Burgundian Knights crush their own.
Outnumbered, the German knights cant their line to protect the infantry flanks from the spare Burgundian cavalry.
The Germans have 6 points towards their breakpoint of 22
The Burgundians have 2 points towards their breakpoint of 20

Turn 4:
Darryl stands bravely.  Though at this point there is no other option.
Lawrence's shooters finally score a single hit.
For the second turn in a row, the Burgundian knights charge.  The German Medium Cavalry rolls long in their evade, leaving the board.  And once again, Darryl leads from the front, Winning 2 of 3 dice-offs.
It is now time for the Germans to charge. 
The clash of arms runs all the way down the line.
Nothing clever or creative here, just mayhem.
The Germans have 12 points towards their breakpoint of 22
The Burgundians have 8 points towards their breakpoint of 20

Turn 5:

Darryl's force is still holding it's ground
Lawrence lost half his fights last turn, and this turn didn't improve the situation much.  Highlights are the destruction of Landsknechts, traded for a Spear/Longbow unit.
The cavalry battle swirls, which they are prone to do.  A German Knight falls, the last is disordered.  Demiknights take German foot knights in the flank for a hit.
The Crossbowmen have been reeking havoc on the German Pike, to the point where they decided to screen it with another pike.
Lawrence's main line is about to fold.  2 dead, 2 with 3 hits.
The battle is resting on Darryl.  His opponent is defeated, but can he get somewhere useful in time?
The Germans have 16 points towards their breakpoint of 22
The Burgundians have 12 points towards their breakpoint of 20

My main plan is failing.  Which is to gracefully lose on the left, and win in the center and right.  Two of 3 parts are working, but I am so badly injured in the center as to lose this battle.

Turn 6:

Darryl loses his last heavy troop, but couldn't resist sending a crossbow to shoot at the heavily disordered pikemen.  A hit is another point, and I only need a few more to win.
In the center, both sides are in the same shape.  They both won their right, and lost on their left.  Now it is a matter of who can pursue the advantage best.

The Knights are victorious, but lack targets, and are so dispersed that Darryl can only hand out a few orders.
German Pike charge, and lose the dice exchange by 2, and so the Crossbowmen live another day
In the dead center both have the same situation.  Both with 3 hits, both flanked by foot knights.

On the far right, the German Foot Knights defeat the Demilancers.
Looking for points anywhere, A crossbow unit flank charges a pike.
In the center, a rally keeps the Flanked Burgundian Spearmen in the line. 

Darryl leads one last charge of his knights, and totally destroys their foe!  Demiknights and Light Horse crossbow make a Foot Knight sandwich for the final blow.
The Burgundians win by the skin of their teeth!

The Germans have 22 points towards their breakpoint of 22
The Burgundians have 18 points towards their breakpoint of 20

That was a battle that went from "Well in Hand" to WTF in a hurry.
My shooters were practically blind, combined by creative use of screening elements by Al, so when push came to shove, my foot troops are mostly mediocre.  Fortunately, they were facing mediocre pike.

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