Saturday, October 3, 2020

A Seppuku of Samurai

A Headless Body Production
Venue:   An Undisclosed Basement 
Event:    Playing a game for the camera  
Players: Phil Gardocki running Anglo-Irish
               Tom Worden running Samurai 
Game System: L'Art de la Guerre, 15mm, 200 points per side.

Formally titled, "An Injection of Irish"
The Forces:
Samurai (list 210)
The Samurai are commanded by Larry-San, the Strategist, his brother Darryl-San the Ordinary and his other brother Darryl-San, also Ordinary.
9 Samurai, Medium Swordsmen, Bow, Elite  
4 Yari, Medium Spearmen, Mediocre
4 Mounted Samurai, Heavy Cavalry, Bow, Elite  
2 Followers with Bow, Bowmen, Mediocre
Breakpoint of 19

Anglo Irish
Commanded by Larry, the Competent, his brother Darrel the Competent, and his other brother Darrel, also Competent.
4 Nobles, Heavy Cavalry
2 Foot Knights, Heavy Swordsmen, 2HW, Heavy Armor, Elite
2 Galloglaich, Heavy Swordsmen, 2HW, Elite
2 Billmen,  Heavy Swordsmen, 2HW, Mediocre
5 Kerns, Light Infantry, Javelin
2 Light Cavalry, Light Cavalry, Javelin
4 Longbowmen, Stakes
2 Javelinmen
Breakpoint of 23

The Board:The Anglo-Irish win the initiative and elect to attack in the plains.
...............................................................Samurai Side

Anglo-Irish side

Off on their far right, 7 units of Samurai, 4 on horseback.
On their left, the Samurai are in twin columns, backed by Yari and lower class archers.
The Irish left is set to delay any attacks upon their undefended camp. 
Darryl has a variety of troops on the far right.  There is a flank march running on the right, and his job is to run across the bard and support it.
Turn 1:
Seeing that the Samurai cavalry are massed on the left, Larry leaves a unit of billmen and kerns behind to protect the camp.
Double marching his remaining swordsmen forward.
Darryl advances into the terrain.  But not too eagerly.  He only has two longbow against 6 Samurai.
The Japanese decide to go for crushing the flank march.  Their left most command turns and races for the right.
Their foot samurai expand and advance to cover them.
Turn 2:
Off board Darryl rolls a 6, and will be arriving next turn.
Larry's troops continue to advance.
Darryl advances as he can.
The Japanese swing command continue to advance.  Their mediocre troops vacate the arrival zone.
Turn 3:
Larry and Darryl converge on the Samurai main line.  Arrows fly.
Despite fewer shooters, the Irish score 4 hits out of 5 shots.
The Japanese archery largely fails.  7 shots and only one hit.

The Japanese commander decides he has enough to deal with the flank march and releases his trailing Samurai foot to face the Irish knights.
His cavalry charges, running down a longbow, disordering another.
The score at the Tree of Woe is 2 to 7

The official military observer from Howandaland is vacationing at the beach.
Turn 4
Knights, Galloglaich Clan O'Lyre and a Javelinmen from Cork charge!  The Samurai line holds firm.
Things are complicated here.  A couple of Samurai are charged in the flank.  But overall, hold firm.
Question for the group.  Can this Light Infantry charge the camp?  The gap between the Samurai cavalry and the edge of the board is exactly 40mm, so the LI would be in edge to edge contact with the cavalry before contact with the camp.
We ruled it was not a legal charge, and the only effect on the game was it would have ended half a turn earlier.

Second question, if the LI was any other troop type, would it be a legal charge?

The score is 3 to 8
A refresher on who is who.  More hits are applied on the Irish Heavy Swords.
The Samurai are cleaning up the flank march
The score is 3 (of 19) to 15 of 25
Turn 5:
In for a penny, in for a pound.  We were not winning the fight on the main line, so lets charge the secondary lines.
On the Irish right, the only saving grace of the flank march.  Where the end of the line was flank charged.  The Samurai fight with skill and panache, and begin to win.
4 to 16.  It doesn't get any better.  There are no surprises, you can save yourself about 2 minutes of scrolling.
Larry enters the fray, and his presents prevents another loss.
The last unit of the flank march is wiped out.
A desperate charge by Irish Nobles puts two hits on the Samurai Cavalry.  But they will surrounded next bound.
Turn 6:
At last, a clean kill of a Samurai warrior.  And billmen arrive to turn the flank, if the knights can hold out another turn.

Irish Nobles actually destroy their Samurai foes!
Bringing the score to 7 to 21

The one unit of knights holds on.  Both knights, the flower of the Irish Nobility, are at the verge of destruction.
Melee has stopped on the right, let the arrows fly!
Taking the Irish to 1 away from their break point of 23

Remember that LI that couldn't charge the camp?  If he had, he would have been killed, and the score now would be 10-23, a decisive win for the Samurai.

So Tommy is going to have to fight another round for his victory.

Turn 7:
In baseball parlance, it's called "An out at any base", any new hit or kill wins the game.  They didn't get it here.
The storm of arrows continues.  Most of Darryl's troops withdraw out of range, but another troop of nobles approaches to charge the Samurai line, but is disordered instead.
Ending the game with a Samurai win, 6 - 23.

So what went wrong?

The Flank march match ups were wrong.  I tried to cheap out with using the LI to grab the camp.  Which wound up being a "Camp too Far."  

But that doesn't give any credit to Mr. Worden.  He correctly divined the correct flank, and how slowly my left flank attackers advanced, and utilized his resources, IE Elite Cavalry commanded by a Strategist, and shifted from one side of the board to the other.  Just barely arriving in time.  If Tom had dallied just one turn, the situation would have turned out much differently.

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