Friday, October 16, 2020

The Proper Plurality of Elephants is ... Elephant

 A Headless Body Production

Location:  An Undisclosed Livingroom
Event:       Monday's regular Tuesday Game
Theme:     Pachyderms
Players:    Phil Gardocki playing King Porus of Purus.
                  Dave Ray playing Tamel
Game System: L'Art de la Guerre, about 200 points per side. 

When I suggested I wanted to play classic Indian, I was hoping Dave would pick something like Roman, Chinese, Parthian.  But nooooo..... The best answer to an elephant, is another elephant.

The Forces:
Classical Indian (list 79) King Porus, Prince Malayketu, and Prince Porus, all Competent
      3 Elephant, Elite
     10 1/2 Medium Swordsmen, 1/2 Bowmen
      5 Light Infantry, Bow
      2 War Wagons, Bow, Mediocre
      1 Medium Cavalry, Mediocre
Breakpoint of 21

Tamil Indian (list 121) One Brilliant and two Ordinary commanders, whose names are lost to antiquity.
      6 Elephant
      2 Guardsmen, Medium Swordsmen, Impact, Elite
      6 Light Infantry, Bows and Javelins
      4 Bowmen
      2 Light Chariots, Bow
      2 Warriors, Medium Swordsmen, Impetuous
      2 Javelinmen
Breakpoint of 24

So not only are the Classic Indians out elephanted, 2-1, but the Tamils have a higher break point!

Title Side Note.
The Proper Plurality of Elephants is ... Elephant.  Who knew? Merriam Webster did.

Translation notes:

     रैली!  --  Rally!
     आउच!  --> By the Bhagavata, those bastards shot me in the ass!!!
The Board

King Porus wins the initiative and elects to defend in the woods.

The Tamils are at the top of the board

My thoughts was to launch a flying column of elephants, wheel left, turn, then attack the right flank of the Tamils.  It is a plan I have used time and again.

Turn 1:

And it is a plan that Dave has seen, time and again.

And, admitably, I have rarely run this plan when defending, and  never with elephants

Slower, less maneuverable, I should have paid for the better ballet slippers.

Turn 2:

The plan was a bust, but on the bright side, the Tamil plan was right on track!

I could have saved this on turn 1, but on turn 2, my only choice was to charge.

The matchups were not that bad.  Swordsmen against bowmen (supported), elite elephant vs ordinary, Elephant vs MI.  All sans one dice off went in my favor.  That one however, went horribly wrong.  The score is 7-5, in favor of King Porus.

Turn 3:

The victory was short lived.  The Tamils counter attack.  For the first time ever, we have witnessed Elephant on War Wagons, not once, but twice!  When the dust settles, the Tamils have lost a troop of elephant, but were winning 13-10

A War Wagon is wrecked.  The Tamils have another troop of elephant flanked and destroyed, and a third, their commander astride, is just out and out 6-1 killed!  But most of the blood on the ground is Purus.  And the score is a virtual tie at 17 (Tamil) to 16 (Purus)

Turn 4:

The Tamils withdraw a chariot, but attack an elephant with supported Light Infantry.  But they do not have enough command to hit that elephant in the flank.  Fortune favored the fool-hearty, and the LI wins!

The score is Tamil 19 out of 25, Indian 20 out of 21.

For the sake of my sanity, the score represents the number of points towards demoralization of that army.  Low scores are better.

At long last, Porus manages to get another troop of elephants into the fight. Another will get in on the next turn.
The score is Tamil 21 out of 25, Indian 20 out of 21.
Needing only 1 point, the Tamils turn one foot on Porus's elephantry, destroying it out.  Subsequent die rolls destroy a 4th Tamil elephant.  The Tamils Win!

So what went wrong?

That the concept that the flying column would work.  The column was not going to progress.  As a result, my main force of elephantry went in piecemeal.  And as such they were still very effective. Taking out two elephants and two other units.  It would have been better have put them in the woods.  A double march would have gotten them on the edge, and one more move to clear. 


  1. Interesting battle report. I wonder if you elephant column should have ambushed in the leftmost wood?

  2. That could have worked, It would have taken them two turns to fully emerge, but then would have been 3 wide on the attack. But I think ambush in the center woods would have worked better with the deployments.