Sunday, April 18, 2021

A Mediation of Medievals

A Headless Body Production

Venue: An Undisclosed Basement
Event: The Semi-Annual, International, Invitational, Round Robin Tournament
Round: 1
Theme: Medieval
Players: Phil Gardocki running Condottieri
               Dennis Shorthouse running Medieval German
Game System: L'Art de la Guerre v3, 15mm, 120 points per side.

The Forces:
Italian Condottieri
Commanded by Larry, the Competent and Darryl, the Ordinary
6 Men-at-Arms, Heavy Knight, Impact
2 Light Cavalry, Crossbow
1 Light Infantry. Crossbowmen
1 Light Infantry, Handgunner
1 Mercenary Pike
1 Halberdier, Heavy Swordsmen, 2HW
Breakpoint, 12

Medieval German
2 Commanders, a Brilliant and a Competent
1 Heavy Knight Impact, Brilliant Commander Included
3 Foot Knights
3 Pikemen
1 Halberdier, Heavy Swordsmen, Armor, 2HW
1 Light Cavalry, Bow
1 Light Infantry. Crossbowmen
1 Crossbowmen, Pavise
1 Light Infantry, Handgunner, Elite
Breakpoint of 13 

A note on annotations. When you see a word bubble "Ouch!", ("Ausch!", "Aie!") this implies a missile hit.

Letters in parenthesis represent some value change for the specific unit. For commanders it is b for Brilliant, c for Competent and o for Ordinary, u for unreliable. For troops it is e for Elite, and m for Mediocre. Other abbreviations, Hvy Heavy, XB Crossbow, LB, Longbow, Jav Javelin, 2HW 2 Handed Weapons, B Bow, Kn Knight, HKn Heavy Knight, HC Heavy Cavalry, Md Medium, Sgt Sergeants, LC Light Cavalry, Chr Chariot, Cat Cataphract, Pa Pavise, LI, Light Infantry, HG Hand Gun, FKn Foot Knight, Hvy Spear, Heavy Spearmen.

"XX" marks a unit killed in that location on that turn.
"????" is an ambush marker, and so it is unknown at this time.

Scores are presented in a confusing manner. This is because it is measured in number of points towards the demoralization. If I say the score is 15-8 in favor of Milan, that means the Burgundians are have 15 points towards their demoralization level of 19, while Milan has 8 points towards their demoralization level of 20. But saying 15-8 is just more intuitive. 

Dennis Shorthouse, Proprietor of On Military Matters book service., has organized an another tournament using a battle grid system of his devising. All figures are place on a grid so players can play over a telephone without a video component.

The board is 15 by 20 UD's. The rows are labeled H - A. Each side has their own H-B, and the A row is divided in half. The columns are numbered 1-20. Terrain sizes are 2x3.

The Board:

The Germans are defending. On their side is a field and a hill. The local highway is astride the deployment areas.


The Germans are compressed in the left third of the board, their flank protected by the field works of their camp.
The Italians are deployed in a more balanced fashion
The plan is this. Advance and pin the Germans, while taking their camp, and then do a flank attack in their position.
Onto the highway they go.
The Germans advance to the fields edge.

Turn 2:

With a breakpoint of 12, every point counts. The Disordered Light Horse is recalled.
The assault on the camp is formed up
The German lights pursue the fleeing Italians, their boldness backed by a line of pike

The dismounted figure was forgoten, so I just updated the pictures now.

Turn 3:

The Italian Light Horse continues to withdraw.
The knightly assault proceeds at a trot.
The German Foot Knights move almost as fast!
Reminescent of a World Cup football game, on both sides, shooters fall to the ground holding their knees!

Turn 4:

Italian knights position to charge the flanks of the pike should they charge.
The German camp is assaulted, but holds.
The pike line advances, but it's flank is secured.

We did not yet know it, but our positioning was not in sych here.

Above, it is clear that neither the Italian or German flank was turned. However on Dennise's board, the Italian line was turned.

The German camp is looted, but out of the field, the German foot knights charge. Distracted by the looting, the overlaping Italian Knight is surprised, and is well disordered.

Turn 5:

The story at the Tree of Woe is 2 for the Germans, and 5 for the Italians.

Those blue bowmen were for another game.

The Italian knights hold their ground.
On knight charges the crossbowmen, but the dice gods were not kind and the final results was a tie.

The beleagered Italian Knight breaks off for a breather.

After some conversation, we decided that my knights flank was not yet turned, so the German infantry advances and makes sure it is this time.
The German Foot Knights charge again, destroying the Italian Knight.
Italian light horse charges German light foot. Who evade, unveiling the rear of the German light horse. Again the dice were unkind to the Italians and they are repulsed.
The German crossbow have put up a brave fight, but were finally out classed. Their efforts were not in vein though, as it kept the Italian knights from chargeing the foot knights and leaving themselves open for a flank charge.
The charge of the main battle lines! One knight is disordered heavily, another is totally victorious! Darryl joins the fight for a win against the pike as well.
The Germans put another knight into a vice, and crush it.
Bringing the score to 9 for the Italians, and 8 for the Germans.
But the lead, slim as it is, was short lived. The Italian camp fell, giving the Germans 10 points, the light on light action also led to a disbursement of the Italian lights, for 11. And the flanked knights, (barely visible around grid reference D-14 was also destroyed, giving the Germans 12 points, and the win!

So what went wrong? Probably an estimation that the Germans would stay in the field to protect them from the flanking knights. But instead they came out with a vengeance.

The German camp fell, but the knights that took it never got back into the fight, giving the Germans a combat advantage on the rest of the board of 120 - 94. More if you count the Italian pike formation that also never saw combat. It was an advantage Dennis took well advantage of.

But the MVP of the game was clearly the German Crossbow, Pavise. It had one hit when it charged the Italian light horse, but was hit in the flank by knights for only the flank charge, but rolled well enough to stay alive for two more rounds before falling. Had it fell on the charge, those knights would have pursued, then flank charged a foot knight. Instead they got held up, flanked and destroyed. That alone would have made a 3 point differential in the game score.

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