Tuesday, September 28, 2021

A Tau of Tuaregs

A Headless Body Production
Venue: On Military Matters Book Store, Hopewell, NJ
Event: Preparation for Barrage!
Players: Phil Gardocki running Republican Roman
               Dennis Shorthouse running Tuareg
Game System: L'Art de la Guerre, 15mm, 200 points per side.

The Forces:
Tuareg (list 210)
Commanders, one brilliant, two ordinary
A whole lot of Warriors on Camels, all Impetuous, some elite
2 Scouts, Light Camel, Impact
2 Scouts, Light Camel, Bow
6 Foot Warriors, Medium Swordsmen, Impetuous
6 Light Infantry, Javelin
Breakpoint around 28

Republican Roman (list 53)
Led by the consoles Larrylious and Darrylious, both Brilliant, his brother Darrel, also Brilliant, and their other brother Darrylious, the Ordinarilious
10 Hastati and Princeps, Heavy Swordsmen, Armor, Impact
1 Triarii, Heavy Spearmen Armor, Elite
4 Velites, Light Infantry Javelin, Elite
2 Cretans, Light Infantry, Bow, Elite
2 Extraordinarii, Medium Swordsmen, Armor, Elite
2 Illyrian Cavalry, Light Cavalry, Javelin
Breakpoint of 21

Conventions: When you see a word bubble "Ouch!", أوتش!, Heus!, this implies a disorder from missiles. Letters in parenthesis represent some value change for the specific unit. For commanders it is s for strategist, 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" implies a unit killed in that location on that turn.

The Board:
The Romans win the initiative and elect to defend in the mountains. They select s 2 steep hills, a gully and a coastal. The Bedouins select two brush.

Dennis Shorthouse is the proprietor of On Military Matters book service. A delightful book store in Hopewell New Jersey that specializes in military books.


On the far right, 14 units of Camels and lights.
In the Tuareg center 6 impetuous foot.
On their left, 8 more impetuous camels.
On the Roman left the Italian allies stand ready on a steep hill.
Darrylious deploys his legionnaires. His flanks are well secured.
Larrylious continues the line. While his flank is not secured, he has a unit of elite triarii to hold it.
The view from the gods.

Wait? Shouldn't' there be a third Roman Command?

First game ever with the "Bollocks!" dice. I saw these on Mad Axman's site and had to get a couple.
When your army is huge, and impetuous, and you have only 2 commander points, your options are limited as to what you do.
A great ululation erupts from the lines as the warriors start their long charge.
Their camels freshly watered from the River Linth, the Tuareg left flank begins their advance.
An ambush is revealed. Darrylious calls his skirmishers forth.
While advancing his legions a bit.
Larrylious also advances his legions. And reveals another ambush.

Turn 2:

Even though it is now obvious there is a flank march running, the Tuaregs have little choice but to advance and throw javelins.
Their foot warriors advance in the hopes of drawing out the legions.
While the Camels on the Tuareg left try to focus on Larrylious's right flank.

Dust on the horizon! Darrylious will arrive next turn!

Darrylious adjusts his lights. It's elite vs ordinary shooting, but the Roman shooters are outnumbered 2-1.
"Reform the lines!"
The lights come out, but can easily flee to the gully if charged.

Turn 3:

Deciding he was too close to the hill, and knowing a flank march is arriving, the Tuareg right flank commander orders his camels back.

Unphotographed is a unit of Light Camel, Impact that migrated closer to the camp.

Awaiting developments, the Tuareg center holds.
On the Tuareg left, the commander is aggressive.
Darrylious orders a general charge. The Extraordinarii charge, and halt just off of the hill, causing the Tuareg lights to flee.
His Legions also advance, Zocing one of the camels. The Impetuous foot warriors may be forced to charge the legionnaires next turn.
The 6 Tuareg foot are facing 8 legionnaire unit. So Larrylious leaves one behind to cover the main lines flank. With the Triarii, that gives him 2 solid units covering his flank.

Unphotographed is the Roman flank march. One unit sacks the camp, another successfully hurls javelins at a Tuareg light camel unit.

Turn 4:

One of Darrylious's lights fails to make it safely to the board edge.
Emboldened by the small flank march, which has done all the damage it can already, the right flank Tuareg assault force returns. Threatening the Extraordinarii which is off the hill and flanking the legionnaires.
The embedded Tuareg commander has enough command points to hold his troops.
The left flank Tuaregs charge, and uncover the legion's right flank.

This is where one of the 4th edition rule changes comes into play. The Light Camels now exert a ZOC on the Heavy Foot of the Romans. So the Triarii cannot just ignore them and turn and face the medium camels.

But still, it's elite, armored foot with 4 cohesion. The Triarii only need hold for a turn or two. Then there is a second legion unit. Between them I can hold the Tuaregs for 4-5 turns. The game will be over by then.

Darrylious decides to recall the Extraordinarii to the hill. As they are ZOC'd, this causes a cohesion hit on them. But I think it's better than having stand before 3 impetuous, some elite, camels.
Meanwhile, the other brother Darrylious rallies his remaining unit and heads for the center of the field.
My goal is to blow out the center. Relying on impetuous units being unmaneuverable and the Tuareg commanders being short on command points. The Tuareg foot are now all ZOC'd, and flanked.
No matter what I do, the camels will have a flank charge on the Triarii. Also, Larryilous, the great Strategist, rolled a minimum number of command points. Severely limiting his actions. My priority is getting the foot warriors ZOC'd and flanked. So the Triarii charge the lights (free of command points) Let the chips fall where they may.

Turn 5:

Bollocks! That is why we bought the dice was for moments like this.

The Triarii start at a 1, + 1 for combat, and + 1 for Elite, for a total of 3. Armor doesn't count against a furious charge.

The Camels start at a 4, +1 for their combat value against flanked Heavy Spear, + 1 for impact, +1 for flank, and + 1 for support, for a total of 8. That is a 5 differential for 3 hits, furious charge adds one more for the kill.

But I still have another flank guard. What can go wrong?

On the Tuareg right, the Camels gain a flank charge, while the rest shoot the gap.
Their center warriors hold yet again.
Same turn, just showing the trampling of the Triarii.
Above, Camels and legions are in a death struggle, both have been flanked and are zero up on the dice rolls. The Extraordinarii approach the other camelry threatening their flanks.
Darrylious Light Horse charge the rear of the Tuareg foot line. 
While Larrylious attacks their left flank, crushing one Tuareg foot warrior, and disordering 2 others.
The last Roman flank guard turns to face the Tuareg mounted warriors. But their armor proves defective and are disordered by bow fire.

Turn 6:

The light horse forces one Tuareg foot warrior to conform, exposing their rear to Roman pila.
Bollocks! Another 4-1 The Tuareg command joins the fight for a 7-2 result.
One camel down.
But the fanatical foot warriors still hold.
Another legion trampled into the dust.
The Extraordinarii have their moment with a rear charge against a mounted warrior. 
Darrylious's light horse break off.  His Brother Darrylious leads his legions to destroy two foot warriors on contact, but their Tuareg commander, embedded, leads his forces in a counter charge, badly fragmenting the legions in front of him.
Larrylious has a free legion to face the aggressive Tuaregs on his flank.  What are the odds of another Bollocks?  (the answer is 16.6%)


Turn 7:

A disordered legion is charged in the rear by Light Camel Impact, but focus's on the task at hand and destroys another Camel Warrior.
The Tuareg Warriors on foot have been badly mauled, but have held off long enough to be saved by their camel warriors.

For the final blow has fell.  With the Roman camp fallen, the Romans call for a withdrawal.

The Tuareg demoralization level was 20 out of 28, to the Romans 21 out of 21.

What went wrong?   I probably should have waited one more turn before advancing. 

And definitely done a better job with the right most Triarii.  

But also there was a luck component as well.  Units the Romans were providing melee support on their flanks held, rather than be destroyed, and the second flank guard taking a missile hit, then overwhelmed as  it rolled "Bullocks" like the Triarii.  Leading to the destruction of two more cohorts.  

No guarantee of a win, but there were 4 easy points for the Romans to pick up and 3 more was only a stretch at that point.

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