Tuesday, October 19, 2021

A Bossiness of Bosphorins

A Headless Body Production
Venue: A large well ventilated room in Harve de Grace
Players: Phil Gardocki running Republican Roman
               Sportsman of the Year winner, John Shirey,  running Bosphorin
Game System: L'Art de la Guerre, 15mm, 200 points per side.
Theme: Open

The Forces:
Bosphorin Kingdom, list 70

Memory fades as to the actual composition of the army.  The list includes a large number of cavalry, some impetuous, some bow armed, light horse, javelinmen and medium swordsmen impact.

Breakpoint around 26

Republican Roman, list 53
Led by the consoles Larrylious and Darrylious, both Brilliant, his brother Darrylious, 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!" or Heus! this implies a disorder from missile volleys. 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 a two steep hills, a gully and a brush.  The Bosphoran commander also selected a brush.  


The heaviest force of Bosphorins is on their right

On their right is a strong force of foot, supported by many lights.
The center is mostly a skirmishing force.

Darrylious's legion is deployed on the left.

While Larrylious takes the point of honor on the right.

The view of the gods.
Turn 1:

A full advance of all heavy forces.

The Bosphorin lights advance and loose arrows

Another advance of all Bosphorin troops

An ambush is uncovered.

With both flanks uncovered, Darrelious advances to cover Larrylious's flank

While it would be nice to shoot it out with medium cavalry, the Roman position would be better served with the lights on a steep hill.

Turn 2:
Now that he knows a flank march is running, the Bosphorin commander holds his impetuous troops way out of charge reach.

He has more and better shooters.

Ignore the Medium Sword Impact designation.  They are Javelinmen

Velites are recalled, Legions advance.

The hill is pretty secure at this time.
Turn 3:

Bosphorins advance for arrow volleys

In the center, their arrows are quite effective.

Their Javelinmen approach the hill, but to not ascend. 
But the positioning is really bad for the Romans.  The legions cannot advance without risking flank charges, and they cannot charge the Javelinmen without being -2 for the difficulty of the hill 
Another ambush is revealed.  Disorders from missiles on both sides.

Since Larrylious's command is stuck, it is up to Darrylious to force the attack

Since he is stuck, he might as well rally.

Darryls flank march arrives.  One light horse runs for the camp, the other for the Bosphorin center.

Turn 3:
Nothing new here

With the flank march revealed, the Bosphorin's now must try to get his impetuous heavy horse into action.

And making efforts to deny or trap the flank march.

Their impetuous foot warriors continue to hold.

Volleys exchanged

Darrylious's cohorts continue to chase air

Larrylious's words have a soothing effect.  3 cohorts are now in good order

His Triarii is now in theater.

In response to the cavalry on the Bosphorin left, I had sent the Triarii to cover the approaches around the hill.  Which had zero benefits and cost a lot of command points.

His light horse stopped to cover the approaches by the flank march, and those command points would have been better spent unjamming the rest of the legion from it's current position.

Darryl's last horse flees overwhelming force.

Turn 5:
The Bosphorin heavies are now in theater

Their lights are on a hunt

With only lights in the way, the Extraordinarii advance, threatening the flanks of the Bosphorin horse

One cavalry is trapped and killed.  The Bosphorin warrior line's flank is now turned.

The Triarii run off some enemy lights.  Also turning their foot line.

Turn 6:
A thunderous charge of impetuous horse slams into an isolate cohort.  But the goddess Fortuna has decreed that this is one fight for the underdog.

There will be other dice rolls in the future.

The Bosphorin left is still holding their impetuous troops back.

A charge by the Extraordinarii turns the flank of the main Bosphorin cavalry line.

Cohorts charge running off the Bosphorin horse.  Putting the screws to the Bosphorin foot.  The Triarii also close in on the other side.

Turn 7:
Nothing new here.

The goddess Fortuna again interferes.  "Let the averages be made!"  One cohort rolls a two to the other 6, and so to with the Bosphorin horse.  A cohort is ground to the mud, while the other watches in amazement as a line of slathering horses trip and fall before their flanks.

Time is called, so this game is about over.

Another horseman is caught and destroyed.  Exposing the Bosphorin impetuous horsemen to more flank charges

But an exciting closing it is.  Another Horsemen unit flees in terror, a unit of warriors is destroyed.

The Triarii (+2 vs LMI, Elite, Armor, and supported) hit a disordered, but also supported, Javelinmen, for a +3 to +1 and whiff the roll 2 to 6 for a tie.

I don't recall the end score.  The Romans killed more points than the Bosphorins, but not enough to overcome the Bosphorin army size, so the mathematics put his as a winning draw for the Bosphorins.

So what went wrong?

This was a case of gross incompetence by the Romans.  While the flank march was running, the Bosphorin player had about 9 units totaling 70 points dedicated to dealing with it.  Leaving them out of theater for about 5 turns.  

Then the Romans had an overall command point advantage of 2 brilliants against a brilliant and competent.  But the Bosphorin was spending a lot of his points on impetuous unit maneuvering and holding.  

Couple that with there are no units in the Bosphorin army the Romans fear.  There are some that are about even in quality, but none superior.  The fannying about in the early turns only played to the one major strength of the Bosphorin army, its missile fire.

That and the legions broke up into too many parts.  They may be brilliant commanders, but that does not mean you shouldn't keep your lines in good order. 

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