Wednesday, December 1, 2021

A Drookit o' Scots

A Headless Body Production

Venue: Valley Forge Casino and Convention Center
Event: Historicon, 2021, Open Tourney, Round 1
Players: Phil Gardocki running Scots Isles and Highlanders
               Dennis Shorthouse running Tuareg
Game System: L'Art de la Guerre, 15mm, 200 points per side.

The Forces:
Taureg (list 210)
Commanders, one Brilliant, two Ordinary
10 Medium Camel, Impetuous, some elite
4 Scouts, Light Camel, Impact
8 Foot Warriors, Medium Swordsmen, Impetuous
6 Light Infantry, Javelin
Breakpoint around 28?

Scots Isles and Highlanders, list 187
Led by Larry, the Brilliant and his brothers Darryl, Ordinary and his other brother Darryl, also Ordinary
4 Island Warriors, Heavy swordsmen 2HW, Elite
4 Island Warriors, Heavy swordsmen 2HW
4 Irish Mercenaries, Medium swordsmen 2HW
1 Young Warriors, Heavy swordsmen Mediocre
8 Highland Archers Medium swordsmen bow
2 Wee Bairns, Light Infantry, Bow
Breakpoint of 23

Display Conventions: When you see a word bubble like "Ouch!", or "Och mah bahookie! "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.

Inappropriately capitalized words are used to highlight terms that are specific to the game. For example Brilliant, Competent and Ordinary have specific game values for the commanders.

"XX" implies a unit killed in that location on that turn.

The Board: The Taureg wins the initiative and elects to defend in the desert. 

I really hate the Tauregs. I have played against this army for weeks now, and only once came close to beating it. A winning draw after 3 hours. See "Larry of Arabia" for more details.


The Tauregs deploy with 6 units on their right, and two ambushes.

Their center has a strong force of fanatical warriors

While their left has a strong force of equally fanatical warriors on camel

Off in the distance, are two much better painted armies with elephants.

On the Scot's left, a depression in the ground holds a no-so-well kept secret.

Nothing I have done so far in the last few games against the Tauregs has done well. So this time I'll try a command in ambush, and another on the left flank. The worse that can happen is I lose, again.

The only command to deploy is Larry's. His left is held by Darryl in the gully, and ...
... Irish Mercenaries holding the right.

Turn 1:

Darryl reveals his presence, but other than that, does not move.
Larry also is holding firm.

Lets see what a far more exciting game is doing...
I was hoping for indecision due to the flank march, but no.
It is only a lack of command points keeping the Taureg in check.
Besides, Dennis has a much better feel of the battle field than I, and knows what he has to do.

Turn 2:

There is dust on the horizon. Darryl will arrive next turn.

To this happy news, his brother Darryl, does nothing.
Larry, following some super secret double probation plan of his own devising, also does nothing.
Inaction is not a plan.
The Taureg right heads away from the flank
Their center manages a march.
But their left moves decisively forward to engage.

Turn 3:

An ambush is revealed. 4 javelin armed light foot on the brushy hill. Darryl pushes forward, parsing one unit off to investigate the other ambush.
Darryl wakes up and advances. Arrows fly, but miss.
Larry advances his main body.
Irish mercenaries are a penny a day. The dead cost nothing.
Rather than be shot at again, the Taureg decide to gamble with their Light Camel Impact. If he wins, it's too hits minimum.
The Taureg lights retreat to the far side of the hill. Covering the redeployment of their camel mounted warriors
Their main body of foot advance again. It looks like the perfect set up for them. They will have furious charge and overlaps.
Impetuous camel warriors charge.

Turn 4:

Darryl advances to the base of the hill. His enemy annoyingly taunts him from the reverse slope.
Darryl decides to roll the dice on the engagement with the disordered light horse, and whiffs the roll. His effort was to try to get a good shot on the foot warriors, but his arrows all fall short.
With the collapse of the Irish, Larry redeploys his young warriors towards the flank.
His best troops look on helplessly.

I should have charged. +1 sword, +1 support, -1 terrain to +1 impetuous camel. I am also elite and 2HW, while the camel has furious charge. So really slightly (very slightly) in my favor.

I had hoped that Dennis would not realize that by being on the reverse slope, his troops were surrendering higher ground as well when my Highlanders charged. But no such luck. But on the other hand, 3 sixes for missile fire forgives a lot of ills.

The "Ouches" on the camels are mislabeled. What happened was the light horse engaged with the highlanders Disengaged. There they were shot by the other Highlanders and destroyed, routing through the warriors on camels.

Units that are disengaged from, cannot shoot that bound.

With the Camels somewhat contained, Larry reforms his line. The Taureg warriors still have overlaps, but Larry has 2HW and 4 hits per unit.
Not content to rely on luck, the Taureg commander seals the deal on the last Irish Mercenary.
On the hill, the camp defenders prove really easy to hit.
But luck goes both ways. 2 of Darryl's bowmen are ridden down.
The main engagement of the game. Larry's Islemen lose half their fights badly.
The Taureg is sensing victory, and pushed forward. Clan O'Lyre's ranks are disordered, but Clan Ramsay repulses their foe.
The score is bad. The Scots are have 16 out of 23
And unbelievably, the Tauregs are at 13. A lot of wounded, not much dead.

Turn 6:

The way to the Taureg camp is clear
A fortuitous dice exchange destroys a camel
But Larry's main line is collapsing.
The right flank is holding.
The Scots are at 20. The Tauregs are at 15 or so
A desperate gambit by the Taureg to end the game before the camp falls.
Another Highlander falls, the last one repulses it's attacker.
Another Islander falls
The Taureg light horse charges the Scots camp, but is short. Another camel warrior is destroyed.
Taking the Scots to 23. The Tauregs are at a comfortable 18 or so. So even if their camp fell, and the Light Infantry on the hill is trapped, it would not have been enough to go mutual distruction.
Off to the right, the elephants are still going at it. That's it, next game I'm bringing Burmese.

So what went wrong?

First, the deployment. Placing the Irish Mercenaries in the brush was just a bad plan. The camels ignore the brush and handing them a bunch of medium foot was just handing him 8 points, and the flank being turned.

In my defense, I only just added those 4 mercs and ignored the doctrine I intended for them. They were to act as reserves for the main line. It would have been better to put a couple of heavies canted on the camp side of the brush, and the Irish in the middle.

Second was not moving at all. I surrendered the initiative and let Dennis set up the attack, which I had no way to respond.

Third, I am setting myself up to fail. I am already intimidated by these guys. Failure becomes a self fulfilling prophecy.


  1. Great report as always. Did I read the you ambushed MI in brush? I thought only LF could ambush there...

  2. My mistake - ignore the 2nd half of my comment... :-)

  3. I'm planning to build a force of 28mm Vikings soon. I hope I can find another wargamer somewhere in the county...

    1. Viking or Leidang? they are the same list in LADG, but have different characteristics. Viking is all Swordsmen, Leidang has spearmen.