Monday, December 19, 2022

A Phoenix of Phoenicians

A Headless Body Production
Venue: Maplewood Hobby
Event: LouCon: Round 1
Players: Phil Gardocki running Gauls
               Kevin Hatch running Phoenicians of Cyphrus
Game System: L'Art de la Guerre, 15mm, 200 points per side.

The Forces:
Phoenicians of Cyphrus
The names of the commanders is lost to history
6 Heavy Chariots, Impact, some Elite
2 Medium Cavalry, mediocre
6 Heavy Spearmen
6 Medium Swordsmen
2 Light Foot
Breakpoint around 22

Gallic list 90
The Gauls are led by by the Asterix, the competent, Obilix, the competent, and Bastardix, the ordinary and included. See here if you are interested...
12 Warriors, Heavy Sword, Impetuous
6 Warriors, Medium Sword, Impetuous
3 Light Foot,  Bow
3 Light Foot, Javelin
3 Light Chariots, Javelin, Elite
2 Light Horse, Javelin
1 Levy, Mediocre
Breakpoint of 30

Display Conventions: When you see a word bubble like "Ouch!", "Autsch!" or "Ahi!", 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 Gauls win the initiative and elects to attack.

The weather is good.

Maplewood Hobby  Specializes in many hobbies, including Historical Miniature Wargaming and Hobby Paints with hundreds of colors in stock.


On the Phoenician right, is just 2 ambush markers.  The glare on the board is going to be annoying for the reader, as well as for me when playing.

I think it was Ghengis Khan that used shiny shields to reflect the sun back in the eyes of his enemy in one battle.  I read that some 50 years ago, and have not seen any verification since though.

The center is a strong command of 6 heavy chariots.  Their left heavy spearmen. 

The Gallic left has medium swordsmen to attack the plantation on the hill.  Next to them, hoping to cross that field quickly, is 6 heavy swordsmen.

On their right, a nearly identical command of 6 heavies and 3 mediums.

Both Gauls and Phoencians have an unseen command. 

Turn 1:

The Gauls are the attackers.  The first thing they do is roll for the flank march.

Well, that is a bit of undeserved luck.  Bastardix will arrive on bound 2.

My preference when there is a flank march, or unreliable commander, and in this case, both, is to roll them first.  That way, your other decisions are based on what you know.  

I have seen players move their on board commands first, then roll their flank march/unreliable. 

With their eyes squinting, the Asterix pushes his warriors forward.

Obilix also races forward.  Bastardix is going to need all the support he can get.

Taking full advantage of the sun to their backs, the Phoenicians flood the plains with troops hidden in the plantation.

Their chariots send two units to intercept the flank march.  Their spearmen likewise. 

The terrain was a factor here.  That field was on the edge of the board, and Kevin brought it forward, thinking it would interfere with the Gallic heavy foot.  But now it was a major impediment to his heavy chariots.

Turn 2:

The lines close.  Somehow, one of the Gallic warbands picked up a hit, as marked by the green die.  But other than some LI, there are no shooters in the Phoenician army.  Somewhat of a mystery, as there is nothing even lined up on them.

Bastardix arrives.  3 elite light chariots and two light horse.  The Phoenician measured their placement precisely.  They are exactly 5.1 UD from the edge, and are out of range of the chariot's javelins.

The Phoenicians order a charge on the right.  Winning 2 and losing 2.

The chariots and heavy foot approach to charge reach.

The Gallic flank march looks vulnerable.  Maybe it can be run off before the supporting medium sword can team up with it.

The distance between the Gallic medium sword and the Phoencian spear is more than 3 UD's

Turn 3:

With sun glare no longer a factor.The scrum continues to pound away.  Both sides have 3 disordered, but Phoenicians have one dead as well. 

In what will be a reoccurring theme for the day, heavy chariots begin to roll over the Gallic heavy swordsmen.

And why not?  Heavy Chariots are +1 against all, +1 impact, +elite, +armor, and furious charge, against the heavy sword +1.

Just how bad are the odds though?  I broke out my Combat Calculator.  The odds are just awful for the heavy swordsmen.

One on one, the Heavy Chariot, Impact, Elite, will defeat a heavy swordsmen 90% of the time in an average of 3.5 rounds of combat.

In a thousand fights, furious charge is a factor in 670 of them.  

The Chariots armor save was a factor in 900 fights.  By that I mean, if there are a 1,000 fights, for around 4,000 rounds, armor saved the loss of a cohesive level 900 times.  It doesn't count for the armor plus that didn't matter.

And if the chariots have support, like the one blue in the gap, the odds favor the chariots 99.2 - .8, the chariots destroying their opponent in an average of 2.5 rounds of combat.

If the swordsmen have support, then the odds for the chariots winning go down to just 60/40.

The chariot fight is going to go badly, but on the Gallic right, more good fortune.  Their warriors disorder 2 out of 4 Phoenician spearmen, and destroying their embedded commander!

So far, the Gauls are at 17 towards their break point of 30.

On the left flank, a unit of Gallic Warriors has been destroyed.  Just about every unit is disordered. 

The Phoenician chariots continue their murderous rampage.

Though leaderless, Phoenicians on the right are holding their own.

The Phoencians score is 11 towards their break point of 22.

Turn 4:

The Phoenician interior lines are turned, and they lose a unit to a flank charge.  But the Gauls lose one as well.

Pretty much even losses all round.

The chariots have penetrated the lines, and will continue their rampage. 

On the right, the Gallic Warriors are running their own rampage.

So the left flank is pretty even losses.  The center is strongly in favor of the Phoenicians, and on the right, the Gauls dominate.  So it's a race.

The Gauls are at 18 of 30

The Phoenicians are at 16 of 22.

On the left, the another Gallic tribe is destroyed.

The chariots start to roll up the flank, another Gallic tribe is run over...

... and on just right of center, another.

Bastardix (the unit with the white die) receives help, and routs his opponents.

The break level of the Gauls climb rapidly, adding 4 to their score of 22 of 30

The Phoenicians add 2 to their score for 18.

Turn 6:
Another Phoenician unit is dispersed.

In the center, the last Gallic tribes advance in an attempt to hold the chariots.  Luck favored the foolish, as they actually win a couple exchanges.

Bastadix, having defeated the Phoenician flank guards, races for the center.

His efforts prove decisive. The Phoenicians hit their break point of 22. 

The Gauls are at 24 of their break point of 30. 

The flank march here was decisive.  Disjointing the Phoenician line on turn 1, killing 2 units, disordering 2 more, taking 1 dead, 1 disorder, 1 off board of their own.

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