Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Another Tangle with the Teuts

A Headless Body Production

Players: Phil Gardocki running Assyrians
               Al Kaplan running Teutonic Knights
HMGS's Cold Wars. See Here...
Game System:
L'Art de la Guerre, 15mm, 200 points per side.
Theme: Round 2 of the L' Art de la Guerre, Crusaders and Their Foes Tournament. A limited number of lists and time periods. No Heavy Knights and NO ELEPHANTS. Even if your ally somehow is entitled to one.

Venue: Valley Forge Casino Resort, a minimal amenity gaming resort offering 100,000 foot of meeting facilities, high priced food, Dunkin Donuts for breakfast, and no room service. But the parking is plentiful.

The Forces
Assyrians are a very early list, #7. They are commanded by the Great Strategist, Tiglath-Pileser and two Competent commanders that didn't have a historian write of their exploits.

4 2-Horse Chariots, Bow, Armor, Elite
4 2-Horse Chariots, Bow
6 Asharittu Warriors, Medium Swordsmen, Impact, Missile Support, Elite
2 Hupshu Warriors, 1/2 Medium Swordsmen, 1/2 Bow
4 Light Infantry, Sling or Bow
1 Light Horse, Bow, Mediocre
Breakpoint of 21

Teutonic Knights. Two Competent commanders and one Ordinary
6 Medium Knights, Impact, Elite
4 Medium Knights, Impetuous
3 Light Cavalry, Javelin
2 Medium Cavalry, Javelin
2 Crossbowmen
2 Serving Brothers, Heavy Spearmen
2 Livornian, Medium Spearmen
Breakpoint of 21

A note on annotations. When you see a word bubble "Ouch!", ("Autsch!", "आउच!", "Heus!") 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. 

Misleading descriptions or lack of specificity as to who/what is being referred to is to be considered part of the fun, rather than memory problems with the author. 

But in this case, it could be the author. Usually I have the advantage of knowing what half the troops are. But not so this game.

So there I was, minding my own business running the 25mm doubles event at Cold Wars. I had given up my seat at the table to Jay Stone, due to his partner having medical issues. When Dan Hazelwood, who was running the 15mm theme event, "Crusaders and their foes", told me he had an odd number and asked if I had 15mm army I could play. 

As to not totally destroy his "No Elephants" tournament, I was given an Assyrian army to use. Light Chariots vs Medieval Knights. 

Oh well, that's Karma!


The Assyrians win the initiative and elect to attack in the plains. 

The Teuts deploy with 6 infantry on their right, to take advantage of the terrain. Then the middle with 5 knights.
And on the left, 5 more knights, supported by a medium and a couple of lights.
The Assyrian left is command by the Great Tiglath-Pileser with 4 chariots and 3 units of foot.
The center is dominated by 5 Medium Foot, 4 of which have missile support and are elite.
The Assyrian right is another chariot command.

Turn 1:

The Assyrians order a general advance. One ambush is cleared.
Their right flank also advances.

The Assyrians have three advantages. Plentiful bow, speed and missile support for their foot. But they are weak on melee.

The Teuts also order a general advance.
The Assyrian right is badly outnumbered. They hope to attract enough of the Teut's attention so the left can pull a win.

Turn 2:

Another approach, and missiles fly!
Luck favors the shooters.
4 hits on the Teuts, receiving 2 in return.
In the center, a thunderous knight charge. The Asharitt, all elite and with missile support, blunt the knight charge.

But the gap between the Assyrian center and right is wide, and the Teut's intend to take advantage of that.

And surprisingly, the Assyrians are up in the game. 7 to 5.

Turn 3:

The great commander orders a general charge
He needs a win as his center command is collapsing.
The command on the right has only one mission. Don't die. They order a general recall.
The Assyrians have 10 casualties against their breakpoint of 21

The Teut's have 12 casualties against their breakpoint of 21
For both sides it is a race now. A Teutonic foot unit is destroyed, but the Assyrian chariot command flank is turned.
The brave Asharittu hold on, but it is only a matter of time before quality and position will win out for the knights.
Another set of charges and evades.

Turn 4:

 Another walk around the 25mm doubles tables.

More Teutonic Knights against Indians.
It looks like the Teutonic Knights have a lot of hits on them.
This can only be Swiss who won, v Later Crusader.
Hundred Years War French v Nikephorian Byzantines.
The Byzantine Thematic Cavalry are performing theirclassic shoot and scoot tactics.
Back to our game. The Assyrian left has destroyed two more Teutonic foot. But have lost a chariot in exchange.
Now the Teutonic foot has their flank turned.


With their last unit, the Assyrian foot have flanked a Knight.
The Assyrian right have taken a position on the hill to shoot from.
Exhausted horses line up once more.
The Assyrians have 19 points towards their demoralization level of 21.
The Teutonic Knights have 19 points towards their demoralization level of 21.

It's a dead tie... 

The Teutonic commanders know their game though. They send orders to rally left and right, and 3 units responded.

The score is now 16 to 19.

Another chariot is destroyed, to be matched by Teutonic foot.

 The score is now 17 to 20.

The last Assyrian foot falls, demoralizing the Assyrian army.
The last charge by the Knights is accepted. In hope for scoring another point. But with the successful rallies by the Germans elsewhere, it was a pointless, pun intended, endeavor.

The final score is 21 to 17 in favor of the Teutonic Knights.

So what went wrong?

This game was really tight in the mid game. When the Knights launched their mass charge into the Assyrian foot, it could have gone the other way. The knights had only a +1 advantage. And one knight did die, and another was taken in the flank.

But that was still luck. Both armies were small, and when I had the lead, I over committed my right hand chariot force. Which lost 5 points (one destroyed, 2 disordered, one fled of the board) costing in the end, 3 points on the Teutonics. 5 for a while, but then there was 2 rallies.

That didn't win or lose the game by it self. 

The overall plan was to win in the left, hold the center, and play shoot and scoot on the right.

The win on the left was decisive, but the center failed to hold long enough. Keeping a unit in reserve in the center might have helped, to keep the knights from turning the flank on the chariots.

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