Wednesday, March 29, 2023

The Tau of Tuareg

A Headless Body Production

Players: Phil Gardocki running Indians
               Duncan Richards running Tuareg
Event: Day 2 of HMGS's Cold Wars.
Game System: L'Art de la Guerre, 15mm, 200 points per side.
Theme: Round 1 of the L' Art de la Guerre, Open 15mm tournament. Since the previous days 15mm tournament excluded pachyderms, I figured they would be sorely missed, and brought a few.
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
Classical Indian Are commanded by King Porus, the Competent, Prince Porus, the Ordinary, and Shitake, the Competent.
4 Elephants, Elite
10 Bowmen, 1/2 Medium Swordsmen, 1/2 Bowmen
2 War Wagons with blades
1 Medium Cavalry, Mediocre
6 Light Infantry, Bow
1 Levy
Sacred Camp
Breakpoint of 25

The Tuaregs. This list is derived from the images and can be construed as "best guess".
Commanders Names are lost to antiquity, but one was Brilliant, the others just hangers-on
8 Warriors on Camels, Medium Camel, impetuous, some elite
6 Foot Warriors, Medium Swordsmen, impetuous
4 Scouts on Camels, Light Cavalry, Impact
6 Light Infantry Javelin
Breakpoint of 24

A note on annotations. When you see a word bubble "Ouch!", ("أوتش!", "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.


The Indians win the initiative and elect to attack in the desert.

This was impressive. Duncan started deploying his first command. Explaining that the four half foot spearmen, half camel were warriors on camels. Then he continued, placing 6 LI.
And then went on, with 6 more units, for 16 units, in his first command.
The second Tuareg command was a more reasonably sized 8 units. With an embedded commander.

The 3rd Tuareg command cannot be seen.

The Indian left flank is dominated by camel friendly terrain. So King Poros assigns a Light to slow the advance in the brush. And two bow units that can shoot into the sand.
The bulk of the Indian army is crammed between the desert sand and a gully
Prince Poros's delaying force of war wagons is poorly positioned. But it is the best we can do.
The Tuareg left dismounts their Warriors on Camels.
And replace the figures on their right with more conventionally mounted troops.

Turn 1:

King Poros has a deficiency of command points, and so leaves his desert sand units unprodded.
His elephants advance as far as they are able.
Shitake splits his command in two. 1 elephant to support the king, the other to face the Tuareg (now) foot on the right.
The Prince has a hard choice. To stay at a safe distance from the flank, or advance.

After consulting the rules on what happens to war wagons if caught by a flank march, and discovering that they are destroyed, I left the command where it was.

An ambush is revealed. Over the crest of the hill is a wild ululation!. 4 more units of impetuous foot emerge.
The Tuareg lights advance, but not their foot.
Their lights converge on the gully, but not close enough to see over the rim.

Turn 2:

I'm actually pretty good with this set up. 8 enemy units on my left.
Slowed by a light, some terrain, which will be defended by bow armed swordsmen.
Which should allow the elephant commands to overwhelm the center and right.
The first shot of the day bodes well.
The prince double moves a war wagon.

The other War Wagon is left behind, as its tail would be off the back edge of the board if moved in a column.

Quickly scribbling some orders, the Brilliant Tuareg commander orders some of his right hand command troops to the center.
And cants his line to receive the elephant charge.
A light Camel is shot away. Another charges the flank of an Indian light, destroying it.

Turn 3:

The Indian flank is already turned. But it is hoped they can destroy their frontal foes before they are gobbled up one by one.

A vain hope it seems. The Indian elephant line wins only 1 of 6 fights, losing 3. Worse, neither elephant won their dice off.

One of Shitakes elephant groups charge. Chasing off the lights, but are about 5mm short of contact with the Tuareg line. An elephant conforms on a light camel, dispersing it to the desert wind.
Tuareg camels enter the desert sand.
Indian infantry begin to rout.
No movement from the Tuareg left.

Turn 4:

King Poros's command is about destroyed.
Shitake launches a charge. One of his foot warriors is immediately crushed.
Prince Poros is slowly advancing to help.
The Indians have 16 points towards their demoralization level of 25. I think the Tuaregs are at 6.
A lack of command points have left this Indian foot column in a bad way.
Another Indian foot unit flanked and destroyed.
Nothing changed here.

Turn 5:

Shitake orders one of his units to assist his king. Taking a Tuareg foot in the flank and crushing it.
Hapless, without orders, two more units are trampled into the sand.

King Poros, is taken from the flank and captured.
The commander Shitake, has had success, having destroyed 5 enemy units so far.

Despite Shitake's success, the final score was at more that 25 for the Indians to 11 for the Tuaregs. A pretty crushing defeat.

What went wrong? 

Too few command points.  Caused by over extending the commands.  The two MI Sword/Bow, who's mission was to cover the left flank was immediately out of command, and after that, only moved when the king had spare points.  Which happened once.  So they failed to cover his flank, and the Tuaregs took advantage of it.


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