Wednesday, July 26, 2023

A Tattoo of Inka

A Headless Body Production

Venue: Lancaster County Convention Center.
Event: Historicon 2023!
Theme: Pre Columbian America, Round 1
Players: Phil Gardocki running Aztec, list 289
               Jeff Robertson running Inca, list 291
Game System: L'Art de la Guerre, 15mm, 200 points per side.
Font: Georgia Normal

The Forces:
The Aztecs are led by Larryzotl, the Brilliant, his nearly as Brilliant brother, Darrylzuma, and their Competent Brother, Spare-Darrylzuma
6 Otami or Cuachic, Medium Swordsmen, impetuous, 2 are Elite
4 Knights, Medium swordsmen, Impact, Elite
12 Warriors, Medium Swordsmen, Atlatl
6 Slingers, Light Infantry, Sling

The Inca
Led by Pachacutec, the Strategist, and two other commanders of uncertain naming conventions and qualities.
4 Guardsmen, Medium Swordsmen, Impact, Elite
17 Warriors, Medium Swordsmen, Atlatl
1 Chirabaya, Javelinmen, Mediocre
10 Quechua Skirmishers, Light Infantry, Sling

I intend to run my commands 6 wide, with two impetuous units in the center.  Atlatl armed warriors on their flanks, and a reserve force of 1 to 2 elite knights.  The line is 18 wide, and with shooters for every UD.  With that kind of missile power, at least a couple of enemy units will be disordered before contact.


The calm before the storm

Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more;
Or close the wall up with our gaming dead.
In peace there's nothing so becomes a man
As modest stillness and humility:
But when the dice of war rolls in our ears,
Then imitate the action of the jaguar;
Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood,
Disguise fair nature with hard-favour'd rage;
Then lend the eye a terrible aspect;
Let pry through the portage of our lead...

Display Conventions: When you see a word bubble like "Ouch!" or "Auć!" or "Jaj!", 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.

Commanders are rated s for Strategist, b for Brilliant, c for Competent, o for Ordinary and u for Unreliable

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 Inca win the initiative and elect to attack in the Plains.


With 3 ambush markers clustered in the quinoa field, the Inca emperor makes it really clear there is a strategist on the field.

The Inca elite guardsmen take the position of honor in the center.

With a great mass of warriors on the left.
I am going by memory here.  4 days and 9 games after the event.  It could be the Guardsmen and Pachacutec are on the left...
Brother Darrylzuma is deployed just left of the hill.  His shock troops are in the center, with Atlatl throwing men to both their right and left.  A single unit of Jaguar Knights is in reserve.

Larrizotl is deployed just right of the hill.  His elite shock troops are in the center, with Atlatl throwing men to both their right and left.  A two units of Eagle Knights ares in reserve.

Spare Brother Darrylzuma is deployed to Larrizotl's right.  His shock troops are in the center, with Atlatl throwing men to both their right and left.  A single unit of Jaguar Knights is in reserve.

Tlacahuepan observes from a cloud and approves.

Turn 1:
The Incan emperor orders a general advance.

His left out numbers their Aztec opponents, and so advance at a double.

To compensate, the Aztec line advances just a bit, and shifts right.

The same for the center.

And the right.

What the commanders lack in imagination, they make up for in consistency.
Turn 2:

The Inca advances, now shifting left.

Already in range, tens of thousands of stones fly from thousands of slings.

On the Aztec far right, Incan Atlatl's are loosed and score.
Leading the way, the Otami launch an impetuous charge.  They roll long, but not far enough to hit the Incan line.

Larrizotl also orders a general charge

Spare Brother Darrylzuma engages his entire line.
6 battles, no ties.  Each side with 5 hits.  
Win, lose, or draw, this game is not going the distance :)

Turn 3:
Being wary of the impetuous Otam, the Incan right orders a controlled charge.

The same with the Incan Center.

On the Aztec right, first blood. 
Spare Brother Darrylzuma is not worried.  That is what his reserve Jaguar knights are for. 
On the Aztec left, a more fanatic charge.  One Incan unit is run over by sandal shod feet.

Larryzotl has an abundance of command points.  He orders his left to charge and support Brother Darrylzuma's assault, but holds is elite shock troops back.

On the right, 3 units of each side have been routed.

The Aztec count is 10 dead out of a demoralization level of 28

The Inca count is 14 dead out of a demoralization level of 28

Turn 4:

Another table.  It looks like the side on the bottom is getting raked.  I see 7 casualty markers to 1.

A new army for Jeff.  Hawaiians fighting in the mountains.  He made a special volcano terrain piece to throw sacrificial victims into.

And a very nice camp.

On the left, a bit of a breather with some arbitrary stones being thrown.

In the center, the Incan is still not willing to contact the Aztec elite troops.

On the right, the Incan deploys reserves to make up for their losses.
On the far right, the Incan warriors attempt to turn the flank of the Aztec Jaguar Knights is being frustrated by Aztec slingers in the field.  In the field, light infantry has a ZOC.

The Aztec have penetrated the Inca front line and the Otamiand not able to make flank charges into the Inca center.

Larryzotl orders his shock troops forward to hold the line.  His knights are assigned to plug the holes on his right.

On the right, the Aztec gains an unexpected, and undeserved win.  but are still outnumbered 4-3 in combat units, and only one warrior is not on its last legs.

The Inca count is 22 dead out of a demoralization level of 28

The Aztec count is 19 dead out of a demoralization level of 28

Turn 5:
Darryzuma has excess troops, and so advances to trade atlatl against Incan sling stones.  The Incas know their stuff and score twice.

Larryzotl's elite troops bog down on the assault

Another Aztec warrior is routed.

The Aztec count is 23 dead out of a demoralization level of 28

The Inca count is 24 dead out of a demoralization level of 28
A virtual tie. 
Darrylzuma's shock troops take out an Inca Guardsmen

One of Larryzoltl's Eagle knights has been routed, but the other rounds an Incan Guardsmen.

Emboldened by the reserve Jaguar Knights on the flank, Spare Brother Darrylzuma joins the fight.  His actions proved decisive as the Inca warriors rout.

The Aztec count is 25 dead out of a demoralization level of 28

With that last point, the Inca count is 28 for the game.
As bloody as this game was, it was fast as well.  Taking about an hour and three quarters.

What went wrong?
I did not think it through about the center of each command being impetuous.  Or even having impetuous troops at all.  Every army in the Americas list has a mass of swordsmen.  And by the rules, sword cancels impact of impetuous troops.  So my impetuous troops still get furious charge, but that is only if they win the dice off.  
The Inca had a number of Impact troops as well.  Probably more than I accounted for.  Giving them a decisive advantage on contact.
What came out later in discussion was that we ALL were building a general purpose tournament army, designed for multi threats, and not taking into account that there were not going to be spear or horse or armor. It was all swordsmen.

What went right?
The reserves seemed to work.  3 out of 4 were used to plug holes.  2 successfully defeated their opponents, the other, while defeated, still kept the Inca from rolling up the center.

The Greek version of FedEx has delivered a large wooden horse.

It had "Paris of Troy" on the label, but was delivered to the wrong address. Odysseus signed for it and promised to deliver it to Paris personally.

Troy in the background.

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