Monday, October 23, 2023

A Britches of Brits

A Headless Body Production

Venue: Lancaster County Convention Center.
Event: Historicon 2023!
Theme: Classic Age, Round 2
Players: Phil Gardocki running Thracian Hill tribes
              John Shirey running
Britto-Roman, List 101
Game System: L'Art de la Guerre, 15mm, 200 points per side.
Font: Helvetica, for the Helvetica of it...

The Forces:
The Thracian Hill Tribes. Led by Lekaso, the Competent, his brother Deif, the Competent, and his other brother Deif, also Competent
19 Warriors, Medium Swordsmen, 2HW, 2 are Elite
6 Youths, Light Infantry, Javelin, Elite
4 Horsemen, Light Cavalry, Javelin
Led by Anonymous, the great and two others
6 Heavy Cavalry, 2 Impact
11 Heavy Swordsmen, various qualities, some with Impact, others that are Mediocre
2 Saxons, Medium Swordsmen,
2 Light Cavalry Javelin
4 Light Infantry, Bow
Update from John Shirey, the Britto-Romans were as follows:
One note there were no impetuous foot.
2 HC Impact
4 HC
2 LC Jav
4 Hvy Swords Impact
6 Hvy Swords
2 Med Swords
1 Jav
2 LI Bow
2 LI Jav
1 LI Sling

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 Thracians win the initiative and elect to defend in the Mountains.


Proto-Brits deploy a combined arms command on their right. 

While on their center and left has a strong force of heavy foot, supported by a couple units of cavalry.

Brother Deif deploys most of his warriors between the woods and a steep hill.

Lekaso takes the center command.

His flank secured by a convenient sea, Other Brother Deif cants his line to potentially attack the flank of approaching forces.

My thought is that what ever loose order troops the PreBrits have, I would have more and better.  And they would be deployed in the steep hill. 

During a brief bio-break I snap a picture of some Roman v Seleucid match-up.  I have never seen actual anti-elephant wagons before. 

Turn 1:
Emerging from the foggy mists, horse take the far flank.

While the main line of post-Roman forces advance at the double.

Their looser formed troops follow the sheep paths near and around the hill.

Brother Deif is reverting to "type", and advances on superior forces.

Lakaso orders his troops straight forward.

Other Brother Deif straightens his line to match Lakaso's line.

The Neo-British command advances as best as it is able, but it is in 3 battle groups and so neither group advances far.

While the center and left Paleo-British advance as best they can.

Brother Dief orders his troops to do an about face.
This was done deliberately.  By coming out on turn 1, The Thracians hopefully lure the heavy horse to left side command.  Then to delay them as long as Dief is able.  There is no illusion that he can actually defeat the Early British Knights.

Lakaso holds his troops, anchored on the hill.

The front rank medium sword are impetuous Saxons.  Other Brother Dief's skirmishers will try to taunt them into an uncontrolled charge.
John has his impetuous Saxons, limit two, paired up with a third "Just a Warrior" medium sword.  To add a bit of mass to their attack, but also to provide flank cover should he lose control of them.
Turn 3:

The Britto cavalry advances as it can.  A four element line can only wheel so fast.

The line of Warriors advance in an orderly fashion

The Saxons are released, but charging off a steep hill limits their movement to just 2

The Gods eye view. 

Brother Dief pulls back one force, but turns the other one around.  All are still out of cavalry range.

Lekaso orders the charge.  Britto lights stand against their Thracian counter parts and are dispersed.  Otherwise, his warriors trace dead even, with one unit taking 2 hits, another taking 1 on both sides.

But Other Brother Dief's command does not do as well.  Two units of warriors are routed.  Two more are disordered.  Only on the far right is their charge successful.

But when you run a barbarian horde, you live for moments like this.  14 units charging all at once.

Turn 4:
The Britto-Roman cavalry advance and now force the issue.  They will be engaged next turn.

The battle rages.  A Britto Warrior is routed.

The Thracian right flank has more routs.  Britto Roman warriors pursue behind the Thracian lines.

After two rounds of actual combat.  The Thracians have 10 (not 9 as indicated) points towards their break point of 27

While the Britto-Romans are at 8 of 26.  A virtual tie.

The Thracian Left closes the ranks before the Britto-Roman Cavalry. 

Lekaso's command turns the Britto-Roman center in multiple places.  His reserve unit ZOC's the penetration Britto-Roman warriors, preventing them from turning on his flank.

Other Brother Dief's command has lost 2/3rds of his warriors.  So it is time to ATTACK!  He joins his light horse in what could be his final charge.

Turn 5:
Again, a bad count indicated.  The score is 11 of 27 for the Thracians.

To 12 of 26 for the Britto-Romans

The Warrior on Warrior battle is practically a tie.  It is up to the horsemen to push the Thracians over the edge.  Charge they do and well.  Routing one warrior, and double disordering two others.

The Britto-Roman center is all but collapsed

On their right, they are suffering from a dearth of targets.  Another Thracian warrior is routed, another still is double disordered.

The Thracian count is now 17 (No really! )

To 17 Britto-Romans.

Brother Dief joins the battle. Emboldened, his warriors fight with renewed strength!  In exchange for a another routed warrior, one Equites is routed, two are disordered.
This was a major turning point.  Adding 3 to the Britto-Roman Score while adding only 1 to the Thracians.
Lekaso cleans off the last of his opposing warriors. 

And successfully making 2 flank charges. 
 Two lucky missile shots add two to the demoralization level of the Britto-Romans.

His other brother Dief, with his last warrior, runs their opponent into the sea.

The Thracians are at 18.

The Britto-Romans are at 25

Turn 6:
The Thracians need only one point to demoralize their enemy. 
Brother Dief routs one horseman.  Losing another warrior in the process.

Lekaso's personal unit is charged, he runs to the front of the battle, and is nearly trampled.  His reserve unit is saved by a flanking warrior for another point.

On the far right, Other Brother Dief's last warrior unit is charged in the rear.  But attrition has put iron in their thews.  The Cavalry, despite a +3 and armor to zero, manage to lose this fight. 

Finishing this game with a score of 26-19

How did that happen?  I should not have been able to pull a win here.  The Britto-Roman (is there a more awkward name than that?), had 20 to 19 advantage in combat troops, with a number of them of superior quality to mine.  6 Heavy Cavalry, 11 Heavy sword, some with impact, and a pair of impetuous foot.  True, my guys had 2HW, and that cancels the armor advantage of the cavalry, but that only matters if I win the fight at all.  

On the left, the mission was to attract the cavalry, then survive as long as possible.  Actually surviving was not considered an option.  But fortune favored the bold, just as Brother Dief entered the fray.  In the end, the count was 7 points lost for the Britto-Romans, including a gratuitous missile disorder, to 6 warriors lost.  While a virtual tie, this should have been a crushing defeat for the Thracians.

The center just went to the Thracians favor. Lekaso lost three points, all just disordered units.  Scoring 14 against the Brits.  His command was the largest of the 3, having one extra warrior with seven, and had the only elite warriors, just two, in the army.  

He had an overlap on the the left against the main battleline, and eventually was able to convert that to a flank charge.  But he also had a considerable amount of luck as well.  On Turn 4 his line broke through the Brit line in two locations and was able to capitalize on that in turn 5 and 6.

On the right flank, was what was expected.  With a bit of luck favoring the Brits,, the Thracian line rapidly collapsed.  The only saving grace was that the Brits were mostly either Heavy Swordsmen, or Unmaneuverable Medium Swordsmen.  So they could capitalize the total blow out of Thracian line.  And while I made the comment that with 66% casualties, Other Brother Dief decided to charge, that was in truth, his only option.  The Brits infantry couldn't catch him as he raced past.  Not until their reserve cavalry ran up the rear of the last tribe standing, then rolled a 1 to a my 6.  Which John did not deserve.  That was dice just poking him in the eye.  I had already won the game and would have been happy to let his horse push my warriors into the sea, like their warriors the turn earlier.

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