Tuesday, October 31, 2023

The Final Leg of this Marathon***

A Headless Body Production

Formally titled, "An Industriousness of Indians"

Venue: Lancaster County Convention Center.
Event: Historicon 2023!
Theme: Classic Age, Round 3
Players: Phil Gardocki running Thracian Hill tribes
               Jeff Herzog running Classic Indian List 79
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 local kings and princes whose names are lost to history.*/**
6 Elephants, Elite
2 Heavy Chariots, Impetuous, probably Elite, because why not?
1 Medium Cavalry, Mediocre. Because it's been mandatory since the days of Barker.
2 Guardsmen, Medium Swordsmen, 2HW, Elite
4 Mixed Medium Swordsmen/Bow
6 Light Infantry, Bow
* lost to Western history.  I'm sure the Indians know who they are, but western historians are too lazy to read the script. As far as the Thracians go, they probably had the names of the Indian commanders as well. And wrote it down. But since it was not in written in Latin, the Romans didn't bother to translate it after they conquered Thrace either.
** Some will say, "The Thracians never fought the Indians!" Well, that is as far as we know. See above. India was invaded by some blond haired nomadic tribe around 1000BC. They were described as fierce and riding in chariots. They probably were not Thracians, but who am I to say?
***By final leg, I was referring to writing up 9 battle reports from Historicon. In 2022, I dropped the ball and only completed 2. So this year I dedicated myself to the task. My shrunk/image file now looks like this:
Just 46 photos left to annotate, upload and comment on.

It normally takes two sittings to create a battle report. The first to copy and update from header, figure out the forces, down to Deployment:.  Then annotate the images
The second sitting for the write up. That means 18 days for 9 of them. This is day 17, so I am actually right on schedule. Then I have an "All Quiet on the Martian Front" battle report, the Battle of Jefferson Texas, (est 1841), to do.

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 Indians win the initiative and elect to defend in the Forest.

On the Indian right are Proud Nobles in their pimped out Heavy Chariots. Then escorted by their elite Guards, two troops of Elephantry.
Their center command consists of 4 more troops of Elephantry. Their flank protected by archers.
Brother Dief takes the left with his warriors.
Lekaso takes the center.  Half of his warriors cannot be seen.
Other Brother Dief takes the right.

Jeff really min-maxed the Indians. 6 elite elephants and escorts is 98 points of the budget. Add in the 2 Heavy Chariots and their commanders and that is 124 points. Leaving only 76 points for the rest of the army.

Turn 1:

Brother Dief muffed his command point roll and only had 2 points to spend. So each of his blocks gets just one move only.

A bad start. If either of the other commands had rolled poorly I would have been OK.  But his command has nothing in front of him, and will have to race to get engaged.  On a 4 up, he would have had 4 points, and doubled move both blocks, setting up to overwhelm the chariots, with the light horse running in the rear.

Lekaso reveals the rest of his command. 3 warriors emerge from the woods.
On the right, the Other Brother Dief extends his line and advances his horse. He is facing the bulk of the Indian forces and is in no hurry to engage.
The Indian command slides left and advances.
They withdraw an archer to make room for the slide, and to protect their camp from the unengaged Thracian Light horse about 22 UD's away.

Turn 2:

Dief has his command act together. He is able to catch up with the center with a double foot move. The light horse splits in the face of the Indian Cavalry, so only one can be charged, while the other can sneak by...
Lekaso dresses his lines.
  On the left, the line slides to the right. The plan will be to engage the elephants, but take out the Indian archers.

The elephant joke was stolen from Terry Prachett's book, "Moving Pictures".

If you have never read any of Sir Terry's books, you will have about 30 of them to look forward to.  Start with "The Colour of Magic".

The odds seem good there. The Indian archers are +1, mediocre against the Thracian warrior +1, 2HW. The odds are 30/70 in favor of the Thracian warriors.

But then, the elephant v warrior odds is 73/27 in favor of the elephants.

Thracian horse charge the Indian cavalry. Which chooses discretion.
The main battle line of the Indians fragment before contact.
The lumbering approach...

 Turn 3:

Brother Dief's command is now just mainly a 6 unit overhang. Way too much to be practical, and way too slow to be effective.
Lekaso orders a general charge. One tribe of warriors is run over by chariots. But a Guardsman is caught unprepared and is routed. Elephant runners are charged by Thracian lights. One unit of runners flees the field, leaving his elephant unprotected.
On the right, the Indians have the advantage in both quality and length. Other Brother Dief advances to tusk range just to keep them honest.

From the clouds, Kali and Ares are taking bets.

Brother Dief's line is turned by heavy chariots.

A troop of elephants rout their Javelinmen taunters.

The sound of crunching verge is replaced with the trumpeting of a thousand elephants. The ground shakes with their charge. One tribe of warriors flee the field, the others miraculously hold their ground.

Turn 4:

Chariots rout another warrior. But his companion chariot is broken from the flank.

Both of Lekaso's javelin-men have been defeated. But their purpose is been achieved. Two troops of elephants have been held up. Their flanks threatened should they advance.

On the right, two more units of warriors are trampled by elephantry. But one elephant is routed, along with an archer.

The Thracians have 17 points towards their demoralization level of 27.

The Indians have 13 points towards their demoralization level of 21.

So far, the game is about a tie in points. But the Thracians have 5 unengaged units to throw into the fray,    "if" they can reach the battle.

The last chariot turns to engage a warrior in the rear. The center troops of elephants engage.
The Indian King and a Prince discuss after battle dinner plans.

A disordered Indian archer charged a warrior in the flank, but rolled a 1 to a 6, and was destroyed.

One elephant troop is led away from the main battle. Where he was bushwhacked by javelins of a near by light horse.

The Thracian score climbs to 22, just 5 from breaking.

The Indians are at 16, also 5 away from breaking.

Turn 5:

The last chariot is taken front, side and rear, for only 1 cohesion point. Indian Cavalry are disordered by Thracian light horse for another point of demoralization. 

An elephant is taken in the flank by warriors, and routed for a further 2 points, 4 in total for the round. The Rampage roll has the elephants routing forward, taking out a Thracian warrior. Raising the Thracian demoralization level to 23.

Another unfortunate roll with an elephant troop causes it's disorder, while the last archer is routed for the game.

The final score was 24-21, a narrow win for the Thracians.

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