Monday, December 4, 2023

A Hundredweight of Huns

A Headless Body Production

Venue: Wyndom Lancaster Resort nee Host
Event: HMGSs' Fall In(tm) Open 25mm tournament, Round 2
Players: Phil Gardocki running Timurid
               Carl Stefanelli running Huns
Game System: L'Art de la Guerre, 200 points per side.

The Forces:

The Hun (list 110)
The Hun are commanded by unnamed commanders.
3 Nobles, Heavy Cavalry, Bow, elite
6 or 7 Horsemen, Medium Cavalry, Bow, elite
8 Horsemen, Light Cavalry, Bow, mostly elite
2 Bowmen
Breakpoint of 19 or 20

The Timurids, list 273, are led by Lram, a Strategist, his brother Darian the Brilliant, and his other brother Darian, the Ordinary

4 Nobles, Heavy cavalry, impact, bow, elite
3 Horse Archers, Medium cavalry bow
4 Turkomans, Light cavalry, bow, elite
2 Turkomans, Light cavalry, bow
2 Archers, Bowmen, Stakes
1 Afghan Archer, Light Infantry, bow
2 Persian Archers, Bowmen, Mediocre
2 Elephants, one with armor
1 Naffatun, Light Infantry, Incendiary
Break Point 21

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

Any confusion between commanders names, or mislabeled units or conditions is to be considered part of the fun.

"XX" implies a unit killed in that location on that turn.


The Timurids win the initiative and elect to attack in the steppes.

The Huns have only a light presence on their right side command.
The center has a strong force of horse
A nearly identical force takes their left.
Other Brother Darian and his micro command of two light horse hides behind the hill.
Brother Darian and his elephantry take the center.
Lram takes the right command

Turn 1:

Other Brother Darian continues to hide. Brother Darian advances with his elephantry
Lram advances to tactical range.
The Hun exposes a rather pathetic ambush
Their left flank advances. Providing a screen to reposition the center command.

The Hun strategy is clear. Using the road and their superior mobility, they will try to overwhelm Lrams command, while distracting the elephant command with their small command of 3 lights and a heavy.

Turn 2:

Brother Darian splits his command. One troop will try to get the Huns to evade off board.
The other force will support Lrams command
Lram cant's his line and engages with bowfire.
The first volleys of arrows are favoring the Timurids.

With all ambushes revealed, and the count is made. The Huns only have 19 units. Having 14 elites has it's price.

The Hun commander on their right is not going to wait to be charged off the board, nor is he going to exchange arrows with formed foot.
More archery exchanged. While in the favor of the Timurids, it is not much.
The Hun left command charges in mass, while their center command is ready to follow up.

Currently the score is 5 to 2 in favor of the Timurids. It may not seem like much, but with a break point of just 19, the Huns are a quarter of the way there.

Turn 3:

Other Brother Darian reveals him self. His light horse will be valuable in trapping the Hun right flank forces.
Brother Darian's elephants are covering Lram's flank, and lining up a camp kill. If only his archers were more effective.
Lram pushes forward just a bit. His archers also seem to be ineffective.
But his Turkomans return after their evade. More arrows are exchanged.
One Hun horse gets out of arc of fire from the foot bow.
The remainder run to defend the camp.
Playing cagey, only a single Hun heavy horse charges. The Timurid unit receiving the charge is only a medium, bow, evades.
The Hun left orders a charge of their mostly disordered forces. The Turkomans are ordered to stand. All in all, a bad decision there. I was relying on elite and more luck than I deserved.

This brings the score 9 of 19 for the Huns to 7 of 21 for the Timurids.

Turn 4:

Other Brother Darian surrounds the Huns on the hill.
While Brother Darian presses forward with his elephantry and bow
Lram orders a general charge
Another Hun is destroyed.
Surrounded but not defeated, the Huns charge down hill, but are rebuffed.
While their disordered lights go for the rear.
Lram's line loses a troop of Noble horse.

Lram himself is engaged 2-1 and is losing. He has friends that can help, if he can scrape together the command points to do so.

Turn 5:

The battle for the hill has concluded. But was it worth the forces involved?
One troop of Elephantry advance on the flank of a pair of disordered horse.
The Hun camp was just out of range of Timurid archers. Which would have put the Huns at 16 of 19 if taken just now.
Lram has just enough command points to order his Nobles to attack. But his flank is still exposed.
The Huns have finished cleaning up their left flank.
An "exit ZOC" move by Hun Light Horse. Which also counts as "exit bow reach"
Another Timurid Noble falls.
Along with the Great Lram. A routed included strategist is worth 6 points towards demoralization. Not many armies can take that kind of hit and not break.

I'm not sure what the final score was for the Hun. Scanning the pictures I see 15.

What went wrong?

First the design flaw in the army. I thought an included Strategist was "ok", because he would be in the center of 7 units, and once in combat, all those units would be fighting anyway. And he would always be able to command 1 extra unit, even in combat. But here, he needed to command 2 units minimum to save himself. And 4 to be effective.

This allowed Carl to eventually work a flank shot that killed Lram for 6 points.

Also a mistake of holding disordered lights to receive a charge. When they were gone, then they allowed free range of all those Hun units on the edge to turn on to the center.

Also, when it became clear I could take the camp, I should have focused on it. A slide left on turn 3, instead of a straight forward move would have put the archers 6 UD's away, setting up the camp to fall on turn 5. Which would have led to a mutual distraction instead of a loss.

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