Tuesday, January 16, 2024

A Kore of Koreans

A Headless Body Production
Venue: An Undisclosed Community Center
Event: Wednesday Night
Players: Phil Gardocki running Samurai
               The team of John, Bruce and Garth running Korean
Game System: L'Art de la Guerre, 15mm, 200 points per side.

The Forces:
Samurai (list 221)
The Samurai are commanded by Yoshitune, the Strategist, and the usual subordinates, Darryl-San the Competent and his other brother Darryl-San, the Ordinary.
8 Samurai, Medium Swordsmen, Bow, 5 are Elite
3 Yari, Medium Swordsmen, Mediocre
5 Mounted Samurai, Heavy Cavalry, Bow, 3 are Elite
2 Scouts, Light Cavalry, Bow
2 Followers with Bow, Bowmen
1 Light Infantry, Bow
1 Levy
1 Herd of Stampeding Cattle
Breakpoint of 22

Korean (list 223)
The Koreans are commanded by  Garth-Li, the Brilliant, Bruce-Li (no relation), the Competent, and Jon-Li, (also no relation) and also Competent.
6 Medium Cavalry, Impact
4 Light Cavalry, Bow
6 1/2 Heavy Spear, 1/2 Crossbow
6 Heavy Spearmen
2 Light Infantry, Bow
Breakpoint of 24

Display Conventions: When you see a word bubble like "Ouch!" or "痛い!" or "아야!", 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 Koreans win the initiative and elect to attack in the plains. 


Garth-Li deploys with a copious quantity of cavalry

Bruce-Li 's corps consists of 6 units 1/2 Spear/Crossbow foot

Jon-Li with all heavy spear.

The Samurai player is trying to be clever.  Is his horse on a flank march, or hiding in a ditch somewhere?

His Samurai are escorting a herd of cattle

Darryl-san is commanding a smaller corps of odds and ends.

Turn 1:
Korean scouts race up to the depression, but not quite close enough to peak in.

Their crossbowmen march on the samurai line

Their heavy spearmen almost clear the hill.

Samurai horse flood out of the gully.  They did not want to be caught partially in and out of the rough.

Yoshitune's foot advance and loose arrows.  Many find their targets.

Darryl San adjusts his line to receive the Korean heavy spear.

Turn 2:
Korean scouts attempt to intimidate the Japanese scouts with their numbers.  But the Japanese prove to be made of sterner stuff.

Yoshitune's archers continue to darken the skies.

Giving pause to the mixed crossbow spearmen.  One rallies, but is immediately disordered again.

But the pause in the Korean center gives the spearmen an opportunity to catch up.

With the bulk of the Korean cavalry focused on the center, Darryl-san sends reinforcements to attack the Korean scouts.

Korean lancers are dangerous, but seem to be manageable when disordered by archery.

Korean crossbows are finding their range.

Darryl's archers are a bit less accurate.  But his men are mostly ordinary.

Turn 3:
The fight of the scouts continues.

The Korean cavalry commander comes forth to offer comforting words.

The same with the center command of crossbowmen

Jon-li's spearmen push forward.

Darryl-san charges with another scout.  Which trips along the way and is disordered.

Japanese arrows disperse a couple of Korean horse.

The Korean and Japanese archery duel continues

Darryl-san orders his bowmen to the retreat into the relative safety of the field, while ordering an attack on the end of the line of heavy spearmen.

Turn 4:
The Korean superiority in numbers makes itself felt.  A Japanese scout is routed.

Korean horsemen can no longer be held back and charge.

Their mixed crossbow/spear push forward.

Their heavy spear advance on Darry-san's retreating bowmen, and flank his samurai.

Darryl-san commits his heavy horse to routing the Korean scouts.  Who gleefully flee while destroying the last Japanese scout.

In the clear center.  A samurai falls, but so to a Korean lancer.

The Korean foot also engages Samurai foot.  Its mediocre quality and numbers against elite.  The Samurai line begins to crack

Darryl-san, is "Ordinary", and doesn't have the command points he needs to run his corps. 

He flanks the hanging heavy spear, and sends his Yari to run off Korean light infantry.

I realize now the Korean Light foot, both half in and out of the field, should have evaded.  My mistake.

At the bottom of the 4th, the Samurai have 14 points towards their demoralization level of 22

The Koreans are also at 14 of 24

Turn 5:
Korean scouts swarm Darryl-sans heavies

Their lancers charge, overwhelming the Yari, but the Samurai horse hold

Facing overwhelming odds, the Samurai fight on to a heroic, but predictable end.

Korean heavy spear ignore the terrain and advance.  They are facing a combination of mediocre, prisoners, and badly formed troops.

Both the Koreans and the Samurai have turned the flanks.  The Koreans have one unit destroyed, while the Samurai barely hold on.

I realize on review that the battle between the Yari and Korean lights should not be happening.  That the lights should have fled the board. 

The Samurai are now at 17 of 22

The Koreans are holding at 14

The battle twixt the gully and the worlds end continues with no resolution

A foot samurai takes a Korean lancer in the flank

Small consolation for his defeated brethren. 

Nothing changes in front of the camp due to Darryl-san having a shortage of command points,

and being out of range.

The game was called on time here.  The score was 19 to

19.  But the Koreans were 5 away from breaking, while the Samurai were just 3 away.

What went wrong?

First the army organization.  One of the Samurai commanders was ordinary, and had 7 units.  Too many and they were too split up to be effective.

Not obvious in the game were 5 units of Samurai that were not elite.  They were first to suffer missile hits that led to defeat.  Or were, by either enemy design or just luck, in the dominant fights, while the elites were in the support positions. 

The strategy of hiding the cavalry in the gully.  This might have been a clever ploy if the gully was a bit further back, or if the Korean cavalry was less numerous.  But as it was, to emerge frontally would have meant 3 units of cavalry would be fighting from the rough at a -2, and also facing overlap attacks from impact troops.  The Samurai had elite and armor, but the Koreans have impact.  Luck would be required to succeed.  

So the major command was forced to retreat and reform in the face of an implacable foe.

In the center there was a herd of cattle.  This caused a bit of consternation among the Koreans.  They did not want to commit to range due to it's possible effects.  Giving a certain advantage in the early arrow exchange.  Eventually they did close, the cattle stampeded.  Initial roll was a tie followed up but a loss for the cattle.


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