Tuesday, May 21, 2024

A Pika of Pike

A Headless Body Production

Venue: On Military Matters Book Store, Hopewell, NJ
Event: Prep for The Great Hefalump Head Butting Contest*
Players: Phil Gardocki running Siam
               Dennis Shorthouse running Alexander the Great, list 40
Game System: L'Art de la Guerre, 15mm, 200 points per side.

*The taking of the maximum number of elephants was required.
The Siamese, commanded by Yul Brenner, the Competent and his sons, Nakarintradhiraj VIa and Nakarintradhiraj VIb, both Competent
3    Elephants, Elite    
2    Guardsmen, Medium Swordsmen, Impact, Elite        
13  Warriors, Medium Swordsmen, Impetuous    
7    Light Infantry, Bow    
2    Light Infantry, Firearms, Elite
1     Medium Cavalry
Breakpoint of 28

Alexander the Great, commanded by Alexander the Great, a Strategist, and a couple of his drinking buddies.
2    Elephants   
2    Companions, Heavy Cavalry, Impact, Elite
4    Light Cavalry, various   
6    Pike, 1 Elite
4    A mix of loose order troops, Javelinmen, Thracians, Bowmen.  Just not sure from the pictures
5    Light Infantry, some Elite   
Breakpoint of 24

Display Conventions: When you see a word bubble like "Ouch!" or "Ωχ!" or "อุ๊ย!", 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 Siamese win the initiative and elect to attack in the plains

I'll condense the introductions to one screen.  One reason is that Dennis may, or may not run this army in the upcoming elephant extravaganza tourney and details of his troops are top-secret.  Second is that with his army, this is all "best guess" from an ageing brain and no notes.  

Was Alexander really a Strategist in this game?  I don't recall.  Was he with the elephant command, to mitigate them being unmaneuverable?  Or with the pike in the center?  Or with his traditional roll of the Companions on the right?  I don't know.

It also seems like we violated the 3 pieces of terrain rule on one side. 
The Alexandrian army deployed with a double elephant command on their right, 6 pike in the center, and a mixed bag of horse on their right.

The Siamese commands were almost identical.  5 swordsmen, mostly impetuous, 3 lights, and an elite elephant. 
Turn 1:

With an army full of unmaneuverable forces like impetuous and elephant, there realistically can only be one plan.

Move forward and let the dice fall where they may

Nakarintradhiraj VIb's force is pointed towards the Macedonian cavalry.  More to distract and tie down than to engage.

The Macedonian elephant command splits in two.

The bulk heading for a well plowed field.

Their pike marching in an oblique manner

While Alexander runs his cavalry this way and that.  Carefully choosing a point of contact.

Turn 2:

Nakarintradhiraj VIa's force advances, clearing the ambushes.

Yul Brenner's force charges, clearing away the Agrianian light foot.

Nakarintradhiraj VIb advances on the Companions, trying to limit their options.

Two units from the Macedonian elephant command retreat before Nakarintradhiraj VIa's command

The Macedonian phalanx picks a corner for contact.  The impetuous Siamese charge through the gaps in the pike formation, disordering it.

A note on the tactics.  Closer to the field, the pike charged just enough to force the Siamese screen.  Then followed up with the Agrianian lights with javelins.  Scoring a missile hit on Yul Brenner's favorite elephant, Lumpy.

Alexanders Companions charge.  One Siamese band holds, while the other is destroyed.

First blood to the Alexanderian at the top of turn 3.

Nakarintradhiraj VIa and Daddy Brenner launch a unified charge.  At first, Macedonian lights stood in the field and were destroyed, the Siamese warriors then pursuing into the Macedonian elephants.

Yul Brenner's forces charge around "Lumpy", engaging two Taxis of the Phalanx

Nakarintradhiraj VIa splits his force in two.  His elephant trampling the nearest taxis into the mud.

The fight in the field trades units.  An Macedonian elephant runner for a Siamese warrior.

I think we have decided that that commander is not Alexander, but it is a commander, and not subject to disorder by routing friends.

In an amazing display of bad dicemenship, the phalanx picks up an dizzying array of alliterational disorders.

Seriously, all but one die was a 1, the last was a two.

The Alexander has claimed another Siamese warrior unit.

Taking the Siamese score to 13 of 28

To Alexanders score of also 13. But of only 24 units.

The first elephant rampage of the game, but not of the day.  See An Elan of Elephants from last week.

In the center, Yul Brenner cowardly leads "Lumpy" to the rear, while witnessing his brave warriors fight on.  One is routed, but another routs a Taxis.  Meanwhile Nakarintradhiraj VIb leads his elephant into another Taxis, routing it as well.

On the far right, Nakarintradhiraj VIb orders a warrior to face the Companions.

Their score is 14, a comfortable 14 points from demoralization.

Alexander is at 20, only 4 away from defeat

Alexanders right flank is badly outnumbered, but they are all whole.

The remaining pike conform on their foes.

The Companions swarm the Siamese right flank guard.

A badly positioned, and disordered, Siamese cavalry rolls long on an evade and leaves the board

The Siamese are at 18 of 28

Alexander is still at 20 of 24

Another elephant rampage.  Through their Siamese flank attackers, raising the score to 19-22

The center battles continue.  A Siamese warrior sneaks around Nakarintradhiraj VIb's elephant and attacks the Agrianians on it's flank for another point.

The Macedonian companions have a surplus of charge targets.

Nakarintradhiraj VIb's elephant picks up a hit taking the Siamese to 20

The Macedonians are one away from demoralization.

Thracian Javelinmen score a missile hit.  Nakarintradhiraj VIa's elephant picks up another level of disorder.

Nakarintradhiraj VIb's absorbs the Companion flank charge, but his nearby warriors fail.  Another Warrior is routed by a pike taxis.

I missed the pictures for turn 6.  The Siamese needed only 1 point and avoid taking 3.   I recall that Nakarintradhiraj VIb's elephant held, despite being surrounded on 3 sides.  And Nakarintradhiraj VIa's elephant also held.  So I either took the camp, or disordered the Javelinmen defending it. or disordered the unit in the field.


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