Monday, June 24, 2024

A Siccan of Sicilians

A Headless Body Production

Venue: An Undisclosed Community Center
Event: Wednesday Knight Bash
Players: Phil running Kingdom of Sicily, list 188
               Bruce and Steve running Feudal Scots
Game System: L'Art de la Guerre, 15mm, 100 points per side.

I was asked to join* an American team of players for the LADG international tournament in Lisbon later this year. To that end I commissioned an new army to be painted. It hit the bases last week and Bruce offered to run another Feudal army for my first time out.
The Forces:
The Kingdom of Sicily, Aragonese period, 1282AD
Commanded by Frederick Tertius, and two foundlings, Darrell and Darrell, all rated as Competent.
10 Medium Knights, 8 Impetuous, 6 Elite
6 Almughavars, Medium spearmen, Impact, 2 Elite
3 Kerns, Light Infantry, Crossbow
2 Scouts, Light Cavalry, Javelin
Breakpoint of 21

Commanded by Robertson, McTominay, and Bruce, all Competent
26 Heavy Spearmen, Most are Mediocre
3 Light Foot, Bow
Breakpoint 29
Option for Obstacles

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

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.

Any inaccuracies and vagueness as to specific units is to be regarded as fog of war and part of the fun.

The Initiative:

The Scots won the initiative and elected to defend in the plains. In addition to the required field, they selected a coastal area and a village. But there was no village as listed on their maps, but and old vineyard instead.

The Sicilians chose a bald hill and a road.

The Board:

The board started mostly empty of terrain in the middle, but the wily Scots rolled a pair of 5's for adjustments, and changed the whole complexion of the field.
That is a lot of spearmen. And if I do the math, the only thing keeping the Scots from deploying from sea to board edge is the 4UD Edge rule.
And they are running a fortified camp to bot.
Their center command is all Mediocre, but defended by a long line of pits.
Doubled up on the edge is 8 or so "Ordinary" Heavy Spear.
Darrell has arguably the most important mission. Invest the plantation, and turn the flanks of the Scots spear.
Frederick does not like what he sees.
Darrell even less so.

My inner economist really hates dismounted units. I am offended to pay an extra point for a heavy foot unit that is less mobile, and has one less cohesion point.

But sometimes that is what is needed. Even if the Scots spearmen are mediocre, mounted knights are a -2 when fighting across an obstacle.

So what are the odds? Medium Knights v Heavy Spearmen is just about 50/50.

Elite Medium Knights v Mediocre Heavy Spearmen is 95/5.

Throw in Obstacles with Elite Medium Knights v Mediocre Heavy Spearmen, and the odds nearly reverse to the knights winning just 12% of the battles.

Dismounted Heavy Swordsmen, Armor, 2HW v Heavy Spearmen will win 73% of their fights with Elite v Mediocre shifting the odds to 99-1.

A major part of this plan revolves around the Almughavars. They will in vest the plantation to unhinge the Scots line.
The dismounted knights can keep up with the speedy Almughavars, but only until they get to tactical range.
The mounted knights advance just one bound. They are facing ordinary spear and their odds are not so good. They are not in a hurry and can let the dismounts go to work first. A lot depends on the ambush in the field.
The Scottish spear advance, but too slow to prevent the Almughavars from getting into the rough. But they also parse off a couple of spear to cover the exit points.
The dower men behind the pits hold their ground.
While Bruce pushes his men forward.

 Turn 2:

The Almughavars charge the edge of the Scots line. This is mainly to hold up the mass of Scots warriors, as it will take time, and command points to turn the flank of the Almughavars.

Also, not revealed in this picture, there was another Almughavar unit in ambush behind the ridge-line of the hill. He advances to the point where he can threaten any flanking Scots units. The Almughavars are out numbered badly, but have a speed and quality advantage.

Frederick is plagued with inattention. He has just enough command points to advance, but first ordering the Jintes to get out of the way.

 I was having a concept problem here. The Jintes were going to be throwing javelins at the Scottish lights. Of course the Jintes can interpenetrate when evading. Wait... Those are not knights on horse.

Time to get them out of the way.

Darrel pushes his knights forward. Probably not his best idea.
Eager Scots archers charge, and catch, the Sicilian crossbowmen.

An ambush is revealed. The Scots have EVEN MORE Spearmen in plantation. They move back, out of the rough, to hold edge of the rough.

Again, McTominay holds his center command at the line of pits.

Obstacles have no effect on an infantry on infantry fight, but the center command is all mediocre and is not eager to engage the approaching armored 2HW.

Bruce, however, is more than happy to force an engagement.

 Turn 3:

The Almughavars turn Robertson's command first, routing one schiltron.
The advancing dismounted knights close to charge reach.
Darryl has lost control of his mounted knights. The first die roll bodes well for the impetuous horse. A 6 to 1 for 3 hits on the edge schiltron.
The luck down the line ran pretty even. The knights winning 2, losing 2, and tying one.
On their far right, Robertson pushes his schiltrons forward, while turning the flank on the hanging Almughavar.
Again, McTominay holds his line.
Bruce has routed one knight. Basically trading 1 for 1. And he has a lot more 1's on his side.

Turn 4

 It has been a long walk across the board, but this turn should have just about every unit of the Kingdom in combat.

The unit of Almughavars charges off the hill, zocing the Scots line. Basically tying up 4 units.

 One unit of Almughavarsis defeated. Another charges a schiltron on the road, putting 2 hits on it.

The remaining Almughavars charge through the rough. Two are stopped cold by the schiltrons at the edge of the plantation. But one cuts right though the defenders and penetrates the flanks of the Scots line.

The main line of dismounted knights charge. Winning all 5 of their dice offs.

The mounted knights struggle. Trading another troop for a schiltron.
The Kingdoms losses are high, losing 10 of 21.
While the Scots have only lost two effectives, but their score is at 16 of 29.

This was surprising. Both sides have 8 points in dead units. For the Kingdom of Sicily, 3 major combatants out of 16. While the Scots have only lost 2 schiltrons of 25. But the number of disordered on the field was vastly different. Only 2 for the Kingdom, and 8 for the Scots.

Robertson pushes forward. Again the Almughavars, outnumbered, hold their own.
The plantation battle is mixed. Another Almughavar is routed, But their lead troops are beginning to push through the plantation.
The dismounted knights are tearing holes in the Scots line.
The mounted knights have their flanks turned.
The Kingdom is at 13 of 21
The Scots are at 24 of 29!

 Turn 5:

 Frederick's Sicilians only need 5 points to win.

The Almughavars are still holding their own, but are badly flanked.
Their leaders unit has enemy in his rear. But their unit that penetrated the line charges, dispersing one Schiltron, then pursues into another, routing it for 2 points.
The dismounted knights pick up another point.
The Sicilians lose another knight. But their right side line has a major win against a schiltron, for a 4ths point.
The score is now 13...
to 28.

 It's the bottom of the 5th, and the Scots need to avoid losing one more point.

Somehow I missed the final pictures.

Basically, the Almughavar commander took a combined rear and front charge, but survived. Schiltrons conformed to fill the gaps in their lines, but did not fare well.

Another knight was flanked and disordered.

The final score in the end was 33 of 29 for the Scots to 14 for the Kingdom of Sicily.

For the first time out, this army had a great showing.

*I have my suspicions as to why I was asked. It could be because I am an "influencer" for Ancients, LADG specifically. Or because I am such a great player. (check statistics, world ranking 496 out of 1,500, barely in the upper 1/3.  But considering the bottom 400 on the list probably do not play anymore, the best you can say is I am in the top half) 

But I really think it was because I was just willing to put the $$$ and travel.

Monday, June 17, 2024

A Sixpence of Siamese

A Headless Body Production

Venue: In an undisclosed basement, somewhere in New Jersey
Event: The Great Hefalump Head Butting Contest* Round 3
Players: Phil Gardocki running Siam
              Dan Bigalow running Triumvirate Roman
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 Brynner, the Competent and his sons, Nakarintradhiraj VIa and Nakarintradhiraj VIb, both Competent
3 Elephants, Elite
2 Guards, Medium Swordsmen, Impact, Elite
13 Warriors, Medium Swordsmen, Impetuous
7 Light Infantry, Bow
2 Light Infantry, Firearms, Elite
1 Medium Cavalry
Breakpoint of 28

The Romans are commanded by unknown commanders of unremembered qualities. Exact troop counts, except elephants, may be in error.
1 Elephant, Mediocre
10 Legionnaires, Heavy Sword, Impact, probably Armor, one was Mediocre
1 Medium or Light Medium foot
5 Light Infantry, various weapons
1 Medium or Heavy Cavalry
3 Light Cavalry
Breakpoint of 22

Tournament rules: All armies must have at least 1 elephant and must take the maximum number of elephants for that list. Including allies, if allies are taken. On rounds 2 and 3, any lists with a Brilliant or Strategist commander may reorganize their commands.

Display Conventions: When you see a word bubble like "Heus!" or " อุ๊ย!" or "𐤀𐤉𐤍!", this implies a disorder from missiles. Red XX's signify recently routed units. 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.

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 Romans win the initiative and elect to attack in the plains.

A Caveat:

Something went wrong when transferring the pictures from the camera to the computer for processing.  Images were copied in the wrong order than they were taken.  For example on turn two, the real image is IMG_6936 (2).jpg as there was already an IMG_6936.jpg from turn 6!  About a dozen interleaved for just this battle report.  

I think I have it straightened out for this report, but we will see.


Strong Roman legions in the center and a 4 cohort force on their left.  Their single mandatory elephant on the right.

The Siamese are organized in 3, almost identical commands.  5 MI sword, mostly impetuous, an elite elephant and 3 light foot.

The Roman light horse challenges the crossbowmen on the hill.

The center legions advance with a left oblique. 

The smaller body of legionnaires advance at the double.

Nakarintradhiraj VI(b) advances and slides right.  He sends an additional light foot to assist the unit on the hill.

Yul Brynner moves as far as he as able, linking up with his son,

Nakarintradhiraj VI(a)

I see an advantage brewing.  Nakarintradhiraj VI(b) can attack the smaller body of legionnaires with overlaps on both sides.  We will see if this situation continues.

Turn 2:

The Roman Equites took some missile fire last turn, and has pulled back to rally.

The center command of legionaries advance straight ahead.  I don't know his plan here, but I am sure he is not going to enter the field.

The smaller command splits in twain, exposing a unit of javelinman to face Nakarintradhiraj VI(a)'s elephant troop.

Nakarintradhiraj VI(b)

Nakarintradhiraj VI(b) and papa Brynner advance.  They are all in charge range of the legions.

So is Nakarintradhiraj VI(a)

Win or lose, this game is not going the distance.

Turn 3:


This is what I meant by the image names and order were screwed up.  I think this is the bottom of the sixth. 

The Romans push their lights forward.

And link up their legions on the left.  So much for overwhelming their left command.

My foot is mostly impetuous.  I believe in playing your armies character, so they all charge!

Above you see 3 losses, and a tie against the legions, and a win against the Roman light foot against an elephant.

Yul Brynner's center command, to the left of the brass 2 UD stick, only defeated Roman light foot.  Losing 3 fights, one of those was a rout.

Nakarintradhiraj VI(a)'s command, right of the 2 UD stick, had better luck  Winning 3, including routing a cohort, while losing 2.

Turn 4:
To cover their flanks, the Romans commit their elephant.  It is head butting action at it's finest.

Their center command has opportunities.  A cohort pushes beyond Yul Brynner's line.  Their horse flanks pursuing Siamese warriors to destruction.  While Nakarintradhiraj VI(a) had the advantage on charge, it is now down to deeper units and Roman lorica segmentata armor against the unarmored Siamese warriors.

A branch of Nakarintradhiraj VI(b) tries to pin Roman equites against the marsh.  One is missed by millimeters.  The Roman elephant is broken and rampages to the left.

Nakarintradhiraj VI(a) brings up his horse to cover his elephants exposed flank.

Turn 5:

At the top of the 5th, the Siamese are half way demoralized with a score of 14 of 28.

The Romans are at 13 of 22.

One equites dives into the marsh.  The legions claim two more warrior units.

The Roman left also claims two more routs.

For my camp, a perfect size "Reclining Budda"

Thai Buddhist Temple George Town Penang Malaysia Stock Photo - Download  Image Now - Buddhism, Horizontal, Malaysia - iStock
The first one I saw was in Thailand.  Until then I only knew of Budda's were fat men in lotus position.

Nakarintradhiraj VI(b)'s pursue the equites in the marsh.  His elephant he holds back to support his main body.  Which is in serious trouble.  The center command is down to just an elephant troop and a warrior unit.

Nakarintradhiraj VI(a)'s command is down to just the elephant, and the cavalry

The Siamese score is 24 of 28

The Romans are at 17 of 22.

Turn 6:
The Legions flank charge into the field.

Yul Brynners favorite elephant is routed.  So too is Nakarintradhiraj VI(a)'s.

Nakarintradhiraj VI(b) tries to reform his lines.

Nakarintradhiraj VI(a) only has lights and horse left.

Despite losing two elephants, the Siamese are still in the game with a score of 26

Turn 7:
The Romans try to put the pressure on, looking for the two last points.

They advance and charge, hoping to drive the elusive lights off the board.

The scrum on the left continues. Nakarintradhiraj VI(b) joins his elite guardsmen and supported by his elephants against a disordered cohort, but only scores one hit.  Off in the distance, Roman javelin-men cause a missile disorder on Siamese lights.  Raising the Siamese score to 27

And that was time called, with the Romans having a winning draw.

Turn 8:

No pictures after this.  The Romans only needed 1 point and not lose 4.  Easy enough to do.  On the Roman left, there are plenty of lights that would need to evade, probably off the board.  In the scrum on the Roman right, the Nakarintradhiraj VI(b)'s guards were flanked and in contact for a cheap, and certain point for the win.