Tuesday, June 4, 2024

A Vitalization of Vijayanagas

A Headless Body Production

Venue: In an undisclosed basement, somewhere in New Jersey
Event: The Great Hefalump Head Butting Contest*, Round 1
Players: Phil Gardocki running Siam
               Lou Cardinale running Kingdom of Vijayanagar
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 Kingdom of Vijayanagar are commanded by unknown commanders of unremembered qualities.  Exact troop counts and weapons, except elephants, may be in error.
4    Elephants, Elite   
2    Guards, Medium Swordsmen, Impact, Elite        
4    Warriors, Medium Swordsmen, Impact
2    Javelinmen
2    Bowmen
4    Light Infantry
4    Medium or Heavy Cavalry
2    Light Cavalry
Breakpoint of 24

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 "Ouch!" or " อุ๊ย!" or "आउच!", 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 Siamese, with their "Army Initiative" of 2, out roll the Kingdom of Vij....... and their "Army Initiative" of 4 to win the "Initiative" and elect to attack in the plains.


Dawn breaks upon the battlefield.
I'll condense the introductions to one screen. 
The Kingdom of Vij....  set up with a strong right wing.  While the Siamese are evenly split up.

The Kingdom of Vij.... is a missing an elephant.  But the ambush markers pretty much says where it is hiding.  

The nature of this tournament is to build armies that can defeat, not the elephants, but the elephant escorts.  For the Kingdom of Vij...., their escorts are all Medium Sword Impact.  The Siamese escorts are all Medium Sword Impetuous.  At 1 point cheaper, this gives the Siamese a size advantage as well.  In addition, the Siamese has 9 Light Infantry.  A cheap way to inflate the army size, and adding a point to their Army Initiative rating.

The great dancer, Yul Brynner orders a general advance.  The plan is for Nakarintradhiraj VIb's command, on the left, to delay contact, while he runs off the cavalry in front of him.

Nakarintradhiraj VIa's command, on the right, is to aggressively advance as well. Where he finds the missing elephant behind the hill.  

Technically, part of the ambushing elements should not be there, as they would be visible from the far left edge of the board, but we let it pass.  It was early on Sunday morning. 

The ambush command charges the LI at the top of the hill.  The LI is in a field, and has higher ground advantage. 

What would you do?  I think the smart tactical thing to do is evade the lights, and rely on superior numbers of Nakarintradhiraj VIa's command to counter the Kingdom of Vij....'s hill advantage.

But another consideration is that this game is being recorded for posterity.  So what the hell, the light infantry stands, and let the dice fall where they may.

Other than an exciting hill battle shaping up, the rest of the Kingdom of Vij...'s forces advance normally.

Their left command adjusts to try to compensate for their hill forces being overlapped. 

And the results on the hill are the Siamese lights have one unit scattered, another disordered.  But the third (rightmost) disorders their opposing swordsmen..

Turn 2:
The Siamese infantry is mostly impetuous, and I am not going to play games trying to hold them back.  They advance to about .6 UD's from the Kingdom of Vij...'s line.

A lucky pair of shots from Siamese lights disorder enemy horse.

Nakarintradhiraj VIa orders a general charge. 

On the left, Siamese with support fail to disorder their opponents, who as swordsmen, negate the impetuous impact and have the uphill advantage.  The Siamese Guardsmen, with the blue dice on the base disorder their foes.  

The Siamese elephant charged with the line, but could not attack the Kingdom's elephant as the Siamese lights were still fighting, and subsequently were routed.  

On the right side of the hill, the Siamese lights, which received support from charging warriors, defeated their Kingdom opponents.

A quick walk around the floor.  Another Kingdom of Vij... army is about to engage their enemies.

Here I think, are two Triumvirate Roman lists, each with a single Elephant, Mediocre.

Two Alexandrian lists are paired off.  One has the advantage of a decisive hill placement.

I think another Roman list are about to engage the Sassanids.

It's the bottom of the 2nd, and the Kingdom of Vij... orders a general charge.  The dice run in their favor as the Siamese rolled 4 1's in a row. 

But on the hill, the dice turn with a number of 6's. 

I didn't keep record, but I don't think I rolled any 3's, 4's or 5's this game.  Just 1's and 6's.

Turn 3:


With just 2 units of swordsmen and an elephant remaining, Nakarintradhiraj VIb's command is almost wiped out in two combat rounds. 

Of the Kingdom of Vij...'s right side command, the only disorder is on one of their elephants.

Yul Brynner's forces charge, the Kingdom's cavalry mostly evade before him.

On the hill, some Kingdom's forces remain.  But they are isolated, their elephants rampaging, and their supporting troops routed.

The Siamese have 18 points of their demoralization score of 28.

The Kingdom has 16 points of their demoralization score of 24.

Nakarintradhiraj VIa's main line forces are flanked

Yul Brynner's forces are also flanked from the left, and pinned in the front.

The Kingdom's camp is in range, about 5.5 UD's away.  This will force their horse to fight or lose it.

The remaining 2 Kingdom of Vij... units on the hill continue to fight.  One defeated their Siamese opponent last round, and is free to take another Siamese warrior in the rear.

At 22, the Siamese are 6 away from breaking.

The Kingdom's count remains unchanged at 16.

Turn 4:
Nakarintradhiraj VIa's command is down to just 3 Light Infantry.  Yul Brynner's command has a warrior routed.

Near the hill, the pressure is on the remaining Kingdom's forces.

One warrior is flanked and destroyed.  Against two others, reinforcements are brought up. 

Yul Brynner's elephant command charges again.  But rolls short, and is out of charge reach of the camp.

And in an unusual event, far right.  The Kingdom lights evade short and are caught by a charging Siamese warrior, that rolled long.

The Siamese are only 3 away from Demoralization

While the Kingdom are 6 away from their Demoralization.

On their right flank, the Kingdom is out of targets.

But the Kingdom's horse in the center has a flank charge for one point.  Their center command's javelin armed light horse, rolling a 6 to 1, destroying a fresh Siamese warrior for the final two needed for the win!

The Kingdom of Vijayanagar's final score is 19 of 24.

A camera shot of the side.  With some lines drawn to make sense of the chaos.

This was an intense battle. First contact was on turn 1, and even though the game lasted just 4 turns, it ran till 15 minutes before calling time.  It was just non-stop action.

On my left, I was outnumbered and out qualitied(sp). And I was hoping to hold my impetuous troops, delaying contact until the center command could push the horse out of the way and turn the flank of the Kingdom's right command.

But Lou wasn't going to have any of that and charged right in.  Fortune favored the bold, and he rolled well.  Winning 4, tied 1, and only losing 1 fight on contact.  After that, there really wasn't any recovery on that flank.

His center was all horse, which of course, evaded on charge, then returned.  One horse was parsed off to do cleanup my left flank troops, and then was able to race across the field to my right flank, routing a fresh Siamese warrior.

The pressure was on the remaining horse, with another evade that nearly took them off the board, but the Siamese charge rolled short, and the camp remained out of range.  But that didn't matter, as my army collapsed before that charge could have been made anyway.

The fight on the hill was just exhilarating.  At first, I had the high ground, with just lights.  The Kingdom charged, and took the high high ground in two of 3 spots.  There was a hole drilled in the center of the hill feature, it was underneath the my light infantry, firearm.  Which featured the wisp of cotton representing smoke.  So there was no doubt who had the high ground.  

Then on turn two, my main line engaged where they could.  Having the overlaps on both sides.  But the Lights were still in the way, preventing total contact with the main troops.

But that fight went on for two more turns with heavy loss of units for the Kingdom, but it wasn't as one sided as the opposite flank, giving the point advantage to Kingdom of Vijayanagar.

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