Thursday, 22 March 2018

L'Art de la Guerre - DWG Tournament Battle 1

At Durham Wargames Group (DWG) this year we're doing a club ADLG tournament and tonight I played my first battle against Mal.

Our tournament is as follows:

200pts armies
Single player
Any army 500BC - 500AD.

I bought a new army from Xyston specifically for the tournament: Tamil Indians, and painted it up in 22 hours over last weekend.

So anyway, I took the Tamils against Mal's Achaemenid Persians.

Mal won the initiative, chose to attack in the plains.  I wanted to narrow the battlefield so tried and failed to get a waterway, but did manage a maximum size village which I put on a gentle hill.  Fields and plantations dotted around elsewhere.

We began deploying and the huge Achaemenid force of mixed heavy and medium infantry lined up next to a large cavalry wing.

Although the looked splendid, the cavalry was mediocre, being Indian horsemen.

My Tamils were unconcerned so far and the impetuous foot lined up among the magnificent elephants.  

Everyone was itching to go... 

Deployment finished, the Persians only had two commands down, and with no ambushed, it was clear a flank march was coming.  The early moves saw the Persian cavalry push forwards.  I rushed the Tamil centre forwards, angled my left flank to take on the approaching cavalry and dropped a few units off on my right to meet the flank march which i presumed would come on there.

With an unmaneouverable army like the Tamils, I'll struggle to fully react to the flank attack so my plan is to destroy the Acheamenids I can see in front of me.

And with the opening clashes, they go my way and the impact melee sees the Achemenids suffer immediate losses.

And then the flank march arrived!  My flank archers really don't fancy their chances, but I did manage to peel off a unit of swordsmen to help out.

I'm resigned to losing this flank, but I'm not too concerned as I'm happy to trade a few units to hold things up here while my elephant line gets stuck in elsewhere.

And up front things are going really rather well as the Tamil swordsmen and elephants completely destroy the Achaemenid infantry.  

We're not really sure what to do now!

By now, things are looking very shaky for the Persians and the army's break point is getting dangerously close.  The Tamils have lost only a couple of units. 

But there's a chance for Mal to turn the game around with his flank attack.  Surprisingly, the Tamil archers make a fight of it and hold up the cavalry.

Meanwhile, over on the other flank, the elephants chase off the Indian cavalry.

But its all over, and the Achaemenids break.

The final tally is:

Tamils - 14 lost from 25 pts.
Achaemenids - 28 lost from 28pts.

It was a good game that was over in 1 hour 15 mins.  

Thursday, 1 March 2018

L'Art de la Guerre BadCon 2018 Tournament

A thing happened last weekend that hasn’t happened for a good while; I went to a wargames tournament.

Way back when DBM was king, this was a regular thing, but when Field of Glory took over, a ruleset that was very much not for me, I dropped out.

Over the last few months however, L’Art de la Guerre has gained significant traction in the UK and my club (Durham Wargames Group) has dived headfirst into this new game.  OK, its one its third edition and has been played on the continent for about 10 years…but its new to us. 

So, as ever, the Field of Glory crew were off to the BadCon tournament at Burton and as it’s a doubles event, my friend John asked if I’d partner up with him for the weekend away.

Sure, why not?!

So, the Tournament parameters were as follows:

350 points any book 1000AD—1250AD.
No Heavy Knights allowed.
Rules and table size as per 300 point game

OK.  Interesting.

John and I had a bit of a chat, and settled on a couple of armies, mostly it has to be said, based on the figures we had available!  Anyway, the two front runners were Nikephorian Byzantine and Tamil Indian.

We set about throwing them at each other, and at other proxied armies with two purposes in mind; 1. test the relative armies, and 2. try to learn the rules a bit more!  Because, lets face it, these rules are new to us and we seriously needed some practice.

For various reasons, best not gone into here, we decided on Tamils.  Oh go on then; mainly we chose them because they were fun to use.  We liked the fact that the impetuous troops forced you to be aggressive, and that we have a troop mix that could take on both mounted and foot troops with a fairly good chance of winning.  The only downside was if enemy knights going into our impetuous swordsmen – bad news there!

Anyway, here’s the list.

350pts / 45 units

Command 1
Competent commander
2x Med Cav Mediocre
2x Elephants
3x Med swordsmen impetuous
3x Bowmen
2x Lt Inf javelins

Command 2
Ordinary commander
2x Elephants
3x Med swordsmen impetuous
2x Levy
2x Lt Inf javelins

Command 3
Competent commander
3x Med swordsmen impact elite
3x Elephants
3x Med swordsmen impetuous
3x Lt Inf bow

Command 4
Competent commander
2x Med Cav Mediocre
2x Elephants
3x Med swordsmen impetuous
3x Bowmen
2x Lt Inf javelins

The next stage was to try the army out against another team.  John and I hadn’t played together before, so we needed to figure each other out.  We therefore had a couple of practice games against Mal and John and their Samurai army that was also going to BadCon.  Its safe to say we considered this a serious army to face, as it had a lot of advantages over ours.  In practice there were some losses and some wins, but lots and lots of learning.

The big weekend came and we drove the 3 hours south for a weekend of games, beer, Chinese food and general recreation!

So to Saturday morning and the games.  Our first ADLG tournament game…

Games in full swing - i'm sensing a certain demographic tendency to the participants.

In our first draw we found ourselves facing another South East Asian army in the shape of Martin Routh and Andy Wallace’s Khmer and Cham list.  Although they were about the same size as our army, they’d crammed 13 elephants into it compared to our 9 and some of theirs had artillery on their backs!  The payoff was that they infantry wasn’t quite as good.

John carfully places our levies, enruing we know exactly where they'll die.
We'll ignore the fact that our village and their field are the wrong shape...

The Khmer Burmese allies, because 9 elephants wasn't enough...they look splendid though!

The elephants clash!  At this stage, we're surprised to be in good positions on both flanks, but all the action is up front - there's ivory and trunks everywhere!

And as the battle dies down, our Tamils emerge from the carnage victorious!
It was a fairly brutal up-front fight and to our surprise we managed to pull a win out of the bag.  Martin and Andy were great chaps to play against and it was a fun, challenging game.

Happy to have our “only win” for the weekend, we set about lunchtime with gusto before rolling up for the second match of the day.

It’s at this point that I forgot I had a camera, mostly because playing ADLG is really quite intensive.  There’s a lot of concentration required.  So sadly I don’t have pictures from the rest of the weekend.

However, game 2 was against the largest army in the tournament; Dave Allen and Gordon Jamieson’s Christian Nubians.

This was quite a surprise as the army was filled with impetuous camelry!  This was ably supported by cavalry and infantry of course.  We lined up to find ourselves overlapped, but then Gordon dismounted his camelry, presumably no fancying their chances against our wall of elephants.

The game ensued and not only was it our closest match of the weekend, it was also possibly the most enjoyable wargame I’ve played in my *ahem* years of gaming.  The battle went right down to the wire and in the final turn, we were both teetering on our armies breaking.  We had the advantage of playing the crucial “break turn” and with a couple of points rallied back and a couple of kills inflicted we took the narrowest of narrow victories!  Dave and Gordon were top chaps and worthy opponents, and I very much enjoyed chatting with them throughout the weekend.

So John and I ended the day 2-0 up.  This was very much unexpected.

The evening passed in a blur of whiskey and Chinese grub, and Sunday morning came too quickly, and we started of course on the “top tables”.  This meant we’d be fighting other teams that had wins from Saturday.

Checking the draw we found ourselves facing the sort of army we’d expected to dominate – in the shape of Chris Tonge and Tony Parkin’s Communal Italians.

The armies lined up and facing us was a vast screen of skirmishers behind which there was a vast wall of very unpleasant European knights with heavy spearmen in support.  These would make short work of our infantry, but hopefully our elephants would do the business.

The game kicked off and our opponents engaged in some impressive mounted dressage with knights making a bid to get round our flanks.  Only our trusty infantry archers would stop them!  We adopted out usual, and so far highly successful (and only) tactic – a headlong charge into the jaws of death!  We charged the skirmishers off, smashed into the knights and their supporting spearmen and…

…in the swirling melee our swordsmen were cut to pieces.  Nil desperandum however as out elephants were having a field day and the Communal “Italians” (actually a farrago of European nations) knights were falling like nine-pins!  The battle didn’t last long from there and soo we’d won a fairly comfortable victory.

John and I were now 3-0 and neither of us could really believe it.

And so we came to the final battle and we thought it likely we’d be matched against Feudal English.  We didn’t mind that too much.  But then, it turned out we were facing Tim Porter (Madaxeman) and Adam Worsdale with their Samurai.
Having trained against Samurai armies we knew this could very much go one way or the other, so we pitched in and set up.

It’s safe to say that the terrain was disastrous for us.  We had a plantation splitting the battlefield and the Samurai had a hill to plant themselves on, pretty much shutting off our right flank.  So it fell to me on the left flank to try and do some damage while John held his flank back – attacking uphill would be a guaranteed loss.

Following our standard tactic I pushed in quickly, making it through the Samurai archery relatively unscathed.  That said I was severely outflanked with the Samurai cavalry threatening to envelop me, but I managed to contain the threat with my archers.

Then the lines clashed and a spectacular round of impact fighting saw the Samurai army essentially break.  Die roll after die roll went my way and despite taking losses in the ensuing melees, it was all over bar the shouting and two turns later the Samurai broke!

Pictures from Tims Facebook page.

The nellies approach...its all still in the balance...

The lines clash, the dice gods smile on our elephants and its all over...

Tim and Andy were fun chaps to play against and indeed we didn’t have a bad experience in any of our games.

We really couldn’t believe it, but in our first ADLG Tournament John and I had won!!

I expect this won’t be our last tournament, even if its our last trophy.

Edit: Our final opponents view of the action.

Friday, 15 September 2017

Legends of the Old West - High Noon and Open Range

This evening we played the latest set of clashes in our Legends of the Old West revival, and some fun and boisterous games were had.  

I took Ma Parker's kinfolk into battle once more, and in the first game we faced Graeme's new Lawmen (Graeme having retired his last posse after a brutal couple of engagements).

We rolled up the High Noon scenario and so Ma Parker was looking to clear out these danged Lawmen from the town.  It was a simple fight to the death.

"OK boys, lets give them ornery ranchers a whole passel 'o trouble."

"Listen up kin, them lawdogs got to go.  Give 'em hell".

With High Noon, we're fighting along a narrow street, so we set up hiding from each other behind the buildings.

I set up on the left flank intending to hop down the front and back of those buildings, and Graeme was doing the same.

Elijah Parker set out alone down the right hand of the street, intending to set up near the corral and offer up some rifle fire with his Winchester.

The first clashes took place in the narrow confines of the back alley with .45 slugs and buckshot smashing the fences into splinters.

Meanwhile, out in the street nearby, the cowboys and lawmen faced off, and after a tense standoff, began blazing away from close range.

Lady Day was shot down and the fighting moved out of the alleys and into the street.

The lawmen were being shot down and the surviving heroes took to pistol-whipping the cowboys.

Used to rough high plains saloons, the cowboys put up a good fight and got the better of the tin stars in the fisticuffs.

Elijah Parker in particular took down the lawmen, forcing their gunfighter "The Kid" to step in.

In the end though, the lawmen lost their nerve and headed for the hills, leaving Ma Parker to pick up her wounded.

Sadly after the battle, Ma's boy Elijah, beaten down by The Kid, and Dapper Dan Teague died of their wounds!

"Its no good Ma!  The got me fer sure this time..."

So I won, but the posse took a beating losing two Buckeroos. I managed to scrap enough cash together to buy a replacement, and Mexican Bob was a "kid done good" and became a hero!

So onto the next battle, and I took on Bob's undefeated cowboys posse.  We diced and predictably got "Open Range". 

This is an interesting scenario that favours posses with horses and rifles.  Its also a good scenario to try to make a bit of extra cash.  Basically were after the cattle!

We set up six cattle each so I put six by the fence and Bob put six as far back as he could.  Bos gets bonus money for keeping cattle on the table, and I get bonuses for herding them off the table.

Ma Parker's kin line up to make a dash for the cattle.

Bob's cowboys trickle on, hearing there's trouble out by fence.

The posses square off with the cows in between, as Ma and her boys head up to break the fences down and get at the precious beef herd.

Bob's cowpokes open fire, a little too close to the cows and the wee beasties get spooked stampede!  

Lucky for us, one cow stampedes into the fence, smashing it down!

So I exploited the opportunity and herded the cattle out of their enclosure.  the battle turned into a chase, we Ma's Kinfolk slapping those cattle out. 

As we retreated, Bob's rifles began to take their toll, and my losses mounted.  But I did manage to get the cows off, and at that point I voluntarily headed for the hills, losing the game but saving further casualties.  Technically a loss for me.

After the battle though, more losses, including the disaster of Lady Day being shot down and captured.  She survived and was taken into town to be brought before Judge Ulysses "Old rope" Moneyfor, a known hanging judge.

With a short trial, Judge Moneyfor sentenced the good Lady to hang for her part in the cattle rustling.

And so with my losses taking me to 5 fighters, I think its time for Ma Parker to mosey on to another town and for me to start a new posse.

All told another great evening's fun with an excellent set of rules.