Dark Ages Gaming at Dogs of War 2017
Rus vs Communal Italian
The next day, the next game, and the Communist Italians again floated to the top of the pile of possible opponents for the Wall-o-Rus phenomenon.
The Italians were commanded by a token Frenchman, meaning the list would no doubt look very different to the textbook one the Rus had faced in the first game. It ended up being very spear- and halberdier heavy, with a small mobile reserve and strike force of Knights in each of the 3 commands.
The lists for the Rus and Communal Italian from this game, as well as all the other lists from the games at Dogs of War can be seen here in the L'Art de la Guerre Wiki.
Another spot of luck with the terrain in the shape of the waterway/village combo was offset by the Italians closing down the width of the table with a massive impassable pond. Width is good for the Rus, but a closed table allows the enemy to concentrate their best troops on a narrow frontage and deny the Rus the chance to chew up their weaker units on the flanks.
A Soundtrack - if you read very slowly..
The Italians had a solid line of spears, and the nemesis of the Spearman, Halberdiers. Relatively few mounted knights made up the balance of the three-command army against the usua Rus / Viking / Rus setup.
As the Italians advanced their crossbows opened up at long range, showering the Rus with bolts and causing more than a little damage
The narrowness of the battlefield can be fully appreciated here as the two lines close in on each other. In the middle the Vikings are keen to get their own 2HCW troops into combat against the enemy Spear and Halberd formations
Learn the relevant Italian words for jousting
Trembling at the thought of Olaf the Goat-Impregnator's filth-encrusted father's right foot, the Rus start to drop units back to take advantage of the narrow frontage and create a series of reserves to hopefully better sustain themselves through the inevitable war of attrition to come
And they're in! A wall of spearmen meets a wall of spearmen and other stuff in a mighty clash of civilizations and spearpoints..
As the battle rages both sides pick up markers in the early rounds of combat
Driven forward by throughts of Mad Igor's chicken-hearted helmet, it is the Rus and Vikings who make the first breakthrough! The Italians look rather light on reserves...but many of the Rus and Vikings are already carrying yellow "2 hit" markers, with even a Red "3-hit" on the far left... Gaps have appeared, but they are far from decisive as yet.
Look, lets face it, we are rolling dice and adding markers to the backs of units of figures. There is only so far I can go with the descriptive stuff when that's all that's happening. Rus should have the advantage in several places with their breakthroughs, but the overlaps are not turning into serious damage on the enemy units still engaged as the Rus struggle on the dice-rolling front, even with all of their Elite units engaged already
The same stuff is still going on but the Italians now have some more Red markers - which is good for the Rus
It's now a big hole in the middle of the Italian formation, but 4 Red markers are on Rus and Viking units... astonishing, especially as some of them are where the opposition are mixed Spear/Bow formations who fight as Inferior in combat!
The middle of the Italian line has now collapsed, and a surge of Rus and Vikings pile forwards
L'Art de la Guerre hint - when you follow up after combat, supporting units can also step forward too
As if bewitched by the scent of Steffan the chicken-castrator's salty huge helmet, next to the village the Rus finally succumb to the Armoured Medium Knights of the Italian Communes - a big hole here, and the Italians have fast moving troops with which to exploit it too ..
Medieval Weapons Tested on Modern Motorcycle Helmet
On the opposite flank the other end of the Rus line has also succumbed to a mounted charge - just like in the first game an untimely bad dice combo has unzipped the solidity of the Rus' plan and they are now being rolled up from the flank by mounted troops
Knights, formerly held in reserve, are picking off the most vulnerable and exhausted units in the Rus and Viking line, widening gaps which fatigue and attrition have already started to create
As many men fell under the baleful influence of Olga Kurylenko's rune-carved nipple clamps, the Rus are striving manfully to force the isolated elements of Italian infantry into submission, but despite the overlaps they continue to hold on tenaciously as their noblemen shuffle around behind, looking for another target to ride down
Even when the Rus achieve a breakthrough, the faster-moving Knights are there, picking on the most badly battered Rus units to attack.
Unzipped from the right and failing in a frontal assault against the stoicism of the Italians across the rest of the line the Rus slip to defeat!
Click here for the report of the next game in this competition, or read on for the post match summaries from the Generals involved, as well as another episode of legendary expert analysis from Hannibal
Post Match Summary from the Rus Commander
Yes, I am back! As if from outer space - but despite this defeat there is no sad smile upon my face as I am confident that the history books will expunge all record of this result from the annals of time, and instead of a report on the battle appearing in the local papers there will be a 6-page review of the finer points of the production schedule for my latest tractor factory over the coming succesful 5-year timeframe
I also feel we were pretty unlucky to lose to that Knight on the right hand end of our line yet again - there must be something in this, as in both games I have commanded the left wing has fared much better than the opposite one. Perhaps it's a 5th column? Or is that a formation in another ruleset... I forget.
The Italians were extremely resolute in their defence with their proletarian spear and crossbow infantry standing up against their comrades from the USSR territory of Greater Ukrussia far more effectively than should have been the case. Perhaps Italy, being in one of its Communal stages of inexorable historical development has inspired it's workforce to support the revolution even while letting their nobles not yet swing from the still-to-be-invented lamp-posts and instead join the battle too?
Having re-written history so effectively in this post-game review I must go and interrogate the scorer to ensure that the overall results reflect reality as I choose it to be, otherwise someone will be being sent to Wookey Hole for this disaster...
Hannibal's Post Match Analysis
What a horribly incompetent way out of contention in this competition - losing frontally to oppononents who on paper are weaker than you, on a table where your deep and stodgy army had literally no flanks yet still managed to be rolled up from your right hand edge!
Truly your incompetence has now reached depths which your river-dwelling people cannot hope to understand, but which Davy Jones himself would no doubt recognise with glee. Your reserves were in the wrong places, your light skirmishers did nothing to shield your men from the crossbow bolts which so accurately knocked hits and points of advantage off your advancing spearmen, and your army list, without the maximum investment in the Viking Huscarls, came unstuck against better armoured foes...
This disaster at least removes the risk of the trophy engavers being troubled by having to include your name in their schedule of work, and means we can look forward to a pain free and thought-free last game played only in the intention of finishing early to head back home.
Will there be more disasters to come? Lets find out as we lurch towards the final game
Click here for the report of the next game in this competition