Biblical, Classical & Roman in Estella 2016
Patrician Roman vs Khurasanian
The final game, after a rehydration break in which coffee, coca-cola and a welcome Solero were consumed in quick succession and the end of the tournament hove into view at last.
The ultimate matchup was Rome vs the Arab Dynasty of Khorasan, both of us presumably on one win from the first 4 games. The lists for the Patrician Roman and Khurasanian from this game, as well as all the other lists from the games at Estella can be seen here in the L'Art de la Guerre Wiki.
Khurasanian is a classic Arab army, with high quality shooty cavalry, the obligatory 2 Dailami and an elephant, a core of spearmen to keep things steady and plenty of options to occupy terrain or the open ground. A good choice for a 2-list event.
This time the terrain fell perfectly for the Romano-Barbarian Bowling Alley, with a river on one flank and all of the terrain on the edges of the table leaving a nice flat plain just a little bit narrower than my army in the centre down which they would ride and walk - no need for a flank march this time, especially after two wasted attempts in the two previous games.
The Khurasanians were arrayed in battle formation, waiting the onslaught and confident in their matchups (presumably. Or maybe this photo was taken before they had done their first move?). Waikiki, hokothoy moyo marionette auto careeren netremos katrini hootrow, Harry Secombe.
The dangerous Dailami had deployed in the Dailami-friendly plantations and fields on the rivers edge, where the Roman army had nothing to put up against them other than a pathetic line of skirmishers - but with heavy foot steaming down the centre the Dailami would have to go some to have an impact on the 3' wide battle line before it hit the Khorasanian spearmen.
L'Art de la Guerre In Spanish - Campo, or Campo Colina: Field
On the opposite flank the Khorasanian cavalry quickly realised that they were going to be battered by a full frontal charge from the Roman mounted command's lancers, who were advancing in step with the Frankish ally to support their flanks.
The Romans had depth and numbers on the flank, and the sheer density of sword-waving infantry pressed forward ignoring the Dailami in the bushes by the riverside as they ploughed forward. They were confident in their numerical superiority and were going to charge anyone in their way and lap round their flanks - a plan simple enough even for them to execute. Hopefully.
Estella Sunday Evening Karaoke
The Dailami drove off the Roman skirmishers but this merely took them further from the advancing main body of Romans who were steaming forward. This was a whole command of Khorasanians, which looked to be achieving relatively little so far. Poco poco metera poco revolutionaro katrini Network Southeast
L'Art de la Guerre In Spanish - Rio: river
On the opposite flank the Khorasanian horsemen were looking to avoid being overwhelmed by the onrushing tide of hairy Frankish humanity, and tried to turn about and fall back behind their own line of spearmen and elephants.
But they had not fallen back enough, leaving some of the barbarian horse in range to charge them in the rear - which they did, triggering an enthusiastic evade which saw Khorasanian cavalry leaving the table.
L'Art de la Guerre hint - evading off table is a 1 VP loss. They can't come back.
The line of pedestrian infantry were pressing onwards, taking occasional hits from the shooting of the Khorasanian horse who dare not stand up to them but who were happy to keep evading. The line of spearmen, the chosen target for the infantry, was getting closer by the turn
L'Art de la Guerre In Spanish - Infanteria pessado: Heavy Infantry.
The Khorasanians had been forced to leave some horsemen behind in their desperate attempts to get away from the Roman cavalry sweeping forward, and their time was fast running out as the Romans swarmed around them ready and poised to go in for the kill. Neketras, scudenten godos scopolos!
Pictures of Later Islamic States Troops from my Ancients Photo Directory
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The decisive charge though would be the Impetuous infantry into the spears. +1 at impact, and with Furious Charge causing extra hits in the first phase of combat the odds were with the Roman mercenaries to sweep the Arabs away.
The Gallo-Franks rushed forward with a mighty war cry, hammering into the waiting line of Arabian infantry and elephants in a furious maelstrom of combat capability - apart from the sole Arab bowman, who was just a teeny bit overmatched in the hand to hand fighting stakes.
More Arabs left the table as a unit of LH rolled long and was pursued by maniacally laughing Roman foederate foot - they ran pell-mell after the evading horsemen and by the time they stopped to draw breath they found themselves behind the entire Persian army! What next to do - the Romans had enough troops to roll up the flanks of the spearmen anyway, so a dash to the baggage and the 4 VPs it represented looked equally tempting...
The initial round of combat went very much according to plan, with Furious Charge seeing 4 separate units of Arabian foot taking at least 2 hits - astonishingly the Bowmen were still on table though, but the Elephant had also taken a battering making the hoped-for quick and brutal victory against the bowmen a little less necessary.
But, the Khurasanians were not done yet - in a brutal reposte they took the fight to the barbarians, and blasted 2 units to oblivion in their next turn to create a sudden luxury of overlaps to even the odds considerably. The Khorasanian General had rallied one hit off the central unit, but the others were steadily slipping towards broken status with 2 Red 3-hit markers on table as well. The fight was poised on a knife edge....
With the Khorasanian cavalry now coming back into the fray, but in reduced numbers, the Persians had no way to protect the flanks of the elephant from the ravaging Frankish ally and his men, and the whole left flank of the Persian spearmen was now essentially open for the Franks to do their swordly business. Helethos cula carotin potar peggio mini quai-ver.
Seeing the risk, either of being rolled up, or of relying on someone else for the victory they felt they deserved, the Persians and the Gallo-Gothic Mercenary Foot both mustered themselves for another brutal few rounds of combat. Both sides achieved significant victories and breakthroughs, leaving the centre of the battlefield a littered mess of shell-shocked units looking for respite and new opponents.
With the Elephant gone, the Franks were now free to join in against both the Persian cavalry and the end of the Persian spear line.. if they could only roll enough pips to do so!
The foederate foot who had broken through the enemy line had made the choice of baggage - after all, 4 VPs would take a long time to achieve any other way and they expected their colleagues to win anyway against the line of spears. For the second time that weekend Heavy Foot captured enemy baggage on the baseline - pretty tricky in most sets of rules but clearly possible in ADLG!
The last of the Khorasanian cavalry were being slowly surrounded, shot down and swamped by a particularly patient set of units of all the flavours in the Roman army. The end was nigh for pretty much every Khorasanian warrior on this entire half of the table.
With their army scattered to the 4 winds, and they baggage looted and on its' way back to the banks of the Tiber, the Khorasanian army finally crumbled to a defeat, overwhelmed by the wall of warband successfully launched at them down the Romano-barbarian Bowling Alley. A great win for Rome.
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 Patrician Roman Commander
Finally I feel that this army has shown its undoubted potential in a game in which all of the pieces which I am seeking to co-ordinate finally fell into place and worked together. Key to this was pacing, as against my own more aggressive nature I managed to hold back the over-keen arms of the army to deliver crushing force where and when it was most needed without over-extending and offering up flanks.
If the tournament was to start again at this point, firstly I would be quite happy to do so given the relatively pain-free and non-brain-bending nature of this game of ADLG, but more importantly I think I would have a better view on how to drive my men to victory.
Certainly there would be changes in personnel as well - perhaps a legionary or two to stiffen the barbarian infantry, and even a small number of Auxilia to give me the ability to drive off enemies from my flanks. Quite what I'd do with the mounted version I am still not sure, but looking back I feel that game too was about timing rather than tactics, and a more cautious approach with a stiffening of Elite proper Roman cavalry would have worked wonders too.
I look forward with enthusiasm to another go at this commanding lark, and the large numbers of solidery who have spent many years in the metal storage draw barracks are also keen, as - even with these losses - I feel we have demonstrated that with half decent dice that a barbarian foot army is indeed a viable option in ADLG. Especially when led by a blue-blooded Roman.
Hannibal's Post Match Analysis
If you think that a record of three crushing defeats and two badly scraped wins, both of which required you to capture the enemy baggage to push your army over the minimum victory condition of destroying half of your opponent is going to see the Emperor of Rome reward you with another commission I fear you are sadly mistaken my pea-brained ingratiate. This so-called victory was won with huge slices of good fortune, perfect terrain, and an unlucky opponent all of which conspired to flatter your mono-dimensional army and play exclusively to its singular strengths.
Quite what you would have done if a single solitary field had fallen in the middle of the table is still puzzling me even now - those Dailami and Javelinmen would have become an immovable object which would have split your army like a knife splits an olive wrapped in anchovies and left it broken and sobbing on the floor.
At least you realise that there are some lessons to be learnt here - about your shameful army composition, your hapless and thought-free style of play, and the need to remember that you are no longer in the flush of youth. Looking to the future, slippers and a role mucking out the Sisyphean stables are more likely than any imminent return to generalship, and there will be many potentially dead soldiers who will have been condemned by your ineptitude to meet a grisly fate who will welcome that reassignment for sure.
I hope the next event sees a more sensible army, and a more competent general being deployed...
Now this shambles is over I would recommend everyone listens to the post-tournament podcast to actually learn something useful
Boutros, boutros boutros boutros ghali.
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