Field of Glory Wargaming at Usk 2010
After a rather unwholesome lunch of pre-processed fish and chips, our thoughts turned to India as we contemplated both that evening's forecast of curry, and the thought of playing a Rajput Army who's list is available here
Pictures of Rajputs from my Ancients Photo Directory
The terrain was all rather woolly, as it again had been knitted by Linda. It was also all over the table, creating a couple of nice tidy avenues down which the Rajput lancers and Elephants couldn't help but arrive.
With skirmish units in paler colours, the deployment was as above (created using the free Battle Chronicler) tool. The Rajputs had split both their elephants and lancers, and were hoping to rush us through the rough terrain - but our skirmishers had other ideas, as we planned to pin them back and dictate the pace of the battle.
The Korean skirmishers, astonished to be personally led by generals, raced forward to occupy the center ground of the battlefield. Almost instantly the Rajputs realised their cavalry lancers would struggle to get out of the ploughed field before the Korean infantry would be upon them!
Loot a burning house
But with the center ground to win, we could not have skirmishers everywhere - and the Rajputs had an unencumbered advance on our left. But with little there to oppose them anyway, they were free to advance as fast as they wished.
The Korean infantry had overrun the woodland in the middle of the table before the rajputs were even out of the traps, and were making a bee-line for the poor quality bowmen who were connecting the two Rajput wings - and who never expected to find themselves in the front line so soon !
Make a sound in the east, then strike in the west
The Rajput lancers looked on impotently as the Korean skirmishers taunted them across the field
Nothing had happened as yet, but the Korean general was confident that his men had found the targets they were looking for..
The Rajput lancers had been decisively outmaneuvered as the Korean halberdiers had rushed past them in double-time leaving the mighty Rajput warriors facing a rabble of poorly equipped skirmishers,
...as Korean Singi Guard cavalry units massed together to take them on as they emerged from the central field - and into a hail of bowfire and crossbow bolts as well.
Openly repair the gallery roads, but sneak through the passage of Chencang.
As the Korean halberdiers waded into the luckless Indian infantry, the Rajput lancers unleashed a overly clever "wheel and charge" maneuver at the Korean skirmishers - so if they evaded, the flank of the halberdiers would then bear the full brunt of the Rajput charge (technically not a flank charge as the Rajputs didn't start behind the flank of the Koreans, however lancers vs MF halberdiers in the open is not good either). The javelinmen took their courage in their hands and took one for the team - and passed a morale test to stand !
The Rajput infantry were rocked back by the ferocity of the Korean assault and the morale of the Indians started to crumble. meanwhile, the skirmishing foot had lost to the lancers - but then had passed the resulting morale test, and so were embroiled in a fight which was going on for far longer than expected - and was occupying 2 Indian generals as well.
The brave skirmishers soon started to falter - but the soft underbelly of the Indian army was being hammered every which way - Korean bowmen were raining down arrows on the densely packed Indian levy bowmen as their halberdiers threatened to punch a huge hole in the enemy line.
As the skirmishers finally broke, the Rajputs pursued - only to find a rather more resilient wave of Singi Guard cavalry waiting for them.
Sacrifice the plum tree to preserve the peach tree.
The Rajput right wing had become totally fractured, and with only shadows and Light Foot to chase the elephants and lancers had become separated - Rajput elephants pursued Korean skirmishers into the safety of the plantation.
More Singi Guard troops were arriving by the moment as the Rajput vanguard found their success against the skirmishers was proving to be somewhat of a double edged sword.
But soft underbellies are soft for a reason - finally the Indian levy bowmen gave up standing in a shower of arrows and turned and fled - beaten by 6 poor Korean skirmishers!
But, with the Indians at the very brink of breaking, the Korean halberdiers had suffered a dramatic reverse - and they now were - astonishingly - broken, and routing back through the middle of our army ! The cutting edge had been cut down ...
The rajputs were about to exploit their fortune, and overwhelm our center. But they had also suffered some losses, which they could ill afford. Who would crack first?
The Rajputs were now in their element, as some textbook Lancer on lancer action started to develop - but yet again the Koreans had managed to sneak the Superior To bang Guard crossbowmen in as a bonus at the end of the line. Would they work their magic again?
Well, with dice like that, someone would have to do so !
The To Bang Crossbows had become disrupted, allowing the Rajput lancers to stay engaged - and rendering the entire plan in tatters. The Singi Guard were also suffering base and cohesion losses against the tide of astounding Rajput dice.
The battle swung violently as both sides saw lancer units break and flee - but fortunately for the Koreans, their breakthrough opened up the flanks of the Rajput line, whilst the Rajputs had knocked a hole, but not one they could yet exploit ...
.. and back on the boring side of the table, the remaining Rajputs were debating how to deal with Koreans hiding amongst the trees and bushes of the rough ground.
Emboldened by their sheer numbers the Korean levy unit moved up to take on two isolated elephants.
And soon found themselves on the losing end of a big grey trunk ...
The To bang Guard had weathered a storm, but an elephant charge swept them from the field - however their halberd-armed colleagues in Superiordom had managed to get into combat with 2 more elephants, and fancied their chances - and the Rajputs were still braced for carnage in the middle when our lancers rolled up their flank.
Things were looking bleak for the levy though ....
I finally worked out how to grey-out broken units in Battle Creator, and the game was breaking down into a series of unconnected small scale skirmishes as both sides crept towards their break point
The Rajputs charged - initially unsuccessfully - into the rough ground with lancers and elephants, weathering a storm of shooting to do so.
The move almost paid off though when the Koreans also went disrupted
Back in the middle and the Rajputs were unable to restrain their lancers from hacking down the luckless Korean infantry as they fled - at least it was taking the dangerous lancers out of the game !
But with gaps opening up, the Koreans greater number of skirmishers were coming back into their own - the 4 light horse concentrated their fire on the still exhausted Indian infantry - and broke the already greatly reduced unit from shooting alone
Finally the Korean Singi Guard charge went in ...
More Singi Guards charged home, as the Indians had carelessly stepped forward out of the woods exposing themselves to the cavalry lancers.
The Indian resisted the cavalry - but they had no answer to the To Kak Guard Halberdiers who had finally dispatched the elephant facing them - their pursuit carried them right into the Indian javelinmen, and their superior qualities counted in bucket loads
Back to the left, and another elephant had suffered the traditional fate, exploding against our skirmishers - as the Indians routed behind them, our huge bow unit tried to hang on against the increasingly not-present lancers in a never ending combat
The routing Indians, (having been broken by our LH) raced towards a disrupted unit of their own levies. If they burst through, the levies would become Fragmented, and the game would swing in our favour (ie we would win there and then). The Indian general rolled the bones and .... rallied his men just before they were brutally interpenetrated, keeping his army alive and his hopes of victory intact !
But meanwhile the Tae Kak Guards had broken their opponents, and they swept on towards the defenseless Indian bowmen behind them.
The interpenetrated levies also found themselves the subject of a fierce rain of missiles, and had to check their morale..
But, with the Rajputs starting to come back from their wild pursuit of our routers, the game was finally decided by the Tae Kak guards as they marched straight through and over their third unit in as many turns. A victory - but by the skin of our teeth!
Victory was ours!!
Post Match Summary
As James Mason, The Emperor of Korea, I must say that this was a very close call, but at the end of the day only the Victorious win the Mandate of Heaven - and the rights to write up the battle report and pretend it was a walkover.
If only the Halberdiers hadn't suffered such ridiculously poor luck in the middle of the table I think we could have been in the bar and drinking scorpion flavoured sake by as early as 3:30, in time to catch the FA Cup 4th round ties live on ITV. However I was always confident that The Singi Guard would triumph over their Rajput Opponents and lead my Army to success.
The one shame (other than losing almost half my men) was to see the To Bang Guard Crossbows crumble and fail so easily - and none of the routing units were able to be rallied either, which hurt.
As we say in Korea, An egg floating all alone in such a wide river is in danger and alone.
Hannibal's Post Match Analysis
Yep, you won - but at a cost which would have been called a Masonic Victory if you had been around before the Romans had that spot of bother with Pyhrrhus.
So, a chance to win the game early doors, a vital combat which woudl unhinge the enemy line, and you DIDN't commit your general to combat - even though your opponent did - until it was all too late? How is that bad luck then? More like bad competence really.
After that you only just managed to redeploy fast enough to set up a fantastically advantageous "12 on 12" lancer combat in the middle of the park - when really those Rajputs should still have been wading through a ploughed field to this day.
You even managed to advance your Poor levies off a hill - where they would have enjoyed an advantage - out into the open where an enemy elephant was able to run them down. And given where he started the game, I'm not sure the Rajput general would have been able t0 get that elephant anywhere anyway - so occupying it by losing a unit hardly did you any favours at all.
Really what happened here was that the Rajputs deployed far too much terrain, then compounded their error by putting basically useless troops too far forward into it, and further erred by splitting their lancers AND elephants up - with some going in a spot where there was clearly going to be minimal opposition.
And even so you almost lost - and looked likely to do so for a long period of time.
Lets see how the next game goes then ?
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