Biblical & Early Classical at Warfare 2016
Spring & Autumn Chinese vs Early Carthaginian
Yes, 5 games in 2 days and no brain-ache, and even time for a proper lunch - again in the wonderful Gorge cafe. The final opponent of the weekend was, rather fittingly, a pre-Hannibal Carthaginian army
The lists for the Spring & Autumn Chinese and Early Carthaginian from this game, as well as all the other lists from the games at Warfare can be seen here in the L'Art de la Guerre Wiki.
Carthaginians are a bit of a mixed bag, but in the early period they benefit from 4 heavy chariots, lots of good quality armoured spearmen and a smattering of Gauls and Iberians to contest rough terrain. The list is pre-elephants, so nothing there to strike fear into the enemy chariotry however.
This was a much more open terrain setup, with a wide plain and only one significant field in the left central position. The Carthaginians had the opportunity to anchor themselves on either flank on fields and orchards in their back zone, and had done so on their right with a long line of spearmen flanked by two pairs of Elite chariotry, daring the Chinese to come and have a go. The Big Green Machine occupied the space in front of the key field, and the warband, unsure where to go, had positioned themselves on the opposite side of the table presumably expecting the Carthaginians to anchor on the opposite side to the one they had chosen
The high quality Carthaginian line, full of expensive chariots and hoplites, terminated in a group of spearmen - the Chinese Warband started immediately to drift over towards them as they advanced rapidly across the table, smelling a target they very much fancied taking on.
Pictures of Carthaginian Troops from my Ancients Photo Directory
(Click any image to see details of the manufacturer, and a larger version of the photo)
The Chinese chariots were squarely aimed at their 2 Carthaginian counterparts in the middle of the line - this might well mean hitting some of the spearmen too, but with Impetuous chariots facing a well constructed line of spears there was little choice other than trusting to the Chinese gods on this one.
The Big Green Machine was taking part in a more subtle than it looks dance as it neared the enemy spear line. As the bowmen hung back and kept themselves safe in the field, they poured arrows into the spearline, hoping to cause cohesion hits that would make the job of the Chinese halberdiers and spearmen easier once the two lines clashed.
The general who advances without coveting fame and retreats without fearing disgrace, whose only thought is to protect his country and do good service for his sovereign, is the jewel of the kingdom.
Intimidated by the wider Chinese line, the Carthaginians had tried to echelon away from the advancing warband, but this had in turn exposed their pair of Chariots to the larger numbers of Chinese wheelies and now the weight of numbers of the Chinese could be brought to bear.
Wheelie Bin Racing
The Carthaginian spearmen stepped forward to engage the Chinese halberdiers along a broad frontage, carefully holding back from attacking the Chariots however
L'Art de la Guerre hint- if Chariots charge Spearmen, the Chariots lose any bonus for "Impact", and the spearmen also count as having "Impact" - a 2-factor shift in favour of the infantry at first contact. If the spearmen charge Chariots however, the Chariots keep "Impact" and the spearmen lose it - 2 factors the other way. Ouch!
At the same time the Warband command of Szechuanese warriors had hit the spearmen defending the left flank of the Carthaginian army - and with their accompanying regular Chinese halberdiers, the formation was significantly wider than the handful of spearmen. Fearful of the overlaps and the potential for catastrophic "Furious Charge" additional cohesion losses at impact, the Carthaginians mandated some reluctant Numidian LH to stand in the line and help absorb the initial charge.
Halberd on Spear combats can be quick and brutal, especially when the halberdiers are only Medium Foot with just 3 hits to the heavy Foot Spearmen's 4. The Chinese were rapidly taking markers, but one Elite Guard unit of halberdiers had rolled well and had broken through the line of mercenary infantry and now found itself in a position to launch some devastating flank attacks in it's next turn
He will win whose army is animated by the same spirit throughout all its ranks.
The Numidians proved no match for the energized Szechuanese, with the end of their line barely surviving a turn against the hatchet-swinging nutters as they swept forward. With a clear space to run into, the rollup of the Carthaginian line was about to be started by an impetuous swordsman unit
Seeing the writing on at least two separate walls as the Chinese burst through their front lines, the morale of the Carthaginians crumbled triggering a wave of decidedly sub-par combat dice in a round that saw a wave of markers spring into life behind much of the line of spearmen and chariotry from North Africa. The entire Carthaginian centre looked set for a spectacular implosion unless their generals could shore up some of the wavering units with some inspired rallying.
More combat, more markers - the Chinese were starting to take hits as the armour of the Carthaginians allowed them to weather the storm and keep fighting, but they themselves were also being steadily pushed towards destruction as 3-high stacks of markers became ominously common.
Suddenly, the Carthaginian resistance all but evaporated and huge gaps appeared in their formation into which thousands of Chinese troops gleefully poured. What was once a solid line of shieldwall was now a few isolated pockets of infantry drowning under a sea of halberd blows and chariot wheels.
The art of using troops is this: ……When ten to the enemy’s one, surround him;
As this was happening, the Szechuan infantry had swing out past the end of the line of spearmen out on the right and returned to the fray in spectacular fashion, slamming into the rear of the African spearman formation.
The good fighters of old first put themselves beyond the possibility of defeat, and then waited for an opportunity of defeating the enemy.
The Chinese chariotry were in full hue and cry, ripping through the heart of the North Africans line and straight out of the other side.
Making no mistakes is what establishes the certainty of victory, for it means conquering an enemy that is already defeated.
The coup de grace ended up being delivered by the Big Green Machine's 2 chariots, who had marched around the outside ends of the field and smashed into the vulnerable Iberian warriors as they thought about charging the bowmen. Chariots in the open against Medium Foot is not a slow matchup to resolve, and with one charge the game was won by China!
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 Spring & Autumn Chinese Commander
The contradictions and struggles among the cliques of warlords in China has reflected the contradictions and struggles among the imperialist powers who seek to gain dominion over us, but now we have thrown off the yoke of our oppressors and are on the shining path to true liberation. I have now ended this period of divided China and forced the various cliques of warlords to come to terms, with permanent consequences in which finally all our forces met their ideal opponents on the field of battle
The Southern Warband have had a torrid competition and this part of China had been in urgent need of a bourgeois-democratic revolution, and this victory over a narrower unit of normal spearmen is the spark for that revolution which I am sure will be completed under the leadership of the proletariat.
The Carthaginian proletariat in comparison failed to exercise firm leadership and stayed happily under the jack-sandal of Hannibal, allowing leadership to be seized by the landlord classes who failed to recruit as many Heavy Chariots as we had. Their lack of revolution was replaced by our counter-revolution and the bourgeois Carthaginians were beaten by hammer blows of our 2-handed weapons.
In the last few games, both in the centre and on the flanks there has been a growth of organized military strikes by the workers under the leadership of the Communist Party. This is a new development, and according to the directives of the Communist International and the Central Committee of our Party, the content of China's democratic revolution is that we are almost tempted to wheel out this army again as it appears to be pretty good at overthrowing the rule of imperialism and its warlord tools in China so as to complete the national revolution.
Hannibal's Post Match Analysis
Finally something of a winning streak, tucked in neatly at the arse-end of the weekend as if to underline the idiocy of picking a list and not having a single practice game with it before putting it on table for this tournament. How I would fear for you if you were to do that in Malifaux! But, even so, two wins are two wins, and finally there were glimmerings that you had learnt to control your men and deploy them effectively rather than sitting back in the old-school beginners attitude of "line em up and shove em forward"
There was still much that could have gone wrong in this game for you, as the realatively low resilience of the Chinese halberdiers could so easily have seen them lose a first round against the Carthaginian spearmen and been in deep trouble with 1 or more of their three hits gone when the Spearmen still had 4 to go - but, this was not to be and the innate advantages of the 7-point halberdiers in combat outweighted the density of the spearmen in the end.
Once the Carthaginian line started to break up the result was never in doubt, as your faster men flowed through and into the rear of the rather thinn Carthaginian line. Were I in commabd you would have seen some Poeni horsemen for the explicit purpose of plugging gaps and intimidating enemy loose formation foot - but in this army there were not really even enough Chariots to put up a sensible fight against your wheeled blitzkreig either
I think we have all learned something from this weekend - if only to bring your waders next Sunday at Warfare - but the onward march of ADLG continues, and perhaps next year we will see the 25mm troops you have spent so long painting and building in action too?
That's the end - so why not go back to the Match Reports Index and read some more reports?