Game 2 Dublin DBM Competition
Brilliant! I'm in Ireland, and I'm playing a Mick !
(Mick Hessian to be accurate)
He was using Shat-o Turks
This means two regular Chinese armies, with spearmen, cavalry, loads of light horse and a few bits and bobs were facing each other across a largely empty table (save for a couple of rough patches, a ploughed field and a wood on one flank - all placed by me to try and make the game more interesting (ie as opposed to because I had a cunning plan involving terrain).
We had lined up with our spearmen slightly offset, and with my 4 knights - who I hoped would be a key asset - in the wrong place entirely - in fact, in retrospect I'm not sure why I put them there ar all really unless I'd expected loads of auxilia to come rushing out of the rough going. Maybe I'd drunk too much the night before?
The wily Turkish started off with a strong mounted attack on my right, pushing forward a group of superior cavalry and a formation of fast blades against my bowmen and blades in a ancient battle tactic knows as the "we have 2 more blades than you, so have some of this you bastard" approach.
My blade and bow formation was forced into some rapid dancing Reigate style column forming and expanding maneuvers in order to get themselves in the right position so the bowmen could shoot at the cavalry and my Blades could show how large their cojones were by taking on the more numerous Sha-to blade-iers. This meant a couple of bowmen were left behind, but hey, this is war, and there are always casualties.
Meanwhile my spearmen were also trying to move up to support my rather exposed blades and bowmen - but the Hd (I) had got in the way. In retrospect I think I could have just run him over, but I instead spent some pips on him and tried to get him out of the way
Soon my "lets gang up on them" tactics seemed to be working rather better than those of the Sha-to, as spearment blades and bowmen combined to make the Sha-to blades look a little undergunned.
The Turks - like me - were suffering on the other flank from severe pip drought, as all the pips were being sucked up by the other flank where all the action was. My Light horse hoped to put pressure on the Turks flimsy skirmish screen, and they in turn hoped to wheel up the big guns of the Cv S column that had started deployed at the back - but neither of us had command and control to do so effectively.
And here was another reason I could not push my advantage - the Chariots were making a slow, methodical dash across the rear of my army to try and get to where the action really was. With the column maneuvering like an oil tanker, they split off into a rather pretty but somewhat slow firework display and threw themselves into the fray.
Soon battle was well and truly joined, and I took a short break from taking photos whilst I played the game. When I paused for breath, my blades - aided by a knight and some cavalry - had gained a decisive upper hand against the Turkish blades - but their cavalry were starting to pile on the pressure on my left flank.
In the center, spear on spear action was proving surprisingly decisive, with my Spear (I) in particular (the red ones) doing great work carving a hole in the Turkish Sp (O)
However erosion was starting to take its toll on my men as well, and as the pushed back the Turkish blades and cavalry on the right, their ranks were thinned
Soon it was a whirling, swirling cavalry battle, were everyone had flanks hanging - and the Turks in particular were risking their generals
The Turkish spearmen in particular had recovered from their traumatic beginnings to hang on doggedly against the onslaught of brightly coloured Chinese infantry they faced.
As the game had degenerated on the other flank, the Turks had finally managed to spare enough pips to bring their cavalry reserve into action, and it was no pressing hard on the light horse on my right, who were forced into an unwanted combat.
On my right, my attempt to kill the Turkish general had failed, and my weaker Cv O were gradually being drawn out of position against the more resilient Cv (S) of the Turkish army.
In the middle of the field, my spearmen were still pushing hard for the final elements of Turkish spearmen they needed to kill to take down that command - but they were still hanging on !
The besieged Turks stood fast against everything my army could throw at it
Oh NO! Things had gotten so bad on my right that I was forced to throw in the general !
With his flanks protected by LH F fighting Cv S, what could possibly go wrong....?
Eventually, the last of the Turkish spearmen wend down in a hail of blows from the creme of two commands of my army.
My beleaguered general hastily reorganized his forces, to create a coherent line of scrimmage, and the Turks suddenly realised they were themselves now on the brink of defeat, as the mounted noblemen belatedly remembered that the blades were in their command as well. I was now on the verge of killing off the cavalry command - but was within a couple of elements of defeat myself.
The Turks, relalizing time was running out for them launch ed one final "Hail Mary" attack - and in one tremendous bound of combat, swept away my right hand command killing a fistful of elements in one turn. With this my chances of victory evaporated, and the game wound down to a draw
Post Match Summary
Some games are a game of two halves. This A game of One Third, as all the "action" (as opposed to all the fighting) took place on my right, as two well matched commands jockeyed for position against each other, soaking up all the good pips from both regular armies - as the Hammy-chart below clearly shows.
By keeping the Turks very busy on my right, I was able to prevent them bringing up their Cv S on my left against my far weaker LH flank until very late in the game - too late to achieve anything meaningful, and this also gave me time to redeploy my knights, who were able to make a difference on the other flank.
So, with the best parts of one of the 3 Turkish commands out of action, and all my combat troops engaged, in many ways it was turning into a weight of numbers game against the other two commands - both in terms of men, and also pips. My CinC-led spear command was also able to act as a sort of pip dump, as once the spears were committed they had relatively few moves to make, and he was usually able to make one of them happen himself.
However, the Han Chinese is a brittle army, with no "S" troops, and lots of LH F who do end up fighting, as did the Cv (O) - and it was this underlying brittleness that eventually cost them, as the almost-broken Turks decided to try and take a few Chinese with them when they went, and ended up with more than they bargained for as the Hail Mary attack paid off spectacularly well to earn them a command-a-piece draw.