Feudal and Dark Ages in BHGS Challenge 2015
Feudal German vs Feudal English
2 on the bounce, and the Germans were, well, bouncing like a very well-engineered spring. The army was starting to come together, and the various components all seemed to know their place. If the general could be kept from his meddling ways they may yet continue on this winning streak or, erm, 2 games.
The lists for the Feudal German and Feudal English from this game, as well as all the other lists from the games at BHGS Challenge can be seen here in the L'Art de la Guerre Wiki.
The 4th game came after a nice evening roaming the Oxfordshire countryside and eating an expansive curry in a nearby village. No members of the Cabinet, no bassists from Blur, just local curry for local people.
Pictures of Early-ish Medieval Horse from my Ancients Photo Directory
My opponent in game 3 was a wide and shallow feudal English army - another Central London Club player who had taken on the Welsh and come a cropper at the hands of longbowmen and decided to give it a go himself no doubt.
Knowing my opponent would have lots of bowmen meant that the terrain was as bald as a coots bald patch on a charity head-shaving day at a Duncan Goodhew lookalike's convention, with just the odd field on the left of my army. The English were very spear and bow focused, with some Knights over on the far flank as their line of troops stretched across the table. The Germans had deployed the mounted wing on the open flank, with the Pikemen in the centre and the Vikings hanging on on the left.
This was not going to be a subtle game of parry, riposte and gentle jousting - both armies needed to get to bow and sword range to do damage, and both had a plan that involved doing so as quickly as possible. The Germans were just about managing to form some sort of echelon thing in their advance, but that was more down to irregular pips than any actual plan as such.
L'Art de la Guerre hint - unlike DBx, ALL of the pips are "irregular" and each general rolls their own dice. Pips are halved from your original dice roll, but better (more expensive) Generals get to add 1, 2 or 3 to the total before it's halved. And each army has it;s own command rating, which limits the number of "good" general's you can take. So, sort of like the Regular/Irregular thing in DBM, but achieved in a different way
The English waited as the Germans approached, and notched their arrows, pulled back their bowstrings, and got ready for some sky-darkening twang action.…
The Teutonic infantry were trying furiously to sidestep their way towards the English spearmen, leaving the Vikings to try and run down the bows who were by now blotting out the grey clouds overhead (no sun, this was England in June after all) as they fired repeated volleys into the approaching Scandinavians, who were starting to pick up not only green but also yellow markers as they advanced.
L'Art de la Guerre hint - You can sidestep a base for free as long as you go forwards at least 1 MU. This basically compensates for the moves not being DBX-style single element moves in any direction, as in ADLG each base needs to wheel as if it was FOG unit.
On the other flank the English were doing something incredibly clever - far beyond the understanding of the German infantry and Knights who just charged forward at the skin of LF crusting the front caparisons of the English nobles. The English line was so wide that even the German crossbowmen had to get into the action, but so far they were lucking out, sorry, holding up well against the more effective shooting of the English. As the crossbows advanced they even had the temerity to attempt a bit of a shimmy and a shuffle to try and let a Medium Spearman through a newly-created gap in their line in order to recreate the only clever move from game 2 and throw himself against a wall of bowmen in order to reduce their shooting.
Aren't Wargamers funny sometimes? : Part 2
FoG player : “ADLG? Some FOG players at my club have tried it have tried it and they don’t like it because one shooting hit is worth a POA, and so even if they have only taken a single hit, battle-line infantry will end up fighting at evens against bowmen in combat. That's just silly”
Me: “But... in FOG, when you are a POA up against bowmen, you hit on 4's and they hit on 5's, so statistically you'd expect to score 1/3 more hits than your opponent. But if you are also DISR from shooting you will lose 1/3 of your combat dice - so basically you are at events in combat agianst bowmen with battle line foot there too.”
FoG player : “erm.... “
Me: “Oh, I forgot - in FoG the bowmen get rear rank shooting at impact as well, so get 50% more dice (OK, needing 5's to hit). But that does mean that in FoG, battle line infantry charging bowmen after taking damage from shooting on the way in are actualy worse off than they are in ADLG”
FoG player : “(mumbles into beard and exits stage left) “
But this complexity proved far too much for the puzzled English - they ignored the dancing Germans and just charged in, with their Knights interpenetrating their own LF, and the bowmen taking advantage of the opportunity to score some overlaps and just wading forwards as the Germans dithered and tried to overengineer good matchup.
The German Halberds were however also in! Overlapped, but still in combat early doors…
1066 and all that jazz...
And so were the English knights, who quickly demonstrated that the ability to hide themselves from shooting behind a line of LF, and then charge through it was in fact highly effective against enemy (in this case German) crossbowmen. A rather large hole had opened up in the German line…
As sun set across the battlefield, the Germans tried to reciprocate in kind, sending their own Knights into action against enemy bowmen.
Everyone was now in one 3-foot line of sword and halberd and spear-play, shoving each other at close quarters as the tide of battle ebbed and flowed in more directions than any tide had any right to do.
The Vikings were just about into the enemy bowmen, but waves of arrows and some judicious combat dice had already seen one of the 2 Huscarl units fall by the wayside and the German line was unzipped. Men were falling and being taken to Valhallah accompanied by the heavenly chimes of Eric the Priapic's spume-soaked string vest! The German halberdiers had however performed far closer t the arithmetical median and had chopped their way through one file of English spearmen already - and the English spears were picking up markers at a deeply unsustainable rate as well.
Feudal Knights in Action
On the far flank the two lines of Knights were riding each other down as two units of English knights burst throug The German line and thought about doing something unspeakable to the rear end of a couple of crossbowmen and Medium Spearms. Meanwhile the English bowmen were giving a very good account of themselves against the challenge of the crossbowmen and spearman assault as well.
But, as in many areas of life, width finally told as the Germans, mopping up and riding down the bowmen at the end of the English line, rapidly turned onto the flank of the English knights engaging the German Religious Orders to their front and tipped the battle in a decisive fashion towards Dusseldorf and away from Halifax
The two lines of infantry were also by now well stuck into one another, and the fragility of the English bowmen was starting to be demonstrated as they fell away in clumps under the attack of the Vikings and the German Halberdiers and pikemen. The tide had turned and was now definitely flowing only one way.
The English, keen to salvage some pride, had been infiltrating through the woods on the left of the German army and now emerged, blinking in disbelief to find the soft underbelly of the Viking command hung out to dry and waiting for them, utterly bereft of pips as their commander was busy winning the game elsewhere. The English swarmed, and the Swedes stood and were overrun.
Both sets of knights were wheeling through each other and seeking to redefine the axis of combat by 90 degrees at this point…
But, the brave and heroic crossbowmen were looking to inflict the final blow - they had suffered to English Knights, but the survivors had unsheathed their daggers and had spied some baldy traumatized (2 losses already) English bowmen who they could hit in the flank. Would this be the coup de grace?
L'Art de la Guerre hint - Rules hint - hitting an enemy in the flank when they are NOT engaged to the front means you fight at +1 to your normal factor and they fight at straight zero
YES! With a rather shameful but decisive contribution from the German general who joined the unit in combat, the last base of English fell - another victory to Germany!
The Result is a 92-18 win for the Germans!
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 Feudal German Commander
Victory again is mine, and once again we are living up to the German proverb and proving that "Practice is what makes a master". I am now well placed to not only end up as the master of Germany, but perhaps of the entire world with a sneaky slipstream submarine approach up the table and into the medal positions.
As we say in Germany, "He who chases two rabbits at once will catch none" and here I chose my rabbit well. My men knew the weak spots of the opposing army and deployed to match them with our own best troopers, and this paid dividends indeed as we overwhelmed the presumed-fearsome shooters with a solid Teutonic attack all along the line.
Once this day is done finally we will celebrate, but for now we must keep focus and consider the job in hand of winning the next game. As we say in Germany, "Work is work and schnapps is schnapps" and one must precede the other.
Hannibal's Post Match Analysis
Luck and fortune favour you today you scurvy, old, filthy, scurry lord! How the enemy bowstrings became unplucked as your men advanced idiotically in the face of what should have been sky-darkening arrow flight frankly vexes my brain and confounds my imagination in so many ways - but this is where we today find ourselves.
You hath more hair than wit, and more faults than hairs, and more wealth than faults, but now you also have more points than many of the other people in the competition and so that must be so much more an embarrassment to them than a cause for self-congratulation for you and your forces
I can only pray that your fall from grace will be as painful to you as your ascent to competence has been for us that have had to suffer your hubristic rantings and vain claims of success through hskill. Now I say put it, God, in the physician's mind to help this noble German to his grave immediately - or perhaps after the next game
Click here for the report of the next game in this competition