Field of Glory Renaissance in The Deepest Deep South - 2010
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So, an astonishing victory that essentially turned back nearly 250 years of American history and stuck one in the eye of the French at the same time - Mississippi, Louisiana, new Orleans, Your Boys took one Helluva Beating, The Redcoats are on the March and King George's Royal banner flys proudly over the Southen States - or maybe Southern large Counties in proper English.
After such a victory, what could stand in my way? Well, the answer was a Ghaznavid army driven by the most gorgeous wargamer in all of America
Alora - va bene!
As well as being resolutely Italian, he was a long term resident of this region however despite the fact that no food product on sale anywhere south of the Mason-Dixon line contains less than 1,950 calories per serving (by law), this man had also managed to stay the correct side of borderline obesity, so surely he was practicing some sort of deeply effective witchcraft - would I be able to exorcise this demon, in a land where exercise was clearly regarded as a deeply un-Christian and un-american concept by much of the resident population?
Before the game started the entire competition decamped to infest a local branch of Sonic Burger, reminding me in no small detail of some of the great meals I had eaten during wargaming competitions in Spain, Italy, France and Greece - the only difference being the quality and quantity of the food and the ambiance of the surroundings. Oh, and the attractiveness of the serving staff.
This game is brought to you in association with the album "American Slang" by The Gaslight Anthem, and "The Elvis Cookbook"
Pictures of Ghaznavids from my Ancients Photo Directory
My opponents list would of course feature a lot of elephants but you need to click here to see just how many that is. With no-one really wanting it, there ended up being only marginally present terrain on table, with just 2 smallish patchs of rough going in front of my deployment area.
I was moving first, and had planned to race my main block of cavalry over the terrain and then deal with whatever faced me, however things didnt turn out that way - mainly as all they were really facing was 4 elephants.
|"If you find deep fried alligator on your plate, don't eat too much as it actually has a mild laxative effect. Then again, I imagine that finding a live aligator on your plate would have a similar, however probably much stronger effect."|
With nothing facing them they wanted to fight, and with the Ghaznavids bogged down by a surprising block of heavy foot in the middle of their line (which would limit their ability to mve their line forwards without leaving a huge gap in the middle of it) my cavalry deided to try and take advantage of their enormous mobility by turning to the left and making a sweeping maneuver behind the Dailami. On my far right, 3 units of Seljuk light horse were racing forwards to pick off a lone unit of handgunners, who were somewhat inadvisedly deployed so far away from their nearest friendly unit that they were practically on the adjacent table.
The Ghaznavid right flank was anchored on another bit of terrain, but only 2 light horse units were facing my 3 - and 2 of mine were lancers - which felt like a decent advantage from where I sat.Another opportunity for a clumsily executed left hook to overwhelm the Ghaznavid right through sheer weight of numbers, rather than skill and fancy shooting bo--ocks.
|In the adjacent hall, today we have the Southern Mississippi High School Rodeo Championships. Yipee - kay - aye!|
In a maneuver which appeared from some angles to be vaguely illegal, three units of cavalry originally deployed in a 6x2 block had moved as a group to form into 3 parallel columns, starting and ending in base to base contact thus claiming the ability to do a double move - well, no-one was going to argue with a 28' high General were they?
The Ghaznavids, possibly expecting a shooty cavalry army to mess around and skirmish, were rather shocked with the insanely aggressive stance taken by the Seljuks.
..and when the Seljuks charged, the terrified Ghaznavids fled - fortuunately for them, rolling long in both of their evades to outdistance the equally enthusiastic Seljuk light horse.
Back on the right, the 3 units of Seljuk light horse realised that they migh be overkill to catch 4 LF, and a unit peeled off to shoot the inexorably advancing elephants, who by now were starting to outdistance their supporting troops as they were continually harassed by 10 poor LF bowmen
|Some say Monster Trucks didn't start off that way - its just that the gasoline on sale in Louisianna is unusually high in calories|
The battle was incredibly fluid, with my LH having broken past the Ghaznavid line on my left - but my main strike force of 5 units of cavalry was still some way off from engaging the Ghaznavids, so some of their Ghilmen dabbled with the idea of swinging round to cut off the pursuing Seljuk LH.. In any case, only 1 unit of Ghaznavid elephants was now in a position to affect the battle, so that at least was a result at this stage of the game.
TheSeljuk LH were starting to realise that their bold attack might have been somewhat ill advised....
The 50-point elephant units and their 35-point general were coming off a poor second best aganst 30 points of LF bowmen....one elephant unit had picked up a dangerous looking blue marker..
|"If you can eat it, you can deep fry it......or is that supposed to be the other way round? I can never remember...|
The Seljuk and Armenian lancers were eventually getting in sniffing distance of the enemy line. Unfortunately it smelt rather like elephants...
Things were getting hairy for the once ever-so clever LH attack, as they were starting to learn why LH lance are not as good as LH with bow. And are lots worse than armoured superior drilled cavalry with Bow/Sword. Ouch...
The Seljuk LH may not have been doing well, but by now the foot bowmen had fragmented one of the elephants with their incessant rain of arrows...
As`always seems to happen when I try and use LH, things suddenly went badly wrong - the bold attack had turned into an embarassing rout as one of the Seljuk LH units managed to get overwhelmed by 2 enemy units, and was cut to ribbons. The sole surviving lancer unit maneuvered in terror to escape the debacle for a while longer...
But at least the Legio Heroica cavalry were now where they wanted to be - they neatly sidestepped the elephants, and piled forwards, banners fluttering in the breeze towards a thin line of Ghaznavid hilmen. Better POA's, massive superiority of numbers, everything was set for a glorious charge.
|Only 10% of Americans currently possess a passport. In Louisiana the picuture is only marginally different as whilst official records show that almost 20% of state residents have succesfully applied for passports, it is also estimated that almost half of the passports idduedhave subsequently been deep dried and eaten|
The Light Foot bowmen were clearly Stupid as well as Poor - they didn't realise that an orange marker actually means "broken"
Finally, a moment of opportunity for the Seljuk lancers, as they raced towards the flank of the Khurasanian LH who were feasting on the remains of a broken Seljuk LH. Culd this be the tmie they redeemed themselves?
|I hear Southen accents. on the radio...|
The Ghaznavid handgunners had now left the table, and the empty spaces of the left flank were so vast, and so thinly populated with Ghaznavid forces that even an incompetent numpty like myself would struggle not to outmaneuver one unit of cavalry and one of eephants with 2 LF and 3 LH units.
The main battle line was now ready to go. A fairly decent set of matchups as the Seljuk dailami had gotten half in front of the Ghaznavid elephants, whilst the Ghaznavid Dailami were about to receieve a dual Dailami and Armenian lancer charge - lancers into spears was not so good but at least it was just one base and even so there was a reasonable chance of a breakoff even if the Armenians lost the initial combat. The big advantage was one of sheer weight of numbers to the left, where 2-deep seljuks faced 1-deep Ghaznavids.
|I'm looking for a job as a short order cook
We don't have much call for short order cookc down here boy. We haven't had anyone place a short order in this restaurant since the state was signed over to the United States Government by the French in 1867
FoG rule No 124. In any even-odds shooting battle, its always your own troops that end up disrupted.
All the charges in the world went in together. I'd already picked up the 4 LF, an elephant unit and the Ghaznavid baggage was also not long for this world, so with an enemy army break point of just 12 this looked likley to be the decisive combat
|Yo mama's is so fat she drives a spandex car|
An enormous number of dice were being rolled - extras were recruited from the adjacent tables to help both sides deploy enough decision cubves to get us through the impact phase...
THINGS YOU'D NEVER HEAR A MISSISSIPPI LOCAL SAY
As the Ghilmen chaged in, the initial round of impact was relatively indecisive on the cavalry vs cavalry wing, but the big losers were the Ghaznavid Elephants and infantry.
After the death rolls, the dramatic result of the day was the elimination of the elephant unit - 4 hits to zero was as bad as it could get. This left a big hole in the Ghaznavid line, putting pressure on the MF Dailami, and also opening up the supporting MF unit to the imminent possibility of a charge from Seljuk Ghilmen.
By the first (yes, first) melee round the number of dice on display were starting to seriously favour the Seljuk forces... .
The Seljuk day was getting better steadily, as they chipped away at the Ghaznavid units in front of them without really achieving any immediate breakthroughs to follow up the loss of the elephants.
Talking of lost elephants, the last unit of Ghaznavid Elephants was now also reeling under the constant rain of arrows.
The game was now almost over - the Ghaznavid Dailami were losing bases and cohesion, and the Seljuks had broken through to crash into an almost defenceless unit of MF who were only there to provide rear support.
Dailami Smackdown Time! The Seljuk lancers charged and as they did, the fragmented Dailami broke, taking the army with them
Post Match Summary
As Al Shearer I musy admit a huge degree of positive energy seems to have flowed naturally in the game, which is in stark contrast to the feeling of incipient constipation that this diet of carbohydrates and trans-fats is having on my digestive tract right now. Another great victory means I appear to have decisively proved that Poor LF are better than Elephants and that 12 bases of LH are better than 4 of Poor LF Handgunners. These are all lessons which I will take gladly into my future games, along with a complete mental blank as to what happened to my LH on my left flank.
The secret to this success was again mobility - and in hindsight perhaps my deployment was so clever that I even fooled myself into thinking I had initially put my troops where I actually wanted them to be, so there is no real surprise to find that my opponent was also fooled, and deployed accordingly.
Yet again a proper approach of lining up and fighting seemed to work quite well, and this is another sharp and vigorous poke in the eye for the Daves of this world. Hoorah!
I will now go out and buy Robert Mancini's scarf so I can better lead my men sartorially as well as morally and literally.
Hannibal's Post Match Analysis
Wise men say only fools rush in
but I can't help falling in love with your luck in this game
Al Shearer so it goes
take those elephants and LF, and take the baggage too
for your opponent cant seem to help gifting Attrition Points to you
Fools rush in, where wise men never go,
But wise men never get gifted baggage.
When you deployed, I felt this game was there to lose
So you opened up your bag of redeployment tricks and let
Your foolish LH rush in to be crushed
It;s a cold and grey October morn...
....On the Table .