Compulsary Cataphracts in Pamplona 2019
Koryo Korean vs Seleucid & Maccabean
With the morning's victory behind them the Koreans were now overly confident that their bizzarre army construction was in fact a stroke of genius, a belief not in any way mitigated by the fact it had been blatantly copied from some bloke in Ireland.
The victory was also a rather remarkable 17th straight victory over the enemy army in competition (if you count both winning draws and also mutual destructions - where the opponent's army has been broken - as wins...) with 5 wins with the Galatians, 3 with the 80YW Dutch, 2 wins and 3 mutual destructions in Estella with the Umayyads preceeded by 3 wins for the TYW Germans.
Could this carry on? Well, only one man could decide - my Italian opponent Masssssimmmilliaaaannio Marrrtellucciiianio!
The second game took place after a round of well priced coffees, and a consideration of an early morning beer which was carefully declined in the well stocked and provsioned venue in Pamplona. Tortilla may also have been consumed in preparation for the Koreans 2nd battle this time against the Seleucids, with a Maccabean ally
The lists for the Koryo Korean and Seleucid & Maccabean from this game, as well as all the other lists from the games at Pamplona can be seen here in the L'Art de la Guerre Wiki.
Koryo vs Yuan
Seleucid with a Maccabean ally is an intriguing choice, with hordes of seemingly sub-part Medium Foot Swordsmen in a theme where there are likely to be large amounts of mounted troops - their nemesis. The Seleucids answer to this was to win the initiative and deploy enormous numbers of wooded and plantation-covered areas on their right. This game the Maccabeans a Terrain Motorway through which to march with near-complete impunity, a strategy which the refused-left-flank approach of the Koryo army further supported and enabled.
The wagons knew their task was to block off the centre of the table, and duly they raced down the central roadway towards the front of the Seleucid army forming a hopefully difficult to penetrate barrier for most of the opposition forces to struggle to wade through
How do these troops fight then?
The Wagon command has 2 wagons, 1 HI 2HCW, a Heavy Artillery piece and a LH Bow. The general is both ordinary and Unreliable, making him very cheap (ie free)
Given this command will always sit on the refused flank, having an Unreliable general is not really such a problem as the purpose of the command is to slow down and tie up, not to actually beat the enemy facing it. If deplyment is working as planned, the enemy have to approach this command anyway - and it's not like wagons move all that fast either.
The artillery can plink away at the enemy centre and make life easier for the wall of slow moving Korean infantry by hopefully doing some damage to their opponents before combat is joined. The HI gives the command extra resilience, and can provide overlaps to help the wagons or work in support of the Infantry in the central command - once the battle is joined the wagons will not need many if any pips so the General can command the HI at that point.pair of Seleucid Cataphracts seemingly had quite a task on hand as the countless mounted horde of
The LH works on a similar basis - hard to lose, useful as a support shooter and also it spreads the command wider and delays the enemy advance as well as giving the enemy more stuff to move close to if the command does happen to be unreliable.
On the open flank, which the Seleucids had entirely refused, the Koryo Korean mounted wing swept forward unopposed and wheeled gracefully into a position to assail the pivot point of the Seleucid line where they had anchored themselves on a Steep Hill.
The pair of Seleucid Cataphracts seemingly had quite a task on hand as the countless mounted horde of Korean lancers swept towards them at speed and with unstoppable momentum
Maccabeans vs Seleucids
As the Korean infantry wheeled gently towards the flanks of the Seleucid force, the ex-Greeks Pike Phalanxes charged dramatically into the Korean wagons seeking to sweep them away before the Asiatics could form up on their flanks.
The sole elephant in the Seleucid army, interestingly fielded as a stand-alone unit without the traditional Death Star accompaniment was also keen on getting some woodworking action. It lumbered forward at pace and crashed into the War Wagon opposing it.
L'Art de la Guerre, ADLG hint - Wagons can only shoot out of their long edges, so approaching one from the front means you will not suffer any shooting on the way in. Great for elephants!
The first wagon quickly went down under the determined assault of the Seleucid Phalanx
However, by pinning them in place during the combat the wagon had at least bought time for the rest of the Korean infantry and Cataphacts to form up a coherent line along the edge of the central road.
The Koreans stepped forward smartly and crashed into the flank of the previously occupied, and by now splinter-infused Phalangites
Launching themselves at, and then past the cataphracts the tide of Korean cavalry swept round the back of the Seleucid army and broke free into their unprotected rear echelons. The Cataphracts had lost their first line of horsemen and now only a lone, overlapped and outnumbered Average Cataphract stood as the defender of the Seleucid rear.
The elephant had made matchwood of the second wagon in very short order, and suddenly a gaping chasm opened up in what was now the middle of the Korean formation as the vast base of the horse and cart machine was removed from play
Far from blocking the Seleukids from attacking, the presence of the wagons appeared to have lulled the Koryo army into a false sense of security.
Now both War wagons had been removed from the table, the Koreans lack or reserves (or indeed any sort of actual, proper plan) was being cruelly exposed
The Seleucids then unleashed their not so secret weapon - Scythed Chariots, which had been being held back in reserve suddenly burst into the foreground and slammed into the Korean line hitting a vulnerable Cataphract with incredible force. The Korean infantry's flank assault on the Phalanx had also come up short in its initial assault, and they too now had turned to face the Korean army, reassembling a Seleucid line faster than you can fry up some kimchee chicken and rice.
Ba-boom - the Scythed beasties barely paused for breath as they simply blew away the Korean armoured horsemen at first contact, pummelling them to submission and bounding over them and into the rear ranks of the Korean army. Suddenly the Korean commander realised he had only one brave handgunner unit as a reserve available to commit to try and halt the headlong rush of these fearsome engines of destruction to hand - this looked tricky!
But tricky is a relative term - the firestick men (from a long-departed and small range of 15mm Ming Chinese figures from a manufacturer whos' name now escaped me) blasted the scythed beasts away. Next up however loomed a Seleucid elite elephant... a trickier proposition especially now the rest of the Korean foot line was also starting to collapse under the pressure of the enemy Phalanx
The two supposedly solid lines of infantry were playing out the game as if it were the first 25 minutes of the 2019 Champions League Semi Final second leg between Spurs and Manchester City, as supposedly stoic troops exploded and those on the brink of elimination hung on way beyond what was expected of them. This was a time for infantry heroics - and also a time for the Korean cavalry to arrive like, erm, the cavalry from behind the Phalanx and slam into them as well.
Suddenly the Seleucid centre was removed entirely from play, and a cluster of shocked and rather exhausted Korean soldiery looked about themselves and tried to work out not only what had just happened, but more importantly what they needed to do next to deal with the continuing multitude of threats the Seleucids were hurling at them.
The two armies were trading blows and units all across the centre of the field, but the Maccabean allied contingent was in full retreat mode as it sought to get all of its' Medium Swordsmen safely into the cover of the forested area of the table before they could be run down by maraudering Korean lancers who had exploited the open space as they punched through the Seleucid left flank earlier in the game
The Koreans were absolutely desperate to halt the rampaging Successor elephant as it threatened to hurtle forward towards their baggage and their static and vulnerable artillery park. Cavalry assailed it on all sides as the infantry struggled to keep up with the fast evolving situation in the centre of the new and ever shifting line of battle
Somewhat ridiculously the lone surviving Seleucid Cataphract was still in the game
not even needing to be of Elite quality, this brave unit of iron-clad men and horses had simply relied on superior dice-rolling martial skills to slowly and methodically take apart a relentless stream of assaulting Korean units over the preceding series of game turns.
Having chewed up loads of cavalry suddenly they found themselves almost free of further Korean enemies to fight!
With the attrition on both sides really starting to bite, the Koreans needed a quick win against the enemy elephant to have a hope of clawing something out of the game - bit it was not to be.
The second Scythed Chariot, which had been noisily chomping its way through a raft of Korean cavalry out of sight of the camera crew in previous turns arrived on the scene to help out its elephantine colleague.
The Koreans had no answer to the hitting power of these two units, and coupled with the heroics of the lone cataphract and their inability to catch the Maccabeans in the open, suddenly realised they had slipped to defeat
Korean Horsemen : Korean War Museum
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 Koryo Korean Commander
A rather sad end to a tremendous run of victories and closely-avoided defeats. To go down so spectacularly is a real eye-opener, but to do so when actually all my men really fought was a couple of chariots, an elephant, 2 Cataphracts and a handful of pikemen is pretty embarassing - let's face it, the Maccabeans didnt even get a single go on the Hyundai-o-matic combat machine all game?!
To be fair to me (and why would I not want to be?) the terrain was not condusive for my one dimensional plan, and the opposition also refused to play ball by avoiding the trap of splitting their deployment either side of that tricky hill which they themselves placed on table. If they had made that sort of deplyment error things may have been different
But as sure as K-Pop attracts screaming girls my Cataphracts attracted Scythed Chariots and my Wagons attracted enemy Elephants, and after that the game was pretty much done with my blocking forces not standing up at all long enough to try and salvage some sort of success from this Daewoo-disaster.
At least this should push me down the leaderboard so I get a slightly more amenable opponent in the next game eh?
Hannibal's Post Match Analysis
A well deserved defeat for your badly execiuted plan and badly put together army for this type of opponent. Surely with a two-list event you take one list which can take on armies stuffed with Pikemen and Elephants, given that the choice of having to choose a list with 2 Cataphracts would mean that Seleucids would appear at least once.
A wall of Heavy Foot halberdiers would have caused a lot of problems for the Seleucids, and even more pertinently some vague acceptance of the terrain and how it might impact the deplyment plans of your oppnent would also have been a great boon.
Instead your plan, if one can call it such, would only work if your opponent had split his forces and practically teed up half his army to be deleted piecemeal on the side of the hill where he instead elected to not deply anything.
You had no answer to the elephant, no answer to the scythed chariots, and no way of getting to grips with the terrain-hugging Maccabeans. Perhaps you will also have no answers to your opponent in the next game?
Click here for the report of the next game in this competition