Compulsary Cataphracts in Pamplona 2019
Koryo Korean vs Northern & Southern Dynasties Chinese
Game 4, the end of an evening and deep into cerveza and tinto territory by now. History beckons, but geography calls a little louder and the Koryo Koreans find themselves matched up against a Southern Dynasties Chinese army.
The lists for the Koryo Korean and Northern & Southern Dynasties Chinese 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.
The Southern & Northern Dynasties is quite a decent list for using in a two-list competition as the Southern list with its Elite Death Star is quite different to the mostly-mounted Northern option. The challenge however comes in the shape of some compulsory Mediocre foot in the Northern variant which tends to drag down, and slow down what otherwise could be a Mongol-lite type mounted army.
The Southern Dynasty army had its Death Star nicely nestled in a wall of Medium Infantry over on their right, against which the War Wagons and artillery were arrayed.
Two infantry centres of indeterminate quality faced each other off, and my enormous mounted command was looking at some rather weirdly located ambush markers in a Town (weird in that it would be hard for the textbook Medium Foot ambushers to get very far outside the town given the lack of other terrain)
Sizzling Samsungs! The massive mounted command lurched forward towards the town in some puzzlement, but at least the Korean cataphracts had a decent target in the shape of the end of the Chinese line of spearmen.
North Korean Special Forces.
The Wagons had already formed a Convoy and were sailing off at a rate of knots towards the extreme left hand edge of the board, hopefully to lead the Chinese Death Star a merry dance away from any important part of the battlefield.
The Southern Dynasties
Suddenly the village boiled up with a massive rash of cavalry and Cataphracts, all looking to use the road that seemed to be running through the village to exit swiftly and deploy out ready to fight.
Ding Dang Daewoo! The attempt to march out of ambush down the road caused some consternation and confusion, as the road (which comes free with a village) can only run up to the village, not into it - which could mean the cataphracts would technically be unable to ever move as their move is reduced to zero in Difficult terrain. After a bit of a faff, we sorted out a compromise and got on with the game..
As of today (5/5/2019) El Kreator has confirmed that I was wrong here, and a 'free' road can go into a village. So, apologies to my opponent for being so convincing when discussion it with the umpire!
With the Chinese cavalry struggling to sort themselves out the Koreans raced forward to try and catch them shaking out of their ambush positions. The lone Chinese Medium Infantryman in this command had already realised that he was probably surplus to requirements.
A wall of spear is a wall of spear or more accurately 'a target' in Elite Cataphract Korean dialect.
The hitherto rather underused Korean noblemen just steamed forward ready to do their job, screened by the gunpowder-powered shooting of the Korean handgunners.
Yet again the power of a 7-wide block of mounted troops was catching out the 5-wide but more nicely painted Chinese. The Chinese had just about gotten a full rank of men out of the debilitating terrain but now faced overlaps and Impact pretty much everywhere they looked.
The Southern Dynasties Hairstyles
Sizzling Samsungs! The Elite Death Star had failed to resist the entirely understandable temptation to go chase some War Wagons and was haring off to try and make some matchwood.
This did however leave a rather gaping hole in the Chinese centre as their Medium Foot had now become almost entirely disconnected from the central block of spearmen - and the Koreans were taking full advantage, using the lone cavalryman from their infantry-rich command to work in concert with other Korean units to hunt down lone Chinese infantry who had unwisely strayed too far from their elephant comfort blanket
Running down the lone units rather promptly, the Korean horsemen found themselves masters of a whole set of flanks and opportunities
Korean Warfare in history
From my Korean War Memorial Museum Page
The Wagons, despite struggling to actually fit together properly when in column (thanks Essex!) were right where they wanted to be, acting as an obstacle and magnet for a large slab of the enemy army.
Their General was truly a dissapointed and also proud man right now as he contemplated the slow demise of some of his biggest-based units and favourite toys in the cause of victory for the Peoples Republic
Overlaps might be the trick behind the one-trick, 7-strong mounted command but they did little to help the cavalrymen in the middle of the Korean line who found themselves facing better quality foes. A flurry of dice saw the Chinese defy the odds and punch a hole in the middle of the Korean formation, changing the maths on who has the most overlaps at a stroke!
Holy Hyundais! The combo of infantry and Cataphracts had by now slammed into the static Chinese formation of spearmen and was, in theory if not entirely successfully in practice, well placed to carve a way through the stodgy line of close packed Chinese soldiery.
Obligatory Historically Dubious Chinese Battle Movie Clip
Some of the Chinese were keen to undertake a scientific comparison of the relative merits of Chinese vs Korean gunpowder weapons and had broken away from their elephant comfort blanket and made a dash for the Korean rocket launcher battery..
This was not on the agenda - the rocketry secrets of the Korean regime were not for sharing with anyone - and so the Koreans rapidly tasked their central cavalry unit with stopping their technology falling into more decadent hands
The mounted battle had yet to develop, but as it broke down into a series of connected combats gaps were starting to appear on both sides - but with more units to play with the Koreans were in a much better position to exploit them than the luckless Chinese. The tide was starting to swing towards the Korean peninsular
The Wagons were by now being slammed to destruction by the carpentry-dissembling skills of the Chinese infantry and elephant combo - but even as the pachyderm swung its trunk to smash the panel-fencing-inspired Korean pseudo-baggage unit to pieces the second wagon was unleashing a fusillade of crossbow bolts at any Chinese infantryman who dare get close. "Kimchee To Go Anyone?!"
Casualties were fast adding up and it already looked like the Wagoneers might trade their 4 hits for more than 4 of the enemies facing them.
With the Chinese cavalry by now being washed away in the Korean tide of horseflesh, Korean mounted units found themselves increasingly free to impact the game in other areas of the park. Returning from the right wing they found a cornucopia of Chinese infantry flanks to descend upon with alacrity and pace.
With one Wagon falling to the elephants, the attention of the Chinese army had been well and truly distracted by the wooden walled feint, allowing the bulk of the Korean army to outmatch the rest of the Chinese force. The Chinese collapsed to defeat, and the 4-game day ended on a 3rd win for the Koreans!
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
Mwahahah! A textbook application of the Daewoo-tastic principle of bait and switch, with the rather pointless and low value wagons succesfully distracting the many decent bits of my opponents army whilst I managed to gang up and run down the rest of the soft underbelly.
After the confusion of the road and village scenario we quickly got down to business, with a fascinating race between the Chinese struggling to ambush succesfully from the village and my mounted men rushing to keep them bottled up against their will in there. Luckily numbers prevailed and this then gave me a great springboard for an eventual victory
The decision to make both of my Cataphracts Elite, learnt at some cost when the Tibetan ally struggled to do all that much with the Umayyads in Estella last year also went down better than a plate of katsu curry after a long day at the k-pop training academy. Their quality allowed them to risk an overlap of two, and so once they were joined by the rest of my infantry success in the middle was all but assured.
Without checking I can't of course be sure, but I do also think the Wagons may well have done more damage than they actually recieved - lots of crossbow-style shooting can nick the odd point and they do add up over the course of a game. Lets see how the next game pans out
Hannibal's Post Match Analysis
You made a right horlicks of this one my Korean colleague. Faililng to clarify the deplyment of the road as the terrain went down caused great embarassment all round, but even so you still ended up allowing a mounted formation to shake itself out of dense terrain and form up to take on your mounted men in the open.
But, here the real star of your show was the fascination of the enemy elephants with your pair of wagons - this is what won this game, taking away a huge swathe of the enemy force and leaving the rest of your army to deal with it.
The real question though is how you apparently failed to take advantage of what must surely have been a gaping hole between the enemy elephant and spear commands? How on earth was that lone cavalryman not eating the enemy baggage, instead of rushing back to defend your useless artillery?
You were fortunate that your opponent chose to run a wild goose chase instead of fighting your army. I am sure this will not happen in the next game
Click here for the report of the next game in this competition