ADLG World Championships at Rome 2019
Khurasanian vs Seleucid
With an early finish in the first game, and an Italian-timed lunch break as well there was even a chance for a bit of a swim (and a bit more of a spot of sunbathing) at the pool before starting the expansive 4 course lunch followed by final round games. Thankfully photos are not available of this incident.
With post-lunch carbohydrate blues working in tandem with the heat, the expresso bar was as motley a collection of rogues as you'd see anywhere in the known galaxy.
The final round game saw a re-match of sorts, as I was paired up with Rafa Tortosa and his Seleucid army. This combination had given my Korean army a right good pasting in Pamplona earlier in the year, and the lack of punch in the Korean army able to deal with a wall of not entirely brilliant but still decent infantry had led in no little part to the design of the Dailami-led version of the Khurasanaians, so now I would have a chance to test it against the army that inspired it.
The lists for the Khurasanian and Seleucid from this game, as well as all the other lists from the games at Rome can be seen here in the L'Art de la Guerre Wiki.
The two armies were playing on the only cloth Rafa had failed to sell so far that weekend, an appropriately sandy desert surface onto which a series of terrain blobs of various types fell, narrowing the table into one which would suit the solid line of Seleucids - but also the equally if not better solid line of Dailami and Khurasanian Death Star. Accordingly, both armies lined up for a head on fight
What's Going on Here Then?
The table had blocking terrain on both flanks, which allows the Seleucids to go wall-to-wall with solid combat-capable troops all along their frontage. The Dailami list for the Khurasanians is however prepared to match this, with Death Stars and 6 units of Dailami ready in a solid line to advance.
On the Khurasanian right some uneven ground is all that protects the left flank of the Seleucid force, and with their one command of cavalry effectively squeezed out of the game the Khurasanian army looks to have almost been forced to attack across it with otherwise space horsemen
The weak link for Khurasan is their left flank, where the Seleucids have a column of cataphracts and horsemen which the Dailami facing them will have little answer to if they come to blows.
The Army of Khurasan had stuffed its mounted command on the far right, forcing it over and through the uneven terrain and then filling the open central bowling alley with the Death Star command and the Dailami ally.
Clearly using pretty much the same list as at Pamplona, the Seleucids matched this wall of combat with a patchwork of pikemen, imitation legions, sub-par elephants and Galatians which stretched across the beautiful and accurately cut to size playing cloth in a way which complemented the inherent beauty of the high quality playing surface itself.
The Dailami commander was keen to get involved in combat and redeem his men's shambolic reputation gathered assiduously earlier in the weekend. This would be their last chance in the sunshine before being condemmed to a jolting journey back home in a biscuit tin and an unforseeable additional length of time hidden in a Bisley filing cabinet, so the pressure was very much on to perform to expectations
Oh, and the fact the Seleukids had a block of Cataphracts and cavalry shoving themselves down the narrow gap between their infantry and the terrain also focused the attention somewhat, especially as the Dailami cavalry component was so shockingly underpowered.
The Seleukids stepped up sharply and quickly, their lily-livered 2-rank-deep pikemen wavering in the stiff breeze as the A/C laboured under the strain of 50+ wargamers on a sunny Sunday afternoon.
The Khurasanian plan was simple - attack and rely on the Elite status and Impact capability of 6 Dailami infantry to overpower the opposition frontally.
What's Going on Here Then?
Both sides are geared up for a fight, and with a narrow table hemming both armies in they are advancing towards each other like Armati armies of old.
The Khurasanian right wing is seeing the spare cavalry command advance quickly into unoccupied space, and the Seleucids are driving their Camelry across to provide a screen for the left end of their infantry line.
As the two sides close rapidly the Seleucids lack time, space and possibly also pips to push their cataphracts up on their right ahead of the rest of their advancing army.
No messing about here.
Battle was joined as soon as possible by the impetuous Ghazi warriors steaming into the line of Imitation legions, forgetting in their haste the basic rule point about losing their own Impact against non-charging enemy swordsmen. Hey!, Oh!, Let's Go!
Hey!, Oh!, Let's Go!
The outcome of the combats was a dramatic and speedy as their inception, as the rug-bearing elephant corps broke through its opponent whilst some of the Ghazis faltered and fell dramatically at first contact as well.
The war of attrition was well and truly underway as the two armies became locked together in a struggle to the death.
The actual proper Dailami command was next to enter the fray.
Unable to fully avoid the Seleukid cavalry they still managed to engineer a reasonably clean receive of the enemy assault with 3 of the 4 hill tribe warriors receiving a charge from a combination of elephants, Galatians, Pikemen and cataphracts.
The important thing for the Dailami was that all of their warriors were engaged at the same time - giving them maximum chance to chew through the enemy foot before the Seleucid cavalry inevitably turned their flank.
The mounted-heavy Khurasanian command in this infantry-slamming version of their list had blitzkrieged their way through the uneven ground and emerged almost on the flank of the now-committed Seleukids, who sought to use their Camel Corps to frighten away the Turkmenistanian horsemen with the smell of dromedary sweat.
The Khurasanians however were dismissive of what was now a stand-alone 2-mediocre-camel threat, and swiftly brought their greater numbers of high quality archers to bear on the enemy camelry, peppering them with accurate and effective archery and daring them to charge home.
What's Going on Here Then?
Both sides are fully comitted to the frontal fight, and at this stage few gaps have yet to open up in the opposing lines - the Elite status of the 6 Dailami units in the Khurasanian force has yet to tell against the high proportion of Mediocre troops in the Seleucid army.
The Seleucid camelry have taken a pasting from sustained Khurasanian mounted archery on the Afghan's right wing, and the supposedly cavalry-frightening Camelry are now starting to look like a weak link, injured, under armoured and outnumbered by the Khurasanian horse facing them.
This is potentially bad news for the left hand end of the Seleucid infantry line, which is already under pressure from a substantial frontal assault from a combination of Khurasanian infantry.
The Dailami were now flirting dangerously with a permanent change of name, as the Galatians blasted straight through their line.
Cataphracts and pikemen were also hitting them hard, spewing markers onto the ground behind them as their resolve wavered in the warm afternoon sunshine.
The mercenaries in the Khurasanian army itself were faring much better however, taking down pikemen and getting properly stuck into all sorts of random odds and sods that in better times would surely not have expected to be needed in the front lines of the Seleucid attack.
With heavy spearmen driving forward to occupy the attentions of the remaining enemy Elephant and the Khurasanian cavalry archers busily shredding the flank protection camel force of the enemy in the distance this part of the field was starting to rapidly tilt in Khurasans favour.
With the Camelry's morale plummeting the Khurasanian commander ordered his cavalry into action, and they gleefully charged home to wreak untold levels of damage and humiliation on a camel force that had caused their Korean cousins so much trouble in Spain earlier that year.
Overlaps, Elite vs Mediocre, hits inflicted and armour to boot all conspired against the dromedary riders, as the Arab Spearmen also took the bold step of absorbing the enemy elephant with another overlap.
Suddenly, with half their number now lost, the Dailami command finally found their mojo!
Pulling out some decent dice at last they counterpunched against the enemy elephants, destroying them and unleashing a cascade of Elephant Rampage to further blow away large parts of the enemy army.
Reserves of lancers also were by now arriving on the scene to hurl themselves into the human wave attack that was eroding the Seleucids will to fight on
The lone Dailami cavalryman had sought to sneak off to the flank when his infantry started to fail, but in so doing he had unwisely attracted the attention of the Seleukid cavalry wing who had all gone off, cavalier-style, to hunt him down.
Bad news for the cavalryman, but not too bad for the foot in the Dailami allied command who now had less threat from the wings to deal with.
Arabian Cavalry battle footage
Suddenly, the centre of the Seleukid army magically ceased to exist as the mercenary Dailami, spearmen and by-now-victorious cavalry descended from all sides on the battered and shredded enemy forces.
Where once a line of Imitation Legions, Pikemen, Elephants, bowmen and Peltasts had been carefully assembled, now there was, well, nothing at all really.
Even the victors were shocked at how suddenly their opponents had fled the field.
What's Going on Here Then?
The central head to head battle has seen both armies take casulaties, but as the dust clears it is the army of Khurasan and their Dailami allies who are very clearly coming out on top.
With the Seleucid camelry having been brushed aside by Khurasanian mounted archers, Afghan horsemen are slamming into the exposed flank of the Seleucid army as it also wilts under hammer blows from the Khurasanian infantry facing them frontally.
The Seleucid horse on their right have gotten distracted, and just like the Alexandrian Companions in the previous game have chased off after the lone horsemen in the Dailami command instead of wheeling inwards to support their embattled infantry.
The Successor state had been swept clean from fully half the (highly attractive) field, and everywhere the Seleukids had men remaining alive they also seemed to be carrying hit markers as well.
The Khurasanians were victorious in a fast and brutal assault against an army they had quite literally been designed to fight - a stunning and decisive victory to round off the event!
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 Khurasanian Commander
Haway the lads - what areet greet result for the Toon Army, almost as if we beat the Maccems in a local derby and then tipped Mike Ashley int'the Tyne as an afterthought as well.
Many people tell me that ah should practice mowah often, and heah I can see there may be some truth in that suggestin as ah had basically played this whoool game before a few months ago like, and then picked a new army to face it again
Soah, knowin what is in tha other team like is even ah must admit something of an advantage
But heah the real winnuh was all of us jolly wargamers, who had plenty of scran, and a bit of sunlight as well as we downed pints in the sun wi'out havin to be gannin out of tha hotel. A reet big load of foreigners were happy opponents and good comanions over dinnah, although I would have fancied a bit of fish and chips and a kebab as well a bit later - perhaps next time we can ahl play somewhea where there is more kebab oppotunities?
Hannibal's Post Match Analysis
A simple minded attack against what I can only assume was a jaded opponent on a ground which was the most impresive part of this tactically inept game.
Advancing forwards in a solid line and fighting whatever is in front of you is hardly taxing the brain cells is it, but I suppose you do have the small saving grace of knowing in advance that your army composition would give this approach a decent chance of success so perhaps you can be forgiven. The outflanking move of the cavalry, and the way they faced up, shot and then overran the camelry was also much better than the last time you played this game earlier this year
Whether in the final analysis a surprising 5th place overall finish is a justification for taking a Poor Mans Ghaznavid army, or a reason to think that if you had taken a better version you potentially could have done better I am not sure.
All in all a great event, with food, hospitality, environment, and a pool all of which were better than your army, tactics and painting - and for the first time in ages, not because of the low standards you set in those departments yourself. I imagine we will not see such competence again for quite some time
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