Ancients in Saumur 2016
Early Achaemenid Persian vs Early Germans
Game 2, and an opponent from the mists of French history gazed across the field of battle - Arnaud Grenon, a DBM player of some repute and a hairy barbarian Early German army. This would be intriguing, as these types of stodgy barbarian foot armies had always been pants in previous rulesets, but clearly someone competent would not be bringing a dog army, so presumably there would be some schooling involved for the forces of Persia
The lists for the Early Achaemenid Persian and Early Germans from this game, as well as all the other lists from the games at Saumur can be seen here in the L'Art de la Guerre Wiki.
The Early Germans a a big, big block of Elite Swordsmen, impetuous in nature and resilient in their close formations. Their support comes from charging cavalry and some nice terrain-friendly allies who can move medium-style across the table at even higher speed. That many impetuous troops means that an era with good generals is important.
The terrain was pretty much all on my side, and so, defending, I had set up with the Allied spears in the centre, where even if they were cowardly dogs they would still be engaged by the enemy, and with cavalry on one wing and Sparabara on the other. The Germans were a huge line of warband, commanded by a good general, with faster, lighter infantry and a wall of cavalry on the outside.
Pictures of Warband Types from my Ancients Photo Directory
The initial command dice for the Germans were solidly good, and the wall of germanians slid horizontally forwards blocking out the sun and the sight of late 1970's French armour as they filled the viewscreens of the Persian tankers.
This was clearly going to be painful, and the soft underbelly of the Sparabara had no hope of standing against these guys in combat. Faced with obvious defeat the Persians did what Persian generals had done since time immemorial - send out some mercenaries to do the fighting and save the native Persians until later.
The Germans were heroic in stature and intriguing in their choice of attire...
Everywhere you looked there were proto-Teutonic types haring hairily forward. Desperate to delay combat, some Persian Horse had opted to engage the Germans ahead of the main Persian foot line, but this left far too few mounted bowmen to meaningfully delay the German mounted wing. They rushed forwards, peppered by effective Persian archery but still barely halting in their headlong rush
What's Going on Here Then?
The Germans have rushed forward, and are almost upon the Persians after a good round of first moves. The Persians appear star-struck and are like rabbits in the headlights as the barbarians charge down at them
The Germans almost literally filled the table from edge to edge, but this did require some considerable thinning of quality towards the extremities. Pot Pourri! Two units of Thracian swordsmen were not much, but they could still look to sweep away the German LF javelinmen in the open, which might in turn put at least nominal pressure on the German battle lines flank.
Time for faffing about with skirmishing tactics was fast running out on the right flank - Chateauneuf du Pape!
The Germans charge home, swords and axes waving in the air as they hammer into the Persian Noble Cavalry
The Germans have so many units that there are troops to spare to engage the Thracians. Even frantic support from the Immortals fails to dent their enthusiasm, and soon the Heavy foot are fighting the Medium foot with no shooting damage on the way in at all..
Learning French with Del Boy
Bonnet de douche! In the first round of the Euro Cup, it's Germany 1, Thrace 0.
L'Art de la Guerre hint - the LF behind the destroyed Thracian has taken a hit as it was less than 1MU behind the destroyed unit.
Fromage frais! Bit by bit the German formation has been broken up as they chase down multiple targets - and as Unmaneuverable units, doing maneuverable stuff is rather tricky. They start to break into smaller lumps and their General loses control as they charge impetuously at the Persians. Voila! The Asiatics have anticipated this, and used their greater discipline to try and present multiple targets, some with inviting overlaps to become engaged with - and the Germans oblige, careening towards combat but also in some cases to flank-attack oblivion as well as the surviving Thracian reappears to join in.
Bain Marie! Oblivion has by now almost fully enveloped the Persian right, as the stampede of Germans has wiped out the Persian horse so effectively that the Germans appear in no hurry to deploy their beach towels, secure in the expectation that no-one else is coming to claim their poolside place.
What's Going on Here Then?
The Germans have crushed the Persian's right flank and are rolling up the line from the Greeks onwards. On the Persian left the same scenario is happening too as heavyweight foot crush the Sparabara. There is no hope for the Persians anywhere.
Mange tout! With their right flank now in the possession of avaricious Barvarians the Greek allied command has no concerns about missing out on combat, and has in fact offered up a now-totally undefended flank to the manical hairy riders
The Germans are now in all along the line, and it is not pretty for fans of well ordered Persian haberdashery as hats and silk-effect trouser suits are left strewn across the battlefield as their owners flee in fear to leave the table so fast their pants are left behind. Creme de la menthe!
The Result is a stunning defeat
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 Early Achaemenid Persian Commander
Holy schmoley - that was a rough handling from the North Europeans. I can still smell, and almost taste the rancid goose fat in which they seem to coat themselves to keep away the winter chill - what strange people to find that preferable to retiring to a summer palace up in the foothills of the Atlas mountains eh?
In this defeat I struggle to see what else I could have done in the face of such a tidal wave of martial ferocity? My men were outclassed on a broad frontage, and unless the accuracy of my archery is enhanced by a mid-game change in the rules this looks like a tricky game to ever wi
Even the pride of my army, the Noble Horsemen struggled in the face of overwhelming numbers of equitine experts from the woods and forests of the Teutoberger districts. I do not feel that the undoubted attractions of three-layer chocolate and cherry gateaux and well-engineered reliable chariot wheels are ever going to be enough to make me wish to extend my empire up into the region of Germania....
.... I will just agree a bilateral free trade deal with them instead, even if that means accepting many of their legislative restrictions on the straightness of the bananas I will import to them from my plantations in India in exchange/p>
Hannibal's Post Match Analysis
What was that? It certainly was nothing like a battle plan - I have seen parade-ground marching band formations which would be more suitable for battle than this "form a straight line and wait for a good face-pummelling" farrago.
The downside of warband infantry in all rules is that they are hard to manoeuvre.. so a plan that allows them to advance in a straight line and hit you at full speed without deviating even a single degree from the straight ahead is unlikely to cause them too much problem, is it?
Facing these armies you need to dance like a butterfly and sting like several wasps who all pick on the same few square inches of exposed skin - that means moving your troops, deploying offset, risking flank marches, basically doing anything at all that involves thought - which is obviously why it was well beyond you.
This army has now been broken in it's first 3 outings... not an auspicious start, but one which you may well find a way to come to regard as a high point before the next game is done. Perhaps you should read more about ADLG on the Madaxeman.com ADLG Page? You never know, you may learn something useful... but I doubt it!
Click here for the report of the next game in this competition