The Worlds 2018
Alexander The Great vs Arab Indian
After a solid lunch and another trip around the UKGE show to pick up a copy of Scythe as well as a more throwaway card game Exploding Kittens, the final round amazingly saw me tucked in behind the leading pack and facing Julian 'here's a big army full of crap' Lopez and his Arab Indians.
The lists for the Alexander The Great and Arab Indian armies from this game, as well as all the other lists from the games at The Worlds can be seen here in the L'Art de la Guerre Wiki.
L'Art de la Guerre hint - Getting the balance between Numbers vs Quality is always tricky in any wargame, but ADLG seems to manage it quite well. With 20+ units in a typical army, a board-width of 30 units, and the significant benefits of flank attacks and overlaps compared to getting the best straight head on matchups there is a definate - but tricky to achieve - tradeoff in using a large, poor quality army vs a small high quality one. This would be a game to test that to the max.
The enemy army was sure to be massive so to counteract this and deny them overlaps I chose to go narrow with my force, tucking in next to a field in the centre of my deployment zone. The Indians had also come out for the 4th time in the weekend, partly as I was expecting plenty of cavalry and a wall of screaming Medium Foot Impetuous swordsmen (who would lose their impact against swordsmen and elephants), and partly as I kinda like them.
This plan saw the Indians deployed on the extreme edge of my line where I expected to see poor quality Medium Cavalry, with the pikes and spears and the Death Star Command hard against the terrain in the middle of the table, leaving almost half the board empty.
Facing off against their countrymen, my Indians elected to be unreliable again - forcing the enemy to stutter in their advance as they too dithered as to whether they should trigger the Indians already. The enemy army was huge and advanced against the Makedonian skirmish screen.
The enemy were however weighted strongly on my left, with the spears and warband attacking there. My plan had been to advance just past the terrain and drift my army to the left, but with the Indians unreliable this plan now looked untenable, and the two Makedonian elephants in particular were facing off against relatively little.
Innovation was needed to get them into the game - so they turned and marched off behind the rest of the Alexandrian army, leaving just a Javelinman and LF to defend the terrain.
The enemy Indians took the bait, lurching towards the seemingly exposed flank of the Pikemen, much to the concern of the Thracians and Agrianians. With a Companion also left behind, I was still reasonably confident of holding the flank at least long enough to force the issue elsewhere on the table.
L'Art de la Guerre hint - Time vs casulaties vs movement is a key equation in ADLG. Most games will be over, with one side ending up with a decisive win well inside something like 7-9 turns, so if you are looking to roll up a flank you need to hurry up and get on with it. Conversely, a small token force has the potential - especially in favourable terrain - to hold up an attack long enough for the rest of the two armies to have fought to a decisive point as well.
The Elephants turned out behind the Pikes and Indians, waiting for both to stagger forward and spread out creating a gap into which the Elephants would then be inserted. It currently all looked like a bit of a log-jam, but the basic plan of putting elephants in front of the enemy warband and trying to get into decisive combat before my right flank was overrun was still being executed, although rather messily.
The Pike Phalanx fulfilled its part of the plan by wheeling outwards to pin the bulk of the Indian spearmen. Shooting had knocked a few hits off the Pikes, but they were still tougher than the enemy foot and were also keeping the enemy spearmen away from my Elephants. This was realistically a part of the table where I was looking just to net out at evens, whilst buying time to hopefully beat the enemy warband comprehesively with a surfeit of Elephants.
Blabbering Baltis! The enemy Madras-tastic Indians were also now pushing into the terrain defending my flank at some pace.
Geek-tastic Alex Facts
The opposing Indians had triggered my Indians by attacking. Plenty of their horse were already well positioned on a flank I had originally planned to close down by sliding left whilst advancing the Indian command, but it's lack of commitment had seen then wait to be outflanked and now only a redeployed Companion and the Traditional Crap Indian Cavalryman held the flank.
Things were suddenly looking desperate on my right as the Arabs fed more and more troops into the fields and began to overwhelm the handful of troops I had left in the terrain.
With the enemy closing me down across the line, one of the 2 elephants had been unable to fit itself into the centre of my line and so it had ended up coming back to where it had started, now plugging a gap in the flank rather than the centre.
The rest of my flank force was now lining the edge of the field, just keeping the enemy in the disrupting terrain.
Battle was joined now along the entire line - spears hit pikemen, warband crashed into the Indians and Thracians, and cavalry clashed on the far flank. Markers were sprouting everywhere in combat hotter than a Chicken Jalfrezi on Solihull's "Extra Spicey Curry In The High Street" Curry & Balti Festival. Rings would be tingling tonight as the two armies clashed dramatically all along a wide frontage - but even so the more numerous enemy Indians were struggling to prize decent overlaps and flanks out of my densely packed army
After the initial clash, suddenly the tide began to turn in favour of the Alexandrians as the initial warband attack faltered against the steady swordsmen and Elite elephants of my Indian ally and the extra redeployed Elephant and Thracian. Enemy troops were exploding in serious numbers.
Enemy troops were exploding in serious numbers. The Arab Indians had a huge advantage in numbers, but the tight deployment of the Alexandrian army was still seriously limiting the number of overlaps and decisive advantages that they could engineer.
Jumping Jalfrezi! The Phalanx was also steadily grinding down the enemy spearmen - the Greek General was bolstering his Phalangites whilst the Arab General was busy elsewhere supporting the attack of his Warband, giving the momentum very much to Alexander.
The Original movie version - Charonea
Boom! The Phalanx stepped it up and blew away the whole line of Arab Indian spearmen in a spectacular round of great dice! Arab Indian bowmen suddenly found themselves in the front line, and the Indian centre found itself exposed as well!
Things were hotter than a Vindaloo as the combat in the centre was flowing back and forth in waves of destruction - one round the Alexandrians would gain the upper hand, the next turn would see hits blossom all along the line behind my men. Both armies were racing towards destruction at a ridiculous pace.
The end result was carnage - both sides were slamming each other with terrifying dice, and spectacular force, and fistfuls of bases were coming off the table as a result.
With pretty much every unit in combat the opportunities for losses were outrageous, and the only way this could stop would be with both sides punching each other out.
That was exactly what then happened, and the game ended with a brutal, and probably undeserved mutual destruction.
Read on for the post match summaries from the Generals involved, as well as another episode of legendary expert analysis from Hannibal
The full results from the event are available online on the BHGS website
Post Match Summary from the Aleksander The Great Meerkat
What an epic almost-victory from the bravest of the brave, my superbly competent combat-ready Indians and the fast-dancing elephants and pikemen from my main commands. Admittedly I thought that this game was utterly lost almomst from the start, but that did mean I was forced to really focus hard, and come up with some very innovative and bold moves and redeployments to try and change the inexorable maths of quantity vs quality which seemed stacked against me when we started
Other than the classic tactic of confusing the enemy by doing the unexpected, I was particularly pleased by the degree of self discipline I achieved to keep enemy overlaps to a minimum by deploying tight, and staying tight. Weight of numbers is of limited benefit if you cannot get overlaps or flanks, and by staying close it meant that the better quality of my men - especially the Pike - could start to tell. If I look back at the game there are surprisingly few instances where the Arabs managed to overlap or flank my forces, and that is a key contributor to my lack of a defeat.
With this result I have also clawed my way back up the leader board - a victory would have been nice, but a mutual destruction is the next best thing in terms of points scoring, and so I can hope to look forward to other results and see if I can end up close to the podium.
The result also allows me to nip into the UKGE and do a bit of shopping for a game I quite fancied at half time - Scythe so that also is a result!
Hannibal's Post Match Analysis
You blithering idiot - there is no insurance you could possibly buy to stave off something as stupid as this, as every broker would surely refuse to take your money when your doom is so obviously the product of your idiocy
It's hard to see what you hoped to achieve in your crazed redeployment that could not have been much more easily achieved by simply starting the troops where you wanted to put them. Instead you just wasted plenty of pips and confuded the hell out of everyone whilst also - amazingly - denuding your flank of any proper troops. If there is anything to praise you about it would be your mastery of under-pressure innovation, but when that pressure is all self generated it's hard to have much sympathy.
Perhaps now you will think about maybe practicing with this army between now and the next time you take it out of the box - and certainly trying to create a proper Death Star would be a great start.
Somehow, with 1 defeat and a mutual destruction you have still ended up as the highest placed UK player in this worldwide tournament - which must say something about the lack of experience and competence that runs deep in the whole UK scene compared to other regions and countries. I hope to see you losing battles in many other places over the coming months - but hopefully not as headache-inducingly as this flurry of redeplyment !
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