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SD Chinese at Munster Open 09

Page history last edited by Rob Brennan 11 years, 10 months ago

  Further to Rob and Thomas's report's, here's a worm's eye view (tenth out of 14)

of my progress at the 2009 Munster Open last weekend.

To comply with the competition theme (Book 2), I cobbled together a Southern

Dynasty Chinese army, using figures from my Early Tang collection, borrowing others and

painting up the rest. The army comprised:

C1 (27ME): Reg Kn (X) C-in-C, 2 x Reg Kn (X), 1 x Reg LH (F), 12 x Irr Wb (F), 6 x Irr Bd (F) and 6 Irr Ps (O)

C2 (27 ME): Reg Kn (X) Sub, 3 x Reg Kn (X), 2 x Reg LH (F), 8 x Irr Bd (I) and 8 x supt. Irr Ps (O)

C3 (24 ME): Reg Kn (F) Sub, 1 x Reg Kn (F), 1 x Irr El (O), 7 x Irr Bd (I), 6 xsupt. Irr Ps (O), 4 Irr Ax (O) and 2 x Irr Bw (I)

C4 (3ME): 6 x Reg Bg (I)

Total Army ME: 81

The basic idea was to use C1 as the main attacking command, supported by C2 and use

C3 as a defensive wing. The Warband and Bd (F) would be effective against most infantry

but conversely, are vulnerable to mounted. Default command control was to therefore give

this command top PIP priority so that it could be directed at suitable targets or

manouvered away from trouble as appropriate.

Game 1: vs Richard Aynesley (Mu-jung Hsien-pi)

I defended and got a nice defensive position with a ridge shaped gentle hill on

my left, a

rough hill on my right and an orchard on the far right. Aware that Richard's

army could

muster lots of nasty Kn (F) and DBEs of Cv (S)/(I) supported by plentiful LH, I

opted to

defend with two commands pending the arrival of a flank march by the third on my

right.

C2 was on the left with the gentle hill held by the Bd (I) with a supporting

rank of Ps (O),

with the Kn (X) and LH in reserve. C1's infantry held the rough hill on the

right with the Kn

(X) covering the defile between the two hills.

Richard deployed four commands each of appoximately 24-25 ME. On his right were

two

commands of Kn (F) and LH (F), in his centre was a command of Cv (S/I) and on

his left an

allied command of Ax (S), Ax (O) and Ps led by an inert general.

In keeping with his direct, in your face style of play, Richard immediately

attacked with the

main weight of his assault falling on C2's infantry on the hill. Uphill

advantage and

supporting Ps gave them a CCF of 6 against the Kn but it was not enough to

prevent the

Kn knocking several holes in the line. With masses of LH swarming around the

left, C2's

mounted did not have enough reserves to plug all the holes in the line and the

command

soon collapsed. The only consolation was a few extreme dice rolls which enabled

the Bd to

kill three elements of Kn (F) from one command before sucumbing - but alas it

was not

quite enough to dishearten the command.

The loss of C2 left C1 badly exposed and it looked very much like I was going to

be

annihilated in short order. However, supported by a lone Bd (F) to his right and

helped by

the fact that Kn (X) count superior against Cv, the C-in-C's element now proved

to be

exceptionally heroic (okay lucky then), holding up the end of the line and

shrugging off no

fewer than four flank locks, any one of which would have ended the game 23-2 in

Richard's favour had they come off. Ás it was, the C-in-C's mythic performance

won

enough time for the Wb (F) and remaining Bd (F) to do their stuff by breaking

Richard's

allied command. There was even time for C3 to arrive on his flank and make a run

at Mu-

jung baggage, but sadly good PIPS enabled them to keep ahead of my pursuing Kn

(F).

On his fifth attempt, Richard finally killed my C-in-C and broke my army for an

18-7 to

hom, but at least he had won time to get something out of the game.

Post Mortem

After just half an hour of play this game was looking very grim so from that

perspective

this was definitely a case of seven points gained rather than 18 lost. On

reflection, the

flank march was a mistake given that Richard's rapid assault made it unlikely

they would

ever be in a position to intervene in a meaningful way. Worse, it meant that C3

was absent

at a time when it was badly needed in the main line.

Game 2: vs David Houston (Ancient British)

Dave got the worst of both worlds in that he invaded, but also had to deploy

first. In his

centre, he deployed two commands of Wb (F) and Ps (O) side by side. To the left

of this

was a command of Cv (O) chariots, LH (O) and Ps (O). On his right was a similar

command,

from which a line of Ps defended a patch of rough going covering his Wb's

right.

I lined up C1, C3 and C2 from my right to left. This meant that C2's Kn (X) and

LH (O)

enjoyed a distinct edge over his right wing Cv and LH, with C2s Bd (I) covering

their inner

flank, ready to clear the rough. I used the advantage of deploying second to

maximise

match-up advantage, putting the Kn (F), Kn (X) and El (O) in the front rank,

supported by

Wb and Bd (F) on the right.

Because David's army was larger, he enjoyed strategic overlap on my right, so I

decided to

attack as quickly as possible with the aim of breaking his main line while

delaying his left

as long as possible with sacrificial Ps, Bd (F) and whatever reserves I could

scrape up.

The plan went reasonably well. As you might expect, the El and knights

demolished the

Wb facing them in the centre. On the right, I deployed Bd (F) in front of Wb

(F) in order to

clear away his front line of Ps (O) but of course this proved to be a mistake

when his Wb (F)

started attacking the Bd with my own Wb in the zone of death behind. Still I got

away with

it in that C1 fought long enough to contribute to the destruction of the British

centre right

command before itself collapsing. One point of note here is that with both sides

inflicing

ZoDs on each other, Wb v Wb fights are extremely bloody. With both sides

haemorrhaging

losses at a ferocious rate, the only question is who will bleed to death the

fastest.

Anyway, this left the game in the balance. Over on the left, C2's mounted

assault was

delayed pending the infantry's clearance of the rough but once this was

completed, the Kn

(X) and LH (F) proved very effective when they went, killing two Cv (O) and

sending three

LH fleeing off the table. A couple of bounds later, they caught up with and

killed the British

right wing sub-general to end the game at 18-7 to me.

Post-mortem

David is a Top DBM player but in fairness to him, he is new to DBMM so was on a

painful

learning curve. His biggest disadvantage was having minimal control of the

terrain yet

having to deploy first with the result that I could optimise match-ups and

better still, keep

my Bd (I) out of his Wb's way.

Game 3: vs William Coughlan (Later Carthaginian)

Like Hannibal, William's reputation preceded him so I was aware he would be

fielding

masses of (Zama period elephants) expendables that were simply salivating at the

propspect of squishing the large numbers of Wb, Bd (I) and Kn that made my army

such an

ideal target for them. Fortunately, my list also included 20 Ps (O), 4 Ax and 2

Bw (I), which

would hopefully be enough to cope with the threat.

I deployed first and placed C1's infantry in sanctuary from his expendables in a

large

marsh on my left, with the mounted in reserve behind. In the centre was a rough

hill on

which I deployed C3's Bd (I). The defile between the hill and marsh was covered

by Ps, with

C3 Ax, Bw and the El in a second line behind. C2's Ps formed a screen to the

right of the

hill, with the Bd (I), Kn (X) and LH in column reserve.

In spite of deploying second, William deployed his massive (45ME) main command

of Cv

(O), Sp (S), Wb (O), Cv (O) and Ps in a defensive corner position on his right.

In his centre

was the expendable command (eight elements) screened by a small LH command (15

ME).

This was a very cagey game for the first few bounds as I manouvered my reserves

back

and forth along my rear lines in a bid to avoid the expendables, in response to

which

William would redirect them back and forth in an effort to find the optimum

targets.

Eventually this dancing came to an end when two bounds of horrendous PIPs

(2,1,1) left his

expendables trundling on a course straight for the rough hill in my centre. With

these now

committed, I could be more agressive and accordingly advanced C1 on my left

while C2

advanced in columns on my right around the now exposed flank of his expendables

command.

William now sent Cv (O) up from his main command to take on C1 but faced with

superior

numbers and with Kn (X) bearing down on their flank, started taking casualties

so he

withdrew them. In the centre, C3's hitherto forgotten Bw had their moment of

glory when

they stepped up and shot dead a LH and two expendables, another of which died

attacking

a Bd (I). On my right, C2's LH got behind his line and succeeded in achieving

automatic

kills against two more expendables after hitting them in the rear.

William now commited his LH command to the aid of the expendables, but they were

outmatched by C3's Kn, El and Bw (I), resulting in the destruction of the

command. The

two ME penalty for seeing friends rout now kicked in against the expendable

command,

which also broke.

Time was now called after an unusually short (three hours) game, which was a

pity as I

would have fancied my chances had the game gone on but as it was, the score was

15-10

to me.

Post Mortem

In a tournament in which every other army seemed to be fielding expendables,

William

definitely led the way with no fewer than eight, so it was nice to have dealt

with them

successfully. I was surprised that he didn't support them more strongly with the

rest of his

army, but as he explained, he was as scared of what my Wb would do to his spears

as I

was about his expendables.

Game 4: vs Seamus McKenna (Patrician)

I defended again and had no terrain to hide in so I deployed back deep with C1

in the

centre, C3 on the left and C2 on the right with infantry to the front, mounted

in reserve

and Ps out on the flanks holding hills in the light troop deployment zones.

Seamus deployed a mainly infantry command (30 ME) comprising Bd and Ax,

supported

by Art, Ps and LH on his centre-right and right. On his centre-left and left

were two

commands (18 ME each) of Kn and LH (S). On his far right was a micro command of

Arab

LH.

As this meant his Kn and LH posed a nasty threat to C1 and C2's infantry, I

spent the early

part of the game forming a reserve line comprising mounted elements from all

three of my

commands (including C3's elephant, general and Kn (F) coming in from the left),

behind

the infantry and then advancing through these to take on his LH and Kn. The

result was a

epic and entertaining game as the two lines fought back and forth and each of us

suffered

our share of good and bad combat dice. I felt I was robbed of an initial

advantage when

not a single one of a series of favourable combats came off in my favour. As a

result

things swung in Seamus's favour, but just as it looked like he would overwhelm

me, he too

suffered from bad breaks.

To cut a long story short, I was the first to suffer when C3 broke after the

sub-general

sucumbed to an untimely 6-1 (I won't complain consdering how fortunate my C-in-C

had

been in game 1). As a result it looked like Seamus would win big, but then a

final

sequence of good combat results enabled me to break one of Seamus's mounted

commands, which thanks to the 2ME penalty also tipped the second mounted command

past break point. All this was just in time from my PoV because at this point C1

was

hanging by a thread (well 1 ME), which Seamus got without difficulty on his next

bound to

win the game, 15-10.

Post Mortem

In spite of getting the worst of it, this was a thoroughly enjoyable game

featuring a good

old fashioned, ferocious clash between opposing lines of mounted. Counting as

(I) against

Kn (F) puts Kn (X) at a disvantage in this situation, but they are compensated

by the fact

that they do not pursue. The biggest disappointment was the elephant, which

fluffed

several chances at 4-1 against opposing LH, and paid the penalty by eventually

getting

QK'd at 3-2.

Overall an excellent tournament with four enjoyable games played in great spirit

and

universally convivial opponents. Coming tenth out of 14 isn't very impressive,

but I

console myself with the thought that this was a very tight tournament in which

just nine

points separated the third to tenth placed players as the final placings below

illustrate. It's

also nice to know that although I wasn't at the races, I did influence who would

get top

spot by taking just enough points off Richard to give Rob a chance to overtake

him. Rob

definitely owes me a pint! Conversely, I am sure Richard is still cursing my

C-in-C for his

heroics.

A great tournament and special thanks to Richard and William for hosting.

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