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Milton Keynes 16 January 2010

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

I was using Alans, but not the usual 4-command version with scads of LH(S), a few Kn(F) and maybe some Bd(I)/Ps(O) for terrain.  3 commands being CinC and Sub (both Kn(F)), each with 6 LH(S) (12ME each) and a monster sub-command of Sub (Kn(F), 23 Kn(F), 6 LH(S) and 2 Bge(F) (60ME), + an army Bge command of 4 Bge(I) (adding +2 ME to each of the micro-commands.  I also had Scouting (in case of night-time attacks), Ambush and Feigned Flight.

The morning game vs Phil Hosker's Graeco-Bactrians was a classic.  I was defender, we had two drawn aggression rolls and Phil ended up invading me in winter, with risk of Snow (cue many jokes re the recent weather, but in the end it held off - rolling an average of 5 on 4 dice is pretty unlikely).  I ambushed the two LH commands, tucked the Baggage command safely in a pocket behind a BUA and a Wd and flank-marched the monster command of Kn(F).  Only the baggage train was on-table to start with.  Phil set up on the opposite flank from my flank march, with one command of 3-deep Pk + light infantry (in terrain, covering phalanx's flank) + 2 nellies in reserve, and 1 command of various Kn and Cv and stuff.  Another command was missing, and turned out to be a small (18 ME) Saka ally of LH(F) flank-marching on the opposite side from my nobles (sadly, it could have been very swift and crushing if my 24 Kn(F) had driven the Saka on and into the flank of Phil's Kn command!)

I refused to bring the ambushes on for couple of bounds, and Phil did little for the same period, not willing to commit himself until he could see some of my troops.  I then brought both LH(S) out to try to draw Phil out (I thought I could at least have a go with the Feigned flight stratagem), and the Saka arrived as I did so.  They rushed from right to left, I rushed from left to right and in the head-on collision, the LH(F) of course came out considerabley second best.  However, as Phil planned the Saka had trashed the LH(S) formation, and the Kn then swept in from the side of the LH(S) and began mopping-up.  Both LH commands swiftly broke (I realised the flaw in my army structure at this point, as the +2 ME penalty for one command breaking pretty-much automatically takes out the other micro-command! D'oh, note to self - do not fight with these two anywhere near each other!). However, the remaining LH(S) were stuck in combat and Phil then lost 2-3 Kn trying to wipe out the survivors!

Meanwhile, the Alan nobility had spent a long time kissing their wives and children goodbye, and I was just about to shake Phil's hand and concede the game, when the "5" turned up at the last possible moment. Cue intense relief, and a bit of a shock to Phil when I brought on an 8-wide and 3-ranks deep phalanx of Kn(F), with LH(S) guarding its flanks.  At that point he realised that the rest of the army was expendable - it was all down to killing the Alan nobles. The Pk began to wheel and the mahouts marshalled their charges, albeit hampered by being Phil's low PIP-dice command.  I knew that the Kn(F) were unlikely to win the game for me vs a 3-deep block of Pk(O), so the damaged Kn-command had to be the target - if I could get around the Pk.  Since the Kn refused to have enough PIPs to do it, their role was reduced to being cheerleaders and trying not to turn into jam beneath the nellies, while the LH(S) made a bee-line for Phil's Kn.  We lost some Kn, but held out long enough for the LH(S) to do their dirty deeds, and break Phil's army.  I had suffered just about 40% casualties and 2 broken commands, for a memorable 15-10 victory, revenge for his victory when we first met at Campaign last year.

The afternoon saw the Alans invade Mithridatic Pontus, generalled by Dave Mather.  As usual, our game was "very sociable" and we nattered like a pair of old fishwives.  I Delayed the big command this time, which was a mistake.  Although it came on about bound 3 or so, this was a game where I really should have trusted my initial instincts and lined up and charged.  I was too worried about the Exp, and wanted to see where they were before I committed the Kn to the table.

In the end, having used a lot of time naffing about and trying to dispose of the Exp (done very successfully thanks to the LH(S) and good dice) [Dave would also no doubt want to mention the push of his Ax(S) and LH(O) on one flank, which was hampered by several crucial 1s on the PIP-dice just as my LH were assaulting them, preventing him from hard-flanking and killing LH), we timed out with Dave's main force (Bd and Kn(F)/Kn(I)) standing on a hill with my LH(S) just about to tear chunks out of their flank, and my 24 Kn(F) still a couple of bounds off impact.  Dave was too scared to come and take me on and I think was very glad to get away with a 13-12 draw in my favour.  Although the victory ought to have been mine for the taking (if I'd deployed like a man to start with and/or just let the Kn do their own thing impetuously a few bounds before), it's still my best result to date against Dave, so I'm not unhappy.

Despite having taken an army heavily weighted in favour of Kn(F), and the looks in my opponents' eyes when they saw 24 Kn(F) coming at them 3-deep, in reality the fighting and winning throughout was pretty much all done by the LH(S).  In answer to the question "Did mounted "s" sweep the board?", in my games I'd have to say that they were the fighting troops, and they "did it for me".

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