Saturday, March 25, 2023

Sumerians In Action

The Sumerian armies regrouped to fight another battle on Thursday.  The setup is the same as the prior two battles with each army fielding 12 BMUs.  For a refresher, see Sumerians in Action Again and A Loss of Pre-Biblical Proportion.  Yep. In both battles I suffer serious defeats.  Can I turn it around in this next game?

In this contest, I face off against Peter from Grid Based Wargaming.  His battle account can be read at Sumerian Remote Wargame.

Without further delay, on to battle.
Battle lines drawn.
Red Army (Jon)
Blue Army (Peter)
As the battle opens, the two armies slowly begin to close the distance.  While Blue keeps his battle cars stationary, Red swings both of his battle cars off to the right.  Perhaps, one flank can be overwhelmed by the powerful carts?  The two armies are within striking distance.  
Red swings battle carts to the right.
The two armies close.
Already, one of Red's skirmishers is driven back.
The armies are within striking distance.
Winning initiative, Blue strikes first.

Preceded by a hail of arrows to soften the enemy spear block, Blue marches forward into the disordered spear block to its front.  Red's disordered spearmen fail to stand and take flight having suffered a casualty.  The momentum of Blue's spear block carries it into a unit of Red's massed archers.  Blue suffers hits as it closes but continues to bear down on the archers.  The archers buckle and run for the rear.  
Blue attacks!
Red spear are driven back as Blue pursues.
Seeing the middle of Red's battle line breached, Blue's second spear block advances into contact.  Before it reaches the enemy spear block, a volley of arrows leads the way.  Seeing friendly troops in flight, the spearmen, having suffered heavy casualties, break for the rear.  The entire Red center is gone!  Swept away in a matter of minutes.
Hard attack in the center by Blue spearmen.
Red's center is in flight!
In an attempt to salvage the situation, Red Army sends its battle carts into the fray.

The battle cart on the right drives off two enemy skirmishers and pursues into an ongoing enemy battle cart.  The Red battle car, disordered from its efforts, is defeated and wheels around to return toward its lines.

Red's Lugal at the reins of the second battle car, aims for the massed archers to his front and trots ahead.  Expecting the archers to collapse in the face of such a threat, the archers stand firm and deliver a punishing volley.  Stunned by the damage suffered, the Lugal carries into the archers.  The archers repulse the Lugal and he wheels his cart about.
Red cart drives off enemy skirmishers.
Red Lugal attacks massed archers.
A short melee ends with...
the Lugal in flight!
Following Red's quick collapse in the center, Red's center begins to stabilize as the retreating spear blocks halt, reorder and turn about.  As it prepares to take back lost ground, it sees more activity out on its right.  Watching Red's Lugal wheel around and head for the rear, Blue pursues with one of its battle cars.  Catching Red's Lugal in the rear, the Lugal is quickly dispatched. 

The battle is over.
Red's Lugal is pursued,
quickly caught, and destroyed.
With Red's center in disarray and its Lugal dead on the field, Red Army has no option but to withdraw from battle.

Massive victory for Peter and his Blue Army.  Congratulations, Peter!

Where did I go awry in leading the Red Army?  Well, I will not need to worry about chronicling those failings since my Lugal is dead on the field and the victor writes the history.

Well played, Peter!

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Sumerians in Action Again!

Fresh off a stinging defeat (see A Loss of Pre-Biblical Proportions) followed by a marginal victory (sorry no report), the paired Sumerians armies take to the field for a third battle.  This time, I face Matt in a head-to-head match-up.  Matt briefly notes the battle here but he does not tell the whole story.

As in the prior two contests, two evenly matched Sumerian armiess face off on a featureless plain.  Each army has twelve units distributed as,
2 x Battle Carts
2 x Heavy Spear Foot
3 x Massed Bow
1 x Skirmisher, Bow
2 x Skirmishers, Javelin
2 x Skirmishers, Slinger
Rules in use are my variant of Basic Impetvs on a grid. 

Matt commanded the Blue Army.  I took the reins of the Red Army.
Let's see how the battle evolved.
Armies drawn up for battle.
Jon's Red Army
Matt's Blue Army
Steady boys!
Winning the initiative, Red Army steps off toward the enemy battle line.  Keeping the Lugal in his battle cart behind the center, the second battle cart heads out to the left.  Blue counters by peeling off both battle carts and swinging them out to the right.  Is Blue attempting a flanking maneuver? 
Red advances its battle line.
Blue swings both battle carts out to the right.
As Blue battle cars move off to the right, the battle begins.  With skirmishing ineffective at range against skirmishers, Blue closes in with slingers.  In a quick clash, the enemy is dispatched and scattered.  Seeing this unexpected success, Blue sends one of the heavy infantry forward.  The remainder of the battle line follows suit.
A quick clash scatters a Red skirmisher
as Blue's battle line steps forward.
Tension mounts as both lines are poised to strike!
And strike they do!

The Blue skirmisher, closest to the enemy, slips into the gap in the enemy line while the Blue Lugal, in his battle car smashes into the enemy skirmishers to his front.  Failing to evade in the face of these asses, the skirmishers are sent reeling back though their lines.  Fortunately for Red, the Lugal fails to pursue.  Failure to pursue would be a common thread throughout this battle.  

While Blue archers disorder a Red spear block, Red's other spear block in the center advances.  Red's heavy spear pushes into the enemy to its front.  Blue's supporting archers fail to loose a volley before the enemy closes.  Both Blue's heavy spear and supporting archers are sent backwards from the impact and clash.
Blue Lugal drives enemy skirmishers off.
Having seen the setback on its right and with the enemy spearmen to its front in disorder, Blue's second block of heavy spear advances in an attempt to stabilize the line.
Blue spear and archers are, likewise, driven back in disorder.
It works!

Although the supporting archers get off a volley, they do no harm.  The Blue spear block closes upon the enemy.  As a counter to Red's successful attack in sending archers and spearmen running to the rear, Blue's attack is just as effective.  Both of Red's defending infantry flee to the rear.  Now, only Red's Lugal stands in the way.  Red's Lugal remains firm and repulses the attack. 
Blue spearmen open up the enemy center
but Red's Lugal stops any pursuit!
Back on Red's left, the Lugal trots into action.  The first target in his sights is an enemy skirmisher.  It is dispatched with little effort.  Red's Lugal pursues.  Pursuit carries it into the enemy Lugal's battle cart.  In a quick clash, Red Lugal breaks off.  Neither Lugal has damaged the other but the seeds of destruction have been sown. 
An enemy skirmisher falls at the hands of the Lugal.
Caught in tight quarters, the Red Lugal wheels right in an attempt to evade.  He realizes his mistake too late.  A wheel to the left may have provided more room to maneuver but now he may be trapped.
Red Lugal veers off to the right.
Like a hawk on its prey, Blue Lugal swings his battle car onto the rear of the enemy Lugal.  Hemmed in, Red's Lugal is trapped!  In an attempt to provide succor to its king, the archers ready their bows but fail to react.  They watch on in horror as their Lugal is ridden down.
Onto the rear!
In his flight, Red's Lugal pushes back the spear block while the archers take to their heels.  To add insult to this terrible situation, the other Red battle car is repulsed in its attack against the enemy spear block.  The entire army is collapsing!
Red Lugal drives into his own troops as he is ridden down.
The death of the Red Lugal!
The Day is Lost!
Congratulations to Matt on his stunning victory!

In under four turns, Matt turned a seemingly equal contest onto its head.  I made a few critical mistakes and Matt capitalized on every single one of them!  A double turn may have sped up my army's collapse but I found myself on the back hoof in my battle cart early on.  

One more contest with these armies on Thursday when I face Peter from Down Under.  Can I redeem myself?  We will see.

Saturday, March 18, 2023

Even More Spanish!

Two more Spanish foot regiments muster out from the painting desk. With the addition of this pair, my fledgling Spanish Army can field a half dozen foot regiments.  Today's recruits march out as Saboya (blue facing/white trim) and Cordoba (red facing/yellow trim).  Foot figures are Old Glory led by a Eureka mounted colonel.  Flags are created by David from by Not by Appointment

On the painting desk are more Piedmontese, French, and Hanoverians for the WAS/SYW project expansion.  Several handfuls of 10mm ACW Confederates are being readied as well.  Once the Sumerian armies are cleared away, we may see an ACW battle out on the gaming table. 

Following up on Monday's severe beating in the Sumerian battle (see: A Loss of Pre-Biblical Proportions), the Sumerians and I took to battle a second time on Thursday.  In this contest, I played a rare, F2F game.  The result was close.  Very close.  With both Army Breakpoint Clocks teetering on collapse, I managed to gain a victory of the smallest margins.  Had initiative flipped to my opponent or a failed pursuit had succeeded, my army would have likely gone down in defeat.

Moment before Red Army collapse.
The battle was good fun. Very enjoyable to get in a F2F game with an old friend. With the rules forming-up in my mind, two more Sumerian battles are scheduled for next week to reinforce the rules and, perhaps, improve my tactics.

Finally, after a very long winter, I took the bike off the trainer and ventured outdoors.  Still cool and snow along the road in places, I popped out for a 25-miler.  While a few minutes slower than last fall, initial report shows that body and bike have survived the winter.  Still a lot of grit on the road but overall, the roads were in good shape.  Maybe a couple more days of outdoor cycling before rain returns.

I plan to be back out on the bike later today once the temperatures warm to "tolerable."

Tuesday, March 14, 2023

A Loss of Pre-Biblical Proportion

After finally clearing away the remnants of the Montebello game (I still have one more Montebello battle report to chronicle), out come the five-inch hexes and the Sumerians.  First was a Sumerian parade and now a game.

Always ready for a game, Steve accepted my offer to take to the field in command one of the Sumerian armies.  The contest would be a remote, one-on-one game using my Basic Impetvs (BI) variant.  Armies would muster out on equal terms, each having 12 BMUs.  A veteran of these BI games, this would be Steve's first experience with commanding Ancient Sumerians.  Steve would command the Blue Army.  Introduced is a modification to the way in which battle carts retreat from melee.

Let's see how the battle unfolded. 
The two armies arrayed for battle.
Red Lugal assesses his opponent.
As the two armies close, battle carts attack on the left. 
In the initial clash, Blue archers are driven back
while Red skirmishers are scattered.
Already, Red Army has lost one unit.
In pursuit, Blue battle cart attacks the massed bowmen,
The archers stand firm unleashing a volley into its attackers.
Seeing the archers stand, the battle cart veers off. 
Blue battle cart, now behind enemy lines,
drives off another skirmisher.
In the center tension mounts as the distance closes.
 Red advances, attacking with both heavy foot and cart.
Red spear drives off the enemy but its battle cart is repulsed.
Red wins one combat and loses one combat.
As the lumbering cart slowly wheels to retire,
it exposes a rear to the enemy.
Is this an opportunity?
Watching this error unfold, Blue pounces,
attacking with both heavy foot and cart.
One Blue cart and massed bow are crushed.
Is the attack over?
Blue moves skirmishers up to harass the heavy foot
while the cart rattles on.
Massed archers and skirmishers rain missiles
 into the heavy foot.
The heavy foot weakens.
When it rains, it pours.
The Blue cart, already in the enemy rear, 
charges into the Red center.
A skirmisher is hit...
and destroyed.
With enemy in its rear, Red's massed archers crumble
 when attacked by heavy foot to its front.
Red Army breaks.
The battle is over. 
The victor is pleased.
Steve's Blue Army claims a resounding victory.  Congratulations to Steve on a game well-played.  He is wily opponent.  Rarely have I suffered such an ignominious defeat.
Red's center is hollowed out.
Could the defeat really have been that bad? 


A quick glance at the Dead Pile leaves no doubt.
Dead Pile.
Hopefully, I will have a chance to avenge this embarrassing, Manic Monday loss.

How did the revised battle cart retreat rules work out?  A topic for another time, I think.

Victorious Lugal surveys his victory.