After going down to defeat in three straight, remote games, a new opponent arose from the crowd to try his hand at maneuvering battle carts on the plains of battle. My new opponent was Mark from the Mud, Blood, and Steel blog.
Could this be the opportunity I needed to turn my fortunes around?
Let's find out!
Mark commands the Blue Army while I command the Red Army.
Once the two armies close to within charge range, Mark strikes with his left battle cart as it trots forward from Blue's battle line. The cart's target is a massed archer unit on the enemy right. Blue moves up a skirmisher to distract the enemy's skirmisher.
|Armies arrayed for battle.|
As the cart reaches the enemy line, the archers test to shoot. The brave bowmen succeed and let loose a devastating volley. The battle cart suffers heavy casualties, loses its Impetus bonus and becomes disordered. Still, the cart plows ahead.
In the initial clash, the archers have seen enough and break for the rear having suffered heavy casualties. The cart breaches the enemy battle line. Will it pursue?
|Blue cart plunges into Red's battle line.|
|Breakthrough!|As the cart trundles forward, it catches the fleeing bowmen. They are cut down to the man. While the driver of the cart encourages his animals on, they fail to continue the pursuit.
Graced with winning the initiative, Blue continues from where it left off from last turn. First, archers in the battle line shoot into Red's battle line trying to disorder the enemy before launching an attack. All missiles fail to bother the enemy so attacks are called off.
|Pursuit and destruction!|Second, the victorious battle cart running amok in the enemy's backfield, although showing heavy damage, continues its rampage. Next target? The rear of an enemy spear block.
|Attacked from the rear!|
Surprised by the attack from its rear, the heavy spearmen scatter as the cart crashes into its formation. Disaster! Having ripped through the heavy infantry, the jubilant cart crashes into the rear of a body of massed archers.
The crash is really a whimper, and the cart is turned back before it can do further damage.
Seeing its right collapsing and the destruction of one of its spear blocks, Red Army attacks before all is lost. Better to die fighting than to be cut to pieces where you stand. Red's heavy spear block alongside steps off toward the enemy.
|Another one bites the dust before being turned away.|
The battle cart on the right of the line charges forward into the enemy's heavy infantry. After a couple of rounds of poking and hacking, the cart is driven off having suffered very heavy casualties.
The battle is over.
Congratulations to Mark on mounting a complete defeat of my Red Army in an impressive manner. Really impressive.
|Blue's Lugal smashes the enemy to win the day!|
One consolation for me is that at least my Lugal remained on the field, alive, in this battle. Still, my army winds up on the receiving end of a crushing defeat.
Mark's breakthrough of his cart, early on, through my battle line and its seemingly unending rampage through my ranks sealed my fate. With that destruction, Red's Army never regained its footing.
Well played and great fun!
Having lost four of these remote battles all at the hands of different opponents, time to consider another era. Perhaps my luck will improve?
LOL. Great report Jonathan, but perhaps you could do with a boost to your battlefield performance by playing some other period.ReplyDelete
Glad you enjoyed the BatRep and another of my humiliating defeats. They all have been good fun. A change of periods may do some good.Delete
Perhaps you have unwittingly angered a Sumerian god?☺ReplyDelete
I wonder. And which one?Delete
I fear you are becoming like Robert the Bruce: "If at first you don't succeed, try, try and try again" ;) !ReplyDelete
It seems to me that the side (Blue generally I believe) that makes the break through with the battlecarts seems to be the one that wins in the end? This certainly fits Stillman's view of early battles where they were used as 'shock troops'.
Anyway, let's hope you get more luck in another period. Maybe you take the Prussians against some hapless Austrians... ;).
Winning a melee and scoring a follow-up pursuit can create a big hole in BI. That was certainly the situation in this game with Blue's battle carts. Unfortunately, my battle carts did not break through and were decisively repulsed. In the last game, it was Blue's heave infantry that broke through and tore my center to shreds.Delete
Battle carts are shock troops when successful and only firing platforms when they don't!
Looks like a return to AWI is up next. To avoid another defeat, I may simply GM.
Good that I do not easily discourage.
I’m not so sure I’d have fared so well if I’d been first up in the red v blue trials… I had the benefit of reviewing the previous games and drawing some important lessons from them. I felt that lengthy manoeuvre around either flank with those cumbersome carts would both telegraph where I was going to hit and give you time to prepare a response. The double initiative was also crucial and without the ability to not just break into your line but drive through it, it would have devolved into a grinding match that could have gone either way. As it was I pushed my troops harder than I should have done, continuing to attack despite notching up some nasty hits on my men in the process. I was probably one turn away from my own forces beginning to fall apart truth be told. The red v blue forces with several games and guest players has legs I think. Perhaps you should give the idea another run out in the future? By the way, the quality of the models and the clarity of both the zoom picture and your rules explanations made for a really great gaming experience. It doesn’t get much better than that!ReplyDelete
JBM, you are a clever one to look back to the past to see the path forward.Delete
You are correct in that your army was quite beaten up too with a number of units having only one VBU remaining. The difference is that you kept yours mostly out of arms way while wreaking havoc in my rear.
You played a great game. Your idea of repeating this series of matched armies in battle is a good one. I will do it again. Perhaps not with Sumerians...
I really appreciate your shining endorsement of my game presentation. Very much appreciated! The proof will be if you return to the table.
This was a terrific battle fought against a terrific opponent. Thank you!
Another great game. Once again Battle carts in the rear wreak havoc.ReplyDelete
Thank you! For once, I would like the battle carts wreaking havoc in my enemy's rear!Delete
O good lord.... The nation of Red Sumerians is forever lost and wiped from the map, only to be added to the lands of the Blue Sumerians - slaves abound.ReplyDelete
Jon, I am thinking that the rules are against you. You seem to line up just fine, then suddenly one unit careens somehow from one target to the next and like dominoes the fortunes of your force topple.
Wasn't there mention of ACW making an appearance on the table next?
Fair assessment. The lands of Red Sumerians may be no more. I do seem to fall apart rather quickly once the shooting starts.Delete
Yes, ACW was on the schedule but there has been a growing interest in seeing an AWI. ACW will be back on the schedule before too long.
Great report again Jonathan!ReplyDelete
Battle-carts breaking through and running amok behind the lines is becoming rather familiar. Isn't there a command radius rule tucked away in the appendices you can use to slow them down a little? At least this marauding cart didn't seem to do as much damage as others in the previous game. Another entertaining AAR Jonathan.ReplyDelete
Yes, carts breaking through the lines and causing destruction is a regular occurrence. Seems to primarily befall me. No command radius rule to reel these devils back. The bright spot is...well, there is no bright spot besides having a good game with a friend.Delete
Glad you enjoyed the battle report!
Well, as you had advertised previously Jon, more of the same ( unfortunately for the Red Sumerians) but once again, a beautiful spectacle to behold. I suppose most "history" of this era is pretty speculative, but are these marauding battle carts something that you have read about in your research of the period?ReplyDelete
Yes, another day, another loss...One gets used to it. Really. Glad you liked the look of the game.Delete
As for effectiveness of battle carts, I suppose it depends upon who you ask. As you say, very little is known with certainty. I could see them acting as battle taxi, firing platform, or shock weapon. When used as a shock weapon, I imagine a breakthrough is capable of creating all sorts of bedlam. The dynamics of having the carts on the field really open up a game whether truly historical or not.
Another fine looking encounter there, those battle carts are like annoying little midges only much bigger and deadly. We both seem to be on a downward spiral with our game results.ReplyDelete
Thanks, Phil! We both need not be on the same, losing bandwagon. We need to jump!Delete
Stay away from the carts! Oh dear Jonathan, I think you're right, it's time for another period. Great report though and we'll done to Mark.ReplyDelete
Staying away from the carts is easier said than done.Delete
Glad you enjoyed the report and my misery. A different period is on deck next.
Yes, congratulations to Mark on a well-executed thrashing.
Win or lose, you (and others) have had a lot of entertainment with these troops over the last 4 sessions.ReplyDelete
So true! These games have been great fun.Delete
A model AAR. Nice clear photos and text.ReplyDelete
Unfortunately, red is not your lucky colour!
Chris, this is the best compliment! Thank you!Delete
I agree. Red is not my lucky color. In these situations, anyway.
The gaping Jaws of my machinists vice stand ready for your dice.. A great AAR ,, your reports are so clear from malice,, we really must try a game some day.ReplyDelete
You are very kind, Joe. “So clear from malice”…I like that!Delete
We should have a game. I will hold off on using the vice on the dice, for now.
Maybe like me you should be on your n’th dice set by now. Good game nonetheless.ReplyDelete
While I have a bucket of spare dice at the ready, I tend to stick with the dice I brought to the dance.Delete
Pleased to see you enjoyed the battle account.
I've enjoyed all of these Summerian slaughter reports. You have had little luck in the games, a bit like Phil of late. Time for new dice or a different period I think.ReplyDelete
Four decisive defeats out of four is a little hard to reconcile in my brain. Time for a new period, for sure. New dice too since I will be switching from D6s to D10s.Delete
Another excellent report, you just need to regroup and give your army another run out, hosting the remote battle of course means you can’t fully concentrate on your battle plan 😁 but a great read thank youReplyDelete
Thanks, Graham! Yes, time to regroup but the Sumerians have been replaced by AWI armies. The Sumerians will be back. I agree with your lack of concentration and multi-tasking hypothesis. It can be difficult switching mindsets at times.Delete
Great report Jonathan and like the other posters I think a new period (with new dice) is a good idea.ReplyDelete
Thanks, Ben! Yes, time to move on…Delete
Oh dear four out of four, I suspect some slight bias may be creeping in as the host, or you need to feed those asses more food !ReplyDelete
“Oh dear” is right! I need to exert more concentration.Delete
Luck? Yes many a defeated general has blamed his luck....:)ReplyDelete
I don’t think I blamed luck, did I?Delete
:) check the last line....Delete
But a natural hope for a more fortune outcome in the near future.
Okay. I see how you might think that. I was not blaming poor luck in my retelling of the tale.Delete
I know, I was teasing.Delete
Well, lucky for you (and all of us really) miniature wargaming is one of those activities that one doesn’t have to be good at in order to enjoy…. (Yuck yuck snerk). 😀ReplyDelete
Maybe ancients isn’t your genre? I’m the same with WWII. My win loss record is appalling with WWII games. The only thing I was ever good at was getting infantry shot to pieces and tanks blown up. I eventually just started playing Soviets where huge losses were expected.
Really good AAR and I see your adding more folks to the online gaming club. Was that JBM’s first time with you?
Stew, I really need more data points. Is a string of four losses statistically significant?Delete
I mostly consider myself a Horse and Musket gamer but I am expanding my gaming horizons. Clearly, I need more work.
Yes, this was the first game with Mark. We had a near miss a planned group game a couple of weeks ago that had to be cancelled. Mark was willing to take up an offer at the head of one of the Sumerians armies.
We have another game planned for Thursday and yes, my remote gaming group continues to grow.
I was very excited about this post at first because I misread "Battle Cat" for "Battle Cart", lol. I'm curious how deadly a mass of carts can be mowing down units like bowling pins. What's doing the killing, the archers and the spearmen in the carts themselves?ReplyDelete
Four losses does not bode well but I would keep trying, maybe take Blue for a change?
Sorry to disappoint, Michael. I think if the carts can breakthrough an infantry line, then the destruction could be great as the fleeing foot are caught. Otherwise, missile fire from the cart may cause some casualties.Delete
For now, I am moving on to another period. We will see the Sumerians back again. The games take only about two hours so perfect for an evening clash.
Ah Jonathan, I can empathize with you. My last five games with Spartan Hoplites have ended in sound thrashings for the Peloponnesian warrior fanatics. Such is life at the mercy of the dread D6.ReplyDelete
A great report and pictures to boot. Hopefully your next game will have a more favourable result.
Good to see you enjoyed the battle report. Sounds like we are both on a bit of a losing streak.. My streak continues, unblemished, with another loss in today’s action.Delete
Bad luck, Jon. Definitely need to change to a new period, I think! Perhaps one with lots of flags and tricornes? ;-)ReplyDelete
I have just tried emailing you twice with an updated/corrected version of the Piedmontese Guards' flags but had the emails bounced back with the message "Delivery to the following recipients failed permanently:
Reason: A message that you sent to the following recipient could not be delivered due to a permanent error. ** The remote server ?? responded with: ** jon*****@**********??:?? This message was created automatically by mail delivery software on the server ."
I hope it's only a temporary error! (I added the asterisks to change your email address so it cannot be found by bots.)
Thanks, David! Flag and Tricornes coming up but in AWI.Delete
Strange about email failures. I received the Guard flag final version earlier. Is this an update to your earlier finished flag? If so, please try again later or use my gmail address.
Jet another lovely looking and sounding (maybe not for you 😁) game Jonathan…ReplyDelete
Blue’s unstoppable cart of doom really gave you a bad start to the affair…
All the best. Aly
Thanks, Aly! Yes, I got behind the curve early in this game and was back footed for the remainder of battle. It was still a terrific game. I faced another new gamer and enjoyed myself greatly.Delete
Sorry , I thought I'd already commented on this post, there is a distinct feeling of deja vue!ReplyDelete
With four of the same battles in rapid succession, it is easy to misplace one.Delete
Another great bat rep Jonathan, results aren't always that important!ReplyDelete
Thanks, Ross! Quite right. Results are not always that important.Delete