Hundred Years War vs Tauregs:
LADG in the Desert – By Russ Lockwood
The emergence of the wargaming cicada continued with a game of L’Art de la Guerre (LADG) with Dennis at On Military Matters. We were using the just released fourth edition rules, not that it made much difference to me. I hadn’t even mastered the first edition rules.
Dennis set me up with a 100 Years War army with 17 medium and heavy foot stands, two light infantry stands, and two light cavalry stands. He came at me with a horde of furious-charging foot troops and elite camel troops. His was 28 stands and mine but 21 stands. In terms of taking damage, it was about equal. In terms of dealing damage, the Tauregs had the edge, although I had a slight edge in bowfire.
We set up the terrain as per tournament rules. My two gentle hills ended up across the table. Dennis’ two sand dunes migrated via die roll onto my side. Dunes are nasty to all units except camels.
I set up with my right flank as close to the edge of the table as possible. I abutted the edge on my first march. The idea was to hammer the camels opposite me with bowfire and sweep them with the armored infantry.
Flank March Surprise
That’s when Dennis noted that any unit with four unit measures of an enemy flank march immediately disorganizes and panics. He also took pity on me and declared the flank march would come in on my left flank.
End of Turn 1 move. After learning about flank marches, I’m getting the feeling that forming square ala Arsouf would be the best course of action.
That’s better than watching a fifth of my army head for the hills. The odd thing is that even if I was expecting an enemy flank march and positioned my troops so they would face the flank, they’d still be panicked if within four movement units of the edge.
So, don’t put any troops within four movement units of the edge, although that yields freedom of movement to the enemy flank marchers.
Advance and Attack
Knowing this, I had positioned one command of a couple bowmen and the two light cavalry as a reserve, so I dutifully sent the horse left to stop the half dozen camels. Sacrificial foals they were.
In the center, the melees started early against the horde. Let me tell you, the horde is damned dangerous because they have a furious charge. My troops did not have such an advantage. Basically, and I know I’m simplifying things, you have an even up die roll, but if the Taureg foot win the melee, my lads take an extra damage.
Two rounds saw a pair of my stands crumble to the ground and head to the great netherworld of off-table elimination.
On the flip side, my roughest toughest armored head to toe foot knights rolled a 6 to the Taureg 2 and only smacked the hoarders for two hits (they need three for elimination). I don’t know how Richard the Lion-Hearted pulled off Arsouf.
LADG-wise, same troops. Rich must have rolled really well that day. Don’t look at me. I was doing OK with an arrow barrage against the camels on my right flank, but I rolled three 1s in a row in the main line. I didn’t kill any camel stands, but I sure lost troops in the middle.
We ended on the second turn, as I had to leave. I could see how it was going to go — the numbers (horde and camel) were going to sweep around my left flank, assuming the straight up fight wasn’t won. No wonder Richard formed square against a coast.
Good To Be Tableside
As for LADG, the most noticeable change had to do with expanding stands from behind to the front rank. I sorta got it, but many a move had to be recalculated because I kept screwing up the pips spent versus stands moved. Regardless of the outcome, it was great to be back tableside.