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London, United Kingdom
A mythical beast - a female wargamer! I got back into wargaming in the summer of 2011 after a very, very long break. My current interests are Ancients, ACW, 30YW and SciFi gaming.

Sunday, 5 April 2015

Monday's Game of ADLG

Back in November/December I signed up for our club's ADLG tourney. Possibly not the best of ideas with the Challenge about to start, but these things happen.

I finally played my first game (of four) on Monday against the Madaxeman. I'd rather stupidly opted for the Alans (the only army I have at present for the period/theme of the tourney) and the other armies in my group are Romans and Macedonian successors - not the ideal opponents for a cavalry army. The Madaxeman's army was an Early Successor one - mostly pikes, some heavy cavalry and a nellyphant with a smattering of other heavy/medium/light infantry thrown in.

Unfortunately I lost the initiative roll, so the Madaxeman opted to be the defender and selected Mountains as the region type. The terrain and where it fell was not brilliant for my cavalry. The dark green blobs are forest; there are two steep hills in the top right corner. The other two pieces are brush.

I was a little surprised to find him only deploy two corps and announce that the third corps was on a flank march. I was expecting it to come in on my right flank, but it actually came in on my left. But that happened a few turns after this. I probably should have sent one  of my corps on a flank march, but forgot. I should also have put my camp between the forest (and next to it) and the brush on my baseline.

If you are wondering why I haven't deployed any heavy cavalry to the left for the forest, I couldn't - there are strict deployment zones for battle-line troops and you can't deploy them in the outer margins. The forest started at the deployment edge

I'd deployed with my shooty-cavalry ahead and advanced them fast to slow down and shoot up the pike blocks and other heavy troops. My right wing was advancing to try to get into position to attack the flanks and rear of the pikes. The lancers in my centre and left wing corps were being held back so that they could either sweep round on his right flank/rear or react to any flank march.

His flank march arrived quite early - three heavy cavalry and two light horse. If only I'd sent one of my corps on  a flank march down that side- his would have been driven back and had to deploy no more than 20cm from his base edge on that flank. The next turn my corps could have come on and hit him in the flank or rear.

Rules tip - if both armies have flank marches on the same flank, which ever has the most units (light units count as half) drives the other back.

Rules tip - if you have a lot of units on your flank march, you'd better hope that you roll high for command pips and have enough space to deploy them all!

My lancers on the left charged his lancers. The shooty cavalry had been charged by the elephant and evaded, so I'd decided to bring them down to support the lancers.

Rules tip - different unit types have different cohesion points. Skirmishers have two, most battle line troops have three, some (eg pikes) have four. To show how many have been lost, the convention is 1 loss = green; two losses = yellow; three losses = red; four losses = black.

It turned out that my lancers did need some help! The one at the top also got charged in the flank by some hoplites (supported by light foot) but did succeed in killing the lancers they had originally charged - at this point they have turned to face the hoplites. However my other two lancers got creamed. To try to stop his lancers carrying on, I charged in with my shooty cavalry. One of them did OK, the other died ever so quickly.

In the top right you can see what happens when pikes that have been shot up get charged in the flank by lancers. One unit got blown to pieces by the charge and the lancers pursued into the next. It's even better when those lancers are supported on each flank.

Rules tip - in melee combat, each supporting unit gives you a +1 to your attack roll (light troops count half, rounded up).

Rules tip - if you are attacked in the flank you lose your attack bonuses and if the charge was by battle line troops you also drop a cohesion level.
NB - pursuit into contact with a new unit does not count as a charge.

Meanwhile in the top right corner, I'd sent a unit of light horse to loot the camp. However, thanks to us both having not played ADLG for months we forgot that light foot can't charge anything other than light foot in the open. A turn or two later, another light foot had come out of the woods and charged them in the rear. Of course, we didn't discover our mistake for several turns, but which time another of my light horse had joined in and some of the medium or heavy cavalry that was milling around in the middle of the table doing sweet FA had decided to take a look.

I could have looted his camp much earlier and then taken on the light foot in my own good time.

Getting back to proper fights though, here you see my centre corps lancers have charged into the front of his two remaining pike blocks. I didn't have any choice as my command pip roll was too low to stop them, so I used a point to declare the charge. Or they might have been close enough for a zero-point spontaneous charge. 

Rules tip - impetuous cavalry have to charge any unit within charge range. If you don't declare a charge then for each unit you have to pay 3 command points. You don't normally want to launch uncontrolled charges as you take a -1 on your melee attack roll. You definitely don't want to frontally uncontrolled-charge heavy infantry, particularly spearmen or pikes, as they will be at a +1 or +2 in the combat anyway (not to mention negating your cavalry's combat bonuses).
Edit to correct - Impetuous cavalry don't have to make frontal uncontrolled charges against heavy infantry. Thanks Seb!

By this time, the last remaining unit of my left flank corps had been destroyed and his elephant had taken out some of my shooty cavalry. Fortunately the next turn was mine and I had units teed up to hit the pikes in the flank and rear.

At the top of the pic the two cavalry must have charged into another infantry unit (possibly hoplites, maybe Thracians - they're not in shot and I can't remember. It may even have been a flank charge).

In the final turn I took his camp and charged the flank and rear of the pike block. That was enough to break his army and win the game, but I was only 1 point off being broken myself!


  1. well played.

    But you made another mistake: impetuous cavalry are not impetuous if facing heavy infantry ;) you could have left your hard hitters in front of the pike. Beginners always forget this precious information.

  2. Good game you got the fat out of the fire just in time. All those pikes could have been disastrous.

  3. Great AAR and well played! When I saw the matchup, I though you'd have a hard time winning. But you did it!

  4. @ Ray - indeed, poor Alan! He's almost as unfortunate as Will. ;)

    @ Seb - thanks and thanks! I've updated the post with a correction on that point :)

    @ Markus - see my answer to Ray :)

    @ PK - cheers! :)

    @ Robert - I certainly did! I might have won earlier if we hadn't made some rules mistakes! :)

    @ Rodger - thanks! :)

    @ Monty - cheers! I was expecting I'd lose all of my games, but that might not be the case it seems. Actually, it can't be the case now that I've won one. Heck, you know what I mean! ;)

  5. Good to see someone else use the correct term - NELLYS - in an AAR. :)


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