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Thread: The Battle of Edessa - Battle thread

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    Illuminated Moderator Pogo Panic Champion, Graveyard Champion, Missle Attack Champion, Ninja Kid Champion, Pop-Up Killer Champion, Ratman Ralph Champion GeneralHankerchief's Avatar
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    Default The Battle of Edessa - Battle thread

    The Battle of Edessa


    Background:

    Ever since Basileus Ioannis Komnenos II and Caesar Methodios Tagaris both died within days of each other, the Byzantine Empire has been thrown into chaos over competing claims about who would take the throne. Officially, the new Basileus is Ioannis Tagaris. However, there are multiple competing claims to the throne, rebellions, and secession movements.

    Andronikos Komnenos is leading one of them. Displeased with the choice of the new Basileus, he has taken his one vassal and plethora of lands in Asia Minor and seceded from the Byzantine Empire, attempting to create a breakoff kingdom. So far he has moved quickly, and while numbers are against him, in truth, most of his enemies have their own situations to deal with closer to home and are of no threat to the aspiring ruler. Theophylaktos Petzeas, however, is a different story.

    Owner of a moderately-sized army with a lot of cavalry at his disposal, Petzeas has recently been working towards the conquest of the great Turkish city of Edessa, clearing away numerous armies. Theo expects the city to fall in a relatively short period of time, as only a token garrison remains. However, Andronikos has thrown a major wrench in his plans.

    The situation:
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


    Moving with unexpected speed, Andronikos has reached Edessa from the west before Theo could either complete his conquest or get out of the way. Theo thus finds himself sandwiched between Andronikos's numerically-superior army and Edessa, with a river to the north further complicating things. At first glance, it would appear that with very little room to retreat. Theo is doomed. However, the Turks, content to watch their enemies kill each other, are staying out of the battle. In addition, Theo's cavalry superiority could cause problems for Andronikos.

    Andronikos, while having a solid line of retreat to the west in case the battle goes poorly, is in a slightly better situation. However, the bottom line is that he is a rebel, rebels always have a tougher time replacing men lost, and he is facing a very dangerous foe in Petzeas. It will be up to the commanders and the decisions they make to determine the winner of the day.

    The two armies converge on a road west of Edessa with a river to the north, ready to do battle.

    The map:



    Rules:

    The Battle of Edessa will be between Andronikos Komnenos (woad&fangs) and Theophylaktos Petzeas (Ibn-Khaldun) and will be umpired by me in the classic Throne Room tabletop style (check the other Edessa thread for links). It is expected that woad&fangs and Ibn-Khaldun will not communicate with anyone while the battle is taking place.

    Since the full tabletop battle has been chosen, the battle will take place over a number of turns. At the start of each new turn, players are to draft new orders and send them to me. The turn schedule is as follows:

    Turn 0: Deployment of advance guards
    Turn 1: Early morning (and deployment of rear guards)
    Turn 2: Mid-morning
    Turn 3: Late morning
    Turn 4: Early afternoon
    Turn 5: Mid-afternoon
    Turn 6: Late afternoon
    Turn 7: Early evening

    ...with a night turn and additional day turns to follow as needed. However, I do not think this battle will take that long.

    Divisions, deployment, and orders:

    Players are to draft concise, in-character orders every turn and send them to me along with a map diagramming their movements. If orders are too complicated they run a risk of confusing the division commander and causing inaction. All divisions, unless being one of the two nearest the commanding general, are subject to an orders test (my rolling the die). 2-6, orders are executed, 1, they are not and the units are inactive for that turn.

    To properly simulate medieval combat, orders will be given on a divisional level rather than a regimental one. Refer to the Word document (see below) to see a list of proposed divisions. Division commanders are generally experienced people and know how to execute operations such as wheeling, pivoting, and flanking. If you tell them to flank the left side of the line, they don’t need more information, such has how to do it in detail.

    As Andronikos Komnenos (woad&fangs) has more command stars, this will be represented by allowing him command of six divisions as opposed to Theo's control of five. Speaking from experience, divisional flexibility is quite important in these battles. Divisional rearrangement is possible, although with some caveats (again, refer to the Word document below).

    I sent an example of how orders could look like to both sides at the Battle of Trent, which also applies here:

    Quote Originally Posted by GeneralHankerchief
    BILLYBOB'S ORDERS
    Infantry: Advance in line with the rest of the army and attack the enemy's infantry in front of you. We outnumber them by one regiment of DFKs so I want them to wrap around and hit them on the flank.

    Archers: All fire is to be concentrated on the enemy general unit. If you are charged then fall back to the spearmen.

    Spearmen: Guard the archers, but if it becomes apparent that the enemy cavalry is going to make an attack then shadow them and respond as necessary.

    Cavalry: Once the enemy flank is engaged then swing around and hit the enemy's rear.

    ~~~~~~~~~

    include the map of course as well.
    Should combat arise, Zim will resolve it via playing both sides from a custom battle in M2TW and sending the results to me, where they will be implemented at my discretion. I have created a custom PvPMod for LotR that will be used in all PvP tabletop battles starting now until the end of the game that gives Egypt (a dead faction in-game) Byzantine units to make things fairer. All combat, unless it is a large infantry engagement, usually along the main battle line, will only take one turn to resolve. This includes operations that unbalance the line, such as throwing in reserves or a flank/rear attack. Losing units will be removed from the map, and victorious units, if necessary, will face a fractional reduction of their numbers.

    Deployment instructions:

    For Turn 0, players must inform me which two divisions (besides their general unit) will consist of the advance guard and place them on the map. In addition, if they wish to rearrange divisions, they must inform me. Any divisional rearrangements that take place after Turn 0 will have to face an orders test for each regiment.

    For Turn 1, players may choose to move their Advance Guards or hold them in place. In addition, they may deploy (but not move) their Rear Guards.

    For Turn 2, combat is possible between Advance Guards, but not if players did not move them. Combat is not possible between Rear Guards until Turn 3.

    For Turn 3 and beyond, combat is possible between all forces, provided that players have moved them forward.

    Please use a red or blue line, depending on what I put in the map, to indicate which direction your forces are facing. Refer to the various maps in any of the other battle threads to see exactly what I mean.

    DEADLINE FOR DEPLOYMENTS: 24 hours after both woad&fangs and Ibn-Khaldun acknowledge in the OOC thread that they have read this post and understand it. Please use the Word document in this file to copy and paste your units to the map above.

    Let me know if you have any questions, and best of luck to both players!
    "I'm going to die anyway, and therefore have nothing more to do except deliberately annoy Lemur." -Orb, in the chat
    "Lemur. Even if he's innocent, he's a pain; so kill him." -Ignoramus
    "I'm going to need to collect all of the rants about the guilty lemur, and put them in a pretty box with ponies and pink bows. Then I'm going to sprinkle sparkly magic dust on the box, and kiss it." -Lemur
    Mafia: Promoting peace and love since June 2006

    Quote Originally Posted by TosaInu
    At times I read back my own posts [...]. It's not always clear at first glance.


  2. #2
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    Default Turn 0 - Advance Guard deployments

    Note: At the close of the battle I will edit this and all future posts to include orders from all parties and umpire notes. For now, you will be receiving basic public feedback in this thread from the viewpoint of a Turkish farmer, who is watching the battle from afar. More detailed information will be sent via PM.

    Orders

    Quote Originally Posted by woad&fangs
    Hecatontarchs, our scouts have reported that we will overtake Domestikos Petzeas early tomorrow morning. As such, Romanos and Anthimus will march with me in the forward guard. Manuel, Cyrus, Callistus, you will march in the rear guard.

    Domestikos Petzeas commands a large cavalry contingent but our infantry is superior to his. We shall march along the Eurphrates to minimize his ability to flank us.

    Remember that Theo is to be captured alive. I can't ransom a dead man.

    ----------------------
    Edessa Battle Map

    OOC: The divisions will stay the same as what you sent me. I'm just renaming them and giving each one a Hecatontarch I can call by name. Apparently a hecatontarch is the greek equivalent of a centurion.

    Romanos-Infantry(formerly called 'spears')
    Anthimus-Archers(formerly called 'foot archers')
    Manuel-Militia(formerly 'light skirmishers')
    Cyrus-Spears(formerly called 'heavy skirmishers')
    Callistus-Cavalry(formerly 'missile cavalry')
    (The link was to a Word document with the map as a picture.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Ibn-Khaldun
    Theo Petzeas' orders:

    1st Cavalry Division: Attack their southern flank and destroy their cavalry there.

    2nd Cavalry Division: Advance towards Andronikos' archers and kill them.

    * * * * * * * * * * * * *
    Map:
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Public feedback for Turn 0:

    Pausing from tilling the fields, the Turkish farmer notes that both armies have opened with their strengths. Theo Petzeas, eschewing all notions of army balance, has brought his entire contingent of cavalry up, leaving all of his foot soldiers behind in the Rear Guard. They will not be able to engage any targets until mid-morning, but Theo's mobility will certainly serve him well.

    On the other hand, Andronikos Komnenos, utilizing the Euphrates as a guard against his left flank, opted to bring his infantry along with his foot archers. Clearly intending to counter Theo's missile cavalry, he has done his work well. However, this is only the opening stage in what could be a very long day. The Rear Guards are about to come up. It is up to the generals to decide whether they want to take the initiative and advance or hold up and combine with their Rear Guards.

    Map:



    DEADLINE FOR TURN 1 ORDERS: Monday, 15:00 GMT-5. I will be out for the next few hours, so don't expect feedback PMs until about three hours from now.
    Last edited by GeneralHankerchief; 03-06-2009 at 17:27.
    "I'm going to die anyway, and therefore have nothing more to do except deliberately annoy Lemur." -Orb, in the chat
    "Lemur. Even if he's innocent, he's a pain; so kill him." -Ignoramus
    "I'm going to need to collect all of the rants about the guilty lemur, and put them in a pretty box with ponies and pink bows. Then I'm going to sprinkle sparkly magic dust on the box, and kiss it." -Lemur
    Mafia: Promoting peace and love since June 2006

    Quote Originally Posted by TosaInu
    At times I read back my own posts [...]. It's not always clear at first glance.


  3. #3
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    Default Turn 1 - Early morning

    Turn 0 feedback

    Quote Originally Posted by GeneralHankerchief
    Feedback to Andronikos

    Taking your infantry and your foot archers with you, you deploy your Advance Guard, hugging the Euphrates River, hoping to utilize it as a guard against your flank.

    After this is complete, you take a long look to the east at your opponent. While Theo Petzeas and his army is still far away, you're able to make out what you believe to be *his* deployment. Even from a distance, it looks pretty clear that there is not one dismounted soldier among Theo's entire force. He brought his entire cavalry up with him.

    Another thing you notice is that Theo seems to have taken no notice of the Euphrates, instead deploying farther to the south. Perhaps, considering his superior mobility at this stage of the battle, he's not worried about being flanked. Perhaps he intends to utilize it as a weapon and eventually push all of your troops into the river. Regardless of Theo's intent, you will definitely have to monitor developments.

    For now, your Rear Guard is ready to come up. You will have to decide if you want to halt your Advance Guard and unify your force or whether you want to force the issue and move your Advance Guard forward. Keep in mind that your Rear Guard cannot move this turn, only deploy.
    Quote Originally Posted by GeneralHankerchief
    Feedback to Theo

    You deploy your cavalry a bit south of the Euphrates, putting your divisions in two separate lines instead of one extended one.

    Once this task is complete, you take a look to the west, where your adversary Andronikos Komnenos has also just finished deploying. Taking an opposite strategy, Andronikos has instead brought up his infantry and foot archers, and most interestingly put them very near the Euphrates. Well, you're not going to be able to turn his north flank at any rate, but if you hit him in the south, it could be a disastrous (and rather wet) day for the secessionist.

    For now, your Rear Guard is ready to come up. You will have to decide if you want to halt your Advance Guard and unify your force or whether you want to force the issue and move your Advance Guard forward. Keep in mind that your Rear Guard cannot move this turn, only deploy.
    Orders

    Quote Originally Posted by woad&fangs
    Romanos! Anthimus! March slightly forward. I don't want Petzeas to think we intend to be timid. Anthimus, if his forward guard comes within range don't hesitate to fire.

    Messengers, send these orders to the rear guard:

    Cyrus is to bring the spearmen up to the right flank of the infantry line.

    Callistus should assemble the cavalry on our far right flank.

    Manuel should march just behind the spearmen. I want the militia to form up in a square as best as they can manage. I hope the added depth will ward off any cavalry charges Theo throws at them.
    ````````````````

    Edessa Battle Map

    OOC: All the units are facing forward (east). I know the red deployment line makes some of the facing lines hard to see. Luckily I won't have to worry about that next turn.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ibn-Khaldun
    Men,

    It's time to kill Andronikos and restore order in the Empire!

    First Cavalry Division: Flank Andronikos' infantry and take as many as you can down with your arrows. Do not engage melee.

    Second Cavalry Division: Take as many archers down with your arrows. Do not engage melee. Since you out range those foot archers then it shouldn't be a big problem.

    First Infantry Division: Hold Your ground!

    Second Infantry Division: Hold Your ground!!

    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
    Map:
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Umpire notes for Turn 1

    All moving divisions passed the orders test.

    I think Ibn-Khaldun wanted an attack this turn, but of course this was impossible as per my early combat limitations. Nevertheless, his horse archers will be able to fire at any of Andronikos’s units come next turn. Likewise, all of Andronikos’s archers, both horse and foot, will be able to fire at Theo’s horse archers (but only the horse archers) come next turn. If by some chance IK’s HA stay put, then woad’s infantry can even engage them in melee next turn.

    For my reference, Theo’s two nearest divisions (automatic pass on the orders test) are both his infantry divisions. Andronikos’s two are his infantry and his militia/skirmisher division.

    Public feedback for Turn 1

    Both armies bring up their Rear Guards. In an instant, Andronikos's force looks majestic and powerful. His men are arranged into neat lines and are all fairly close to each other, looking more like a military force on parade than an army ready to do battle. Nevertheless, on Theo's end what lies ahead must be absolutely scary, the Turkish farmer reasons.

    While Andronikos's Advance Guard pretty much did nothing, only sidling forward to allow the numerous men of the Rear Guard to deploy, Theo's men have been a bit more active. Again demonstrating his advantage, Petzeas ordered his cavalry to advance forward. They now stand on the middle of the battlefield, ready to start opening up on the enemy from long range next turn.

    Undoubtedly the next turn will focus on Theo's horse archers. The only question is whether he will be able to even the odds or not.

    Map:



    DEADLINE FOR TURN 2 ORDERS: 24 hours hence. I would greatly appreciate it if you sent them in ASAP, however.
    Last edited by GeneralHankerchief; 03-06-2009 at 17:27.
    "I'm going to die anyway, and therefore have nothing more to do except deliberately annoy Lemur." -Orb, in the chat
    "Lemur. Even if he's innocent, he's a pain; so kill him." -Ignoramus
    "I'm going to need to collect all of the rants about the guilty lemur, and put them in a pretty box with ponies and pink bows. Then I'm going to sprinkle sparkly magic dust on the box, and kiss it." -Lemur
    Mafia: Promoting peace and love since June 2006

    Quote Originally Posted by TosaInu
    At times I read back my own posts [...]. It's not always clear at first glance.


  4. #4
    Illuminated Moderator Pogo Panic Champion, Graveyard Champion, Missle Attack Champion, Ninja Kid Champion, Pop-Up Killer Champion, Ratman Ralph Champion GeneralHankerchief's Avatar
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    Default Turn 2 - Mid-morning

    Turn 1 feedback

    Quote Originally Posted by GeneralHankerchief
    Feedback to Andronikos

    You deploy your impressive Rear Guard alongside your Advance Guard. Smirking, you look to the east as Theo has done the same. It took significantly less time for him, considering his Rear Guard only consists of four regiments. Were any of your advisors to deny your advantage in numbers on this day, you would give that man a new position as your Fool.

    However, numbers can be picked off. Theo has made an aggressive opening move by sending his cavalry to the middle of the battlefield. They can start firing at any and all of your units next turn, and you can only hit back with missile troops of your own.

    Also, if by some miracle Theo's cavalry doesn't move next turn, you could reach them at the end of it with an infantry charge, but who ever heard of horse archers staying put?

    Taking a glance over at Theo's less-than-impressive contingent of infantry, you surmise that you are going to spend most of the day dealing with his missile cavalry. Such a task has been known to drive men insane in the past. Good luck avoiding this fate.
    Quote Originally Posted by GeneralHankerchief
    Feedback to Theo

    Deploying your Rear Guard takes very little time. Understandable, considering it only consists of four regiments, but still depressing, especially given Andronikos's now-rather imposing force looming to the west.

    As ordered, your missile cavalry advance, but it takes too much time for them to begin firing this turn. However, they can now target any and all of Andronikos's men. Make sure they pick their targets well and use them wisely.

    It will take a while for the infantry to engage each other considering none of them moved this turn, but that's not really your strong suit anyway, so don't worry about it too much. What you need to focus on this turn is the proper utilization of your missile cavalry. You have a lot of ripe targets but the problem is that a lot of them can hurt you, too. In addition, if for some reason your cavalry stays put and Andronikos orders an infantry charge, they can reach your men this turn and potentially do some damage.

    It's very probable that your horse archers will be the men that lead you to victory this day. Sacrifice them at your peril.
    Orders

    Quote Originally Posted by woad&fangs
    Anthimus, advance until the enemy cavalry is within bowshot, then fire upon them. If they charge the archers, fall back to our infantry.

    Callistus, advance until the enemy cavalry is within bowshot. Form a cantabrian circle and fire upon the enemy cavalry. Only skirmish with them. Try to avoid hand to hand combat if you can.

    All other Hecatontarchs, hold your position.

    `````````````````
    ooc: No map this time. I don't know how far bow range is on the map and no one else is moving on my side. Plus it's like 2:00 am here. Stupid english projects
    Quote Originally Posted by Ibn-Khaldun
    First Cavalry Division: Attack Andronikos' cavalry. Pick as many as possible with arrows and then engage melee.
    Second Cavalry Division: Take the position of 1st Cav Div and start shooting Andronikos' and his bodyguards. If possible then retreat.
    Both Infantry Divisions should stay where they are.

    I, Theo Petzeas, will take the position where 2nd Cav Div was. Let's hope Andronikos will open defences around him!


    Map:
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Umpire notes for Turn 2:

    Units failing orders test: Theo’s Second Cavalry division (the ones tasked to fire at Andronikos).

    We had a horse archer skirmish this turn, as both generals ordered their missile cavalry to fire at each other. Andronikos also got a slight reprieve this turn as Theo’s Second Cavalry division would have shot at him without any resistance until very late (since woad sent in specific orders to “hold” and his foot archers would have only fired at the Second when the First got out of range.

    As there was some combat to be resolved, I PM’d Zim:

    Quote Originally Posted by GeneralHankerchief
    Hi Zim,

    We need a resolution for some Turn 2 action. It looks like an archery duel, although there's a chance of being some melee combat as well, if my intuition is right.

    The units involved in the engagement are as follows:



    Basically, the order of battle is as follows:

    Andronikos (red): Have both divisions fire at Theo's HAs. Andronikos's cavalry is specifically tasked with first, forming a Cantabarian Circle, and second, avoiding melee if at all possible. Once the foot archers are out of range, leave them be.

    Theo (blue): Have his division fire at Andronikos's HAs. Keep them in regular formation and after a while engage melee.

    Please simulate both sides of the battle (Grassy Plain map will be fine) and let me know the results of each simulation. Also, let me know how far the cavalry go from the main battle (in this case, represented by the archers). This one may be a tough one to do since each side has a specific order that may be difficult to get the AI to cooperate. My personal belief is that Theo's charge will catch Andronikos by surprise and the cavalry will, in fact, engage melee.

    Since two of Andronikos's regiments are under-strength, you can just combine them and take some chevrons away to simulate less-experienced men filling the ranks. I give you discretion on how exactly you want to do this. Because of probable casualties, I'll remove them from the map after this turn anyway.

    If you can't get the AI to cooperate, let me know and we'll take a look at this based off in-game unit statistics, reaction time, etc.

    Best of luck and let me know if you have any problems/questions!

    GH
    After some discussion, Zim and I were able to work around it, and he successfully fought the engagement.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zim
    Had to take a break to do something with my wife, but that still took longer than I thought...

    For the battle I represented Andronikos' two depleted units with a single Byz cavalry unit (it was a hard choice. The Byz cav had slightly higher def but a lower missile attack, as opposed to the Turkomans. I saw them as basically equal, though). I lowered the experience from 3 chevrons (which both depleted units had, amusingly) to 1 and did not include the +1 armor the depleted Byz cav had.

    Phase One was the missile duel. I played it twice from Andronikos' side and twice from Theo's. There was an anomaly in that I could not go into a cantabrian circle (the button would light up then turn off...) which may have affected Andronikos' losses. I did not use loose formations for any units as none were specified, although I did take the foot archers off of skirmish while playing Andronikos' side, as Theo had given no orders to try to distract them by moving his HAs close enough to make the skirmish (the AI on the other hand would have for a least one battle). Also, I wanted to use 5 volleys exactly as the length of time for the missile duel before attempted melee. In both tests I ended the battle after what I thought to be five volleys by the footarchers, although I am less certain about the second one (which might explain losses of about 6-8 more units on each side).

    In both tests Andronikos' missiles slaughtered a Skythikon unit, destroying or nearly destroying it, plus averaging about 12-20 more kills from other "Fatimid" units. Both tests from Andronikos' side showed fairly minimal losses, although casualties on both sides were higher in the second test.

    I then played the missile duel twice as Theo. As suspected there were somewhat fewer losses for his side while I was playing it, although I did not do anything special that would affect the results. Surprisingly the AI footarchers still managed 5 volleys without much reforming, thankfully. While playing as Theo I was able to heavily damage one Skythikon unit, taking losses about equal to a single unit of men myself. Test two saw slightly more losses for Andronikos, about the whole unit of Skythikons.

    Interpretation: I decided that Theo lost one whole unit's worth of men at least and deleted his Skythikon unit. It might have been fair to deplete one of his other units a little, if there were an easy way to do so. I also deleted one full unit of Skythikons for Andronikos. His losses really tended to be less than a full unit, but given that he'd gained twenty more horse archers (at the cost of a couple chevrons and armor, but still) it seemed fair.

    I played around seeing if Andronikos' men could avoid a charge. I eventually decided no. Theo's remaining Skythikons were swift enough to catch just about any cavalry units, after a couple tests. Not being able to test while using Cantabrian circle was annoying, but since that would make it harder for Andronikos' men to flee (it takes a second to get out of) I figured it didn't matter.

    For Phase two I played both sides twice again (one of them four times, actually, but we'll get to that). Since Theo's men were doing the charges I figured they would remain within range of the footarchers, and so included the latter in the tests to take what potshots they may.

    Both times as Andronikos he destroyed Theo's cavalry, but only after horrendous losses to both HA units of his, leaving him with maybe 2/3ds of a unit. I should note for this I had to charge Andronikos' men into Theo's, bringing them far away from the foot archers, which wouldn't happen with Theo doing the charging.

    Playing as Theo had surprising results in that he came out worse with me playing him. On test one I had each of Theo's units charge a HA unit of Andronikos' (the AI kept them separate). Andronikos only lost 40 men while Theo lost all of his men. The footarchers continuing to fire made a big difference.

    Trying again that way things went a little better for Theo, with Andronikos losing a whole unit's worth.

    I then tried two tests with Theo's cav both charging the same unit of Andronikos, only going to the other after routing the first. This went better, with Andronikos ending with less than a full unit over all, and Theo's horses destroyed.

    Given that while playing phase two I wasn't quite adequately representing Theo's likely losses (1 1/2 units or so) if I were asked what the final results should be I'd say all of Theo's units disbanded, with Andronikos retaining his footarchers and one unit of Byz cavalry, or better yet an almost full unit, 40-50 or so (although that would be a pain to simulate. ).

    I have screenies if needed.
    Zim’s work was very thorough and upon careful examination his results looked accurate. In sum, in the first part Theo lost a regiment of HAs while Andronikos lost his two understrength units. In the second part I went with Zim’s suggested casualties as well. In my experience when missile cav tries to run away from melee they go pretty far from the main battle (thus negating the effectiveness of the foot archers) but I guess this wasn’t the case this time.

    Public feedback for Turn 2

    Squinting heavily, the Turkish farmer can make out what appears to be a missile duel on the southern part of the battlefield. It seems like neither was in response to the other, instead, soldiers from both sides just opened up simulataneously. Both divisions of horse archers targeted each other, but for some strange reason Theo's second cavalry division did not move to join the fight.

    This would prove to be a costly non-move as Andronikos's men gained numerical superiority thanks to their foot archers also countering Theo's missile cavalry. Coming under a crossfire, Theo's cavalry commander took it upon himself to resolve the situation by charging. Catching Andronikos's cavalry in a Cantabarian Circle, the secessionist's men were unable to avoid a melee engagement and thus the horsemen collided.

    Even from a distance, the Turkish farmer could hear the noise generated by the clash. At first, it looked to be pretty even, but eventually, numbers took their toll. Having really no choice, Andronikos's men reformed and fought back. All the meanwhile, his foot archers were still firing, having still been in range this entire time.

    When the dust cleared, largely thanks to the continued presence of the foot archers, Andronikos came out ahead, having one regiment of missile cavalry left. While Theo still has some cavalry, his advantage is all but gone and Andronikos's infantry looms even greater over Theo's remaining men.

    Map:



    DEADLINE FOR TURN 3 ORDERS: Thursday, 1:00 GMT-5.
    Last edited by GeneralHankerchief; 03-06-2009 at 17:28.
    "I'm going to die anyway, and therefore have nothing more to do except deliberately annoy Lemur." -Orb, in the chat
    "Lemur. Even if he's innocent, he's a pain; so kill him." -Ignoramus
    "I'm going to need to collect all of the rants about the guilty lemur, and put them in a pretty box with ponies and pink bows. Then I'm going to sprinkle sparkly magic dust on the box, and kiss it." -Lemur
    Mafia: Promoting peace and love since June 2006

    Quote Originally Posted by TosaInu
    At times I read back my own posts [...]. It's not always clear at first glance.


  5. #5
    Illuminated Moderator Pogo Panic Champion, Graveyard Champion, Missle Attack Champion, Ninja Kid Champion, Pop-Up Killer Champion, Ratman Ralph Champion GeneralHankerchief's Avatar
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    1

    Default Turn 3 - Late morning

    Turn 2 feedback

    Quote Originally Posted by GeneralHankerchief
    Feedback to Andronikos

    Your missile troops engage as ordered. Isn't it nice to have your men doing what they're told to? Theo's cavalry, unsupported by his other divisions, quickly comes under a crossfire from your missile cavalry and foot archers.

    Sensing that this could be potentially catastrophic if it continues, Theo's cavalry charges straight for yours. Your horsemen, caught in a Cantabarian Circle formation, can't get out of the way in time and thus are dragged into a melee engagement despite your wishes. However, Theo's lack of support plus your foot archers continuing to stay in firing range are two advantages that your adversary is unable to overcome.

    You take some losses and your missile cavalry is no more, but you have also gutted Theo's greatest advantage. Now, perhaps, it's time to exercise *your* advantage.
    Quote Originally Posted by GeneralHankerchief
    Feedback to Theo

    The cavalry division closest to Andronikos opens up on his horse archers, as ordered. However, as your escort makes it way to the middle of the battlefield, you notice your cavalry division is idle. Evidently it lost or just plain never received the orders you sent to it. Screaming, you ride hard to the division, but by the time you get there it's too late. You can only watch what takes place ahead of you.

    Unsupported by any of your other divisions, your cavalry has come under a crossfire thanks to Andronikos's foot archers. Naturally, this just provides more incentive for your division to charge, as ordered, and it does so, catching the enemy in a Cantabarian circle.

    However, the charge almost works too well for its own good. Since Andronikos's cavalry had no time to retreat, you hit them while they were still in range of his cursed foot archers, which continued doing devastating damage on your men. You're afraid to look at what happens.

    Eventually, you do, and it is as you feared - one of your cavalry divisions is gone. They have severely bloodied Andronikos's men... but still. At the numerical advantage he has, any even tradeoff works in his favor.

    Staring daggers at your remaining cavalry division, you prepare to issue orders for the next turn. At least, being so close to you, this time they'll obey.
    Orders

    Quote Originally Posted by woad&fangs
    Callistus, You have done your task well. Now, draw back closer to our infantry lines.

    All other Hecatontarchs, advance eastward along the river.

    Manuel and Cyrus, if Theo or his cavalry charge either of your divisions, Callistus and I will swing around and pin the enemy.

    ````````````````````
    Battle of Edessa Map
    Quote Originally Posted by Ibn-Khaldun
    Theo's orders:

    Both Infantry Divisions attack Andronikos' infantry unit that is closest to the river. Hopefully we can get the fight to him!

    Me and my bodyguards and my last Cavalry Division will attack Andronikos' Archers.

    I will never give up!

    (No map since I think the orders are pretty clear)
    Umpire notes for Turn 3

    Units failing orders test: Theo’s infantry division closest to the river. Bad luck for IK as this was his single division that had a potential to fail it this turn. That die has no mercy.

    I interpreted Theo’s cavalry order as a charge although there was some ambiguity. The deciding factor for this was the fact that his personal bodyguard was involved as well.

    Interesting contingencies this turn as woad gave orders in case of a cavalry charge for two foot divisions but, as it turns out, not the actual division that was attacked. After some deliberation I decided to have Andronikos’s entire force (due to placement) assist but not after Theo had ample time to savage Andronikos’s archers.

    I know nothing in woad’s orders called for the militia to help out, but since their orders were to literally march forward it’s kind of hard to keep them out of the battle.

    My PM to Zim:
    Quote Originally Posted by GeneralHankerchief
    Hi Zim,

    A little more work for you, although this one shouldn't be as hard.

    Basically, Theo is ordering a cavalry charge on Andronikos's archers. They will be relieved since it's pretty hard not to considering the whereabouts of Andronikos's other forces, but woad&fangs did not provide contingency orders and thus to simulate confusion I will allow Theo's cavalry a bit of time to run wild before Andronikos responds.

    I think it's pretty straightforward, but considering the archers' overlap with both of Andronikos's divisions, eventually his entire army will respond. To simulate to confusion, draw Andronikos's archers a little farther out than what is represented on the map and once the charge hits, have Andronikos's men pause for a bit before they react.

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


    If you have any questions, let me know.

    GH
    After some clarifications, Zim simulated the battle and sent me the results:

    Quote Originally Posted by Zim
    I did about 8 battles for this one (well, 9, but one didn't turn out).

    First I did a couple on Theo's side to see how the charge would work out, with only Theo's men and Andronikos' archers on the battlefield. Both times saw fairly minor losses for Theo (10-20) after the charge and a few seconds waiting. Andronikos ended up with about a whole unit of archers surviving both times.

    Then I tried it the other way, finding I could get the HAs to charge by having the archers turn their backs to them. Of course, this meant heavier losses for the archers, the majority of them dying the first test and virtually all of them the next. Theo saw heavier losses one battle and very light the other (SS seems fickle for how well HA charges go).

    All in all I'd say Theo' depleted HAs died during the charge and about 2/3ds of Andronikos' archers, averaging the results. I decided to be optimistic for both sides and assume the best result each had, so all horsearchers survived while one unit of archers died.

    I then played the main melee for both sides. For playing Theo's side I could include the archers again, which gave me more results favoring having one foot archer unit live while Theo's HAs were largely unscathed in the initial charge.

    I charged away with Theo's horses at the foot archers, ramped up the battle speed, and waited. As expected the AI army rushed the HAs after a moment (with the exception of Andronikos' HAs, which stayed still).

    Theo's general died both times. Losses varied a bit but generally it was about one unit of foot archers dying (around 100 of them) and 1-2 units of others (200 at the most). Casualties were even among Byz swordsmen and Town Militia (the Byz spearmen fared pretty well).

    I then played from Andronikos' side, trying the "turn archers back to enemy" trick but it didn't work with a full army covering them, even at a moderate distance (maybe if I increased the distance the foot archers were ahead?).

    So I took them out completely and had Andronikos' army make a mad charge. Both times Theo's general died or was captured and HAs died or routed. About two hundred of Andronikos' men died in the first try, 40 or so of his Byzantine Cavalry and the rest spread evenly again.

    The second time went worse for Theo, with only 100 losses for Andronikos, again evenly spread but heavy among Byz Cav (largely because I needed those cav to catch Theo's men and force them into melee).

    Results: I'd say on foot archer lived, assuming they didn't hang around after Andronikos' men relieved them. At least one town militia died, maybe a unit of Byz swordsmen as well, and possibly a decent number of Andronikos' HAs (half unit or so). At least, that would be my take on it.

    Bad battle for Theo, and even Andronikos was hurt, being even weaker in cav now.
    To sum it up, Theo charged, savaged some of Andronikos’s infantry, but eventually perished due to superior numbers. After clarifying with TinCow that IK had allowed Theo to die if need be, I decided to have his remaining infantry units surrender. As I am only in charge of the battle and not the greater campaign mechanics, I will leave the details of what happens to them (incorporation, disbandment, etc.) to TinCow.

    All in all I think the lesson learned here is to definitely provide contingency orders as well as detailed ones. If you don’t, you leave it to the umpire’s discretion and you may not necessarily get the result you want, because the unexpected *will* happen.

    Public feedback for Turn 3

    The Turkish farmer watches as Andronikos orders a general advance. Despite having been hit by a recent cavalry attack, the secessionist's men are still in good order and well-disciplined, marching smoothly to the center of the battlefield. His gaze shifting to the east, the farmer sees Theo's men undergoing a less impressive advance. One of his infantry divisions is moving forward at a fast pace, eager to seek combat, but the infantries are so far away from each other that hand-to-hand combat will not be possible until next turn. Oddly enough, Theo's other infantry division remains stagnant.

    However, Andronikos's smooth, enticing marching prematurely comes to a halt in the form of Theo and his remaining cavalry smashing into Andronikos's foot archers. The general seems to be surprised at this; the army pauses as he starts riding around. The Turkish farmer notes Andronikos making wild gestures with his hands; even from a distance it is apparent that he is screaming orders. All the while, Theo's cavalry is still ravaging the foot archers.

    Eventually, Andronikos gets his act in order and his army responds. Due to the placement of the archers, being in front of all of Andronikos's infantry divisions, his entire army gets in the fight. The archers are quickly relieved, but not after they got wrecked.

    Theo, mission accomplished, tries to get out but can't as a mass of infantry close on him. Desperate, he keeps hacking through, watching as his horse archers continue to drop around him. Eventually, Andronikos's infantry is joined by his cavalry, as his remaining horse archers and then his escort come in to help out.

    At this point, the farmer can barely see anything discernable through the mass of men and horses that has dominated the battlefield. As such, he goes back to work, returning several minutes later when the engagement has concluded.

    The mess in the south has resolved itself, as there is only one type of flag now waving. Evidently, Theo and his entire cavalry perished as superior numbers overwhelmed them. However, he did accomplish something. There is clearly less infantry there now as compared to before. It looks like Andronikos is down a regiment of Town Militia and another regiment of straight infantry, in addition to his horse archers looking even more depleted from before.

    Casting his gaze to the east, he sees Theo's remaining divisions, all infantry, raising the white flag upon learning of the death of their commander. Upon this, he goes back to work, this time for good.

    After all, there is nothing more to see here. Besides, there will be more battles.

    Final map:

    Last edited by GeneralHankerchief; 03-06-2009 at 17:28.
    "I'm going to die anyway, and therefore have nothing more to do except deliberately annoy Lemur." -Orb, in the chat
    "Lemur. Even if he's innocent, he's a pain; so kill him." -Ignoramus
    "I'm going to need to collect all of the rants about the guilty lemur, and put them in a pretty box with ponies and pink bows. Then I'm going to sprinkle sparkly magic dust on the box, and kiss it." -Lemur
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    At times I read back my own posts [...]. It's not always clear at first glance.


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