The roar of the desert lions or Tuaregs in Turin 2011
Peering into the newsgroup it looks that the performance of Tuaregs at Turin was called a miracle. Therefore, here is the tale of this miracle.
Firstly, I would like to say I strongly believe that in DBMM all the armies are viable, some are easier, some are more difficult to lead. I have read on this list many messages about the Tuaregs and their main asset, the Cm (S). None of them were positive.
With this background, once I decided to attend Turin DBMM tournament I had to give a go to the Tuaregs. I tested them four times, with 2 wins and two loss; I always lost when being the attacker.
After this learning process I developed the following doctrine:
a. in defence maximise the use of dunes and scrub fields, to canalize the enemy or restrict his deployment zone and ability to manoeuvre. I choose 1 ½ FE oasis, 2 1FE dunes and 1 and 1/2 FE SF;
b. starting from a defensive posture, play aggressively to deny manouvre space to the enemy;
c. use the WbF to assault enemy foot or to control an open plain, if possible use the scrub to protect them against enemy mounted;
d. Cm have to use the dunes/SF as avenue of attack to be positioned ready to deliver the final blow. Their combat results are very interesting. In their bound, scoring more, they kill all the foots in open, in SF or dunes, while they flee all mounted but elephant.
e. as stratagems I choose ambush and FF. Ambush to deploy Cm on the side and FF to lure the enemy in friendly terrain;
f. if lucky enough, fight the battle in favourable weather condition (thirsty, sand storm or dazzle)
g. In attack if possible use friendly terrain elements, get the best match-up and hope for the best.
I structured the army as follow:
CinC CmS+7CmS+2 LhI+ 2PsI+ 2PsO 24ME
Sub CmS+ 8 PsI+ 32 WbF 26ME
Ally A CmS+ 7 CmS+7 PsI+ 1 PsO 24ME
Ally B CmS+ 8 CmS+ 2 LhI+ 3 PsI 25,5 ME
Army Baggage 8 BggI
For a total of 107,5 ME.
With a plan in mind and a lot of people calling me crazy, I packed the desert lions and headed to Turin.
Game 1 against Marchisio with Italian Condotta Milanese with Swiss ally.
Luciano is a strong player who consistently play the Condotta with good results.
It will be a important match to test the chances of the Tuaregs.
Luciano's army was based on two Knight based commands with some Ps as support and a strong Swiss ally.
Condottieres invaded the Tuareg in a fine spring day. The battlefield from my point of view starting from the left was dominated by 2 dunes, one attached to the left side edge at 60 cm to enemy rear, the second one was at middle field at 40 cm from the first one. One ½ scrub was in front to the left handed dune
at 20 cm, while a DH was positioned to Luciano rear edge in front to the second dune.
Another DH and the oasis were at my rear edge and didn't play any role in the battle.
Luciano had to deploy first, and he decided to put all the army between the two dunes and his DH. On his right flank he deployed the CinC knight with their PsS support aiming to the dune. In the centre went the Swiss supported on the right by the all knight Sub command.
I faced him with all the ally A in ambush in the left dunes, the CinC in the open in two line aiming to the enemy CinC, then the Wb aiming to the Swiss. On the right, the allyB ready to charge through the other dune aiming to the all kn Sub and the Swiss flank.
On the first dice roll, Luciano had the Swiss unreliable but enough pips to redeploy the sub's Kn to the centre aiming to the Wb, while he push the CinC Ps toward the left hand dune where my allyA Cm where lurking in ambush ready to jump on the lightly held flank. Luciano used 3 CinC pips to try to activate the
Swiss while the Swiss did a 180 turn to get more distance from the Wb. The Tuareg first dice roll is always very tense, how many commands will be eager to fight? This time all were ready. The ambush jump out to catch in the open the Ps, the CinC support this move while the Wb tried to close the distance with the
shy Swiss. Allly B Camels stormed across the central dune trying to stop the kn redeployment. In the second bound Luciano swiss were back to business and he skilfully redeployed them facing the ally B push through the dune. In the centre he completed the sub redeploy while the cinc tried to cover his flank using the
Ps preparing for the next combined camels charge. In my second bound I charged home with ally A, CinC and WB on the CinC and part of the sub command. I killed two kn, one was the CinC and his bodyguard plus a couple of Ps loosing in the process two Cm. it was a lucky charge. "Things are going very well " was my
thought but in the next bounds Luciano skilfully with multiple kn charge was able to break the Wb before I could break his cinc command and disheartened the sub. In the meanwhile, the Tuareg CinC got disheartened and the ally B went in head-on fight with the Swiss due to low pips, got some casualties, but he withdrew thanks to the FF in the friendly dune. However, the loss of the Wb let the CinC and Ally B to be broken and the Tuareg left the field to the battered Condottiere.
A close and tense game that was decided by the final and desperate Italian kn charge that broke the Wb command who fought in the open. 16 to 9 to Luciano. This battle demonstrated that the doctrine developed was coherent and applicable. Western Kn army can be beaten if they have to play at Tuareg's terms.
There is some hope for the Tuaregs.
The desert's lions withdrew in a friendly oasis to leak their wounds, waiting for the next invader who dares to violate the land where the desert's lions rules.
In the second round, the Tuaregsland was invaded by a Swiss pikes strong army leaded by Dennis Peroni.
The terrain was again favourable to the Tuaregs. My left side was dominated by 2 (1FE) DH facing each other. The centre of the battlefield was occupied by a dune on my side just short to the middle line and a 1FE SF touching the Swiss rear edge, in between these features I placed a ½ SF. Another dune and the oasis
didn't play any role in this game.
The Swiss didn't dare to march in the desert and took a defensive posture deploying the pike blocks between the right-hand DH and the big scrub. He covered his flanks using his supporting troops (Ps and BdX) in the scrub and in the DH.
I deployed the Wb into the small scrub aiming to the pike blocks who were too close to the scrub. The Cinc and the Ally B supported them, while all the Ally A was in ambush in the central dune with the task to support the CinC and overcome the light Swiss flank guard.
The Wb rushed across the small SF engaging the pike blocks who were sucked in the scrub. The Ally A cleared the flank and felt on the Swiss flank engaging the Sub General as well. Once, the Sub General died under the camel's hoofs, his command broke and made the heavenly Wb engaged Swiss CinC to break as well.
The final result was a 25-0 to the Tuaregs.
Again, the terrain played an important role allowing the Tuareg to use friendly avenue of attack where his troops had an edge against the enemy one.
In the third round, the Tuaregsland was invaded by the Ilkanids leaded by Marco Guarnieri who is the 2010 Italian Impetus Champion.
The terrain was again favourable to the Tuaregs. Marco didn't take any terrain, so I had the opportunity to place 2 more features at my will. On my right, on Marco's side I placed a 1FE DH. At 2 element distance to the DH the 1 FE scrub took place, another Wb's avenue. Close to the scrub, the two dunes dominated the midfield, the first was one well deep in Marco's side, and the second one was closer to my rear at roughly 4 element width from the first dune. Behind my dune stood the oasis. The last bit of terrain, a 1FE of scrub was close to the dunes closing a bit my left side.
The Tuareg deployed the Wb in the main scrub supported again by Ally B on the right and by the CINC on the left. Ally A was in ambush in the dunes closer to my rear, his task was to protect the CINC flank. The Ilkanid army was all mounted. Marco deployed the two main strike corps in front of the scrub
expecting my Wb push through the central scrub. The two small flanking corps, all LhS were deployed on my right, with task to arrass my CinC flank.
The first Tuaregs dice roll is always a tense one, this time ally was unrelaible. I shyly advance the Wb in the scrub whele sending its supporting PsI to take control of the DH. The CINC ignored the Ilkanid supporting commands and advanced in support of the Wb and tried to activate Ally B. Ally A stood calm in
ambush waiting for the Ilkanid move.
Marco Pip allocation was high average the two strike commands, while the two supports took the two low dices with the higher to the closer to the heavies. In his bound, Marco redeployed some Lh of his left strike command to avoid a Ps infiltration on his left side breaking up his formation. On his right send his
first Lh command towards my CinC with the second Lh cmd a bit late due to low pips.
On my second bound i continue to slowly advance in the scrub with the Wb while its Ps took control of the DH. Ally B wasn't eager to fight refusing all the CINC's appels.
Again the Ally stood quiet in ambush. The CINC just igored the Ilkanid threat and continued to support the Wb advance, he onorated the Lh threat just moving a LhI and 4 Ps to close a bit their approach.
Marco at this point eagerly press forward with first Lh command entering into the channel between the dunes while the second command was till far away to support them. The trap was ready to spring.
On my third bound my pips were quite good. While I hold the Wb in the scrub, the Ally A charged out the dune into the too eager Lh command, I was able to hard flank attack their general. In two bounds of combat the command was broken making Ally B relaible.
At this point, Marco withdrew the other supporting command and tried to save his baggage F. He couldn't do it; it got sacked by a lone Tuareg LhI. The next two bounds saw the CINC and Ally A redeployment through the central dune in support of the Wb. The ally B advanced with his camels in support of the right Wb flank and sent his Ps in support to the Wb ones on the DH.
At this point, I charged the Wb into the ilkanid CvS and Hospitalier Kn who were waiting outside the scrub, while I kept the Cm under control. I couldn't make any kill at all. Thus I started the feigned flight of the Wb command.
Marco in his bound had a low pip, he couldn't halt all his groups. His Left –hand flak guard overwatching my Ps on the DH went impetuous.
Next bound I charged the 4 impetuous LH and killing them i cleared my right flank.
In the next two bound the Tuaregs widly charged the Ilkanid breaking them.
25-0 to the desert's lions.
Again being the defender and preparing the terrain helped theTuaregs to fight to their terms. Both the strategems were decisive to remove the flank threats and put the Ilkanid in the position to fight a head-on fight with open flanks.
At the end of the third bound, the Tuaregs were leading with 59 points, 5 points ahead of the Italian Gallic hordes leaded by Gael Richards. Quite surprisinly, the two leading armies were irregulars and full of impetuous troops.
Checking the score of the third round, I was leading by 6 point over Paolo Paglianti who was going to play against Marchisio at 48. At 52 Barberis and his Sungs were ready to fight for a big win against Mura and his French Ordennance.
In this condition, I had no choise to play a defensive fight and get 12 points, we had to charge home and win the battle by the sword's point.
For the forth time in a row, the Tuaregsland was invaded and again the weather didn't play any role.
The terrain was again favourable to the Tuaregs. Gael took two 1FE DH that ended on both side edges on his side. On my right side, touching the battlefield edge I placed the first dune at about 5 element distance from Gael's DH, nearby stood the 1 FE scrub pushing hard in Gael side. At 1 element distance from the scrub,
there was the second dune well deep in Gael deployment area, just 6 element from his rear edge. The small scrub ended touching Gallic rear edge between the Gael Right-hand DH and the dune. The oasis ended on my rear edge, just behind the central dune.
With this terrain, I decided to press with the Wb across the main scrub to engage the Gallic one who were most probably be deployed in front of it.
However, I ambushed the Ps of the Wb in the scrub in front of them to eventually delay the enemy charge and got the first one. The Ally A went on the right and behind the Wb command, the supporting Ps went in ambush in the right-hand dune ready to engage the flanking troops coming from the DH. On my left, between the
dune and the DH there was a wide plain suitable for the numerous Cv. Therefore, I refused this flank. The CINC went closer to my rear edge and the ally B was in front the dune between the CINC and the Wb command.
Gael decided to deploy in a defensive posture. Ligurian ally went n the DH ready to attack the Wb flank. In front of the big scrub the Gals deployed a full Wb command with dismounted Charioteers as Wb(S) in the front rank. At his side another big chunk of Wb(O) from the second command. The rest of this command,
more Wb, Ch and Ps stood at the far edge of the dune, ready to stop my advance. The Gallic CINC with 15 Cv(I) stood well in the back ready to be redeployed where needed.
As Gael wouldn't threat my left-hand flank, I wheeled the CINC and Ally B to line up with the Wb while they moved slowly ahead. In his first bound, Gael rolled very low for the Gallic commands, instead the Ligurian ally got a 6. To avoid having all the Wb impetuous on the first bound, Gael moved forward the 2 big Wb blocks into the scrub and the Ligurian advanced eagerly in support of them. One Ligurian column went a bit too far ahead, right in face of Tuaregs ambush. A 6 element strong Wb group of the second command went impetuous in the central dune. In this bound the Tuaregs attacked the Ligurian column with a hard
flanking and killed 2 Auxilia. While the Wb charged home trying to get the advantage of the first charge, but didn't kill any Gauls. At this point, I decided to FF the Wb, to suck the Gauls into my area generating a salient where I could exploit the flanks. Gael decided to let the Wg go. The ensuring fight was extremely positive for Gael who won almost all combats disheartening my Wb command. With one disheartened command I decided to press with the camels through the dune to engage the Ch outside of it and in the meanwhile clear the
dune of the impetuous Wb and attack the flank of the Wb salient.
Luckily, my disheartened charge had better fortune of the previous one killing 4 Wb element including 2 S grade. Ext bound, Gael charged again but this time the disheartened Tuareg Wb stood and were able to kill 2 more element. The wild melee in the scrub lasted three completed bounds.
It was solved by a final charge of the ally A that firstly broke the Ligurian who did the main Wb command disheartened. In the next bound, another camel charge through the broken Tuareg foot broke the Gaul Wb command and the allGallic army.
The bloody fight gave me a sound 19-6 and the first place.
The Tuareg is very sensible to the terrain, in his homeland it is difficult to fight. I was very lucky to be 4 times the defender. Some people were surprised by my choice and were unaware of the potential of the camels. Last but not the least I didn't meet any BwS/KnS army.
Before closing this message I would like to thank Riccardo and all the members of Turin Little War club for organizing the event.