T'ang Chinese vs Tibetan
T'ang are one of my favorite third period armies. It is versatile, thanks to several troops it can field, and quite powerful, having a mix of good infantry and elite cavalry.
In this game I tried this version. I faced a nasty opponent, a Tibetan army, used by Paolo. The game was going to be interesting. My army had three corps with higher BP, the Tibetan had 4 corps. It manouvered better but was more fragile. Of course the concept of fragile when facing KnX in third period is relative.
I attacked, deploying last. The table was quite open with two large GH (the light brown features) and a couple of RH. The tibetan were organized with 4 corps. There were two cataphracts corps, one Sumpa mainly ICvO corps, and a small LhF dump command.
The Tibetan deployed in column, ready to manouver being first to move. I choosed to set up my army in a compact formation, ready to wheel and target the enemy formations. I deployed slightly offset, because the opponent had a marked superiority in CvO/Lh, and could use this advantage to crush my wing in the outer section. In this way he had to come to me and my CvS was ready to manouver where needed.
My LhS were ready to try an outflanking manouver, if the opportunity arised.
First turn. The Tibetan had low pips. Paolo as usual stared sprinting his columns where he could enjoy QK or superiority. Sitting still and letting him manouver is a suicide, so I pressed forward to intercept him in manouvering crisis. The more aggressive I played, the less he could exploit his manouvering advantage.
My turks stopped a KnX column on the right, while the rest of the chinese host follows.
The KnX column pinned on the right opened up in battle fomation., while the other corps kept manouvering. I simply rushed forward my troops to engage the enemy and provide support to the LhS, that turned 180 and redeployed back, still keeping in the 400 range the enemy.
The Tibetan countermanouvered again. He took the central and left corps, turning them 180° running for the left wing. The isolated right corps turned 180° and moved back to delay the combat and avoid exposing its flanks.
The Tibetan tried to open a gap in front of my BwX and fight with superiority of number on the wings. The tactic was interesting, but I was very close, and kept pressing forward. I switched my pip dice, giving the higher from the turks corps to the left wing. I advanced exposing my wing to a couple of enemy CvO on the right, I wanted to start immediately the combat there before paolo could properly deploy on the left and coordinate.
My CvS corps on the left was exposed, but I was confident the BwX could provide a good support.
This is the left flank situation. The small tibetan LhF corps aim to my rear, while I kept some CvO and LhF as reserve to intercept sweeping enemies.
Paolo attacks on the right and keep outflanking me on the left.
I charged on the left, moving back my LhS on the right. I wanted to exploit the gap in the center and engage the cataphracts with hard flanking.
One LhF is ready to sprint from behind the BwX formation and aim to the rear of enemies
My CvS charge vs CvO is unsuccessful, but marching to contact I intercept and kill one marauding LhF and force the rest of the pip dump command to move away to avoid being broken.
The Tibetan KnX on the right are cut off, and decide to inflict as many casualties as possible. The BwX in the center have started to pick off the CvO protecting the flanks of the KnX
Crisis on the left. I lost a CvS to CvO, and my flank is turned. Luckily I survive. Time to bring in the CvO from the rear
On the left I used all my reserves to stay alive, while on the right I charged hard. The Ps and LhF in the BwX corps used the gap in the center to outflank the enemy.
I survived a second hard flank attack on the left, giving me the time to bring in the CvO reserve. The right Tibetan corps slowly is logorated.
Close up on the right. The tibetan masked his KnX with Cv and Lh to deliver the first charge on my CvS. Here I withdrew my CvS after having killed some lesser troops to avoid retaliation from Tibetans generals.
Just my KnX hold the line.
Tibetan right corps in danger. Too many flanks exposed.
Tibetan left is reorganized for the decisive push.
Finally the Tibetan right collapsed, transmitting 2ME losses to the other Tibetan corps
The ME loss transmission broke the Sumpa corps, that suffered many CvO and LhF losses, and then the whole army.
My losses were high on the right, the LhS corps lost 6 ME out of 24. Almost disheartened. The left wing too was hit hard. By the way I did expect it fighting KnX.
The battle was interesting, the Tibetan tried to fool me with a lot of pre contact manouvering, then tried to outflank me and put some LhF in my rear, and finally tried to simply smash my Cv and Lh with KnX.
The dancing back and forward on the right was a good example of the fluid nature of cavalry engagements when looking for the tactical advantage.
The T'ang proved to be a solid army, and the BwX center, apart shooting some CvO, gave me useful hard flanks thanks to the Ps and LhF attached.
What made the difference was simply having 30 and 24ME in my mounted corps, while enemy had just 18ME. My tactic forced the Tibetan to a protracted fight and this was an advantage for the chinese, that weared down the Tibetans. A well played game by both players I think.