Baruk Croatian! Croatian ai menu!
On 30th june and 1st july there will be the last tournament in the Italian 2011.12 championship, and it will be dedicated to dark age armies.
One single pool with armies from 476AD to 1071AD. This is traditionally in Italy the Cv and Lh period. Furthermore, having a look to the previous tournament in Turin, you could see a lot of Lh based armies. So the better players will choose an Lh army or an army to outfought them. I have another point to consider, that is most of the players have a very defensive attitude playing with me and I need a tool to try to win also against terrain fortresses. In Turin I was lucky, defendng always and inverting the set up three times out of four, but could not rely always on that.
My decision was then to use an AxS army combined with medium or heavy cavalry. First choice would be Dailami, but I don't own it. I have instead a Croatian army, used just once in DBMM 1.0 era.
After thinking a lot about the composition, I decided to try this one:
C1- CiC ICvO, 10 IKnF, 4 IPsI, 4 IPsO - 30ME
C2- SG ICvO, 10 ICvO, 16 IAxS - 32ME
C3- SG ICvO, 24 IAxS - 30ME
The plan should be a simple one. In theory I would defend a lot. In such a case I would set up these terrain features: 3x1FE RH and DH, 1x0,5 FE RF, 1x0,5FE of BUA, 1 x road. The terrain should hamper a bit enemy mounted, and to let me support my cavalry with light troops operating in terrain. If I would be the attacker, some rough going or a river would be my choice.
The terrains would be placed with the goal to interdict at least one flank, because my normal set up would be with sub general corps up front, and CiC back in the center, in reserve and ready to manouver the fragile IKnF against the better target. This means that I would deploy deep and will not aim to outflank enemy.
Above is the basic set up plan. Of course more rough terrain in the center would be a bonus. The doctrine is to engage the enemy along all the line, and start an heavy attritional combat, with the IKnF ready to deliver a decisive charge suppoted and screened by the rest of the army.
Simple plan, big army and crossover ability should let me have a chance in every game.
I picked scouting stratagems to avoid the night attack lottery, that can cost a tournament in the worst cases.
Unfortunately my camera was damaged on friday evening, so I could take not any pictures.
Here follows a sketchy resume of my four games
Round 1 vs Early Byzantine
A difficult game, because my opponent fled all time long, manouvering its troops around the difficult hill on the left. The game was decided by my IKnF charging the enemy LhS from the flank marching corps with uphill advantage. The demise of the flank march and ME loss transmission broke the byzantine army. 25-0
Round 2 vs Andalusian
I attacked by night. This let me approach the enemy left and charge before he could redeploy the reserves. The combined ICvO vs muslim ILhO and IKnF vs ICvO broke quickly the andalusian left flank, due very low pip dice too. Once the center was exposed, it collapsed under frontal and flank attacks. The central ILhO reserve just added losses. 25-0
Round 3 vs West Sudanese
I attacked. My opponent deployed corner sitting in a strong defensive position. Unfortunately my 4 psiloi scouting discovered just the left ambush by CvO behind a GH, so I did not know the whereabouts of the Tuareg corps. Afraid of a flank march, I set up for a manouvering game. This turned off badly with my AxS corps rolling both an average pip below 1,5 in 11 rounds. I just contained the enemy attack. 13-12 for Croatian.
Round 4 vs Kushan
I defended and set up the terrain to force the enemy to fight. The battle was bloody, and was decided by my 30ME IKnF being destroyed by a 12ME IKnX corps. Kushan made two effective feigned flights, followed by very low pips of mine. The game was solved by the very last dice rolls as both of us were looking for the last element to kill to break the opponent. I lost the army, destroying 50% of enemy. 11-14.
I finished second with 74 points, that was not enough to win the championship. Neverless I can say that Early Croatian is a very effective army, that can keep fighting a lot thanks to the high BP. The combination of troops is interesting and let play effectively both in open going or in enclosed areas.
Imho is better than daylami in dark age setting, while I would prefer the daylami playing an open pool.
Recco tournament Results