Khitan Liao versus Rus
Khitan Liao is another army that I would always have been able to play in a competition, but I never did, because I still have not yet found a satisfactory compositon.
I organized Khitan Liao army with four corps to manouver well and try to outflank the enemy. The infantry corps should be large enough to support the KnF charge, that will win or lose any game I guess. I faced again a Rus army, modified and improved by my last meeting, when I used SD chinese.
I was lucky enough to be the attacker, so I could deploy on my opponent.
Two picture of the armies deployed. I put a river large, rough going for cavalry, because I wanted to create problems to a linear rus deployment. The less he could push forward in a coherent line, the better for me. The Rus rolled a couple of small swamps and a large woods, that were set up on the table edges to protect the flanks. They had no role in the battle, that was played on a bare plain.
I flank marched on the left my small Cv Corps, deploying Jurchen on Pecheneg, my infantry aimed at the junction between pecheneg and rus, and the Kn/Lh corps in the center.
My artillery was targeted on the immobile WWg, while the Bw had the task to expand on the left and support my LhS in the fight vs the larger Pecheneg command.
I decided to delay any charge waiting for the flank march. The Rus deployed first in a sort of echeloned order, and their corps on the far right, the CiC one, never entered combat.
This greatly helped me.
The Rus on first turn boldly advanced, including entering with the WwgO in the beaten zone of my ArtO. I expanded the BwO to support the Jurchen and unwisely advanced my ally. I wanted to keep back the enemy, but doing that I exposed my corps to a larger and faster enemy that would charge first. Risky.
The Pecheneg lost both WWgO to accurate bolt throwers fire, but LhF killed 2 jurchen LhS.
My LhS countercharge was generally uneffective, but the Bw fire and the flee results suffered by LhF when losing by one kept me afloat.
The Rus infantry in the meanwhile advanced fast, looking for melee. The Pecheneg was disheartened. The 4ME lost by WWgO proved decisive.
On third turn I rolled 6 with the flank march. I had to charge with CiC corps, beacuse the enemy was too near by now.
The Pecheneg broke. My CiC trampled the rus spearmen, being surrounded and countercharged. This is a moment that would prove decisive, should I had lost the CiC. Luckily he kept fighting off enemy spearmen.
The combined BdF and KnF charges mauled the left rus corps. Behind the battle line can be seen the Rus losses, 6.5ME.
The flank march corps launched 2 Cv towards the enemy army baggage.
Very low pips let my opponent charge all along the line. He tried to kill as many KnF as possible to pierce my center.
The iniative was correct, but the momentum created more and more opportunities for the Khitan, that destroyed the left rus corps.
The rus CiC spearmen can be seen in top right picture run to try to protect the crumbling flank, but there were no reserves at all in the center.
Rus last stand. While this combat was going on, the Rus baggage was attacked
Rus army broke. Khitan suffered very few losses, 23-2.
Khitan KnF charges vs the Rus shieldwall were incredibly successful. Btw Rus fought without a corps, because the CiC was not engaged. In such a conditions it would be better to flank march, or try to set up more difficult FE to protect the flanks and channel the fight. The more I see the Rus played, the more I realize how tough is to play them well. There is really no way to recover from a wrong plan or a set up.