Later Muslim Indian vs Early Crusaders
Later Muslim Indian is a "bonus" army when you own indians and a turk or islamic army. Of course you can directly pick it and paint it, because is very colourful, nice and effective.
I have struggled a lot to find an army list I liked. There are many period to choose with different elements. Above all I started with the idea to field 6 elephants. After some experiments, I realized that Elephants S scare so much opponents that they try almost always to avoid them. Having 6 of them is a good thing, but I reduced them to 4 in the end to bolster the wings. This is the list that I used
My opponent choosed his brand new early crusader army. This is the army list he used. He too is experimenting, so the training match surely would have taught some useful lesson to both of us
I was the attacker and this was the first problem for Stefano, that had thought a plan and a doctrine as attacker only. He rolled two RH that landed on both flanks. He had a small GH in his center. I choosed two GH and had one in the center of my deployment area.
Stefano used a classical set up, with infantry in the center and BdS and knights on the wings. The HdS were in the middle, supported by a supported spear formation on each side.
Contrary to the norm, I deployed my hordesO on the hill facing the pilgrims. In such a way I could concentrate two corps of ghulams, elephants and swordsmen on the left wings, while the turks had the task to engage enemy on the right, skirmishing or attacking as the situation allowed.
Stefano on the left formed a column to avoid my Elephants. This is a common reaction and gave me the initiative. I had good pips with the lower turk dice, so I could detach some Lh to outflank the enemy.
Close up of the situation on the right wing
Stefano foresaw problems on the left, so forced marched the dismounted knights into my LhS to try to destroy as fast as possible this corps. The combat was not good for him, that lost one RBdS and a PsO for just one spent LhS
The turks counterattack. The crusaders are in danger, the RKnO reserve is too far away to support
In the meantime the central crusader corps had low pips and could not control the pilgrims, that clashed with the swordsmen. Slowly the HdS started to die.
I pushed the Elephants forward aiming at the gap. Having the higher pip there, I wanted to charge everything in my path. The second ghulam line withdrew to go later in position in a way to stop first line repulse.
On the right flak crusader losses were mounting, having a flank exposed.
I charged first to avoid that enemy knights had enough room to interpenetrate the foot line and engage my ghulams. The charge would be unecpectedly succesfull, because in the end I wiped out the supported BdS
From this moment I started having low activation on the right, but the position advantage and turk impetousity let me go on grinding the enemy
The elephants finally enter combat while the Ghulams, having wiped out the dismounted milites, are charged by the enemy KnO lead by the general. Both crusaders wings were disheartened at this point
I lose just one CvS and my countercharge broke the enemy corps
In a confused melee also the crusader right wing collapse for a complete Indian victory: 25-0
The game was interesting because demonstrated how a small elephant number can have huge psicological effects. In the end the game was won by turks and ghulams more than by elephants, so bolster the wing was a good idea. The HdS resilience was another feature.
The 2ME troops are a double edge weapon. they are very strong, but their demise bring a quick collapse.
Stefano had no good dice in combat, but did not coordinate well his attack on the right, while in the center and on the left was too shy. Early crusader is a good army, I'm sure he will do better with some practice.