Southern Dynasty Chinese vs Rus
This chinese army has been played a lot in my club. It can be fielded with many good quality infantry, and in DBMM can be organized in a way similar to LIR, with supported RBdO, RAxS and cataphratcs.
Southern Dynasty Chinese can also be used with a lot of poor quality infantry. For this battle I used a center of cheap supported IBdI and a wing of impetous infantry and BwI. This is the list. The army is apparently of low quality. Bd, Wb and KnX all enjoy some sort of quick kills and are fragile too. The concept is to have enough time to deliver two or three charges, suffer appalling casualties and still trade blows with the enemy. A sort of last man standing fight.
This is not an army designed for a clean 25-0 victory, but should be interesting to play, I thought when designing it. I met a friend of mine using Rus with Pecheneg ally.
I defended. My plan needed protected flanks and a reduced frontage to deploy as deep as possible. I put a WW on the left, a huge marsh on the right and a small Bua.
I was safe from flank marches and had some good going to attack without hindrance. I deployed with my tribal corps on the left touching a patch of rough going, BwI in front and impetous infantry behind, the supported BdI in the center, in two lines, and finally with cataphracts on the right.
The Rus attacker deployed second, and to my surprise put the Pecheneg ally in the center. On the right wing there was the CiC corps with the IAxS targeting the difficult areas, while two shieldwall corps were on the left. Two Rus corps out of three had their infantry deployed unusually deep, while the left rus wing was held by some PsO.
Moving first, I thought to charge on the left, where probably I could enjoy some overlaps, and to send my cataphracts on the far right to engage enemy IAxS before they could enter the BuA. I was not much worried by having to screen the gap with light troops because the Pecheneg WwgO are bulky and very difficult to move. I hoped to have a decision on the right before my opponent could organize something to exploit it.
First move. I gave the central corps led by the CiC the higher pip, attaching the general to the impetous infantry with the low pip die. In such way I could use in emergency the higher pip to move and / or control the tribal corps.
The Rus reply. Pecheneg LhF were split in two flying columns to bolster both flanks. The Rus CiC rolled one pip and kept rolling low for the first turns. This helped me greatly.
Sticking to the plan, I sent forward some IBdI to stop WwgO and exploit the gap that was forming on the flank of the Rus line in the center.
The Rus, annoyed by the shooting, decided to try his luck moving toward the tribal troops.
The KnX reached the positon. With the enemy line disordered by shooting, the WbF made an effective charge enjoyng overlaps. Two Rus files were destroyed for the loss of one WbF.
Detail after the fight.
While on the left side the fight went on, finally the cataphracts charged. The BdI tried to engage the WwgO too, but were disordered by the shooting.
The IBdI charged the Rus shieldwall, while the BwI advanced to engage enemy LhF reserve. The WbF after the succesfull charge are bashing the surviving spearmen.
The Rus brought on reserves to deal with cataphracts, after these have eliminated most of the Rus light troops.
The Chinese kept the pressure on the right wing, thanks to the poor activation rolls of the Rus.
On the left one Rus corps broke, while in the center the SpO were gaining the upper hand versus the IBdI.
The Rus advanced and chinese casualties mounted. Pecheneg tried a charge on the IBwI that was unsuccesful.
Chinese tried to stop Rus onslaught with flank attacks and a CiC charge, but this didn't avoid that the central chinese corps was disheartened.
The KnX charged again into the enemy Sp line.
The Rus CiC corps is disheartened
A desperate Pecheneg counterattack failed to stem the heavy cavalry advance.
The final charge by KnX broke the Rus CiC corps and the whole army.
The chinese infantry commands suffered many losses and the final score was 22-3.
I think that the Pecheneg use in the Rus plan gave me some advantage. The central WwgO position let me enjoy some overlaps and forced the Rus to deploy the SpO line in a deep formation that weakened their performance. Furthermore the LhF did not outflank or did any job on the outer areas, and this let me to attack with both the wing commands without concerns. So even if the Rus played well all the tactical part of the game, the choices he made at start, in the planning stage, gave to the opponent an important advantage, even more decisive because the Rus are immobile in the field, they cannot almost manouver.
The lesson we both learnt is that these armies, made by clumsy slow troops and with an irregular command structure, need a very careful planning of organization, terrain set up and plan, because a mistake cannot be recovered. They are imho very difficult to use well.
Neverless, the IBdI fight in the center was interesting, and I saw that these troops really need high BP. Probably in a couple more combat bounds I would have lost the corps. The heroes of the day were the WbF and the cataphracts. The tribal corps suffered even more lost elements than the IBdI, but at 1/2 ME each I could afford them.
SDC proved to be a good army and could it worth to be used in its period competitions.