H&HM Ottomans v Korean medieval (round 2).

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H&HM Ottomans v Korean medieval (round 2).

Post by Sally » Fri Jan 31, 2020 10:27 pm

In this re-match of exactly the same armies as in the previous game, we swapped the players around and appointed James as the official ‘terrain boss’. His task complete, he moved away to participate in another club game. The resulting battlefield had no roads but had a useful scattering of hills and woodland. The Ottomans (Mike, Steve and I), won the di roll for choice of table edge and opted for the side that gave the most tree cover, plus it had a strategically positioned, long 8 hex hill, onto which we deployed our artillery.
The armies are deployed, so lets get these dice sorted out!
The Ottoman artillery are deployed on the forward slope of the central 8-hex hill, with the Janissary infantry and Quapakulu heavy cavalry behind.
The Koreans (Chris, Dave and Tony), won the di roll for second deployment and first move, which gave us, the Ottomans, a real head scratcher when it came to our initial deployment. We decided to spread our forces across the entire width of the table with cavalry on the wings and the Janissary infantry in the centre behind the artillery, which were positioned on the forward slope of the 8 hex hill. In response the Koreans deployed their light cavalry against our left wing and all 6 units of their heavy cavalry against our right wing.
The Ottoman Sipahis and Akinjis cavalry are positioned on the Ottoman right wing.
Korean spearmen advance in column with heavy cavalry following behind.
The Korean light cavalry were quickly engaged in a shooting match with Steve’s Sipahis cavalry on our far left, meanwhile The Korean spearmen and heavy cavalry made a slow advance against our right wing which consisted of Akinji light horse commanded by Mike. In response, Mike moved his cavalry forward to form a continuous shooting line 2 hexes short of an area of woodland on our extreme right. The Korean commanders had seized the initiative, gained the ground and effectively dictated that the Ottomans would fight a defensive game.
The Korean spearmen occupy the woodland and small hill, leaving a gap for the heavy cavalry to charge through.
The Korean light cavalry move quickly against the Ottoman left wing.
To our surprise, in the Korean’s next tactical movement phase, Chris shifted his light cavalry away from Steve’s wing and across the centre of the table towards Mike. This was obviously a pre-planned move which pitted the bulk of the Korean strength against Mike’s Akinjis. I tried to respond to this threat by moving my Janissary infantry units from the centre but this would take time. The resulting shooting match caused significant casualties on both sides. Mike was forced to pull back his shooting line which placed 2 of his cavalry units into woodland in which they would fight disrupted if contacted by the now advancing Korean spearmen. By some miracle they managed to recoil the spearmen as did a disrupted unit of Akinjis hosting a general.
The Ottoman cavalry are pushed back and the Janissary infantry and Quapakulu move to fill the gap!
The Sipahis cavalry are defeated by Korean light infantry and spearmen units.
Steve, without any opposition on the left wing, came over to roll some dice for Mike as his shrinking number of units were assaulted yet again, this time by Korean heavy cavalry, light cavalry and spearmen. In what can only be described as an incredible round of shooting {thanks Steve!), the Koreans were recoiled once more! This bought sufficient time for the 3 units of Ottoman Quapakulu heavy cavalry to fill the gaps in the shooting line. At the same time the Janissary infantry had arrived from the centre to occupy a central woodland and plant stakes in an adjoining hex to help in what was a desperate, all or nothing defense.
The Ottoman cavalry form a final defensive line against the Korean onslaught.
The Korean cavalry attack the centre, pushing the Janissary infantry backwards but hey hold their position.
With the Janissaries pulled away from the Ottoman centre to the left wing, only a line of cannon held the central hill. I hoped the Ottoman commanders hadn’t noticed this gaping hole in our defensive line. Steve advanced 3 units towards the Korean handgunners in the centre to keep the Korea infantry busy. This helped to close the gap but the danger soon became obvious to our opponents. Thankfully however, the Korean cavalry were so caught up in the fighting on the far right and dealing with the Janissary units now defending the woodland, that only 3 units were available for an assault on the Ottoman centre – this wasn’t enough! The 2 remaining Janissary units held despite being pushed back from the woodland.
Stev's Janissary handgunners hold the woodland on the left to secure the left flank of the Ottoman army.
With the Korean cavalry are defeated, the Quapakulu and Janissaries begin their advance to victory.
The battle of attrition on the right had seen the loss of nearly all the Ottoman Sipahis and Akinji cavalry but by putting the Quapakulu into the shooting line including one unit into the wood with his commander, Mike’s battered remnants were ready to receive another assault by the Korean heavy cavalry and spearmen. A unit of Janissary handgunners had been pushed back from its line of planted stakes by shooting, but the stakes prevented a unit of Korean heavy cavalry charging into contact. This proved critical because along with very good shooting, this final charge was broken as the out-numbered Korean attackers received a game winning mauling in the following hand-to-hand combat phase. More than half the Korean light and heavy cavalry units were now lost along with 2 generals, the remainder were forced to flee or recoil. This major reverse would enable the Ottomans who still had 5 generals to finally advance towards a very hard fought victory.

Game Analysis

This was a very close and absorbing game in which the Ottomans used their terrain advantage to good effect, restricting the attacking options of the Korean cavalry. The Korean determination and focus on destroying Mike’s cavalry on our left became their final undoing! Opportunities to demolish our centre were missed, and the consistently good shooting from the hard pressed but defiant Ottoman cavalry halted each Korean assault. The restricted space available for the final and costly Korean attack was a key factor in their eventual defeat.

Written by Paul K.

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