Battle Report ITC2016
by Albert Leung
So here I am, first time at the stage for my first medal in ITC. It is one of my happiest moment in my life. It is my second time in ITC as a member of the Yellow Dragon Team together with my battle brothers Herbert, James and Marco. Last year I got an average result, scored 49 and rank 10 in my book. I am lucky, well or unlucky, to meet masters like Paolo and Neil last year. The total lost in the battle with Paolo last year opened my eyes and my mind. Last year was a whole year’s of intensive training. I mediated under waterfalls. I built my own army, the Koguryo. I researched her history. I painted the army myself. I was not receiving good comments for my army. Some said it is for book 3 and some said it is not competitive and had not been used in ITC before. It is the only Koguryo army in book 2 against lots of Romans. But I insisted to forge my own sword, walk my own way, and fight the battle in the style that suits me. The following is my army composition.
Koguryo Korean 376-688AD, 2/76, 88ME
Command A CiC RKnX, 5 RBdO, 4 R BwO, 16 IPkF, 4 IBwI, 6 PsO, 30ME
Command B SG RKnX, 4 RKnX, 4 RLHF, 9 ILHS, 2 IPsO, 30ME
Command C SG RKnX, 8 RPkO, 16 ME
Command D 6 RBgI, 12 ME
Last year, my result was 1 win 2 draws and 1 lost. I set a reasonable target of 1 win 3 draws to myself. After a whole year of training, I thought I was ready. However, I was surprised the standard in ITC is raised again. Every battle is a tough battle. So here comes the first one. But before my first battle, I have to conquer my fear first.
“To conquer fear, you have to become far.”, Bruce Wayne, Batman Begins
Friendly game Vs Paolo’s Palmyran
I am lucky that a friendly game was arranged with master Paolo. It is a good chance for me to test my strength and conquer my own fear. It is a pity that I forgot to take a photo.
Paolo’s army is like water, some hide like the vapor, some move like fluid and disturbing your formation with fake moves, and when the time come, they all solidify as ice and hit you hard. In this battle, Paolo had an allied command flank marching and one concealed KnX command hiding behind a hill at his right flank. On my right flank is a big forest. For the deployment, I kept most of my commands including the pikes in column as I know that you have to keep mobile too when fighting with water. Paolo started to move most mounted troops to his left. It seemed he is attacking from my right flank beside the forest. I reacted with my light horses. I am not committing all my troops as I know it may be a faking move. Something I learnt from a hard way last year. As I expected, Paolo’s light horses retreated before engaging. Now I have 2 choices, to press on leaving the center commands without the support of the light horses, or I can turn back. Actually, at this time if his flanking allied command showed up, my center will be assaulted without the light horses’ support. However, I am lucky that the allied command does not show up for the whole game. I selected to press on with my light horses and surprisingly my light horses caught Paolo’s retreating light horses at the back with marching into contact. I destroyed 3 LHF and carried on my pursuit. I reached Paolo’s baggage command and broke them. Paolo at that time sprang his trap and activated his concealed KnX command. He reform his battle line and counter charged my light horse. I am out-numbered but I have calculated even I lost all the light horses my command will not be broken. It is still worth it with the damage I have done. At the end, My light horses were really wiped in the counter charge. And unluckily one of my KnX in the center is killed by a 1-6 bow shot. It was something out of my calculation and I broke one of my big command. At that time I am reforming my center battle line and Paolo need to consolidate his KnX for the center. However, we decided to end the game early. Paolo has two commands lost, one flanking command that unluckily did not show up and the baggage command. But the lost is not comparable to my big mounted command which worth 30ME.
But anyway, it is not a one sided result as before I am satisfied with it. I had conquered my fear and I am ready for the battle tomorrow!
“I am the Vanguard of your destruction.”, Sovereign, Mass Effect
Battle 1 vs Mura’s Alexandrian Imperial from team Mercenaries
I was the defender and the terrain was set up according to my plan. Right flank covered by a forest. My foot anchored in the middle on a rough hill. And my mounted troops at the back touching the road on the left flank. Light horses on a road are fast, especially regular light horse fast. At the end of the first bound my light horses were almost at the enemy’s table edge. Obviously this surprised Mura as my mounted command is so fast and started attacking from the left short edge and even from behind. His BwX and KnF have to turn to react to my move. He also tried to harass my right flank by moving a group of light horses around the forest. However, I countered them with 4 PkO. As my mounted command was assigned with the highest PiP, and with the impetuous nature of the LHS, the combined the attack of KnX, LHS and LHF form the short edge is unstoppable once the direction was set right. But I knew that I had to be faster if I targeted for higher score. I learnt that speed is crucial from game 3 last year. I carefully calculated the time to damage the baggage. By transferring the 2ME to the baggage command from breaking the BwX command, I broke two commands in one go. However, I still did not have the ME to break Mura’s army and time was running out. In the final bound I pushed all my army out regardless of possible loss for an extra 1-2 ME. Luckily I got the win just before the bell rung. A 25-0 result for me, like the first game last year. I self-proclaimed myself the vanguard of the Yellow Dragon!
“If you want to advance, you have to learn how to step back first.”, Anonymous (actually I make it up myself, haha)
Battle 2 vs Juergen Bohn’s Middle Imperial Roman of team Barbarossa
I still remembered the battle with Neil last year. The generals in Barbarossa are to be feared and respected. I would be lucky if I can get a draw from Bohn. But it did not mean I would just corner sit. Bohn chose to attack in Spring and as the climate of Koguryo is cold, it means my light horse will suffer from the hungry horse effect. Bohn is really good at the rules and utilized all the advantages.
The deployment was much like the previous battle. I had a big forest to cover my right flank. And my left flank is protected by a difficult hill. I started to pull out my mounted tools again and tried to attack from the short edge just like time. Bohn was a bit surprised when he see this. However, he do responded quickly with Ax and his big Cv command also turned to face the threat. My attack was resolved with the great response and I have even lost some LH due some unlucky rolls. Also there is an argument of rule regarding column to line as I thought the new line frontage cannot be longer than the original column length. However, after some discussion it seems it can if it is the original formation of the group. In this case Bohn’s Cv can move and deployed as a fully expanded line. At that time I calculated the odds – hungry horse effect will be triggered soon, with regular troops and good PiP Bohn reacted to my threat very well and it seems I do not have the chance the break in. I decided to retreat using the road and the difficult hill as cover. In the centre, I do have some lucky rolls and killed two BdS, but they consistently slaughtered my pike men and I started to look at the clock. Finally I was saved by the bell and the result is 11:14.
If the situation happens last year, I might have pressed the attack and may be lose the whole battle. But now I have developed the ability to sense danger and I keep assessing the odds during the whole battle. I am glad I have made the right decision. Retreat is a hard decision and sometimes you have to bite the bullet and do it.
So this ended day 1, 1 win 1 draw, not so shabby. My objective half achieved.
“If you can't beat them, join them. If you can't join them, bribe them. If you can't bribe them, blackmail them. “, Mohamed Kadry
Battle 3 vs Simone (“The Shopkeeper”) Fantini’s Early A Persian of team Gepanta
Simone is a funny guy and I really like him. He ran a temporary store in ITC selling wargaming supplies. Last year I bought lots of lead figures from him with a good price and I really like them. I have tried to bride him before the game by promising I will buy a lot from his store but failed.
The deployment is an headache for me. You can Simone on two hills at his deployment zone. Right flanks are Ps and SpI, in the middle BwX and at the left Cv. There is no chance for me if Simone decided to corner sit on the hill. But I am not fly all the way to Milan to look for a draw. I have to find a way to lure them out.
I moved both my KnX and LHS sideway. Simone saw this as an opportunity and move the BwX forward and tried to catch my light horses while they are still moving in column. And this is the chance I wanted. I moved my Bd to match up their SpI and the left. And I align my KnX with their CV at the right. In the middle, I use the impetuous rule to automatically turn the LHS to align with the BwX. Simone was surprised how I can do it but Lorenzo helped to explain it. I was not expecting the LHS can anything but hold off the BwX. I expected the Bd can QK some Sp but with a base of 4, I cannot kill the Sp because of bad dice roll. Simone also played very defensively with his Cv. But I press on with my KnX until the CV reached the edge of the rough hill.
At this time I still can hold everything and just draw the game. But I decided to take my chances and aim for a few more point. I set up my escape path and charge in two KnX to the Cv. They are all overlapped so it is a 2 v 2 but I can quick kill them. I expected I may lose 1 if unlucky. However, I lost two with two bad dice roll. It is good that I have an escape path. I have to retreat to redress the formation.
The final result 11:14. Sometimes you have to accept your failure and retreat. At least I have tried it so no regrets. Looking at the result, it is not very good. My two draws are at the low side, 11. I am a bit discouraged.
“This is where we hold them! This is where we fight! This is where they die!”, King Leonidas, 300
Battle 4 Vs Terpin’s Middle Imperial Roman of team Alabardieri Trieste
So here come the final battle. I have 1 win 2 draws so far so basically I need one draw to achieve my personal objective. However, it is likely I cannot get a medal. And I need to get better result for my team too so I have to try my best.
It turns out to be an important battle and I will explain later.
It is a tough battle and Terpin is a very good player. The battle is not one sided and with a lot of offense and defense. The photo was taken at the end of the battle and you can see that Terpin did a good work to chop off my army into two by deploying a difficult hill in the middle of my edge. My movement is further restricted by another difficult hill at my left. I have to put my LHS into that gap and hope they can expand and do some damage at the left flank. My right flank is too thin. Terpin got a lot of Ax at this wing and I know that this can be a big problem. So my plan is simple, attack with my LHS on the left and stall the attack at the right. And I have to do it quick as in the center the Roman ArtF will keep bombarding me with Bd as screening.
First bound I have a bad PiP so I cannot move or expand my LHS fully. Most of them still stayed in the gap. On the right flank I used 4 RLHF to circulate around the Ax. It was indeed very successful as you can see the Ax cannot join the whole battle. The main battle is with the LHs. While my LHs are not fully expanded, Terpin did a good move and move in his LHs and hold my LH inside the gap. I had only around 3 base width and he had more. There is a lot of carefully maneuvers and at one time I am out of PiP and I made a mistake and one LHS had to do spontaneous move and was killed outright. However, it also opened up an opportunity for me as I can counter charge with 2 overlaps. With a 2-0 odds I think this is the chance to break through the blockage. However, shocking bad luck, my LHS died as the result is 1-6. With the LHS gone, there is a hole in my formation. My LH will be flanked and killed one by one. At that time I really don’t feel well, my sugar level is low and I think this is it. I closed my eyes and said to myself I am going to lose it just like last year. But I am also responsible for my team and I will see how I can retreat like the last two games and at least get a draw. I opened my eye and carried on with the game.
Then miracle happens, Terpin rolled a low PiP the next turn (something like 1,1,2). So his LH cannot move in to flank me. That gave me some breathing space and the next turn surviving LH charged out. Finally the dices were back to me again and my LH finally break through the blockage my PkO can also charge forward. Terpin also charged in the center with his Bd. With the blockage cleared, the Koguryo can attack in coordination and did some damage.
The final score is 14-11. Another draw so my objective is achieved. My finally score is 61 and is a bit low for a medal. But at least it is an improvement over last year. I am feeling relieved.
During the medal presentation, I remember my promise to buy from Simone so I went to his store to do some last minute shopping. At that moment I heard my name was yelled and I was surprised. And way to go! I got a 2nd runner up for Book 2.
So here I am, first time at the stage for my first medal in ITC. It is one of my happiest moment in my life.
Later I found out Terpin also got a score of 61 after the 4th game. But I have the advantage of getting a higher score than him in the last game so I am lucky to get the medal. So that’s why the last battle is actually a battle for the 2nd runner up. I am glad I did not give up.
With my fellow teammate, we achieved the 5th place for the team score. It is quite an achievement. We are surprise the player skill in the tournament is raised as every battle is a tough one. We met old enemies and new friends, we got drunk and merry. It is really enjoyable and I would like to sincerely thank the organizers of ITC.
I am not a religious man. The last time I prayed was when I was a kid and I prayed for my lost puppy to come back home. She did come back after a week. The morning before the battle, I prayed to god to grant me the strength to fight and guide me to success. I closed my eyes and ask God to show me a sign if he answered my prayer. I opened my eyes and saw a black bird flied over the building next to motel. Then I realized it is a good sign as the three legs bird is my army’s emblem.
And later I found out the building next to our motel is a chapel.