Karl kindly chose and placed the terrain pieces which gave the players a central road crossing from one table edge to the other at an angle. There was a scattering of low hills and small woods across the table with a very central 8 hex hill close to one table edge. This hill provided an excellent elevated platform for the artillery and when the Koreans (Tim, Chris and I), won the di roll for choice of table edge, this is where the Korean heavy cannon were placed.
The Ottoman commanders (Dave and Tony), deployed first, concentrating the Janissaries on their right and the vast bulk of the cavalry on the left. The Koreans matched this deployment with cavalry facing cavalry, infantry infantry facing infantry and with the artillery of both sides in the middle.
Tim, Chris, and I put our heads together and formed a game plan; move quickly to attack and defeat the Ottoman cavalry with the superior Korean cavalry before engaging the tougher Janissaries with a frontal infantry assault and a simultaneous flank attack with remaining cavalry. When we were given first move, our cavalry moved quickly forward to enact the first stage of this plan.
A shooting match between the Korean light cavalry units and the Ottoman Sipahis and Akinci cavalry. Tim’s infantry advanced in support of the cavalry in the centre while his artillery on the 8 hex hill opened fire on the Ottoman artillery in a long range artillery duel. There was a large gap between Chris’s Korean infantry and the slowly advancing Janissaries, and this bought us time for the Korean cavalry to try and defeat the Ottoman cavalry before the Janissaries could get involved in the action.
In order to try and pin back, thus restricting the movement options of Tony’s Ottoman cavalry, I pushed the Korean cavalry far forward of Tim’s infantry, which resulted in the loss of units on both sides in the resulting shooting match in which the left wing of my cavalry became badly exposed to concentrated bow fire. This was the first of a number of blunders!
Meanwhile, Chris’s Korean spearmen and handgunners had taken up a strong defensive position along the road left of centre, which offered good protection from the shooting of Dave’s advancing Janissary handgunners. Tim’s heavy cannon had already inflicted losses on the Ottoman artillery and this enabled him to advance 2 units of bombards and handgunners to add support to the left flank of the Korean cavalry.
In the continuing cavalry engagement on the left, the ‘B’ class Korean cavalry had in a battle of attrition, gained the advantage over the weaker ‘C’ class Ancis and Sipahis. However, the 3 units of ‘A’ class Quapakulu heavy cavalry were still held back in reserve. My plan had been to try and get 1 or 2 units of Korean light cavalry around the flank and behind the Quapakulu, force them to recoil through concentrated shooting, thus eliminate them without engaging in hand-to-hand combat. With my light cavalry blocking any recoil or flee move this would have been a game winning move. However, Tony spotted the danger and moved 2 units of cavalry across behind the Quapakulu and in what was a vital, if sacrificial move, stopped the Korean out-flanking action.
The Korean infantry under the control of Chris and Tim were holding the Janissaries from advancing to take control of the central road, but I wasn’t sure how long this could be maintained.
So I decided to attack the 3 units of Quapakulu head on with my Korean heavy cavalry. This was another major blunder; in what should have been an even contest the dice gods helped Tony demolish my heavy cavalry. I should have pulled back into a shooting line until my flanking cavalry were in position. The victorious Quapakulu then pursued my now fleeing and disrupted cavalry and general. The resulting command and control problems paved the way for a very decisive Ottoman victory.
The Korean game plan was all goping to plan until the very last act of the game. Chris and Tim had played their roles well, holding back the Janissaries, out shooting the Ottoman artillery and controlling the central road long enough for the Korean cavalry to gain the ground and pin the Ottoman cavalry back. I moved against the Ottoman heavy cavalry perhaps a move to early, before my flanking cavalry had defeated their weaker opponents and were ready to sweep around the rear of the Quapakulu. Dave and Tony held their nerve under pressure and delivered the combat results when needed to break the Korean cavalry and achieve a solid victory.