Roman Era Gaming in Central London 2016
Dacian vs Early Germans
Having now accidentally won both games in a flurry of simple-minded attacking prowess the last round saw the Dacians in a top of the table clash against Central London's specially imported French master and his "similar to the Dacians but better in a head to head" Early German army.
The lists for the Dacian and Early Germans from this game, as well as all the other lists from the games at Central London can be seen here in the L'Art de la Guerre Wiki.
The Germans are a solid Elite Heavy Foot army, tough and durable but inflicted with Impetuosity which can make the army hard to control, and hard to redeploy if they don't have a clear forward target. Using a Strategist as the CinC can help somewhat, but with only +2 command and control that will leave some of the commands potentially short on pips, so all of the Heavy Foot really do need to be in one command.
The terrain this time was very different - a strip of near-continuous woodland edged the main space to the left whilst an impassable swamp had invaded the Dacian deployment zone, splitting the potential setup area neatly in half. With an enemy who were essentially the same troop type as my me, but generally higher quality and able to carry more hits a clever plan was certainly needed.
The closest that the Dacians could come up with was to deploy in a solid block over to one side of the deployment zone, anchoring the flank on the Impassable and then pushing an outflanking force up through the woodland. The aim was to sit back and wait for the slower-moving Germans to waddle into combat and try and get the flanking force in position to roll them up as they fought tow to to with my best troops.
Dacian TV !
The initial round of skirmisher screening took on a slightly surreal atmosphere, as with an utterly secure flank and a static deployment it was obvious that the javelin boys should be scuttling back into the rear of the Dacian army pretty soon..
But, in a game where the enemy army was fully of tough to kill troops, the opportunity to have a pop at their skirmishers was a little too good to pass up - the two lines of light foot were soon engaged at close quarters as a prequel to the main event...
The Germans were trying all of their French tricks, but all that was happening was that some of their fairly underpowered cavalry were getting a little close to the well-anchored Bastarnae - any opportunity to nick the odd unit before the Elite HF got into play was something to be grabbed with both hands..
On the left the need to control and hold back the main body of infantry was taxing the command and control ability of the CinC, and his efforts to drive the flanking force successfully through the wood, persuade them to execute a sharp turn and then emerge blinking into the daylight on the flank of the Germans was taking much longer that it should - and could afford to - take.
Germans against the Roman Empire
The Germans were starting to experience some traffic problems, as they tried to slide and squeeze lots of slow-moving unwieldy units into an ever-decreasing space. The plan of getting the Bastarnae into combat was triggered - the Germans 'Impact' being cancelled against the steady swordsmen they found themselves charging into.
But that slight levelling of the playing field failed to impress the German infantry, who slammed through and over the end of the Bastarnae formation, keen to get into combat with anything else in their path....and next up were the Sarmatians.
The whole Dacian line stepped forward neatly as the by-now somewhat separated German army arrived pretty much where they needed to be. With both sides with Furious Charge the initial clashes were brutal, and big hit markers sprouted along the line..
The Dacians were being strangled by the seemingly endless wave after wave of densely packed Germanic warriors who were by now arriving as regularly as unwanted buses on a rainy Wednesday night homebound commute. The internal lines of command and control were getting shorter and shorter for Decabalus and his generals as the battle converged into an ever-smaller area.
Barbarians against the Roman Empire
The seemingly sensible anchor point on the Impassable swamp had just evaporated under a welter of Teutonic pedestrian aggression and now only the remnants of the skirmishers were left between the Germans and the baggage. Being unable to contact heavy foot in the open, the skirmishers needed some ridiculously effective shooting if they were to have any effect on the game from here..
Even the Sarmatians were failing to make a dent as the solid blocks of German foot stood up to their charges and shrugged them off. Holes were appearing all along the Dacian line long before the theoretical flanking attack could even struggle out of the woods and into position to attack.
The Dacian centre had now almost totally collapsed, and the Romanians had already worked out that this was looking like the sort of defeat in which you are actually trying to just rack up any casualties on the enemy to improve your losing score, rather than doing anything to hang on and avoid defeat.
The Dacians at least did have some of the Germans wounded, but by now almost every Dacian combat unit still alive was carrying one or two hits - the edge of the precipice of defeat was close, very close..
In the end, no-one got out alive.... a crushing defeat for Dacia. .
Read on for the post match summaries from the Generals involved, as well as another episode of legendary expert analysis from Hannibal
Post Match Summary from the Dacian Commander
Me lord, this was tricky to the point of impossibility - an enemy wif seemingly the same number of troops as I 'ad, but awl of them were better in a Crust of Bread to Crust of Bread matchup wif me Daft and Barmy.
Quite 'a that works I do not know, but it certainly worked for the Germans 'ere and not for me.
At least it meant that I was able to finish the game quite quickly, allowin' me nickle and dime to manage the recordin' of results in this rub-a-dub based competition.
Apart from this crushin' defeat, the event as a whole 'as gone very 'eaven and 'ell, wif upwards of 30 'appy curry-fed wargamers rollin' Rats And Mice and movin' figures 'round the tabletop wif mother's pearly gate merriment and pleasantries. this game may naw be in the past, but the future of ADLG is rosy as you like
Hannibal's Post Match Analysis
Yet another half-hearted and ridiculous itiot-spewn analysis - this was a game which was eminently winnable, but your entire strategy was so flawed it could have been designed by your enemy to hand him victory on a gilded plate.
Your troops are weaker than his core, but faster moving and probably better than his extremities - so why did you not depoly was wide as possible and try and force him to come out and play on the wings - a journey which I am sure his lumbering infantry would have had much more trouble achieving compared with the advance straight forwards option you so graciously presented him with here?
The only good thing to come out of this weekend, other than the curry of course, is to find that the Dacians are clearly no dog in these rules - and as one of the more popular ancient armes who are generally poorly served in other rules, that is indeed a good thing to see happen. If they can win under your command, there may well be a masterful army in the hands of a lesser idiot that you.
I am sure all of this will be soon forgotten, but I will not forget the pain of unmangling the cod cockney waffle for quite some time...
That's the end - so why not go back to the Match Reports Index and read some more reports?
ADLG Resources on this site - the ADLG Index