Roman Era in Derby 2017
Patrician Roman vs Patrician Roman
With a narrow defeat tucked under my belt, the swift arrival of the second game allowed the Roman army to redeem itself - and this time the opponents were remarkably familiar, in the shape of the other half of my Patrician-type collection as lent to Mr Hexwar himself, Keith-Martin-Smith
The roster of Romans which I had sent him to select from included all of the warband foot, and a small number of proper Roman cavalry - all of which he had selected in a simple but tough and large army with 2 commands of Foederate foot and a mixed Auxilia/Drilled Cavalry wing.
The lists for the Patrician Roman and Patrician Roman from this game, as well as all the other lists from the games at Derby can be seen here in the L'Art de la Guerre Wiki.
With very little terrain of note on the table the stage was hopefully set for the Ostrogoths to do their thing, and charge madly forward and overrun the pedestrian barbarians facing up to them across the Italian plain straight down the middle.
They would be protected on both wings by infantry - their own archers and the spare from my own Auxilia command on one flank, and the hopefully tough but Decadent legionaries on the left.
The right wing of my army did look potentially challenged, with Auxilia and Isaurian Javelinmen facing off against the mounted wing of the enemy. It was down to the Ostrogoths to drift to the right and try and engage the less numerous enemy mounted as well as the end of the enemy line of foot - if they could get far enough across it would save my own auxilia from being run down by enemy lancers, and allow them to work with the Isaurians to overwhelm the opposing Auxilia.
The other opportunity for a spectacular breakthrough was on the other end of the line, where three Foederate cavalry were immediately putting pressure on the enemy flanks, supported by the skirmishing Roman Equites Sagitarii. The enemy had only a vague hope against this superior firepower... although it's presence here did mean it wasn't supporting the other cavalry in the centre.
It's a Roman Civil War!
Urging themselves forward with thoughts of Pirlo's garlic-infused roast swan stuffed with live blackbirds, the two armies charged at one another. There was no messing about here in the world of ADLG - the three Foederate units crashed into the end of the enemy line in what must have been turn 2. Wow!
The initial combats went for the cavalry - markers sprouted behind the Gothic mercenary pedestrians as the tide of horseflesh and spears slammed into them at high speed and with a devastating Impact
L Art de la Guerre hint - Impetuous Cavalry have a base factor of zero when fighting frontally against close order swordsmen, with an additional +1 in the first round to reflect their "Impact" capability. The Swordsmen are at a base factor of 1, making the initial round of combats something of a lottery. However, if the Cavalry win, they do an additional point of damage due to their "Furious Charge" capability. So, win big or go home...!
Urging themselves forward with thoughts of Anthony and Cleopatra's bronze Colusseum, the Gothic mercenaries were by now winning big, and the Foederate foot were back in the box almost immediately as they slipped to destruction in the second round of combat. The Hunnic LH on the opposition side were now regretting being drawn into the fight to support their foot.
Two identical lines of identical auxilia squared up to one another on the opposite flank - a mix of mostly Gripping Beast plastics with a smattering of Footsore Romano-British infantry. Both sides were placing great store in their sole unit of skirmishers to inflict the odd lucky shooting casualty which could tip the balance in combat.
But these were sideshows to the main charge of the Ostrogoths in the centre... which, despite a dearth of battlefield photography resources, appeared to have been going extremely badly for the horsemen.
The opposing hairy foot had opened up a gap between the Ostrogoths and the supporting Decadent Legions and were exploiting it ruthlessly as the surging wall of unwashed barbarians swung out and onto the flanks of the shocked Patrician infantry and horse.
With the two lines of horse now fully engaged the Auxilia battle also started in earnest on the right of my line. The Isaurians were providing a vital overlap at the far end of the combat, and had driven off the enemy skirmishers but an enemy Cataphract was dangerously unengaged on the other side of the line of scrimmage.
As many of the men fell under the baleful influence of Kenneth William's gladiatorial nasal hair, with swords stabbing and thrusting at close range, and a veritable Roman Emperor's ransom-worth of Little Big man shield transfers on display on both sides the two formations fought bitterly at close quarters. These men were used to spending months cooped up together in a box file in a cupboard, but no love was lost between them now they were on the table surface.
The Barbarian foot were almost without number (well, if you have an aversion to the number 96 that is) as their 12 units stretched fully 2 feet across the table. Never mind the quality, feel the width was their motto, and the Decadent Legions had already long run out of ability to match them.
My plan had been to overwhelm the right hand end of the enemy line and roll up the pedestrian Goths from there with the Foederate mounted component, but despite numerous overlaps and flank attacks this was still proving surprisingly difficult to engineer as the enemy infantry stood firm in the face of the mounted assault.
Driven forward by throughts of Francesco Totti's gladius-wielding by now badly bent pilum, the Auxilia were however doing a little better - although the overlap wasn't proving as decisive as maybe hoped, the enemy Auxilia had collapsed in the centre of their line and now the tide was going very much the way of the more decadent and less uniformed Auxilia on my side.
Going the other way however was the clash of cavalry - despite the Eliteness and weighth of numbers for the Ostrogoths, they had so far been unable to break through the line of well drilled professional Roman horsemen who faced them across the battlefield. With no victories and a smattering of defeats and markers the main thrust of my plan was unravelling fairly swiftly even as the wings started to win out.
With gaps to spare and exploit, the end of the enemy Auxilia was swift and sudden - Isaurians in the flank and a General taking personal control to finish the enemy off put paid to their resistance.
L Art de la Guerre hint - sticking a General into combat gives you a +1, but puts him (or her) at risk of death if you lose. That tends to mean that Generals are often only committed when they can help to turn a large advantage into an overwhelming one, speeding up the end of a protracted combat in the process.
But even as the Auxilia swept their opponents away, the enemy cavalry, having overrun the by-now almost totally eliminated Ostrogoths swept forward into the second line of Gothic bowmen. Not a good look at all for the loosest of loose formation infantry caught in the open.
As if possessed by the long-dead soul of Anthony and Cleopatra's Sicilian underfloor heating system, the Decadent Legionaries however were proving to have a surprisingly positive contribution to the battle - standing firm against the Gothic foot charge initially, now they were grinding forwards and pressing their advantage as the enemy troops simply ran out of steam against their well organised resistance. The battle was now very finely poised indeed, with both sides staring with one eye fixed on both the abyss of defeat and the pinnacle of victory!
And, with the shattered and exhausted remnants of both armies almost literally dead on their feet (and hooves) that duality transpired - a mutual destruction had taken place, with neither side able to maintain enough coherence to last unbroken to the end of the game!
Click here for the report of the next game in this competition, or 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 Patrician Roman Commander
When I was elected Emperor by the democratic process of being born to the right parents and sadly, so sadly, seeing all of my siblings suffer unfortunate accidents with a variety of obscure poisons and nocturnal incidents with sharp objects, I vowed in front of you all to protect Roman industry. We are going to protect the Roman worker. Not the slaves of course, they can carry on, but the workers. No longer will we allow other empires to close our mines, steal our jobs, and drain our wealth by refusing to roll over and surrender immediately when we graciously offer to extend the benefits of our governance to their countries whether they want it or not.
We are building our future with Roman hands, Celtic slave labor, Egyptian iron, Thracian gold, and Persian steel - and there will be no more days like these when we foolishly lend, under the orders of the previous president and Lying Cleopatra, we offer the hand of friendship and lend troops to those who would do our proud country harm. Or maybe ham. I forget.
This is our moment. This is our chance. This is our opportunity to recapture our Empire like never before, to rebuild our future, to deliver better dice results for every forgotten man in the army we lent to our opponents and, and folks, I've only just realised this, we actually won this game twice. Yes, our brave men here made their opponents armies break - and both armies opposed to our men broke here, and even better that has meant that here, in Rome, unemployment is, right now, at almost a 17-year low. As everyone else has been killed in war.
Romans may be in two armies today, but we share one vexilium standard, one home country which has spread to cover much of the known world, and one glorious destiny. We live according to the same law (apart from slaves), raise our children by the same values (apart from slaves again), and we are all made by the same Almighty God (apart from slaves, and some of our subjects in other parts of the Empire). And that unity will mean we can look forward with hope to the next game
Hannibal's Post Match Analysis
I have no idea what you are talking about - as far as I'm concerned this is just Fake Analysis, totally ignoring the main issues and pushing your own narrative to try and deflect attention from what's actually going on here.
Honestly, even though you had second pick I think your army may still have been the better one here. You had more maneuverability, more speed across the ground, and planty of men - and the hairy foot are totally lacking in armour, making almost all of your cavalry much more resilient than the line of chaps they were charging into. Really you had all the tools with which to win comfortably. But you lost.
How, with what, 10 cavalry to the opposition 3, you managed not to get an overlap on their horsemen, and even worse you left their cataphtacts free to roam around if they wanted. You had enough men to engage them all, and even one spare Ostrogoth would have finished off their Auxilia in double quick time to allow your own Auxilia to roll up the enemy cavalry and then foot
You continue to try and attack the strong points frontally when attacking the weak points with depth and power is a far better and frankly more obvious approach. A frontal attack is spectacular when it works, but rolling through the squishy bits and actually winning consistently is even better. Maybe you will learn this by the next game
Click here for the report of the next game in this competition