Field of Glory in The Roman World - 2010
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Final Game, and the narrow victory over Graham sees me matched up with Phil Powell and .... an uncatchable LH-only Hunnic army whilst Graham faces off on the next table against a far more pedestrian EAP .
Pictures of Huns from my Ancients Photo Directory
My final opponents list was Huns
Here's the game..
Stone me, no terrain. The Huns deployed in a traditional "no-center" formation, with a flank march of 2-3 units somewhere. My army was spread across the table
The Romans rushed forward across the line with little to slow them. A huge block of 8 Bowmen were hoping to shred some Huns on my right.
The line of Romans looked pretty damn solid from where I was sat
On the left, 3 units of proper cavalry - but without armour - were lying in waiting for my 700 Auxilia units.
The slow cumbersome Huns start to be enveloped by the wall of Romans. It's looking good...
Keen to engage the Hunnic cavalry, the Auxilia move up eagerly - knowing the Huns would form a single line and become capable of evading, they were still the only thing on table they could actually catch !
The Roman LH skitter backwards as the Huns swarm ominously - but the Roman Bow-armed LH Shredding Machine is ready for them
On the left the odds look decent for the Romans - and the Huns are possibly even thinking about entering into a fight
The Roman archers somehow come off worse in the initial shooting and lose a base, but continue pressing the Huns back, supported by LH, Legions and Auxilai on both flanks. In the middle the Romans start to swing round to trap the Huns into both corners.
A unit of Huns launches some sort of very complex charge against the rear rank of a unit of Bowmen, and the front rank of a unit of Roman Cavalry already disrupted by shooting. This seems to prevent the Roman foot engaging in support shooting, and of course, the Roman LH lose at impact despite being a POA up and then drop a cohesion level. Oh well, in melee numbers will count..
Oh, the Roman LH lose in melee too..and break!
Evaporated 1 unit of Roman LH inside the first turn of melee.
The flank march arrives in the third or fourth turn, and at the same time more Huns swoop down on the Roman archers, chewing into their flank and front now the LH unit has been vaporized
At least on the left the Huns are being surrounded. There are enough units here to break the Hunnic army provided the Romans get to the Baggage as well
The Huns have run down the Roman right flank
After destroying the bowman unit, the Huns then charge into the flank of a legion as well - and by catching the LF rear rank base, manage to win and disrupt the Legion at impact. WTF??
The Roman LH skitter backwards as the Huns swarm ominously.
Now the Legion has committed its full force against the cheeky flank charging Huns - and now they cannot break off, the Huns will surely be chewed up?
Hunnic Cavalry charge home against Roman Auxilia - and do well at first contact, although the Romans own Huns are giving a great account of themselves on the extreme left
The Legion fails to win... and the unit of Roman bowmen is also wobbling badly having inflicted no pain or losses on the Hunnic LH throughout the entire game.
The left is a bit better - Huns break off and lose a base, but an Auxilia unit is teetering..
Grinding slowly the Romans lose another base... but finally disrupt the Hunnic cavalry. But everything else wearing Red has now evaporated on this flank. Their ability to win the game has now gone..
As the battered legion regains coherence, the Huns fighting it break off and move away, leaving the Roman right flank totally impotent against the taunting enemy cavalry
On the left, an auxilia unit finally breaks, and the rest of the Hunnic army goes into skirmish mode. They are now safe, as they can take longer than the game has left to run and even if they do nothing, they will safely evade off table leaving their army intact.
The Huns though have a different plan, and charge home across the line. Maybe the Romans do have a chance again?
The right flank is a total shambles.
On the left the Huns are thrown back with no negative effects across the entire line.
In again they charge, with the Auxilia only a base loss away from breaking
A small moral victory for the Romans as a unit of Auxilia records a TOUCHDOWN!!!!!!
Back to the right, and all the impotent legions can do is stand under a hail or arows against the uncatchable Huns, hoping that a combination of their armour, superiority and a General will save them from dropping cohesion.
As another unit of Auxilia explodes on the left, the Roman are reduced to rubbish tactics of trying to shoot pursuing Hunnic cavalry from the rear with their own Huns. But surely the game will be over far before this pathetic attempt has time to work?
The Huns charge home again.... and with the resulting base loss, the game is over. A crushing defeat for the Romans
Post Match Summary
I'm now thoroughly miserable. 4 games in a weekend, only one of which presented me with any sort of meaningful opportunity to fight and beat the enemy army. All credit to the lancer-less Huns for having a more complex and challenging strategy than the Bosporan's "throw 5 units of cavalry against anything on table and skirmish with a million other units" one, but even so my plan - which was a fairly simple "push them off the table" seems to have faltered and then failed - leaving me little to enjoy other than a fairly successful weekend of selling stuff in the bring and buy and the purchase of a unit of Musketeer Miniatures Thirty Years War Pike and Shot.
To be honest, I had lost the will to live almost as soon as my Roman Light Horse lost at impact in one of the first combats of the game - their instant implosion knocked a hole in my line from which I could not recover - although even I can now see that a plan which requires me to lose no units throughout the entire game and keep a continuous line across the entire table is probably a bit risky to pin my hopes on.
The only crumb of comfort I can take from this is that three of the players I faced finished up 2nd, 4th and 5th, which was the second toughest draw of any player in the entire competition (based on adding up the final placings of all four opponents) - and had I taken one more point from my first 3 games, my final round opponent would have been another EAP army which Graham's EAP soundly thrashed 25-0 inside 2 hours to submarine into 4th place. The last game was also only the 2nd time in 16 outings that one of my Dominate Roman armies has been broken. But these are cold crumbs of comfort for what turned out to be a weekend of three unwinnable games.
Hannibal's Post Match Analysis
Oh dear. Well, don't say I didn't tell you eh? Frankly you brought the wrong army to the competition - if you wanted to be succesful over 4 games, you were bound to fight at least one or two LH-type armies, and as you have proved time and time again in every competition you enter, at 800AP trying to use a wall of troops to push them off the back of the table simply doesn't work. All they need to do is get 2 or 3 units behind your line and such armies become unbreakable, and once they have stopped your legions in combat (or, stopped them getting into combat by avoiding them) you willl never even get to the back of the table anyway.I think you also need a lesson in maths. Your plan involves trying to push shooters off the table with a combination of MF and HF. If you do the math however, you will find that a unit of 4 Auxilia, moving first, have AT BEST only a 41% chance of pushing 6 LF bowmen off the rear of the table without failing a cohesion test in the process - and that's assuming the Auxilia always have a +1 on all of their Cohesion tests (to counteract the -1 for 1 hit per 2 bases from shooting), and that the 6 LF bowmen facing them NEVER pass a test to fall back when the sometimes get into charge range so only get 8 shots at you out of a possible 12. If you don't have a +1 the odds fall to a shocking 27% - thats for fast moving armoured troops vs 6 LH shooters. Given your plan needs to duplicate either a 27% or 41% chance with 7-10 units simultaneously it's hardly surprising that in all 4 games you only managed to get a handful of units to within spitting distance of the enemy table edge, and all of those happened mainly when the enemy put, erm, no opposition whatsoever in their path.
Really, your original MLMBDR army would have been a better bet here. The Inspired Commander in that list would have held his magic shield of invulnerability over 1/3 of the table, the 2 extra units of legionaries would have given you a chance of outnumbering the Bosporan cavalry and also would have allowed you to not have to run away from the Persian Elite Shooty Cavalry with the Auxiia, and you might also occasionally have seen some terrain on the table as well.
The other thing is that alll the changes you made in the army composition were rubbish. The unprotected MF Bowmen were not good enough to stand up for themselves, as superiority didn't counteract their vulnerability to even enemy LH shooting - and you got them too close to the front line time after time. The extra unit of Superior LH bow were rubbish against any enemy LH with swordsmen capability and the super upgraded legionaries didn't fight anyone against whom their Skilled Sword capability could make any different at all - so a load of wasted points there too
What you need to do is look at the final standings - the top 8 included a Palmyran, 2 Bosporans, a Hunnic, a Foederate Roman - all lots of mounted stuff - as well as 2 EAP, which can be optimized for taking these types of armies on through a combination of its armoured shooting Immortals and lots of good cavalry. The only army to sneak in of a different hue was a Seleucid, and that had the good fortune to only face one floaty army, and agains can have a load of skirmishers and some good mounted.
Looks like your only hope next time around is a different army choice, or a kinder draw.