Field of Glory Game 5 at Britcon 2008
Sunday Morning (a lifetime into the competition) saw me facing Late Romans (Principate in new money)
The game featured comedy terrain, with two circular woods right in the middle of the table, between which I put a road. We both deployed on the same half of the board.
Having worked out overnight that splitting my main strike troops was probably not a great idea, I had come up with a cunning plan. Bottle the likely auxilia up in the woods with my spearmen, and hit all the Romans in one go with all my cavalry in one big long line.
The bottling up bit was going well....
..and so was the "big long line" bit, as the Romans furiously flicked through their copies of Arrians Order of Battle Against The Alans and wondered what would happen !
With the benefit of a much simpler plan the battle progressed swiftly as I just piled forwards...
My Arab lancers had also - at last - found someone scared of them, in the shape of 4 Lh with bows
Pretty soon even the Roman delaying light troops were being squeezed out like the filling in a jam sandwich run over by a hippo in a Mini.
The Roman LH did not know what to do as the Arabs threatened to sack the camp, and even briefly considered a charge at the isolated auxilia
As Ant & Dec put it so pithily.... Lets Get Ready to Rumble!!
The advancing spears managed to flush out a few rubbish skirmishers hiding in the woods, who came forward to taunt the protected spearmen.
EVERYTHING charged in....there were more dice on the table than there are poppadoms at a Wargame clubs Christmas party (in fact so many we forgot the rear rank shooting dice...)
Nearly everything bounced off again - but the massive 8-strong average legion in the middle had gone disrupted - and my lancers had lost to the roman cavalry on the flank! Mounted break off unless more than half their opponents are non steady foot. This meant my 4-strong units bounced off the disrupted legion as they only had 1 base in contact with it, and 1 in contact with steady foot. Maybe I should have lined up square on to the legions?
EVERYTHING charged in again....(remembering the rear rank dice this time unfortunately..)
as this pattern carried on for some weeks, the arabs were quietly sacking the camp and chasing the mounted bowmen off table Evading off table is better than being caught - its only 1 attrition point, not 2. But I still wasn't prepared to try and take on the auxilia as my experience of LH vs y sort of decenttfoot had been universally bad
Eventually, something started to happen as the Average Roman legion proved to be The Weakest Link and said a brief Goodbye, before turning tail. Surely I could now exploit this gaping hole in the Roman line ....?
well, you would hope so, but it seemed that they turned so slowly and gave up pursuit so reluctantly that the battle would be over before they could rejoin the fray...
Even the knights, after breaking another unit, only pursued into relative danger rather than swinging into the flank they had just created!
In the standoff center, my spearmen, sick of getting a pasting from the irritating slingers had charged - and rolled long, ending up in the wood from which they could not extract themselves! This had drawn in the auxilia, and in turn my armoured spearmen had advanced into the gap in the woods to take them on in the open. What had started as a low interest area of the table was getting rather fun-packed, as some Armenian bowmen were inspired to go hunting Roman bowmen behind the line of scrimmage...
The last remnants of Superior legionaries were proving incredibly resilient, and despite having a huge hole in the Roman lines, the boys in Red were able to escape from my slow moving flanking force simply by advancing as my cavalry bounced off them frontally.. I wouldn't last for ever, but it might last to the end of the game...
Meanwhile the Crusaders started to be swarmed by shooters, forcing them to keep pursuing the broken legions At least this meant the Romans could not rally any of their legions as I always remained within 6 inches
In the middle the auxiliaries were unable to make their superior rough terrain skills count, as my superior numbers ground them down - and my bowmen were jubilant at winning a combat as their opponents failed to evade far enough.. LF chasing each other in a wood is a bit scary - the possible +2/-2 on evade moves is a lot when compared to the actual move distance!
, with the clock counting down, the Romans initiated a charge to try and crush my battered lancers who were yet again losing to the incredible javelin armed Roman cavalry. This allowed my other unit to make an intercept charge into the rear of the hapless legion! Intercept charges are magic as they can allow you to move in every turn instead of only in your own turn, breaking the cycle of alternate movement that allows troops to walk away from each other. A rear charge is devastating against a mixed formation like the Romans, as my cavalry fight LF bases as well
The charge crashed home into the rear of the beleaguered legion ...
Battered on both sides, this was the last straw for the unit, and indeed the army.... a complete victory for the Armenians!!
Post Match Analysis
This time I had actually concentrated my forces - although the Romans had done likewise - and repeated charges into a line of troops I was slightly better than had finally broken through the weakest section. Yet again it had seemed to take ages to exploit this advantage and ultimately it was the actions of my light bowmen and light horse in chasing and catching a couple of other light units that had managed to secure victory as otherwise I would have been able to beat all 5 legionary units without coming close to taking half the army.
Buy your own Romans on ebay
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