Classical Ancients in Central London 2015
Carthaginian vs Alexandrian Macedonian
With Game 2 interrupted by a "dice down" break for a curry lunch, the third game hove into view around 3pm. With this, 2 of the Ancient world's greatest strategists meat on the tabletop - Alexander and Hannibal. What would be the outcome…?
The lists for the Carthaginian and Alexandrian Macedonian 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.
Alexander had set up in classic formation - a solid core of pikemen, including the Argyaspid Silver Shields, with elephants and Companions on one wing and a string of skirmishers on the other. The Carthaginians were deployed much the same as in previous games, spears in the centre, cavalry on one side and loose formation foot on the other.
The key matchup looked set to be Hannibal against Alexander, with the better quality Macedonian Companions in theory holding a slight edge in both competence and numbers over Hannibal's Punic cavalry.
The Gauls and Spaniards appeared to have little opposition in front of them as they marched forwards - the Macedonians were no doubt planning a delaying action on this wing to protect the vulnerable flanks of the pikemen.
And as well as delaying, they also fancied a sneaky trip round the edge of the 120cm wide table, making the long trek towards the Carthaginian baggage camp.
ADLG hint - you can march several times as long as you stay outside 4MU. Mounted can march 3 times, infantry 2.
Alexanders Companions were keen to get engaged with the Punic horse, but not so happy about the close proximity of a Carthaginian elephant, and really not keen at all on the end of the spear line. But, before the two sets of horse clashed their LH would already be getting to grips with one another, as the Numidians exchanged javelins and arrows with the Skythian LH of Alexander.
The Gauls and Spanish had been forced to split up on the left flank in order to detach some infantry to try and slow down the wide outflanking move of the enemy LH - or at least force them to spend some pips getting away. Still though they were already rapidly approaching the enemy infantry on the right flank of the pikemen, who decided to echelon back a little in order to protect the flank of the main pike formation
Like maturing student radicals gradually acquiring well paid media jobs, mortgages, a set of twins and a mind-range BMW as they grew older, the Carthaginian spearmen had drifted somewhat to the right in their advance across the table, and were now facing off against the Greek's (or Macedonians, or possibly both) elephants rather than the Pikemen.
ADLG hint - any move straight forwards of at least 1 MU that doesn't start in a ZOC can include a slide of up to a base width. This stops your units getting gummed up by arbitrary game-level effects where units block each other, and makes it easier to get into combat whilst not quite going as far as the totally unrestricted "single element move" of a DBx or Warmaster-style ruleset
The Gauls - being impetuous - were the first to get into combat. Admittedly, fighting against pikemen was probably not their ideal choice of opponent, but when it suddenly costs 3 pips not to charge your frontal opponent beggars - and Gallic warriors - can't be choosers.
Near Present Day IRAQ!!!
And the Gauls first round of charges proved truly fearsome as they used their "Furious Charge" ability to inflict double drops on pikemen, and to wipe out some of the Greek peltasts at first contact! Suddenly the odds were swinging in the favour of the Carthaginians on this flank!
ADLG hint -Troops with "impact" abilities have a +1 in the first round of combat against most opponents, and will also inflict an additional cohesion level loss if they win in the first round against some opponents too. Kinda like a fast-track version of the negative modifier in a FOG cohesion test for losing to lancers or Impact Foot.
The Companions also were engaged - a more mixed bag here, with some charging into the Carthaginian Punic cavalry, but others having to take on the elephants. The Numidians had long since bullied the Skythians backwards and were now almost at the point of pushing them off table - the advantages of a 80cm table depth in reducing messing about by LH!
ADLG hint - unlike DBx rulesets (but rather like FoG) elements need to be unengaged to their front as well as in side contact with the enemy in order to count as an overlap in combat.
Hannibals men had succeeded in standing firm against the Companions charge, and now the combat was a simple case of mounted swordplay as the two lines of horsemen exchanged blows at close quarters seeking to gain an advantage - and the upper hand was being won by the Punic cavalry, as green 1-step-loss markers appeared on the Companions.
The Punic spearmen really didn't fancy fighting the pikemen at all, and had continued their slow drift right and into the Makedonian elephants. This had left a rather folorn no-hope 2-unit formation of impetuous Celtiberians to sacrifice themselves against the pikemen, really only serving to delay the fearsome porcupine of pokey sticks whilst the rest of the army did the business elsewhere. And so far the plan of sacrificing them was going well, with a red 3-losses marker already on table behind one of the units !
The Punic horse had taken all the Companions could throw at them, and with only one loss marker , and with Hannibal there to recover any losses they had outperformed Alexanders best by a clear margin… which became even clearer as the victorious Carthaginian elephant, fresh from destroying its opponents, swing round and charged into the flank of the hapless sarissa-waving Macedonians. Surely this now was curtains for the Macedonian left wing?
The African spearmen were similarly now poking their way through the 2 Alexandrian elephants, and getting suspiciously close to the flank of the main pike block as they did so. The Celtiberians selfless sacrifice had not been in vain, trading 2 units to effectively occupy the most potent forces in Alexander's army as the rest of the Carthaginians stove in both its flanks.
The Numidians delivered the coup-de-grace in a uniquely North African style foretaste of their future as a colonial French territory by chasing the Skythians off table. Alexander slipped to defeat, and Hannibal marched onwards to victory!
The Result is a Knockout for Hannibal!
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Read on for post match summaries from the Generals involved, as well as another episode of legendary expert analysis from Hannibal
Post Match Summary from the Carthaginian Commander
What genius springs forth from my very hand, as with dice and measuring tools I have unstitched the tapestry of victory that the Persian-loving soft-handed Irishman that is Hannibal had hoped to unleash on the bedspread of my own great North African, Italian (temporarily) and Iberian domain!
Swiftness of foot, swiftness of sword, and an aggressive approach to clear strategic thinking around where to fight and where not to do so has given me a great victory and at a stroke answered for one and all the greatest military question of the ages, whether me or that Alex charlatan are the greatest captains of all history.
Despite the small scale of the table, the elements which took place here were all perfectly formed - envelopment, delaying tactics, skirmishing mounted wings, stoic resistance with the personal intervention of the commanders to hold up morale in key parts of the line… and all within a game package of under 2 hours.
What more can one ask, other than perhaps for one's home city not to be destroyed by the forces of Rome, razed to the ground, it's citizenry put to the sword or sold into slavery and the very earth on which they lives salted for all eternity eh?
Hannibal's Post Match Analysis
Batten down the hatches! Here blows a bow-hard blowhole of a general, claiming victory in a mere bagatelle of a game when o'er the course of the journey his ship has already been comprehensively wrecked in previous games, and his hopes of a campaign level victory or a trophy have long since walked the plank and been sent to Davy Jones locker !
Here you scurvy landlubber you took great chances with using your best cavalry as mere sharkbait, and how they managed to stand up to the far better Companions is surely only down to the Greek having done something in a former life to offend the spirit of the Jolly Roger, as the tactical ineptitude of such a matchup on your side was clear to see.
I am sure that, with one win under your belt, this must go down in history as a day in which your army of old sea dogs on balance only just escaped the ignominy of being the feed for the fishes, and on a better day you would have been more chum than champions.
However, another good runout for these timber-shiveringly-fun rules, in which many more players have been hog-tied to join the merry ADLG crew. I look forward to seeing you embarrassed in other places and in other eras from now on… next game
That's the end - so why not go back to the Match Reports Index and read some more reports?