Ancients (Roman Period) at Roll Call 2016
Mithraditic vs Patrician Roman
Game 3 and it's onto a classic - the Patrician Roman army. This one is not a Reigate Standard, with columns of knights and concertina'ing files of Superior Auxilia, but it is a slippery customer and full of mounted troops
The lists for the Mithraditic and Patrician Roman from this game, as well as all the other lists from the games at Roll_Call can be seen here in the L'Art de la Guerre Wiki.
The table was pretty bald, with plenty of open space and a bit of standard-issue ADLG baby-bel mini fromage in the shape of a road running along the enemy baseline. This isn't cheesy enough to block terrain as it goes down last, but it is a way to use up a terrain choice with no way of it creating a bad patch of table, and in theory allows troops to redeploy left-right far more quickly. Logically my rough terrain troops went in the rough terrain, the infantry centre went in the middle and my sub-par mounted command was in the big open gap on the left
The Romans did have some auxiia, in an interesting command with intermingled infantry and bowmen who advanced confidently towards the Pontic terrain troops.
L'Art de la Guerre hint - Bowmen are rubbish in combat, but this formation allows them to try and do some damage to the future opponents of the Auxilia before the Auxilia go in. It also makes the formation a lot better against mounted - especially LH - and will give enely LF serious pause for thought too
In the vast open plan that was the rest of the table clouds of Roman shooty horse swept forward to pin the pikemen to their deployment zone whilst cataphracts zeroed in on Mithradates horsemen. Trying to stretch my centre the Pikemen spread out from the Gaeasati and pushed forward cautiously
The Pontic left wing was in trouble against the Roman horse, and rather than wait in a solid line to be hit by better troops they had split up to try and use their LH to create overlaps. The Romans didn't really care - they piled in anyway.
The Roman Sword
On the right the Auxilia and bow formation crept forward inflicting damage on the waiting Thracians and Theurophoroi as they advanced. The Mithradatic forces had inched apart too, leaving a gap for the Scythed Chariot which was lurking in reserve waiting for a target to be unleashed against.
The Romans launched their Auxilia at the waiting Pontic forces, sidestepping past their bowmen and hitting home against a line of infantry who had already taken damage from the intense bowfire, and immediately smashed a couple of holes in the Mithraditic line as the Impact capability of the Roman auxilia was made to count
The cavalry battle was now a swirling melee of horsemen and generals fighting hand to hand at the closest possible quarters.
But the greater numbers and better quality of the Romans eventually started to tell, as the Mithradatic tactic of choosing several LH with javelins to pad out the command yet again came unstuck against the rather less clever tactic of just having some cavalry to match them off
The Roman auxilia were still going strong, but now the Scythed Chariot was wheeling ominously forwards, revving it's engines for a charge against the auxilia
The Pontic centre was struggling with the challenges of holding off innumerable bow-armed shooty cavalry, and as the command stretched thinner and thinner gaps inevitably started to appear - and the Romans dealt with them mercilessly, concentrating their fire on exposed units to cause markers to spring up time and time again
On the left the Roman horse had finally beaten the last of the Mithradatic cavalry and descended like wolves on the Scythians and Greek light horse who now made up the very thin left flank of the Mithraditic army
The Pontic and Thracian peltasts were slowly fighting back against the Roman auxilia, shoreing up their morale and holding firm where they could, and on the far flank the weakest unit in the Mithraditic flank force - the javelinmen - were holding their own against the Romans, although this did need the help of the Scythed Chariots!
But the battle was being decided in the middle and on the left - the Roman mounted had pulled the Pontic centre apart like pulled pork on a Texas BBQ, and having also run down the entire left wing of the Mithraditic army and swung their cataphracts into the Greek flank, the game ended with a crushing defeat for the Mithradatic forces
The Result is a 23-87 Defeat!
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 Mithraditic Commander
This was a rather traumatic experience. For the first time this weekend my forces found themselves up against an opponent who had turned the concept of two lines of identical troops lurching forward and hacking at each other mindlessly on its' head.
Instead they had an army designed from first principles to fight in a way which I had literally no experience of (apart from maybe in one of the games at Usk, when my descendent was fighting with a very different toolkit to the one I had today)
I suppose on the positive it does prove that a range of armies are viable in this ruleset, and that a well handled force lacking the slogging power of the pikes that made up the core of my army can pull them apart and secure a win. I also need to learn that my rough terrain force is unable to stand up to Roman Auxilia, especially when I fail to use the Scythed Chariot in any sort of meaningful way.
There are few positives to draw from this game other than guidance for the future. So onwards we go.
Hannibal's Post Match Analysis
This may yet be the afternoon game, yet I wonder are you still snoring? Is your slack head almost snapped on its stalk, with your face unzipped by the yawns earned in this morning's debaucheries? You haven't got the brains of a sleeping two-year-old rocked in the rook of his father's arm, and here you sleepwalked into this defeat like a willing zombie, devoid of the wit or intelligence to change your plan in the face of an enemy who were totally unwilling to play your obvious and blatant game.
Against an enemy high in mobility, the answer is never to string your forces out across the table, it is instead to hunker up, cling close to the safety of terrain and inch forwards protecting your men from a hail of arrows by the ability of your Generals to rally your men. This was none of those things, apart from a manifest example of how not to succeed.
Do you have any goals in life? Is there any point to your life? If so, I fail to see evidence of it in this shameful episode of failure and despair! I doubt things will improve in the next game either.
Click here for the report of the next game in this competition
Learn more about L'Art de la Guerre on my ADLG Page.