Warmaster Ancients, Devizes 2009
A frenzy of fast moving 10mm wargaming occurred in the small sleepy town of Devizes. As reigning European Champion at FoG and current No1 in the rankings at Warmaster Ancients (as a result of winning the only competition I'd entered some 2 years ago here also at Devizes) I was riding high and hoping to extend my total dominance over all things wargamey.
Believing Carthaginian elephants to be totally under priced, shock cavalry to be the new Roc and Roll and cheap massed warband to be the ideal filler, I again took my Carthaginian army unchanged from last time around.
The trip started with an early start on Saturday as I drove down from London.
My opponents army was a long way away. It had 8 warband infantry, 4 units of bowmen, 5 lots of "good" 2-attack LH, 1 Shock cavalryman 1 LF skirmish uint
I maneuvered gently with the good quality light horse screening my left flank, and the elephants and shock cavalry moving up the middle and Numidians on my right
Opposite me the enemy nameless force advanced slowly
Their good quality LH had formed a "Dairylea" formation - and set up with a string of cheesy triangles. My Numidians looked on in confusion and horror as this effectively made the enemy cavalry invulnerable - even a bold charge would see my Numidians down by many hit dice in combat - my skirmish screen was rendered entirely useless.
The dastardly enemy also then shot the hapless Numidians backwards, even as a unity of Carthaginian skirmishers tried to redress the shooting balance.
In the middle, some Carthaginian light horse decided to try and sweep away the skirmish screen before the enemy foot
But despite going in with 9 dice against 3 (oh, plus 3 shooting) the Carthaginians were repulsed!
The enemy outflankers had by now gotten amongst the Numidians and were ripping them to pieces with 9 attack dice to 3 (oh, plus 3 shooting)!
In moments the game was up for the Numidians
but with little to stop them the Carthaginians were able to maneuver their strike force towards the enemy lines. Loads of bowmen responded by maneuvering swiftly and again forming Dairlyea Triangles to enhance their combat power.
The Carthaginian cavalry were first to strike. But they were not that great in combat !
And having killed off half the enemy units they fell back.
As the Carthaginians fell back, the hairy opponents initiated a well timed sequence of charges that allowed them to catch the rather puzzled Carthaginians in their flank despite not starting in their flank zone. Despite this being A Bad Thing, the lucky Carthaginians survived..
..and then charged home yet again to strip even more units out of the enemy host
By now the isolated Carthaginian cavalry were hoping that more troops would come up and help them but the movement dice were not kind and the elephants in particular were lagging behind. Dairlylea triangles of enemy cavalry and infantry bowmen were moving in on all sides and were almost unassaultable to the confused Greek and Carthaginian spearmen
Soon the beleaguered spearmen found themselves victims of yet more "I can hit you in the flank despite not starting in a position to attack you there" charges - this time from the good quality enemy light horse who were just as good when charging as the Greek Spearmen !
Elsewhere, the Celtic warband were trying to get into combat slowly - but were harassed by enemy light horse at all times.
Eventually the Elephants made their charge - supporting the spearmen's efforts to try and beat off the incredibly good light horse. With a total destruction of their opponents they could potentially exploit their attack and roll up large parts of the enemy army in one charge?
But it didn't quite work, and the game ended with the Carthaginians in some disarray as their strike troops had been blunted and their reserves and padding had failed to get into teh game in a meaningful way. A narrow defeat I think
Hannibal's Post Match Analysis
I know they are Carthaginians, but I have a policy of only commenting on one ruleset each year.
However I must say that the Dairlylea thing looks utterly ridiculous - and if you think that it renders the enemy extremely hard to defeat, that;s real cheese.
Lets see how the next game goes then ?