Game 2 – Macedonian Early Successor – Warren & Dave
So, after our overwhelming success in the morning a looming prospect of tournament tiger. Each to his own and all that stuff, and it maybe it seemed far more appropriate when playing DBM (maybe when I was younger I noticed it less…. perhaps I was part of the problem). But I thought I heard quite a few ‘umpire’ calls on Saturday morning, and had one of the umpires bending my ear at lunch time on the nature of those calls. Anyway, 3 cardinal rules to remember when playing wargames
- Meant to be fun
- No cash prizes for winning
- Winning at wargames does not increase your chance of getting laid.
Luckily we had fun game next too!
The draw was up and we were to play Warren and Daveand their Early Successor. An unexpected draw, and a more hopeful one. Depending on the flavour this army could be quite variable. After chatting with them they seemed to be reasonably new to the game, I think they had only played a couple of games together. They has played another Successor army in the first round and had won that shove of Pike. I know that this list can have a lot of Superior pike, and if it did, would be small, its mounted wing would be its weak arm. I think at most it can have 12 bases of Companions , and a handful of light horse. They could have a lot of superior Galatians also which could be nasty. I like the armies that keep you guessing! (why is it that I always pick the ones with about 4 lines then! J)
Their PBU was +1, doesn’t really tell me much other than no IC! (and probably no FC, as most armies can muster 12 bases of horse). Anyway we lost the roll , and our opponent picked agricultural – no great surprise there. So a rather generic sort of battlefield was formed. The only terrain of note was a patch of rough going on our immediate left big field butted to our baseline on the right. and that was about it.
The Early Successor army was
2 big blocks of 12 pike
2 blocks of 8 pike (1 of which was superior)
1 BG of Thureophoroi
1 BG of Thracians (thrusting spear type)
3 Units of Lancers
2 LH horse BGs
Handful of LF Bgs.
13/14 Battle groups in all. It was reasonable narrow, and the table was quite open. We could have gone wide and nibbled on the flanks and hide our lesser foot, or we could be manly, and try match them frontally. Which surprisingly is not as bad as you think. The pike have 2 POAs and we will get spear and armour ,so, net 0 POA. But most of our fighting troops would be superior. I was hoping that the Myrmidons would cause them concern also… it would just be a fun game too fighting as, ‘Barker intended’ in lines
Skirmishing on both sides was desultory, and there were three distinct areas of battle
On the left we had 1 BG of protected Spear, 2 BGs dismounted Charioteer (all the Chariots dismounted). Facing that was the Thracians and Thureophoroi
In the centre the Macedonians has 8 Pike, 12 pike,12 pike , 8 pike (superior), matching that we have 2 dismounted Chariots , Myrmidons ,1 Armoured spear and 1 of Nestor’s HF spear blocks.
On the right the 3 lancer units facing Nestor’s other unit, 1 Armoured Spear and 1 protected Spear. There were some LH and LF shooters floating around.
The Game itself was pretty straight forward.
On the left both lines closed unwilling to give up there skirmisher screen being shock foot. Again our opponents bottled it and retired their LF to the rear thus avoiding any awkward psiloi sandwich. Again with this advantage the Macedonian had to test not to charge. The Thracians duly obliged by failing (Undrilled 8s) and the Thureophoroi passed (Drilled 7s). The Thracian lost , and started to lose bases (thus losing their Spear POA), being against an armoured opponent meant they would be doubly down in places.
In an unexpected event one of the pike taxis , on our left, peeled off and headed to reinforce the their right flank. This caused a little concern as it meant that one of our protected average spear units would get caught in the open. As it ended up one dismounted Chariot unit managed to block their way, however it lost the impact and dropped. Looking shaky.
In the centre. One of pike Taxi had also failed its test to charge, as we had some cheeky LF tempting them in. They crashed into some dismounted charioteers. And armoured spear again we had some units drop. However, as the next pike block crashed into it to support that brought the Myrmidons into play. They did the business and dropped the phalanx and stripped away a 4th rank base , where the overlap was. Being armoured and the sword now counting against disrupted pike, and 1 file losing its 4th rank bonus actually meant that we’d be on a + POA on the end. With 4 dice on that end with Achilles in tow needed 4’s (re-rolling 1s and 2s) that was soon going to start to hurt.
Then we had a stellar turn. The pike block that had wheeled away had whittled its opposing dismounted Chariots down to 2 bases, one away from breaking and fragmented. Again we lost the fight but Jon threw a full house of 6s , thus not losing the base and not breaking from morale. Holding on with grim determination. At the same time , the Myrmidons broke the phalanx opposite them. Because the pike had wheeled it has exposed the flank (and we had bases behind) The pikes routed and the overlap base caught the pike flank in the pursuit. They dropped by being contacted , then lost the flank impact big style (to be expected)… it was a horrible test. They had lost (1p3), lost by more than 2, lost to impact foot and already disrupted. 4 off the dice, needing 11 to stand… they threw 6 ….. 4 off , and broken. Saving our wavering spearmen… true stuff of legends – or lucky dice rolls J
Nestor’s spearmen , on the right of centre were holding on against the silver shields. They only had 4 dice, and although a POA up could never make the hits count. The Greek speaks always had more men fighting with to start 1 overlaps and then 2. Even a lowly LF back from the 3rd rank helped to contribute a dice. We were getting ground down, but slowly.
On the right flank (I don’t seem to have any pictures of the initial disposition), there Macedonians lined up duly. Our line was slightly longer. 1 Units of companions lined up against Nestor’s spear. The other two opposite the medium foot spear, which is not ideal but would be OK, if our nerve held. The Cavalry charges in rather than wait to fail their test and charge in penny packets. Luckily the spear dice were good. Against the mediums the impact was level. The lancer’s lance doesn’t count against steady spear, but we are mediums in the open, and our spear draws it level. Fortunately our dice were good, and we won both of the fights. Warren’s dice obliged by either dropping a level, or more importantly losing a base. All three lancer units had suffered in the initial combat. With the Spearmen staying steady the Lancer broke off at the end of the turn (JAP), however, the spears pushed on to keep the Companions under pressure. There would be no getting away. Over the next few bounds the lancers tried again and again, but they kept losing bases and a couple bounds later the central units broke. It friends on either side were looking shaky. It was only a matter of time before the remainders broke. The last nail was 2 spearmen units charging a Lancer BG of 2 base, we’d be on – - POA in the impact, but we just needed 1 casualty to break it. It wobbled a little – but 8/6 dice vs 2 dice paid off in the melee and the Lancers broke.
After the Lancers were broken, you can just see 1 remaining units on the left
A quick tot up of the attrition points gave the Achaeans a 20-5 win – hooray!
That was a bloody game, fighting all down the line. I think we rode our luck and the fight in the centre could have easily gone the other way. The companions could have equally bowled over the spearmen in front of them.
Another great game, fought in a great spirit.