Burton and District Wargamers refought the the destruction of Varus’ legions yesterday, here the link to the post
Swing by and take a look
Game 4 – Ghaznavid – John and Malcolm
So, game 4 , Sunday afternoon. With 2 loses now we were right down the pack. When the draw was put up , and we had drawn Ghaznavid, I had mixed emotions. An army of Ghilmen and Turkomen wouldn’t be much fun. But my thinking was if that’s the army they wanted why pick Ghaznavid when there are probably better armies out there for that style of play. The main difference I could see was the amount of elephants available. I wasn’t disappointed. There were 8 beasts in total
The list (~)was
- 3 BG of elephants
- 3 BG of Ghilmen (arm/sup/bow/sw)
- 4 BG of Turcomen (sup/bow/sw)
- 1 BG of Ghazis (prot/sup/if/sw)
- 1 BG of Dailami (arm/sup/if/sw)
- 1 BG of LF with a firearm
The terrain was mixed. On our left flank was a couple of contiguous field giving a 8” corridor of RGo against the short table edge. In the centre was a large open field. My suspicions were raised when they had won the PBI but picked agricultural and have a big open field as their compulsory. Not the move of a cavalry commander. ON the right were more fields, but nothing that bore and impact on the game
Our plan was to deploy neutrally. Spear up front , Knights on reserve. Our trump card of deploying our 16 bases of Crossbowmen opposite the open field as our last move was somewhat trumped by the placement of a further 2 BG of Elephants and Dailami opposing them (the field would not pose a problem for the elephants and the impact foot would surely sweep us away).
The Ghaznavids had deployed (from left to right) the ghazis to go through the enclosed field. A string of Ghilmen covering the gap in-between. Elephants deployed somewhat in reserve, to exploit any gaps. Then 2 more elephants and Dailami and then a cloud of Turkomen to cover the open right flank.
The game started slowely. At least having the first move allowed us to deploy the Crossbowmen who were in a vulnerable spot. One BG turned and marched left, the other right. The gap between replaced by 2 BG of spear, who were deployed to the rear. This somewhat limited our strategic advance , as the spear couldn’t really enter the field, but would act as a barrier on the far side. To be honest the Dailami might fancy their chances anyway.
In response the Ghaznavids made a general advance. The Ghazis entered the enclosed field. We had placed the 2 BG of LF(4) bow there and really that was their game. They advanced we shot and evaded. But were enough of a nuisance for the ghazis not to ignore us , and therefore they played little part in the game.
The Ghilmen advanced and started shooting the spears. But the spears are pretty robust to shooting and not much happened. The Dailami & Elephants advanced into the open field, and on far right the Turkomen rushed forward , we had 2 BG of Knights and now 1 BG of Crossbowmen to hold them all off (not great). However, fortune favoured them , and 8 bases of Crossbow can shoot with as many dice as 12 bases of Lh when they dice to close to short range to try and win the shooting war. All of the Ghaznavid generals were marshalling elephants elsewhere and a couple of bad dice throws and the LH became disrupted, and then fragmented, as they pulled bad to get away some more targeted long range shooting broke one units and the Knights provided sterling support (not failing any impetuous charge tests). With that the Turks fell back and it was the Crusaders who would have the opportunity to envelop.
But the main event was in the centre. We had 2 blocks (of 2 BGs) of spear one in advance on the left. The other was limited by the field in front of it. It had fallen into a bit of a sticky situation. It was being shot at by the Ghilmen (superior), and now the fire syphoniers (cheeky). Our advance was limited as there were other troops , including the elephants, threatening the flanks. So we were being peppered with a lot of arrows and now taking a minus on the test (being shot at by firearms), we had to do something.
To the left of the , while the Ghazis pushed on to their road to nowhere, gaps where appearing and the Elephants were trying to wheedle their way through. We has some KN in reserve (no ideal), but we tried to intercept with some spearmen. Then we had a breakthrough. One BG of Elephants did start of get through the gap, so we did have to commit some Knight. But the elephants were isolated, with a general. Our Knights did have a general and with the elephants angle of approach meant that the initial impact would be small , only 1 base,(thus avoiding too much of 3 dice per elephant at impact). We held in the impact. Then we swung around and started to overlap. The elephant then could only ever get 4 dice (at a +POA), and the Knight (even disordered had 4 dice , then finally 6 as both flanks were overlapped), while at a minus POA re-rolling 1&2s meant that the fight was pretty even. At the same time the left most spear BG charges some Ghilmen, just to get them away, but in the charge threw a 6” , not catching the cavalry but allowing a little wheel an contact the other BG of elephants at the furthest distance. Again only a small contact reduced the Elephant impact effect and even though we disrupted in the impact, we held and then the numbers would tell. We had 8 bases and with the overlaps we could muster 6 dice (and then 8 when bolstered). While both sides were average, and level on POA , we were throwing more dice.
The Elephants proved to be the proverbial glass hammer, and within a couple of turns both had lost a base, and broke. This crashed them through a supporting BG of enemy MF who were acting as rear support and allowed the Crusader spearmen to convert the pursuit of elephants into charge into the disrupted auxiliary foot (who held briefly then broke). So on the far left we had troop swinging around. With both flanks collapsing the Ghazanvids pressed the centre. The cavalry got close and allowed the spear to charge, they evaded and fled around an elephant to its flanks, but the spear crashed into an elephant. This combat was swift and the elephant broke. The Crusaders pursuing toward the camp. By virtue of alignment and line ups as part of this combat the spears were behind the enemy lines and had cavalry to front rear and flank, so my hopes for them wasn’t high. Over the open field on the centre with the break of some of the supporting units crossbowmen advance, their target the last remaining BG of Elephants. The Elephants , given their compatriots less than stellar performance , thought better of it and tried to retire. This was leaving the Dailami somewhat isolated in the field ( we still tried to give then a wide berth as they are as tough as nails in the rough going)
The Ghaznavid army was rocking, it has lost about 8-10 points of its 14-15. Most of the elephants were gone, LH had retired to the four corners of the board trying to bolster. As a final last ditch attempt some Ghilmen stood to be charged by some spearmen , to allow the last elephants to charge them from the rear. Even though we lost the fight the doughty spearmen did not break (hurrah)
At that point the Ghaznavid losses elsewhere , accumulated to a point where they broke. Leaving the Crusaders with a final 24-1 win. This was an interesting game. Our opponents were definitely committed to win, I suppose picking 8 elephants makes that decision for you. A great battle to end the weekend off with.
The final win shot us up the board and we ended up with a respectable 8th place.
Not bad for an army that had never won previously. As a final post mortem, I think in the past my army composition had been a bit basic. You want big BG of foot, you want the Military Order knights (why else Crusader?) , but this always lead to small BG army count. Actually picking the Armenian ally was a breakthrough. In the past I had disregarded it as ‘nothing good’, and only ever really contemplated Bedouin allies to up the BG count, and give a bit of skirmishing potential. But the boost that the Armenians gave was access to the 4 bases BG of LF bow and MF JLS. Having 4 of these boosted the army size of 12-13 to a respectable 15. The Medium foot (with the change in v2 rules) meant they could support 2 BG of 8 Crusader foot (with resorting to silly columns). The general with his entourage of Armenian Knights was a hammer , so all of the allied troops had a role to play. Good choice, and I might use the Crusaders more often now!
We had 4 great games, against 4 great opponents, who have reinvigorate me to do more FoG ancients! Thanks to all whom we played 🙂
Game 3 – Later Crusader vs Later Crusader, Graeme and Rob
Mid table now sees us draw another Crusader army. Their army was similar to ours (no surprise), differing only by having no Military order knights and a Syrian Ally rather than an Armenian one. The Syrians bought some light horse and Cavalry lancers and some light foot.
The enemy Crusader army was
- 3 BG of Knights
- 4 BG of Spear
- 1 BG of Crossbowmen
- 1 Syrian lancer
- 2-3 BG of horse archers
- 1-2 BG of light foot bow
The terrain was minimal and played little part in the game. We had a single wood on our right flank (upon which we anchored), there was a piece of uneven ground on our far left that made a little contribution. We had won the PBI roll off and got to deploy last. Which was of little importance as troops lined up and looked to be matched off… an advantage we did have was to deploy all of our crossbowmen on the open left flank, this was opposed by the Syrian ally, so was good for us, we should win that shooting war. Our right flank was spears up against the wood (with our light foot deployed within)
Both armies trundle forward. The Syrians did advance which was somewhat surprising, I was anticipating a mass redeployment when faced by so many shooters. I guess they didn’t want a hanging flank, and there weren’t many gaps for them to fill anyway.
In this first phase the shooting went in our favour. The Crossbowmen advanced ( Skirmishers can only prevent march moves with 4” in these new rules) shifting to allow Knights to pass through the ranks. The Syrian cavalry was in a quandary it could face off our Knights, who would be slightly better, or retreat for a better opportunity. The problem with allied troops is that you only get one general, and with some light horse getting peppered with crossbow bolts his influence was being stretched. The Syrian cavalry sought the table edge to avoid being overlapped on both sides, and thus faced the Crusading Knights rather than trying to a juicier charge on the crossbowmen.
This charge duly occurred and is it when bad for the Arab cavalry. The ‘knightly’ lance giving the Crusaders a POA. The Syrian soon lost a base and disrupted. The horse archers were wavering , with the Syrian general committed to the heavy cavalry fight he could no longer influence the other units in line of command. The Syrian lancers soon broke and that freed up that whole flank. The crossbowmen could start to wheel inwards and we had rampant Knights sweeping down round the left flank. All good so far…
On the right there was a big of a standoff. We had 2 units of spear faced by 1 unit of spear and the crossbowmen , with both sides having some Knights in reserve. The opposing crusader were bringing more foot up to support the fight so it would be in our advantage to press on. We did have a better defence as we had 2 Bgs of LF in the wood which could pop out unopposed and shoot the mounted in reserve. The thought of the crossbowmen facing armoured spear was too much though and we got in a charge. The crossbowmen crumbled and dropped to fragmented. At the same time the 2 Bgs of knights classed, and we go the better of them. They lost a base and disrupted. That phase couldn’t have gone any better … and then it all went wrong.
The fragmented crossbowmen who were then down to 3-4 dice needing 5’s beat our armoured spear (6 dice needing 4’s), not once but three times on the trot. Each time we lost a base as a result on the penultimate bound we did win against the fragmented troops (who with no general nearby couldn’t rally for the previous 2 rounds) but they threw 11 on the dice just enough to save them. Ignominiously the next turn they beat us again and we lost the 4th base (to auto break our 8 man spear unit).
While this was going on the Knights next to them had a change in fortune too. After being 8 dice vs 4 dice up, they lost that fight (both sides needing 4’s re-rolling 1&2s ) .. to cap it off our general was killed, and our knights dropped to disrupted. To add insult to injury the enemy crusaders rallied. But the jig was up… Our knights broke, next to the routing spears. The pursing knights bounded into camp. We were haemorrhaging points on this flank now.
One our winning left flank , the Syrian thought better of it and started beating a retreat across the back of the table. Our crossbowmen were in pursuit, but would have no chance to catch. The flank was open a revealing some enemy knights. Who rather than being shot, advanced to be intercepted by a BG of our spear. The knights options were limited and ended up charging the steady armoured spear, not normally recommended. However, fortune was on their side and they beat the spear who duly dropped to disrupted. 2 more turns later and the spear were broken. In the centre some more spearmen fought (against other spearmen), but it was for naught. We did some success and broke some spear and knights, but our attrition points were too high and our army broke.
Certainly in this game the luck we had in the first game was cancelled out! We accrued 7 points in that game, which wasn’t too bad considering such a terrible set of events.
Game 2 Bob and Peter – Hungarian.
After our perfect start things would get more difficult. The draw proved this. This is one of those armies that we couldn’t catch, and really they would have to throw the game away for us to get anything out of it.
The Hungarian army composed of
The Hungarians has +4 PBI and won the roll off (no surprise), but gave the initiative away. This allowed us to pick Hilly and clutter the table for difficult going. With no open spaces they too were forced to add a couple bits of lesser going. On our left flank it was cluttered with a forest followed by a marsh, adjoining to the base table edge was a bit of uneven ground. There was about a 1’ of space to the left of that (which we weren’t going to touch). With this barrier running parallel to the side edge we had narrowed the table to about 4.5’ , which we could cover. The deployment followed the plan. Fronted by the spears and with the KN in reserve. We had a couple of KN deployed on the far right to fill the table to the edge. Our plan was simple, we’d have to wait this out a and see what developed. There was no point in trying to try the table push. It never works, and you end with a lot of hard work with a few BGs fleeing off the back edge.
The Hungarians had a wing of light horse and light foot in the open space to the left, with the foot going through the difficult. In response we’d got 1 BG of crossbowmen and some Knights in reserve. The spears were close to the wood , but I wasn’t too bothered about the shooting. Hitting on 5’s on a unit of 8, with general and rear support. We should be able to take this all day.
In the centre was the Hungarian heavy horse archers and some more light shooters. Not so much to bother though. If we could prevent the ‘ganging up’ on the ends we should be ok. On the right they had deployed 1 BG of KN and 1 BG of lancers and some light horse. Our flank looked a bit hanging. But we had 2 BGs of Knights to fill that gap. If we could lure them into coming around, there was at least something we could fight.
The game began with the Hungarians trying for a double envelopment. As we weren’t going far that suited us. Getting the terrain was far more important that getting 1st go to us.
Our left would be bit fraught. We had 8 based of crossbowmen to fend of 12 bases of light horse. The uneven ground meant that at least if they fancied a charge we wouldn’t be in the open. It was tight, but not terrible.
In the centre it would be a none event, cavalry closed and there was shooting across the front. While there wasn’t a lot we could do about it, it should’t hurt us as they were diluting their firepower across a lot of targets.
On the right the Hungarians lancers fancied their chances and marched around that way. Our knights in response meandered that way (looking busy), we didn’t want it to look obvious as we did have a advantage there.
For the large part of the game all the shooting was desultory . From the left the crossbowmen held on valiantly. The spears weren’t bothered. On the right flanks things were more interesting. The Hungarian lancers had got too close. The Crusader knights had come across and were now facing them off. Realising that their cavalry lancers would be disadvantaged they tried to get away. Buy a few poor dice throws and some crossbowmen acting a bait kept them close. The first combats was a knightly charge. Both side being superior lancer knights (with a general in tow). It would be even factors. In the first impact we knocked a based from them, so it was all looking up. However, that battle group then lead a charmed existence from that point on. Our other knights caught the Hungarian cavalry lancers and swept them aside (hurrah some points). With the other combat going in our favour things started looking up. It might mean we’d had 2 BG of knights and some crossbowmen running free on the one flank. However, fate had other ideas. The next turn the 3 bases of Hungarian knights killed the crusader sub general. They also disrupted and knocked a base off our battle group. So in one fell swoop we had gone from 8 dice re-rolling 1 & 2 s to 4 dice re-rolling 1s (vs 6 dice , re-rolling 1 & 2s) They then beat us again the next turn and then again in the following turn. Our units broke when it lost its penultimate base. This same unit turned 180 and then headed towards the other BG of knights and crossbow. As we had advanced , while they pursued the gap was large but as they had now moved light horse in front of us (which were uncatchable) we too did a 180 and turned toward the Hungarians. This 3 base units then beat our other BG of knights (who were untouched, 4 bases) ,and then the crossbowmen (8 bases) for no loss. So we has lost 6 attrition points. Now we were the ones with the hanging flank. Elsewhere things were looking bad, we had lost the camp to skulking light horse (no surprise). We had run out of things to fight.
The crossbowmen on the left were finally feeling the worse of the exchange with the more numerous light horse. They were resorting to charging the light horse to at least alleviate alternate bounds of shooting. But like hyenas the Hungarian light horse would flee, but come back and pepper us again. If we had 2 BGs of crossbowmen things would have been fine. It was just a little bit too much for one unit to take.
In the centre I made a rash move to try and catch 1 BG of light foot archers , by charging it with 2 of our light foot. We had more bases , but we lost the impact and one unit disrupted and lost a base. They soon broke, we were then outnumbered and time for the other archers was soon up.
We were teetering on the army break and were looking for some avenue to get some more points. There were none. In the centre, where out spear had advanced, the opposing knights and cavalry (who had been spectators all game), and tuned 90 and headed to the safety of the corner.
Finally the crossbowmen broke and it was the end for the Crusaders. While we has been unlucky on our right flanks, at best we would have had another BG. To counter this their shooting had been poor and we might have broken an hour earlier with better shooting dice.
Against the grit and air armies we don’t have much of a chance, and this had proven that point. The Hungarians who were at home going forward as well as back could pick and choose were they wanted the battle to be. We could only respond and get what we could. In the end it was a 1-24 against. A grim game, but given that ~20% of the fielded armies would be of this type, one that we might find ourselves facing again.
The 19th Burton and District competition started bright and breezy for us.
The Crusader army we picked was based on the following plan. With 32 bases of armoured defensive spear this was to act as a buttress while the Knights would deploy in reserve and either to the flank or centre (The military order being drilled could act as either fire brigade or exploitation force as required. The 2 blocks of Crossbowmen would deploy last where needed. So often these guys are in the wrong place. Not being the best troops in the world we thought that they needed some advantage. Also deploying 16 bases of shooters might shore up a hanging and certainly drive of any light mounted troops ahead of them. Here is the list –
Our opponents in the first game was the illustrious Hammy and Martin with their Fatamid Egyptians. The list was something along the lines of
- 3 BGs of 9 bases of protected defensive spear
- 2 BGs of Mamluks (Sup/Arm/Bow/Sw)
- 6 BGs of Arab/Syrian lancers ( various grades from Arm/Sup to Avg/Unprot)
- 2 BGs of LH with Bow/Sw
- And a couple of LF BGs with bow
So about 15 BGs
With a PBI of 0, we lost the roll off, but our opponents passed the initiative. This happening in 3 out of 4 games. I’m not sure why people think that was such as good idea. Against a sluggish army like the Crusaders they largely like to be pinned back. Really this avoids the gaps in the line opening up too early. If you can deploy sensibly (with a reserve) then going second is no big issue (especially when you get the terrain advantage). In all of our games I didn’t feel like our opponents opening move was that much of an advantage. I would happily take this option ! As it happened it allowed our Crossbowmen to shine, where perhaps they might be considered mediocre.
In this game terrain was largely irrelevant. A couple of bits of rough going in the flanks , back on the edges. Certainly a 4’ wide section in the centre. Our deployment was to plan. The 32 bases of spear in centre (each group of 2 8s would be supported by 1 4 of Armenian MF (great filler)) We left a 16cm gap in the centre which could be closed by the spear or occupied by Knights or Crossbowmen. The Military order were centre rear. The Armenian Knights and Crusading Knights were deployed on the right (which with hindsight was a slight mistake). The Crossbowmen were split, one in a field to the left to shore up that flank and one to rear centre.
The Fatamids deployed in largely similar fashion. Their spear rear centre. Mamluks deployed in front centre. Our right flank had 2 Syrian (Superior) Lancers and 2 BG of LH. The Left flank had 2 more Syrian Lancers and 2 Arab Lancers (lesser quality ), and a bit of LF Bow.
From setup it looked reasonable for us. Our spear was better (armour), although less numerous. The Cavalry on both flanks we held a slight advantage, in quality , but we were less numerous in bases and BGs.
Their opening move was to send the LF and LH forward to hold us back. The Mamluks raced forward to start their shooting. We ambled forward, not committing any reserves. On the right flank the LH started peppering the KN and tempting them to charge. With 2 BG of KN vs. 2 BG of LH it wasn’t too bad , there would have to be exceptional set of circumstances to break those (more of that later!) . The Syrians on our right didn’t fancy the 2 BGs of Crusading Knights bearing down on them and did a swift handbrake turn and moved back to a safer centre rear position. On our left flank the general plan as I saw it was to envelop us with the Arab lancers while holding us in the centre with the spear and better Cavalry.
Our spears pressed on and the gap closed. The Mamluks started to shoot, but because they couldn’t gang up on any target the odds weren’t in their favour. 4 dice needing 5’s ,requiring 3 hits for a test and 4 for a minus… while the spear had rear support and general. Not much of sporter. As the spears closed the centre it was time to commit the Military order, to the our left. On our right there was a general swing inward. The LH were doing nothing and the chargers were swinging in towards meatier targets.
The crux came as the lined closed to 4-5’ on the left one Military order was facing off 2 units of Syrian lancers. All BGs had a general in tow as no-one wanted to fail the test to charge. Being drilled it meant a 5 thought but they would have 2 tests each turn, so it was in our advantage to wait. We were trying to wiggle a spear unit to get closer and get in-between the cavalry standoff. This meant that the Berber spearmen were pushed to prevent that. Then as luck would have it Hammy failed one of the 2 tests that he needed to make. The impact was brutal. The Knights were a POA up, re-rolling 1 &2s … the Syrians needing 5 (thought re-rolling 1&2s). The Knights of Jerusalem were triumphal. They won the combat. The Syrians lost a base and disrupted – Perfect. In the ensuing melee the Syrians fragmented. In our turn we just pushed everything forward. The Mamluks were a bit squashed, with Berber spearmen directly to the rear. But it wasn’t in our interest to charge, as they were superior with a general, we weathered the shooting. But now our crossbowmen had moved up with all the enemy committed (pinned), we could then just start shooting the end of the Mamluk line with 4 crossbow shots.
The Syrians to the left broke, and the rampant knights smashed into the other Syrian lancers unit behind. With their best cavalry ½ shattered and the other ½ now being outnumbered, the Fatamid saw this as a do or die moment ( they didn’t want drilled lancers floating around to the rear of their lines). SO, they charged en-masse in the centre. The fights were level and there were a lot of dice. For the spear BG that was closest the left most lancers, it was a tale of woe that Hammy will be dining out on for a while.. I should mention at this point my daughter was in charge of dice duty. In the impact were we were level, and they needed some luck (as they would be down in melee for armour). She rolled the first 6 dice , and rolled 6 5&6s (showing off as 4s would be OK). Hammys dice were poor and he only got a couple. He disrupted, it was all looking ominous. Then to compound matters with another throw she threw 11 to kill the general. A general waver when through the Fatamid lines, and several other units dropped after seeing this calamity.
To the right a lancer units was trying to sneak through to get a charge in against the Crossbowmen that were shooting at the Mamluks. But they took 3 hits for their trouble and threw the ubiquitous 1 for their death roll and removed a base.
The whole centre was wavering now. The left centre the second Syrian lancer was breaking… the next Berber spearmen held on briefly but soon broke. The ripple that this caused fragmented the last spear units that was behind the Mamluks, as our turn opened we charged a Spear BG as the Mamluks (who has contracted to avoid being shot , but therefore could not evade. The spear charge also targeted the fragmented Berber spear who didn’t stand. The whole Egyptian centre was now in flight.
With KN bearing down on the remaining right flank, the jig was up. We have a solitary fight on the very left flank were the Arab lancers manifested a charge into the crossbowem (in a field). With the loss of lance, disorder, and the bowmen getting support shooting that was only going one way
The Fatimid’s lay crushed. We have only lost 2 bases in the whole game and suffered 1 disruption. So would be a 25-0 .. a rare score and a perfect start for the Crusaders. Who prior to this had never won a game.
This year’s Badcon is the Feudal period (so about 500AD to 1149AD or thereabouts). No heavily armoured Knights basically. Through a set of circumstances beyond my control I’m not really prepared for this year. Last year with the Gauls it was a bit easier, as we had a plan ( possibly not a very good one, but a plan nevertheless). Normally we can be planning for up to 6 months in advance, but this is a last minute thing. I’ve also been roped in as umpire (I thought I did it last year !), which put a bit of dampener on have an easy weekend. Hopefully, given the maturity of the competition scene it shouldn’t be too stressful. Most of my club mates have jumped ship now into the Renaissance period, which is a better game, and the ancients FoG:AM is probably going through its death knell. I’m not sure what it is. The mis-management of the v2 release (which is better , but could do with being a bit ‘different’), or the malaise of the regular competition player whose ‘meta’ gaming can suck the life out of it… I digress
So, with a week to go it looks like we’ll be using the Crusaders. This army has been knocking around for a few years , but has the ignominious reputation of never having won a game (not that I can remember). So why these losers? Well … I’ve got the army… I like it … seems reasonable straightforward plan. Some spears, some knights and some crossbowmen
The Army was painted a few years back by a friend of mine , Jason (he of JAD designs). I’ve added some pictures to the gallery, but here are a few.
More thoughts and plans to follow
After 2 big drubbings, Sunday afternoon saw the Gauls languishing in the lower quartile of the table. Playing only for pride now, the draw when up. Later Republican Roman ( Martin and Andy). The positive side being that at least there were no Cataphracts. We lost the PBI roll off, again no surprise. The Romans ran for the hills (picking Hilly). At this point we didn’t really know what their plan was. They would have more HF that we do! Anyway the battle field was littered with patch of rough going, with only a couple of 1-2’ gaps.
The Romans army was small. All of its legionaries were full fat. (Arm SUP If/SSw). They had a Numidian Ally and a far few light troops (LF and LH). They only had 1 BG of MF (some Spanish in 1 BG of 8 (Prot AVG If/Sw) . The centre was covered with 4 BGs of Legion. Their right flank was dotted with a couple of non allied Numidians and the Roman Cav. Their left flank had the Spanish in a patch of rough going, with 3 more Legionaries. In front of which was the Numidian ally with 3-4 BGs of LH and the LF tucked away at the back.
From our left we had 2 BGS of Chariots and the armoured CV facing the Roman Cavalry and non allied Numidians. In the centre we had the Gaesati facing the Legion, the Hill tribe facing the Spanish and the Lowland Ally facing the Numidian Ally and the Legions in reserve.
I was overall quite please with the matchups. On our left flank we had heavier horse and more of it. In the centre the Legion faced the Gaesati that was dicey m but those are out best troops. Facing the rough the hill tribe faced Spanish. Same troops buy we had 12 bases vs 8 bases. On the right flank it was dodgy as the AVG warband wouldn’t like the Roman legions BUT there was a lot of LH in the way – which really didn’t have much space to play in.
The game was pretty straight up, with both sides pushing the left flank and refusing the right.
In the centre both sides advanced. The Romans having even more of a advantage as they threw out a line of slingers trying to tempt the naked fanatics out of line. This actually worked and a couple of poor throws meant that out Gaesati charged out impetuously, it wasn’t really too bad .. but just push extra time pressure on our left flank to deliver the goods.
The game was really decided by the Hill tribe. Both sides has settled in the centre for a tit for tat exchange while they both worked the flanks. However right from centre the Spanish and Hill tribe glared at each other in a patch of broken ground. Each turn both sides requiring an 8 not to go charging off. The Gauls failed first and charged impetuously . With both sides having a general in tow it was high stakes, whoever won this would open and uncontested inner flank, as neither side had much in the way of reserves. Luck was on side of the Gauls. They won the impact , the Spanish lost a base and disrupted. It then got a whole lot worse as being the phasing player Gauls expanded (now having and overlap on both sides), it was 12 dice vs 5 . The Spanish fragged and then broken in their own turn. The victorious Gauls rampaged onwards. Unluckily the Spaniards burst through some Numidian skirmishers. Who then with nowhere to run got caught by the charging Gauls. It was soon 2 BGs down.
As this happened obviously emboldened by the success of their neighbours the Gaesati charged off , crashing in to 2 BGs of Romans. It was a fight we had to win. If they stayed steady then we would be in trouble. One disrupted the other held. The disrupted group broke but the other slowly ground the naked Gauls away, and they lost breaking to a 1/3rd of their number. It looked bad but it was only a single BG.
On the left flanks the Chariots slowly enveloped the flank. Eventually the Romans drew a line in sand for the fall back. Their 4 Cavalry faced our 6. One Chariot BG got behind the lines and was ready to run amok. The other Gaesati BG crashed into the other Romans with some success.
The far right flanks was a bit of non event. The lowland troops were pinned back by the Numidians who seemed content to pelt them with Javelins. But with a BG of 12 based , even with 8 shooting dice (and only getting 6 normally) it was unlikely they would cause a test and less likely with a – (1 per 2)
The Hill tribe was marching merrily onwards. They saw no reason to turn around and face Roman troops that would duff them up, say the camp as the easier option with 4 attrition points attributed to them already they felt they had down their job today. They marched up the camp (which was fortified) and start to try and roll a 5 to get in.
The Roman army being small teetered. Their cavalry had lost to greater numbers. In the centre they was still and ongoing melee, but Chariots now abounded behind the lines. The jig was up.
I was actually called away for a an umpire call – and when I came back the game was over. The hill tribe had broken into the camp (winning the man of the match award with 6 attrition points). In the centre chariots hitting the flanks of Legionaries bowled them over and rolled up the line. The game ended. As we had lost only 2 attrition points this actually rounded up to 0 points lost on the score sheet – so it ended up as a 25-0 to the Gauls.
So 2 bit wins and 2 big losses. As the wins were both army breaks the extra points catapulted us to 15th position. Which all things considered was pretty good.
It designed this army with fighting mounted opponents in mind and that is where it struggled ironically. Against stout foot it is surprisingly resilient. The Gaesati were great as being tarpits, and they have a great chance to win any impact phase. I would change some areas. The lowland foot were a bit of a liability and maybe an Hill tribe army with subordinate generals would be better. Phil would doesn’t play often was really pleased with the result and an army often though as of being a ‘loser’ can be competitive. I enjoyed it – which is the main thing, and it made me look at refreshing my Gallic army who are long in the tooth now!
Game 3, Parthian (Stephen & Robert)
So Sunday morning , now armed with a cloth! 🙂 unfortunately the gods hadn’t smiled on us for the draw as our first round opponents were Parthian (Stephen and Robert). After the last debacle against Cataphracts this would only be worse, with even less foot we stood a chance against. So, let’s see how this would go ! Again, losing the PBI roll-off (no surprise 4 vs 1). So, steppes again. Armed with our 4 pieces of Rough going we diced for terrain. It didn’t go so well this time with only a single piece landing on our side of the table, and that was ‘away from the edge’, on the left flank.
The Parthian army was , roughly
- 5-6 BG of Cataphracts. (including an ally BG)
- 4-5 BG of Light horse archers
- 3-4 BG of Light foot with bow and slings
With limited options we decided on following the last plan. So we refused the right flank with the fortifications (manned by the lowland tribe). Next stood the Gaesati (in the open). The Hill tribe stood opposite with rough going on the left flank. We deployed even more neutrally with a refused left flank also (with a lot of the Cavalry in reserve) as we suspected a flank march there, which turned out to be correct.
The Parthians massed all their Cataphract cavalry in the centre (matching the width of the Gaesti , or thereabouts). On our right flanks there was a 3 LH BGs, on the left flanks were a couple of LH BG and all the LF.
Having the first turn didn’t help. Given that we suspected a flank march we held back and couldn’t commit. We just stood and waited.
On the Parthians first turn there was indeed a flank march(but it didn’t arrive). There was a general advance to pen us in (like we were going anywhere!)
On the subsequent turns the Parthians advanced onto our position. There wasn’t any clever manoeuvre. The Cataphracts lined up fancied their chances against our best troops. If we sent our cavalry we would be mobbed by Light horse archers. It was a sad state of affairs really.
The main even started with a couple of Cataphract charges, We’d edged forward to try and get an extra overlap (if that would do us any good). The charge failed. We killed a couple of based and disrupted one Cataphracts BG. The Gaesati may have lost a base. But they stood steady. I think that our opponents were a bit surprised on the resilience of the Gaesati. But they are superior impact HF. So with a general in they are re-rolling 1 & 2’s . Being level in impact with lancers. The only downer was the melee when the better armour would kick in. We had to hope to stay steady. If we ever disrupted then they wouldn’t break off and we’d be –POA until the end L
The Centre held, it was a bit tit for tat. The Parthians always had the advantage that they could break off if thing started going badly, with an IC around then they would always have chance the bolster morale.
Finally the flank march arrived. It was only 2 BGs of Light Horse archers and a general . They didn’t fancy the reception committee so arrived on their own side of the table. As least with that over it gave us a flank to work on. There was nothing there to hold us up. The hill tribe advanced to fill the gap. To be fair they faced LF and LH, so didn’t really have much hope of influencing the proceedings! It did however release a chariots BG to get behind the Cataphract line. The Parthians preferred to sacrifice a LH BG by charging the Chariots in the rear to avoid the Cataphract line from being rolled up (wise). The LH didn’t win the impact to the rear (when they were ++POA) , and once the chariots turned around there would only be one winner. However it took a while.
On the right flanks we has to move the Lowland tribe out from their fortification. There was single Cataphract BG lurking and if we could get our 12 bases to lure them towards us then there might be mileage there.
In the centre the Cataphracts were not having it all their own way. A couple had lost a base or two and were wavering., but eventually our leftmost Gaesati unit gave up the ghost and broke. The Gaesati BG on the right held firm. It was under a lot of pressure one of its Cataphract opponents was fragmented. Any we were left with the unenviable situation of having to charge the Cataphracts , to get the fragmented ones to test, while being intercepted by the other Cataphracts (who couldn’t prevent us from stepping forward to contact the Fragged ones). The Fragged ones broke, but the others held firm and we had a dicey impact (now beingn –POA for charging shock mounted)
On the right flank the final indignation was delivered where 4 bases of Cataphracts charge the Low land tribe (with a general), on level POA. They beat us 2 nil in the impact and the resulting COH was 1 & 1 … AVG troops L straight to fragged. So our double overlap which was 8 bases (vs 4) now became 4 vs 4 … on a –POA. We lose and the 12 strong BG broke without taking a base loss.
We’d lost all of main fighting troops now and it was only a matter of getting a few odds and ends. We had killed a couple of BGs but not much else was on offer. Our opponents were mindful of the time as we have been playing for 3 hours to get to this position and there was a possibility that we’d time out before the army collapsed (not helping us, but depriving them of the extra 5 points). We had one straight fight where we had some LF that had been hit by pursuing Cataphracts … despite the odds they would not die. However, it was only a minor distraction.
With about 5 mins to go the Gallic army broke. The only survivors being the Hill tribe chasing LF through some rough ground. The rest of the Gauls were dead.
The game was OK. Again we didn’t really have much of a chance. Maybe a bolder plan to envelop the cataphracts and ignore the LH. But I feel that the shooting that we would have received would have done us in there too.
Oh well another 3-22 against….
Game 2 – Palmyran (Dino)
The problem with winning is you likely to get a tricky next game. As it was with that our next opponents would be Palymyran, lead by Dino. Luckily I know Dino from a long time back and it would be a pleasant game. I couldn’t help thinking that Dino was due a bit of luck against me , as I’d beaten him quite a few times in out last few games.
When designing the Gallic list I was mindful of this sort of army. A large block of quality Cavalry and clouds of skirmishers to protect the flank. The lastest rule changes had somewhat reduced their effectiveness and I hoped we could collapse the flanks before the centre caved in. The Gaesati was that tarpit (I hoped)
We lost the initiative roll – no surprise – and Dino picked the Steppe. Not so bad any more as we can pick 4 pieces of Rough going. Two of these actually fell reasonable well in the centre left of the table. It was pity as we didn’t actually have enough MF to cover it all! The right half of the table was open.
Dino’s Palmyrans were roughly
- 4 BG of Cataphract Lancers
- 2 BG of Roman legion
- 2 BG of Roman Aux
- 1 BG of Lanciarii
- 5-6 BGS of LH
- 1-2 BG of LF Bow
Our deployment was refusing the right flank. We placed out barricades just right of centre angled back the baseline. Behind which stood the valiant lowland tribe. To the left of that was the Gaesati. To their left was the hilltribe opposite a gully. Filling the remainder of the left flank was the chariots and cavalry (we could have done with a bit more out there!)
Dino’s deployment followed ours (as we had to go first). It was pretty obvious that we were going to leave that big open space on our right flank alone, so he did likewise. The cataphracts formed a considerable block in the centre opposite the Gaesati and his Roman troops opposite the gully. In both cases his troops were better than ours! Around the edges his skirmishers filled the gaps. He was coy as LH Bow now only shoot 3” and against cavalry and light chariots we could be caught with a charge.
We had the first turn (it wasn’t a great matchup for use, so we had you use all our wits). SO, the Hill tribe made dahs for the gully, while our fast moving chariots and cavalry tried to race across the table to push the opposing light cavalry off. The HF centre started a ponderous right wheeeeel.
Dinos plan was simple – cataphracts into the Gaesati and Roman Auxiliary into the gully –seemed reasonable. We’d just try an dice our way of it. We did have a few advantages. The very right flank our lowland tribe was completely unopposed. A mistake we made was we really ought to have something a bit faster to work the flank. 12 undrilled HF in a block not exactly the most speedy. On the left flank, we had a reasonable advantage in battle troops, but out opponents could easily scoot out of the way. We would have to rely on Dino making an error here.
The first action came in the centre. The Hill tribe has just ensconced themselves in the gully. Opposing them were 3 MF Romans. 1 Sup Armoured SsW /Ls (lanciarii) and 2 Avg Armoured Sw/LS. So they were better armoured , but we had the impact advantage. The Superior troops were slightly in advance , and while they were isolated the Hill tribe charged. 12 bases (general in the front rank), against 4 Roman bases. Winning in the impact and opponents losing a base looked promising. In the ensuing melee ‘in old money’ armoured , SSw would be a tough proposition. But not being only on a single –POA and having a lots more bases would could. The Romans had 3 based , (3 dice at 4), the Gauls 8 dice at 5 , both sides re-rolling 1’s. Fortune smiled on the Gallic warriors as the Romans soon broke. Even better the Aux next to them disrupted. As the lanciarii broke the Gallic warriors slammed into the next 2 auxiliary (one of whom was disrupted). With 12 bases vs 8 … my hoped started to look up. If we could win here we would have both flanks of the Cataphracts, they hill tribe in the gully would be a thorn in their side. The disrupted Auxilies fragged on impact, the others held steady…. and that is where it stayed. The fragged units had 1 dice at 4 , vs 4 gallic dice at 5 (could we get a hit! No) on the other side it was 4 (@4) vs 6(@5 r-r 1’s) … no hits. All of a sudden it started to bog. The Palmyrans committed a general. From a sweeping victory it started to turn. The first thing was the Gallic general was killed on a double 6 🙁 , then the Romans rallied and the final indignation was the Roman beat the Gauls in the melee causing them to disrupted (ahh)
On the right the main event lined up. It seemed 2 Cataphract Bg against each of the Gaesati BGs. With a slight edge forward it offered one unit to get overlaps on both side. On the far right the lowland boys rumbled around, trying to look inconspicuous. There wasn’t much point in delaying as the foot warriors could just wait all day, the Cataphracts charged. It wasn’t to bad initially. In impact they were level POA (the cats re rolling 1’s ) the Gaesati re-rolling 1&2’s. The Gaesati lost a base the Cataphracts lost a base, one of the Cataphracts even disrupted. In the melee, the armour of the cavalry weighed in and we needed 5’s. However we had overlaps on 3 of the 4 units. We all held … in the JAP they all broke off, which was frustrating as we could not push our advantage. A turn later all the Cataphracts had rallied and were ready to try again… on the 3rd charge it worked and one of the warrior units disrupted. Once that happened the writing was on the wall. They no longer would break off and would be on a +POA until the fight ended. It did in a rather calamitous way when the next general was killed. The Allies now had lost their only mechanism of rallying. A couple of bounds later both units had broken. Almost at the same time the hill tribe broke (leaderless)… the game was up.
On the left flank we had succeeded in pushing a couple of light cavalry off the back of the table. It was hard work to catch them (Dino being no mug – finishing 2nd overall). 1 point per Bg evading off table seemed small recompense.
There was a bit of ‘tit for tat’ , but the Gauls were broken, as small amount of hovering up the extra BGs and the game concluded. 3-21 to the Palmyrans. A hard fought game, we were a bit unlucky , but sometimes that happens 🙂
Game 1 Later Macedonian – Dave and John
Well the Saturday of the draw saw us play Later Macedonian (Dave and John). The draw was neither here nor there, but I have known Dave and John for a long time, so at least it would be a pleasant game. There army was as expected. 5-6 units of 8 pike (half of whom were superior). A couple of Macedonian cavalry types (armoured superior ). Cretans (superior Lf Bow), Thracians, and Thorakitai (armoured Off spear) and also some odds and sods and LH and LF skirmishers. About 15 BGs in total, nothing unusual there. Overall this would be decided by the clash of foot in the centre. They had invested heavily in quality foot so they would want that too.
The deployment was unexciting, as Barker intended. All the HF in the centre with the Cav wings drifting out. Neither of use put much terrain down so the table looked sparce (not helped by me forgetting my cloth! So the battle was fought on the barren wastelands of MDF land). On the table it appeared that the Gallic army was a lot larger than the Macedonians. Maybe not in BGs , but in bases. It looks to me that we could have some mileage on both flanks. Our left flank covered by the hill tribe ally, facing 1 pike block and 6 Thracians. On the right flank we had our armoured Cavalry and the Chariots. The Macedonians had a single Cavalry BG and a 1 LH BG
The game was simple, with no tricksy manoeuvring. Events in a broad strategic sequence
Given we had some superior numbers we dashed forward. The Macedonians reinforcing this flank with another ‘fire brigade’ cavalry BG. However, they were a bit late. As the lines closed it was apparent that we would have an advantage. Our 6 base armoured Cav BG facing their 4 Base armoured BG. If the Chariots could see off the Light Horse we’d have quite a local superiority. However, we didn’t really need it. When it came down to the charge the Gallic Nobles had the upper had (threw well!) and disrupted the Macedonian cavalry AND lost a base. 4 Dice straight down to 2 in a single phase – fighting our 6 dice – on evens.. that was a good start
We did have one BG of Chariots that was getting pelted by all and sundry and disrupted.
Slightly to the left we had a big blob of warband (the Lowland ally), ready to crash into the Thorakitai. While not an appetising fight (armoured OFF spear), the new rules meant that we’d only ever be on a single – POA in the Melee . Given the lowland mob had 12 bases and a general and the Greeks had 6 without, seemed like a sporter to me. So we charged, being on a +POA in the impact (Impact foot Vs Off Spear), re-rolling 1’s … ( 6 dice @4s re-rolling 1 , vs 6 dice at 5 ) we were successful. The spearmen didn’t like the test. Losing the impact, losing the impact foot, also MF losing to heavies … They disrupt. So, in successive rounds even though we were on a –POA we’ve have ~8 dice vs ~4dice. The Thorakitai’s card was marked.
The centre was a big grind.
The Macedonians obviously thought their superior Pikes would brush aside. However, they were facing the Gaesati. 5 pike block (of 8 bases) facing 2 units of 12 Superior Warband with general in tow. There was not much point in putting this fight off as it was the main event! As the lines closed to 3” , having big units was a bit of a bonus. If we did fail any attempt to not charge at least the whole units would go in. The Pikes on the other hand would have a riskier time as each 2 file wide BG would have to test if they wanted to hold. It came to nought as both sides were keen to clash. It would be decided on the impact. The first clash (on the right) was 2 Macedonian superior taxis (4 wide) with no general, vs 1 BG of Gaesati (12 bases, 6 wide) with a general . The impact would be evens . The pikes should get 2.3 hits across the front. The Gaesati should get 2.7 hits. That extra .4 paid off. 2 pikes bases disrupted and some bases were lost (including some off the Gaesati, as they were accumulating a lot of hits – the bad side of big BGs!)
In the ensuing melee, with the pike losing some ranks and disrupting the factors were reasonably even. Eventually even the Superior pikes decided better of it and began to break.
The Gaesati on the left weren’t quite so lucky. Cheekily attacked towards the ends to avoid overlaps on both sides, the Pikes held steady and it was the Celts who would waver! When the pike say steady the warband don’t have such a good time. With their sword not counting and being no better armoured they find themselves on — POA (pikes and pikes in 4 ranks), so needing 5s to hit rather than the Pikemens 3’s to hit L The warband block on this side soon broke.
The left flank
6 bases of Thracians were left to hold the end… against the whole of the Gallic hill tribe. 12 bases of warband with a general. The combat was swift and decisive. In the impact the Gauls where up (+POA) and in the melee all were level (Sword vs Heavy Weapon), but there was nothing from stopping overlaps on both sides. So 6 dice vs 10… the Gauls got the upper hand in the impact anyway and it was goodnight Vienna.
So, wining on the right flank, centre and left flank netting the Gauls a big win! We lost 2 BGs overall for a 21/4 result.
Super start. It was all fought out in a straight up fashion and was pleasant start to the weekend. The army fought well. Those big BGs of impact foot were resilient , especially as each had a general in tow.
This year for Badcon 2013 I was paired up with Phil. Someone who doesn’t play much and wanted a fun game. I was looking to play ancients rather than renaissance just for a change and also try out v2 of the rules.
The period was 500BC – 500AD, so the proverbial book 2 , in old money. In v1 this would have been dominated by Dominate(Late) Roman, Bosphorans and Cavalry Lancer and skirmisher outfits. I wondered if any of that would change given that those armies had been nerfed.
After speaking to Phil, we came up with the idea of Gallic. For no other reason than I had it and Phil fancied using it (a romantic ideal that somehow they could upset the opposition… not just causing indigestion caused by an early trip to the bar)
V2 had somewhat improved this army. It was less likely that the warriors would get double negative POAs against the likely foot opponents. They were less likely to get skirmished out of the game. The Cavalry also had been improved against shooting). The terrain changes would also mean that the battle was less likely to be fought on a barren plain (read Steppes with minimum pieces, as was the norm.)
So, army selection. I reasoned that given we had to have an ally (only allowed 3 ‘gallic’ generals), and wanting the different tribal troops (to give HF and MF), and also wanting a Gaesati ally we might as well go for all allies. If was a bold choice, 3 ally generals. Each ‘command’ would be formed of a large battle group of warriors with a periphery of skirmishers and compulsory cavalry. Each warrior ‘deathstar’ – to use parlance of the day – would have a general in tow, and he would probably spend all of his time with that unit. It was all designed around getting these big mobs of warriors into a fight. Everything else was a sideshow. The overall C-in-c would control the remainder of the army – which was a reasonable cavalry and chariot force with some bits and bobs
A rough breakdown being –
- 4 Lt Chariots
- 4 Lt Chariots
- 6 Armoured cavalry
- 8 Mob
Ally (Lowland tribe)
- 12 avg HF warriors (avg prot i/f,sw)
- 4 Lf JLS
- 4 Prot cavalry
Ally (Hill tribe)
- 12 avg MF warriors (avg prot i/f,sw) – to give a bit of rough going capability
- 4 Lf JLS
- 4 Prot cavalry
- 12 sup HF warriors (avg prot i/f,sw)
- 12 sup HF warriors (avg prot i/f,sw)
13 battle groups , not big – or clever.
The actual list is here.
The list of competitors and armies is here. Not many barbarians, 6 Seleucid and 6 Palmyrans – not many Romans MMmm
First game report coming soon
Date: 16th & 17th February 2013
Venue: The Town Hall, Burton upon Trent, DE14 2EB
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Fields Of Glory Ancient Doubles, – 900 points
Any Armies 500BC – 500AD
Note: FOG Ancients will use the Version 2 rules
Field of Glory Renaissance Doubles – 900 points
Any Armies From 1562 AD – 1629 AD
DBMM Doubles – 500 points
Any Armies 500BC – 500AD
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- 5 units of Cataphacts (including Hatrean Camel Cataphracts)
- 2 Bgs of light foot with a bow
- 10-12 BGs of light horse with a bow.
Deploying wide we had 2 chariots BGS on either flanks and the centre of the most solid foot we could muster. Nestor’s foot being the best option we had for this game. They were band in the centre. Our opponents weighted our left flank will all the cataphact with an half a dozen light cavalry BGs, the other half of the table was covered by the remaining light horse. We trundled forward. Trying to wheel from the centre left, trying to get some heavy foot with a spear in front of the cataphracts. That meant that a gape would open up, but the Parthians didn’t have much to push through.
- 3 BG of Heavy Chariots
- 2 BG of Citizen Spear (drilled prot off spear)
- 1 BG of Sacred Band (drilled sup armoured spear)
- 1 BG of undrilled Citizen MF foot (undrilled with LS, I’m guessing these be mandatory)
- A couple of BG LF slingers and Javelinmen
- A Numidian ally , which was 3 or 4 LH Bgs and 1 BG of LF (all Javelin and Light spear armed)
- Meant to be fun
- No cash prizes for winning
- Winning at wargames does not increase your chance of getting laid.
Phil Steele & Chris Ager with Early Libyan
( FoG:AM 900pts)
So, all bright an breezy Saturday morning I turned up to Burton town hall to find out how bad the first game would be. With 9 Graeco Bactrians and another fist full of Parthians it didn’t bode well. However, know how they do the draw at BADCON did. So, being 1250 BC think we were likely to get either an Early Mycenaean or an Early Libyan. After looking at the draw we had drawn Phil and Chris (of SOA fame) and the Early Libyan. Now, thinking back to DBM days this was a bit of a monster not necessarily with quality but there was a lot of it. After a cursory glance at the list in Swifter than Eagles it seems to have been less generously treated. The core of the warriors were AVG unprotected I/F , which as I see it have nothing going for them. Most foot is protected or better and being undrilled they are likely to go tearing off in directions you wouldn’t like! And at 6pts each they are not really that cheap! There is a option for MF bowmen (but under FoG these aren’t great). So, the remainder would be LF Bow or LF Javelin. Options for a dozen Light Chariots (Sup with a Bow) and a Sea Peoples Ally.
Our PBI is not great +1 and theirs was +2, so perhaps an IC with few Chariots or an FC with more chariots. It turned out to the be first of these ( probably rightly so, and IC is probably a required option for this army with so many undrilled types. We lost the roll off and they picked Desert as their terrain type. Having never fought in Desert reference to the rule book was called for. Soft sand was the compulsory terrain type (which in general is pretty nasty difficult going, unless you have camels – which neither of us did). The Libyans selected some more rough going types (a gully and brush), seeming to close the table down. From my point of view as our army was primarily MF too that didn’t really cause concern. We picked an impassable area (a nice Pyramid borrowed from Chris). As an aside perhaps there is some mileage in asking a player to provide all the terrain for a given army. Both players could then select from that pool. BADCON is probably one of the worst exponents of poorly presented armies. You were lucky is the table had a cloths and the ubiquitous felt squares were still ‘de jour’. Chris had a few boxes of terrain that really complemented his army and gave the whole game ‘added value’ from a experience point of view – well done Chris and Phil.
The Pyramid landed on their back edge and had no effect on the game, so we’d have nothing to secure our flanks on.
The Libyan army turned out to be not much bigger than ours anyway. They deployed 4 LF bow units to start, so they only have a maximum of 16 , against our 15. They also had 2 BGs of 4 Chariots, and 4 BGs of MF Libyan warriors and a Sea Peoples Ally (which was 6 Arm Sup I/F and 2 8’s of Avg Prot I/F) and some more LF Bow. They Libyans have obvious read the manuals and deployed in triplex acies, Libyan warriors to the rear Sea People ahead and a decent amount of LF Bow covering the frontage. That narrowed the army, which was probably only as wide as ours now, and we had refused a flank. The main event was just left of centre where 2 foot of tables was lined with the Sea Peoples supported by the Libyans (flanked by 1 GB of chariots, that has to cross a gully)
The Achaeans felts that the fighting was best done on foot today. Only 1 Chariot BG remained ‘mounted’ while the dismounted ones stiffened the lines of our proto Hoplites. We matched the open space with an assortment of dismounted Chariots , Armoured Spear types and the Myrmidons (with a bit of rapid redeployment from the start shown here).
This would be our offensive flank, and stretching back to the right was the Protected Spear and Nestor’s spearmen. Opposite were 2 units of Libyans warrior in the soft sand and more archers with the other BG of Chariots. I have a feeling we would be shot here! Nestor’s spearmen would have been useful in the centre (being Heavy foot , with everyone else being ‘Medium’) but they are in big block and good for holding up a flank.
On the far left it was 1 Chariot unit a piece. The Greeks armed with Light spear , the Libyans with a bow. It was in the interest of the Greeks to charge. With a POA up in the impact we would try an press our advantage. However , Phil and the Libyan chariots had other ideas. Both sides throwing 8 dice, the Greeks needing 4’s the Libyans 5’s (both sides re-rolling 1 & 2s though). Jon did well to get 7 hits for the Greeks, and then Phil pulled out a handful of fives and sixes! In fact 7 in total – it was a draw. Both sides lost a chariot, and then it settled to be an equal fight…. which the Libyans won, and the Greek Chariots broke – through casualties, 1 base per combat phase to be precise! First blood to the Libyans.
The Libyan main plan seemed to be soften us up with missiles and then send in the impact foot. Ours was to close with the foot before the archers started to take the toll.
Our own skirmishers started to lose the exchange of missiles (as we had less), but the morale held in the ‘big fight’ Both sides closed and it threatened to sandwich the skirmishers. The Libyans nerve broke first as they retired their skirmishers to behind the Sea Peoples. This actually gave the Greek the tactical advantage. In Fields of Glory ‘shock foot’ (which Greeks, Sea Peoples & Libyans all are) have to test not to charge impetuously when in charge range – even of skirmishers. An exception to this is when the they have friendly skirmishers in-between them and the target. Skirmishers are really useful in this capacity to stop your impetuous troops tearing off when you don’t want them charging enemy light foot ( which is unlikely they will catch and leave your lines in a mess)
The situation was – Sea Peoples were in ‘normal’ charge range of the Greek light archers, but not of the Greek Spearmen. So they would have to test not to charge. There was a grim inevitability of this situation. The Sea People could charge ‘all’ and hope they held together as a line after their variable moves – or – dice to ‘hold’ the charge and move closer to guarantee contacting the Achaean Spearmen in good order. Being Undrilled they needed an 8 and being an ally the big Inspired general was not in ‘line of command’ . Even worse is that the quality of the troops makes no difference as wild superiors are equally likely to want to ‘get stuck in’. Phil decided to ‘hold’ and the dicing commenced. With a predictability that can only match my performance only one Sea People BG held (worst of all – the one in the middle), so the end two units dashed, and diced sufficiently high, to make it into the Greek Spearmen piecemeal.
Now, at the moment of impact things aren’t so bad for the Sea Peoples. Being I/F they get a ++. Our Spear get a single +. Overlaps and armour don’t count.. so they could still punch though! If we did lose then we’d get and additional -1 for losing to I/F and would all start looking decidedly dodgy. The rightmost Sea Peoples BG smashed into 2 BGs of armoured Spear. Who ……. held in the combat (just , 1 unit disrupting…) woo hoo.
The Retinue swords (the Sea Peoples Armoured foot) smashed into some dismounted Chariots (2x) and lost – even better – they disrupted in impact! Couldn’t get better. Once the melee started the Sea Peoples would enter into a world of pain. The Retinue sword were disrupted (losing a third of their dice), they were overlapped on both flanks, and as they failed to disrupt the Greeks their ‘steady spear’ would negate their ‘swordsman’ POA. So it was something like 4 Sea People dice needing 5’s , against 10 Greek dice needing 4’s. Both sides were superior (with Generals) and a lot of re-rolls would be going on. The other fight was even worse. The Sea Peoples were steady so throwing their full complement of 8 dice. But against steady spear their sword was lost and being only protected their armour was worse than the Greeks. So, they would need 5’s , again overlapped on both side the Greeks would throw 12 dice needing 3’s. This was the dream matchup for the Achaeans. All they had to do was break these 2 BGs and the last Sea Peoples would be in isolation and hopefully get the same treatment. In the ensuing turn the Protected Sea Peoples held , but were haemorrhaging causalities. To add to their pain the Myrmidons wheeled around the corner to threatened to charge the flank. The disrupted Retinue lost heart and fragmented, only a matter of time for those guys. In the following Libyan turn, things were looking grim. The last Sea Peoples unit was still too far away to charge, and the Libyan warriors were unable to ‘get out of the way’ from behind the fragmented retinue. The melee saw them break , and burst through some unfortunate Libyans behind – disrupting- them. Their problems compounded when pursuing Greek spearmen smashed into them, their blood singing. The Myrmidons charged the flank of the other Sea People BG. That disrupted them, and consequently lost the initial impact and worst of all diced sufficiently low to break. Because they were fighting in two directions they had to bisect the angle to rout and moved right in front of the more troops. The Myrmidons pursued (throwing a 6), a mighty 6” smashing into more troops that has just being burst through. Overall in 2 turns the whole Libyan centre has collapsed. It was just a question of finding a few bits to force the whole army to break.
On the right flanks, Nestor spearmen had outmanoeuvred the other Libyan Chariots who had got too close. Having an extra drilled unit on the flank was handy. Once the chariot is pinned to the front it is really stuck for options.
It seems strange that a units with the potential to skirmish/evade cannot moved backwards to avoid getting trapped, relying on only the charge/evade process. The savvy player won’t charge, and just hold you in place while some devious unit works its way into a position where it can’t evade. In this case that was me… unfortunately I nearly screwed it up by charging too early and allowing the chariots to turn 90 and flee away from the flanks charge. Fortunately the flee move took the chariots into even more of a danger zone. In the following turn Chris obliged by failing his CMT to turn and move, and was stuck as he couldn’t move far enough anyway to avoid a rear charge (and now he was in column). Greek spears ended up charging in the rear! The chariots held on briefly, but they were up against it.
In the soft sand the Libyan warriors had ventured forth, to threaten some Greek spears and more dismounted charioteers. Again it was not a good fight for the Libyans, even against our 2nd rate troops (the protected spears) unless they can cause a disruption and get their swords to ‘kick in’ , they will be – – POA (spear and better armour) .
In a unlikely set of circumstance, one Libyan unit disrupted the Greeks, but then themselves went fragmented in the following melee, however, in the next turn beat the Achaeans sufficiently to allow a double drop , which our dice obliged and broke. Always impressive to be broken by fragmented troops.
However, overall that drew a close to the game as the Libyan army finally collapsed. 15- 5 in the favour of the Later Mycenaean’s … a cracking start.
The last bound showing the complete collapse in the centre
I really enjoyed this game – which is easy to say when you a winning – but it was fought in a very pleasant manner, effort had gone into the presentation of the terrain ,and an unusual army selection (my favourite). I think taking Libyans was a brave choice into this competition, and I’ll be keen to see how they go on with the rest of their games. I think it was Chris, that said – from the PB Purple primer – on army selection, pick an army you love even when it loses. A worthy statement, that perhaps a few more players should consider.
So, with BADCON around the corner it was time to consider what to do. Originally being a club member I would be part of the scratch team, with the risk of not playing at all. However, with someone dropping out a permanent playing place became available. My original thought was for the Ikko Ikki, but having seen the current entries there seemed to be a preponderance of mounted armies. I’m not in it to win it but 4 games of being the whipping boy being doesn’t appeal. So attention was turned to the A:M tournament. The period offered ‘what was’ the DBM book 1 – Biblical , but given the reduction in lists and perceived lack of popularity it was expanded from 1500BC to 200BC (normally if would be 500BC). There are good and bad points to this. A pure Biblical period probably would get dominated by Neo-Assyrian (and similar types). Opening it up to the earlier classical armies would offer more variation, but open up the competition up to some of the ‘better armies’ by which I mean the drilled Lancer and filler outfits.
Anyway…. wanting to play a ‘pleasant’ army Jon and I settled on Achaian (Trojan war Greek), offering a characterful army, and being predominantly MF Spearmen the Lancers might fancy their chances of attacking frontally , rather than avoiding Hoplites and playing all the game on the flanks.
The ancient Greeks thought that the Trojan War was a historical event that had taken place in the 13th or 12th century BC, and believed that Troy was located in modern-day Turkey near the Dardanelles. By modern times, both the war and the city were widely believed to be non-historical. In 1870, however, the German archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann excavated a local site that he had identified as Troy; this claim is now accepted by most scholars. Whether there is any historical reality behind the Trojan War is an open question. Many scholars believe that there is a historical core to the tale, though this may simply mean that the Homeric stories are a fusion of various tales of sieges and expeditions by Mycenaean Greeks during the Bronze Age. Those who believe that the stories of the Trojan War are derived from a specific historical conflict usually date it to the 12th or 11th centuries BC, often preferring the dates given by Eratosthenes, 1194–1184 BC, which roughly corresponds with archaeological evidence of a catastrophic burning of Troy.
So, the army of Agamemnon, Menelaus, Nestor and the enigmatic Achilles. Also, I had had this army languishing in a dark cupboard recess for probably nearly a year. It was pre-painted army bought of Veteran Miniatures/Instant Armies… there you go guys there is your plug.
The paint job itself fulfilled my guilty pleasure of high gloss painting. I don’t know what it is.. but I do like a bit of hi-gloss, much to the ridicule of everyone else it seems. Maybe it’s the smell of the polyurethane ? Although I think it’s more to do with the tactile nature of a gloss finish. Maybe I just like old fashioned looking toy soldiers. However, languishing in the box I discovered that it was in need of a rebasing job. All with 6 days to go, 4 if you consider we wanted a practise game this Thursday
The Army list
The Myrmidons provide the sledgehammer, what’s not to like Superior Armoured I/F.
A goodly chunk of Light Chariot with a Light Spear ( a reasonably cheap mounted type, good against Bow armed Cavalry)
Some old school Mycenaean’s (Nestors troops) MF Def Spear – 2 large 9 base BGs
2 Armoured BGs (6s) of Medium Foot Offensive Spear
2 Protected BGs (8s) of Medium Foot Offensive Spear
and a assortment of skirmishers.
As an added bonus the Chariots can dismount as Sup MF Arm O/S, cool , but will make the army very narrow. For the general I chose not to take an I/C <umbrella> . I tried to keep the BGs as robust as possible against shooting, either Armoured or in 8’s+ … may be a mistake but we’ll see. This is fighting army so I want all my generals fighting!
With a PBI of +1 we weren’t going to win the initiative, but I can’t imagine many armies wanting the steppe – other that the Cimmerians *and hopefully we won’t meet any of those.
The BADCON event if probably unique now in that the draw is done by hand. That means there is a certain amount of matching armies that will give each other a good game within the swiss chess format (Let the nomads fight each other and the Chinese)
I think I’ll put on Troy on Friday night and see if that gets the juices going