Badcon 2013 – Game 1, Later Macedonian

Game 1 Later Macedonian – Dave and John

phalanx[1]

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.

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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

 

The Right Flank. game1_3

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.

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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!)

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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.

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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.

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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.

gauls_color[1]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.

Badcon 2013

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)2-romes-enemies-ii-gallic-and-british-celts[1]

 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 –

 C-C (troop)

  • 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 

Ally (Gaesati)

  • 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.

 list

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