Badcon 2013 – Game 4, Late Republican Roman

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.

Deployment

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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)game4_6

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.

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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!

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WMMS , first show of 2013 ( for me!)

Well, after missing warfare last Nov this is the first show I’ve attended in 4 months. Part of my new years resolution was to sort out my competition terrain. Somehow it’s tends to slip , as I move stuff about and generally sell stuff. So I decided to sort it our once and for all. It sort of coincided with a bit of painting commission that was due for delivery a WMMS. So it was a horse trade.. The cash was fleetingly in my pocket.

Before … Some Islamic cavalry types …

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After a bit bag of rubber

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The show seemed well attended this year. Despite being FA cup day, 6 nations and Mothers day

Badcon 2013 – Game 3, Parthian

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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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….

Badcon 2013 – Game 2, Palmyran

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!)

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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.

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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.

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One down…

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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.

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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 🙂

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Defeat