Thursday, 22 October 2009

Finally, a victory

On Tuesday, the Romans tried for the second time to unite central Italia under their control. They set up (red at top) slightly offset from the centre, with a unit of Italians anchoring their right flank on some rough ground. The legions were in the middle with the other Italians to their left. The open left flank was occupied by the cavalry. The Romans set up their velites in the rough on their right and to the left to cover their cavalry; they knew that their opponents would have stronger cavalry, and were hoping that they would take damage from the skirmishers. They also risked not covering the legions, since they are extremely good anyway.

The Italians set up with light infantry, light cavalry and slingers on their left opposite the rough ground. Their long centre was composed of an interspersed line of hoplite equivalents and blocks of lesser armed infantry. And on their right was the rest of the cavalry plus a small number of javelinmen.

The game was immensely enjoyable and very close. The Romans had a possible overlap on the left of the Italian battleline, but the latter were able to contain this with their swarm of light troops. The centre came down to the expected grind. And on the Italian right, their cavalry repeated the exploit of the previous encounter, sweeping all before them and then chasing off in futile pursuit. The overlap of Italians on the Roman left almost won the game for the Italians, as the leftmost legion came under very severe pressure. Luckily for them, though, the leftward deployment of the velites finished off the opposing damaged cavalry units. The legions won the day, as the triarii of the left legion held out and the heavy infantry in the centre crunched their way through the opposition.

The Romans lost more men than the Italians, but the Republican legion structure dictates that no legionaries count towards army break point until the whole legion is destroyed, giving them enough of an edge in a heavy infantry fight to win the day, which is what happened here. It could so easily have gone against the Romans, as it did the last time, but the triple line gives them tremendous staying power as it attrits the enemy.

So we finally have a victory by one of the empires. Next week, Alexander goes on the rampage against Thrace, seeking a jumping-off point for his long awaited attack on the Persian Empire. He hasn't had any success elsewhere, and the way the boardgame works made us realise that the Macedonians need to gain victory points at the expense of the Persians.

2 comments:

  1. very good blog, congratulations
    regard from Reus Catalonia
    thank you

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  2. Thanks for the comment! I must admit that I'm not being as productive as I would like this month. Work is always heavy from around the start of October, and is especially so this year. I'm just about managing to keep my weekly games posted, but pictures of figures will probably have to wait a while.

    Thanks again
    Paul

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