Wednesday 17 February 2010

Macedonians Are Pants!

Yesterday evening the Macedonians failed spectacularly to conquer Greece. There's not much to say, really, except that the Greek hoplites exterminated the phalanx with consummate ease. They were helped by the fact that the Thessalians went chasing off after routing light infantry instead of flanking the Sacred Band (a failed control test).

Afterwards I discovered that the Greek army was too large by 88 points, which is almost the equivalent of two units of peltasts, so the Macedonians probably should have succeeded in flanking the hoplite line. Having said that, the Macedonians did beat the Thracians in an earlier battle with an army that was far too large, so what goes around comes around. It can be rather dispiriting to be on the receiving of it, though...

The ineptitude of the Macedonians has left us with something of a problem in the campaign. Technically, they should have five moves this turn, but they have just lost two major battles in a row. In order to inject some variation into the game, we ruled that they lose one of their moves and carry the other two into the next turn. It means that their supposed "Great Commander" bonus is working out differently from the boardgame, but that shouldn't matter too much. We'll see if they can finally do some real damage in the next turn.

We rolled no pertinent rebellions, and specified that someone other than Macedon should go. A random roll came up with the steadily expanding Romans, and we rolled again to see where they would go: Cisalpine Gaul. So next week sees the Roman war machine make its first foray northwards. I'm looking forward to this game; I'll be able to use the newly painted legions I've been massing for the Zama game. Which can only mean a total massacre; as any gamer will tell you, newly painted figures will either destroy everything in front of them, or be mercilessly wiped out themselves. A bit of superstition there.


  1. Phalanx is great going forwards (certainly in FOG) but very vulnerable on the flanks - as you seem to have discovered.

    Your right about newly painted figures - Russ just finished his Carthaginians and they've been battered twice in a row by my raggedy Romans.

  2. Looking at the layout, couldn't the Companians have gone round the flanks of the hoplites? The slingers would have had to run and his hoplites would have needed to turn to face the cavalry threat (meaning less coming on to the phalanxs).

    Bit tricky as they're jammed between the Thracians and Hypaspists (maybe deploy them on the end next time) - but they'd have the movement to get up and around...

  3. Hi Phil, the Companions did start moving that way, but the powerful Theban blocks did for the phalanxes before I found a target for the cavalry attack. The Companions forced the hoplites at the rear end of the echelon to be very conservative, effectively removing two large enemy units them from the battle. We were hoping for the Thessalians and the large blocks of Thracians on the left to turn the other flank more quickly, but it was not to be. The heavy infantry fight was in fact mostly going our way for a while, and then a Theban unit had unbelievable good luck. One phalanx was destroyed and the one next to it caved in on morale; so when the end came, it was very sudden. In one sense it wouldn't have mattered, because when we rolled for possible rebellions the region we got was Greece - so the Macedonians would have seen it rebel anyway!