Thursday 1 April 2010

New Page: Ancients Scenarios

I have written up a scenario for Zama as I would like to play it if our club had more resources. It is the first in what will be an infrequent series of ancients battles for our chosen ruleset, Tactica II. I have, however, written it so as to be easily translated to other rulesets. The page link is on the leftmost column of the blog's main page. Our own game will be close to this, but with slightly fewer figures.


  1. Looks like a meaty scenario, Paul! One of the things about Zama refights that always interests me is how the rules deal with the return of the Roman cavalry following its victory on the wings and subsequent pursuit of the enemy horse. Polybius has the cavalry's return as the moment that won Scipio the infantry battle, but it can be hard to get things to play out that way on the wargames table. How quickly do cavalry battles get resolved vis-a-vis infantry battles in Tactica II, and is there any mechanism to simulate cavalry pursuit?

    Cheers, Aaron

  2. Hi Aaron, cavalry battles can be quick and deadly in Tactica II when compared with infantry fights. The most important factor is the number of hits a unit can take, which is worked out from figures in the unit modified by morale rating. It sounds complex, but it isn't - the upshot is that the smaller cavalry units just don't last very long. Laelius has two large, good quality units against three Carthaginian. If one goes in close proximity to other units, they would have to test morale, and a "cascade" effect can result. This makes a quick resolution even more likely. As discussed on the Lost Battles Yahoo Group, one way to drag out the cavalry combats is for the Carthaginians to postpone contact for as long as they can.

    Tactica II does have a pursuit test. Basically, if a unit defeats all of its melee enemies, it must make a control test or go haring off after the remnants. This usually takes it out of position and out of command, simulating long pursuits. It doesn't apply to formed Heavy Infantry.

    I think if the Carthaginians react to the initial battle situation by postponing the cavalry clash and also throw in their third infantry line as early as they can, they could pull it off. There is also the possibility of peeling off the endmost elite units in the third line to help out with the cavalry. I'd really like to try this out!

    Thanks for the observations.


  3. Well, that's a pretty solid explanation, so many thanks for taking the time to give it. You've got me thinking that Tactica II will be worth picking up when it comes out. Thanks again, and look forward to hearing reports of the various Zamas as they get played.


  4. Hi Aaron, I'm going to use one of the Blogger pages to write a thorough description of the rules when they do come out, something that would be of use to anyone who might be interested. They are a "vanilla" set, which is to be expected of any rules that attempt to cover such a wide period of history, but they do give an excellent basis on which to hang army or scenario specific variations.

    We have come across quite a few situations, especially in the campaign, which need a bit of flavour, so I'll probably set up another page for house variations. I'll try to make the page describing the mechanisms as neutral as possible.

    Cheers again