Saturday, January 5, 2013

First Game of the New Year

After an easy trip spent mostly on expensive public transport, my ladies and I arrived at the New Buckenham club for our first game of the New Year. Up for grabs was a Roman vs. Gauls game, and a SCW game run by Nigel of View from the Duck Pond blog, using some of his excellent collection.

My stepdaughter and I opted for the ancients game, me donning a Roman commander's mantle, and Amanda the war garb of the Gaul. In honour of the occasion she was given the new nickname of Boudicca, a local girl. Yes, I know she wasn't Gallic, but anyway... 

The rules are Impetus. Both sides were apportioned forces. According to the rules, the Romans began the game light by one ballista and some cavalry. The Gauls chose to deploy first. Somewhat surprisingly they chose to form up on the table side with the most difficult terrain, which took up their right flank - where Amanda's force deployed.
 Opening Deployment. My cohorts are from the top of the hill running to the left.

The center lay pretty much open to all comers and saw the most action. Our legate adopted an aggressive policy and the Roman line surged forward with a steady tread.
I was a bit surprised by this. Under Impetus rules, as in real life, attacking a Roman legion is like sticking your face into a buzz saw. Romans can attack, but lose some advantages when they do. Oh well, te morturiti, etc. No doubt the lack of some units drove his decision.

The Gauls came on and commenced aggressive attacks on the Roman center and right wing. A to-and-fro battle between auxilia and warband ran through most of the game, with the Romans rolling plenty of dice compared to the Gauls, but failing to get any significant advantage in scores.
 Auxilia and legionary cohort alike take the brunt of the fight in the center.

On the Roman right, cavalry came to blows in a long-running engagement that saw the eventual destruction of the Gauls.

Over on my flank I continued to advance, whilst Amanda struggled to extricate her forces from the marshes. Finally, her cavalry freed itself and advanced handsomely. The lead auxiliary infantry came under ineffective fire from skirmishing tribal youths, but a swift charge destroyed them.
My cavalry attacked their lead tribal counterparts, but were flung back. Another attempt to close went the same way, and, although I managed to shake off the disorder, the Gauls charged and stomped my cavalry flat.
In the center the battle had definitely gone in Rome's favour. The whole issue hung on just a few farther contests.
The end of it all. 
The accusing finger of an angry Celtic deity wags from on high at the victorious Romans.

The Gallic cavalry had emerged victorious but bloodied from their battle with my cavalry. They lay exposed to my archers, who promptly shot them to pieces. Simultaneously two warbands attacked my auxiliaries in the woods. The combat stretched for two moves and resulted in the auxiliaries emerging triumphant. Break point had been reached and surpassed. The Gauls decided to retreat to fight another day.

Thanks to all who took part. My commiserations to Amanda, on her first loss in a wargame.
* * *
Although I was busy with our game, I did manage to get a shot of the Spanish Civil War game over on the other table. Nigel will no doubt write it up on his blog later.
  Somewhere in Spain. Republicans nearest the camera.


Cindy said...

Nice photos! Yeah, the Romans didn't have their way at times... The Gauls really stuck in there until the bitter end. Too bad wearing diapers and throwing javelins can't always knock out a professional legion of Roman soldiers! ;)

Frank Cozens said...

Regarding attacking with the Romans: If standing to defend the Romans Legionary units can roll three dice for their Pila, requiring scores of 6's for a hit. The attacking tribesmen are very likely to count their full impetus of +4 dice. This tips the odds in their faour, and they can choose the order of the melees. I think attacking is a better option,as you get 7 dice to their 4 dice. In addition,using the auxillia in the front line negated their impetus bonus, but it was important to choose the order the melees took place. We suffered from the enemy rolling six 1's in a row when taking several cohesion tests. Those units survived, and took no losses from the melee. We got there in the end.

A J said...

Thanks for the explanation, Frank. Yes, the dice rolls were pretty freaky on the night. The fortune of war, I guess.


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