On Friday, August 6th, we had another of our Ponts vs Roman battles using the TACTICA II rule system. It was another defeat for poor Minimus Gluteus, but was a very enjoyable game all around. The new TACTICA is a joy to play and there is always the tension as you wonder whose troops are going to break first.
Below is the set up. Pretty standard Roman deployment of two legions. I started out with them already reinforced. Why waste time maneuvering when you know you are going to end up that way eventually. When going up against the Pontic Phalanxes, the Romans need the reinforced cohorts in order to last long enough to wear the pike blocks down.
Action started on the Roman left Flank with the Ponts trying to do a flanking move. The Roman LC go up against the Pontic HC while the Cataphracts try get around the end. They got kind of tied up and never earned their worth on this side. The Roman Auxilia were able to hold them up for most of the game.
I played the Roman General, Minimus Gluteus ( who seems never to get things just right) Here you can see the Roman Cohorts attacking in a wedge shape. This was an attempt to get into contact with the Pontic Phalanxes and start doing damage to them. To win the Romans must take out at least one pike phalanxe.
Over on the other flank, the scythed chariots run into some Roman Auxilia which they eventually destroy. ( A waste of good chariots). Another group of Armenian Cataphracts move forward. The Roman Gaulic LC thinks about taking out the Pontic Skirmishers, but eventually swings around to try top flank the cataphracts.
Another view of the Roman wedge attack, just before the HI comes into contact. The terrain pieces are actually supposed to be low hills. They didn't have any effect on the game. We rolled per the T2 rules and all we got were small hills, no rough terrain.
Here we see the skirmishers have fallen back and the HI is in melee for the inevitable slug fest. Its always a contest to see who will break first, the large pike blocks or the nimble Roman cohorts. Per the rules, the pike blocks break at 66% casualties, but for the cohorts you have to kill everyone of the buggers. The right handed Phalanxe is the Militia Grade(Ex-Slave) one which breaks at 50%.
A view of the HI battle from the Pontic side. The Immitation Legionaires on the left and the Galatian WB on the right haven't yet gotten into the fight. Roman Auxilia on far Roman left are still holding out. These things are almost always decided in the middle. Flanks are usually just a side show.
Galatians finally get into action in the background. Even though they don't get Impetus(Double Dice), in the ensuing melee they put 9 hits out of 11 rolls on the Romans. Ouch! There's the die roll at left. The discouraged Romans manage only to put a couple of hits on the Galatians all the more significant since the Romans are hit on a 5 or 6 while the Galatians are hit on a 4, 5 or 6.
Meanwhile, Minimus has attached himself to the Gaulic LC and is attempting to get a wing or flank attack on the cataphracts. Here he is in position, but next turn the Ponts get initiative and advance out of his way. He should have been paying more attention to his center.
View of the battle from Roman side. The hits are staring to mount up. The 10 kills from the Galatians would prove to be devastating. Only 6 more before cohort would break.
Looks like Minumus might finally catch the cataphracts from the rear. Nope! Ponts get initiative again and do a "Complex Maneuver" with an about face although they end up disordered.
One of the cohorts fighting the Ex-slave phalanxe breaks. The cohorts to its left
with 21 hits passes morale but the one to its right doesn't and is disordered. Things not looking good for the Romans.
The cohort fighting the Galatians finally breaks and the route test disorders the cohort to its right. Is the beginning of the end for the Romans. Subsequent melees and morale tests lead to a cascading series of routes for the Romans. The left Legion reaches 66% casualties and breaks.
Here you see the route of the Romans. A couple of the Pontic phalanxes were close, just 3 or 4 away from breaking. A few more die rolls in the Romam's favor and it could have gone the other way.
The Pontic commanders celebrate their victory
Minimus is foiled again. "What a revoltin development this has turned out to be!"