Friday, October 25, 2013

Small Tactica Game- Romans vs Armenians

Our last game held 19th October at Blue Sky Hobbies in Bremerton was intended to be part of an Ancients Campaign that Tom Condon is running. However, only Brad and I showed up and he had to leave about half way through. Fortunately, the new guy Kevin Walker had showed up and was able to finish the game for Brad.

We were using small Tactica II Armies of only 1076 points. This is about half the size we normally play with, but makes for a simple and quick game. I decided to do Armenians vs Romans this time to give the Ponts a break. Since the Romans are more complicated to play, I gave Brad the choice of which side to play. He chose the Armenians.  Composition of the armies is as follows:

No.     Size      Type     Name
1     14     HC     Roman
1     12     LC     Allies                 
9     8     FT     Legion I Cohort (Note: Romans deployed as reinforced cohorts )
1     16     FT     Legion I Cohort   
1     12     LI     Tribal
1     16     LI     Auxilia                 
1     14     SI     Skirmishers
1     12     SI     Skirmishers   
      Army Breakpoint=     71   
      Size      Type     Name
1     16     LC     Armenian LC
1     18     CAT(I)     Katoikoi                 
1     48     PH     Phalanx
1     32     PH     Phalanx
1     24     COH     Imitation Legion                 
1     16     LI       Iberians
1     12     LI     Armenians                 
1     12     SI     Armenian Archers
1     12     SI     Armenians Javelin
      Army Break Point=95 

Opening Moves

With the exception of the Armenian Cataphracts which were part of the main battle line, both sides deployed their Cavalry and Light Infantry on the flanks. Armenians placed their Phalanxes on the right side of the main battle line with Imitation Legionaries in the middle and Cataphracts on the right. Romans put their reinforced 1st cohort opposite the largest Phalanx and their Heavy Cavalry on the side with the Cataphracts. With more men tied up in the Pike blocks the Armenians had two fewer units than the Romans to fight with. The Roman player was therefore hoping to be able to flank one of the Armenian Phalanxes.
Initial Deployment

In the opening moves, the Roman Light Cavalry (no doubt some reluctant Gauls) were sent packing by the Iberian Light Infantry. Over on the Roman right flank things were more even. The Armenian Light Infantry managed to get into position in the woods and drove off their Roman "tribal" counterparts, ( probably also some less than enthusiastic Gauls). The Roman Heavy Cavalry, however had no trouble defeating the Armenian Horse archers and advanced hopefully to be able to catch the Phalanxes in the rear. (Note: I forgot to have the Roman HC roll for "pursuit" which might have had them purse the Armenian horse archers, but in the long run it didn't matter. Game was over before they could make any difference).

Crunch Time,  HI in Melee

Mid- Game
The right two Roman cohort units advanced to occupy the hill in front of them and decided to wait for the enemy Cataphratcs to attack them. Meanwhile all the Heavy Infantry of the Roman left and middle met near the center of the field and began to slug it out. The Cataphracts eventually advanced to take on the two Roman units on the hill. The Armenian Light Infantry seeing the Cohorts locke din melee advanced out of the woods trying to take the end cohort in its flank. The Iberian Light Infantry on the other flank advanced to engage the Roman lights in the woods on top of the hill. The Roman Heavy Cavalry continued its attempt to get behind the Armenian Phalanxes.

The Armenian Cataphracts and the Imitation Legionnaires eventually broke leaving a huge hole in the Armenian Battle line. Unfortunately, the left two Roman Cohort Units broke soon after leaving the Romans perilously close to Break Point.  Using a break through move plus a couple of turns movement, the large Armenian Phalanxe caught the engage Roman Light Infantry on the hill in the flank and it was all over. The Roman Heavy Cavalry couldn't move fast enough to make a difference.

Final Positions
Armenian Phalanx catches Roman LI in Flank
In retrospect the Roman Units on the hill should have engaged sooner.They might have been able to make a difference, but sometimes it doesn't matter what you do. In order to win, the Romans had to break at least one of the Armenian Phalanxes. This they didn't do although one was fairly close ( 16 kills vs 21 needed to break). It was an enjoyable game however and thanks to Brad and Kevin for playing.