Sunday, 30 October 2016

Challenging Game

Have you ever tried out a scenario and it did not quite work out? That was the case for our gaming group at our event last night. We played a game of Sword and Spear last night with the Romans taking on the hated Carthaginians. Rather than play the usual game of line em up and charge, we tried a scenario from the rule book and played Attack on a Prepared Position. The Romans were defending and set up  behind a river as there defensive terrain. We put a forlorn hope of skirmishing Velites and Numidian Cavalry over the river with a captain to make sure they followed orders.

 Roman Deployment

Carthaginians on the left

The Carthaginians as the attackers had the option to send an attack on the flank which they elected to do. They flankers were put aside and the remaining Carthaginians set up with an plan of eradicating our Forlorn Hope to get an early advantage and then attack the river defenses.
Roman Deployment

The first couple of turns saw the Carthaginians slowly advance the heavy infantry while their skirmishers dueled with our advanced skirmish screen. Unfortunately for the Carthaginians, their best skirmishers had joined the flank attack and the Romans were able to win the initial engagement between the skirmishers.

Skirmishers mix it up in the centre

The Carthaginian flank attack appeared on turn 4. The Romans had guessed that the flank attack would appear on their left as this had the most open terrain and would be most easily supported by the main force of Carthaginians. The Carthaginians achieved surprise by turning up on the opposite flank led by Hannibal himself. The Romans scrambled to form a line to defend against this new threat and were able to do so due to the Generals presence and the presence of a forest that slowed the Carthaginian advance. The Carthaginian Cavalry charged forward bravely but Roman Legionaries on the defense were able to see off the attackers and even managed to unhorse Hannibal and remove him from the battle. Below is an after shot showing the victorious Romans chasing the flank attackers off the board.

Victorious Romans regroup

The Carthaginians continued to advance toward the river line but with the loss of their flanking force, they would not have the ability to defeat superior Roman infantry defending a river line. The game ended with the Carthaginians continuing their pursuit of the Roman skirmish screen with no luck. The Carthaginians lost an elephant to bow and javelin fire in the last turn.

Roman missiles fell an elephant

Carthaginians approach the Roman held river line

The game ended in a lopsided victory for the Romans. We learned some lessons from this scenario. 
1)This scenario should have had the attacker having a 10-20% advantage in troops. 
2)The two sides should have started closer together the picture above shows the Carthaginian main battle line approaching the defended river line. After 8 turns they were still 3 or 4 moves away from engagement. 
3)Roman Heavy Infantry are a tough nut to crack!
4)The river gave too much advantage to the Romans and should have been downgraded to a stream or fords and bridges should have been added.

Excellently painted figures and beautiful terrain and playing space provided by Zak. My newly acquired Greeks from Ross MacFarlane made their first game appearance as stand ins for Carthaginian African Spearmen.


Thanks to Brent, Martin and Zak for the good company and fun game. Credit goes to Martin for Roman success in fending off the Carthaginian flank attackers.

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