Category Archives: Ancients

Field of Glory Ancients – (06/07/2014 – Nick)

Deployment

Deployment

Finally – a game of FOG:AM using the full strength Punic War armies with a face-to-face opponent (but a very rushed write-up due to the pressures of real-life 😦 ). I was Carthage and Nick was Rome. After deployment my Spanish heavies and 2 Numidian light cavalry lined up against just 1 Roman heavy cavalry on my left flank, though there was rough terrain to protect the Roman’s flanks. My superior Gallic types lined up against the other Roman heavy cavalry on my right flank while in the centre I deployed elephants to the left, then Scutarii in the rough, Veteran Spears, elephants, more Veteran Spears finishing with Gallic warband in another area of rough ground – the slingers and Caetrati skirmished ahead. This line was faced by 3 Legions with Velite skirmishers out front and Triarii supports, while the Roman allies and light cavalry were in reserve by the camp.

Left flank

Left flank

Predictably I couldn’t bring my superior cavalry numbers to bear on my left flank and ended up losing, mainly due to the Spanish cavalry being unarmoured against armoured opponents. The victorious Roman cavalry pursued the Spaniards to destruction and then looked set to loot the undefended Carthaginian camp (there may have been token resistance from a unit of slingers, but this would just delay the inevitable). Luckily, the general leading my cavalry escaped, but it was a close thing.

Death of a Carthaginian general

Death of a Carthaginian general

On the right flank the superior Gallic cavalry eventually won their melee (for once 🙂 ) but lost the general leading them at his moment of triumph and went fragmented as a result of the subsequent lost commander test – this rendered them totally useless until Hannibal himself got over to rally them. Trouble was, when he finally arrived, he failed to rally them in 2 attempts – not a very inspired commander! His influence did bouy up units around him on that flank though, with the +2 he gave preventing two bad cohesion test rolls causing a unit of Veteran Spearman to drop a level.

Initial clashes in centre

Initial clashes in centre

In the centre the first clash came as one of my elephant units charged a unit of Hastati – in a surprising result (with my dice rolling anyway), the elephants quickly rolled over the Roman foot helped by a double 1 cohesion test (even after their re-roll for being Superior) and pursued them into the Allied foot defending the camp. This subsequent melee went on a lot longer but looked slightly in the elephants’ favour at the end of the game.

Warband advance

Warband advance

My Gallic warband failed their test to hold back a charge so ran straight into a unit of Hastati led by a general. The resulting melee was short and sweet (with lousy death rolls) – the warband broke (another roll of double 1, this time from me) and were unable to escape the pursuit even though they were mediums being pursued by heavies! – reduced to 50% they vanished from the table. The gap left by the warband allowed the Romans to start outflanking the Veteran Spears.

Punic spears against Hastati

Punic spears against Hastati

The other unit of Veteran Spears spent most of the game fighting a unit of Hastati accompanied by the Roman commander, but with a lot of drawn combats neither side was unable to inflict cohesion loss nor kill bases.

Elephant charge

Elephant charge

My Scutarii in the rough spent the game facing off against a legion with neither side wanting to engage in unfavourable terrain to them. Eventually I tried to break the deadlock with my other unit of elephants but I was unable to gain an advantage so didn’t commit the Scutarii.

Elephants advance towards the Roman camp

Elephants advance towards the Roman camp

When we called time the Cathaginians were 8 towards their breakpoint of 12 while the Romans were only 6 towards theirs of 16. The Cathaginians looked certain to lose their camp and a unit of Veteran Spearmen (see picture below) whereas there were no such certainties for Carthage against the Romans – the Roman camp was fortified, so even if the elephants beat the Allied foot (possible if their supporting Gallic cavalry ever rallied) they would only be able to loot the fortified camp on a roll of 5 or 6 on a D6.

Surrounded spears

Surrounded spears

A great game and most likely a Roman victory – if we had managed to get another turn in we would probably have reached a conclusion, but given we are still learning the rules, getting this far in the limited time we have is fine. The elephants were my units of the game for a change, probably because they actually achieved something, but I handled my cavalry badly on my left and ended up losing that flank when I should have won. I’m now even more motivated to finish my Gallic army now and also to get planning the Ottoman opponents for my Poles using the Renaissance version of these rules.

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Field of Glory Ancients (25/01/14 – David over Facetime)

Elephants investigate the IPad

Elephants investigate the IPad

Time for another experiment – a “real” war game over Facetime – 2 hours actually playing allowed us 2 full turns, so I finished off the game off solo based on instructions from the Roman General before he hung up. The Roman deployment occupied the area around my left flank marsh with skirmishers, light cavalry and 1 unit of heavy cavalry – they were backed up with a legion of 2 units Hastatii/Principes and 1 of Triarii. I matched this with 2 units of light cavalry, one of heavy cavalry and slingers/Caetari, holding the Scutari behind them in reserve, thinking it would take the Legion a while to skirt the marsh.

I put my 2 units of Veteran Libyan Spears interspersed with Elephants in the centre and at the end of the line was a Gallic warband. This was faced by 2 legions with Italian allies facing my warband. Beyond the rough group on the flank we both placed our remaining unit of cavalry with a commander, though mine was Gallic armoured superior against Roman average, so it should be a walkover 🙂

Caetari about to break

Caetari about to break

The Roman had the first move, so charged on the marsh flank – light cavalry into light cavalry and 2 units of Velites into my Caetari. I fared better in the light cavalry melee, but my Caetari lost badly, and had broken by turn 2, forcing me to insert the Scutari into the gap – unfortunately this gap already contained the legion, so the Velites were able to evade back through them when the Scutari charged them.

Caetari break

Caetari break

I had managed to block my heavy cavalry off with my 2nd light cavalry unit (doh!) so had to get them out of the way before I could move up the heavies. My slingers had been disrupted by Roman javelin shooting then charged on turn 2, but managed to hang on in the impact phase against the short spear bonus, then were stuck in a melee in the marsh for the remainder of the game, despite the Roman Velites being fragmented.

On my other flank, I confidently charged my Gallic heavy cavalry into the inferior Roman cavalry, but got a shock – the Romans not only won the impact phase, but killed my commander – a morale roll of 4 on 2 dice took the Gauls to disrupted right away, and a loss in the melee phase saw them broken and fleeing gleefully pursued by the “inferior” Romans.

Death of the Gallic cavalry general

Death of the Gallic cavalry general

Gallic cavalry break

Gallic cavalry break

With the battle lines still to clash, the Roman general was called away to lunch. In the next turn, the action around the marsh turned in my favour, with my heavy cavalry breaking the Roman heavy cavalry, getting the kill roll and then staying in contact in pursuit to auto break them.

Cavalry melee

Cavalry melee

My Numidians who had been engaged since the start of the game finally got lucky and broke the Roman light cavalry, losing them in pursuit but with no-one to rally them, the Roman cavalry soon routed off the table.

Numidians break their opponents

Numidians break their opponents

Warband poised to charge

Warband poised to charge

Roman general steadies the line

Roman general steadies the line

Legion flanks the Libyans

Legion flanks the Libyans

Now came the crucial turn for Carthage – I charged all along the line, except for the veteran spears nearest the marsh who were worried about the line being flanked by the left-most legion.

Battle lines clash

Battle lines clash

It didn’t start well – Hannibal led the other unit of veteran spears and some elephants into a unit of legionaries led by the Roman General, but they lost the impact badly, went down a base and were disrupted. Then, out of the blue, a 12 was rolled for the Roman General fighting in the front rank, and down he went. He can’t have been very popular, as none of the surrounding units even came close to failing their morale test for seeing him hacked down at the very moment of a victory which would surely guarantee him a Triumph back in Rome.

Death of the Roman general

Death of the Roman general

Next along the line were the other Elephants and Gauls against some reluctant Italian allied spearmen the Romans had brought along to make up the numbers. They should be defeated, but needed to be quickly because the returning Roman cavalry were breathing down the Gaul’s rear. It wasn’t to be – the impact phase ended in a draw with no casualties caused – bugger!

Don't look behind you lads

Don’t look behind you lads

On to the melee phase. Hannibal won his melee, but the Romans morale again stood firm, and worse, each side lost a base and the veteran Spearmen were down 25% of their strength (as were the Romans, but they fight to the last base regardless – maniacs!). The Elephants and Gauls managed to do better against the Italian spears in the melee phase, killing a base and sending them disrupted. The turn ended with each side 5 points towards their break points of Rome: 16 and Carthage:12.

Legion charges Libyans and Scutari

Legion charges Libyans and Scutari

The Romans charged the Scutarii and Libyan veterans on my centre left, winning both impacts and sending the Scutarii disrupted with a base loss and the Libyans disrupted. The melee phase was a strange one, with combats drawn all along the line, apart from the Gauls and Elephants killing an Italian spearman base. In the Carthaginian turn, the Scutarii beat the Principes facing them and killed a second base, but the Libyan veterans lost badly and dropped to fragmented. Hannibal and his Libyan spears needed to win, but their fight ended in another draw and though the Gauls and elephants finally broke the Italian foot, it was too late as the Romans were moving first in the next turn.

Too late, the Italians break

Too late, the Italians break

The one Roman charge was straight into the back of the Gauls, whose pursuit of the Italian spears had actually made it easier for the Roman cavalry to skirt the rough ground to charge them in the rear. In the impact phase I forgot to send the Gauls disrupted straight away for being charged in the rear, but remembered in time for the melee phase, in which they were broken. Elsewhere, the Scutarii had a stunning 7-1 victory over the opposing Principes, broke them then auto broke them by staying in contact and costing them a base. The Roman commander with the unit died on a roll of a 10, making 3 generals killed in the battle – a 50% casualty rate! Unfortunately the “superior” Libyan spear chose this moment to lose their melee and roll low on their morale test – they were also reduced to auto broken in the ensuing pursuit. The Carthaginian turn brought more grief with Hannibal’s unit of Libyans broken and wiped out, though he survive the casualty roll and moved to join the other routing Libyans in the Joint Action phase.

This will not end well!

This will not end well!

I ended the game there, with the Carthaginians 1 off their breakpoint at 11 while the Romans were 6 off at 10. Although the Carthaginian cavalry had broken through on one flank, only the Numidians were in good shape, with the Spanish heavy cavalry fragmented and no commander anywhere near to rally them. On the other flank the Roman cavalry were chasing the broken Gauls off the board, but it was in the centre that Carthage’s situation was hopeless – only the Scutarii and elephants remained facing 3 pretty much intact legions, as one of the veteran Libyan units had auto broken while the other was heading broken towards its own baseline (though admitted with Hannibal alongside, they would probably rally).

Given that 2 turns took 2 hours and that I can’t leave games set up, FOB:AM is probably not ideal for this format – the full game would have taken us 6 hours. However, I did get to play against a Roman deployment which I wouldn’t have made had I been playing solo. I then tried to play out the Roman orders which were given to me after the game went solo, so as a start for a solo game it was excellent – thanks to the Roman general for taking part (though not for accusing me of cheating when he found out about the “12” rolled to kill the Roman general) 🙂

Field of Glory Ancients (03/01/2014 Tom)

We had a couple of hours to spare on a wet Friday, so I threw together an 800 point Mid-Republican Rome v Carthage FOG game to demonstrate the rules to Tom. I hadn’t appreciated before how many units the Romans can have at 800 points (16 to the Carthaginian 12) which made my job as Hannibal even harder – breaking superior Legions is difficult enough at the best of times 🙂

Clash of battlelines

Clash of battlelines

Tom was quite impressed with the rules, even when he couldn’t seem to make a kill roll to save his life. I got myself into a bit of a pickle trying to work out what would happen when a unit of African Veteran Spearmen got broken by a unit of Hastati half their size who then pursued them through a unit of skirmishers. I took it as a pursuit into fresh enemy, and even though the skirmishers broke themselves and ran through the spears who had burst through them, I stopped the Romans short of pursuing into the spears again. I need to do some research to find out if that was correct or not.

Pursuit

Pursuit

We got to try out some elephants as well, and Tom failed to kill any even before I remembered you had to add 1 to the kill roll when rolling to lose a base 🙂 Nonetheless it was great to get elephants back on the table again – last time was using my 28mm Hinchliffe Sassanid elephants with WRG rules in the late 1970’s.

Elephants rampant

Elephants rampant

We finished after 3 turns, with neither side winning in the centre (though the Carthaginians had killed the most stands and the Romans were 6 points towards their breakpoint while the Carthaginians were 4 towards theirs). My right flank was up in the air, though my elephants had penetrated and wiped out a Roman Hastati unit there – meanwhile on my left flank, I was winning the large cavalry melee with the superior Gallic chaps.

What was interesting was how effective the Romans could be in one melee and really brittle in the next due to their small unit sizes – I may need to combine the 4 base infantry units into 8 base units to make them more durable.

Cavalry melee

Cavalry melee

We’re keen to give this set another go soon, though I’ve just got an e-mail from Lancashire Games – the new Ancient rule set “Pulse of Battle” from Brent Oman is available for pre-order – oh-oh…..

Field of Glory Ancients (30/11/2013 Solo)

Finally – a run through of FOG:A. Inspired to finish my 15mm troops by Sgt Steiner’s accounts on his blog, they have finally made it on to the table (with a lot of help from Lancashire Games excellent painting service!).  I discovered a few rules I hadn’t picked up on my read-throughs (e.g. Impact Foot – even Romans it seems – are Shock troops and have to pass a test to stop an uncontrolled charge if in range), but mostly this was a chance to get a flavour of the rules rather than getting every nuance right. I played Gallic against Middle Republican Roman and hadn’t a clue if I was using the correct tactics most of the time, but even at this early stage there were some fun moments – average Roman cavalry charging and breaking superior Gallic types or 3 bases of Hastati beating up 8 bases of Gaestati. First impressions are excellent and I’m looking forward to a game against an opponent over Christmas.

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