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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.