This was the first Thursday in a while and I half expected to be facing Republican Romans but they are not quite ready yet so it was the Greeks once more, this time however we went for 3,000 points a side, not a lot but enough for at least one extra unit and some additional command figures. Because of this I set up an 8x5 table instead of 6x4, Kevin and I like to fight a simple pitched battle and do not use the objective cards, we also fight until one side is defeated.
This week the Twelfth had four legionary cohorts, one auxiliary and the usual supports, I did treat myself to a unit of Contarii heavy cavalry, the enemy had four phalanxes and a horde of light troops, Peltasts, Hill Tribes and dozens of skirmishers. I put all my strength on my left and centre while most of the support went to the right, the Greeks were fairly strong on their left but there were large gaps in the rest of the line. I saw an opportunity to hit Kevin's right while holding off the rest of his troops, a wood in the centre of his line became a hurdle for him, although I wanted to use the Contarii aggressively I was a little daunted by the amount of firepower to the front of them.
The battle got off to a shaky start as my firepower failed miserably to dent the enemy but this improved dramatically during the next few turns and the Greeks lost all their support from their left, the Contarii advanced but I never quite got close enough and the target of their ire, some Peltasts, kept managing to run away. The Hill Tribes warband was being cut to ribbons by missiles, and although it eventually, and bravely, charged, it was no real threat to my Auxiliaries who had hot footed it to my right flank. A phalanx had also been sent to help but when the Hill Tribes routed, this became the target of all my combined firepower, massed archers, slingers and horse archers and they died to a man. At the same time my cavalry at last got their chance to hit the Peltasts, the poor infantry didn't stand a chance and were ridden down.
As this was going on my left advanced as quick as possible and swept away the skirmishers and Peltasts on the Greek right, Kevin had decided to send a second phalanx to shore up his left but it left the two remaining spear blocks surrounded by Romans. I slowly fell back just enough to lead the Greeks on and then slammed into their flanks. The Praetorians hesitated long enough for me to curse them but recovered and joined the fray, the numbers told and with Cohors I closing on the Greek rear it was all over.
It is easy to say of course once the dust settles but if I had been Kevin I would have settled four phalanxes on the right between the villa and the wood and simply gone forward as fast as possible at the Cohorts opposite, I would not have advanced the left and played for time there. The maths are against the Romans if the blocks hit in phalanx but my men have only succumbed once in all our battles and even that was after a long drawn out combat. I think Kevin will do better with his Carthaginians or Successors, these armies have a much better troop choice than the Greeks and may agree more with his play style once he has had a few more games and developed one. It does take time to get to grips with an army and what it can and cannot do, I have been doing this for three years now against Kevin's few months. Anyway he can have a rest as I think the next game will be Bolt Action.
I have also changed my mind again about the new army, it is not going to be Pyrrhic, but Successor, however I am very busy with maps at the moment and some other small projects so it is looking more like December before I buy some troops, perhaps Santa will be kind.
|A comment I am sure the Greeks would endorse!|