For the first game I was fielding Patrician Romans, I took a core of Roman troops along with a force of Gothic Foederati under their own leader, the cavalry arm consisted of horse archers, my general's Bucellarii bodyguard and some Roman Equites. My missile troops consisted of a couple of skirmish units and two ballista, now I know a bit of Mike's modus operandi and he likes bolt shooters and cataphracts so I thought my own bolt shooters would whittle down his armoured tanks. The right flank was closed down a touch by a steep hill and marsh so I put my Romans in the right centre with the Foederati and cavalry on my left, the idea being to roll up Mike's right flank.
We used the WAC objectives system for the games as that is what Mike is used to and I play them at away games, so I had to kill two of Mike's most expensive units which were his three legionary cohorts, he had to raid my camp. More of this system anon.
|Patricians on the left, EIR on the right.|
Mike came on quite aggresively while I held my Romans and pushed the Goths forward for their attack on his right, sadly I had miscalculated and one of the units took forever to skirt the small wood and never really got into the action. The Gothic Nobles on the other hand did get into combat and swept away the first enemy cohort, but the others along with the cataphracts had smashed into my line of legions, things looked a little dodgy, I wasn't really getting anywhere on my left as Mike kept his annoying Numidian cavalry and others out of my way and it was taking far too long to cover the ground.
|My left attacks.|
|First contact as my Goths crash into a cohort.|
Looking over the field of glory I was quite elated, I had held the cataphracts and was whittling them down, I had routed a legionary cohort and an auxiliary cohort, my Bucellarii was in the act of destroying a warband, what could go wrong? Well, one of my legions, Quinta Macedonica, simply refused to go into shieldwall as one of Mike's cohorts bore down on them, five times they failed this, then ran away when a nearby legion routed, I was not pleased and the unit is up for decimation. My Equites also let me down, they charged and failed to rout the Numidians, I thought this one was a gift, but no, the Africans chased them away!
|Battle is joined.|
|Looking good (for a while).|
|My right is victorious.|
I am not a fan of the objective system, I can see that it has its uses in competitions where there has to be a time limit but when you play without a time limit with large armies it doesn't allow you to fight a 'battle' but a game. When my son and I play we simply use Pitched Battle with no time limit, at some point one of us offers his sword.
The game, very disappointed in the Macedonica and the Equites, the former probably would not have stood up to the legionaries but refusing to go into shieldwall and then running let the side down. Mike frustrated me by handling his Numidians and skirmishers very well, I had to rout some of his units several times as they outpaced their pursuers only to rally, my boys were very slow on the feet. The ballista's on both sides were ineffectual and the cataphracts were not as big a threat as I had originally thought. An excellent game to kick off the weekend.