Last night was a War and Conquest clash with convert Ed, Ed has a penchant for the Greeks so took my Seleucids while I brought the Thunderbolts. I sent him all the info beforehand and he sent me an army list so that I did not need to haul seven boxes of metal sojers to the club with my old bones. I had already sorted out who was marching with me and Ed's list looked a bit weak, the Seleucids being a bitty army, a bit of this and a bit of that, all expensive points wise. I mentioned that he did not have an elephant in his army and they were usually a staple of Macedonian Successor armies, so he revised his list, dropped a phalanx and put in an elephant, this was to come back and haunt me.
I deployed with most of my forces on my left, my right had most of my auxiliary troops and all my shooters, I hoped to quickly advance, take out the Seleucid skirmishers and threaten their line thereby pinning one of the phalanxes. Ed didn't seem bothered by the small wood and had skirmishers backed up by Thorakitai to take it, his right had cataphracts, the elephant and a regular phalanx, his left was protected by a guard phalanx and some skirmishers.
|Seleucids on the left, Twelfth on the right.|
I advanced quickly on my right but could not get enough casualties on the enemy skirmishers to force a morale test, my archers throughout this battle managed to miss with almost every shot. I was eventually forced to charge with the horse archers who rode down the bowmen and continued into the Seleucid rear eventually taking out the routing javelinmen as well. The Lanciarii took the wood and routed the said javelinmen sending them to the rear but stopped short of the Thorakatai and they now threw their rubber javelins at this unit.
Meanwhile being a decent chap I notified Ed that he should keep his cavalry away from the elephant or they might take fright, I also decided to use the new cavalry amendments from author Rob Broom which are intended to make cavalry fare better on the table, in this case his and not mine. Can you see the halo?
Anyway I set up my two Roman cohorts for an attack as I put my light cavalry into skirmish on the flank of the cataphracts. My boys made their morale check and stood as the armoured horse bore down on them, then over them, Ed then moved the elephant close enough to my cavalry for it to collapse and bolt from the table never to be seen again. Two units down and the game just started. I was now forced to charge the first cohort into the White pike block while holding Auxiliary II back to watch the victorious cataphracts, the pike block was smashed and dispersed, things still looked good for Fulminata.
|The fight for the wood.|
The guard phalanx now hit Auxiliary I and routed them but could not catch them, my boys rallied and turned to face their tormentors, javelins and archery now began to cut down some of the phalangites, hope was once again beating in my breast. Then, as darkness closed, the cataphracts smashed into Auxiliary II on top of a hill, once again my boys fled and were ridden over, Auxiliary I now suffered the same fate as their morale failed and they too ran from the field for a second time. With nothing left to lose Cohors I along with the Legate vented their spleen on Nellie, causing the beast to panic and run amok, thankfully nowhere near the remnants of my army.
|First cohort advances.,|
|The beast panics.|
|Auxiliary Cohort I about to run.|
That was it, once again I had entered a fight thinking I was going to win and once again I was proved wrong. It was a curious game in that all the units that failed and ran did so in the first round of combat with minimal casualties, most had suffered only one or two, morale was very brittle in the Twelfth. Most of my army were Auxiliaries with lower morale than Roman troops and at 2,000 points I could not afford an Auxiliary Tribune to stiffen their resolve. So well done to Ed for a good win and of course my legionaries heaped curses on their auxiliaries, it is ever thus.
New off the painting tray is the Regiment Bigorre, no it is not an Irish unit, I still have finials and cravats to add to the flags which are on order. On the subject of orders I now have the penultimate British battalion on the tray and dithered whether to actually get another two to make up the magic twelve battalions a side, in the end I bit the bullet and ordered them up, again I have went for Crusader. I also ordered up some characters, another limber and two cavalry squadrons (16 figures) from Front Rank which I hope to pick up at Vapnartak in York, despite hating to paint cavalry I don't think three squadrons is enough support for my infantry force so have jumped for four. I also have some buildings coming from Grand Manner so the SYW will hold my interest I suspect until Easter, then it will be off to Renaissance Italy, I am going for the French and Imperialists with contingents from the Italian states. I also see that the price of figures is rising so the LMF will be taking a big hit in the near future.