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Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Campaign Weekend - Game 2 against Persians!

So to our second game of the weekend in Nottingham with an exciting clash with Persian mad Tim and a very pretty 4000pt army drawn from the Alexander supplement.

Now if there was one army we were more worried about our army standing up against than any other, it was a large shooty army like the Persians. When your army is lots of light cavalry and small 18man blocks, they can die very quickly against an army with lots of missile troops. Indeed against a Persian army Tom worked out and we played in our one serious practice game, we struggled and lost a lot of men to Mardians etc.

This game was fought on the same battlefield as we played on for the first game, so just a couple of hills, one on our right, and one on Tim's right centre deployment zone, and a small rocky area on our left. We reasoned that since Tim had lots of heavy cavalry which being massed and now very manoeuvrable, he would likely put them on his left where the rocks wouldn't disrupt him. So we deployed with a skirmishing wing on the right, and with the aim of attacking on the left and looking for a chance to get around the right with the lighter troops.

This time we took as extra units, the drilled hoplites again, plus from my army a unit of 24 trained African spearmen. We also decided to use two territory cards and so Nick's tarentine cavalry got light armour (giving them a 3+ save against missiles!) and the Bruttians got heavy throwing spears to replace their throwing spears.

As you can see from the first picture, from left to right we deployed: armoured Tarantine cavalry, backed by the upgraded Bruttians and companions (out of picture); then came the cretan archers backed up by the drilled pike and drilled hoplites; then the thracian slingers backed by two pike blocks. A third normal pike block was slightly refused with the Carthaginian veterans supporting them, and the two elephants pushed forwards covered by the peltasts and one of the Numidian infantry skirmishers. Then came one of the numidian cavalry skimishers, moorish archers, javelinmen and the last numidian cavalry block. In a second line alongside the pike and veterans, we put the 12 man numidian cavalry into skirmish rather than open order, the two oscan blocks and the trained africans anchoring the line. Tim deployed, as we hoped, with from left to right: skythian cavalry and infantry skirmishers; three big blocks of persian heavy cavalry in heavy armour and barding each with a character, then came a 48figure Mardian archer block, the Greek hoplites, one led by a character; three scythed chariots; the Great King in a chariot behind the centre; another 48 figure Mardian archer block; some Kardakes, a unit of apple bearers, some skirmishers and the Persian Kinsmen heavy cavalry - again in heavy armour with barding.

The game went pretty well to plan. Nick pushed forward on the left while I tried to slow the cavalry avalanche on the right. He managed to destroy two of the three chariots with missiles, and only let one chariot through which killed 6 figures out of one of the pike blocks. The Kinsmen charged the Bruttian warriors and were defeated. They burned their stubborn but were then destroyed in the followup when the companion cavalry charged in to support their Italian allies. That allowed the tarantine cavalry and companions around the rear of the Persian army and Nick systematically rolled up the line by charging frontally with his cavalry behind giving the Persians nowhere to run.

In the centre the Greek Hoplites in Persian employment came forward to support their cavalry and tried to take on the elephants. But their lack of unit standards cost them. One unit was routed and destroyed, another was pushed all the way back to the Persian baseline. Incredibly, the elephant in question lost all its crew and Mahout in the fighting, but passed a stampede test on a 4 and continued to push the Greeks backwards!

The Carthaginian veterans came forward and took on the third Greek hoplites and while losing the first round of combat, their stubbornness allowed them to hold until the spare elephant charged the Greeks in the rear, destroying them.

Meanwhile on of the 18 man Oscan units managed to get through the Persian centre and charged the 48 Mardian archer unit. While their dice were awful, they had the effect of holding the massed archer unit in combat and not firing for a good 3 turns.

On our right against the massed persian cavalry, I had a heck of a job dealing with the Sythian horse archers who brought one Numidian block down to just 5 men firing, routed another which only just stayed on the table. But in the end I managed to get it to flee down the table and that allowed me to try and run rings around the persian heavies while still giving ground. Towards the end of the game, Tim charged my Numidians with his light infantry skirmishers; I ran for it now wanting to risk a defeat and failed morale test, and in the follow-up his men hit my African spears who had moved across to the right flank to try and provide some sort of stability to all the light troops. Needless to say, the spear won and destroyed the skirmishers, but in pursuit hit one of the Persian cavalry blocks. Amazingly the Africans defeated the Persian and then cut them down in the pursuit! Tim had that sort of game!
At the end of the game we had a convincing win - see this picture to see the dead pile! In points we had a 2276 vs 399 victory. We took a territory card which would allow us to field three rather than two extra units in the next games which was also helpful!
2-0 to the Flaming Pigs!

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