I had a long overdue visit from my old mates Robbie Rodiss and John Reidy, aka the Independent Wargames Group, on Tuesday. We’d settled on an ancient game as everyone was familiar with the rules, more or less, and less in my case! We diced for sides and Robbie took the Late Romans while I had the Goths. John generously offered to umpire. This was the first time I’d played these rules on a 1 to 1 basis NOT using the multi player variant for activation, which was to prove very interesting and incredibly frustrating for both commanders. We also played as they are written rather than implement the few house rules we’ve used in previous games.
|The Goth left and centre.|
I was out-scouted which didn’t really have a detrimental impact on my deployment. I managed that all by myself. The bulk of my cavalry were on my right and all my infantry was on my left as my plan was to throw subtlety out of the window and try and overwhelm the Roman left with 11 units of cavalry while my six large war bands and remaining four cavalry units tied up the enemy centre and right.
Early in the game fortune favoured my activation dice rolls and the Goths were slowly getting into a strong position on my right to launch an attack. Getting the infantry to move was another matter, especially as I couldn’t get my skirmisher screen out of the way. Doh!
|The Goth right, with some Hun allies covering the extreme flank. There were a fair few Romans facing me but I knew what I was doing…..|
|The main Goth cavalry attack was conducted in a very piecemeal manner, but it did it the frighten of the Romans.|
The Romans launched a couple of cavalry charges on each wing which were moderately successful and upset my attacks. While the Roman Cataphracts demolished my Huns and heavy cavalry my other heavy cavalry hit the Roman Legios facing our right, but were held and eventually broken. Robbie’s cataphracts and heavy cavalry made short work of most of my cavalry on the right and one of my own Goth elite cavalry units was charged in the flank and destroyed. As my cavalry routed Robbie’s pursuit rode down and killed my C-in-C. My other Goth elite cavalry were pinned between a Legio and some nasty light infantry but held out until the last turn.
On the other flank we’d had a little more success. Several Roman skirmisher units were destroyed and one of my cavalry units had worked their way round to the rear of the Roman line. The Goth foot warriors only ever managed to get three units into action, mainly as two others were stuck behind some olive groves and the other just never got moving as there was always something more important to do. They were soon left out of command as the others advanced.
|Meanwhile these two large units of warriors were stuck. I could have moved through the vineyards as they were passable but I had it my head that they weren’t…..so why did I deploy them there?|
|One of the Goth cavalry units on the right locked in combat with a Roman Legio before breaking.|
|My right is now a mess and is about to get messier. Both of us had been throwing some dreadful activation dice, but I had several turns with only one useable dice, and one at least with NONE! The collapse of this wing was sudden but not unexpected.|
|Two war bands did get into contact with the Roman main infantry body, but by then it was too late.|
|My Elite cavalry rode down one unit of light infantry before being sucked into the maelstrom.|
|Esme plonked herself down in the middle of the Roman line and refused to let Robbie touch anything within her Zone of Clawing (ZOC).|