Saturday, July 19, 2008

I blame my dice

Today's Field of Glory (FoG) game was a fiasco from just after the start. I can own up to some poor generalship, but--honestly--my dice failed me miserably. We played at The Game Matrix in Lakewood, WA as part of the monthly "historical miniatures day" there.

The game was between my Dominate Romans (ca. 390 AD) and Al Rivers' Carthaginians (Hannibal in Italy ca. 218 BC). So, not an historical matchup. Al had a center of superior African spearmen upgraded with captured Roman armor. On his left were a Gallic warband, some Campanians, and a light foot unit of Numidian javelinmen. On his right was the cavalry and elephants.

My deployment was flawed from the start. I had a village in my deployment area about 1/4 of the way in from the right edge. I intended to use it as the anchor of my line, but I have no light foot in my army, and every other troop type is disordered in the village. So I deployed on both sides of the village and left some of my best units out of the fight. I had my legionaries and archers in the center:

On my left were the cavalry, except a unit of Huns, who were on the far right with the auxilia palatina. In the dead center of the line were my legendary catafractarii

However, they are only legendary because in my DBM playing days, they sucked rotten eggs in almost every game. The jury is still out about their performance in FoG. This game, as events will show, did nothing to polish their lustre.

The game started sort of well for me. My equites illyricani (light horsemen) were putting the smackdown on some Numidian light horse on my far left. The illyricani were "supported" by a unit of equites sagittarii (horse archers) on their right. Al charged in another unit of Numidians plus some heavy cavalry towards my sagittarii and I decided to evade rather than even try to stand. But this exposed my almost victorious illyricani to a flank attack by the Numidians and in short order the illyricani were running back to Illyrium.

The equites sagittarii made a brief stand against the victorious Numidians, but before long, they too were routing off the field. The only cavalry left were my equites (heavy cavalry) and the legendary catafractarii. It was looking grim. I moved the archers over to the right of my catafractarii and moved the equites over to counter the Carthaginian heavies. 

In a straight up fight, my heavies were crushed by their Carthaginian opponents. This left my left flank wide open. Al's Numidians and heavy cavalry were reforming for an attack on my center. Meanwhile, the elephants were coming up to meet my catafractarii. I was successful in getting my archers moved up against the elephants. After a couple turns firing, I managed to disrupt them. This made the fight between them and my catafractarii more even for me because the disruption of the elephants balanced out my disorder caused by facing the elephants. When the crunch came, my catafractarii were hit simultaneously by Al's elephants and a unit of heavy spearmen. In the initial impact, the catafractarii held on, but failed to do any damage to their opponents.

The catafractarii continued to hold until the game's end, although in a fragile state. The clash of heavy infantry lines in the center was initially a draw. The melee lasted a couple turns, but my penchant for rolling snake-eyes on my dice did me in. The right-hand unit of legionaries was at near-broken status, while the left-hand legionaries were broken.

On my right, I had advanced the larger of my two auxilia palatina units and it got it caught between Al's Gauls and Campanians. Attacked in the flank by the Campanians when they attempted to charge the Gauls, the auxilia was slowly ground down and in a state of near-rout. Meanwhile, Al's victorious Numidians and heavy cavalry were poised to strike at my exposed left flank.

That was game. Al lost two stands and had one or two units in disrupted status. I had four units broken and another two fragmented (almost broken). Technically, this was one attrition point shy of an official loss, but even my eternal optimism had to bow to the inevitability of destruction. There was nothing left to do but pick up the pieces as I viewed the carnage of lost units off to the side of the table (in Elysium?).

1 comment:

  1. good information, good blog, nice review, thanks for sharing