After last week's sorry showing in my Field of Glory game--for which I blame my dice--I wasn't too sure what to expect from said dice when I played this Saturday. I used my Sassanids against a local player named Eric, who used my Dominate Romans. We used the same dice, my very cool, and sort of expensive, Ancient Dice.
I've amassed 14 of them and use them for playing Field of Glory, which qualifies in my book as a "bucket o' dice" game. You may find yourself throwing 14--or more--dice in a single combat.
The upshot is that I rolled well with these dice and Eric rolled poorly with them. So, my suspicion about last week's game is correct, the dice were to blame. Except that that don't hate me, they hate my Romans. I might feel good about that, but I plan to play with the Romans often. I need better dice mojo or, heave forbid, different dice.
Today's game was played on a very busy field. Eric won the initiative and chose to fight on woodlands. The area was choked with four forest areas, two scrub areas, and two gentle hills. The forests were off to the sides, which narrowed the center area. That's what Eric was hoping for, but there were gaps in the forest areas on my right. I deployed my light horse archers followed by two units of asavaran (Sassanid heavy cavalry with bows, a.k.a. "shooty" cavalry). I ran my horse archers through the gap on turn one and in Eric's second turn, he charged them with twice my numbers of light cavalry. In an amazing display of dice-fu, I beat both of them thanks to my good rolling and Eric's lamentablty poor rolling. By turn 3, both Eric's light horse units were routing off the field and my horse archers and the shooty cavalry were advancing against Eric's wide open flank.
On the other side of the woods, I moved another unit of asavaran up against Eric's equites, backed by my cataphracts. I got one shot at him that caused his cohesion to go down one level. After that he charged into me, but again, I had the better rolls and in a few rounds of combat, he was routing off the field, chased by one of his generals unsuccessfully trying to rally them.
On my left, Eric had advanced his bowmen and a unit of Huns against my daylami infantry and elephants. After a few turns of ineffective shooting, I charged his Huns with my daylami and his bowmen with my elephants. All the advantages were on my side. Eric chose to stand with his Huns rather than evade, a.k.a., skedaddle. In the initial impact, the daylami put the hurt on the Huns, but the elephants and bowmen came to a draw. As the melee continued next round, the Daylami broke the Huns, but the bowmen killed the elephants, my first dice failure in the game.
In the center, I advanced cautiously, but I wasn't going to get my remaining asavaran entangled with Eric's legionarii and catafractarii (yes, the legendary ones). However, I did advance my cataphracts against the auxilia palatina (superior medium infantry) that was at the left end of Eric's center. Eric moved the other auxilia palatina unit up on a hill to hold off the four units I had coming at his open flank.
I moved up against Eric's auxilia on the hill with all my shooty cavalry and started a devastating barrage against him. He lost a base in the unit and went down a cohesion level. On my left, Eric's super bowmen, flush with élan from killing my elephants, decided to take on the horde of levy scum that made up the last line in my array. He first tried to shoot them, but he wasn't successful in inflicting enough hits. They're a execrable mob, but they can absorb a lot of arrows before it hurts. So he decided to do the next best thing and charge them. Maybe he thought his bowmen were all like Legolas from Lord of the Rings.
Alas for him, they weren't. After a couple turns of drawn combats, the horde finally hit back hard, mostly due to superior numbers, but also due to superior protection. His bowmen were fragmented and destined soon for destruction.
On my right, Eric feared that he would be shot to pieces by my asavaran and horse archers, so he charged down the hill at them. In a few rounds of fighting, the auxilia palatina were crushed. Just next to them, my cataphracts broke the other auxilia palatina unit. That was game.
In the center, Eric finally got his catfractarii and legionarii into action, to my dismay, but they were too late to save him. He had only two steady units left. Four had routed off the field, another one had just broken, another two were fragmented, and a eighth was disrupted. For my part, I lost the elephants, always a hit-or-miss proposition in FoG, and had two units fragmented (nearly routed) in the center.
The biggest factor for Eric was the initial combats on my right. Poor luck on his part and good luck on mine settled the issue. With his flank blown out, it was just a matter of time...