Today we held a Field of Glory game day at The Panzer Depot in Kirkland, WA. Every time I host a game, I think of the old 60's slogan, "What if they gave a war and nobody came?" When I arrived at The Panzer Depot just past 11:30 this morning, I wasn't sure anyone else would come. By just after noon, we had eight players, three of whom were new players, so we're generating more interest in FoG.
With all the new players, we broke into two multiplayer games. I ran and played in a game that pitted my Sassanid Persians against my Dominate Romans. We had two brand new players, Chris and Rick, as well as Mike Garcia, my antagonist from last week's Germans v. Romans game. Rick and I ran the Persians and Mike and Chris ran the Romans.
I walked Rick and Chris through initiative, terrain setup, and deployment. We fought in agricultural terrain with some open and closed fields on the Roman left (Persian right), a vineyard pretty much in the center, a steep hill about in the middle of the Persian deployment area, and a gentle hill off on the Roman right.
The Romans deployed with most of their cavalry on their right commanded by Mike. Chris took the Roman infantry and a unit of Huns on the left.
The Roman deployment
The Persians deployed with the cataphracts, two units of asavaran, the light horse archers and the daylami infantry on the right, commanded by Rick; the remaining asavaran, elephants, and the levy infantry on the left commanded by me.
The Persian deployment
The Romans advanced across their front toward the center of the field. On their right, Mike aggressively pushed forward with the Roman cavalry hoping to strike a blow with his better-armed catafractarii and equites. Chris pushed his infantry forward and moved the Huns around the left side of the vineyard.
I moved my asavaran up to engage the Roman horse with bowfire. On my left, I used the elephants to counter and neutralize Mike's equites sagittarii, which spent the whole game shooting at the elephants without effect. Rick, meanwhile, ran his two units of asavaran against the Huns, who were outgunned (outbowed?) and outmatched by the asavaran, so it wasn't long until Rick chased them off.
In the center, Rick charged his cataphracts against the Roman legionarii, who held up against the onslaught more than once. Each charge, the cataphracts and the legionarii scored the same number of hits or the legionarii won by a single hit more. Mike's cataphracts fell in cohesion once, but were soon bolstered. However, he lost two of six bases, while the legionarii remained unscathed.
The Persian cataphracts smash into the Roman heavy infantry, to no avail
On the Persian left, I engaged Mike's equites Illyricani with bowfire from my asavaran. I managed to kill one stand and reduce his cohesion to disrupted status without any loss of my own. I charged the Illyricani with one unit of asavaran and later brought another up to support it in melee. I expanded another unit of asavaran into a single rank so I could skirmish with Mike's catafractarii. I knew I couldn't take them in a straight-up fight, so I had to get clever.
Cavalry action on the flank
Mike charged his equites against the asavaran unit that was supporting my fight against his Illyricani and charged his catafractarii against my skirmishing asavaran, which evaded. In the ensuing combats, my asavaran managed to rout the Illyricani, but Mike's equites routed the asavaran unit they were facing.
Mike's catafractarii, continued to press the third asavaran unit, which evaded again and drew the catafractraii deep into the Persian left. Meanwhile, I had another cavalry unit that I had positioned on my far left, which was now in position to threaten the flank of the catafractarii. Also, the first unit of asavaran had broken off its pursuit of the Illyricani, who kept running until they were off the field, and turned back to threaten the rear of the catafractarii.
Impending doom for the Roman catafractarii
I finally managed a good turn of shooting against the heavily-armored catafractarii with my three units with the result that its cohesion dropped to disrupted status and they lost one base. Unable to back out, Mike opted to charge ahead instead, but I intercepted his charge with a charge to his flank and rear. The fight didn't last long. In the impact and melee, the catafractarii were routed and eliminated.
Catafractarii's last stand
Mike's victorius equites had smacked into the Persian levy, which managed to hold on and even inflict a base loss on the much-superior Romans. Meanwhile, Rick's asavaran, had routed Chris' Huns and were banging away at a unit of auxilia palatina that Chris put up to guard his exposed flank. They weren't having much luck, but a second unit was coming up to help in the fight.
Action on the Persian right flank
With his legionarii engaged against the Persian cataphracts, Chris didn't have much else to counter the threat to his left flank. By this time, the Romans had lost three units and the Persians one. On the Roman right, their cavalry was nearly gone. The equites, down to three bases, were stuck into the Persian levy and soon to be taken in the rear by the Persian cavalry that had destroyed the Roman catafractarii. The writing was on the wall and the Romans threw in the towel. Yet another emperor to serve as a Persian footstool!