Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Camp Cromwell 23/06/08

Ancients: Jim's Carthaginians v. Richard's Romans

We used about half the troops from last week's Zama - the actual Roman part of Scipio's army v. some spearmen, some vets, some heavy cav & some light troops. We did map deployment. The Carthaginans did a traditonal deployment, with vets in the centre, spearmen each side, then heavy cav and light cav on both flanks. The Romans put all their cav on one flank & the triari on the other.

The Romans charged forward with thier infantry while the Carthaginans held back their centre and tried to gain advantage on the flanks.
On their left the Carthaginians had 1 light & 1 heavy cav unit v. 2 heavies but won through manoeuvring the light into the enemy's rear.
On the right, the Numidian light horse tried to outflank the line but was caught by Tirai, failed to evade & dispatched. The Carthagian heavy cav tried to smash through the end of the Romans infantry line (avoiding the Triari), but they lucked out and were quickly defeated.
In the centre the Roman infantry eventually reached the line & hit ti hard. A bad run of dice saw the Carthaginan centre crumble. Lousy command dice prevented a counterstroke & Carthage failed army morale.

Both players had a good time. The Roman deployment gave them an initial advantage. The Carthagians used a mix of skill & luck to win agaisnt the odds on the left. Their cavalry attack on the right was almost a 50/50 chance & probably would have won the battle if it had suceeded, but it lucked out. The Romans always had an advantage in the centre, but the Carthaginians were hoping to play for time until the cavalry could wheel in from the flanks. But bad dice lost the centre too quickly.

Points of note re rules development: The combat system seemed too decisive tonight - most combats were over very quickly. This didn't seem to be so much the case last week, but it seems I might have switched from having the combats too indecisive to them being too quick. I'll have to analyse this. The orders activation system can be very frustrating when you use up all your dice in straight throws, but I still liked it. As did the battle the other night, this one developed piecemeal - it was far from being the charge-forward-&-throw-dice-at-each-other affair that many ancient rules (including our own old ones) cause battles to become.

FOW: Nick's Panthers v. Rich's Canadian Rifles in 1500 pts Encounter

Nick vs Rich. 1500 pt Encounter. Rich chose his list not knowing what Nick had bought. Rich chose a nice balanced force of Canadian Rifles, with some M10's, infantry (with Piats), artillery, recon, machine gunners, etc. Nick then revealed his force -- 8 panthers.
The Panthers were in a bit of difficulty, with one platoon on the table and two objectives to defend. So Rich launched an attack on both wings. Unfortunately, the panthers blunted one wing of the attack, and the reinforcements came on just in time and in just the right place to blunt the other attack. Rich then fell back and hid, and tried to whittle the panthers away with artillery. Meanwhile, the Panthers where whittling away the Canadian infantry -- and the Panthers were being more succesful at taking out infantry than the artillery was in taking out Panthers. Things looked grim, and in desperation Rich launched a combined attack of a recon platoon with a piat, M10's and artillery onto one platoon of Panthers. One Panther was knocked out, but the revenge was frightful. Two turns later the M10's and the recon were gone. On the other flank some machine gunners sneaking foward were wiped out. At this point the Canadian army was down to 1/2 its platoons, and those platoons left were in bad shape. The Panthers had lost one tank. Should have been easy, eh! The panthers went for the kill!!! But an assault on one flank resulted in one platoon of Panthers totally destroyed. And an assault on the other flank into infantry in woods resulted in 2 bogged Panthers and one Bailed. Suddenly the Canadians were below 1/2 strength, but the Panthers had one operating tank! There was a desperate counterattack by some Canadian infantry -- but they failed to take out the last tank. The Canadians failed army morale, and it was game over -- but by the closest of margins.

FOW: Maruiz's Polish Armour v. Leigh's Stug in 1500 pts Breakthrough

Both sides had armour & the dice made Maruiz the attacker. Breakthough is hard to defend with Armour & Leigh was duly defeated.

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