Sunday, 24 May 2020

Ancients Campaign game Macedonian Successor v Republican Roman.

Before i get started on the main topic i thought i would mention some newly completed terrain items Mick has made in the form of Mesas. These will be used in a Crusades campaign we will be starting later in the year and for Old West games. This is just 2 examples. The features on top can be removed and fortifications placed on top if required.

Right, on to the main event.

We have played 2 games in this first campaign phase. Each phase consists of 3 battles with National army strengths starting at 800 points. At the start the national armies are divided into 3 armies. Each of these is fielded once against the opponents armies. Of course this means that battle will be fought with unequal forces. adding an element of realism right from the start. 

In addition there are a number of event cards which can be played at various times during the campaign. These are based on a deck of playing cards and 3 are dealt at the start of each campaign. They can be swapped if you're not happy with them.

The first battle was inconclusive with evenly matched forces but the second was a 3 point victory to the Macedonians who had a rather large army compared to the Romans. This meant that the 3rd battle would see the situation reversed. In order to try and redress this somewhat i, as the Macedonian player, played 2 event cards. One of these caused  a plague to affect the Roman cavalry and 50% of their horses died. The cavalrymen then fought as psiloi. The second card allowed me to reinforce my army by 40 points from the national army. Even so this should have meant the Romans would still outnumber the Macedonian army by a large margin.

After rolling for terrain, 1xd6 x 4 hex pieces of rivers, bad going and impassable terrain.  The Romans, Mick N won the throw to set up first followed the me.

The Macedonian terrain set up. I tried to create a bottleneck  to give my army a chance to fight with more troops defending the pass. 

I won the dice off to see who set up first so i made the Romans deploy.

I deployed my army next with the cavalry on the opposite flank to the Romans.
Seeing both armies deployed i immediately smelled a rat! There was a difference in bases of only 8 i think it was. Nothing like as large as it should have been. So a flank march was underway. These must only come on where a gap of 8 hexes to an enemy unit existed. My cavalry prevented that from happening on the left, unless, of course i moved them too far from the table edge. So the big question was when would the come on and would it be the full 25% of the army allowed by the rules?

I also won the dice off to decide who would go first and i gave the honour to the Romans.

After the Roman line advanced i moved up my cavalry to entice the Roman cavalry to switch flank.

The psiloi advanced to the bad going and impassable terrain  with the phalanx following behind towards the head of the pass.

The Roman cavalry did, indeed, start to switch flanks. This was the only time this particular cunning plan worked!

Roman auxiliaries advance towards the psiloi.

They quickly eliminated 2 bases.

These went into the destroyed tray.

The right flank with psiloi protecting the auxiliaries in the bad going trying to ware them down.

Psiloi get a lucky draw here

but flee here.

Having drawn the Roman cavalry over to this flank my cavalry started to switch to the other flank in the hope of drawing the Romans back again.

The Romans advanced towards the pike giving the latter an overlap.

And face the auxilia who occupy the bad going.

The expected flanking force came on earlier than anticipated but proved to be perfectly timed.

The auxilia are pushed back by the Romans.

The Romans quickly lost 2 bases and the others recoiled. The white markers represent fatigue from combats won. Losers get a red. 3 whites are replaced by a red and several reds, depending on the type of unit, accumulate to the point where the unit withdraws from the game exhausted.  These go in the spent tray.

The left and centre.

Reacting to the flank march i split my cavalry, it was clear the Roman cavalry were not going to fall for the same trick twice!

They promptly began to outflank me!

The bad going is occupied by the Romans.

The flank march advance to turn the Macedonian right.

The Roman centre are in no mood to take on the pike again with numbers against them.

3 units of light horse advance towards the flank march.

The auxilia are pushed back.

The Roman cavalry launch their attack against the outnumbered Macedonian cavalry.

Numbers are beginning to tell on the right. If this gives way the rear of the pike will be exposed.

18 bases to 5, this isn't looking good.

The cavalry and light horse are defeated.

Macedonian light horse and auxilia are defeated on the right flank.

Leaving the way free to the gate of the camp.

This tray shows the kia and spent bases

Only one unit of cavalry remained on the left and the pikes have moved to reinforce the the collapsing left flank thus weakening the centre.

The same has happened on the right. The weakened centre can be seen here.

The Macedonians manage to gain some local superiority here.

Not so here.

The Roman allies stray too close to the camp and are subjected to missile fire from the camp.

The right flank is being encircled

while the left is pushed back again, even the general is getting stuck in here. How long will his luck last?

Only 3 bases of phalanx remain to guard the pass.

The psiloi launch their missiles at the Roman allies.

An increasingly rare success on the lest sees the Romans pushed back.

but the quicly return to the fight.

The weakened centre is finally attacked

As the defensive ring behind them contracts behind them.

The psiloi fail to close the camp gates in time to stop the Romans breaking in.

The remnants of the Macedonian army are all but surrounded.

The last stand of the cavalry

In a late success the psiloi force the Romans out.

Once again the Macedonian cavalry  defeat their opponents.

However they immediately return next go and finish them off. Remarkably the general survives the combat again.

With the entrance to the camp now cut off the phalanx prepares for a final stand.

An attempt is made to rescue the mounted commander by the auxiliaries manning the wall. A d3 dice throw gives him 1 move to survive before rescue is accomplished.

The mounted generals luck runs out and he is attacked before his rescue is accomplished  and he is captured.

A similar fate awaits the cinc

The CinCs luck holds and the phalanx destroys the base blocking the camp gates. The CinC escapes into the camp and avoids capture.

Only those in the camp and units who fled the field exhausted survived to fight another day.

The final battle of this phase resulted in a 3 point Roman victory leaving the situation thus-


Enemy Dead - 2 x Cavalry at 16 pts*
                        2 x Blades at 14 pts*
                        2 x Auxilia at 6 pts*

Points available for recruitment = 36

Red markers on and off table - 29
No scenario points

Total VP’s = 65


Enemy Dead - 7 x Pikes at 28pts*
                        3 x Psiloi at 6 pts*
                        1 x Light Horse at 5 pts*
                        1 x Cavalry at 8 pts*
                1 x Captured mounted sub commander at 15 x2 = 30 pts*

Points available for recruitment = 77

Red markers on and off table - 31
Uncontested hexes - 16
Laying siege to enemy camp at game end - 5 pts

Total Vp’s = 129

RESULT - Decisive 3 point victory to Romans.
CAMPAIGN STATUS - Macedonian 3 Romans 3.


Losses from all three battles = 171
Gains from all three battles = 179
Net gain = 8 added to starting total means you have 808 points available for the next three battle phase.

Losses from all three battles = 179
Gain from all three battles = 171
Net loss = -8 taken from starting total means I have 792 points available for next three battle phase.

All in all a fascinating first ever campaign for me and looking forward to the next 3 phase campaign and also the start of a planned 7 Years War campaign and of course the Crusades mentioned above.