Glorious forces of the middle empire victorious against evil westerners

Pictures will follow when I have actually got some stuff painted…..

Ok, so I’m putting together a Fields of Glory Warring States Chinese (Qin really, the Terra-cotta Army guys) army. I’ll put some pictures up here when I’ve actually finished something.

But my friend Mark was kind enough to drop over and play me, despite my almost complete absence of appropriate troops.
He brought his Late republican roman mincing machine (known in these parts as the “Ever victorious army”). As I had seen what this could do, I certainly was concerned over how well my protected Medium foot mixed formations of Impact foot and Crossbow were going to do.  They were going to die horribly, I assumed. Even hiding in terrain would merely prolong the inevitable.

However, we got it together despite my lack of painted lead and decent terrain. My army was
1 Inspired commander.
3 Chinese take out delivery boy level commanders.
6 units of 6 bases 1/2 MF, Average, Impact foot, Swordsmen, Protected, 1/2 MF Crossbow, Undrilled
1 unit 8 Bases MF, Average, Offensive Spear, Armoured, Drilled
1 unit 4 Bases Heavy Chariots, Superior, Crossbow, Drilled
1 unit 4 Bases Cavalry, Average, Crossbow, Swordsmen, Armoured, Drilled
2 units 6 Bases LF, Average, Crossbow, Drilled
1 unit 4 Bases LH, Average, Bow, Drilled
1 unit 4 Bases LH, Average, Bow, Swordsmen, Undrilled

Mark presented this with
4 Troop commander generals
2 units 4 bases HF, Elite, Impact Foot, Skilled Swordsmen, Armoured, Drilled.
4 units 6 bases HF, Superior, Impact Foot, Skilled Swordsmen, Armoured, Drilled.
2 units 4 Bases LH, Average, Javelin, Light Spear
1 unit 4 Bases Cavalry, Superior, Protected, Light spear, Swordsmen
1 unit 6 Bases LF, Superior, Bow
1 unit 8 bases LF, Average, sling

I had him completely outnumbered. Unfortunately it was by troops which would last 4 combats with his, but we cannot have everything. I decided that the Mixed units would have to hide in terrain to at least postpone the inevitable. I was hoping that the Chariots and the offensive spearmen  could hold him in the open, and that I could spread him out sufficiently that I could mass my light troops and cavalry and produce some sort of local superiority.
I had the initiative, chose agricultural, looking for the uneven ground, and got a fair amount; some on my left, and some on my right, and nothing in the centre. Mark’s side of the table remained rather bare. The uneven on my right was big enough that all 6 mixed units could fit in it., so I put them in there, with the chariots and offensive spear on their left, and my massed light troops on the the left of the army. The Romans deployed the legionaries in the center, with the elite ones on the right (my left) of the line. The archers and a unit of light horse were facing all my light troops. A unit of skirmishers and light horse minded the roman left, but they were fairly overlapped by the mixed units.

The romans commenced with a general advance, with legions streaming forward. I pushed all my light troops toward his archers, and two units of mixed foot on my far right headed out toward the slingers and light horse facing them.

Mark’s reaction to the threat on his archers was to send 2 groups of 4 elite legionaries in that direction. One of them ended up thudding into the offensive spear, and one was drawn off by the cavalry unit, evading in a single rank, and more or less surrounded by shooters. At the same time the unit of Roman light horse on my left failed some cohesion tests, falling to fragmented.
In the center the Romans had misjudged the charge on the offensive spear, just getting 2 die on impact, and then finding they were disadvantaged in the fight. Although only average, the offensive spear with the help of a general was to do quite well against the elite legionaries.

On the Chinese right, the 2 units of medium foot had a surprising level of success….forcing the light horse to evade off board, and threatening the slingers with the same.

The chariots had engaged legionaries in the center in a fairly inconclusive fight, and I was starting to be encouraged. The romans  had not yet engaged the  mixed units in the bad going, but Mark was recognizing that things were not going well, and that he was stretched. So in the spirit of “Seeing what would happen” I pushed the medium foot out of the bad going.

Well, it went as originally expected. The mixed units held up against the superior legionaries for 3 or 4 combats. They were massacred. All that the uneven ground would have provided would have been to make the massacre slower….

However, I found greater width helped. I managed to wheel a mixed unit around to face the flank of the flank legionary. Mark’s cavalry was at the back of the board, trying to fend off the mixed units that had chased his light troops away. When that unit rolled down on the pursuit of the broken troops in front of them , I managed to charge it in the flank, beating it quite badly. My left flank light horse was pursuing the fragmented roman one across the board, peppering it with arrows. The legionaries fighting the chariots were struggling. The elite fighting the offensive spear were at 50%, and the other one was broken by shooting and a cavalry charge, and the cavalry had swung around behind the roman line. The poor cretans were trying to fight 12 crossbow Lf stands at the same time, and it was not going well. We called it at this stage, looking like a Roman defeat.

The thoughts of the assembled masses (Me and Mark) over a stiff drink afterward was that the Romans needed to stay together; spreading out only allowed their units to get isolated and destroyed by my inferior in quality, but greater in number ones. If he stayed bunched up, he should be able to push trough the middle. I have no idea what to do against this, so am looking at the next game with some trepidation


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