Again we FoG’ed last night, and I brought the slightly-more-painted (I promise to put pictures up here to prove they are not figments of my imagination) Warring States guys once more to fight Mark’s redoubtable Late Republican Romans.
I’m figuring my luck has run out at this stage, Mark is all ready for me. And indeed he shows up with a slightly different list something like
4 X TC ( Armenian Ally)
6 X 6 Legionaries superior, Skilled Swordsmen, Armoured, Impact Foot
1 X 6 slingers Average, LF
1 x 4 Cavalry, Superior LS, Swordsmen, Armoured
1 x 4 Cataphracts (Armenians) Heavily armoured, Superior, Lance
1 x 4 Horse Bowmen LC, Average Bow
1 x 4 Light Horse, Javelin LS
This differed from last time in that there were less scary legionary types, less light troops, and more and better cavalry. I think its probably a better list for Mark, but not really against me, because its the legionary guys I’m terrified of.
My list was the same as the last outing, and can be found here.
The Romans won initiative, and chose ‘hilly” terrain. They attempted to place both an impassible quarry and a road, limiting my areas of brush that enable my guys to hide from his horrid legionaries but superior chinese generalship changed the battlefield (i.e. I rolled hot and removed both pieces).
Even with that, the terrain was not good. A small steep hill was in my side toward the back. There was a patch of brush, toward the middle of the table on my left. a very large patch of uneven on my enemies base line, in the middle.
At this stage what little clue I had took flight. I decided that racing forward to the small batch of brush on my left with 5 units of medium mixed foot would be a good plan. The 6th unit would hold the steep hill in the middle. the heavy chariots and the Offensive spearmen would hold the open ground between the 2 features. Meanwhile the Cavalry, 2 units of light horse, and 2 units of foot skirmish crossbowmen would try and make something happen on my right.
Thats it. Thats my plan. Plans like this are the reason my 10 year old son looks at me and says doubtfully “Dad, you sure thats going to work?”.
Of course it did not. Mark bunched all his romans together, and rushed them straight at the chariots and spearmen. Yes, I had him just where I wanted him, fighting 6 superior units with 2! This would work well, I’m sure.
The mixed units proved completely unable to do anything constructive to the roman slingers on the right. I held 2 of them back in a vain effort to flank the onrushing roman legionaries which were plunging toward the chariots. I sent another forward to back the inadequate one struggling with the slingers. The last doubled back to offer rear support to the offensive spearmen who were watching the onrushing tide of Foundry romans with understandable trepidation.
The only glimmer of hope was on my right, were weight of numbers had seen off the roman horse archers and the foot skirmishers had done the same for the light horse javelin-men. The both became disrupted, and without a general nearby had to fall back from my guys.
This allowed me to more or less surround the left flank guard legionary unit, also allowing me to bring up my scary average cavalry. We shot it to disrupted in the first turn.
Unfortunately, at about this time, the legionaries plowed into the 2 “flank guard” mixed units. One legionary unit routed one in a turn, and then settled down to munch up the other one. It surprisingly held up for a couple of tunrs, before perishing to accumulated casualties. The rest of them headed for the spear and the chariots, backed by the cataphracts.
2 units of legionaries attacked the spearmen, with one dragging the chariots into the mess.
It was about now Mark made a minor error that saved china, allowing all of us to revel in egg-foo-yung to our hearts content. He had his gallic cavalry supporting his left most cohort. The moved the cav up beside the legionaries, on the side away from me, to drive off the foot skirmishers. This allowed me to charge the legionaries in the flank with the average boring cavalry. The legionaries broke, fleeing through the Gallic cavalry, which dropped a cohesion level in horror and then a further one when burst through. My cavalry followed into the gauls, who failed their Charged while fragmented test” and broke also.
At the same time my spearmen had lost, and become disrupted. It was not going very well at all there, though the chariots were doing fine. The legionaries in front of the chariots had held off charging, recognizing that the medium foot on the steep hill would be on their flank if they impacted the chariots. Lucky shots from the mediums on the hill had caused those legionaries to drop to disrupted, and now the chinese cavalry, rallied from pursuit, was right behind them.
I was fortunate in that the Spearmen passed their test for losing that round of combat, and was able to intercept charge the rightmost (from my point of view) legion and destroy it in one turn, it having no place to flee.
This enabled that same one average cavalry unit to charge the legionaries engaged with the spear and the chariots in the rear, breaking it, though one of the roman light cavalry units had been broken by bowfire earlier that turn, ending the game. i managed to roll up on the spearmen combat dice, so they did not actually lose the combat that turn, which would have given the romans another point. So I had lost 2 mixed foot units in winning. And the chinese cavalry were the heroes of the day, breaking 2 superior legionary units and a superior cavalry unit by flank charges.
If I learned anything it was that flank charges can be completely devastating. We knew that, of course, but this was as graphic a demonstration as one could have asked for…