Yes yet more FoG battling again. Matt was up for a second game and I promised a little more sparkle to the Macedonian army which I supplied in the form of a pair of elephants, added a unit of Thracian's with Heavy Weapons and Bactrian LH with bow and short spear. Just to use up all the points I fortified his camp. This of course led to an increase in the Persian side with me taking an extra Superior HC with shortspear and sword, a second unit of Crescent Shields (MF Light Spear) and a unit of Saka LH, though I plan to paint up some of these as Cavalry a some point. Once the battle was well under way we agreed that I got the better of the reinforcements as the Elephants wee slow to join the battle whilst both of us were unsure what MI with Heavy Weapons would do against Cavalry in the open, well read on to see.
So intent on getting into the game I failed to take a pic of the start up, though this one was part way through Matt's first move. He is cavalry heavy on his right whilst in the foreground you have my right flank that is mostly cavalry with one unit of MI. I outnumber Matt but he has the edge in class. The darker green oval represents a patch of rough ground, a steep hill is peeking out next to my units, a gentle hill next to Matt's phalanx.
A view of my line before I started to move. The rough ground closest was a real bugbear for both of us as it split the action u. Early on it blocked Matt from attacking my flank and later on protected his flank from attack. As last time we placed terrain and then diced for moving it rather than the dictated original placement. My force consisted of eight mounted units, two LI for skirmishing a single Hoplite unit and two medium foot with light spears. My aim was to overwhelm Matt's cavalry with numbers and isolate his pike.
Our Cavalry face off, I was reluctant to charge in early as I wanted to get my flanking force to get closer to engage his flank or any reserves. In the way was a few light units so I expected them to join a few turns later. However Matt used his LH with skill and if I made a move to charge his flank I would in turn be at risk from a flank charge from the Prodromol lance armed LH. I had miscalculated the amount of time it would take me to pass the broken ground and as such I had units that were not to join the battle till late in the game as they were trapped behind other units. These were also available to protect routers if they came back but still a wasted opportunity.
A deeper shot of the whole action. Two units of LH facing my LH in the centre, the Lance armed LC in Matt's reserve and the light spear Cavalry acting as my reserve. Right at the opposite side of the table I have a single unit of Persian Cavalry and a LH with light spear. Far behind them trundle the Hoplites. Matt would be less hesitant to charge in the following turn.
The pike was typically slow at entering the battle and Matt lost double moves as he sent them to different targets. Not the elephants in the background. Both getting their first action. Again we saw very little missile damage, I am considering arming all my cavalry with bow for my next game to see if the added bases firing will tip the scale.
The clash, I had positioned one unit of four bases to be able to intercept a straight charge so this unit was picked as a target. This was to give me an advantage in the other two combats so long as I withstood the impact phase.
The view from Matt's side shows the units I had sitting around for most of the game. At least the MI got to practise the shuffle as they kept expanding and contracting to allow whichever unit looked most likely to be defeated.
On the opposite flank it was far more open and a quicker result. My LH having survived the trading of arrows charged home and won the impact attack. These guys were rolling really well, Matt on the other hand seemed cursed with poor rolls for the vast majority of the game. His MI and my Cavalry were to find out that MI in the open do not like it up 'em. Soon Matt was to loose both units with rolls that were making me blush.
Did I mention Matt had bad rolls? Well I also had a few, but then I also had a good supply of good rolls as well. Early on the Persian Cavalry net to the broken ground was put to disorder but stood more rounds of combat and managed to disorder the Agima and start to reduce their bases. This did not stop me becoming fragmented but again the Agima also became fragmented and lost a second base. Now just another base loss would remove them from the game. I suffered far fewer base's lost than Matt as I only seemed to fail a death roll if I needed 2+ to pass.
In the centre Matt had pushed back my skirmishers onto he steep hill whilst my Persian bow fired at the flank of the phalanx with no effect at all. My mounted troops on my left flank had finished chasing their victims and were about to swing round. The LH to attack the camp and the Persian cavalry to try and pressure the phalanx. Matt broke my light spear armed LH with his Bactians who disrupted my Crescent Shield as they burst through. Fortunately the Bactrians would not fair well even against Disrupted MI if they were to charge in. Matt charged his elephants into my cavalry and both of us were rather surprised with the result. Even though my cavalry were disordered by the elephants I won the impact and then the melee. Yes the curse of the rolls but none the less it was unexpected.
At this point we brought the game to an end as it was both getting on as most of my cavalry were still at full strength (one unit routing) I was in a position to defeat all he had left except the pike.
Matt again enjoyed the game and still likes the rules so things look good that way. Maybe next time we play bring out the Seleucid army though it still needs more work to get some of the better options. Matt was talking about his Parthian army and worries that with the reduced effectiveness of bow would it still be viable. Matt always went down the all mounted route and it was a devil to play against. I think it can still be potent but will play different if only because you have to have the whole unit visible to shoot where under 6th all you needed was a single base as long as it was in the right formation. Hopefully in the next few months we will find out.