Matt and I got in another game a few weeks back but the blog giveaway kind of got in the way. But better late than sorry here we go.
The compact force in the distance is the ever ready Macedonian army commanded by Matt whilst the stretched force is mine. The dark green hills are steep whilst the one the colour of the table is gentle. Brush is in front of the gentle hill and broken ground is just beyond the two steep hills on the left.
I wanted to try a Hoplite heavy force to see if smaller units of Hoplites could somehow run rings around the pike blocks rather than trying to overwhelm his cavalry with greater numbers. What follows is the result of such a plan, enjoy.
As you can see Matt goes for a solid mass of troops. Under this formation I have a good chance of swinging into both his flanks, I hope this will be the case.
Matt ends up splintering out from this formation and as such the first moves are one of move and counter move. I get a few infantry units moved to support my cavalry as they are really out classed by Matt's Lance armed Superior Companions. I have reduced the size of my cavalry units so I can have the same number of units but this leaves me vulnerable to his cavalry so I will need to use my infantry to throw Matt off when it looks like he will get the better of my boys.
I kept the scythed chariots and sent these against his bow armed cavalry just like last time. Unlike last time his bow armed cavalry did not drop my cohesion on my way in. Could I get a win against these this time? Notice the cavalry to the right of the chariots? They had the same target but were intercepted on route, bit of a bother.
My light javelin armed horse had kept chasing the Macedonian light infantry back towards the board edge. The infantry did a fairly good job of retreating but sooner or later I would catch up or they would run out of table. In the mean time as I had a General in contact I was moving the flank Hoplites and crescent shields up at a fair gait. The Macedonian camp was looking likely for a visit.
But back in the centre things had started to look a bit worry some. The scythed chariots did pick up a cohesion drop as did my supporting cavalry. The chariots going to die as they won't break through. I'm starting to wonder if they are worth sticking with. Well they will get another one or two runs out before I go so far as to stop using them.
I do rout the bow cavalry by attacking them with Persian Crescent Shields mostly down to the flank charge which also cost them a base. Now I need to extract the unit from the claws of the pike. Both of us were starting to have a very messy force with units pointing is all sorts of directions.
Slightly further down the line and I have a cavalry unit ready to rout but have foot getting in position to cause a headache for Matt's cavalry in turn. Matt is trying not to charge almost as much as he is charging. It's lots of fun but quite head scratching trying to work out the best moves. The game could be decided here so lots hanging on the choices we make.
My cavalry rout causing another cavalry regiment to loose a level of cohesion. Things starting to unravel, I need a few things to go right to correct the slide.
A down the table shot showing all units, Matt still has most of his forces in roughly the same area. I on the other hand have failed to make use of my numbers (made worse by the fact that at this point we realised Matt had failed to put one of his pike blocks on the table!!!)
Finally get so close that Matt will not risk another evade, there Matt has three units of light infantry, if I break them all and sack his camp I have the game, I just need to hold things together in the middle.
I charge home after suffering no casualties in Matt's turn and straight away make my mark sending the Cretan archers to fragmented and the slingers down one cohesion level. The javelin armed lights in the middle hold firm. The camp is so close now, just one more push and I can get through to it.
Auto break for another of my cavalry, at least these went down through troops loss but lesson learned, must use six base units for average quality.
By this point the centre was in real trouble. One block of Hoplites had to about face and stand ready for a charge from the cavalry whilst I was hoping the leader would rally one of my routing cavalry. Meanwhile the pike blocks would keep marching towards my hapless infantry.
I start to push past the lights, one of which has routed off. I continue to keep winning the rounds of combat but just can't force casualties of drop their cohesion. These lights are putting up a great scrap.
Finally the pike blocks start to split up into single blocks so they can hunt down more of my infantry. Not quite the roll I wanted them to be forced into!
The Hoplites manage to face the Companion cavalry but are already disrupted, I needed to win this one before the Phalanx's get in close, this looks unlikely.
It's my turn to be caught in the middle. One unit of horse facing the rust rallied bow cavalry but supported by a phalanx whilst alongside them is another companion cavalry regiment attacking crescent shields whilst on the other side the Hoplites try and hold on.
Matt continued to press on all sides and I had the last two required units break causing an army break. For the first time we had played a game to the end rather than a count up. Lots more learned and I know the better troop selection for my Later Achaemenid Persians, though my play was not up to scratch I know I need to play a better tactical game.
And those lights? Yep they were still fighting it out. It was reasonably close though. If I could have got something heavier into that melee than light horse I would have got the three units routed and nothing between me and the camp would have given me a great chance of the win.
well played to Matt and we had a great battle. Next up will be Matt's recently rebased Parthian's who have a long history of doing me harm. I just hope I get a few early wins before Matt gets used to usig them under the new rules.