In expectation of a tough game I brought along the monk for a right good blessing and at points he really seemed to help.
As Lee has not played FoG for over a year and I have not played I think in the last half of the year we went for 600 points each both straying over by a few points. I was using a new army for me, that of the Later Seleucid comprising of three pike phalanx's (two superior) two cataphracts one eight base slinger and one eight base bow armed skirmish units and a eight base medium bow unit with just two leaders. Most is drilled and plenty of superior units to boot.
One steep hill to the top left (cavalry moved off before we started as Lee had forgot they would be in trouble and as I said was rusty) one gentle hill that I placed my camp on and the brown cloth is open fields, great for Medium infantry or lighter, not so for heavy infantry.
Lee had three skirmish foot units and two skirmish cavalry, three phalanx blocks of average experience a medium infantry spear, one lance armed heavy and one Spear armed heavy cavalry so I had a few advantages on quality whilst Lee had numbers including three leaders.
My bow skirmishers managed to cause a disruption on Lee's bow troops before Lee returned the favour and a casualty to me (only a turn after I remembered the +2 to casualty rolls for shooting, yes I was rusty too.
The hill was protecting Lee's flank whilst the centre was looking to be a place of decision. Lee was moving his horse to face off with mine that was giving me another advantage. Lee had placed the river and the hill but I was the one who was benefiting as his numbers were not as useful to him.
Lee chargers into my cavalry which absorbs the impact, I then charge into the overlap of his second unit and also into the light cavalry that was next to the melee, Lee decided to stand and fight to save his phalanx from being burst through passing the Command roll to stay but taking loss from the charge.
On the other flank the medium infantry and the skirmishers move through the open fields knowing I would not attack with my phalanx (remember the mediums on my right are supposed to be bow only armed (not a good choice))
I had routed Lee's Cretan bow but I was unable to resist the light cavalry who put my skirmish bow to flight though it left them vulnerable and no place to go.
With Lee's lights down a base it was just a matter of time before they went the other direction. I had the advantage with the two heavies as well as I now had equal numbers.
A view of my troops heading towards Lee, makes Lee's forces look really thin. I have to admit it felt good to be using my pike rather than facing them and it's the first time they have come into a real clash as both me and Lee were moving forward.
The cavalry melee was going on forever but the opposite side saw a really bad roll by me and my medium bow was suddenly fragmented, even lights can be a problem to your open flanks. With my central phalanx fighting one of Lee's and his mediums I could ill afford to pay them attention so the following turn would see me charge into the mediums with my pike hoping for a quick result.
Finally the light cavalry were routed but then I lost two bases of cataphracts in two turns and dropped one cohesion. Luckily I also routed the spear armed heavy cavalry whilst also walking the slingers into the other regiments flank, this should be over quickly. Meanwhile I rallied by light bow and brought my third phalanx up to fight Lee's middle block. Finally both of us were getting into position to flank each other, so much depended on that melee finally coming to an end.
Re-rolls had been saving my bacon as I seemed to roll more 1's than was called for, my disrupted cataphracts needed to move through the gap rather than risk the lights charging into my flank though future events make me wish I had kept them in the fight. I had dropped a cohesion level with the cat's on the left as well whilst the trapped Macedonian cavalry continued to resist loss of either troops or formation.
The auto broke lights disappearing off the board with the heavier and bloodied friends heading the same way. The archers who had broken earlier are now back in good order and moving towards Lee's right flank, possibly to protect his camp?
I run through the gauntlet and Lee turns his spare phalanx to threaten them further but it's the previously routed bow that pushes them to fragmented, the dice were really starting to desert me here as Lee forced a few checks on me. His cavalry meanwhile continued to resist the inevitable.
The phalanx's clash whilst the two old opponents square off again, allowing the big boys to fight it out on their own.
Just to my right the two phalanx push was going my way, Lee's medium infantry had lost a level of cohesion whilst his pike remained in good order but had lost two bases, another fight that should now go my way as I had numbers and better order (I was down one base.
Just in front of my baggage I was able to rally my bow. The following turn I brought them back to disrupted and had hopes they could now hold on for the end of the game.
Lee's furthest forward phalanx was no match for mine as he rolled terrible (a feature of his pike all night) he then lost his other pike and medium infantry to rout in the following turn. Suddenly I was in a good position as I could now turn towards the centre left and take them in the flank or force them back on their rear.
Lee countered aggressively bringing his last phalanx towards my three. Straight after he brought one of the routing blocks back and worse still the impossible was happening...
My cavalry become shattered, jumping from disrupted to routed in one roll and suddenly it's very much an open game again. The only thing saving these cataphracts was the light infantry already fighting on the flank. I am starting to regret having just two commanders whilst Lee is dashing around his three command stands rallying unit after unit and having the luxury of staying with them to bring them back to disrupted!!
At this point we called the game, technically I just scrapped the win on points but if we had time to play on it could have gone either way and both of us had troops in trouble. Lee had lost more bases overall but it did feel like victory slipped between my fingers but it left both of us full of beans and was great fun. I really enjoyed playing with an army you had some control over rather than the usual move and manouver issues I normally suffer with my Persian army.
I wont to go 700 or 750 next time as I had very limited choices and no special toys to play with and I think Lee felt the same. Next time no medium bow, better choices are available but it sure woke us both back up to FoG. Next game though looks to be a first, Flames of War, never expected that!