Seems I am starting to get more and more games in at the moment, no grumbles there then as it's an area of the hobby that I have not got as much of as I would like. Lee is in the same boat but worse so, the answer then was a game but what should we play?
15mm Flames of War, played once, now packed away for the time being so happy to pass that one over. I have just finished Hougoumont so a play test of the action to try and take this would be good as we need to make sure this action works for the big game but in the end decided to save that for next time as I want to have the surrounding terrain sorted as well.
Other considerations were Saga but Lee needs to get more figures finished, a gunfight but I need to get more buildings finished so we ended up going for 15mm Ancients. Lee was interested in Hail Caesar but with me having just had the one game decided to keep with FoG. Lee last played about 11 months ago and about six for me so rusty was our byword for the afternoon.
|My Left Flank|
We both went Macedonian, Lee the man himself whilst I went for Early Successor, so lots of pike would be on the table. Lee went for Hilly as we had not gone for this before so why not. He then slammed hills and other objects mostly in my set up area and only thought of the implications afterwards. We also went 4 foot wide with 750 points, next time it will be 6 foot and more thought into terrain placement (we do not like the method used in the rules). I had a steep hill covering my left flank so sent some light archers to play nice and safe on the top. The two hills next to it were gentle so I loaded these with pike and my heavy bolt throwers. Two lance armed cavalry units were going to go through the gap before I closed the door with more pike. The centre was a real bottle neck as the woods made moving troops on that flank a pain. One unit each of camels light horse (both with bow) and Thracian medium infantry had to pass through the gap.
|My Right Flank|
My right had two light foot, one bow and the other javelin and light spears and a heavy Galatian foot unit went through the two woods. My camp was placed in such a way that I would have already lost if Lee got to it.
|Lee's Right Flank|
Lee positioned his Pike on his far flank these would be well placed to attack my pike but the village would make manoeuvring for both sides extremely tight. Two light foot were to link to the centre and be a bane of my cavalry.
Lee had his two cavalry units in single line, this would get the most out of them in impact but made them difficult to move. The impressive ground in the centre actually is just uneven so less of an obstacle as it looks.
|Lee's Left Flank|
Behind the cavalry came some medium infantry, such was the tightness that these did not get into the battle till the end and even then only as a target for my bows but then again I had units doing nothing as well. The second steep hill was occupied by Lee's bow armed light foot.
|Contractual Pike Shot|
I love my Pike, used them far less than I have had them used against me so was really happy to get them on the table. I have to say that I find the Early Successor Army to be a better choice than Alexander's but that could be just inexperience talking. Talking of which I had three new units on the table, the Galatians, the camels and the bolt throwers, this should be a big mistake given the usual way it works with new figures.
Lee was slowly moving his pike on the flank, something I was much in favour of. Not that I was doing any better on my left as the foot slowly moved into position. I was doubly lucky as Lee was a little slow with his cavalry. If he had got them out of the bottle neck first he could have caused me a lot of problems.
|View along the line|
My plan was to have the camels positioned so that they would support the infantry and their disordering effect would be used only against the enemy cavalry. Mostly this was to work as Lee brought all his three mounted units directly into this area allowing me a small advantage. I doubt the same mistake will be made again.
Lee sent his light horse into the centre void with the intent of using the javelins against my camels but my bolt thrower struck first dropping them a cohesion level and a base with a close range shot that rolled well. The unit was soon to be routed when I turned yet more fire on them.
My Archers poured arrow after arrow into the pike but as always failed to have any effect. I could not get them into the battle elsewhere so let them stay hoping for the luckiest shot going but of course it never came.
|View for Lee|
Lee pushes forward but it's slower going than ever as he has to thread the gap whilst my archers sit and watch. My cavalry had gone through the same area but both units lost a base to fire showing how dangerous it can be. Both also lost one level of cohesion but rallied it back.
|Plonker runs away from lights|
I was forced to run my cavalry away from the lights, not the way to impress the rest of the army. Of course when the same lights faced off against my Pike he had the same issues I had against his pikes.
|Too tight to fight|
The lack of space meant both of us were having to queue up to fight. A view of my position shows my cavalry just running into the area that was to be the main point of conflict.
It's a game of inches, well in this case a few millimetres as Lee charged my camels and rolled a 2 for his Variable Charge Distance losing an inch. He got blasted by my a bolt throwers light horse and the just missed bow armed camels. Then I charged the cavalry with my Galatians. We gave the advantage to the cavalry being lance armed but whilst Lee won the impact I won the melee round. At this point his cavalry should have retreated back a move but we missed that and they stayed in for the following turns.
|Bow V Light Spear|
I then pushed past the cavalry/infantry melee and sent my lights to take the steep hill from the defending small unit of Cretan bow. First though I would have to survive a couple of rounds of bow fire.
Lee's cavalry being four wide suddenly turned against him. He had two bases in overlap on one side allowing the artillery and camels to continue the barrage and costing Lee a base and a cohesion level. Th close combat was then brutal and he soon was down three bases for an auto break and these were his elite cavalry.
Lee knowing he was losing in the centre left drove his pike against the hill before he could get an overlapping unit in position. He was taking on two blocks allowing me one overlap and the hill. However his troops were the better quality, which would win?
Back on my right I was able to pull off the not often seen interception of an enemy charge by infantry. Worse still it was against cavalry and straight into the flank with the auto drop of one cohesion. Even though I was only one base wide Lee was to roll poor against my impact and follow on melee being also routed though he did bring them out of the route soon after.
|New Dice full of love|
Nothing can help your attack when your opponent rolls like I did in the pike battle. Winning the melee after a inconclusive impact allowed me to bring in that overlap and now Lee started to loose cohesion bringing his dice down further adding to my advantage.
Of course once the odds are against you it's only a matter of time unless you can get more troops into the fight. I was trying to cover this by moving my best pike onto the flank. Lee would have to face my best pike with a smaller unit that could not be supported whilst in danger of having their battered block rout through them. This is exactly what happened, my blocks were taking a base off Lee's block each round and Lee was dropping a cohesion each time and so suddenly had one disordered block about to be hit in the front and flank. Time to call it we thought. Shame about a couple of mistakes that could have changed the battle in Lee's favour and given how long it was since he played it was not surprising I had the better of the action.
Good then that both of us enjoyed the game still feel we can go forward with the rules and want to go at it again only lets not leave it so long eh?