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Thursday 11 March 2010

Crusader BIG Game Monday night

Ok, so we had a bash at refighting a bit of Sulla's war with Mithridates of Pontus (approx 80BC) using Crusader rules on Monday evening. We played on an 8x4 ft table using 5000pts per side. For the Romans this equated to:
1 x 6 bases (24 figs each) Veteran legion (and boy did they kick ass!!)
2x 6 bases of regular legions upgraded to 'seasoned' morale
3x6 bases of regular legion
1x6 bases of auxiliaries (basically just bog standard light troops)
3x5 and 1x4 bases (10 and 8 figs respectively - half the models per stand for skirmishers) skirmishers, 2 units of archers, 1 of javelins and 1 of slingers
1x4 (8 figs) bases of Roman cavalry
1x5 bases (10 figs) Gallic cavalry
2x Scorpio bolt throwers.
3 commanders

The Pontics had loads more stuff:
64 phalanx in 2 units, 40 galatian warband, 32 thureophoroi, 2 units of 20 Thracians, 2 units of kontos armed heavy cavalry (1 guard unit), 1 units of heavy cavalry, 1 of light (10-12 figs per unit) innumerable slingers, archers and javelinmen and 4 commanders.

The game was supremely umpired by my mate Phil, who did a brill job!

Sadly, I forgot my camera, so no pics (...I know...idiot!!)

However, with 3 Roman players and 4 Pontics it was a superb game. The rules are fabulous - the 'do everything with a unit before moving to the next one' idea is fab and you have to really think about the order of activation - if you rout with a unit, your whole army turn ends, so you have to pick what combats you do when.

Basically, I commanded the Roman right with all the cavalry and skirmishers. We weighted our left and centre with legions. This was done so our best troops met the superior Pontic cavalry and we would avoid the phalanx if at all possible. The Pontics, seeing this deployment, decided to transfer their heavy cavalry across the army to their left, but did it in front of their infantry and our fast advance ended up catching the guard cavalry napping with our veteran legion...that was the crunch moment of the game, as the next turn saw us engage the whole of the now weakened Pontic right and right centre and send it crashing back in disarray. I managed to hold off the Galatians, the Thracians and a forest of skirmishers by only using slingers, archers and javelinmen. My cavalry were virtually unengaged, the Roman cavalry spectacularly defeating a unit of Kontos cavalry who attacked the line in the last turn.

So a historical outcome! In a major clash, the Pontic missile screen failed and, once the legions hit home, nothing could stop them. Our rapid advance and clever deployment also meant that the Pontics wasted their cavalrty superiority. I was particularly pleased, as the basic battle plan was mine, proving that I'm not always a complete muppet with battle strategy!!!!

I'll definitely use Crusader rules again and am even more keen to get my 'Scipio/battle of Magnesia' era Republican force on the go. Pics in about 10 days time of the first part of the first Italian alled legion, if all goes to plan...

I have to do a factory reset on my PC tonight, as the nice man from Dell told me it was the only way to begin to try to sort the issues I've been having with it since september when I bought it!! So, assuming I have a PC to post pics on, I'll get some up in about 10 days time!!

Toodle pip!!