Sunday, June 14, 2015

Barbaric Invaders!

Hello and welcome to all who have taken a moment to read this report of our groups ongoing ancient battles at Mike's house. For those who may be new to these posts, Mike runs a series of Ancients games late Spring to early Fall at his home in Chicago. Mike tries to have a theme each year and this year it is unusual and minor battles that may have or may not have been influential to the lands they occurred in or to the people who fought them.
We played this game on June 13th and we had eight gamers which is a perfect number for our games. The game was the early Celt invasion of the infant Roman Empire. Rome had gathered it's allies and marched north into the Po valley to stop the Celtic tide heading for the capital of Rome.
As always we used our Tactica rules (will we ever see Tactica II over 20 years late). This day we had guests and travelers from a far away land called Michigan, John and Eric. These are two well seasoned gamers and were a welcome addition to our group. Also in attendance were our host Mike, Ken, Bill, Wendel, Phil and myself. We were split unevenly though as Mike, Bill and myself were the invading Celts and Wendel, Ken, Phil, John and Eric were Rome and her allies.
The armies were as follows:

11 heavy infantry units of 24 figures each.
2 heavy cavalry units of 24 figures each.
During set up the Romans decided to divide one of the cavalry units into two units of 12 figures each.

8 medium infantry units of 48 figures each.
2 heavy cavalry units of 12 figures each

Here is the beginning setup. Look Ma, ,new experiment with moving pictures! We may try more of this in the future.
 Rome and the Allies
 Overall still of the center of the battlefield.
 Another shot a bit further down.

As you can see Mike provided an ample number of figures to play with and all painted to a very high if not superior quality.

The Celts had decided to behave badly and just charge across the open ground to hack and slash their way to victory. Rome and her allies were evidently in tune with their adversaries and obliged them by charging at least as far as their opponents. So soon the scrum was on and much blood watered the field of battle that day. But I must digress to address the fight on each flank. As we should all know, the flanks are the most important and weakest parts of the ancient armies. Today though the flanks played a much lesser role that is usually the case in our games. Bill had the Celtic left flank and opposed Ken. Ken had split his cavalry into the 2 12 figure units. Bill had used one of his warbands to occupy the attention of the cavalry while trying to slip his much smaller cavalry unit past the Romans right flank. This was a good plan but took much longer than expected.
On the Celtic right flank, I was opposed by Wendel who is well known in our group as the cavalry master. On this day Wendel was not lacking. I used my much smaller cavalry unit (12 figures vs 24 figures) to try to soften up his cavalry. But Wendel brushed them away as so many flies. This would mean that one of my warbands would have to fight it out with the heavy cavalry on almost equal terms. Not part of my plan.

So here is what we had in the early going of the game. The Celtic left flank at the top.
After the defeat of the Celtic Cavalry on their right flank.

A view from the Celtic right flank with the cavalry slipping past the Roman right flank.


Then the main forces collide and the fight is on!
If you look through the pictures you may note that the Celtic units are falling away to nothing! The beating that we received from Wendel's cavalry sealed the fate of the units that opposed them as seen in the last picture of the bottom unit with all the casualties marked by the yellow dice. In the center, commanded by Phil, Eric and John, their dice rolling abilities were outstanding and they were inflicting casualties on the Celts at a rate of just over two to one. Wonderful performance for their first outing in Tactica. At this point need I even say that it was a resounding Roman victory! Laurels to the victors as the defeated slink off to plan their revenge. Even though Mike and I were able to make a couple of surprising moral checks, and Bill was past their right flank with his cavalry, these were not nearly enough to stem the losses inflicted by Eric Phil and John in the center.
So another great game! Thanks to Mike for letting us enjoy a part of his wonderful collection and as always some obligatory eye candy.

All of the above shield patterns are hand painted!
These too!

Well thanks for stopping by and I hope to see everyone soon.