Battle Reports - SA Nationals, May 2000
 
Carl Holliday
 
Four games in the Championships
 
Used only one list for all for games, although two were allowed:
 
Early Imperial Roman, Eastern, Post 100AD with Armenian Ally
CinC rBd (O)
12 rBd (O)
4 rPs (O) of the supporting type
1 rCv (O)
1 rLH(F)
3 rAx (S)
2 rKn (F)
All six Bg, four camped behind TF, remaining 2 mobile.
EL=30, EE=22:BP 7.5
 
Sub rCv (O)
1 rCv (O)
4 iLH (O) Numidian
9 Ax (S)
2 Ps (O) supports
EL=17, EE=16:BP 5.5
 
Ally iKn (X)
4 iKn (X)
8 iLH (F)
8 iBw(I)
EL=21, EE=21:BP 7
 
Total EL 68
Total EE 59:DL 29.5


 
Game One
Teutonic Order - Bobby Stathousis
I defend.
My deployment zone is split in the center by a small wood running parallel to the central road, about six inches further to the left, on my far left and forward is hill, gentle and blocking line of sight with a steep hill in the enemy deployment zone opposite it. 
 
We deploy baggage almost directly opposite each other, close to the road, on my left of the battle field.  I hide my sub (Ax)behind the hill, deploy the legion (Bd) to the left of the wood and put the ally to the right of the wood, the LH on the outer right.
 
Battle opens with good PIP's for both and the Teutonic Kn(S) come bearing straight down on the legion, ignoring the hill on their right.  In bound three I take first blood by killing an enemy LH with my Numidians as my ambush comes pouring over the hill.  I almost break his right flank, but in bound five I kill his Kn(S) general with an overlap by the odd supporting Ax (prevented him from recoiling).  However, he pushed back the rLH(F) which was directly in front of my Bd CinC, lines not parallel, and I die. :(
 
The Teutonics survive the PIP roll (they needed a five and got a six).  My bound I need a four and roll a two.  Thus 22 elements down the drain, and that because of kinked lines.  He turns all his attention to my allied LH on my far right which have so far managed to advance just beyond mid table.  Poor PIP's for the Ally (Bound 5-2, Bound 6-1) was enough for him to surround the elements at the edges and make a clean sweep.
 
I lose 10-0.
 

 

Game Two
Maurikian Byzantine - Martin Evers
I invade.
My deployment zone has a gentle round hill on the left edge and a long steep hill in the bottom right hand corner.  On my right and in my half a patch of RGo covers the far right.  A road runs down the center and the only other piece of terrain is a major wood next to the road in my opponent's forward deployment area.
 
My Bg hides to the left of the steep hill, and his sit behind the wood.
 
I deploy my legion on the right in such a way that the Bd element farthest right is aligned to the edge of the RGo, with Ax behind it.  The Ally is deployed behind the road, facing left, with the LH at the table edge.  The road itself is occupied by the Ax.
 
The battle opens with a 5 PIP for the Auxilia and 4's for the Ally and Legion.  So the Legion rumbles slowly forward while the rLH(F) sprints forward from its now customary place in the center of the Bd line.  The Allied LH Advance quickly to a point from where they can wheel at 45deg and end up next to the gentle round hill.  The big surprise of course comes when the Auxilia run up the road, straight into the wood.  The look of distress on my opponentís face was not altogether unexpected!
 
The battle develops into a hard long slog.  The legion ends up fighting compulsory DBE'd Cv(S)+(O), with the Ax occupied RGo to keep that flank secure, while the Allies skirmish a bit with the LH/Cv opposing them.  The Auxilia in the wood play around a bit with his Bd(I) and nothing much happens, especially as he pulls back Cv to prevent the Ax from crossing the gap towards his unfortified Baggage.
 

I lose 11.8% of EE & he loses 11.5% of EE
Draw 5-5
 

 

Game Three
Teutonic Order - Jaco Vermeulen
I defend.
A road runs down the center, with a patch of RGo touching it to the left, forward on the far left is a gentle round hill and about sic inches in is a lovely steep hill, perfect for ambushes(!)  To the right and in his deployment zone is a large patch of RGo and a marsh.  A small patch of RGo in his right deployment area completes the terrain.
 
My Bg sits next to the road, with his baggage aligned to the large patch of RGo.  A clear gap in terrain between the steep hill and the large RGo/marsh indicates the battle will be fought there; question, how to deploy?
 
I deploy the legion on the right in such a way that the Bd element farthest right is aligned to the edge of the RGo, with Ax behind it.  The Ally is deployed all on the left of the road, by far taking up most of the space, the LH aligned with the gap between the gentle & steep hills.  The Auxilia are split up.  Eight hide behind the crest of the ambush hill, the sub sits on the road and the supporting Numidians, Ax & Ps take the far right, just to cover the marsh/end of the world table edge.
 
The battle opens with below average PIP's.  A long skirmish develops close to the marsh between my Numidians and some of his LH (O), but I am steadily pushed back.  The ally advances with the LH rushing through the gap and onto the other side of the steep hill.  Curiously they only wheel so that their backs are parallel to the side table edge (about 10 inches away) but do not advance past the steep hill. 
 
Facing the legion is his Spear (some of which are inferior), he quickly redeploys his LH in front of them, but stays at about four inches.  The Allied bow get the responsible job of keeping the line & link between the legion and Arkathioses cataphracts safe.  Arkathios advances until his left is secured by the steep hill, and he is still somewhat behind it.
 
It is at this auspicious point in time that the Grand Master of the Order decides to launch his Kn(S) into contact.  The peasant archers have so far managed to kill (!) on of the opposing Kn(S), regularly recoiling the others.  The Auxilia waste no time in rushing over the hill, one taking the flank of the Kn(S) now fighting the left most Kn(X).  The enemy CinC (Kn(S)) gets ZOCíed from the hill and opts not to fight.  I descend upon one of the iKn(S) and hold it on the steep hill.  My stoical opponent flatly ignoring the results of the ambush as if he had been clearvoyant and expected it all along, anyway.

 

The legion moves forward slowly due to lack of PIPís with the sub now at times very over extended, fighting on two fronts (the steep hill on the left and in  front of the RGo/marsh on the right).  The Kn(S) drawn into the steep hill is flanked and survives for four bounds.  Finally I manage to get the upper hand on the right flank, using the legionís sole Cv(O) and rLF(F) to support the Subís LH skirmishing there.  At this point the Kn(S) steadily get the overhand as my Kn(X) become Inferior and finally, soon after Arkathios is killed the LH on the other side of the hill get trampled by a combination of Kn(S), Cv(I) and some LH(O).  The Allies break due to attrition and as the Kn(S) pursue time is called.

 

Losing Draw 4-6

 

Game Four
Abbasid Ė Nick Smuts
I invade.
A road runs slightly to the right of center, with a patch of RGo touching the table edge far to the right and close to mid table.  My opponentís central sector is crowded with a big marsh parallel to the table edge and close to the table center, RGo touching the table edge and a round gentle hill just to the right.

 

Afraid of the possibility of a flank march, my camp goes in the center, a short distances to the left of the road.  My opponent deploys his baggage in three two-element groups.

 

Deployment is obvious: The Legion takes the right, with the rLH(F) in the center of the Bd line, the right most Bd element aligned with the forward RGo.  Arkathios and his Armenians take the whole left from the road.  The Auxilia, surprisingly (!) form a column on the road.  My opponent places Cv (S) opposite my Legion, Spear next to the marsh, facing the column of Auxilia, and more Cv(S) & LH on the other side of the marsh/hill/RGo, facing my Armenians.

 

For opening PIPís I get 6 for the Auxilia, 2 for the Legion and 5 for the Armenians (very eager chap, our Arkathios ;))  The Legion sits as the rLH(F) sprints forward to annoy the opposing Cv(S).  Arkathioses entire command (LH far left, then Kn(X) then Bw) moves slowly forward, the Bw needing special attention to ensure that they get close enough to the enemy.  The Auxilia dash forward, and get halfway into the marsh before anyone realizes what is going on. ;) Again the look of utter surprise and distress on my opponentís face was not altogether unexpected!

 

The battle proceeded with the legionís rLH(F) being killed three bounds later (outnumbered by enemy LH), the Legion positioning itself with its right flank resting on the RGo.  The Armenian LH skirmish successfully against outnumbered LH(O) and the Bw kill one enemy Ax element, recoiling some of the others.  The Auxilia meet Cv(S) on the road and instead of risking the Cv(S) following into the marsh, two elements of Ax with Ps support face it in the open.  After two bounds the Cv finally recoil, but I keep up the pressure.  The Auxilia were a bit squashed together and I was afraid that kinked lines could lead to a sudden and unexpected death.  Finally in the third bound of combat, with Ps support and an overlap the enemy Cv(S) dies in combat (!) and sweeps away the Cv behind it.

 

Meanwhile, the Armenians are fighting a fairly even fight as Kn(O) against the enemy Cv(S) while my opponent's superior skirmishing prevent the LH from outflanking the Cv(S).  Finally one Ax & one Ps hit the iBw(I) frontally and general chaos ensues.  The death of the Bw, which had supported their right , and the odd dead LH(F) finally forces the Armenian nobility to break and they run off. 

 

The area to the left of the legion is now wide open due to the dead Armenian Bw, so the enemy Cv(S) start maneuvering into it.  I surprise myself by coordinating the defense of the gap, using the legionís two rKn(F) & sole Cv(O) as well as the Sub, Cv(O) +Cv(O) and the odd Numidian to create overlaps.  Again I kill two enemy Cv(S) due to ZOD.  The Bd(O) itself create an overlap and with Ps support I kill Cv(S) fighting the Bd.

 

The game ends with his Cv(S) now turning from the defeated Armenians and heading towards the legion, while the front line of the Legion is now within striking distance of the Spear.

 

I lose 4-6

 

 

Ideas tried & Lessons learnt
1. Single ranks of Bd(O) with the odd Ps support are a lot more versatile than double ranked Bd(O).  It also reduces casualties should the front rank die.
2. Auxilia make excellent support troops for slower Bd.
3. rKn(F) are worth their weight in gold. (Fast, reliable, good punch, when & where needed)
4. A good ambush can be devastating.
5. Roads are useful for making that first bound dash. 
6. Taking terrain in the face of the enemy disrupts his plans & changes the whole emphasis of the battle.
7. I need to learn more about the way LH work and how to skirmish more successfully with them.
8. I need to learn how to exploit the situations created by the Auxilia in the woods.  Lack of ideas prevented me from exploiting potentially profitable situations.
9. The Kn(X), even if allied, changes the nature of the army and gives a lot more versatility, allowing the Bd/Ax to concentrate on that which they can handle.
10. Bw(I), except in vast numbers, are not worth it.
11. As Arkathios died his brother Artifax will have to take his place ;)

 

The Bd in single ranked lines was inspired by the very recent simulator results and I found it very useful.  Previously the Bd had tended to die in droves when double ranked, and the +1 did not result in any additonal enemy dead.


Thank you for reading, comments much appreciated.

 

Carl Holliday
cholliday@lexpro.co.za
Pretoria 012 3444434
Mobile 082 3311 929
http://www.lexpro.co.za