Today I took a day off work and Ian from the Club came round and we prepared to do battle using the Field of Glory rules. We’ve only played them once before so to be hones there was a lot of re-learning going on at the start.
We decided to throw down pretty well all my Punic War figures, with two Roman Legions, some Latin troops and a Numidian Allied contingent. Facing these were a core of Carthaginian spears, Celtiberians, Gallic Cavalry and a large Spanish Allied contingent.
The initial deployment is shown here. Ian’s legions deployed on my right in the open ground facing the massed Gallic cavalry and the African spearmen supported by elephants.
The Gallic cavalry surged ahead of the advancing main line on the right
On the Carthaginian left the opposing Light Horse engaged both with javelins from the hill and in close combat with support from the scutarii. But the Spanish seemed to be struggling with both groups disrupted.
Eventually the Numidian general led his troops off the hill to drive the Spanish back in disarray and pursued them around the flank. Meanwhile, the caetrati, despite outnumbering their Numidian opponents, were taking a severe beating as the scutarii rushed to their aid.
But the caetrati soon lost one battle group and were close to a second. The Numidian light horse victory was to be short lived as the Spanish cavalry wheeled into their flank and drove them, and their General off the table.
As the Spanish cavalry returned, the second Numidian light horse were driven off and as the skirmishes evaded the elephants and the Roman cavalry withdrew, the elephants moved to engage the flank of the Latin troops as the Celtiberians advanced on their front.
Meanwhile, on the right the famed Roman Velites were driven off by Cretan archers and more caetrati.
It was at this point, with the main lines about to engage and with time running out, that Ian decided to withdraw the legions. He felt that the collapse of his flank and the prospect of the Spanish and elephants beginning to roll up his line meant that there was not enough time for the legions to break through before their flanks too were threatened.
My thoughts were that there was still a good chance of the legions succeeding. The Roman cavalry on my right, supported by the velites meant that my Gallic cavalry flank was not secure. Also, the legions were superior and that would have been a decisive factor against my average troops.
I also felt the legions were too slow in advancing and given the threat to their right flank, should have been seeking to engage as soon as possible. Despite the Spanish victory on the left, it would still have taken time to bring the troops to bear in significant numbers.
Skirmishers – now we may have been playing it wrong but there seems to be no may to disengage skirmishers? As my scutarii advanced on the left I wanted the caetrati to stop their interminable battle with the numidians and let the heavier troops drive them off. I couldn’t do this. It was frustrating and held up the whole flank until basically all my troops were dead!
We felt that towards the end we were starting to get the flow of the rules and PoA etc. and that the next game would be quicker. Again, we spent a lot of time reading the rule book – the index of which truly sucks! – and it was frustrating to yet again not get the battlelines fully engaged.
It was good fun and a good way to spend a Monday. Much better than working! Cheers to Ian for the game and the sandwich!
Looking forward to the next one…