Remember, that as part of my vast readership, you are privy to the arcane machinations that will lead to the development of my “win at all costs” L’Art de la Guerre army for December’s Virtus 2015 competition. Wishing to throw the off scent, I consented to play Steve last week. This would give me a chance to try out a two hundred point army with a large quota of heavy swordsmen. Steve is a bit of a dark horse at the Cardiff Club. We usually see him pushing 10mm space ships but a chance forum post exposed him as a major collector of historical miniatures.
The Imperial Romans were a second hand purchase but mightily jealous we all were! They were singularly based for Warhammer but mounted on sabots they were perfect for ADLG. I went for a brilliant commander leading five elements of heavy swordsmen legionaries, supported by the now obligatory ballista. In command two, I had another brilliant general, four legionary units and two medium cavalry. Command three comprised three medium horse, three auxilia and two archer units. These last two units were to be worth their weight in gold.
I reasoned that my right hand auxilia could do some mischief in the woods whilst my legionaries cut down the savages in the open. Cavalry can’t move in combination with foot so my cohort cavalry would be a fast moving reserve.
The Romans of course were brought up on scare stories about the Gauls. Steve’s bunch were obviously more conservative in their choice of a large number of chariots. I was confident that I wasn’t going to be road-kill but I would have to watch my open left flank.
However it was on my secure right that the initial assault would fall. I was able to counter the juvenile skirmishers with archery and ballista bolts. Steve’s foot stayed back and watched as his horse charged my auxilia. I was forced to bring forward my own medium cavalry forward but the line held.
The central body of Gauls held back but the naked mercenary fanatics were made of sterner stuff. The initial clash saw the Roman line suffer badly. It was only in subsequent turns that the gladius would reap its terrible harvest. Thankfully, low command pips meant that Steve could not feed in more reserves and control the melee.
On my left, those chariots rolled around the central fight. My horsemen fell back behind my withdrawing legionaries. Steve’s blood was up and his chariots struck. In the resultant combat the ability of my legionaries to withstand more hits allowed me to hold off the woad rage.
My centre was powering forward and my right faced a command that seemed that it had lost the will to fight. I brought my reserve cavalry forward but it was the legions that just managed to out-fight their barbarian foes.
So a victory at last. Bowmen and light artillery worked very well, forcing my opponent to come forward or accept mounting losses. The legionaries won the game for me though and it’s these that I intend basing my Late Roman army on; with ‘impact’ ability, armour, and support……and elite…… It will certainly cut down on the painting. Steve had been a great opponent, providing all the terrific figures and playing like a true gentleman. All that was left to do was to celebrate as old Bruce would have intended!