The omens didn’t look good for Rome. Massed spear regiments formed the centre of the Greek line but it would be a more mundane troop type that would be my undoing. Read on as Patrician Rome bites off more than it can chew!
We are definately in the honeymoon period with the Kings of War Historical ruleset. Other sets are more “gritty” in their depiction of ancient warfare but this set is really good fun, with an emphasis on the fun! Previous sets have had some difficulty in replicating hoplites warfare or at least making an exciting game of it, without a slogging match situation. Measurement push backs and book keeping are out with KoW, it’s Hollywood historiacal but in a good way. Think 300 without the war rhinos ( although you can actually have monsters us beasts!) and who doesn’t want fire pigs and war dogs!?
Basing is more similar to Warhammer ancient battle than the DBX style but our ADLG 60mm squares work just fine. Two bases gives one a “troop” in game terms, four units constitute a “regiment”. I however went for hordes and that means eight! Search for the fantasy version and see what can be done with such a footprint…….
My plan was to hold the hoplites up with two hordes of barbarian heavy foot and roll up his flank with my heavy horse. Flank attacks are deadly in this game, getting double the already generous number of attack dice.
My cataphracts were to lead the assault, followed by two units of heavy horse to exploit the breakthrough. I was thinking opening scenes of Gladiator but it didn’t quite turn out like that. I got drawn into a missile fight between our mounted skirmishers and that drew me closer to Steve’s prepared killing ground.
In the centre my skirmishers were tasked with holding up the Greek foot. After on volley, they were pounced on by the Hellenistic vanguard, with no evade move!
On my left, the Greek light horse were gone but a storm of slingshots started to land. First a few and then a whole storm of slingshots. I rashly stayed in position to finish off his skirmishers but the shots from the bushes were costing me dear. It also meant that I could not complete my movement across the table to roll up the hoplites. They even had the audacity to unhorse one of my cataphracts!
The full weight of the Greek army was now pushing against my barbarian allies. Surely these ferocious Teutons could hold against the effette attack!? My plan for two massive hosts meant Steve could concentrate two units against one and in amongst his front line were Spartan veterans and the palace guard.
It was a much reduced force that hit the Greek flank. My cataphracts were worried about a Greek spear unit on their flank and my German federatii horse went in piecemeal. A chance for my legion to attack through the undergrowth was mistimed and Steve was able to see off the horsemen and then rout the remnant Legion.
But my Richard the Third moment was upon me. Nevermind routing troops all around, it was time to cease the game by taking out the Greek general. Roman virtus against Greek perfidity, Mano a Mano ( but with a regiment of charging cataphracts close at hand😡😫)
Despite ( yet another) defeat, I am a great fan of these rules. We finished the game in about two and a half hours, and that includes the inevitable catcalls and hoots of derision from the small crowd that had gathered to witness the debacle. We meet again a week Tuesday for a titanic Republc versus Celtic clash- all welcome as per usual. Thank very much for reading.