Ancients - The rise of Rome - or will it start flat ?

1200 BC - 534 AD

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Re: Ancients - The rise of Rome - or will it start flat ?

Postby MAGNA » Thu Feb 14, 2013 9:34 am

All too true Frank - my head hurts often playing this. Good in the way that you get to see whether you are right
fairly quickly.

As to Frizzenspark's query re minis. These are 1/72 scale as there are a huge number of types available now.
Many are from HAT as you get a lot in each box and they look good in groups.

The best figures by far are the Zvezda offerings which include the Elephants. Their chariot set is really good too
as are most of the cavalry.

I am fairly sure the ones you see here are nearly all from those two manufacturers. We have thrown in some
Persian troops on the greek side for numbers so this isn't exact from a historical point of view.

I have one set of Revell Romans which I have to say are not great. Never mind.
So all plastic so far.

The FoG rules are easy enough to follow. Those who play mainly later periods could find the move restrictions
frustrating at first (eg you simply can't move back - you have to turn and move). Different moves are simple
or complex with some impossible for certain units. Skirmishers can do just about anything they like with moves
and turns becoming more complex as the units get heavier. For instance, a heavy unit wants to turn 180 degrees
and go back - this will take two moves as the turn takes the first move - it's all they can do.

Sometimes you can do two things in one move but it becomes a complex move so you have to roll to achieve
both. All part of the fun though and it reflects the level of training / manoeuvre options available in those times.
Leaders add to morale and movement options but you only get three or four. hey can be lost too which is a bit
of a worry.
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Re: Ancients - The rise of Rome - or will it start flat ?

Postby Frizzenspark » Thu Feb 14, 2013 5:27 pm

I thought I recognized some HäT and Zvezda miniatures... I have several boxes that I got on sale.... I love both companies, though I tend to agree with your preference for the Zvezda.... a little more crisper.....
"Why piddle about making porridge with artillery and then send men to drown themselves in it for a hundred yards of No Man's land? Tanks mean advances of miles at a time, not yards.".
Maj-Gen Percy Hobart (1885-1957)79th Armoured Division

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Re: Ancients - The rise of Rome - or will it start flat ?

Postby MAGNA » Tue Feb 19, 2013 12:39 pm

Things are heating up now.

This time we'll go from left to right (our left to right).

On the left the Romans have two skirmisher units, one cavalry, and one infantry unit all going
after and trying to trap our cavalry. The idea is obviously to choof our cav out of it and turn onto
our flank.

So far John has turned our cavalry and is moving down the side of the board with the Romans
following. This is good for us as it is splitting the Roman flank and would leave these Roman
units too far out to support the punch up developing in the centre and on the left.


cav left.jpg
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Re: Ancients - The rise of Rome - or will it start flat ?

Postby MAGNA » Tue Feb 19, 2013 12:42 pm

Moving toward the centre but still on the left the Roman legions moved forward
slowly as heavy infantry do.

Roman skirmishers came forward to annoy our phalanx closest to the centre.

At the start of our next move our phalanx involuntarily charged the skirmishers.
You have to roll to stop some troops automatically charging when they get into
range. Our roll didn't stop them so forward they went.

This created a dangerous situation as the phalanx as a unit is vulnerable when
attacked from the sides. John decided to charge his two hoplite units forward
into the Romans to his front to stop them wheeling into the left of our phalanx.

One unit of Romans were medium infantry so we had a bit of an advantage. The
other was armoured Roman infantry who have a good collision advantage as they
throw their javelins as they charge or as you come in. Not so good and we lost a
stand in the first impact / melee phase but passed our cohesion test.

our left.jpg


The Romans first charged our skirmishers and they evaded easily. That allowed
John to then charge forward as the Romans were in charge range. Our troops who
charged are at the bottom of the pic and the Roman mediums they charged are
the ones to their front on the other side of the skirmishers ( the Romans are the
ones in the coloured capes ).

Right lower is our phalanx chasing off the Roman skirmishers to their front.

Upper left are the Roman heavy troops who were also charged by our hoplites.
This was the scary bit.

Two melees ensued. The centre melee next to the phalanx has so far caused a
casualty to the Roman mediums and they have failed their cohesion test so they
are now disordered (they lose dice in the next melee phase).

The left melee had at first lost us one unit but the next two rolls were nothing
short of amazing. Usually a melee goes for four or five rounds. This one lasted
just the two rolls. John managed 7 hits out of 8 first time and then 6 out of 8 the
second. Ray's Romans lost troops both times with the second time being the
worst. The Romans lost a cohesion level the first time (under 7 on 2D6). The
second roll for cohesion was a disaster as it had about -3 on it. Not good when
you only roll a 3. They broke, turned away, were pursued and went down to
50% which means they dissolved as a unit and left the board. An incredibly good
result for us.

melee left.jpg


1. The phalanx that charged forward. Stupid sods.

2. The Hoplites vs the Roman mediums. Going our way so far.

3. The surprise. The Hoplites vs the white Roman heavies.


left after.jpg


The aftermath of the melee on the left. The Roman unit is gone. For the Romans
facing the bottom of the pic this is not good. They were moving that way to get
around to hit the flank of the hoplites but the situation has changed very quickly.

It is our turn next so our hoplites will wheel and hit this Roman unit in the flank.
Hopefully it will be a similar result to the previous punch up but it is very much
down to the dice in this game when things are fairly even so we will see.
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Re: Ancients - The rise of Rome - or will it start flat ?

Postby MAGNA » Tue Feb 19, 2013 12:45 pm

Moving to the centre.

First off I tried to get my skirmish cavalry out. Ok at first as they turned and started
to move out.

move skirm.jpg


The light cavalry heads out of the way….. for now.

Unfortunately the Roman light cavalry charged and chased away our foot skirmishers. They carried on toward the flank of my light cavalry who then had to
evade. The only way open was back the way they came so that was all a waste of
time.

Roman infantry in the centre then charged them and they had to stand as there was
by this time no way to get out. They are effectively stuffed although still fighting but
taking on heavy infantry in a melee isn't really their thing. They actually managed
to win the initial impact but the next phase of melee went as expected - one loss
and one level of cohesion lost. As I said - stuffed.

To their left the Roman troops charged into one of our four phalanxes with no real
result for either side as the dice were even.

centre nearly.jpg


On the left of this one is the light cavalry being belted by the Roman heavies.

Over to the right two phalanxes are about to smack into two Roman heavy units.
The other melee between more Roman heavies and another phalanx is out of
the picture - below left.

centre hit.jpg


This pic shows the central part of the battle with the phalanx to the front left of the
elephants being charged into by the Romans with the blue shields.

To the right can be seen the light cavalry with one already missing. The white hoop
is to signify a loss of one level of cohesion.

Now it becomes a matter of feeding in units to overpower the opposition by
adding dice etc. Leaders being attached helps too as they add some reroll
capability and also add to cohesion rolls.
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Re: Ancients - The rise of Rome - or will it start flat ?

Postby MAGNA » Tue Feb 19, 2013 12:47 pm

On the right side my heavy cavalry charged some Italian allies and reduced them
by two stands leaving only four. The cavalry then rebounded as they had failed to
make the opponent lose any cohesion. This means they can charge in again in
our next turn. The Italian allies may not be there much longer.

The Roman commander on our right (Neil) has covered a possible breakthrough
by moving his cavalry around the back of his units to stop ours. We have a full
hoplite unit moving slowly to the right of our cavalry so we are hopeful that a flank
break through is possible.

our right after.jpg


On the left of the pic you can see our phalanx and the Roman heavies who are
about to clash. Behind them the Roman cavalry are coming around to cover the
flank. With a bit of luck they won't be there long. We may need more than a bit of
luck too since I am controlling that side.

The cavalry have bounced back and are ready to charge in again. To their right
out of pic are some more hoplites who could come in handy if they ever get to the
Roman flank.

Lot of stuff out of pic here - must get a wider camera…….

Until next week then.
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Re: Ancients - The rise of Rome - or will it start flat ?

Postby MAGNA » Wed Feb 27, 2013 8:44 am

This weeks episode could be entitled "Sometimes weird things happen".

We'll go left to right again….

On the left John's cavalry carried on their dance with the Roman pursuers.

This cavalry unit is still tying up troops with the Romans trying to get around to our flank
but finding it to be a slow process. This was actually part of our plan and is working well
to this stage as the cavalry have not had losses and are still in a position to hit the flank
of a Roman move toward the centre. Nice.

left tie up.JPG


The cavalry continue their move down the edge of the board with Romans trying to get
to them.
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Re: Ancients - The rise of Rome - or will it start flat ?

Postby MAGNA » Wed Feb 27, 2013 8:45 am

Also on the left but toward the centre John's troops had some success last time when they saw off
a Roman unit and put themselves in position to charge the flank of the next unit in line. They did
this but the new Roman unit is an elite one with spearmen. This week wasn't so good for our unit
as they have had a couple of losses and are getting the worst of it. the good part here is that this
elite Roman unit is now tied up fighting ours and may find themselves high and dry even if they
win.

A bit further to the right the next unit of hoplites continued the destruction of the Roman unit they
charged last time. Eventually the Romans lost too many stands and were eliminated. Two units
of Romans gone on our left where we only expected to hold them back. Not bad.

The worst part was holding the phalanx back as Roman skirmishers kept coming forward to
provoke a charge. This would have been bad as the phalanx would have had three Roman
units ready to flank it. John took the unusual option of turning the phalanx 180 degrees. As
they could only turn and not move in the one go this was a bit of a worry but in the end the
Roman legions were too far away to contact and the phalanx has now moved back in to line
up with the rest of our troops and can now turn to face the Romans knowing there are troops
to either side.

left danger.JPG


1. In the distance the Romans are still trying to corner John's cavalry. No chance.

2. Our hoplites battle a superior Roman unit and are being worn down. They have already seen
off one lot of Romans so they have done their job. Anything more is above and beyond.

3. The Hoplites here have also decimated a Roman unit who left in a hurry. They now face a
more formidable task in the shape of a legion. The Romans are totting up some
attrition points now that they have losses.If they get to a certain number they lose. We
hope to inflict more as soon as possible before we have to face the rest of their units.

4. A somewhat scary but in the end good move. The phalanx is facing away from the enemy but
too far for them to get at as it is our move next so they can turn to face or keep walking away.
Nicely done.
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Re: Ancients - The rise of Rome - or will it start flat ?

Postby MAGNA » Wed Feb 27, 2013 8:47 am

With the situation on the left looking better than we had hoped it is on to the centre. Just to the left
of centre the Roman red units are quite formidable but our plan was to leave them and put our
main weight against everything to the right from the centre on.

At the beginning of festivities for this phase there were some melee actions already going on.

Our centre phalanx was engaged against a legion and behind them my light cavalry were still embroiled
with another legion from last time when I couldn't get them out of the way. Not good.

The elephants were not able to get a gap yet so no help from them or the backup phalanx. The medium
troops were left in the woods where they can match a legion. It was a bit tempting to bring some out to
help the phalanx in the melee but Bob decided to leave them for the moment and see what happened.
As it turned out this was a good idea.

My phalanx units (two) charged forward into two Roman legions with mixed results. So far the Romans
have had the better of it but only slightly.

centre begin.JPG


1. The light cavalry in their hopeless plight against a full legion. They have managed to make the legion
lose one cohesion level but they have lost a horse stand too.

2. Just to the right of the elephants back end our phalanx is engaged with the Roman legion. Just to the
right of the phalanx is another which is not engaged yet.

3. My left phalanx has charged into the Romans with no real advantage to either side.

4. My right phalanx has done the same with some bad rolling by yours truly losing one stand already but
passing the cohesion test.

5. The heavy cavalry prepares for another charge into the Italian allies which made them bounce back
again with no losses to either side.

centre begin 2.JPG


A view of the centre left.

1. My light cavalry in melee against the Roman legion. Not in their job description I'm afraid.

2. The phalanx that was turned around to move back and reform the line.

3. The phalanx and Roman legion in a melee.
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Re: Ancients - The rise of Rome - or will it start flat ?

Postby MAGNA » Wed Feb 27, 2013 8:50 am

Still in the centre.

This is the part where weird things happened…..

First off, my light cavalry made it through the next melee phase and actually sent their opponent
down another cohesion level to fragmented. This means they lost most of their dice for the next
roll.

Weird, unexpected, and taken with glee. These horse troops should be getting flogged. Dice,
the enemy of the obvious outcome.

Next, the legion and phalanx had a go and the legion suffered badly, also losing cohesion. All
good so far.

The unengaged phalanx in front of the elephants managed to charge in to the Romans who
were already fighting a phalanx. No real help though.

In the next Roman turn there wasn't a lot of moving in this area as most troops were engaged in
melee.

Now it was the next melee phase with my horses ready to get hammered and the phalanx / legion
clash behind them going our way.

This is where it got really wierd/unusual/unexpected/WTF etc.

Our phalanx pummelled the Roman legion and they broke. This means they take off but in this
case they ran straight into another legion to their rear and made that mob lose a cohesion level.
All good. They ran too fast for our phalanx to hit them from behind otherwise they would have
suffered another loss of one stand automatically.

The light horse survived yet again (really weird - twilight zone stuff) and to be honest I was hoping
they would break so we could get some decent troops up there.

I shouldn't have worried. The legion the light horse were fighting had to take a cohesion test as well
due to another unit breaking within three inches from them. They failed dismally and due to their
previous drops in cohesion they actually broke and ran!!

Credit really goes to the dice and the phalanx for this happening but a pleasantly weird surprise
to say the least. Something to brag about for a long time to come - "Do you remember when my
light cavalry sent a Roman legion packing - skirmish cavalry they were. There we were, dice to
the left of us, dice to the right of us. I turns to Davy Crockett and ….. Shut up Duffy".

So there you go, weird. The cavalry chased up the broken legion and ended up in a punch up
with some Roman skirmishers who had spears. We don't like them as they are a big danger to
our elephants. Again, shouldn't have worried. The light horse sent them packing too and are
still pursuing to make sure they are wiped out.

centre rout 1.JPG


1. The Roman legion routed by the phalanx smacks into their own troops and cause a cohesion
loss.

2 & 3. The Roman legion who were fighting the light horse are broken and run past a skirmisher
unit who end up getting walloped by the pursuing cavalry.

4. The phalanx to the right of the elephants charged in to contact the blue Roman legion who
are already engaged with another phalanx.
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