Saturday, July 23, 2011

My enemy, my dice...

This could equally well be titled "my enemy, myself."  Here's a synopsis of what didn't work today in my Field of Glory match.  I was running Early Carthaginians for the first time.  I've run Late Carthage but recently, I painted up the Sacred Band and also heavy chariots.  I felt pretty good about my list with Numidian Allies but I made mistakes in deployment that came back to haunt me.  I was facing a Principate Roman army built around 2 Superior Legions of 8 bases plus a 3rd rank of archers.  These guys are tough as nails and I'm not sure what I was thinking, going straight at them like I did.
Hope springs eternal on turn 1. 
 Numidian Ally brought Ellies and 2 Numidian Ligh Horse. 
The board was like a pool table with almost no terrain of any kind.  Deployment was somewhat boring as well, with forces shoulder to shoulder on one half of the board.  This tight deployment favored my Roman opponent, who only had 12 units to my 15.  My first mistake was that I failed to execute a outflanking march once I saw how close to the table's edge my opponent planted his camp.  Also, I deployed my archer armed heavy chariots too far off on my right flank. And the Sacred Band should have been in the center and not out on the flank.
Scutarii watch in awe as the drilled Romans execute a parade march.
In the early game, my opponent refused to face my 2 Numidian Light Horse and my Heavy Chariots anchoring my right flank.  He pulled off repeated Complex Movement Tests and double moved out on my right flank, dragging my chariots with them.  My chariots never came to grips with his Cavalry or anything else for that matter.  At 4" a turn, I couldn't keep pace and he skillfully kept me worrying about my flank.  I should have had a Numidian Light Horse out on my far right flank supporting the Chariots.  Another mistake. 

The boys in gold are also called The Conceited Band behind their backs. 
On my left, things started well.  The camp was covered only by Roman light artillery so I sent my Balearic Slingers at them.  My Sacred Band faced down the Catafractarii who had to pass a CMT to not charge.  Feeling lucky, my opponent sent them in the very next turn and the Armored Superior Offensive Spear made short work of the armored horse!  Unfortunately, the ballistas ripped up my Slingers and I had to call off my attempt to sack his camp.

The original Bloody Angle.
In the center, I managed to draw the Roman medium archers up into charge distance of my African Spear and I went in. With a double plus bonus, the African Spear should have made short work of of the medium archers.  No such luck.  We were locked up for 3 or 4 turns and my opponent kept throwing 10s and 11s on his morale checks.  Oh fortuna, why hast thou abandoned me so early in the game?
Elephants wondering why they haven't been stuck in.
While we slugged it out with the medium archers, his legion went in and quickly cut my African Spear to bits.  In short order two battlegroups were fragmented.  I had some bad luck with my light horse as well.  I had charged my Numidians into his Light Horse archers.   Even though I was up and had a general, you can see in the end my boys routed through the Spanish Scutarii, disrupting the Spaniards in the process.  Ouch. 
Oh the shame.  What will we tell our mothers?

Cue final credits.
While it was a poor start for my Early Carthaginian army, I'm not going to change this list until I've had a couple more battles to get a better feel for it.  A good portion of our club runs Romans and I'm still trying to crack the code on how to match up with them.  This is a primer of how NOT to do it.  I should have:
  • delayed the center and tried to pick off enough other units to get his army to break.   
  • put the Sacred Band in the center where they could have matched and stalled the Legions.
  • got my elephants and chariots into battle. 
  • bought a new box of dice.  
The Law of Large Numbers did not kick in for me today.  At one point, a spectator  started laughing out loud as I pitched handfuls of 1s and 2s over and over again.  Someone suggested I take my dice home, pull every 10th die and smash it in front of the others.  Dice-e-mate them.

Most importantly though, my opponent played a tight game with few mistakes and I can't say the same. 

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