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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Cuts You Up - Dacian vs. Roman AAR

I finally got my Dacians on the table against their mortal enemy, the Romans [insert "boo" and/or "hiss" here]. I painted them specifically to counter the many Roman armies I face in our Field of Glory group.  Now comes the test-will the Dacians beat the Romans and become my new favorites? Or will they suffer the fate of my other "barbarian" armies and get stomped?  No pressure boys, win or go to eBay!

My friend Mark brought his Romans down for the test. Setup saw a village (by Lurkio) split his deployment in two. The Roman army is mostly drilled superior troops in armor, small but tough as boots! Being average and unarmored for the most part, the Dacians were nearly twice as numerous as the Romans. This was a classic Roman quality versus Dacian quantity match-up.

Dacians have a couple of good plays in their army.  The first is their Sarmatian cavalry, some of the best in this era.  The second is their superior falxmen, wielding two-handed swords. In melee, the falx neutralizes the Roman armor bonus and their superior rating means falxmen can stand toe to toe in combat.

My left wing was made up of falxmen and Sarmatians.  My right wing was rubbish javelinmen supported by archers.  Sarmatians lurked on the right wing too, looking for an opportunity to bolster or get stuck in.  






Mark let my barbarians come to him as he looked for opportunities to get my army out of alignment. I sent both wings straight at the Romans.  Mark was concerned about my column of skirmishers heading for his camp so he moved to cut them off.  The skirmishers responded by veering into the village, where their movement was reduced.

A fierce charge by my falxmen locked up our lines and I threw both of my generals in front. With overlaps, superior falxmen and leaders, the Dacians bled out the Roman Lanciarii and auxillary. The Roman cavalry withdrew in the face of my Sarmatians, javelins and falxmen.  Soon, it was just the legionnaires staring down my bloodied falxmen. Roman cries of "Put on a shirt!" and "No shirts, no service!" could be heard up and down their line.  My falxmen yelled back "You're luck we're wearing pants!" and "You should see the Galatians behind us!"



On my right flank, I advanced at full speed.  The birds were singing, and my Dacians too. We had twice as many warriors as the Romans.  What could possibly go wrong?  Well, everything! Fighting a legion straight up is tough.  Fighting a legion backed by archers turned out to be impossible for my lads. My Dacian javelinmen didn't just lose in impact, they lost in spectacular fashion.  In Field of Glory, combat is generally a grind with units slowly cycling down to broken.  I suffered a double drop in morale in impact. I lost the ensuing melee and both units routed in a single turn!  All was not lost.  By running, I managed to get a nice shot of the Dacian shieldwork as they ran back towards me. Well done, that!



Insult to injury, Mark skillfully used his skirmisher to drag my Sarmatian cavalry into rough terrain and out of the game.  Well played by Mark and poorly played by me.
Back to the left flank, a unit of falxmen charged and defeated the Roman cavalry in a straight up fight.  This time it was Mark who suffered a double drop in morale and the loss of his cavalry cleared out the only unit supporting his legion's right flank.  My falxmen charged into the legion, shedding bases in impact.  Both sides locked up in a multiturn melee that went on and on. And on.

Just as the legion got the upper hand by routing half my falxmen, the Sarmatians got in a flank charge that broke the legion.  I then sacked the Roman fortified camp with a roll of 6.  With that, the Romans hit their break point and retired from the field.  Victory Dacia!
It was a close run thing.  My right flank crumbled in one turn and my archers were going to get rolled by Mark's fresh legion.  My camp was completely undefended with the collapse of my right flank. Another turn and the Romans would've had the win.  The Sarmatian charge saved the day for the Dacians.  I must remember to hold my javelinmen back in future games as they're simply too brittle to go toe to toe. Maybe I'll put them on a hill, in a fort or hide them away for the game.  The falxmen are as tough as I'd hoped.  They're down to the Romans in the impact phase but fight even in melee. With numbers and a general up front, they look like a match for the legionnaires.

To celebrate my rare victory over Roma, here's Peter Murphy's paean to Dacian falxmen, "Cuts you Up."

43 comments:

  1. What a great report Monty, beautiful armies and pictures, and a victory! Well, your Sarmatian cavalry's command may be less happy with this game...you'll have to find new horses, many are lost in the rough terrain, aren't they?

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    1. Thanks Phi! And yes, we're still looking for the rest of the Sarmatians, lost in the brush.

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  2. Great report - I also have a Dacian/Sarmation army and really enjoy playing it. I need to give FoG a try!

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    1. Thanks! I remember, you've got them in 28mm and they look great.

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  3. Great report!

    Finding a silver lining in your running shields was particularly entertaining. The Dacian Silver Lining Playbook?

    I'll get my coat...

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    1. Good one Jeff! Now we need the ancients adaptation to it. ;-)

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  4. Awesome! great battle games report, along with great miniatures/units... great photos as well...

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    1. Thanks Phil! It's been 72 hours, when is the next DBA army due? ;-)

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    2. ;o) I'm happy to say almost finished off three more DBA armies adding final touching up on the bases.... next month,during November I will try and finish off my 28mm Renaissance Project!.... :o) cheers

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    3. Although I do await the display of more of your DBA armies, I really look forward to seeing more of your Renaissance project.

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  5. A really fine report Monty and great looking table too! Congrats on defeating the Romans now you don't have to sell your lovely army!:-)

    Christopher

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    1. I think I have a new army to field in our next campaign. Finally!

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  6. Great battle report Monty! I really like the descriptions of the units you give on the pics - it helps make the reading gel together with an understanding of the challenges facing the commander! The heap of unclothed bodies made me burst out laughing though - great touch! :-) Is this something commercially available or was it home made?

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    1. My friend Mark brought those. He got them when he was in the UK but I'll have to ask him who makes them. I told Mark the bodies were all Romans. ;-)

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    2. Hey Jason,
      The pile of bodies is by Donnington Miniatures. I like to use them when I loose a battle group. Plus I like to hear Monty giggle with glee as the battlefield fills with dead.

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    3. Makes me sound like Vlad the Impaler! They're so over the top, I end up laughing every time you drop one on the battle field.

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    4. Thank you both for taking the time to reply. I will visit Donnington Miniatures next time I got to a show. A few stands of those look great fun!

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  7. Very good to see this, Monty. Your troops look great and the battle engaging. I'm inspired to get my EIR guys in action against Iberians (as well as proxies).

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    1. Thanks Dean, and I'm glad just to get my painted troops on the table. Oh, a win once in awhile is nice too!

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  8. Beautiful figures, handsome table, excellent photos, and a bloody good battle. What more could one ask? Oh yeah, victory to your Dacians!

    Well done!

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    1. Yea, that was as good as it gets. Thanks Jonathan!

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  9. Excellent report, I don't think I blinked once reading that! The armies seem very well matched, different strengths and weaknesses but able to give a good game. Your win is ebay's loss :-)

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    1. Thanks Paul! AARs can be a bit of challenge to bring to life (as you well know) so thanks for your kind words. I do think a rematch is in order.

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  10. Great report. "No shirt, no service!". Classic :)
    cheers

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    1. Thanks Kiwi! As the guy who runs the "barbarian" armies, I'm familiar with all the half clothed and no clothed musters.

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  11. A great bat rep. I enjoyed the photos with the text in them, very helpful to understanding the battle.
    I must say I was a little disconcerted by the pile of pink corpses towards the end, rather icky.

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    1. Thanks Michael, it is tricky to build a coherent narrative. I need to remember to use text more often.

      That last bit is a bit over the top. ;-)

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  12. What a great battle report! lovely toys, too.

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    1. Thanks Simon. It sure would be fun to do these throw downs in 28mm like you!

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  13. Romans are like Sandpeople. They'll be back, and in greater numbers!

    Hide your Chianti and your pasta, not for nothing are they called Tuscan Raiders...

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    1. Great point, Evan. A victory over Rome just pissed them off and makes them try harder. I can see another round is in order.

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  14. Exellent AAR !!! Very entertaining text and good pictures !

    Best regards Michael

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    1. Thanks Michael and congrats on getting published!

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  15. So no ebay for the Dacians then I hope? Great AAR. One could almost feel the tension of a close run game. Two superbly painted armies also.

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  16. Thanks for a very entertaining AAR Monty! I guess the Dacians avoided getting sold to slavery (or eBay) eh?

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    1. Thanks Jonas! Yea, lucky bastards. Maybe it's best to play with it all on the line? ;-)

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  17. Great report Monty, and well done on your victory. The falxmen sure can dish out some punishment!

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    1. Thanks Nate! The falxmen look like the perfect antidote to the Legionaries.

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