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Tuesday 18 March 2014

Short Romans in first proper punch-up!

 Saturday the 15th March saw  a gathering of the Tantobie Wargames and Tactical Society at our local pub to play a game


 March and this one is the first game of the new year, Nevertheless there wwre 5 of us in evidence to play a 15mm Ancients clash using the Tactica system.

The two somewhat scratch armies laid out Romans at the top of the picture.
Armies were Marian Romans and  Early Pontic with figures coming from several collections to make up the numbers as currently I only have a bare 100 Roman legionaries painted (By John Reidy ) Players were- Romans- Dave Huntley- sheepman and Northumbrian Wargamer and Tom Nutt-  both semi- regular TWATS(otherwise from the Border Reivers club) Pontics Floating Jeff and Andrew the Tekkie- who are of course regular TWATS.

 The idea for this game came from WSS no 70 but I had no idea what troops we had available beforehand so had to "wing it" rather more than somewhat. In the end we managed to scrape up two respectably sized forces - though I supected (rightly as it transpired) that I didn't give the Pontic forces sufficent cavalry or light troops
another view- with the distraction of the final day of the 6 nations on myTablet .
  Tactica is a set of rules where deployment is vital to success-  which seems to be very true of Ancient battles  even more than others.  The  mechanisms are simple so don't tax the brain and the core of the rules is "The BattlelineRule" - wherein designated battleline units may not move more than 4inches from each other- this stops units flying about the battlefield and forces you to actually think about deployment- once its deployed changing is difficult if not impossible for most close order infantry.
 The basic problem here was simple- could  the Pontics cave in the Roman flanks before the Legions cut their centre to bits.
Roman Left- Pontic Right as both sides begin to move together.

 Well  both sides advanced with comparatively little preliminary skirmishing- and what there was the Pontic forces had slightly the better of but not really enough- their Sythian Horse Archers didn't get their act together and were charged by the Roman Cavalry who had massed on their  own left Flank. Indeed the Roman Flanks always looked very vulnerable.

Pontic Right- Roman left. Pontic Chariots- wasted on skirmishers and sythian Horse archers  advancing.
 It soon became clear that the Pontic forces has let fear of the Legions colour their judgement- niether of their Flanks was strong enough to deliver a killer blow. Their best cavalry were wasted by a frontal charge on the legions- they died horribly
Pontic Cavlary dieing.. The  Pontic skirmishers did more damage...

 The Roman cavalry were eventually able to destroy much of the Pontic right  the Pontic secret weapon- Scythed chariots- were wasted on some agile skirmishers who eventually forced themm into rout with missile fire.  on the Roman Right a bit of mutual anhilation took place as a Pontic light cavalry unit destroyed a Roman allied unit of theurophoroi but  recievev  such casualties that they  routed in the process. The scene was set for the Battleline Bloodbath .

Hack slash Poke mangle ...  carnage in the Ancient style ...
 It was tough and go for a while - largely due to a couple of very inappropriate snake eye from Dave Huntley which caused two Roman Chorts to decamp untimely  amid Pontic cries of glee. but Hellenic joy was short lived Roman Pila did the damage- effectivly giving the legionaries twice as much melee power as the Pontic foot-  especially the Galations for, whilst the phalanx could hold its own the Galations were not so lucky  and both units broke followed by 2 of the plananx units
 With 4 out of 5 Battleline units gone  as against only 2 of 9 Roman the day was lost to the Greeks and Rome emerged Triumphant.

It was useful to renew aquaintance with Tactica as despite its drawbacks I still like the basic ideas. I need to fiddle a bit with the  set armies idea - for a bit more flexibility but the basic concept is simple and straightforward yet still subtle enough to interest.
 Also I seem to have re-kindled a minor interest for Ancients.
 Thanks to Andrew Oyston- Andrew the Tekkie who took the photos and as always to Jean the Landlady for excellent hot  Beef Butties.

 No Doubt we'll be back there anomn with another game.... 

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