- Andreas JohanssonSweden
LinköpingI spent 200 GG and all I got was this lousy overtext!
The nominal theme for the October 5th one-day 325 AP tournament was "The Roman Republic", but the only actual restriction was that your army's date had to fall during Rome's republican period. Perhaps unsurprisingly, mine was the only actual Roman army to participate.
Last time I took the Marians to a competition I went for an ultra-tiny version with Lucullus and all legionaries upgraded to Superior. Perhaps predictably, it performed with variable brilliance. This time I wanted to try something a bit less extreme, and especially wider. First I wanted to go with Caesar or Sulla and a mix of Superior and Inferior legionaries, but it turns out that's more-or-less impossible to put together at 325 AP, so instead I went for a sort of poor man's version of this:
Cmd1: CinC (rCvO), German etc cav (4x iCvO), thureophors (4x rAxS), legionaries (2x rBdO), camp (2x rBgeO)
Cmd2: Sub (rCvO), legionaries (12x rBdO), velites (2x rPsO), camp (2x rBgO)
Cmd3: Sub (rCvO), Gaulish auxiliaries (16x iAxO), bolt shooters (2x rArtO), camp (2x rBgeO)
All baggage pooled as a fortified army baggage camp
The "clever" part here is, of course, the Gauls. Unlike the legionaries, they're cheap enough to be used as a sacrifical speedbump if one is needed, or as a covering force. Since they're ½ ME each, you can lose 12(!) before the command breaks, and the artillery should hopefully slow down anyone trying to attack them. The general plan, then, was that the Gauls hold one flank and don't die too quickly, the legionaries attack whatever deploys in front of them (without a brilliant general, serious redeployment of heavy infantry is not worth attempting, IME), and the CinC's command deploys behind, to plug gaps, squelch attempts at outflanking me, and send the thureophors into any terrain that needs clearing. I expected to give the highest die to the CinC, the middle to the legionaries, and the lowest to the Gauls, and indeed ended up doing so in each game.
Game 1 was against Johan Herber's Graeco-Bactrians. Despite invading, I found myself subjected to a night attack. When my army woke up, things were looking moderately bad - lots of lancers of various descriptions were lining up to hit the legionaries, a Scythian ally was going round my left flank, and a horde of foot (mostly pike) was bearing down on the Gauls. The CinC split his command to have the thureophors plug a gap between the legionaries and Gauls, while his cavalry succeeded in driving off the Scythians. The legionaries were less lucky, being worn down by repeated charges by the lancers, and failing to kill any(!) lancers in return. A desperate attempt to use the Gauls' wider frontage to envelope the phalanx led to little beyond dead Gauls, but time ran out before my army got around to formally breaking. 10-15
Game 2 was against Daniel Ferm with a borrowed Early Achaemenid army. This time I was defending, but would have got to do a night attack but for the Persians' scouts. We ended up with the Immortals (backed by levy hordes) in the centre opposite the legionaries, the Gauls holding various terrain pieces against the other sparabara on the Persian right, and the bulk of the Persian mounted posed on the (Persian) left to pass between a difficult hill and a scrubby one to threaten my right. The Persian right and Gauls never getting to grips (not that the Gauls tried), there were two main fights, one in the centre where the legions made short work of the Immortals, and one on the scrubby hill, where the thureophors finally, with some help, broke through the Persian lights there, prompting the Persian mounted to a do-or-die charge against the Roman mounted ahead of them in the valley rather
than being flanked. They died. 25-0
Game 3 was against Enrico Magiaro with his Massagetae. The sort of army I least like to face with the Romans - one that's both larger and faster than mine. I deployed with the Gauls denying the left, facing
lots of light horse, the legionaries in the centre facing foot (mostly Bows) and more light horse, and the CinC behind, to immediately rush right to try and stop a horde of Massagetic nobles and horse archers threatening to envelope my right. Things began horribly with the legionary command's subgeneral being shot dead by Massagetic archers, but he was evidently popular, because his troops kept inching forward, eventually knocking the archers in front of them off the hill, with some help from the CinC's legionaries. The CinC, meanwhile, succeeded in a brilliant and lucky charge to break the back of the big mounted command facing him. Another pair of bounds and it was formally broken too, disheartening the foot command. It started to look like a 22-3 or so result to me, but time ran out and I got a winning draw instead: 14-11
It's most unlike me to get two draws out of three - part of the reason was that time constraints meant there was just 2h40' per game. But it might not have much changed my end result - presumably, I'd lost game 1 and won game 3, if play had gone on, and my final score would still be close to the 49 I got. The other part is that this isn't really an army suited for quick games - it's somewhat stolid, hard to break but too slow and methodical to get many quick wins either.
The overall winner was Enrico, who'd got big wins in his previous matches. Second place to Thomas Årnfelt, third to me.
The army structure worked more or less as intended - the Gauls held their flank each time, and two out of three times the legionaries managed a meaningful attack, while the CinC's cavalry, few as they were, were invariably victorious. Despite the lost general, I overall had excellent luck against Enrico, more average in the other two games, except the continuing inability of my legionaries to do any damage at all to Knights (what the Bactrian lancers are classed as). For a 400 AP version, it might be interesting to put Caesar in charge and have some Superior legionaries as a shock force. Or have Lepidus in charge and lots of legionaries. The frustrating thing about the Marian list is that it has so many toys but you can at best use a few at a time.
Took a few images with my cellphone camera. The only ones worth showing are these from the first game.
The first Bactrian charge is repulsed. There were more to come ...
- [+] Dice rolls