Hi everybody, I finally decided to play the 2nd Assault period of my solitaire game last week end. After preparing and setting up saturday afternoon, I actually played the whole game on sunday.
The situation after AP1 : for those who didn't read the session report of the first AP, here is a quick summary of the situation. Taking the judean defenders by surprise, Titus launched an assault against Lower city with the four legions from the southern slope. The city walls had been breached in several places (3 mine shafts, 5 weeks of preparation) and several Forts had been damaged. After a slow approach, the roman widened the breaches and brought down Forts O70 and Z64, then took control of the entire southern wall by turn 5 as well as established a few roman pockets in the built-ups in front of the breaches. On turn 6, Cerialus finally took the Fort II61 : It was too much for the judean who was now stretched very thin and started to have difficulties in plugging all the holes. The roman inflicted some more casualties during the two following turns before pushing inside the city with the cover of the night ! The judean defence was turned and crushed, and the last defenders had no other choice than retreat into UC and CD and keep some redoubts. LC was taken after 9 turns. The roman had lost a total of 99 Vp to the judean, it was a great victory ! The judean had taken quite a few casualties but will recover, and he had kept nearly all his zealots.
The Judean had two redoubts : Gate of Essene and FORT MM59.
PREPARATION BEFORE AP2 :
The judean received back 68 units (85%) as replacement from the dead pile. (leaving 13 units in the dead pile : 1 zeal, 7 regs, 5 Mil ).
Judean Artillery placement (JAP) : I had designed several possible effective JAP and rolled a die to choose among the different possibilities just after roman placement. By doing this, I avoided too much roman knowledge that could have influenced my setting up and still had some surprise element. This placement was actually decided randomly after roman set-up but I give it now however as a real judean player would have done.
there was not a lot of Forts and Fortresses with a good LOF on LC (especially along UC wall) so some of the arty had to go in bastions. I wanted to cover as much as possible the central area of lower city with a deadly crossfire from the onagers and ballistaes as well as make it difficult for the roman to take the Judean redoubts. I also decided to cover HP with some arty in case of a roman assault there in combination with UC.
Balistaes : 1 in FORT/Gate KK50 (Middle of CD western wall) and 1 in Bastion Z57 (middle of UC wall).
Onagers : 1 in the Gate of Essene (Judean redoubt ), 1 in Bastion KK56, 1 in Gate O67, 1 in Bastion CC54 and the last one in Bastion P62 (corner of HP, this one will protect both the western part of UC as well as HP).
Cats : Fort L70, Temple stairs FORT, Bridge Gate, Gate NN57, Gate P58 (HP), Bastion L65 and Bastion K57 (HP).
Cauldrons : In the Fort and Fortresses, L70, O67, Gate of Essene, MM59, NN57, KK50, LL45, Temple stairs, as well as in the bastions along UC wall that didn't receive any arty, plus bastion KK53 (CD).
With 2 ballistaes and 3 onagers on UC wall and CD western wall, the central and northern part of LC will be very dangerous for the roman. The two judean redoubts (Gate of Essene, Fort MM59) will not fall easily in roman hand as well as the gate NN57. The approach of the temple area also will not be easy as the 2 ballistaes can reach there with some Cats. Western UC and HP are covered as well, though more lightly. Gate O67 should resist roman attempts at taking it. I hoped the roman will not decide to assault New City !
New staircases were built behind The UC wall Bastions.
ROMAN PREPARATION :
Roman Plan : With lower city in roman hand and the four legions nearly complete, I could threaten 2 city areas as well as the temple SW corner while keeping my legions concentrated in a single area and able to support one another quickly and without much difficulties.
I decided to assault UC western and central area, as well as the southern part of CD, both from The inside and the outside. I wanted to isolate the judean redoubts and the gate NN57 as well, and maybe get rid of the Gate of Essene quickly with ramming.
I wanted a shaft on gate O67 to damage it before ramming it and have a breach there to threaten UC 6 isolated Built-ups and be able to Flank Fort L70. I also wanted to get a breach in CD Western and Eastern wall, near the southern end, to assault that area from two sides, try to isolate the southern part (south of the edifice) and isolate the 3 southern Fortresses (Gate of Essenne, MM59, NN57) before reducing or ramming them.
With these objectives in mind, I decided to wait for 6 weeks. I was rewarded with 4 mine shafts which was one more than I wanted.
First Shaft : Gate O67. I got 3 hexes +2 drm. The two wall hexes (O68, QQ66) were breached but the gate itself sustained only 4 damage points ! (rolled "2" !).
Second shaft : KK55 (CD western wall ). 3 hexes +3 drm. KK54 (7), KK55 breached, Bastion KK59 (9).
Third Shaft : QQ50 (CD Eastern wall ). 3 hexes +2 drm. Bastion QQ49 breached, QQ50 breached, QQ51 (7).
Fourth bonus shaft : I decided to open a second breach in UC near U63. IF I could take the built-ups in front of this breach, I could try and isolate the 6 westernmost Built-ups even more easily ,as well as maybe secure a way for one of my rams to reach HP wall and start damaging it during the last turns. I would have to take the lone bastion (R64) in the middle of the two breaches quickly to cover the clear hexes behind with roman archers. So, Fourth shaft U63. 3 hexes +1 drm. T63 breached, U63 breached, V62 (7).
It was not bad at all, but the gate O67 sustained far less damage than what I had expected and I'll have to be careful with possible Judean counterratacks against my ram or armored tower working on it, from the two breaches flanking the gate !
After 6 weeks, the roman replaced 9 units from the dead pile (40%) and also received a 2nd Armored tower (it will be useful !). The roman also decided to breach 6 more hexes along the southern wall. With the previous breached hexes (AP1), there is now a continous 11 hexes breach from U66 to EE61 (included) as well as a 4 hexes breach from N70 to Q68 included.
ROMAN SET UP :
It proved more difficult than what I thought ! I was quite sure that this time the judean will have a lot of arty in the area. I could either set-up far from the walls to avoid as much as possible to take too many casualties from the free judean fire phase or accept to take casualties and be ready to move my units where I wanted them on the first turn.
Following the rules on roman set-up, units outside the wall must be 5 hexes from any judean controlled elevated hex (Unless redoubt) but roman inside the city may set up closer (by the way, the rule as stated is incorrect ! it says : "Roman inside the city may never set up adjacent to a judean unit" but the judean has not yet placed his units and the roman could start adjacent to judean wall or bastions according to this ! we had a correction from B Sinigaglio : "Roman inside the city may never set up adjacent to any judean controlled elevated hex." which means that roman units inside the city may not be closer than 2 hexes from any judean wall (not breached !)).
I wanted to take the bastions along UC wall as well as soak the fire from the fort and bastions where Judean arty had probably been placed to enable my archers and other units to approach the breaches without taking too much casualties. Even if I waited outside Judean Arty primary range I would have to take some casualties during my approach later on ! So I decided better to take some casualties now and be ready to move my towers and rams against the wall on the first turn, especially against CD western wall where the slope hex will anyway slow me later on ! So, I decided to place my towers, rams armored towers and some testudoes to support them, quite close from the judean wall and accept the losses (these were all tough targets even for a ballista !) while Roman fire support and cohorts will wait further and move closer as soon as the mandatory targets will be in place to soak the heavy judean fire ! I'll have to take the bastions quickly to destroy judean ballistas, onagers, and cauldrons as soon as possible : roman arty will be concentrated in the middle of LC where it can reach most of the bastions and forts without even moving. Some Cats will certainly be in judean arty primary range but I'm ready to take that risk and anyway, the judean will have to choose between trying to stop the towers and rams or shoot to disrupt my arty. Onagers and ballistas are better protected whith the roman towers interfering the LOF from the most probable Judean arty position. Most other units will be positionned on the breached southern wall (not a really good target for long range arty !) ready to move for support.
Here is the detailed roman set up with each legion objectives :
XVth Legio : It is the only complete legion of the fourth. It will assault CD from the eastern slope. The approach with the towers and the testudoes will be slow but I hope it will not take too much casualties untill ready to assault the breach. The ram will widen the breach easily then leave way for the testudoes. Bastions QQ52 and PP55 will be prime objectives : these positions are important to threaten the southern part of the city and control the clear hexes there with fire support. I hope to isolate gate NN57 and put pressure on the south while the city is assaulted from the east and the west. If I can, I'll also take PP57 but it's only a secondary objective. Arty placed to be able to shoot at those 3 bastions without having to move much. The Cats will however go up the slope to provide fire support behind the breach.
Vth Legio : It will be Cerialus Job to assault CD western wall. Towers and units on the wall will be used to soak the incoming fire from Fort /Gate KK50, Bastion KK53. The ram will bring down The damaged bastion KK56(9 damage points) with whatever is inside then turn against the gate of Essene to help the armored tower which should reach it on the first turn. Units from FORT II61 will be sacrificed on the wall to soak the fire from the Fortress/Gate to allow the Ram/Armored tower to work continuously. I hope the gate to be down by turn 3/4. Then, both the ram and AT will turn on the wall hexes LL56/57 to widen the breach and allow an assault from the south : if by this time the XVth Legio control Bastions PP55 and QQ52, NN57 can be isolated. Testudoes should be able to reach and enter the breach by turn 2 after it has been widened. The ram from the Xth legio will be used to bring down the damaged wall KK54 on the first turn. Arty has been placed in the center of LC where it can reach either CD western wall or UC bastions with lepidus arty. The Cats however will move behind the breach to support the testudoes with also roman archers. Bastion KK53 is a prime objective to be taken. All units not in testudo or inside a tower or a ram, set up on the southern breach and in Fort II61 to avoid taking casualties.
Xth Legio : Lepidus main objective will be to take The 3 bastions along UC wall from W60 to CC54 : this will pin down a lot of judean defenders in the built-ups behind to prevent any roman breakthrough there. As well, I hope to destroy judean arty and cauldrons quickly with heavy roman artillery fire. I'll use the towers to put HI on the wall (they'll soak the incoming fire) while the staircases on the roman side will allow me to get the +1 drm for attacking with a full cohort. If I'm not too unlucky during the fire phase, the combined fire power of two legions (Xth and Vth) in this area should give me control of the wall quite quickly. When this is done, I'll be able to harass the defenders with missile fire from the wall and wait untill the judean start to be stretched too thin to make a move inside the city (maybe at night !). The rest of the legion will be free to support either Cestius or Cerialus if need be. The artillery is deployed in the middle of LC with cerialus 's.
Towers ready to reach the wall as well as testudoes. The rest is deployed further on the southern breach.
XIIth Legio : Cestius objectives will be to bring down Gate O67 with one of the armored tower, Isolate and take FORT L70, Take bastion R64, And harrass the judean in the built-ups behind the breaches with missile fire. No attempt against UC built-ups until lepidus has taken the bastions on the wall, gate O67 is down and R64 in roman hands. Testudo and stack of archers will support the armored tower while it works on the gate and deter Judean attempts. The 3 towers set up outside the city five Hexes from L70 with 2 Cats, some fire support and one cohort to replace the loss in the towers : they will attack Fort L70 from the outside (3 turns) while units will be send from the inside, through the breach, after O67 has been destroyed. The ballista and onager of the XIIth have been placed in Mount Zion Bastion and T67 from where they have a good LOF on the built-ups behind the breaches (without the -1 drm for indirect fire !) as well as R64 and the Gate. I hope to cause casualties to the judean in the built-ups and wait until Lepidus has drawn part of the defenders in the central area to assault with the XIIth. During this time, my main objective is to harrass and cause attrition to the judean, and wait for the right time. Units not in testudo set up on the breaches, in the bastions and some outside behind the wall. The ram will widen the breach near U63 then set back to leave way to roman testudoes and their fire support.
Titus was placed in the center of the dispositif (on the breach with one of lepidus cohort) ready to move where needed most.
I hoped the judean will have difficulties in defending efficiently two city areas. Either he would spread the factions between CD and UC and risk to stretch himself too thin, with difficult communication between CD southern area and UC western area, or he would leave one area nearly undefended and concentrate his defence on one of the area. The 3 legions in LC where quite close from one another and could easily support each other. I could quickly switch from one front to another, and if things turned bad on one of the area, I could withdraw from there and concentrate on the other front faster than the judean could. Furthermore, there wasn't enough units left in the reserve pool and the dead pile to allow the judean to activate all his reserve in both area.
JUDEAN SET UP : I decided to try and defend both area at first and try to inflict a lot of casualties to the roman on both fronts with the help of my artillery. If things turned really bad, I would withdraw from CD and defend UC to the latest. Roman set-up close from the wall will allow a good fire phase right from the beginning and I hoped to start inflicting casualties immediately even if most of the available targets were testudoes and siege engines.
I wanted to cover the walls and bastions to the max with regulars but then, as I started to place my units, I realised it was a very long front to cover ! I could only place regulars in the bastions, 2 of them plus militia in the Forts and gates (L70, O67, Gate of Essene, KK50 ) some behind the breaches in the built-ups and had very few left to place on the walls proper ! NN57 and MM59 where held by militia at the moment.
The garrisons in the Temple and HP were reinforced by Militia, as well as the gates and Forts along Tyropean city wall (just in case of a lucky roman breakthrough).
Ben Giora Faction : Western UC built-ups, FORT L70, Gate O67, Bastion R64, Built-up area behind the U63 breach with Ben Yair zealots. Militia in L65 and With HP garrison.
Ben Shimon Faction : Bastions and wall from W60 to the Bridge gate. A few units in the built-ups behind the stairs to replace the first losses. Militia in the secondary bastions and gates along the tyropean wall as well as the edifices hexes near the bridgegate.
Ben Levi Faction : Western CD wall and Breach as well as the Gate of Essenne. Regulars behind the breach, Fort KK50, Bastion KK53, Gate of Essene and a couple on the western wall (LL56/57). Only militia in the damaged bastion KK56 as it should fall on the first turn. Militia also in FORT LL45 which is far from the roman. A few regulars also in the edifice behind KK53 in case the bastion falls on the first turn (there is a lot of roman arty in the area !). Some militia with the temple garrison.
Ben Gourion Faction : Eastern CD wall, breach, NN57 and MM59. Regulars are in the bastions and behind the breach with militia ready to sortie on the slope to slow roman approach. This faction is not very numerous at the moment but the roman assault there will be slower and I hope to get some reserve before. NN57 and MM59 are held by militia but can be reinforced if the Gate of Essenne falls.
Ben Yair and the Zealots : Ben Yair and most of the Zealots are in UC, Keeping the built-ups behind the breaches and the threatened bastions. A few of them in CD with Ben Levi, one in LL45 ready to move to the temple or UC, One in the bridgegate.
Judean defence is OK but a little bit thin ! reserve should help though. In any case, Units in CD can reach UC central part in two turns (If the bridgegate is still judean) to help there. I'm still worried as it would be maybe too long, especially if help is needed in UC western Part, but I can't leave CD in roman hands outright from the start. I hope the roman will take too much casualties while assaulting everywhere at the same time.
Everything is ready to start. The game in the next post.
Now, the game. At first I hadn't intended to make a session report out of it, so it won't be as detailed as the previous ones (I did not note down everything from the start !) and I will stick to the main events.
The judean Free FP and the following one on roman turn wasn't as terrible as the roman had expected, mainly due to quite average dice rolls (I usually roll a lot of "6" with the judean but not this time !) against tough targets : 1 disrupted onager, a routed catapult, 1 HI eliminated from a tower, a broken testudo (D,D result) and two units disrupted in the pushing units inside the tower but one was rallied at the beginning of RT1. First blood was Judean but all the Towers and rams were able to reach the wall where intended.
ASSAULT AGAINST CD, TURN 1-4 :
Eastern Wall : It went slowly here. The legion didn't take much casualties while adavncing on the slope, roman artillery fire during the first 2 turns disrupted regulars in the bastions but the judean just cycled them.
Militia sortie on turn 2 prevented the ram and the testudoes to reach the wall as planned ! On turn 3, the towers reached the wall after a good roman prep-fire and bastion QQ52 was taken without delay. Thre ram finally brought down the wall on turn 4 while the testudoes waited for one more turn to enter the breach : one of the disrupted militia had started to rout and was retreating into the breach ! the roman hopped it would panick soon and delayed the assault one turn. (furthermore, some of the roman Cats had routed as well, had been rallied by phrygius, but the roman fire support was not ready yet as nearly everything was concentrated on the bastions ). Assault against PP55 from the wall and towers failed during turn 4, leaving a lone regular there ! The XVth legio had not taken a lot of casualties, mainly disrupted HI in the towers and testudoes, quickly rallied by phrygius. At this time, the roman was really worried about Cerialus Assault on the western wall though !
On turn 3, There was only Militia available as reserve so the judean didn't receive any new regulars ! On turn 4, reserve were taken in the dead pile and the Factions defending CD received their last few units. Ben Gourion had not yet sustained much casualties (About five regulars in the bastions and on the wall due to roman fire and melee plus a few disrupted ones) and was nearly complete, but the losses of Ben Levi were already heavy.
Western wall and Gate of the Essene : Everything started as expected for Cerialus. The towers were quickly in place along the wall, Bastion KK56 was destroyed on the first turn with 2 Mil and one Onager while the armored tower started to work on the gate of the Essene. The breach was widened at KK54 by the ram of the Xth legio which withdrew to leave the way for the roman cohorts. The testudoes reached the Crest on the first turn, protecting the nearby towers and ram as well as the roman arty behind from a judean sortie, then withdrew as well on the second turn to leave the place to the roman cohorts waiting behind and ready to storm the breach.
I knew that the Vth Legio would take a lot of casualties as most of the HI on the towers and on the wall nearby the gate of Essene were intended to soak the judean fire while the rams were at work and the cohort assaulting the breach and the bastion KK53. However, what I had expected to be acceptable losses turned to be an ugly butchery for Cerialus's men !
The roman took one built-up on the second turn but were unlucky with the rest of their assault : the roman HI in the city were quickly flanked and destroyed while the cohorts left on the breach suffered heavy casualties due to really good dice rolls from the judean ! The HI on the wall and towers also suffered more casualties than what I had expected and several towers were in serious danger !
A judean sortie on turn 2 from the gate KK50 nearly succeeded in destroying one of the tower : Roman cavalry had to be engaged to push back the judean inside the gate and save the tower with heavy losses on both sides ! It had become a rescue operation to save the towers but the judean fire was so heavy that as soon as new pushing units arrived to push the towers away from the wall, they were disrupted and unable to move it, while units on the wall were eliminated by the judean regulars and Arty, helped by cauldrons.
Assault on KK53 failed due to lack of fire support (nearly all the arty was used to help Lepidus take the bastions on the UC wall, for the first 3 turns). Only the work of the armored tower and the ram against the Gate of the Essene went without too much trouble but with the cost of nearly one HI/Turn eliminated on the adjoining wall (used to soak the fire from the fortress !) and casualties to the riding unit of the armored tower !
By turn 3, The Vth Legio had lost nearly Half his manpower (11 HI and several Velitae in the deadpile, a lot of disrupted units !). On Judean Turn 3, The breach had to be defended with a few HI and The remaining velitae to prevent the judean to reach the Arty behind, while the roman towers were still in great danger. It was a near disaster but then, everything suddenly changed !
By turn 3, Lepidus had succeeded in taking most of the UC bastions and the roman Arty was now free to shoot against CD western wall. Archers and several Cohorts from the Xth were now also available to support Cerialus while the ram of the Xth had reached The entrance of the KK50 gate and had become the prime target for the regulars and the ballista there, relieving the roman tower. The Northern Area had been secured from any Judean suicidal attempt by the roman cavalry (which was now under the fire of long range Cats).
On Turn 4, The Gate of Essene was finally brought down after two really lucky dice rolls, taking with it one Cauldron, an Onager and 3 regulars ! (The Judean had intended to evacuate it but too late, not thinking that the roman would roll a "6" twice in a row on the breach table !), Cerialus rallied a lot of disrupted units and managed to get another full Cohort to attempt a last assault, while units from the Xth relieved the crew in the armored tower freeing some much needed HI for the Vth ! After 2 good fire phases (with lots of archers and arty ) Bastion KK53 was finally cleared from all its defenders and the surviving HI on the wall and towers just had to walk in. Ben Levi Faction, while inflicting so many casualties to Cerialus had also sustained heavy losses and the situation which the turn before was a near disaster for the roman had suddenly become far more balanced, even maybe a little in favor of the roman ! Cerialus was ready to attempt another assault on turn 5 with fire support from both legion, the ram and armored tower turned against Wall LL56/LL57, The Gate/Fortress of the Essene was destroyed and will no longer inflict any casualties to the roman !
Still, Casualties points for Cerialus legion alone amounted to 79 after only 4 turns ! (while the four legions had sustained a total of 99 casualtie points during AP1 !). The Assault of Western CD during the first 3 turns had been a butchery for both side !
Attaque! Toujours attaque!!
Wow! That’s an ambitious goal. I would have thought you would be going for the Upper city alone. Then you would have 30% after two assault phases.
But then again.. this is from a guy who would be glad to play past Assault Phase 3. When I think of it, I can see enough problems looming, when you only occupy the Upper and Lower city at the start of Assault Phase 3…
Can’t wait for turn 5 until 8.
Hello Peter, glad you're following this ! I read your previous posts and wanted to answer you but I was a little short on time !
Yes, It might seem an ambitious goal, but the roman was in good position and had nearly four complete legions (remember that the first AP was very casualties light for the roman) . Anyway, I first intended to take only one city area (UC or CD) depending on the Judean defence, the other attack being just a diversion. The thing is I don't like to spread the roman too much and don't usually assault more than one city area at a time : I want the legion to be able to support one another and also to concentrate their firepower on a few spots to get quick and easy access to the walls and bastions.
Here, the situation was different than usual, as I had the possibility to threaten two city areas while I was able to keep 3 legions in the same area : I still had the effect of concentrated Artillery fire and the legions could help each other quickly ! Look at the map and you'll see that the judean need 2 or 3 turns to get his units from Southern CD to Center/West UC ! The roman on the other hand can shift units from the Western CD wall to UC in just one turn ! this is a great advantage !
Furthermore, activating both city areas reserves was not that bad as there wasn't enough units in the reserve pool + dead Pile to activate them all ! It did'nt make a lot of difference that I attacked UC alone or UC+CD : He got mainly militia from the reserve pool, the difference being the 7 regs and 1 zeal in the dead pile that he would'nt have activated if I had attacked only UC !
So, Here I could spread the judean thin without spreading the roman force, I had better communication lines than the judean (which is not the case usually) and I was going to fight all the Regulars and zealots from the pool wheter I activated CD reserve or not ! so, you've got now an explanation for my ambitious goal !
Now, let's continue !
THE ASSAULT OF UC, TURNS 1-4 :
The Central Wall : Of the Four legions, Lepidus' Xth was the most successful during the first hours of the battle (No wonder, he had the back-up of two legions artillery !).TheXth Legio hadn't suffered much from the first two judean FP and the Disrupted Onager and the Cat were quicly rallied by lepidus.
After a good fire phase (a regular on the wall killed, 2 other regulars disrupted in the bastions), The roman towers (which had started 3 hexes from the wall) were able to put FHI on the wall (Near W60, Z57, CC54) and an escalade was used to put a second HI on the wall on the other side of W60. Full Cohorts attacked from the stairs (they were quite safe as long as HI on the wall provided mandatory targets !) : no bastions were taken on the first turn (bad dice rolls) but the judean there took some casualties.
The roman archers from the Xth and the Vth had closed in behind the towers and the cohorts. On JT1, roman fire was very heavy against W60 and Z57 : An E,E result against Z57 eliminated the last regular and the ballista, while the Cauldron in W60 was disrupted and the regular there killed ! The Judean return Fire from inside the city against HI on the wall was without much effect (one of them was disrupted ), the Cauldron though had been rallied (roll of "1") and the regulars were cycled in the bastion. The disrupted HI was killed during the melee phase but there was another one on the other side of W60 which prevented the Cohort in the clear to be shot to pieces in the next judean FP ! Units in the tower against CC54 suffered some casualties also. Roman cavalry secured the northern area against any sortie from the gate KK50.
On RT2, The Judean fire eliminated the other HI on the wall near W60 and disrupted the one near Z57. The roman Fire, still heavy was quite successful against W60 but a die roll of "1" against Z57 disrupted one roman HI in the tower as well as one of the 2 judean regulars. Bastion W60 was taken quite easily with the help of Titus, while the attack against Z57 and CC54 failed again but dealt some casualties. Archers near W60 were shifted East toward CC54.
Finally, on turn 3 bastion Z57 fell into roman hands while the onager in CC54 was disrupted during the melee phase : Judean Arty in that area had finally ceased to be much of a problem. Part of the archers from the Xth were already put on the wall to harrass the judean defenders on the other side. As 2 of the 3 bastions were already in Lepidus hands, and the other one ready to fall in the next turns, reinforcement were sent to Cerialus (several Cohorts + Archers From the Vth and the Xth) who was taking a beating against CD western wall, and the Arty of both legions turned against the bastions and Forts along the wall of CD. As I already said, the ram of the Xth was sent against Gate KK50, relieving Cerialus tower there. To allow the ram to work undisturbed, Cerialus continued to sacrifice some units on the wall though !
Bastion CC54 continued to resist during turn 4 (Most of the roman Firepower had just turned against CD to support Cerialus) while archers on the wall caused some disruption among the regulars in the built-ups. Ben shimon Faction had taken quite a few casualties defending the Bastions : the remaining regulars had to defend the built-ups behind the stairs, while militia and zealots were used to defend CC54 and the bridgegate which was now under threat ! as only militia had been activated during JT3 (No regulars left in the reserve pool !) the defence was stretched a little thin there. Ben shimon Faction received his last regulars from the dead pile during JT4. Lepidus lost a few HI from judean melee and fire from Bastion CC54 during turn 3 and 4, but roman losses were quite acceptable on this Front until now. Titus had been sent with Cestius while the XIIth assaulted the central breach.
Western UC and the Breaches : The ram and the armored tower reached their goal on the first turn, starting their work immediately. The towers outside the city slowly approached Fort L70 on the slope. The XIIth hadn't suffered much from the free Judean Fire phase and the following judean FP on RT1. A HI riding the AT had been disrupted and had to be replaced. All the available firepower turned against bastion R64 for poor results and a Mil was disrupted in gate O67. The ram quickly widened the central breach (JT1) and withdrew (RT2) while the AT, flanked by a testudo and under the protection of roman velitaes and archers started its work on the damaged Gate through the entrance hexside. Testudoes were waiting behind the breach U63 backed by roman archers, while two HI scaled the wall to melee the Bastion (R64) both from the breach (T63) and an escalade on hex R66 (It was not flanked though as the judean had built a staircase on the other side). On JT1, The disrupted militia Panicked in the gate preventing the other units and the Onager there to fire on the AT ! The Judean regulars didn't dare to approach the breaches and stayed safely in the built-ups behind, firing only long range indirect shots at the testudoes and siege engines on the other side to no avail ! The onager in P62 though got lucky several times and kept disrupting some of my units behind the breaches !
The Gate finally collapsed on RT3 without the judean being able to prevent it ! with Cestius stacked with the crew of the siege engine, an attack against it from the breach would certainly have failed anyway, and the roman leader proved very valuable to rally the disrupted 7-8 by judean fire on turn 2 ! It went down with 2 Mil, one Cauldron and an onager as the judean had been wise to evacuate it on turn 2. The roman testudo and AT entered the breach on turn 3, supported by velitaes. The riding units had sustained some casualties but the catapult on top of the AT had survived and was useful against the built-ups, regularly dealing some D result against the judean regulars there with the help of roman velitaes.
On turn 3, the towers outside the city reached Fort L70 and the L Wall of UC but failed to deal any casualties to the defenders inside the Fort. One HI riding the tower got Eliminated by the judean fire and another one disrupted during the melee phase but could be replaced on Turn 4. The two Cats going up the slope behind the towers started to rout due to bad rally dice rolls.
Bastion R64 still resisted due to lack of Firepower against it and because the roman didnt want to chance units in the clear on the other side of the breach to flank it from the stairs : Roman and judean kept dealing casualties to each other there but roman losses were still acceptable. The Cauldron was finally destroyed on JT4 but the bastion was still in Judean Hands.
On turn 4, as Lepidus had taken bastion W60 and put archers on the adjoining walls and velitaes in the bastion, fire from the Onager (in the bastion T67), the ballista (Mount Zion) and roman archers and Cats both from the wall and behind the breach, finally brought some results against the judean defenders in built-ups T62 (D,E) and U61(D,D) : It was a good occasion to make an assault there with high chances for success. The testudoes withdrew and 2 Cohorts, a stack of velitaes and one 7-8 and Titus finally launched an assault against the judean built-ups from the breach (T63) and two clear hexes (U62, V61). The two built-ups were successfully taken, establishing a roman foothold in the area with Titus on the front line. The units remaining in the clear hexes after the assault got punished though during the following judean FP as well as the Velitaes left on the breach. Ben Yair and his Zealots were sent to try and push back Titus and the roman HI out of the built-ups but failed and two zealots that had tried to flank the Roman HI in U61 and had been left standing in the clear in V60 were destroyed in the following FP : After that, the judean never dared to step in the clear again to try and counterrattack the roman HI in the built-ups.
On turn 4 as well, FORT L70 was finally flanked : The leftermost tower had sent an HI on the L wall while another 7-8 used the breach (N70) to get on the wall on the other side. The testudo on the breach (O68) disbanded and a full Cohort attacked the Fort from the staircase. Roman Cavalry was sent through the breach to protect the rear of the cohort, its ZOC preventing the judean regulars still in the built-ups to reach it. Roman velitae stacked 3 high on the breach beside the AT to make any attempt against the roman cavalry very distateful. The Cohort attacking the fort was quite safe from judean fire as the units inside the fort had to fire on the wall (mandatory target !) and the regulars in the built-ups could only fire long range indirect fire on it (if they tried to come closer, the roman cavalry and velitae on the breach would be mandatory targets, and they had to step in the clear !). Of course, the Cavalry in the clear would certainly be destroyed during the following judean fire phases, but one has sometimes to accept losses !
The attack on the fort, though, failed, eliminating only one militia and the Catapult. Roman fire disrupted some of the judean regulars in the built-ups sparing much casualties on the roman cavalry for this turn. The Judean lauched a counterattack against roman Cavalry with militia and succeeded in destroying one of the previously disrupted units, and the two remaining Cav were destroyed in the following fire phase (RT5) while the roman Archers eliminated the militia ! However, the Cohort in the clear was spared for the time and fire from the Fort only disrupted one HI from the wall!
All in All, the first four turns were not that bad for the XIIth which took more Casualties than the Xth but succeeded in establishing a bridgehead in the built-ups, destroyed the gate and isolated The Fort L70.
The Bastion was still resisting (Now with Militia and Zealot) but the judean also had taken casualties here and hadn't really enough units to be able at the same time to keep the built-ups and launch a serious counterattack to save L70 or take back the roman built-ups. Ben Yair of course and the zealot had been drawn in the central area to try and contain Titus.
Attaque! Toujours attaque!!
Gee.. I hadn't thought of that one. Wicked!The Judean only gets a couple of militia for reserves..
See if you can pull it of!
THE LAST TURNS :
Starting from turn 5, the situation suddenly changed : Most of the judean Artillery and Cauldrons had been destroyed during the first four turns, several bastions had been taken, the Gate of Essene and Gate O67 had been destroyed and the judean factions had already sustained substantial casualties. Suddenly, judean fire became less deadly and more sparse : the roman started to take less and less casualties each turn (as in many place he was now on the wall, in the bastions or the built-ups) and it make a substantial difference ! Cerialus legion had escaped total anihilation and was now recovering while the judean was becoming weaker with each turn !
At the beginning of turn 5, Ben Gourion Faction hadn't yet sustained many casualties (the roman assault was slower there) and had lost only 5 regulars to roman fire and melee against the bastions. A few were disrupted and in the process of being rallied but the faction was still in good fighting condition.
Ben Levi Faction on the other hand, had already lost more than half its regulars while defending KK53, The Breach and the Gate of Essene (3 regs who didn't have time to evacuate the fortress due to roman lucky dice rolls) : with already 10 regulars in the dead pile, he was defending against the remain of Cerialus Legio with only 8 regulars (most of them behind the breach, 1 in Gate KK50) and a few zealots.
Ben Shimon also had already lost nearly half his regulars (9) to defend the bastions and the wall against lepidus. some had routed after being disrupted by roman archers on the wall and at the beginning of turn 5 he had less than 10 regulars to defend the built-ups behind the roman bastions and he had started to defend the remaining judean bastions with Militia and Zealots.
Ben Giora had lost regulars during the assault of Titus, while defending bastion R64, due to roman fire on the built-ups and 2 of them were locked in combat in fort L70. He had also less than half his men to defend the six westernmost built-ups behind the western breach and to support ben yair in the central area ! Defence of R64 was now in the hands of militia to preserve good fighting units !
Ben Yair also had lost some of his Zealots while other were keeping important Forts and gates and helping Ben Levi in CD and Ben Shimon in central UC. He was facing Titus with a core of 8 zealots which was sufficient at the moment.
Judean defence was still holding but had been weakened and the judean started to think about leaving CD in roman hands and retreat everything into UC. (But this would not be before JT5 and he would not be ready there before turn 7 or 8 !).
Roman Dead pile was impressive and worried the roman player ! the Vth Legio especially had sustained a lot of casualties. I didn't count at that moment but it must have been in between 160-180 Vps after only four complete turns !
The First four turns had been very bloody for both sides, especially the roman, but the roman had still some reserve though, and the judean was stretched a little bit thin. Both sides could still achieve victory and the next turns would decide of the outcome. As the roman, I hoped that the judean decision to concentrate his defence on UC would come too late !
ASSAULT OF CD, TURN 5-7 :
The Eastern Wall and Breach : Phrygius had waited for nothing as the routed militia simply got eliminated rather than panick during the rally phase ! Good fire phase against Bastion PP55, which is taken during the melee phase. The roman now can threaten the southern built-ups and command the clear hexes with archers ! Finally, phrygius decided it was time to assault the breach to relieve Cerialus attacking on the other side. It was a chancy assault as it wasn't even prepared by any roman fire, but the situation of cerialus on the western side was still worrying ! Anyway, Cohorts on a breach are nearly as resistant to judean fire than testudoes and would probably survive at least one complete turn ! So, the testudoes which were in front of the breach stepped aside to leave way to 3 roman Cohorts attacking from the 3 breached hexes in combination with units from inside the bastion QQ52 with Phrygius in the lead. Roman archers were stacked behind the breach to prepare next turn in case of failure. It succeeded anyway beyond any roman expectations : the roman rolled really amazing dice rolls (once in a while you can be lucky!) and had several continuous combat and multiple attacks : the roman took the 3 built-ups in front of the breach in one go, and even caused casualties to the units stacked behind the first row. Ben Gourion lost 6 of his regulars defending the breach, One routed and two other ones killed in the bastion ! In just one turn the Faction had lost 9 fighting units and was left with only 4 valid regulars ! as the assault of Cerialus had also been successful on the other side (see later) the defence of CD had become nearly impossible ! the decision to retreat to UC had come too late and it was a very small force that would be able to retreat there, if it succeeded anyway !
On JT5, the remaining regulars still inflicted some casualties to the roman testudoes (from the wall) before retreating North to form a new defence line with the remaining of Ben levi Faction : the judean took position in the edifice and Built-up hex OO50 to try and slow the roman one last turn while the surviving disrupted and routed regulars were retreated toward the temple ! As there was a panicked Militia on the road leading to the temple, it slowed down the whole process ! One of the zealot in gate NN57 escaped as well to the north just before the roman isolated the area and was replaced by militia.
On turn 6, a few disrupted roman units as well as one of the Cats routed and phrygius was sent to help rally them. PP57 (defended by Mil) was taken, roman archers from the Vth and The XVth entered the southern area, took place on the walls and in the bastions to be able to shoot at the gate while roman HI in the built-ups tried to deal some more casualties to the regulars in the edifice. By turn 6, LL56 and LL57 had both been breached and the roman ram took position in MM58 to start working on the Fort MM59 (The AT was out of CC at that moment as it was crewed by Units from the Xth and Lepidus had just launched an assault against UC, Moving a bit too far !). To prevent the ram to be shot with two cauldrons while working on the Fort, HI were sent on the wall to act as mandatory targets (this also protected the stacks of archers on the entrance hexside of the gate in cd). The Gate was actually flanked from the walls and both entrance hexes. Arty in LC could also fire on the gate over the breached hexes now that all the bastions were in the hands of Lepidus ! Units from the Vth took care of the AT while the units of lepidus moved closer to their leader. Melee against the Gate Failed but the units inside sustained heavy casualties in the ensuing roman fire. Melee against The regulars in the edifice and built-ups failed, only disrupting some regulars.
Now that the panicked unit had moved out of the way, all the remaining judean units (appart from a few Militia left to hinder roman movement on the road) gained the safety of the temple and the surrounding elevated hexes while gate KK50 finally collapsed with 2 Mil and one ballista. CD was left in roman hands !
Roman HI on the wall didn't suffer much during the judean fire (even with cauldrons helping thye militia there).
Gate NN57 was finally taken on turn 7 after another very good shot (48 factors on the Fort for two turns !) and a decisive melee phase. The AT started to work on LL59 to open a 2 hexes breach there (with the gate of Essene already breached) to be able to move there and help the ram against MM59. The roman took control of City of David but did not push forward : defence of UC had already been crushed, as well, by this time and Ben Yair had started to retreat in the tyropean. All that was left to do now was take care of MM59 before the end and protect the arty and siege engine before the night.
The Western Wall : finally, after KK53 had been taken and Cerialus was able to regroup and rally sufficient HI, a new assault was launched against the breach during Turn 5 after, this time, a good prep fire from behind the breach. The assault was a success with two built-ups taken and several casualties dealt to the judean defenders. As this occured while Phrygius was storming the Eastern wall with the success that we know, and with the two walls LL56/LL57 ready to collapse, Judean defence was nearly crushed in CD and the two faction started their retreat. Cerialus Sent his archers to help phrygius take care of the Gate, replaced the crew of the AT (then sent it to work against LL59) and at last withdrew his towers from the wall as KK50 also was ready to collapse. Then appart from sending a few units on the wall to soak the fire from MM59 and using the AT to breach the wall and then help the ram to bring down the FORT, the Vth legion didn't any longer participated in the Fight.
THE ASSAULT OF UC, TURNS 5-7 :
Central UC : Bastion CC54 finally fell during turn 5 as roman Arty was again available to shoot at it after Bastion KK53 had fallen on the previous turn. Now Lepidus held all his primary objectives and was harassing the judean defenders inside the city as well as threatening the Bridgegate Bastion. Crew from the ram (Against KK50) had to be changed once but thanks to the sacrifice of cerialus units on the wall, it worked nearly undisturbed and the Gate came down By JT6 !
On RT6, after a good roman prep-fire from the wall and bastions, Lepidus chanced an assault against the weakened defenders in the built-ups, sending two Cohorts to attack U60 and V59 (one from the bastion and the other one through the breach (V62) with the help of Titus (still there since turn 4) and units from the XIIth (+1 from Titus negating the -1 for two different legions) : two new built-ups were taken killing several regulars. As for CD, the defence behind the roman bastions had become very thin, especially after a good roman fire phase that disrupted several regulars from the wall ! Ben Shimon was left with insufficient units to efficiently prevent the roman to move out of the bastions though the stairs, defence of the bridgegate was also sucking some good units. However, with the help of ben yair zealots, all the holes were plugged for that turn.
Fire and melee against roman built-ups and Bastions/Wall proved inneficient.
By turn 7, The roman inflicted some more casualties, sufficient enough to compromise any defence in the area. with Cestius taking bastion R64 and using it as a firing platform to disrupt even more judean defenders, and pushing against the westernmost built-ups after taking Fort L70, The Judean decided to abandon UC on turn 7. They retired to Tyropean, HP and the triangle Fortresses under the cover of judean Militia preventing roman quick movement along the road.
Western UC : Cestius abandoned the AT crew to join Titus in the buit-ups and reinforce the roman line. This time a testudo was sent to replace the cavalry and protect the cohort attacking the Fort from the stairs, while new units were sent on the wall. After a good fire phase aginst R64, some units were finally risked to flank the bastion from the stairs (if they failed they would be shot to pieces by the judean regulars in the built-ups nearby but odds were good !). The Bastion Fell and the units in the clear advanced inside out of danger. Cestius and Titus failed to take any built-ups but sent two zealots in the deadpile. Finally, due to a lucky continuous combat (5 and 6 rolled in a row followed by another 5) thanks to the +1 drm for cohort integrity, the Flanked Fort was taken during the melee phase.
Judean return fire and melee disrupted a few units but proved innefficient otherwise.
On turn 6, roman formed testudo out of the FORT and Velitae were sent on the L wall to shoot in the built-ups as well as in bastion R64. New casualties to the judean in the built-ups, while Lepidus took two more built-ups with the help of Titus. Several regulars disrupted by the fire from the AT, The units on the breach, on the wall and in the roman bastion. Too few valid regulars in the area to inflict much casualties on the roman. Some roman units were disrupted in the built-ups during the melee but the three roman leaders there (Cestius, Titus, Lepidus) proved very difficult to dislodge and were able to rally their disrupted units quickly.
On turn 7, 3 roman testudoes moved against the westernmost built-ups followed by a lot of archers and velitaes. The situation was very bad for the judean : not enough units left to stop the roman onslaught, especially with the night coming next turn and the loss of ZOC. survivors of the CD defenders were too far away to be of much help ! The city had to be evacuated before the last judean defenders were massacred (there was already, after 7 roman turns, 48 regulars and 10 zealots in the dead pile, and several routed and disrupted ones in the city !) : after a last FP against roman testudoes and HI in the built-ups, that succeeded in disrupting and eliminating one last HI, Ben Giora and the remnant of his faction withdrew toward HP, leaving militia to slow down roman pursuers.
TURN 8-10 : the night fell with the roman controlling both city areas and killing some militia that had been left behind. After taking position in the city, Titus didn't call out the assault as he wanted to finish FORT MM59 before the end. Two catapults that had routed then panicked on the previous turn and which were now out of CC ( as Cestius and Titus were fighting inside the city) were finally eliminated due to bad rally dice rolls before Cestius could reach them to avoid the worst ! these were the last two casualties taken by the roman as nearly everywhere the combats suddenly ceased.
Cestius AT was moved against bastion P62 during the last turns but only inflicted a total of 3 damage points before turn 10. The pushing units were finally disrupted and panicked but were saved by the end of the game !
By turn 9, The wall LL59 finally collapsed and the AT entered the double breach to help the ram against MM59. The Fire from the 3 Mil and the cauldron proved insufficient to stop the ram from working there. The Fort finally collapsed on the last judean turn (JT10) under the combined efforts of the ram and the armored tower.
The assault was at an end ! Huge parts of the city were burning as the roman legionnaries were avenging themselves, massacring and looting whatever they could put their hands on ! Titus was exhausted and had even been wounded during the assault ! Once again he had led his men to victory exposing himself on the front line to galvanize his troops ! What a day ! On both sides the dead were too numerous, many men were wounded, some had run away terrified !
Most of the men that fought this battle will remember it as bloody sunday !
AFTERMATH : It was difficult, Vth legio was nearly anihilated ! The romans sustained 253 casualties (without any leader or siege engines that 's a lot of Infantry !) but the judean also suffered (49 regulars, 10 Zealots, 46 Militia, 2 ballistaes, 4 Onagers, 2 Cats, 9 Cauldrons ).
The Romans now have 40% of the city after AP2 but already spent 11 weeks of preparation without addressing the Temple yet. From now on, the judean might become more cautious with his units as from next turn onward he might not be able to replace more than 50% of his units (if I can at least take TC). I hope next assaults to be less bloody.
Maybe the judean made a mistake in trying to defend both city areas : he really was stretched too thin and it was really too long to move units from CD to where they were really needed in UC ! But it's very difficult to persuade oneself to abandon a city area without even fighting for it !
The roman hopefully could shift from front to front quickly ! Roman artillery was very efficient and didn't even have to move to shoot either at UC or CD !
The Assault of the XVth that brought an end to any viable defence in CD by killing a lot of regulars there in one turn was very lucky though ! FORT L70 fell faster than I had expected also because of lucky dice rolls. Maybe the roman was a bit lucky, so, but that's part of the game !
LC is quite a good starting position for an assault ! I'm confident in going past AP3 now !
Hope you enjoyed, bye, JC
Attaque! Toujours attaque!!
Boy,what a mess That's a lot of inantry to lose..
But is was worth it! 40% after 2 phases. This means you will surely play phase 3 and 4.(you're sure to grab that 5% in phase 3)
You keep playing do you?
Hello JC and what a great APII ! You have clearly shown that the Roman benefits from a LC assault and the resulting interior line. Pinching the southern part of CD was a great strategy. Busting out into the Upper City was also well done. Your victory is well deserved !
Allow me, however, if you would, to play the devil’s advocate. Speaking from the Judaean perspective, I might offer the following observations:
First, the ultimate result of both your API and APII assaults are a given. I cannot see any way to stop the Roman assault as you have played it. This would not be true if you were anything but an accomplished Roman Commander. That being said, and said most sincerely, I think the Judaean could have done somewhat better.
Allowing the Roman to end API with less than 100 VP’s is not a good thing. My goal as the Judaean would be to have bled the Roman a bit more. The Judaean At Start positions I suggested were based on tried and true tactics, so I would still place them as posted, but played them to ensure that they were in position to face up to the Roman as Aaron suggested. If this could be accomplished, the Romans may have been pushed a Turn deeper into the Game and suffered about 50 VP’s more than he actually did.
The Roman casualties for APII were about right. Judaean Artillery was well placed and took their toll. I did not like the Ballista placement in the Bastion of the UC, but the Judaean had to contest that Wall … so …
My second observation concerns the strategic decision on the part of the Judaean to defend certain Areas. With two Mine Breaches into the UC, and a 2-3 Legion assault, the UC must fall. The City of David, despite two more Mine results, is much more easily defended.
The Wall defending the UC is not anchored by a Fort, the Bastions are easily isolated and the Roman Rams are going to create a 3 hex Breach. Never the less, the Judaean sets up for a typical Breach defense. Militia are sacrificed, but Regulars are conserved. The Judaean must have enough Regulars available to cycle in and out of the front line of Built Ups to make the Roman pay in blood for occupying the Clear terrain ! Judaean Leaders are used to make the 3 hex stack and Rally front line Regulars. Three or four Zealots are around to get an occasional Melee attack or bolster the defense … but the concept is to defend with Regulars ! They shoot, they Melee, they shoot again. A clever Judaean will always have 4-6 Regulars available to make a sharp counter attack even when the line breaks. A really clever Judaean will concede territory and conserve enough units to do this more than once. If the Roman extends too far … it gets ugly.
The City of David is a fortress. From the LC, it means the Roman must Breach the Wall, advance up the Slope, fight through the Breach and attack into adjacent Built Ups. From outside the City, it means advancing up the Slope, Breaching the Wall, fighting through the Breach and attacking adjacent Built Ups. Judaean strategy is to throw Militia into Breach in order to slow the advance and conserve Regulars. Zealots are always used to fill in while Regulars rally. Ben Yair is here, moving from east to west as he stiffens the defense and rallies disrupted units. Zealots, of course, are ultimately going to be fronting up in the Built Ups, with Regulars in the forts and Bastions. The concept here is to defend with Zealots in the second line of Built Ups. They do not shoot, but they defend well and have an excellent opportunity to kick back. Coupled with ben Yair and 2 Leaders, the Roman faces a shoving match in Built Ups without Missile support, cohort integrity or the ability to stack FHI 3 high.
Third, and lastly, it is up to the Judaean to avoid the worst possible result. Two City Areas are threatened. One must be held. The City of David is the better Area to defend, so he does so fanatically. Artillery is placed accordingly, reserves are generated to be there and every hex is contested. The UC is conceded.
One final comment on Judaean tactics. Roman success depends on thinking ahead. Judean success is equally dependent. This means conserving enough units of the correct quality to make the Judaean defense perfect against the initial Roman assault on the Built Ups. Perfect does not mean impregnable ! It means having enough good units to defend the critical hexes on every Turn. Defining those hexes and conserving those units is the Judaean challenge. I would suggest that the Judaeans could bleed the Romans a bit more in API and deny the City of David in AP II. Viable tactics to counter the Roman’s will be the subject of another post.
Again, great Session Report, JC. Many thanks for sharing your experience !
Best to all –