Alan Lipka
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Roman Turn 6: Nothing to lose, so here goes everything !

Rallies are a mixed bag.

Two out the 3 FHI in XV Legion (Orange) come up. The 5-8 in the Breach Routs.

All 5 FHI of the XII Legion (Yellow) rally. A nice series of 1’s !

None of the 9 units in the FML rally. One Cat and one Syrian Archer Rout.

Both X Legion (Purple) units rally.

The 3 units with Ceriallus rally, but the 7-8 in the Breach Panics !

Judaean Missile Fire: Brutal. (Note that I have placed disrupted units to the side so you can see them. Stacks make it hard to denote their status, so I tried to make it easier to see.)

XV Legion (Orange) takes a disrupt against one unit under each of two Towers.



XII Legion (Yellow) gets killed. The 6MF against the FHI in the Clear results in a DE (dr:5) and the 8MF results in an EE (dr:6).



The FML also takes it on the chin. The disrupted Foederatti under the Tower DD’s (dr:4), the 6MF DD’s two more (dr:3), and the Regulars in the L70 Fort DD’s Titus and the 7-8 with a dr:6. Ouch.



Two FHI with Lepidus disrupt (dr:2) in the HP, but no one else suffers any ill effects.



That stupid Cauldron with a dumb Militia on the UC Wall disrupts the 3-9 under the Tower (dr:5).



Roman Missile Fire: Not quite so brutal, but certainly effective.

The Artillery train in the south takes a bead on the Regulars in the Bastion and hits them hard with a DE (dr:6). The Onager that remains takes a pot shot at the Militia on the Wall and disrupts him. The XV Legion Ram swings and misses. The XII Legion Ram thinks twice about opening up a 3 hex Breach, and then goes for it. That Wall gives the FHI a bit of cover. On the other hand, the Ram itself could move up and give even better cover, so he does the job and Breaches the Wall.



The FML disrupts two Regulars.



The X Legion Archers fire to no effect, but the Rams bring down the Miriam Tower.



The V Legion Ram rubbles the Thorn Fort. Artillery disrupts the Militia on the Wall.



So … 8 Judaean units bite the dust. Two Forts and a Wall come crashing down. Not exactly enough to break the Judaean lines of defense, but interesting none the less.

Sorry for the dark pictures. I’m learning about my camera’s light meter. The control is too close to my thumb and I goof it up when I pick the darn thing up. Then I can’t remember where the setting was. I think I have it now.

Best to all –

Alan
 
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jean-christophe coluzzi
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Re: Phase III against UC & LC (Solitaire by Alan) Start Turn
hello everybody, I was off line because I had my computer fixed ! the repair took nearly one month !. I didn't read everything (I don't have time just now) but i looked at the pictures (which are great !).

Seems a tough AP, both UC and LC in the same assault !. I noticed a few interesting things though.

How is the roman going to enter LC ? there is no fire support behind the testudoes ! the main use for testudoes is to help you bring your ballista, onager and catapult with stacks of syrian archers and velitaes fully stacked just behind them. The testudoes should be there only to be blown up by the judean regulars instead of your archers. Your leader should be placed either in one of the front testudo (so that no unit panick when they are disrupted) or with the arty to be sure it will rally when needed.

Other thing, I see some pictures where Roman unit on tower battle against fully stacked bastion : no chance, it's too difficult too get a double result . It'll go faster with first a huge shot to get at least a D,E result !

Lots of regulars on wall and bastions are free to shoot where they want : soak fire with ram, towers and testudoes right below each bastion, section of wall close to your point of assault : you'll get a lot of D results (but few casualties, as most of the time there will not be much more than 6 against a testudo or tower), some testudoes will be broken so you'll have to replace them each turn while the previous one rally. You won't have to do that long because you should be inside the breach and in the bastion quite soon !

I usually procceed as follow with one of my legion ( I prefer to have at least 2 legions side by side so I can use combined fire from the arty against tough targets ).

I try to get for each legion a breach in between two bastions. My only goal is to take the 2 bastions that flank the breach (without much delay) then enter the breach, survive judean fire (testudoes), fire and melee if i didn't roll a 1 or wait.

It is not very complicated : Turn 1 and 2 slowly approach the breach from the slope with 3 or 4 testudoes (only one rank to be able to shoot over them with your arty AND archers in case militia try to slow you), towers aimed at the flanking bastions (with sometimes velitaes on top to shoot sortiing militia). I use the ram either to finish the breach or I send it below the wall or a nearby bastion to soak the fire. 1 or 2 more testudoes will be sent to soak the fire from nearby bastion while I concentrate on my goal. That should leave 2 or 3 cohorts just one or two steps behind, waiting for their time.

So, as you must have noted, your units under the towers, the rams and testudoes will not suffer much from regular long range fire (he needs arty to stop them !), my leader will usually be with the front testudoes (safe place) to help rally the occasional disrupted 7-8 and the arty behind. Long range reguler fire against your arty will not cause much damage as well but you can keep units stacked with it to absorb a D,D result if need be!

SO, roman fire will be pretty innefective too during the first turns (your arty is moving !) but keep rallying it every RT to get a shot at one of the flanking bastions, keep your archers in a safe place as long range regular fire can cause havoc among them early.

Things change on roman T3 : Your towers hit the wall as well as ram and testudoes. On this turn you can close in at last with your archers safely : concentrate everything on only one of the two bastions, wait a little with your testudoes near the breach (you must first secure the bastions). Other units reach the wall (ram, testudoes, and will prevent the judean from picking one target and blow it into pieces by concentrating fire against it), if you're lucky you may capture one of the bastions if you did well during the fire phase. JT3 : appart from the ballista, Cat and Onager that moved behind the testudoes, everything else fire at one of the bastions ( Should have 3 stacks at close range (21 with the syrian Archers + 9 long range, + Cats)) or units on the wall to suppress return fire. Your units soaking the judean fire should resist quite well if you've done it properly, not letting him get more than 6 or 9 against any of your testudoes.

RT4 : Rally your arty and shoot again against the bastions, this time getting at least 42+ : if you've not been unlucky, you should take it during the melee or simply move in with 7-8 and velitae. With two legions close by, things are far more easier as more often than not, one of the legion will already have been lucky and also taken one bastion, you need less units to soak judean fire, if the breach are close enough, the two legion only have to take care of three bastions instead of 4 etc... Move into the breach now (there should not be any zealot or regs onto the breach because you've got your ballista and onager there as well as roman archers and a sane judeanwould not let them be blown to pieces for nothing.). If there are militia in the breach or if one of your testudoes has been broken, move in or melee with your cohorts as they can resist in a breach nearly as well as a testudo and can also help in the taking of a bastion with a +1 drm. Suppress and kill judean regulars on the wall or inside the breach with one or two massive shot somewhere !

RT5 : OK, you've got the bastions, you can put archers in them. Now the real thing : your units in the breach suffered some losses but if you chose a place where the judean cannot shoot with more than two stacks of regulars it should be OK (You have oppened a breach in a place where 3 stacks can shoot at you : even a testudo is at risk there) : to tell you the truth, I often enter the breach with My leaders, to avoid panicked units in the breach. 12 against testudo or HI in breach will never score a E,E ! Now you can shoot : ballista + Onager + Cat + 3 stacks (with syrian archers) = 34 (-1 indirect fire) against built-ups. With some velitae in bastions and on the towers that you used against the bastions, it's a good shot ! I usually spread it to have one really good shot (32+ -1 indirect fire) and another one (8, 12 from wall, bastions and towers without indirect fire malus). UNLESS you're really UNLUCKY, you should be able to weaken the units in the built ups to the point where you can be sure to take at least one or two BU and get multiple attack : move your archers somewhere else, move out of the breach and send fresh cohorts, leaders, titus to make the difference !

I can assurre you I'm always inside the built-ups before T6 ! Most of the time all the strength of my legion go against a less than 8 hexes wide front : everything which is in between is blown up and the judean suffer heavy losses.

The main idea is : Better one Bastion or Fort at a time ( Big Shot, Melee ) and be sure to get the one you need as fast as possible, than trying a lot of chancy assault where you might take casualties for nothing and which can take longer ! same for built-ups (exterior ones) : shoot big to enter easily without risk !

Usually, I've got my four legions against one area : all I need is each of my legion to take 4 exterior hexes behind a breach and hold them !

The only real key is shooting big prior any assault, esp against built-ups : Your HI is here to finish the work of your archers, your testudoes are meant to enable you to approach safely and mass your archers !

See you, JC
 
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Alan Lipka
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Hi JC and welcome back !

I know, I know ... it is better to have more Legions focused on the LC in order to ensure its capture. And I realize that the Roman Archers are absolutely necessary to do this. Please understand, however, that this situation is played from a previously determined Position. The Roman MUST take both the UC and LC in order to move on to the next Phase. In order to do so, he must split his forces.

The strategy to do so depended on much of what you have taught us regarding Testudines, as well as the LC approach. The Position was not ideal.

The FML was meant to roll around the L70 Fort and destroy its defenders by fire and melee. Having done so, the Archers were to move west and support Cestius as he assaulted the Mount Zion Breach. Titus provided the necessary CC and should have been able to lend a hand with Melee. Combined with the Artillery of 2 Legions, this should have been enough to roll up the Judaean line as far as the W Row, where the second 3 hex Breach begins. Testudines advancing (as you have described) would have ensured enough FHI to make the assault through the Breach viable.

Everything depended on the 3 hex movement, each Turn, of both Archers and Titus. Had this tactic been successful, the FML would have supplied the Archers necessary to make your LC assault scenario a reality.

Yes, it would have been a slightly different approach. But it had your concept in mind. I just didn't do it right. On the other hand, had the Roman taken the L70 Fort (87% chance) the first time, this whole situation would be quite different ! angry

Even so, the situation is not hopeless for the Roman. Two more Day Turns. Judaean attrition. Continuous Combat. Night may bring a whole different situation. It will be interesting to see how things develop.

Best to all -

Alan

 
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Aaron Lipka
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Hey JC! Glad you're back online. Dad is in an interesting situation, no?

I agree with both of you. First, JC is exactly correct to support all Roman melee with intensive fire beforehand. Especially when advancing slowly up a slope! In fact, this tactic bears the hidden benefit of Judean attrition- it could be argued that, for the first turn at least, Roman artillery should direct fire vs. single-stacked hexes and try for the kill by DD. Distrupted units can rally, but dead ones are removed form play. If the Judean tries to return fire from tis position, he will lose good units, and if he tries to use militia to sap the fire, the arty can turn against the bastions. And if he leaves clear wall hexes... laugh

Of course, for at least a few turns, Roman archers will probably hold to long-range shots. Much better survival rate from back there! Therefore, given that the archers are removed from effective fire for these turns, since they must wait upon their slower seige train, I am in favor of dad's FML under Titus trying to make an early capture under simply withering archer-fire! The L70/O70 forts are suitable targets, since the Roman archers will likely be able to capture and move on to provide fire support to the advancing testudines as they reach the breach near Mt. Zion.

In the event, a very reasonable melee gambit at L70 failed (the important ones always do) and in order to preserve these archers they had to "detour" around the fort instead, dissolving their optimal fire and putting them in the sights of two Judean-held forts! Bummer for the Roman, and more vital than it looks. Not just because Roman control of that fort would have block mvmt. on the wall, but because now the whole rhythm of the LC assault is thrown off. The testudines arrive too early up the slope and suffer an extra turn under Judean fire with no support; while the breach hexes actually help the Judean now, since Roman artillery cannot get LOS on the ground past the crestline. Judean archers in built-ups become invincible and deadly.

So dad has a good point too, because he is constrained by Phase requirements. He needs 20% this phase, in order to clear the 45% requirement for end of AP3, so not just one city area will do. And, I admit, he has done the best job that can be expected for the task he has chosen; two legions for each area, with careful attention to preventing recapture of rear areas. These last two require a Roman presence in HP and TC, so he has knit the line together in such a way to guard what he already has. But the LC can only realistically be assaulted from outside the city, so his legion placement seems predetermined by the rule of "even" pressure. Two legions need to get LC form the south, and some combination of the other two legions must assault the UC while protecting HP and TC. Titus gets the wild card located roughly central.

NB: If he had tried to push one place harder than the other, for instance three legions against the UC, The Judean can win by opting to hold the other city area in strength, while delaying and eventually sacrificing the first. If just one of these areas holds, he wins. So the Roman cannot afford to make one assualt heavier than the other. Hence the rule of "even" pressure.

Even with all this, it has become clear that AP3 is not a good time to be ambitious. The Roman forces might be working at somewhere around 75-80% capacity, while Judean numbers will be much increased since Phase 1. The Roman will need to devote some forces to watching redoubts, while in general the Judean line shrinks and can take advantage of strong interior defense. In short, a 4-legion assault vs. LC in AP1 is very different form a 2-legion assault in AP3.

Even if he succeeds, the Temple Quarter still must fall eventually. The resulting position within the UC and LC earns little of value toward this ultimate objective. Oh, maybe the Judean reinforcement pool will dwindle to 45%, but not before almost all of the reserves come into play, probably even re-drawing form the dead pile. 45% of the whole Judean OOB is a smaller force, but tougher, and they'll have a shorter line to defend, and don't forget the toll the legions will have taken by that point- maybe only a few remaining cohorts for the dreaded Temple assault. Weeks remaining will be few, so Roman replacements will be a trickle. I'm not being pessimistic, but the comparative gain of such a phase must be weighed against the price.

Actually, never mind. I'd pay that price just to beat AP3. But the following conclusions spring to mind. One, the LC is not an easy prize, and should probably be assaulted on AP1 or only after the Temple has fallen. Two, the Roman must be careful in coordinating support-teams and, if the timing must be exact in order to work, he must find definate ways to make it fit. Efficient use of firepower is ideal, and a captured fort is worth alot, but a "worst-case" scenario should be considered ahead of time. The solution may be risky, but if both areas must fall, the Roman must be able to judge the fine line between a costly victory and a Pyrrhic one.

All in all, the experiment is worth observing carefully. Dad has set the bar quite high, but the more the Romam probes, the more Judean weaknesses he can find. Risks must be taken, sometimes favorable ones, but mostly not; a Roman breakthrough must be optimized. There is most certainly a balance, nay an art to combined arms warfare. And this is only one side of the equation, because the best the Roman can do must still surpass the best that the Judean can.

Little things can make the difference sometimes. That's what makes me come back to this game time and again. God, they say, is in the details- victory is too.

~Aaron
 
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Alan Lipka
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Roman Movement and Melee: Let’s mix it up and start from the north.

But first a side note.

Watching the results of Rallies has its own excitement, as does the double Missile Fire Phase. But these are rather static interactions. Hopes are realized and dashed … counters are flipped and removed … curses and prayers are offered to the Dice Gods. It is always a relief to get past those dr’s and get on with the Phase, which forces a new situation to deal with. MOVEMENT is the time when all else is determined. And when holes open, Elevated Hexes fall, scattered units come together … well, it doesn’t get any better. The subtle changes in Terrain and the opportunities Movement promises make it my favorite Phase. Let’s see how it works out during this critical Turn !

From the north, then …

With the fall of the Thorn Fort, Ceriallus and his men have bit more freedom of movement without the threat of being blown away. V Cohort is intact, and moves into the Breach to take advantage of his +1 drm. VII Cohort abandons its defensive positions and heads toward the action. They will probably not play a part in the combat, but Ceriallus understands that ten FHI may be hard to come by when it comes time to occupy the UC. Cavalry in the NC retreat to the Breaches. The V Legion Artillery breaks down and shifts to the west. With any luck, they will reform and hit the UC Fort with one last shot. X Legion Cavalry protects against sorties. The idea is to collect all available units for an assault on the UC. The north Wall is undermanned … vulnerable … and if the Judaean line can be turned NOW, there is just enough time to get some of the V Legion into the LC. In any event, something must be done to help Lepidus break out of HP. Ceriallus will do his best, and as befits a true Leader, he stacks with the retreating Panicked 7-8.



The Routed Garrison unit dies. As does the Militia on the Wall, but the Cauldron survives. Bad luck.

Lepidus backs all of his boys away and hits the triangle Forts. He guards against sorties. This is more to protect and conserve rather than make any kind of significant attack. The 1:1 melee results in NE.



Titus retreats and the shattered FML spreads out. Cestius hits the Zealots in the Breach with a 4:1/+1 and rolls a 2 for an E. Arghhhh !



Cestius himself leads a 2:1/+1 and fails to have any effect (dr:1). Bad luck. XV Legion makes an assault on the easternmost Fort and kills one Militia to get on the Wall, another in the Fort (dr:6), but the attack dies after the first continuous combat (2:1 flat, dr:2). Again, so close and yet so far. Well, not really. I needed another 6 to make this work.



The Roman really needed some good results here. Unfortunately, they failed to appear. They had better than even odds and it just did not happen.

Judaean response coming up !

Best to all –

Alan






 
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Alan Lipka
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Judaean Turn 6: Rally Phase

A very interesting decision here. Where does the Judaean roll for Reserves first ? Immediate allocation has its advantages. The Roman should have looked ahead and denied the UC Reserves by attacking only once in the UC. Oh well …

LC Reserves first … dr:1+2 = 3. Add one Zealot and 2 Light Blue Militia .

UC Reserves … dr:4/+2 = 6. Add another Zealot, 3 Regulars and 2 Militia.

Reserves are noted in the pix as slanted units

Judaean Reserves are now 2 Dark Green Regulars, 1 Light Blue Regular and 1 Dark Green Militia.

Rallies: Everyone up except for the Regular in the W65 Bastion, the Militia in U66 and the Regular in M70.

Roman Missile Fire: The disrupted Regular in the W65 Bastion dies (dr:2). One Zealot in R67Dies, and the other Disrupts (dr:6). Two Militia disrupt in the O70 Fort (dr:6). The PPR (Plucky Phrygian Ram) nails the Bastion for 3 Damage Points.



Over to the west and north, Lepidan Archers disrupt a Zealot in the Built Ups and put 2 Damage Points each on O55 & N55. Syrian Archers from Ceriallus’s Legion eliminate two Militia (dr:6).



Judean Missile Fire: One FHI under the Ram disrupts. Another in Testudo. Both 7-8’s in the Y64 Breach disrupt. Both units on the Mt. Zion Wall disrupt. A little stiff for such low attacks.



In the west, the Foederatti on the Wall disrupts (dr:5). The 6-8 under the Tower in HP does as well(dr:5). The 5-8 on the HP Wall disrupts (dr:5). (Stop these dice !) The 3-9 disrupts near the Thorn Fort Rubble (dr:4). All other shots are NE.



Now for a unit shift …

Best to all –

Alan
 
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Alan Lipka
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Judaean Movement and Melee: No need for much wordage. Despite the loss of 3 Zealots, 19 Regulars and 33 Militia, the Judaean line is virtually impervious to Roman attack. Roman losses are about 175 VP’s … so there is enough for a Forlorn Hope. With the entire Game at stake, the Roman has no choice. He must enter the “Proverbial Breach”.

The Judaean moves to form his line. Regulars and Zealots take their places. The single Melee results in No Effect. Note that the Judaean does not melee against Roman units he can fire at to better effect. The ‘B’ result would only serve to Back Romans out of these vulnerable positions. Missile Fire will kill them instead.



And in the west/north …



Again, this is a simple matter of the Judaean understanding what needs to be done in order to assure the best defense against the best Roman attack. There is no way to predict continuous combat. All he can do is front up to deny the Roman territorial gains. Unless the Judaean gets caught completely out of position, the worst he can be faced with is a limited Roman breakthrough. He responds with a vicious missile counterattack.

As I look at his position, I am tempted to wipe all of the unit s off the Board and concede a Judaean victory. Then again, I think about the effort it has taken to get the Roman into this position and I dream of the 6/6 attack. It would be a shame to deny the Roman a chance.

Sorry about the “long distance” views. I broke my short lens. Making due with my long one and holding it up to the ceiling to get the board in focus tests both my balance and sobriety.

Best to all –

Alan
 
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Aaron Lipka
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Your strategy for the Judean is perfectly appropriate. Make the Roman come to you! It is his game to win, if he can figure out how, and if the dice will maybe help him out for once! yuk

More than a forlorn hope, though. Maybe. I have seen key breakthroughs happen, albeit nothing on the magnitude to nab two city areas. In your position, you are right- the Roman had better take some risks and capitalize soon, or else there will be nothing but nighttime melee. At least the Judean fire phase will fade out.

It looks rough. But you knew that you had set the bar very high. I still think that an experiment should be played with the objective of just the Upper city from the same starting point. Once we can judge what it takes, we can begin to assess what forces can be spared, and how best to use them. Or reverse it, and try the LC instead. Together? I would rather have tried to take the Temple! At least my forces can focus their energies...

Turn 7 will either end all hope, or give you the desire to hang in there. Play on, maestro, play on.

~Aaron
 
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Alan Lipka
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All -

Much as I would have liked to play this out, I do not see any chance for Roman success. The Judaean line is too strong. Rather than waste time wishing for a miracle, I think it is appropriate to put this experiment to rest.

In retrospect, this Phase III situation seems to be a dead end. The Roman must take 20 Levy Points and the Areas he can attack do not add up nicely to allow this.

For years now, we have been banging our heads from Game start trying to get the right approach to a viable Temple assault. JC's wonderful insights regarding the use of Testudines and a Phase I Lower City assault have rocked our little world ... so Aaron and I have determined to play the Game with this in mind rather than beat a dead horse.

Let's close this thread and open another one that is more promising. The effort becomes easier as I learn how to post pictures, so please follow us as we begin from the beginning ... and try yet again to figure out how to play the Roman.

Best to all -

Alan
 
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