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Commands & Colors: Ancients» Forums » Sessions

Subject: Lake Trasimenus - All According To Plan rss

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Chris Laudermilk
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Cutting to the chase: No, we didn't overturn history. Once again Hannibal slaughtered the unprepared, poorly-positioned Romans. Unfortunately for me, this time my son broke his streak of randomly choosing the Roman army, so he got to be the Carthaginians and dished out the beatdown.

My starting hand was not great, just an Order 4 Right and an ever-so-useful Order Mounted. So I elected to get some of the units forward & out of danger of pinning. My son counters with an Outflanked, and we begin a good back-and-forth fight on Rome's right flank beyond the impassable hills. Over the course of the battle, Rome managed to fight their way halfway across the board, and generated one of their glorious two banners. :/ This was kind of a mini-battle separate from the rest.

While that isolated fight is going on, the center sees most of the rest of the action. My son throws a Line Command and engages mostly on his left flank, continuing the over-the-bluffs battle. I spring my Counter Attack and move my center forward, and off the shore a bit. The Carthaginians respond by advancing their center and engage in close combat. Fortunately the Roman lines hold, and while attention is held there the Roman right moves forward to the base of the hills to give themselves some breathing room. This is unfortunately at grievous cost to Flaminius' attached infantry and the Roman line is now thin.

At this point, the Carthaginian warriors spring their surprise and come howling over the hills, crashing into the Roman lines. The Roman light and auxilia troops hold despite heavy casualties--and send the warriors running back over the hills. With not enough units in line, the attack is less effective than it could have been; the Roman line support allowed the light and auxilia troops to stand together and avoid being pushed into the lake.

This begins another back-and-forth struggle as Carthage send their warriors back over the hills in a second charge. This time they are stopped on the hillsides, impeding their combat capability and bringing them into equality with the Roman auxilia. In the end that doesn't help Rome much as they lose auxilia and light troops.

The worst is to come as Hannibal's warriors manage to slay Flaminius himself. Rome's center is now effectively shattered--split in half and leaderless. The remaining light and heavy infantry are pressed against the cavalry blocking the gap between the lake's shores and bluffs.

Hannibal sends his cavalry to attack the Roman left, but it is rebuffed and retreats to the rear; again, Rome has advanced to the base of the hills, negating the cavalry's combat advantage. The Romans' line holds strong, but they are isolated from the rest of the army and vulnerable.

At this point, it is simply a mopping-up action for the Carthaginians. While Rome has partly fought its way off the deadly shore of Lake Trasimenus, and their right flank is doing well beating back Hannibal's troop, the cost is too great. Rome has lost their (useless) general, their lines are fragmented and ripe for raking from the ends, and Hannibal's army now greatly outnumbers Rome's.

Board Game: Commands & Colors: Ancients

Final look at the field of battle. Rome's thinned, fragmented lines vs masses of Carthaginian troops.

My son picked the right battle to switch sides. I'm not sure how the Romans are supposed to dig their way out of the mess Flaminius dropped his army into. The severe limitation on command options was a definite challenge, and I think I did ok with it; I was able to make decent moves each turn even with the lack of options.

I mainly focused on the right flank as the cards gave me more effective options there, and I was able to make pretty good headway on that front. I was also able to maneuver my center far enough off the lake shore that the few retreats I got hit with did not remove any blocks--and holding the lines allowed me to ignore most of the flags rolled. My son did not press his advantage there--I don't know if he didn't have the cards to do it, or just allowed me to distract him on the flanks.

This was our first encounter with hills and I was able to use them to my advantage. I got my troops to the base of the hills, thus limiting his cavalry's and warrior's attack strength--effectively evening them up with my auxilia facing them.

I was also able to form enough of a line to help prevent retreats, and limiting his opportunities to momentum advance & get bonus combat. In fact, I believe he may have only gotten one--if that--in the entire game. I managed to get a couple on each flank, which I used to tidy up lines as freebie moves. My son still has a tendency to not maintain his lines and scatter his troops; in this battle it didn't matter much, but it's going to bite him. He is also 10-year-old-boy aggressive and was confused when I made clean-up moves rather than simply charging into his troops.

After reviewing the FAQs and rules, I think we managed to avoid making an glaring errors in applying the rules. Evades were considered & applied, Bolster Morale from leaders and lines was applied, Momentum Advance & Bonus Combats (rare as they were in this battle) were applied correctly. I think we even got the new hill terrain effects right in all cases they came up (and nobody climbed those steep bluffs by accident).
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Sometimes all you can do is pick a good place to die. Thanks for the session reports.
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David Groves
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Another good 'en. Keep 'em coming.
 
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Kevin Duke
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Another reason it's good to play the 'swap sides and play again" technique.

Back in the day, we would almost always play twice and might play the same scenario even more than twice, all at the same sitting. It was never the same.
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Matthew Hague
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kduke wrote:
Another reason it's good to play the 'swap sides and play again" technique.

Back in the day, we would almost always play twice and might play the same scenario even more than twice, all at the same sitting. It was never the same.
Yes, we always switch sides, as many times as we can fit in. Last night we played Paraitacene, we each won one, and both times in completely different fashions. In fact both were very close.
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David Pereira
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Good read m8.

This game becomes adictive
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Chris Laudermilk
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kduke wrote:
Another reason it's good to play the 'swap sides and play again" technique.

Back in the day, we would almost always play twice and might play the same scenario even more than twice, all at the same sitting. It was never the same.
Yeah, I'd like to try swapping sides so we can each get a chance at both. But, he's more interested in forging ahead to the next new scenario & I'm going with that--forcing a game will surely make for lost interest and dust-gathering. I'll bide my time and we will replay later--I'm logging the plays here, so have who played what recorded.
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