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The Siege of Jerusalem (Third Edition)» Forums » Sessions

Subject: Campaign Game - AP I (Martijn & Alan) Turn 5 rss

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Martijn vR
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Hi all,

Next turn.. Alan indicated in turn 4 that the New City was lost, but was it won as well? The Romans seem to be in a comfortable situation and capturing the New City doesn't seem to be that difficult now.. but still. I Always count the 10 forts/fortresses as objectives for the New City assault as well. Let me sum them up:
- in the utter southwest of the NC are 2 forts, currently occupied by single militia units. Too far away for my units, perhaps I can grab one at night?
- Psephinus - 3 tough hexes to take. With my legion strung out between Psephinus and Women's gate, it's hard to reach the place. The ram needs firepower back up, but the longrange artillery firing from flanking positions makes that very dangerous.. let's see if we can get any closer.
- Women's gate: attacked, but not taken.. not occupied by an overly big number of units but still dificult to take. First the adjoining bastions would be the best way to proceed.
- The two sister forts of the Women's gate. One rubbled and another almost. Shouldn't give me much trouble.
- The northeast fort - in a sea of Roman legions, but still holding out.. Shouldn't last long though, almost surrounded.. Let's see if I can attrit them away.
- The fort opposite AF is hard, esp. since the ram has been destroyed, but a necessity for a good AP2.

In other words, there will be a long hard fight ahead of me!

First rallies though:
(Green = success, orange = failure, crown = leaders/commanders)



In the center:


About the two routers, a rules question: when a disrupted unit is stacked and adjacent to two panicked units, a max of +2 on rallies applies. But if one of those units is converted to rout, is it them +1 + 2 = +3? So, rallying could be a bad thing for other units? Or is +2 the maximum (seems more logical).

In the east rallying was good.

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Martijn vR
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Before proceding to the fire and movement, a small sidestep to strategy.
As told above, the New City itself wouldn't be too much of an obstacle. The redoubts however, were another story. In the east, I was quite confident of reducing or capturing them. In the west I had only one legion, between Psephinus and Women's Gate to do the job. Women's gate is a challenge, Psephinus is a nightmare. Lesson one that I learned: Commit yourself to one goal first. Don't try to accomplish more than that. If you are succesfull, go to the next goal. Here I tried to take all at once but feared being left over with nothing..

If you look at the situation in the west, only the Vth legion was present, but it was in a sorry state. Firepower and towers were concentrated in the east (against Women's gate), the ram was in the west.. If you look at the defenders, there were very few, so the New City looks open and inviting. But mind the 'open'. Open means also that all artillery of the Judeans have a very good shot at everything that moves through the breaches. Alan had placed his artillery in such a way that it is very hard to penetrate the New City without suffering horrendous losses. They are placed in such a way that the Romans can't (immediately) take them out, or place a missile soaker against them.

I made a small overview of the western part of the New City, and marked with crosses the fields of fire of the 1 ballista and 3 onagers placed there.
Ballista: primary range = pink cross, secondary range= purple cross, tertiary range = grey cross
Onager: primary range = yellow cross, secondary range = green cross.
I left out the tertiary range of the onagers, because the damage is so minimal. Note by the way that when heavies are in secondairy (or tertiary) range, the Judeans have a -2 drm, so the effect become less. Still, with two onagers close, I wouldn't dare cross that open terrain.
Also, there are some catapults nearby, but left those out as well - their damage is low and more crosses would make it a bit messy..
And yes, two (or more) crosses means that hex can be targeted by more than one piece.... A small recap of these crosses is west of the (Psephinus) wall (artillery, 1st, 2nd. (3rd)).



As you can see, besides a few spaces in/near built-ups, everyplace can be targeted by one or more artillery pieces.. For players new to the game: this picture is a nice way to visualise the Line of Fire rules, especially around built-ups.

So where do we go here? I didn't like the idea of getting mowed down in droves by the massed artillery, so focussed on the Women's gate first (closest) and would then go to the west to take out Psephinus. Tyropean City can wait.
Or, to be precise, Alan forced the Women's gate on me.. stay tuned..yuk

EDIT: slightly adjusted the picture. There were some errors in the yellow crosses north of the Damascus gate.

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Martijn vR
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Judean defensive fire in the East was quite accurate. A testudo down the QQ25 fort was broken (2 units disrupted), a heavy on the wall disrupted and the cowardly militia avec cauldron killed the loyal escalade base, still holding the ladder all that time..
Finally concentrated missile fire killed a veteran on the NE wall.



Around Women's gate and her sister forts the results were mixed. Some low odd shots against an archer on the wall and the ram down the fort were ineffective. Against the towers at Women's Gate however...



Alan had gathered 2 cauldrons.. and an assortment of other missile throwers/shooters that had a 20/+2 attack on my tower (yes, right in front of the gate, so I had to save my tower!). I was saved by the dreaded 1, which only gave a DD. But I had now 2 disupted heavies under the tower, unable to move the thing (you need 2 fresh one at the start of the turn), so the only option was to man the thing again, again facing the 20+2 odds.. Romans to the rescue!!
Final shot disrupted another pusher in the tower next to the other one.

Around Psephinus combined militia and archer firepower disrupted one pusher on the ram. A shot with a catapult against cavalry failed.


I was running out of fresh units in the west quickly, despite the succesful rally attempt. Worse, I had to get my ram in shape and to save the tower from being destroyed next turn..
So even when you think you have the New City, you still have to watch your every step to avoid losing units or even siege engines. Alan was playing his attrition game to the max..
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Martijn vR
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Time for the Romans to do some damage before moving into the New City.. or something else.

In the east the Romans had trouble hitting even units on clear terrain.. a lot of D's, and one kill (militia of course) in the fort, due to my 'big shot'.


In the northeast the ram did only 1 damage against the fort in the north, one already disrupted militia and one very foolish one ('Jumping up to catch all the arrows' according to Alan) were killed.
But then Lady Fortune blessed one of my very big artillery shots.. granting me EE against two regulars, leaving the fort completely empty.



"Well, they were doomed anyway, and you can't advance into the New City because of the militia on the wall excerting ZOC into the fort."
Alan surely has his ways of tempering the joy of the Romans..

Finally in the west.. Do you see those arrows emanating from the ballista and onager..? The ballista was aimed at the bastion of the Women's gate, but I messed up.. No LoF here. Check the rules.. Whereas forts are much higher and therefor easier to hit, bastions are not. Walls block them all the time.. I keep getting this rule wrong.
So no effect. Even the +1 was 0 because the shot went through the armored tower. Must have been very late..

The other shot against the bastion killed a militia, but I notice now that the onager couldn't hit this one as well. Alan and I didn't notice back then, or - more likely - he tried to save my ego a bit and sacrificed a militia for it.

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Martijn vR
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Before going to the movement phase, a small study of the situation in the northwest.

I had gotten myself into quite some troubles by moving only part of the legion and letting myself be paralysed in front of the gate by combined AF from two cauldrons..

See picture below: to make the picture more clear I moved the towers all one hex north, including rider. The pushers are still were they were. The occupants of the fort and bastion I moved one hex south, except the artillery.



Main problem now is that the tower was frozen in place, since both pushers are disrupted. There would therefor be no way to move the tower out of harm's way this turn.. And moving new units in wouldn't help either.. The attack would guarantee that at least a DD (and probably worse) would hit it next time.. (like in the last fire phase). And since the tower is in front of the gate, a sortie would be very likely.. And the last thing I want is a burning tower there (Not only for the VP, but also because I wanted to use the gate to ram the fort more quickly).

Next problem: where are the replacements? The only fresh heavy infantry was all the way in the west, near Ceriallius.

Of course there were other heavies nearby, from the 10th legion, but they can't use the towers of the 5th legion.. and their own siege towers were too far away.

Nice, how 4 regulars, 1 zealot, 2 militia, 1 catapult and 2 cauldrons can cause so much problems and damage.. All Judean players take note!

Here some fragments of Alan and my conversation on this:
Alan: There ya go. This will be a fun move for you !
Martijn: No, it won't :-(. I've got a huge problem
Alan: (challenge)
Martijn: in the west. My Vth legion is stretched.. overstretched. Yes. You've pinned my towers to the Women's gate.. and I simply haven't the means to rescue them.
Alan: Nah, sure you do.
Martijn: I could move some units in support, but I don't have HI that can make it to the tower this turn..
Alan: A little re-arranging will do it.
Martijn: Even velitae are rare. So that's a hard one.
Alan: Yes ... quite a challenge. Perhaps more an ego check rather than a tactical one. Command Control will come into play and you will need a clever movement phase. Once Ceriallus makes up his mind and commits, the situation will crystalize nicely. But if Ceraillus continues to play above himself, ben Lipka will certainly take advantage of him !
Martijn: I think the best option is to let you have the tower.
Alan: <heh, heh> If you insist.
Martijn: At least no-one got hurt in the wrecking.. :-). Lesson learned. Watch for cauldrons. The reason I moved them like this was to avoid a sortie. HA!
Alan: The Cauldron sub-plot in this game is something the Judaean lives for. And combined with a suicidal mentality, it can really pay off. See what I mean about Roman fears ? Once the Judaean shows that he will sacrifice any number of his men to hit back, and without regard to survival, the Roman has to think of yet another threat. So many threats ... and one mistake is sooo painful ... :-)

Martijn: Stupidity knows no bounds. I was affraid for a sortie like you did before, with all missile fire trained on one tower.. Well, and what do we have here? Obviously I can try to rescue it, by going for your flanks there.. and avoiding more missile fire. But then I don't have any suitable units left to man the thing... Moreover, in the west I don't have units to go for the Psephinus.. Seems I have three targets and now I'm getting none of them.. Well, I'll get the WG in the end, but not soon. :-)
Alan: You may not get the Women's Gate at all if that Tower gets wrecked, and chances are Psephinus will take 3 or more turns for one Ram to Rubble. Are you sure you want to go into Night turns ? I think you should, just to get the experience, but you can add 50-100 CVP to your total if you do. Night is not the friend of the Roman ...


The only way I could think of to save the tower is by distracting the units in the bastions.. One would be easy, the regular on the wall.
So how to proceed then? The dice would need to help me a bit.. If I could remove that regular, I could distract the whole bastion.. Perhaps that will save my tower?
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Martijn vR
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To save my tower, I had to do some complicated moves, with no garantuee of success of course..
First one FHI climbed the wall to distract the regular. Next, freah infantry from the west climbed the tower in jeopardy to attack the wall with the regular. One tower moved to the east to attack the eastern bastion. Titus came all the way from the NE wall to join the attack there. The armored tower to the west was remanned, after all occupants went to the east to help the attacks there. Finally, if all would fail, a big formation of missile units from 2 legions was brought over to the west to kill the occupants of the bastion.



To the west of this, the ram went west, after the bastion was secured. The walls and bastions that were captured last round were strengthened to be able to do a push inside the New City. (Moving disrupted and a panicked unit out, for instance). Well, push.. with units going to help the Women's Gate situation, there were awfully few fresh units less. The applied to the Judeans as well, but still I didn't want to have my units being pinned in the open. A few missile units were placed on the wall to take out the Judeans napping below them.



In the Northeast, the 2 legions rearranged (especially the cohorts that were really mixed up by this time). The fort, emptied by archer fire, was taken and archers positioned on the walls.


In the east the same happened: some difficult rearranging of the towers to attack the last stretch of NC wall in the northeast and positioning of archers on the walls.



Melee is coming up!
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Martijn vR
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First, the attacks began in the west, without much consequences.
One lesson I keep on forgetting: if your missile units are adjacent to enemy units, don't melee them, but shoot them.. I have to restrain myself from doing so, thinking melee can never harm you. Here I B'd two militia that fled to the places in the rear, out of (primary) range of my missile units (orange boxes). Stupid me. The attack against one archer did kill him (having a D, in the ZOC of a heavy infantry, this kills him..). One other attack against a disrupted militia and fresh zealot failed, although a cohort took part in the fighting. Remember that being behind the breaches, although vulnerable to missile fire, gives good defence modifiers (or rather penalties to the attacker, halving his AF).


Then the fight for the Women's gate began. Attacks to soften up the defenses failed in the western bastion, but Titus himself managed to disrupt a militia and chase him away..
Now the most important attack occured and with some luck of lady Fortuna the Romans eliminated the regular east of the bastion, granting a multiple attack against the already softened up eastern bastion.



The follow up only yielded a one, being a back, which was taken as a single disrupt by Alan (retreating the regular all the way to the southeast - orange square).


The remaining cauldron could only fire on the adjacent infantry.. the tower was safe!

Alan: Good fight there, Commander !
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Martijn vR
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Near the twin forts in the north, two cohort and leader of the Xth attacked a disrupted zealot, achieving autokill. A follow up on the fort, despite it being flanked, was held off by the gallant defenders.

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Martijn vR
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In the east the fight for the last stretch of eastern wall still in Judean hands.
First of all, I made the same stupid mistake as I made in the west: attacking units and thereby allowing them to retreat out of LOF of my archers.. Will I ever learn to constrain myself? Alan retreated the two militia at the foot of the bastion to the south.

The first attack against the bastion with Joseph Ben Gurion in it failed miserably. The second one, against the militia and cauldron on the wall (they are flanked) killed the cauldron. Finally, the attack from the fort in the north autokilled the militia.


After the advance, the heavy infantry proceeded attacking the unit south of it. Despite attacking with 2 legions, the result was still another autokill. Finally, after advance after combat, the bastion with Ben Gurion was attacked from 4 sides. With a little luck (6), the zealot was killed and Ben Gurion fled ignominously to the BU's..


The wall was completely taken by Roman legionairs... let's see how the Judeans react to this.

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Martijn vR
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The last reserve of the New City entered near the Antonia Fortress (the tilted one with the star). A few militia rallied, but the regulars stayed disrupted in the east.


In the northeast three militia refused to come to senses. In the east Ben Yair told his men some uplifting stories.. which auto-rallied three men. A militia had to roll, but rallied as well. See here the advantage of a powerful leader behind the lines..


Finally, in the west a zealot rallied. A militia not, of course..
Not one rout or panic though..shake
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Martijn vR
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Before the Judean could respond (run away?) to the Roman attacks, the Romans had the chance of a last parting shot..

In the west, Alan had moved two militia in front of the Psephinus tower to frustrate my ram. A bit of a waste to shoot with my arty on it, but my artillery was running out of targets anyway. After the militia died, the ballista fired over the onager to the militia behind the first, killing it as well.

After that fire into the city was extremely effective.. see below.


In the north the attack on that troublesome cauldron near Women's gate disrupted it. No kill, but this was nice as well.
The ram needed a 6 to bring the second of the twin forts down.. but rolled a 5. No complaining though, with such a roll of 5's
And after that, it continued with 5's, disrupting several high value units..


In the east it became worse.. units on the wall killing a regular and zealot. The big shot on the fort failed.. only DD, but Alan chose to disrupt the catapult and leader here. Finally the ram did 2 damage to the same fort.



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Martijn vR
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After this quite effective fire of the Romans, the Judean tried to do the same to the Romans.. but with many regulars gone to early graves the result was a bit.. lacking.

However, the first attack of a regular backed up by a cauldron put my ram out of commission.. Just one short of DD.. (next to the burning wrack of the other ram.. this sure was a killing place).




In the northeast low rolls only produced NE's..
Of course Alan had a surprise.. instead of shooting at the pushers of the tower adjacent to Women's Gate (with a cauldron).. he shot at the riders.. and just missed. Target was of course Titus.. Always be careful with placing him on a tower.. he's very vulnerable there.



In the northwest most shots missed.. but one was a complete oversight for me.. very long rang fire from the Southern fore of the Psephinus complex managed to take an already disrupted heavy out.. (marked by blue arrows, to make it more clear)



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Martijn vR
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The the retreat began.. south to the safety of the Tyropean, Antonia and Temple.. In the west it was more like a move to the west, to the relative safety of the Psephinus, while some units took refuge in the Built ups

Before movement, the situation looked like this:


After movmement it looked like this:
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Martijn vR
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Of course, when you start a retreat it doesn't mean that you'll have to do that everywhere.. take a look at the Women's gate, now quite empty due to my rescue operation, but Alan sent a special squad to strengthen it and try to hit Titus again...



After movement it looked like this.. Look at the emptiness in the lower right corner. Where did those units go?




Well, here they were:


and after that they streamed south to the safety of the Temple and Antonia..





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Martijn vR
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Only one melee followed. Not against Titus, but against the unit on the wall.. after that the tower to the northwest was near.. and only manned by one heavy infantry. With no pushers, it would be burning if Alan could chase out the defending rider.

Fortunately the heavy infantry held firm..


So ended the Judean 5th turn.

And for all readers who think the battle is done now... keep watching.. we fought until the 10th turn, in a very fierce battle.
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