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Subject: 297 BC, Tifernum (solo game) rss

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Merric Blackman
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This scenario was another relatively small affair, again played on only half-a-map, but with a significantly higher counter proportion than Lautulae. The battle took place in the Third Samnite War, where the Romans had managed to avoid yet another ambush and were fighting the Samnites on the open plain. Unfortuately for the Romans, they had only one of their two armies in the area at the battle.

Historically, the Samnites lost this battle, although it was a close-fought thing, which the Romans turned in their favour by the clever strategy of sending a detachment of soldiers to approach from the rear of the Samnite army as though they were reinforcements of the 2nd Roman army. So, how would it go in the game?

Romans at the bottom, Samnites at the top. Note that I've actually gotten the Roman set-up wrong with the Principes and Triarii Lines with the colours wrong! I fixed this mid-game.

After setting up the armies - as a side note, I'm beginning to run out of room in the three counter trays I've set up for SPQR, and I haven't even punched out the extra scenarios you get in Deluxe SPQR yet! - the Romans advanced their Velites into the centre of the battle where they were met by the Samnite Light Infantry in some Shock combat. Honours were roughly even in the initial engagement, and so the Hastati line was sent in by the Romans as the Samnites sent in their Vanguard.

Meanwhile, off on the flank, the cavalry of both sides was engaging each other. Although slightly outnumbered, the Roman cavalry was heavier and more successful, and was able to really hurt the Samnites.

Unfortunately for the Romans, their leadership was giving them problems: half their cavalry was out of command, and Fabius, their commander, was out of position on the left flank, and so they couldn't always give the Line Commands they needed to give! Failed Trumping attempts by Fabius were also not helping matters.



The casualty count was mounting, and it wasn't favouring the Romans. Then, as the third turn started, the flanking force entered play and several of the Samnite units were dismayed, thinking that it was the second Roman army. The Romans were heartened, and a few points of cohesion were restored. With this, the battle started swinging towards the Romans. Most of their Principes line was able to enter the fray (though not with Line Commands, as routing units were blocking the free relay of orders), and with most of the Samnite force now engaged, casualties on both sides began to mount.

In the end, the Romans were saved by two factors: they'd moved further towards the Samnites than the reverse, so their routing units were taking longer to get off the battlefield (and thus count for elimination points), and the Samnite cavalry had been eliminated and the Roman cavalry was now making great strides at destroying their flank.

The Roman Cavalry managed to eliminate one of the Samnite leaders as well, Statius, trapping him with the Roman Infantry blocking his retreat. That sealed things for the Romans.



At the end of the sixth round, the Samnite army had finally had enough, and withdrew, but the Romans had taken very heavy losses indeed, and with seven more routing units on the board, weren't far from withdrawing themselves! A large number of routing units had been rallied during the battle, but about an equal number had been eliminated from the rally attempt failing spectacularly badly!

Rout Points at the end of each round: (Romans can sustain 150, Samnites 120)
1) Romans 15, Samnites 0
2) Romans 20, Samnites 12
3) Romans 43, Samnites 47
4) Romans 75, Samnites 110
5) Romans 107, Samnites 110
6) Romans 145, Samnites 158

It'd been a fun battle, and one easily staged. I'm getting more of the hang of how leaders work in SPQR: both for line battles and for which units they can give individual orders to (It's not just anyone for the Romans).

Eliminated Units
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Adam D.
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Another great session report. Very nice pictures too, but I have one question: do you do anything but game and write session reports? I only ask because I am in awe of your time managing skills!
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Merric Blackman
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Yes, amazingly enough, I do.

My job is part-time, so 4 days a week; time I don't spend working is normally spent reading, watching DVDs, or playing games.

EDIT: And I don't have a wife, which also increases my available time.

Cheers!
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Adam D.
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"And I don't have a wife, which also increases my available time."

Ah hah!

ta
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Clay Woody
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Another enjoyable sessions report by Mr. Blackman. Replete of course with great pictures! This compelling write-up only makes me want to procure this SPQR expansion all the more. Please keep the great sessions reports coming!
 
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