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Subject: The Pharsalus Campaign - My First Game Played Correctly rss

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June Hwang Wah
Singapore
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Terence and myself tried our hands at Scenario 2: Pharsalus Campaign, after a learning game last week got most of the rules wrong. I got Pompey while Terence took on the role of Caesar.

The game starts with Caesar and Pompey staring at each other across the Adriatic. Disease struck Pompey in the first year of campaigning, reducing his forces in Numidea. Caesar sent Antony to Rome. My first Res Publica try caused Rome's garrison to be eliminated. Suddenly, Antony found himself facing a suddenly neutral Rome. In subsequent turns, Caesar dispatched Cornifius to reinforce Antony and secure Rome. But bad die rolls, delayed the expedition, and the onset of Winter caused further delays, as Cornifius was leery of force marching his small force in winter.

Before the celebrations in Pompey's camp could die down, the next event that occurred caused a dissent amongst Pompey's forces. I built up forces, and in the last Winter II turn, I launched an expedition with 2 fleets with troops towards Rome. Although Afrinius lost half his force in rough seas, his force landed in Rome and took the empty city.

I salivated at the bounty of Stratagems that will come from Rome, but alas, the first roll of 48BC was "Tax Farmers in Arrears". Rome, Syria or the 5 Major Cities will provide no additional Stratagems this year. Bummer.

A turn of building up of forces, and a conspiracy was hatched against Caesar. One would have thought that an Agent Stratagem would have adverted assassin's knives. BUt, lo and behold, Terence had sent his last agent spying on Pompey, and so, Caesar falls to assassin's knives. A one stroke, the fortunes have turned, and Terence lost his lead in Stratagems. Terence had no choice but to launch an unprepared strike at Rome. Riding on my luck, My forces faced him outside the gates of Rome. I had a slight edge in Heavy Legions and overall forces. But perversely, I rolled two(!) "0" results, and lost the battle. Terence had retaken Rome, and reinstalled his Cornifius as Supreme Leader.

During my turn, I tried to put together a counterattack on Rome, but two fleets failed to sail, rolling "1" on the march table. On the next turn, a revolt in Syria killed two legions and two auxiliary garrisons.

At this point, we called the game due to time.

Conclusion: We got the rules largely correct this time round. It appeared that we had a greater than expected number of "1"s in march rolls, resulting in severe dislocation of plans on both sides.

I thought Terence deserved a win for his steely nerve in the Rome counterattack. His main army also had more missile and cavalry than mine, and if the two came to blows, he could have launched cavalry attacks, and I am sure the resultant morale checks will have wrecked havoc on my recruit legions.

The swing of luck is very large in this game. I had the worst of march/attrition die rolls, losing >10 units to these. But I think Terence got shafted by ONE unlucky roll, which killed Caesar.
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Lawrence Hung
Hong Kong
Wan Chai
Hong Kong
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Thanks for the AAR indeed. It recalls fond memories of the series games of mine when I was much younger and had little knowledge about the ancient Romans. You showed how colorful a story it was and the game was successful in simulating all that colors. I would love to play the series games more...the games were in magazines stored away in the warehouse, but until then I might have to convince myself to play all the games I have on hand first...
 
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