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Subject: A Short AAR - Battle of Taginae rss

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Juan Valle
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Hi Folks,

When you get your home PC into its preventive maintenance (run antivirus programs, disk defragmenter, etc.) nothing best to use that time as to having a gaming session.

Realizing that Cataphract offers some short scenarios, I gave a try to the Battle of Taginae.

The reason I wrote the subject 'A Short AAR' is due to the fact that after deploying the Goths and Byzantines armies in the battle map, the whole scenario took 90 minutes!!

Here it is the AAR(as usual this scenario was played using the MoI/Infidel rules tweaked for GBOH):

The Byzantine champion soundly defeated Coccas, its Goth counterpart. After that the HC under John at Byzantine left moved behind the stream and into the high terrain, including the LC unit initially deployed in that flank as well.

The Goth HC really had not too much of a chance, so they started moving and charged against the Byzantine left. They had not too many choices either: at Byzantine right their LI (archers) were deployed in high rough terrain, while at the left there it was the stream and high terrain too, plus a wooded area behind...

After Byzantines moved John and his HC back the stream, they positioned their LI archers at left a few hexes up front, always behind the stream.

Following up the Uncontrolled Aggression rule the Goth HC charged forward at the Byzantine left, and things started to get gloomy for them: most of the Goth first line (Tottila sort of split the HC in two lines)got disordered and except for one single unit, they were coldly stopped in their tracks.

Narses put his command abilities to work and the Armenian HC and Tracian HC advanced towards the second Goth HC line. After the initial shock attacks, the elements of the Goth LI (all archers) also moved forward, as to stop Armenian/Tracian HC so the Goth HC could try a second (perhaps fruitless) charge against the well defended Byzantine left.

Meanwhile at the left Byzantine (Goth right) what happened was a real massacre, something I have seldom seen in other gaming sessions: the John HC elements charged forward against the disordered Goth HC, and one unit got slain after the other; two other Goth HC were dispatched by the Byzantine archers, and Tottila had no option but try to regroup the few remnants of that first line.

Tracian HC charged against the second Goth HC line, and casualties started to mount at a higher rate. At this moment, the writing on the wall was perfectly clear.

The Armenian HC made the only error of the Byzantine side during the battle, by charging head on against the Goth archers; two HC got retired and one eliminated, the only one casualty sustained by them in the whole battle.

Back to the second line, the Goth HC led by Tottila counterattacked the Tracian HC, but got repulsed and several units disorganized; John HC contingent moved from the left and fell upon these disorganized Goth cavalry, and as Porky used to say: 'that's all, folks...' The Goths reached their Flight Level of 45, while the Byzantine FL was 7 (the single Armenian HC slain by the archers).

The battle was entertained and although the Play Book clearly mentions that it is completely uphill for the Goths, as a gamer you get that feeling like "I'll do it better than them back then..." but was not the case.

I thought that by concentrating all the HC might in a single blow against a Byzantine flank would suffice to break their formation, but here the terrain was the main responsible for sending this planning to the trash can; besides that, the Byzantine positioning was ideal, with the HC under John being able to counter attack and profit from the bad shape of the Goth HC after being repulsed, giving no chance for them to regroup.

Not to compare myself with Tottila (not even closer), but for next time will try a different approach.

Any comments, please feel free to leave it.

Please all and everyone of you, enjoy a nice and safe Thanksgiving.

Regards,

Jumval
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Jon
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That was fun to read Juan. Thanks for sharing.

I never made it to this battle myself. I played a few of the Belisarius ones though. And had the Byzantines lose one of those against the Persians!
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Albert Taylor
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Good report. Cataphract's short, fast playing scenarios are a blast to play.
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