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Subject: 406BC Akragas - Scenario #1 - First Game rss

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Nigel Buckle
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Thornton Heath
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After applying stickers and reading the rules we were ready to play 406BC Akragas - Scenario #1.

According to the scenario "The Syracusans win because their phalanx is superior to anything Carthage sends against it." Game ran true to history.

We're both veterans of the C&C system having played Battle Cry and Memoir'44, however this game throws up a few challenges and forces you to rethink your tactics (a lesson I learned to my cost). I was playing Carthage, and at the end of the game we realised that the Syracuse was playing minus one unit of light bow (not my fault I was setting up my side) - not sure how much of a factor this was, didn't stop my opponent winning. Given the relatively simple rules this game gives a great flavour of the period, my mistake was to play it like I play memoir'44.

Chariots on first glance look like good units if a bit brittle (only 2 blocks), but I lost the one on my left flank to missle fire from my opponents light troops, not a good start. I responded by advancing my light troops on the left, inflicting some minor losses through missle fire, my opponent attacked with his cavalry, sensing an advantage with the loss of my chariots, but my troops held and eliminated his unit. But that was about the limit of the good news - his light troops engaged on the left and we traded blows.

Auxilaries are risky troops to use as you can't evade with them, yes they're a bit better at close combat (crossed swords are hits) but not having the option to pull them out of combat is a draw back ... and of course most of my left flank was auxilaries ...

I didn't feel the battle was slipping away, we had both gained 3 flags and one of his light units was down to a single block and cowering on the map edge ... then a couple of line advance cards and his heavy infantry (the phalanx) hit my left & centre, I wasn't expecting them to move so fast - then it was all over my as my left collapsed. The probes I'd tried on the right weren't effective, and I didn't have the time or the commands to get my right flank over to help. Although I'd inflicted losses on the heavy infantry not enough to make the difference. End result 5 flags for my opponent, 3 for me.

We didn't have time to swap sides, but both enjoyed it - game took about 90 minutes but we were learning the rules as we went along. Next game I'll be a bit more cautious and bring up my troops en-mass where possible. Leaders are really important, I always seem to roll helmets where I don't have leaders to turn them into hits ... You need your army together to manouvre. Get your army split up into unconnected groups and it's hard to get anything going. It's really worth studying the cards a significant number activate a leader and 3 or 4 adjacent troops, very powerful.
 
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Sean McCormick
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Good write-up. I just soloed the Akragas scenario twice to get a feel for the game. In the first game, the Syracusan phalanx was able to advance quickly and engaged the center of the Carthaginian line, cutting it to shreds for a quick victory. In the second game, Carthage was cautious, engaging the Roman cavalry on the flanks and trying to concentrate their infantry and pick their spots. The Syracusan phalanx came marching out again, perhaps a bit overconfident from the last game. At that point, Himilco issued a line command and quickly closed the gap with medium and light infantry, engaging the heavy infantry head on. Thanks to the leader modifier, the attack was a surprising success, eliminating one heavy infantry unit and mauling another one. The Syracusan phalanx hit back, hitting the auxilia infantry hard and nearly sending Himilco running. As is, he's hanging on with one block of auxilia for protection while the heavy and medium infantry from the right flank are heading in to shore up the line.

Fun little game once you get through the monumental task of putting all the stickers on.
 
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Richard Dewsbery
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406BC? Then plaudits to the GMT researchers for finding enough on this battle to design a scenario around. There's rather more out there on the 261BC battle of Agrigentum, the opening battle in the First Punic War - is that one in the scenario book? Anyway, Agrigentum was fought for control of the same city, between the Romans (on behalf of the Syracusans, you might say) against Carthage - another win for Rome, that.

I have no idea about Akragas - whatever the outcome of the battle, Syracuse ended up losing the city to Carthage (so if it's so easy for the Syracusans to win the battle, I guess that they had enough reinforcements to carry on and succesfully besiege the city despite the loss).
 
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Nigel Buckle
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RDewsbery wrote:
406BC? Then plaudits to the GMT researchers for finding enough on this battle to design a scenario around. There's rather more out there on the 261BC battle of Agrigentum, the opening battle in the First Punic War - is that one in the scenario book? Anyway, Agrigentum was fought for control of the same city, between the Romans (on behalf of the Syracusans, you might say) against Carthage - another win for Rome, that.


Not (yet), 13 scenarios published, 10 in the rulebook and a bonus 3 for those of us who pre-ordered using the P500 system.

Additional scenarios will be published in GMT's 3Ci magazine.
 
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Matthew M
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RDewsbery wrote:

I have no idea about Akragas - whatever the outcome of the battle, Syracuse ended up losing the city to Carthage (so if it's so easy for the Syracusans to win the battle, I guess that they had enough reinforcements to carry on and succesfully besiege the city despite the loss).


Paraphrasing from the description in the scenario: the Syracusans forced the Carthaginians to retreat to Akragas, but were subsequently able to hold that position and cut off the Syracuse supply line. The city fell without further battle eight months later.


-MMM


 
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