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Commands & Colors: Ancients» Forums » Sessions

Subject: Cannae- Rome wins by a nose rss

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Sean McCormick
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Philadelphia
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I just played a fantastic game of C&C: Ancients over on Vassal today. We settled on the Cannae scenario, which has been getting good early returns for balanced play. I took over the Romans, while my opponent commanded Hannibal and the boys. My battleplan was to keep my infantry formation tight and cohesive in order to make use of any line commands or double time cards that would allow me to quickly close with the light infantry in his center. Meanwhile, my cavalry and auxilia infantry were to protect the flanks as best they could, even when it meant refusing battle and bending the line back a bit. That was the plan, anyway, and it started off well enough, as a line command on the first turn got my entire army into motion. True to form, Carthage came after my flanks with cavalry, with Maharabal leading the light cavalry against my left flank, while Hasdrubal took the heavies and went hunting for Varro. Thanks to a couple of mounted charges, my medium cavalry was destroyed on both flanks, leaving my army free to be encircled as it drove forward. Varro had his horse taken out from under him, but evaded back to auxilia infantry and tried to hold the right flank against a determined attack, while on the left Paillus made a sudden tactical thrust and broke left with his legionairres to separate one of the light horse units from Maharabal and deny it space to evade. It was quickly destroyed, keeping the Romans within range at 2-1. Hannibal brought the heavy infantry into the center, where it began to engage with the lead elements of the legion with great effect, killing off one unit altogether and mauling a few more. Only a successful rally by Atilius kept the Roman line from suddenly buckling in the middle. Making use of the tactical flexibility of the legion, the Romans split off to rout Carthage's warrior units and then quickly pulling back together to face down Hannibal. But it looked like the battle was going to be lost on the right, where Hasdrubal was smashing his cavalry into my auxilias with devastating effect. Both the MC and the HC were reduced to one unit each, but with Hasdrubal leading the way, they were routing my right flank and not giving anyone a chance to battle back. The count stood at 5-3 when his heavy cavalry killed off the last of an auxilia unit and sent Varro evading off the board. For a moment, the battle seemed lost, but then we checked the rulebook and realized that Varro would not cost his army a flag with his cowardice. But the reprieve seemed only temporary, as several light infantry units were down to one block and huddled near the back of the board with no place left to evade to, waiting for the light cavalry to ride them down. Something had to be done quickly to reverse the situation. Atilius split the legion again, double timing his auxilias to cut off the retreat route for the cavalry. The medium cavalry succumbed to a patch force of auxiliaries, as it was unable to evade and had to accept battle. Atilius took what was left of his medium infantry and personally went after Hasdrubal and his lone heavy cavalry unit. The cavalry was destroyed, and on the ensuing leader casualty roll, Hasdrubal's body was found and recovered. The Carthaginian left wing evaporated, and we were all tied at 6-6. With the battle in the balance, Hannibal made a mistake. A tactical retreat in the center followed by additional cavalry pursuit against my left would almost certainly have won the day, but he went for the quick kill, taking personal command of a decimated heavy infantry unit (1 block left) and leading it against Paillus and his two block medium infantry. Two hits were all he needed, but in the event, he only got one. The exhausted legionaries were unable to score a hit as they battled back, though, so there was one more card to be played. Paillus slapped down a Clash of Shields card, renewed the combat in the middle, and the Carthaginian center died under the weight of six dice. 7-6, final tally.
 
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The Real and Only
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Aubrey
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Did you write this session report using vi ?
 
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