Monday, September 4, 2017

Queen Boudica Rides Again

A Headless Body Production

Location:  Regency at Providence Community Center, Phoenixville, Pa
Event:        Providence Gamer's Game Knight
Players:     Phil Gardocki, Steve Turn, Garth Parker playing the IX Spanish Legion
                      Bruce Potter, Jenny Parker playing the Ancient British

Preamble:   In a world before Brexit, England was known for its multiculturalism and fierce independence.  Where strange men bounced around the countryside to blood thumping background music, their servants banging coconuts in their wake.   But there were those in Europe,  who looked upon England with envious eyes, and made their plans.   
(I know I used the same preamble in the Vikings vs. Picts AAR, but it still applies!)

Game System: L'Art de la Guerre, about 200 points per side.

Scenario:  European Union bureaucrats, have completed their conquest of the British Isles.  They settle in and began oppressing the masses with unsustainable regulations.  Eventually, they passed one edict too many, and the Iceni tribe of Celts, led by Queen Boudicca, rose up and announced an early form of "Brexit" from the Roman Empire.
(Why break a theme now?)

The Forces:
Marius, (Brilliant) leading the forces of the Legio IX Hispania.  Assisting him are Darrylious (Competent) and Darrylious (Competent)
      2 Legionaries, Heavy Swordsmen Armor Impact Elite
      8 Legionaries, Heavy Swordsmen Armor Impact 
      2 Heavy Cavalry Elite 
      1 Heavy Cavalry
      4 Velites, Light Infantry, Javelin
      2 Bowmen, Light Infantry, Bow
      1 Auxiliaries Medium Swordsmen Impact Elite
      4 Auxiliaries Medium Swordsmen Impact 
       Break point 25

Queen Boudica of the Iceni (??-61) Strategist) arrives in field with a large body of enthusiasts.  Other warband leaders are Cedric (
Ordinary) and Hector (Ordinary)

      4 Light Chariots 
      8 Light Cavalry Javelin
      2 Levy Mediocre
      12 Medium Swordsmen Impetuous
      8 Light Infantry Sling
      4 Light Infantry Javelin
       Break point 39

The Celts win the initiative and elect to defend in the woods.  Both sides had very clear ideas on how the battle was going to be fought.  Then the terrain went down.
No battle plan survives contact with the enemy.  In this case, it didn't survive the predeployment.
The view from the Roman side.
Troops deployed.  With the terrain on the flanks, Queen Boudica's chariots and cavalry are forced to take up the middle.  The Roman Auxiliary cohorts take up position across from the village. Legionary cohorts in the middle and the right.
Turn 1:
The Romans rolled uniformly crappy command dice and hardly moved forward at all on their first turn.

The Auxiliaries march ahead of their supporting legions.
Marius is having trouble motivating the legions to advance.

Darrylious gets his troops moving, but is also facing a number of unknowns.

A bit of skirmisher action here.  This is one area where the Celts have a substantial advantage.
An early long range charge by Celtic Light Horse sends the Velites fleeing for the main lines.  Seeing a gap in the Roman lines, the Celts are going to fill it with chariots.
Hector also rolls poorly with the command dice and barely moves forward.
Turn 2:
Light on light action, with hits on both sides.
The Roman Ambush is revealed, Velites in the woods.  The gap between the lines isn't as empty as it seemed.
Darrylious holds his main line to allow Marius to catch up.
First blood to the Celts as one auxiliary bowman is shot away.
Turn 3:
The Auxiliaries and the Cohorts of the IX Hispania continue to advance.  The Celts seem determined to defend the village and have not advanced at all.

So it is in the center right where the battle will be fought and won.
Most of the Romans are fighting air as they advance.
On the Roman right, the Celts let lose with their war cry and attack.  Warbands advance out of the forest to crying "Save some for us!"  However, the Legions stand firm, winning 4 impacts of 7, with one tie.
Turn 4:

The long view of the battle.
The Roman Auxiliaries and the Legions are now in lock step.  Celt Light horse are now at risk of being run off the board.

Darrylious legions triumph down the line as warband after warband are dispersed to the winds.
However, there is gap between the lines, if the Celts can exploit it.

More warbands and Celt cavalry fall.  While the Celt Swordsmen have turned the far right flank, being impetuous, they don't have the command points to actually exploit it.
Turn 5:
The Auxiliaries could have charged in this bound, but the Legions couldn't have kept up with them.  So they will wait one more turn.
The hole in the center becomes a chaos swirl as cohorts turn and charge, forcing many Celt Light Horse to make hard choices on where to run. 
The Roman right is in clean up mode.
Cedric loses control of his warbands and they attack.
The two levy units also move in, because they can. 
Darrylious troops are still trying to secure the flank.
At this point, the game was called on time.  The score is 18-8.  While it was clearly running in the Romans favor, the did not even get half way to the Celtic break point.  Historically this would mean the Celts can retreat and regroup to fight another day.  Effectively by not defeating the Celts, the Romans lost the fight. 

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