Monday, November 30, 2020

A Cackle of Cataphracts

A Headless Body Production

Venue: Virtual Table via Table Top Simulator
Players: Phil Gardocki running Palmyran
               David Ray running Middle Imperial Roman
Game System: L'Art de la Guerre, 200 points per side.
Theme: Just passing time.
The Forces:
Palmyra, List 106
Led by Larry (Brilliant), his brother Darryl (Competent) and his other brother Darryl (also Competent)
6 Cataphracts, 4 Elite
4 Regular Archers, Bowmen
5 "Other Archers", LI, Bow
8 Equites Sagittarii, LC, Bow
2 Equites Illyricani, LC, Javelins
Breakpoint of 26

Middle Imperial Roman, List 86, Commanders unknown
7 Legionaries, Heavy Swordsmen, Impact, Armor, some elite.
2 Auxilia Lanciarii, Medium Swordsmen, Armor, Impact.
2 Auxiliary Archers, Bowmen
2 Equites, Heavy Cavalry Impact, Elite
3 Equites Illyricani, Light Cavalry, Bow
4 Light Infantry, javelin and sling
Breakpoint of 21


The Palmyrans win the initiative and will defend in the steppes.

This battle is currently in progress...

Turn 1:

The Romans are officially the attackers. But they are being cautious, The only troops advancing are their Lanciarii on their right, protected by dense brush, and their lights on their left.
The Palmyrans deployed timidly, but now move aggressively forward. Horse archers begin raking the left, while previously hidden professional archers crest the hill and darken the skies.

Turn 2:

The Romans now have assessed the intentions of the Palmyrans and recall their lights. Their legions flanks are well covered by terrain and heavy horse.
On the left and right, Palmyran archers pursue and engage. In the center, the cataphracts split. One command to pin the legions, the other to destroy the Roman heavy horse.

Turn 3:

The Romans mostly wait. Redressing their lines as needed.
On the left, Palmyran Lights withdraw, The Lanciarii have armor, and there is no good percentages just shooting at them.

The Cataphracts continue to advance. Palmyran Archers disperse an Equites Sagittarii with bow fire.

Turn 3:

The Romans have redeployed their foot bowmen to good effect. Knowing the Brush is safe, they start to redeploy their Lanciarii. Their legions now step forward to pin the Palmyran Cataphracts.
But bowmen are more vulnerable to archery, and the Palmyran Light Horse come back and trade volleys.

The Cataphracts move to within charge reach of the Roman Heavy Horse.

The score is Romans 6 of 21, to Palmyrans 2 of 26

Turn 4:

Roman horse continue to retreat. But 5 cohorts of Legionnaires advance. Missile fire continues to favor the Palmyrans.
The cataphracts pin the Roman main line, and pursue the Roman cavalry into the gap.

Turn 5:

A stand is made! The cataphracts may have favorable charges available, but they will pay for them with flank charges in return.

On the Palmyran left, a Roman bowmen cohort is destroyed, the Lanciarii return to cover the brush. On the right, Roman lights are being decimated by superior forces.

The score is Romans 8 of 21, to Palmyrans 2 of 26

3 troops of cataphracts charge. The others cannot charge the Roman Heavy Horse without entering the brush or yielding the support advantage, so instead, they advance to lance distance and stare mightily.

Palmyran lights withdraw to reorganize. On the right their bowmen have cleared the brush of all foes and starting next turn will operate out of the terrain piece. 4 bowmen can do a lot of damage to the Roman flank.

But in the center, the thunderous cataphract charge impacts the Roman main line. Winning 2 of 3 bringing the score to Romans 11 of 21, to Palmyrans 2 of 26.

At this point the game was called on time, but was regarded as the Roman position was untenable. They might kill 3 Cats, (taking the score to 8) but at a cost of a pair of legions and a pair of Heavy Cavalry, taking the score to 18. The bowmen in the woods were going to turn the flank, pelting the lights, or hitting the camp.

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