Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Romancing the Romans

A Headless Body Production
Venue: Ferrell Fire Hall, Monroeville, NJ. Where 5G goes to die.
Event: Kozcon ADLG organized by Don Manzer.
Players: Phil Gardocki running Scots Isles, list 187
               Lou Cardinale running Late Imperial Roman
Game System: L'Art de la Guerre, 200 points per side. Round 3
Scale: 25mm 

KozCon is held in memory of our good friend and avid gamer Dave Kozlow who passed away in 2012. If you've ever had the opportunity to play in one of his many games at HMGS events you know that he was not only a great person but also a notable credit to our hobby. In light of Dave's five year battle with cancer ALL proceeds from KozCon are donated to the American Cancer Society.

The first two rounds had me facing off against the Kevin's, Swanson and Hatch.  I was hoping for Kevin Bacon in the third round and could then be considered a thread for a Six Degrees of Separation game.  But heavy sigh.  Twas not to be.  
But I am facing the third Strategist for the day.   
The Forces:
Scots Isles and Highlanders of 1182
Commanded by MacLeft, the Competent, MacCenter, also Competent and MacRight, who is only Ordinary.
Clans Jordan, Ramsay, Brantly and Clàrsach, Heavy Swordsmen 2HW, Elite
10 Other bands of Stalwart Islemen Heavy Swordsmen 2HW, 2 are Mediocre
2 Wee bairns, Light Infantry Bow
2 Levy, Levy
4 Heilandr Archers Medium Swordsmen Bow
2 Irish Mercenaries Medium Swordsmen 2HW
Breakpoint of 24

Late Imperial Roman
3 Commanders of which one was a Strategist
2 Cataphracts, Impact (very dangerous)
5 Heavy Horse, 2 Impact, one other with an included General
3 Light horse, various weapons
4 Legionnaires, 2 Elite, memory fades but probably Impact and Missile Support
6 Various Medium Sword, probably Impact
2 Light Artillery, Integrated
Breakpoint 25*

*It has been noted that the break point for the  Romans may not have been 25, but 23.  Mistakes may have been made. 

Display Conventions: When you see a word bubble like "Heus!" or "tha sin a' goirteachadh!" or "Mah poofy culur bahookie", this implies a disorder from missiles. Letters in parenthesis represent some value change for the specific unit. For commanders it is s for strategist, b for Brilliant, c for Competent and o for Ordinary, u for unreliable. For troops it is e for Elite, and m for Mediocre. Other abbreviations, Hvy Heavy, XB Crossbow, LB, Longbow, Jav Javelin, 2HW 2 Handed Weapons, B Bow, Kn Knight, HKn Heavy Knight, HC Heavy Cavalry, Md Medium, Sgt Sergeants, LC Light Cavalry, Chr Chariot, Cat Cataphract, Pa Pavise, LI, Light Infantry, HG Hand Gun, FKn Foot Knight, Hvy Spear, Heavy Spearmen.

Inappropriately capitalized words are used to highlight terms that are specific to the game. For example Brilliant, Competent and Ordinary have specific game values for the commanders.

"XX" implies a unit killed in that location on that turn.

Any inaccuracies and vagueness as to specific units is to be regarded as fog of war and should be considered as part of the fun.

A request for information.  I am looking for a vinyl mat of the appropriate size for 25mm games, 48 by 72 inches is close enough. Someone showed me the company for one, but that was so two weeks ago and I forgot. I am also looking for one sized for 300 point 15mm armies, 40x60 inches.
The Board:
The Romans win the initiative and elect to attack in the plains. 


The Roman right has a strong force of horse, including heavily armored Cataphracts.

Their center with a short row of legionaries, but supported by integrated ballistas. 

Their Auxilla is prepared to transit a rough field.

The Scots anchor their left to a convenient village.

Their line continues.  A depression behind them.

MacRight's Heilandrs and Irish prepare to challenge the Roman Auxiliaries. 

The Roman horse make a cautious advance.  I'm not sure where he thinks they are going with that village in their way.

The Legions and Cats advance steadily.

MacRight has an even fight against the Auxilla, but two cohorts of horse can wreck his day.

One light equites is trying to slip by the flank.

A general advance by the Scots, MacLeft orders his reserve of young men to cover the gap between the village and his line.

The rest of the line just presents itself.

The Heilands seem to have brought their arrows this time.

It looks like I got the field I wanted.  Flank relatively secured.  I have significantly more heavy foot than he does.  Going straight in is what the Scots do best.

Roman Equites challenge the ambush marker.  It is occupied by just a single LI, but that is enough to delay the entire horse command.

The Legions and Cats advance. 

But the Auxilla split in two, and bring up the Clibanarii into the gap.  Heilandr's put up an arrow storm.

In the face of determined archery, the Equites Illycani decide there is no chance they are going to get to work the flank and withdraw.

MacLeft orders more Islemen to challenge the Roman heavy horse.

The rest of the line advances.  And take hits from Roman ballista's

One ballista bolt is caught by Concorde, Sir Lancelot's squire.

I saw in a documentary, coincidentally by Terry Jones, who played Sir Bedivere, that the ballista was considered such a deadly weapon that it would conceivably end all war, as no one would want to face it. 

The Heilandrs keep wracking up disorders with their arrows.
Turn 3:

Romans redeploy their horse.  Lights to screen off 3 heavy foot, and 2 Clibanari to support their main line.

The lines close.  Ballistas are reloaded, but their sighting was off.

The Auxilla command has had enough of the Heilandr archery.  One of their units routs on contact.  But their center performs well against the Irish, putting two hits on each.

MacLeft has a surplus of command points and orders his heavy foot to run off the Roman lights.  The French and the Knights that say "Nee", advance and will be behind the Cataphracts flank if they charge.

MacCenter holds his men, attempting a couple of rallies. 

He is awaiting the outcome of MacRights command.  Which seems to be in his favor.  The Irish are routed, but so too a couple of cohorts.

Turn 4:
Roman equites approach.  They are not going to allow an early flank shot down the line.

I don't know how the French/Knights that say "Nee", unit picked up a hit.  I don't think the Roman cavalry had bows.

The remaining Roman combat troops all charge.  One Cat is disordered, the other disorders.  The legions trade one disorder for one disorder against the Islemen. 

MacRights forces suffer heavy losses.

On the far right, the Illycani take a flank shot, and are bloodyly repulsed.

Bringing the score up to 13 of 24 for the Scots...

...to XIV of XXV for the Romans.

Another set of charges on MacLeft's left.  The lights evade, but the heavies accept the charge

Islemen charge more equites.  The cataphracts rout an Islemen.

But a legionary cohort also routs, opening a gap that Islemen begin to pour through.

The Heilandr archers rout another auxilla.

The Scots are at 15 of 24

But the Roman score goes up by V to XIX!

Turn 5:
A Roman Clibanarii is routed.   But MacLeft's main line is collapsing.

There are multiple hits on MacLeft's left most units, including 3 on the French.  The Cataphracts opt not to exploit the gap presented to them.

On the Roman left, however, Clan Brantly's flank is threatened, and another Islemen's flank is under attack.

Taking the Scots to 20.

To the Romans XX.  A virtual tie!

Having defeated their Clibanarii, Clan Clàrsach (blue banner) takes the Roman Commander in the flank, routing him.  But the French are also routed, causing disorder to Clan Jordan behind them.

This puts the score to 23 (Roman) to 22 Scots.  Both are two away from demoralization.

A nameless Islemen disorders a Cataphract, another takes a cohort in the flank for +II to the Roman count

Roman Clibanarii rout an Islemen, but their supporting Auxilla is taken in the rear and destroyed.

Bringing this white knuckled game to a final score of 23 of 24 for the Scots.

To XXV for the Romans. 

It was the narrowest of wins.

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