With one week to go before a probable English Civil War campaign we took the chance to field a couple of ancients armies and the Hail Caesar rules set. Due to some fairly shocking traffic conditions both the Romans and the Greeks arrived late, however fortunately Roman-for-a-day Michael had already set up a battlefield so we were able to get going quite quickly. Mindful of the disappointment of the legionaries doing not much last week I split them between the commands, with Michael taking the bulk (3 cohorts) along with some cavalry, artillery and the bulk of the slingers on the left-centre. I took the right, and fielded a mixture of auxiliary and legionary cohorts.
|Initial setup, ghostly greeks on the left, red romans on the right.|
The opening exchanges proved inconclusive, I advanced, Michael didn’t. The hedgerows were clearly to blame, with the legionaries on the left unable to pass them. Red quickly decided that Michaels troops were clearly going nowhere fast and abandoned them in favour of an all-out attack on my division in the hope of wiping them out. I managed a coup however, cutting off the lead hoplite taxi and wiping it out by pinning it from the front with legionary cohorts and charging in from behind with cavalry while the rest of the greek column was reeling in disorder.
|The heavy Greek attack on the Roman right commences, but theres trouble waiting in the form of the auxiliary cavalry.|
|The lead hoplite taxi is cut off and destroyed.|
They didn’t stand still for long, and were soon back on the attack, driving the legionaries back across the hedgerows in disorder and revenging the hoplites by destroying the Roman auxiliary cavalry. In the centre Michael had managed to catch up with the manoeuvring Greeks, with his cavalry damaging a unit of peltasts before an improbable break test (not the only one Red would pass on a double 6!) and some hoplites saved them and drove the horses from the field. A cohort of legionaries finished the job on the peltasts, before the hoplites finished them off. However the hoplites had advanced far enough for a counterattack by the rest of Michaels command, with another cohort of legionaries, supported by one of my auxiliary infantry cohorts, pinning them from the front before the 1st Cohort made good use of a follow me order to slam into their flank. Under this pressure the hoplites collapsed. As if in sympathy the hoplites taxi facing the remains of my legionaries on the Roman right also fell apart, and with time up, and 7 turns played, the Romans were the clear victors.
|Michaels legionaries finally make it beyond the hedge, and the hoplites seize the opportunity to make them pay for such nerve.|
|However they have bitten off more than they can chew, and with the 1st cohort in their flank they succumb to the roman counter attack.|
The Greeks decided early on to make a bold play to crush my division, assuming that Michael would be unable to get going. However, my success in cutting out and destroying a taxi, then stalling the rest meant the legionaries were able to catch up to the action and the hoplites were caught from the flanks, suffering their first (?) defeat. As a side note I had intended to play a scenario, and had the beginnings of one in mind, however with the traffic putting us behind we just set up and played, and it worked out an entertaining game anyway. Once more the greek hoplite taxi's were counted as large, and this evened it out and made them a formidable power to be feared!