Sunday 21 April 2024

More mythic Macedonians vs rotten Romans - 10mm Fantastic Battles

My early Macedonians took on Roger's Early Imperial Romans in a hard-fought Fantastic Battles rematch recently down at Lisburn Gaming Club recently. The first time they met, the two armies were at 1250 points each. This time, we raised the points to 1,500, including a few mythic units on each side. The Romans had a breakpoint of 14, the Macedonians were up to 18.

The Romans (top) deployed with German cavalry and infantry on their right, stiffened by some minotaurs, soldi shieldwall units of auxiliary spearmen, legionaries, and praetorians holding the centre, with archers, slingers and a hydra holding their left. There were two batteries of onagers behind the main line, and as many captains and other characters as the coffers of Rome would allow.

The Macedonians deployed with Illyrian infantry, companion cavalry and Cretan archers on the left, two hoplite phalanxes in the centre led by Herakles (a character company), with skirmishers and the Macedonian tribal levy on the right, along with a camp (two-company formed unit in tortoise formation), a cyclopes and a flock of sirens. A unit of Thessalian cavalry and mercenary peltasts were sent on a flank march around the left flank.

Mishaps saw a few units enthusiastic - notably the unreliable Macedonian levy - and a couple late, but no units suffering from disease. A rare occurrence indeed.

The opening turns saw the onagers open fire on the exposed Macedonian levy, while the sirens made a dash for it up the Macedonian right flank. On the left, the Illyrians started towards the woods, but found them filled first with harpies, and then with Germans.

As the harpies flew over their heads to attack the Macedonian cavalry in the flank, the Illyrians turned to engage them in the rear, soon to be sandwiched between harpy bottoms and hairy whooping Germans.

The Romans used a prophesy dice to prevent the Thessalian flank march coming on in turn one, but they couldn't prevent them arriving in turn two, sweeping on with much flair and style.

The Roman slingers turned to pursue the Macedonian Sirens running up the side of the table.

After one pretty savage round of shooting, they charged in, the sirens turning to face.

Further along, the hydra attacked the Macedonian levy, pinning the entire horde in place.

Meanwhile the Germans on the far flank turned about and headed back towards the Thessalian flankers.

The messy combat by the woods on the Macedonian right got more hectic as a unit of Macedonian companions launched themselves into the fray, completing the harpy-Illyrian sandwich.

Both the harpies and the Illyrians broke and scattered under the pressure from the rear attacks, leaving the companion cavalry to counter charge the furious German infantry.

Minotaurs (Roman) and Cretans (Macedonian) both converged on the battle in the woods, while the heavy infantry in the centre started to close. 

The struggle between the levy and the hydra was all going a bit one way. With the levy's minimal attack dice, and the hydra's regeneration, the tribesmen were starting to get a bad feeling about all this.

The Romans launched a shower of flaming pigs (summoned by a magic-user) just in front of the Macedonian skirmishers.

Having dispatched the German Infantry, the Macedonian companions were them faced with the minotaurs. Despite having the support of the Cretans on the flank, the worn cavalry were not much of a challenge for the fresh monsters.

To the rear of the Roman lines, the Thessalians were pursuing the onagers and their crews, when the German cavalry were blinked into their rear to disrupt the fun.

The epic clash of heavy infantry started in the centre, but as everyone was fighting in a shieldwall, there would not be a huge deal of movement in this section of the battlefield.

The cyclops closed with the burning pigs, smashing them to a standstill, while the Macedonian levy teetered on the edge of breaking.

The sirens finally scattered the Roman slingers in combat, and tried to continue their flight up the right flank and into the cover of the nearby woods.

The minotaurs turned to scatter the Cretan archers on their flank while the second unit of companion cavalry started the wheel into the flank of the auxiliary spearmen. To the Roman rear, the Thessalians finished with the onagers and turned to confront the German cavalry head on, quickly showing the barbarians the best way to fight on horseback.

Casualties and broken units were beginning the stack up on both sides now. As the Macedonian levy was held together only by the Resolve of an attached character, other Macedonian units started to pull away the reduce the impact of the ripple of resolve loss that accompanies scattering units. The the Roman rear (again), the unit of sirens had finally made it into contact with the second battery of onagers, while the Roman auxiliary archers turned to face them.

The remaining companion cavalry crashed into the flank of the Roman auxiliaries, only to be blinked out of the way, and into the flank of their own hoplites. Into their rear came a column of minotaurs; not something you want to experience given the choice.

The companion cavalry turned to face the minotaurs to their rear, but were blinked beyond them into the woods before they had a chance to fight a full melee. Then a lot of units started to break on both sides, and it was all over. The Macedonian levy finally scattered. The sirens broke the onagers, and were in turn shot down by the Roman archers. The Roman auxiliaries, slowly worn down by the hoplite to their front, were charged in the rear by the Thessalian cavalry and they too scattered. 

By the end of the turn, both armies had reached their break point and the battle was decisively proclaimed a bloody draw. In other words, both warlords could return home and proclaim a glorious victory to their ignorant subjects. 

The Romans were plagued with some pretty mediocre rolls when it came to their magic users, but otherwise outfought the Macedonians in general. Their hydra did a particularly stellar job of holding up the huge horde unit of tribal levy all on its own. In the end, it was the Thessalian flank march which saved the Macedonian army from what could have been a pretty ignominious defeat.

1 comment:

  1. Glorious stuff. The armies are beautifully painted and the battle bloody. I picked up the rules a few months ago, but this may have been the nudge I needed to get some square sabot bases.