As you have probably noticed by far, I seem to have one game against an opponent, then one against Stephen and then we repeat the sequence!
Indeed, it is another one against Stephen as per my request, he agreed to bring his Early Imperial Romans again. Can I find a way to open that can of heavily armoured Legionaries this time?
I really like these games where the armies are relatively well matched historically. Hence I was happy that I was about to fight against Romans again, even if it is not an easy army to defeat. No doubt Stephen would do all he can to engineer favourable fights and not let my Phalangites to have only one-on-one melees with his Legionaries.
Here is the army Stephen had in this game:
Early Imperial Roman - Army List
Of course that would be handy if I could fight against Legionaries or even better against Auxilia with my Phalangites. But getting there is not easy and I would need to worry about flank attacks all the time.
Here is my army list for reference:
I was the invader so Stephen chose the flank with forest. I thought I will be fine with the terrain so I tried to keep cards for scouting but I think I should have interfered when I could. We ended up with quite busy terrain of forests and because of that my own shooting was even more limited against units there. Or even if I entered the woods with my Archers.
In the open the Legionaries would use their Shield Cover so I could not count to dent the formation a bit before inevitable fight.
|Early Seleucids vs Early Imperial Roman|
I tried to deploy in the way that would allow Phalangites to move in between the gaps of the forest. However, without many units in loos formations, I was not able to prevent Auxilia or Legionaries to use it against me. So I was reluctant to go there but I was not sure what else I could do.
I also thought that if I could win the cavalry battle on the right, perhaps even a single unit hitting the Legionaries from rear while they are occupied by Phalangites from the front would swing the balance into my favour.
|Deployment of the Armies|
Seleucids - Turn 1
|Turn 1 - Sequence of Actions|
|Phalangites reluctantly approach the narrow gap.|
Infantry regiments of both armies advanced but both sides were a bit reluctant in moving at full speed. Only the cavalry contingents on the right engaged in fast manoeuvres from the very beginning!
|So it begins!|
Romans - Turn 2
|Turn 2 - Sequence of Actions|
|Cavalry action on the right.|
The infantry on both sides slowed down the approach even more and soldiers were just looking at each other, waiting for the other side to commit first.
On the contrary, cavalry regiments manoeuvred a lot in the attempt to gain the better position for charge.
|Closer but not close enough yet.|
Seleucids - Turn 3
|Turn 3 - Sequence of Actions|
|Evasive actions by Roman cavalry.|
At this stage only cavalry executed manoeuvres. Seleucids moved their Lancers forward but only one regiment of Roman cavalry met their attack. The rest performed evasive manoeuvres.
|First combats on the right.|
Romans - Turn 4
|Turn 4 - Sequence of Actions|
|Phalangites decided waiting is over.|
The Phalangites on the left flank had enough of waiting and decided to move forward, preparing for the clash.
Unfortunately for Seleucids, they were losing cavalry battle on the right when two units of Lancers have just perished and Companions were struggling to break their opponent.
|Break through for Romans on the right.|
Seleucids - Turn 5
|Turn 5 - Sequence of Actions|
|Getting crowded on the left.|
Phalangites approached their opponents on the left, with Thracians moving in to protect the flank from the Auxilia. There was not much room for manoeuvre though.
On the right, the Companions broke the Roman cavalry but run straight under the bows of the nearby Equites Sagittarii!
|It does not look good for Seleucids.|
Romans - Turn 6
|Turn 6 - Sequence of Actions|
|The Phalanx is breaking!|
Although the Phalangites were finally fighting Roman Legionaries, one of the Auxilia unit managed to hit the flank. Thracians were that bit too late to help and prevent that. What is more, second unit of Auxilie approaching fast from the other end to threaten the flank of Silver Shields.
|The fight on the left is not going well for Seleucids either.|
Seleucids - Turn 7
|Turn 7 - Sequence of Actions|
Despite their best efforts, Companions lost their fight against Roman Cavalry, even though they were very close to break their opponent again. When the Phalanx broke on the left, the Seleucids had to withdraw and concede a defeat.
|The end of Companion Cavalry|
|Turn-by-turn animation summary|
Many thanks to Steve for a game and congratulations on the victory! Once again, I was outmanoeuvred.
I think the problems for me really started at the pre-battle stage when I did not prevent Steve from placing too many forests. If I spent better cards during that phase, perhaps the terrain would have been less dense. It shows I need to do some more study on the terrain types I need to fight on against particular opponents more.
Then, despite that, I could have deployed better. It was probably not difficult to anticipate that the cavalry deploying on the right. If I had all my skirmishers there, and as a first line, perhaps I would have been able to win that flank in the end.
Last but not least. I came to the conclusion that I should have deployed my phalanx more in the centre so that it would force Romans to move out of the woods. At the same time, I would have been able to defend the camp if necessary too.
Lessons learned, hopefully not forgotten in the next game! :)
Thanks for reading!