Two more Pulse of Battle games played last Saturday...the first game again pitted the mighty Romans against the Macedonians. The winner of this battle would take on the Three Kingdoms Chinese.
We deployed the forces and realized that both armies had a certain affinity for the same half of the battlefield! Both sides had packed their armies into opposing halves of the table. We Macedonians, Chris and I, did deploy our mounted force on our far right, being the only forces from either army on that half of the table. We had dreams of galloping into the flanks of the Romans! Our phalanx held the center firm and our left was held by our allied forces and a unit of war elephants. Our light troops were arrayed to the front of our formation.
The Romans, Greg, Greg and Terry, deployed in their lines, using their horsemen on their right - opposing our allies. Their light troops fronting the lines. Signifying to us that they were gonna come on.
The empty half of the table was a real mystery for us, as it offered a flanking maneuver to our horsemen. We Greeks were pleased that the Romans were going to come smashing directly into our forces and not try to flank our phalanx.
Well, yep, on came the Romans. Wow! Greg, Greg and Terry did once heck of a job in this game! The Romans got up and got up quick and pounded us. It was one of the nights for the Greeks. Our Allies got flanked and rolled up and our horsemen on the open flank manged only to move within threatening distance of threatening distance. We had lost 15 or our 17 morale points and the Romans had only lost 3 of their 15!
With a total butt-kicking going on and being down so much, we Greeks capitulated with the two chips remaining. Our Phalanx was about to join battle on the offense, but too much damage had already been inflicted on us, the battle was irretrievable.
Again, really nice job fellas!
So, the Roman powerhouse was now set to take on the Three Kingdoms Chinese (3KC). The armies of the 3KC are half crap - the force we fielded was just under half "regular" troops of the standing army of the Kingdom of Wei. The bulk of the force was conscript footmen and then rounded out by a little barbarian horse archers and foot warbands as well as a unit of peasant levies. Lastly, Terry provided two units of heavy chariots to the army and we had two units of light bolt throwers.
Given the comparatively crappy quality of the Chinese, we expected another Roman smashing.
This battle's setup in most ways mimicked the first one. Half the battlefield was in use and the Romans deployed almost identically. Hey, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. We Chinese, Chris and I again, placed our chariots in the center and supported their flanks with footmen and bolt throwers - each flank included a generous amount of crossbowmen. Our tribal allies and the peasants were deployed to our far left.
The 3KC advanced to begin the battle. We drew an early Move card and used a Command Movement to move the entire army. What this is is an opportunity to move the army using the C-in-C's Leadership rating rather than the individual commander ratings. Pretty cool if you have some questionable leaders! So, we did this and got three movement segments and won with an "even" roll. So we could initiate melee!
So, we said, what the hell, send out the chariots! They crashed headlong into the Roman line, shattering the unit they encountered! Awesome! But, they would be "stuck in" for the remainder of the battle. One of the units would be lost in the fight but the other would survive...and...they tied up an entire Roman command in the center of the field for the entire action.
This meant that our flanks would be where the battle would be won or lost, so we advanced into the fray. With two commands on our left flank, Chris bore the brunt of the fighting - and he fought magnificently! Especially considering the conscripts and junk he had in part of his force.
Chris had to make good decisions with his men and make careful attacks, the Romans were the superior force on the table...they just continuously ground forward a few inches at a time through what seemed like an endless stream of melee combat. Hats off to Chris on his work!
My little right flank force was man-handled by the superior Romans and driven back but not without loss to the Romans.
The battle ended when we had lost the last of our 17 chips and failed on a subsequent Army Morale Card. When we lost our last point, the Romans were down to 4 points left themselves. So, the Chinese gave them a much more difficult fight than we thought they would have - and even in defeat covered themselves with glory!
Some great rules adjustments came out of the evening's games about light troops, shock and melee in general. The game is really taking shape!
Thanks again to Brent for his monthly hospitality and thanks to the gang for being fun and excellent gamers!