JP On Gaming

Sunday, December 30, 2018

[Battle Report] Gauls vs Roman using Warhammer Ancient Battles

I initiated ActionMan to not only a series of History-based podcasts, which are great to listen to while we go to and from a game (usual going TO, because he sleeps on the 'from' part of the trip). Thus he heard from the great of the late Roman Republic (Marius/Sulla, the Triumvirates), the Diodachy, the Wars of the Roses, the Three Kingdoms, the Tokugawa Shogunate, and more. With short 10-15 minute podcasts, these guys do a good job focusing on one topic. In a 2-hour trip, we get to listen to 7-10 of them, covering a wide variety of topics.

So, after a few times, I asked him if he wanted to try and play a game where he could command a force of his own. He enthusiastically agreed to play and we were on and ready to go.

This battle report is for our second day of gaming. We played on a previous occasion for both of us to familiarize with the rules. I hadn't played in over 5 years so it was good for me to go over things...

Giving the choice to ActionMan, he chose my Gaulic/Germanic force to face off against my Early Imperial Romans. The battle featured two 1,500 points armies.

ActionManus the Gaul

This army relies heavily on masses of warriors to grind and crush the enemy.
Characters (220 pts)
- ActionManus, Warlord with throwing spear and light armor
- Shaman
Warriors (727 pts)
- 30 x Warriors with leader, musician, banner
- 30 x Warriors with leader, musician, banner
- 30 x Warriors with leader, musician, banner
- 23 x Fanatics with leader, musician, banner
Cavalry (468 pts)
- 8 x Light Cavalry with leader, musician, banner
- 8 x Light Cavalry with leader, musician, banner
- 10 x Noble Cavalry with leader, musician, banner
Skirmishers (80 pts)
- 10 x Skirmishers with slings
- 10 x Skirmishers with javelins and bucklers

Pacmanicus Gaulicus

This army relies on the legions, with support from archers to whittle down the enemy. The elephant was added just because ActionMan really wanted to see how the elephants did in a fight. I was never impressed with the performance of Roman elephants in the game.
Characters (141pts)
- Pacmanicus, General with light armor and warhorse
Legions (1020 pts)
- 15 x Regular Legionnaire with centurion, musician, and banner
- 15 x Regular Legionnaire with centurion, musician, and banner
- 15 x Regular Legionnaire with centurion, musician, and banner
- 15 x Regular Legionnaire with centurion, musician, and banner
Auxilliaries (324 pts)
- 8 x Equite alares with leader, musician, banner
- 12 x Archers
- 1 x Elephant

The battle

ActionMan set up with a strong center... that is a LOT of warriors. From his left to his right, he had light cavalry, two units of warriors, his warlord-led fanatics in from of his noble cavalry, then his slingers in front of his final unit of warriors led by his shaman, then skirmishers in the river and a unit of cavalry on the other side of the river.

With my low number of troops I had to find a defensive line and hold it. From my left to my right, I had my cavalry, then a cohort in front of my general, then my archers in front of another cohort, the elephant and two cohorts. The cohort on my far right was place in a build-up area.

The first turn saw his army surge forward as I moved to occupy the hill.

First blood went to the Romans, as the cohort on the Roman right repelled and dispersed a unit of light cavalry, causing panic in his left. After a short clash of cavalry, his force prevailed and my horsemen galloped back to Rome.

The clash in the center between the fanatics and the purple cohort was brutal as I had to move another cohort to shore up my collapsing left and I managed to break his cavalry, which cause havoc among his units. The Roman center managed to break his fanatics and his impetus broke against the steel of my pila and gladii.

With his center collapsing, Rome was going to keep moving forward and conquer more of Gaul. A tight win where a few lucky wins on his either side would've made the difference. The battle in the center was decisive as he was winning one flank and I got the advantage on the other because his forces broke and ran.

Although the Gauls had been defeated on this day, their army would certainly be able to regroup and fight another day.


The Lessons

The field of battle had too many terrain pieces that prevented ActionMan from maneuvering, and it helped me with my smaller Roman force. Next time, we will have "only" six pieces of terrain - we had 8 or 9.

ActionMan wants to play a Macedonian Phalanx next.

As for me, I really like the Romans. They are versatile, solid and powerful. I most likely will play them again next time.

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