October's club meet saw us running three games, one of which was an "Hail Caesar" clash of Romans v Seleucids. As I took the photos but am not the expert on people with pointy sticks I have put together Steve's game report interspersed with my pictures of the battle.
Wargaming with Romans is so boring, I mean picking an army is really fascinating, 90% are Legionaries, add in some light troops and a few cavalry and your done, what fun is that; and then there’s all that constant slaughtering of the enemy every time. However if you like to fight historically like I do then you have no choice but to bring them out as long as its not me that has to play them of course. Fortunately I have a very understanding opponent in Steve Huntsman at the Devon Wargames Group who indulges me by toga-ring up every time the Ancients come out.
|Seleucid Pikes left centre with medium infantry|
This time we agreed to pack the table with as big a force as we could muster between us without having to resort to using Zulus or panzer grenadiers (you know what I mean) and this time it would be the Seleucids turn to fight against the tedious oppressors of joy.
|Seleucid Left Wing|
760 points with Hail Cesar is a lot of figures so it meant I could pick all sorts of shinny toys and it took sometime before I came up with:
6 Pike4 Medium Infantry
1 Galatian Warband
6 Various skirmishers
2 Scythed Chariots
3 Light Cavalry
3 Various Heavy Cavalry
2 Medium Cavalry
And the amazing Thracian Light Infantry with Rhompaia
Steve spent 2 minutes and picked 90% Legionaries , some Light Troops and some Cavalry.
|Roman Right Wing, Illyrian Light Infantry and Spanish cavalry|
I chose 3 pieces of terrain and surprisingly the Romans picked none so it was very bare, oh well, better for me and my cavalry/pikes. The plan was the usual anti-roman one, win on one wing with my superior cavalry and hope everywhere else desperately hangs on long enough for them to save the day. Steve’s was to march quickly up the table and hack huge holes in the enemy infantry before his cavalry got crushed.
|Seleucid Pikes including elite Smurfs (Donnington Figures)|
Quite frankly as I put out my units I had no idea were to deploy my Cataphracts, Galatians or Scythed chariots, in the end the Galatians’ anchored the join between the pikes and the medium infantry on the left wing with a unit behind to fill in after they went loopy and went looking for heads, the cataphracts and the Scythed Chariots backed up the right wing and waited for a suitable gap.
As I said at the start we used every appropriate figure available so I was stuck with these disposable chariots and Cataphracts don’t really do much in Hail Caesar. My hopes were pinned on the stout hearted Pikemen and the good cavalry rather than the gimmicky stuff .
|Seleucid cavalry rolling up the Roman left wing|
|Roman Legionaries support the skirmish battle in the centre|
But what’s that I see sweeping in from the flank? is it Grouchy, sorry wrong game, is it the Cavalry? no it’s the Thracian Rhomphaia.
On the Right things were very different, the Romans (actually Gallic/Galatians) bravely advanced and then equally bravely started throwing 9’s for moving just as those nasty heavy cavalry got in range (can toy soldiers bottle go?). The Seleucids cunningly didn’t fail a throw irrespective of how many times in a turn they went for it and each cavalry fight was horribly one sided . Once the first unit got wiped out then it was sweeping advances and flank attacks until the Galatian warband that had made the big mistake of joining the wrong side saw not only cavalry on their flank but some sort of cart, and is that knives? surely not, what idiot would stick knives on a cart, why the risk assessment form alone would take a month to fill out and then there are all the training days on top. All this was two moves away so the Romans throw for orders and predictably throw 9 . The Seleucids didn’t.
|Galatians go looking for heads|
|When in trouble throw a 10 for morale|
“ They promised me 90% of them would be Romans, all shiny and crunchy like“
but just as it looked like they may have to get dead un-happy about being dead, suddenly the Galatians weren’t there anymore; they could see some of their Cavalry and is that a cart with Knives on? (no it wasn’t as scythed chariots are taken off after one round of combat).
Only one thing to do now as the boss had ridden up and was watching and that was to charge the now exposed Roman Legionary flank fighting the nearest Pike block, and this is what they did, again, and again and again, until they were shaken but by then there wasn’t that many Romans left.
|Goodbye to the last Roman cavalry unit|
If over 50% of your division is broken or all of your units are shaken then you must retire that division. However if in combat then you stay until either you win the round and therefore cannot follow up or the enemy choose not to advance if you fall back (basically break off in some way). My pikes were stalemated and of course I beat the morale roll required for drawn shaken units.
|That big gap used to have pikemen in it!|
|Look behind you!!|
|Men with big choppers make mincemeat of Romans|
|Close up and personal|
|Will these Seleucids never break?|