When it comes to playing ancients, I probably class myself as a 'big-battle' kind of wargamer, with the skirmish or even large skirmish gaming lower on my list of preferences, which is probably contrary to the current fashion in the hobby towards snappy, quick play, small scenario kind of games with rules to match.
The figure manufacturers seem to have cottoned on to this theme by producing small groups of figures to build retinues or warbands and I noted Victrix are involved in a similar exercise with this particular set.
|CoS Army Builder
|My command occupying the German left flank
|The Roman Scorpio crew take aim
|Greg advances with his Auxiliary Cavalry
|My Veterans and Fanatics, carrying a bit of fatigue as they move forward
|'They shall not pass!'
|A strong force of Legionaries and Auxiliaries made up the Roman centre
|Roman Auxiliary infantry out on the Roman left flank
|The view along the German line from their right flank, following deployment
|Close combat starting to accumulate the fatigue with four points on the German warband as they go toe-to-toe with Roman Auxiliaries
As most of us playing were using CoS for the first time we were all keen to push the rules to the maximum to see what could happen, so missile fire and charges were flying in with 'gay abandon', and units started to melt in the heat of battle.
|The Javelin Men add their missiles in support of the Scorpio bolts
Thus the melee battles can be quite interesting little battles within the much wider contest and if carefully managed can enable an opponent to be rolled back in a grinding attack.
|Roman Legionaries and Auxiliaries having a hard day in the centre
We played about six hours and our game left both armies exhausted with numerous units removed from the table and both sides having relatively fresh ones ready to contest the sacred tree, so I guess we called it a bloody draw, without resorting to use the break off tests that are in the rules to decide when a force has reached that point through losses, and anyway it was 'Pub-Time' when we called it which pre-empts any break off tests.
|My Spearmen about to charge out from the woods towards Roman Javelin men supporting the Roman Scorpion team
My impression is the CoS is a solid work which draws on ideas I've seen in several other sets of rules and uses similar mechanisms, which is no bad thing, and indeed they produce a flowing game that easily handled the number of units on the table with six of us playing.
|My German cavalry charge towards their Roman counterparts as they try to manoeuvre around the marshes to their front.
|Victrix Clash of Spears Gallic Warband box set