Friday, 22 July 2011

Hail Caesar; First Blood part le Deux

So here is a quick recap after last night's post; the Flavians are advancing from the top of the page (mostly free moves because they are in columns on a road; they struggled to make any command rolls).  The Villellian right wing has rushed forward and left wing is edging out of the olive grove; intending to hop over that ridge and rout the unwitting column of enemy legionaries.  The Vitellian right can just be seen at the top of the photo; it has rushed forward in a right hook, flanking the Flavians.

So all the Vitellian left needs is a decent command roll; instead they get a double 6 (fumble!).  Rolling a further 1, Ianicus consults the fumble table and... (below)

...rather more than half of his army routs off the table.  Did we laugh?  Did we hell!

Still Ianicus had three his remaining units on the right, and these tore into the Flavians, wth their cavalry catching a cohort still in March column (below, at rear).  With a 9 dice to 1 advantage, could they rout it?  Nope.  Couldn't even beat it.  The dice were taking a distinctly Flavian turn.  However, they did manage to destroy a cohort of Flavian auxiliaries, and a numerus of skirmishers.  Meanwhile, half of the Flavian army were still advancing in their original direction, toward the fleeing, unseen ambushers (failed command rolls).

In the following turn, however, the Flavians rolled a very low dice and were able to make a triple move to counterattack.  Their legionary cavalry were able to hit the exposed flank of Ianicus left-most cohort, at the same time as a cohort of legionaries piled into its front.  The very large pile of white skull casualty markers behind it, did not bode well for the reaction test; predictably they fled, and we called the game.

The rules worked well, in part because we are very familiar with Black Powder.  I think the game would best be first played with someone who has played before.  I umpired, and had to rush back and forth forward through the rulebook a fair bit, and had some difficulty finding things.  There was also one point where we couldn't find what to do and had to make it up; I think this will happen a lot and an umpire would be no bad thing.  But we did love the rules, and I am sure will get a great deal of use out of them.  In particular, they are perfect for the Early Imperial Roman campaign I've always wanted to run, and will encourage me to finish the rest of the troops I have planned.
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