Friday, 24 January 2014

Somewhere just south of the Wall

Last night a full contingent of the Muswell Militiamen gathered for a second game with my emerging Late Roman collection. The Picts have crossed the wall, and are threatening a fortified Roman town. The Roman field army formed up in a long thin line in front of the town's walls, leaving the town behind them un-garrisoned.  This latter was a decision that they would, all to soon, regret.

The Romans moved first and dashed forward, trying to take the ridge between the two armies. They only managed to get a toehold, though, before their movement activations ended. In the Pictish turn the northerners seized the rest of the ridge. They had a surprise up their sleeve, too; one of the stratagems they had drawn before the game indicated that one of their units, in this case the Saxon allied cavalry was off-table, lost. They diced to see if they would arrive, and where, and there was a collective drawing of breath as the cantered across the Roman baseline straight into the town, and commenced to loot the legion's baggage (below)! Presumably they had stumbled across an unguarded rear gate...

Above is a shot of the Pictish left, nervously awaiting the arrival of the Roman cataphracts, and below is the fighting for the ridge. Shortly after this shot was taken, the Roman unit in the right foreground had to turn around and march off, to attempt to assault and recapture their own camp!

Above, on the left flank, a unit of Roman skirmishers made skillful use of the terrain to hold up the advance of a Saxon warband (above), whilst a unit of auxiliaries contested a patch of newly-made heather with Pictish spearmen (below).

The game was very confused and very enjoyable.  The thin Roman battle line broke up very quickly (below), with several veteran legiones making for (and capturing some of) the Pictish baggage, whilst doing their best to fend off flank and rear attacks.  The Picts won by a fair margin, largely due to the instinctive looting abilities of their Saxon allies.

I've come away with a few more suggestions and rule tweaks, which I've been working on this morning. Mate Craig has very kindly sold me some beautiful Late Romans that I want to paint up before out next game, in a few weeks time, and I think we will play Longstreet again next week.
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