Monday, June 29, 2015

Rome versus Dacia

Last Saturday Mike and Troy brought their collection of romans and barbarians to the store for a game of Hail Caesar. As can be seen on the photo's below, we played the River Crossing scenario from the Rome's Dacian Wars supplement. In short the Romans had to force their way across the river which was fordable.

Each side had three commands (of five formed units): two legionary and one cavalry command on the roman side, while the Dacians had three warband commands. Brett commanded the Roman right with a legionary command, and Mike commanded the cavalry on the left flank. The central legionary command was used by both of them as needed. Troy's warband was on the left, Chris's covered the center and mine to the right.

The Battle
As the Romans slowly moved towards the river, most of the leading barbarian units rushed to the bank of the river. The javelin and archery fire from both sides was pretty desultory and really did not have any effect in the early going of the battle.

With the range closed down, the Roman cavalry moved to and engaged several of my warband units. The ensuing initial clash was in favor of the barbarians and I even broke one the cavalry cohorts.

[It should be noted that both sides had units of light infantry archers and all of us used them horribly. My unit got run down on the turn two and Troy lost his on the last turn which ended up ending the game.]

The left and center Dacian warbands had pretty much lined their side of the river before the bulk of the Romans were able to the attack them. So the initial attacks by them failed to dislodge the warbands. But the cavalry, which had been engaged for several turns, were starting to push the barbarians back. Then, with some help from the center, finally broke my command at the end of turn four.

Troy was tempted to push across the river, but held his command on the far bank, so Brett pressed his Romans forward which brought them into range of the barbarian archers ... a few well placed hits was all it took to break the unit, which in turn broke the army ending the game in a Roman victory.

Most of us needlessly lost the archer unit that each command had. This had the effect of breaking our command when just two warbands broke instead of three. I know I should have had the unit in skirmish formation so it could evade if charged and was more likely to retreat when shot at, so in theory moving to safety.

Also the river seemed to have caused a lot of problems during the game, both gaming and rules wise. While it looked great, we really should have spent more time going over what was actually the river and its rules before starting.

I had a really good time playing the game and fortunately for me, already have enough painting projects started, so am not tempted into painting up barbarians! Troy and Mike are looking at running a ThirtyYears War game next using Pike & Shotte, so keep an eye out for that game listing in the future.

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