Six Battle Reports from Natcon 2010

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seansmith
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Six Battle Reports from Natcon 2010

Post by seansmith » Tue Apr 13, 2010 5:43 pm

Here are my battle reports for Natcon 2010.

I have posted photos for each battle in separate messages below.

I used a Late Republican Roman Army. My army list is at viewtopic.php?t=15915.

The doctrine that I created for the army is at viewtopic.php?t=15904.

I would have done much better at Natcon if I had actually followed my doctrine!

The First Battle

Description

In my first battle at Natcon 2010 I was facing a medium foot army, with one BG of cavalry and three BGs of light horse. The terrain was masses of brush.

I copied Scipio's tactic of putting the legions on the flanks and my medium foot in the centre. The deployment and plan were great. But I stuffed up the execution.

My opponent put most of his medium foot on the flanks. This allowed my medium foot to occupy the centre and swing on to his left flank, which then allowed me to obtain at ratio of 1.5 to 1 in my favour on his left flank.

In the middle of the battle I had some light foot charge some light horse in the centre of the battlefield. The theory being that my light foot could pin light horse in combat long enough for other BGs to come up and help defeat the light horse. While my medium foot did move into overlap, my light foot lost anyway. This allowed his light horse to burst through my centre and take out another BG of light foot and a BG of my light horse. This, combine with me marching a BG of cavalry from the right to left flank, meant I didn’t have sufficient BGs to prevent his light horse attacking my fortified camp.

At the end of the battle I made to the mistake of charging my two BGs cavalry against his medium foot on my left flank. Both of BGs of cavalry were broken. I also lost a BG of legionaries, which had faced medium foot on my right flank. Finally, I had some BG luck: his cavalry defeated my elephants and on the second of two attempts he rolled the six required to loot my camp.

The battle ended with a win for my opponent.

The BGs that were broken in my army is quite revealing. I lost:
- Two BGs of light foot
- One BG of light horse
- Two BGs of cavalry
- one BG of legionaries
- A BG of elephants
- My camp

My opponent managed to take out the BGs supporting the legionaries and to avoid combat with the legionaries until it was in his favour.

Analysis

If I could re-fight the battle what I would do differently?

1. My light foot wouldn’t charge his light cavalry. I would wait a turn and charge his light horse with my medium foot. This would have prevented me from losing 3 BGs and would most likely have allowed me to loot his camp.

2. My cavalry wouldn’t charge his medium foot. They would skirmish away instead. This would have prevented losing two BGs of cavalry.

3. I would check my movement distances. Both my medium foot and elephants (the elephants were in column) could have moved at a rate of 4 MUs through the brush in the centre of the battlefield.

4. I wouldn’t march the BG of cavalry from my right flank to my left flank. If the BG of cavalry had stayed on my right flank it would have been able to pin at least one of BGs of medium foot, potentially preventing my opponent obtaining an overlap on the legionaries.

If I could re-fight the battle what would I do again?

1. I would use the same deployment and plan.

The Second Battle

Description

In my second battle at Natcon 2010 I faced Peter Hood’s later Roman army, which had:
- six BGs of lancers
- one BG of cavalry armed with sword and bow
- two BGs of light horse
- two BGs of light foot
- four BGs of medium foot.

The terrain was open, except for a couple of pieces of rough terrain on my left flank.

I deployed my medium foot on my left flank. I deployed the legionaries and the elephants next to the medium foot, largely on the left flank. On the right flank of the legionaries I deployed two BGs of cavalry and a BG of light horse.

I decided it was not a good idea for my two BGs of average protected cavalry to take on his two BGs armoured and superior cavalry on my right flank. I, therefore, pulled my cavalry behind the legionaries. The BG of elephants and a BG of legionaries attempted to fill the gap, with the support of a BG of light foot and a BG of cavalry.

On my left flank I managed get him in a position were his cavalry faced the legionaries to the front and my medium foot and a BG cavalry, which I had marched from right flank, on their left flank.

However, poor execution let me down again. The decision point was on my right flank. I advanced the elephants too far. This resulted me moving a BG of legionaries to support the elephants. This left a gap that allowed my opponent to get an overlap one BG of legionaries and charge the flank of another BG of legionaries.

Once he had broken these BGs he was able to take out my elephants with a flank attack. This, in turn, allowed him to attack my camp. On his last turn he rolled the six required to loot my fortified camp and broke my army.

The battle ended with a win for my opponent.

Analysis

If I had opportunity to re-fight the battle what would I do differently?

1. I would deploy the BG of elephants behind the battle line on my right flank with BG with two BGs of legionaries, to protect the BG of elephant’s flanks. This would have given me the option of using the BG of elephants to protect right the flank of the battle line or to oppose a frontal charge against the battle line.

2. I would have deployed the two BGs of cavalry behind the battle line as a reserve. Average protected cavalry where never going to be able to take on opposing army’s cavalry head on. However, as a reserve they could have been used to exploit opportunities (as I did on the left flank) or fill in any gaps that opened up in my battle line.

3. I would have deployed the Spanish Scutarii next to the legionaries, instead of the Thureoporoi. I found that it was very hard to get Spanish Scutarii into position, because they are undrilled.

If I had opportunity to re-fight the battle what would I do again?

1. I would use the same plan.

The Third Battle

Description

In my third battle at Natcon 2010 I faced a Lancasharian army. It consisted primarily of an equal number of BGs of heavily armoured foot armed with heavy weapons and BGs of long bowmen. It also had a BG of crossbowmen and a two base BG of mounted knights.

The terrain was clear, except for a vineyard on my right flank. I decided to attempt to swamp his right flank with my medium foot and elephants, as he had only one BG of cross bowmen on it, and for the legionaries to take on his heavily armoured foot and long bowmen head on. The logic being that while the legionaries were equal heavily armoured foot in melee, the legionaries had the edge on the long bowmen in melee. One BG of cavalry would protect the left flank of my legionaries in a pinning role, as per my doctrine. The other BG of cavalry would attempt to distraction my opponent and would exploit any opportunities that arose.

Everything went swimmingly on my right flank. I took out his crossbowmen, a BG of heavily armoured foot, looted his camp and was swinging my Thureophoroi to attack the rest of his battle line. In the centre I took out a BG of long bowmen, but lost a BG of legionaries.

However, I stuffed up on my left flank. I shifted a BG of legionaries off the left flank of the battle line, because I saw the opportunity for it to engage the long bowmen facing my cavalry. The legionaries did manage to engage them, but the long bowmen routed the legionaries. This left the left flank of my battle line exposed and my opponent seized the opportunity. He charged a BG of heavy armoured foot, which had been behind the BG of long bowmen into the flank of a BG of legionaries.

The battle ended with a winning draw to my opponent.

Analysis

What would I do differently if I could re-fight the battle?

I have deployed the BG of elephants against his heavy foot on my right flank, instead of the Spanish Scutarii. This would have freed up the Spanish Scutarii to deploy against his long bowmen on my right flank. The Spanish Scutarii could have been protected from long bowmen’s shooting by a screen of light foot.

This would, in turn, have freed up the BG cavalry that faced his long bowmen. This BG could have been used to ‘pin’ the BG of heavy armoured foot that were behind the long bowmen, by threatening heavily armoured foots flank.

All of this would have prevented my army from being outflanked on the right flank and my army would still have been able to outflank the opposing army’s battle line on the left flank, once my Thureophoroi defeated his crossbowmen.

The Fourth Battle

Description

In my fourth battle of Natcon 2010 I faced Imperial Macedonian Army. He had four BGs of average pike, a couple of BGs of light horse, a couple of BGs of light foot, a couple of BGs of superior armoured lancer cavalry and six BGs of medium foot.

On my left flank there were three enclosed fields. There was an open field in the centre on my side of battlefield. On my extreme right flank there was an open field. The also a wood on my extreme right flank, but it played no part in the battle.

I decided to attack his pikes with my legionaries and take out his left flank with my medium foot. The flaw in my plan was the left flank of my army insufficiently protected.

On my right flank I took out one of his BGs medium foot and he took out one of my BG’s of medium foot. His Campanions were routed by the elephants, but only after taking a BG of my legionaries and a BG of my cavalry.

In the centre I took out two BGs of his pikes. However, because the left flank of my army was insufficiently protected I lost three BGs of legionaries. However, I did manage to takeout a BGs of light horse.

Analysis

What would I do differently if I could re-fight the battle?

1. The BG of elephants would be deployed on my right flank, as they could have dealt with his Campanions on their own. This would free up the BG cavalry and the BG of legionaries that fought his Campanions. These BGs could either have been marched to protect my army’s left flank or they could have been used to charge the left flank of his pikes.

2. My light horse wouldn’t shoot at his medium foot in column, because this prevented my cavalry from protecting the left flank of battle line by ‘pinning’ his medium foot.

3. I would left the one BG of legionaries behind battle line on the left flank, as it could have prevented the flank charge on the battle line, even though it would resulted in an overlap on a BG of legionaries.

The Fifth Battle

Description

In my fifth battle at Natcon 2010 I faced a Norman army. The Norman army was evenly split between BGs of knights that were classified as armoured, superior, cavalry, lancers and BGs of defensive spear. There were also some BGs of light horse and light foot and a BG of mob thrown in for good measure.

The terrain fell well for me. The open fields effectively divided my opponent’s side of battlefield in half. He decided to deploy his defensive spear on my right flank and his knights (i.e. the armoured cavalry) against on left flank. His light horse and light foot were in the centre, crossing the open fields.

I decided to concentrate my legionaries and against his defensive spear. I deployed the BG of elephants and the BG of Thureophoroi on the left flank of the legionaries to protect the legionaries’ flank. The Spanish Scutarii were on the right flank of the legionaries. To the left of the Spanish Scutarii was a BG of legionaries. I intended to use the maneuverability of this BG of legionaries to get around the right flank of the defensive spear, which my opponent had helpfully left undefended. I sent my light horse, light foot and cavalry to delay his centre and his knights on my left flank.

However, it turned out to be another great plan that I managed to stuff up. My first mistake was to advance my light horse and light foot too far on my first move. This put them within in charge range of his light horse, whose charge they then had to evade. This allowed his cavalry to march. While this was a mistake was recoverable, my next mistake wasn’t recoverable. I got tempted by the opportunity to trap his light horse in front of his knights. This lead to all of my cavalry, and all of my light foot, being sucked into a melee on my left flank, which ended with all of them being routed. Five BGs routed before my legionaries and my medium foot were anywhere near his defensive foot!

My legionaries and Spanish Scutarii eventually did make it to his defensive spear and made good progress against them. My elephants routed a BG of his cavalry. The Thureophoroi caught and routed his mob. But the loss of the five BGs earlier in the battle was too much to recover from. He managed to rout another BG and loot my camp, which ended the battle.

Analysis

What would I do differently if I could re-fight the battle?

1. I wouldn’t advance my light horse and light foot within change range of his light horse in the first turn. This would have prevented his cavalry marching.

2. I wouldn’t have been tempted into charging with my cavalry and light foot. This would have prevented me from losing five BGs in the initial phase of the battle

What would I do the same if I re-fight the battle?

1. I would use the same deployment and plan.

The Sixth Battle

Description

My sixth and final battle at Natcon 2010 was against pike army, which contained mixture poor, average and superior pike. It also a couple of BGs of superior, armoured cavalry that armed with lances, three BGs light foot and a couple of BGs of medium foot.

The only terrain that affected the battle was on my right flank: a piece of rough terrain and a gentle hill.

I decided use Scipio’s pincer tactic and placed my Spanish Scutarii and the thureophoroi in the middle of my battle line. However, seeing the opposing army’s deployment caused me to change my plan. I decided to anchor the right flank battle line against the rough terrain and outflank his army my left flank.

It was an ok plan, but it rapidly came apart. I again got tempted by the ‘opportunity’ to catch some light horse and lost a BG of light horse and BG of cavalry on my right flank. He then advanced his medium through the rough terrain. In response I had to pull the Thureophoroi out of the battle line to counter this. This allowed his BG of superior pike to charge a BG of my legionaries in flank.

On my left flank I moved a BG of my light horse in front of legionaries, which slowed up the advance of the battle line. I also made the mistake of moving my BG of elephants towards his medium foot, instead of his cavalry. This allowed his cavalry to charge my cavalry and it caught cmy cavalry in the rear when my cavalry attempted to skirmish away.

The battle ended in a winning draw for my opponent.

Analysis

What would I do differently if I could re-fight this battle?

1. I would deploy the medium foot in the rough terrain and used them to ‘pin’ his two BGs of poor pikes.

2. I would not be tempted by the opportunity to charge his light horse. This would have prevented ne from losing two BGs in the initial phase of the battle.

3. I would make the elephants face his cavalry. This would have prevented me losing a BG of cavalry

What would I do again?

1. I would still attempt to out flank the opposing army on my left flank.

Lessons Learnt at Natcon 2010

1. Never charge with your light foot or Roman cavalry, unless there is no alternative or the odds are overwhelming in your favour e.g. you have two POAs in your favour and are rolling an equal number of dice in combat.

2. You should only attempt to outflank an opposing battle line after you have matched it BG for BG or if you can secure one of the flanks. I deliberately used the phrase “BG for BG” instead of “base for base”, as there may be circumstance where a smaller BG can pin a larger BG without having to actually engage it by, for example, threatening to attack its flank. Cavalry are good in this role.

3. Never place the elephants in reserve, expect when facing horse archers or bow. They should be placed in the battle line or on a flank.

4. Elephants are excellent at dealing with opposing cavalry, as long as their flanks are secure.

5. If you going to use cavalry to protect the flanks of legionaries, by pinning BGs in the opposing army, they must be parallel to the legionaries whose flank they are protecting.

6. It is not a good idea to use Roman cavalry’s skirmishing ability against opposing cavalry, unless you can prevent opposing cavalry moving within 1 MU of the Roman cavalry, because there is a high likelihood they will be caught by the opposing cavalry.

7. Always make sure the terrain on the flanks of the legionaries is secure. Don’t use Scipio’s pincer tactic, which involves placing medium foot in the middle of the main battle line on legionaries at either end of battle line, when rough terrain on the flanks is unsecure.

8. Always place light foot in front of the main battle line and in the centre of the battlefield, so they able to prevent opposing skirmishes slowing the advance of the legionnaires. This is the ideal position for light foot, because they can interpenetrate infantry and be interpenetrated by infantry.

9. Never move light horse in front of a battle line, because the light horse are unable to interpenetrate troops in the battle line. This forces the battle line break up so the light horse have a clear path for evading and/or so BGs can move around the light horse.

10. Never advance light troops within charge reach of BGs in the opposing army, unless they are intending to engage them in melee, because they will be forced evaded away when they are charged, which will allow BGs in the opposing army to march.
Last edited by seansmith on Wed Apr 14, 2010 5:49 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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IanB3406
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Post by IanB3406 » Wed Apr 14, 2010 1:21 am

11. Drop all them crappy barbarian troops, Cav, and Elephants and take more legions!!!!!!!!!

:wink: :lol: :lol:

Skullzgrinda
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Post by Skullzgrinda » Wed Apr 14, 2010 5:11 am

IanB3406 wrote:11. Drop all them crappy barbarian troops, Cav, and Elephants and take more legions!!!!!!!!!

:wink: :lol: :lol:
Veritas.

david53
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Post by david53 » Wed Apr 14, 2010 6:27 am

Just wondered when you charged the LH with your LF were they in the open.

seansmith
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Post by seansmith » Wed Apr 14, 2010 7:57 am

IanB3406 wrote:11. Drop all them crappy barbarian troops, Cav, and Elephants and take more legions!!!!!!!!!

:wink: :lol: :lol:
The medium foot did a great job in all of the battles.

In the first battle they allowed take the brush in the centre quickly, which allowed me to gain superiority on the left flank.

In the second battle they went through the open field on my left flank and threatened the right flank of his army.

In the third battle they allowed to me outflank my opponent on my right flank. In process they broke a BG of crossbow, a BG of heavily armoured foot and created a gap that allowed my light horse to loot his camp.

In fourth battle they they took on my opponent's medium foot and came off on equal terms. The Thureophoroi broke a BG of his medium foot and the Spanish Scutarii was broken by a BG of his medium foot.

In firth battle the Thureophoroi routed a BG of mob. The Spanish Scutarii took on and held it own against a BG of defensive spear. The battle ended before they had the opportunity to do more.

In the sixth battle the Thureophoroi routed a BG of opposing medium foot. The Scutarii held its own against a BG of pike.

The elephants performed well.

In the first battle they were broken. But this was purely very good die rolling my opponent's behalf.

In the second battle they held off a BG of medium foot for several turns unsupported. They were only broken by a flank charge.

In the third battle they didn't do anything. But, this was merely because they were outstripped by the pace of medium foot, which routed their opponent's

In the fourth battle they routed a BG of superior armoured lancers.

In the firth battle they routed a BG of superior armoured lancers.

In six battle they didn't do much. However, this was because I sent them in the wrong direction.

The worst performers, by far, were the cavalry.

However, what did I expect to happen when in three of battles I put my cavalry in a position where they faced superior armoured cavalry with lancers and in a fourth battle I put my cavalry in a position where they faced a greater number of medium foot.

Regards

Sean
Last edited by seansmith on Wed Apr 14, 2010 9:22 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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seansmith
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Post by seansmith » Wed Apr 14, 2010 8:01 am

david53 wrote:Just wondered when you charged the LH with your LF were they in the open.
I had this silly idea that the LF could pin LH and that this would allow my medium foot come up wipe out his LH.
"Democracy is a horrible system of government. The only thing going for it is every other system of government is even worse" Winston Churchill.

seansmith
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Photos for the 1st Battle

Post by seansmith » Wed Apr 14, 2010 5:07 pm

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seansmith
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Photos for the 2nd Battle

Post by seansmith » Wed Apr 14, 2010 5:14 pm

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seansmith
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Photos for the 3rd Battle

Post by seansmith » Wed Apr 14, 2010 5:23 pm

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"Democracy is a horrible system of government. The only thing going for it is every other system of government is even worse" Winston Churchill.

seansmith
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Photos for the 4th Battle

Post by seansmith » Wed Apr 14, 2010 5:33 pm

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seansmith
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Photos for the 5th Battle

Post by seansmith » Wed Apr 14, 2010 5:40 pm

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seansmith
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Photos for the 6th Battle

Post by seansmith » Wed Apr 14, 2010 6:04 pm

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azrael86
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Post by azrael86 » Thu Apr 15, 2010 11:43 am

Nice report!

Some comments:

You don't say what the first army you faced actually was.

Re your analysis, it seems you only fought one opponent with much in the way of shooters and no 'proper' knight army. Therefore you should probably consider:
Elephants are most vulnerable to being shot at and vaporising if they fail the death roll. Combined with being average they are quite brittle and a screen of LF is handy.
using MF in the open is chancy unless they are superior. Cavalry can kill you, Cats/Kn/HCh will unless you are spearmen.
The second unit of Roman cav isn't worth it (as others have said).
Legions are pretty resilient, but against something like Ottoman/Parthian/Mamluk/Mongol the MF is going to be a problem unless it hides in terrain, which restricts you ability to push the legions forward and chase LH off table.

Of course, maybe you don't have any shooty Cv/LH armies around to worry about!

seansmith
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Post by seansmith » Thu Apr 15, 2010 4:48 pm

You don't say what the first army you faced actually was.
Some version of late Roman army. I think it was Dominant Roman.

it seems you only fought one opponent with much in the way of shooters and no 'proper' knight army. Therefore you should probably
Elephants are most vulnerable to being shot at and vaporising if they fail the death roll. Combined with being average they are quite brittle and a screen of LF is handy.
I couldn't agree more. In my doctrine I specifically warn about the vulnerability of elephants to shooting. My tactic when facing bow is try and deploy my legionaries to face them, obviously. When I face masses of horse archers I would form a line of legionaries and have the nellies, along with the MF, in reserve behind this line, to counter if he masses heavy troops to attack the legionaries.
using MF in the open is chancy unless they are superior. Cavalry can kill you, Cats/Kn/HCh will unless you are spearmen.
True, that is why I don't put MF in open vs them.

The second unit of Roman cav isn't worth it (as others have said).
I agree. I am thinking of dropping a BG of cavalry and expanding the other BG of Cav to 6 bases and making it superior.

Legions are pretty resilient, but against something like Ottoman/Parthian/Mamluk/Mongol the MF is going to be a problem unless it hides in terrain, which restricts you ability to push the legions forward and chase LH off table.
Of course, maybe you don't have any shooty Cv/LH armies around to worry about!
The Gladius is the best counter for a shooty army
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Post by david53 » Thu Apr 15, 2010 6:16 pm

seansmith wrote:
The Gladius is the best counter for a shooty army

Bravely stated but fives arn't that rare either :)

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Post by sadista » Thu Apr 15, 2010 7:18 pm

Your first game looks to be Principate Roman played by Mark Holland[/quote]

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Post by azrael86 » Thu Apr 15, 2010 7:27 pm

seansmith wrote:using MF in the open is chancy unless they are superior. Cavalry can kill you, Cats/Kn/HCh will unless you are spearmen.

True, that is why I don't put MF in open vs them.
Playing on steppe that's going to be pretty difficult, aside from hiding behind the legions. More legions (or HF spear) and less MF help.
seansmith wrote: I agree. I am thinking of dropping a BG of cavalry and expanding the other BG of Cav to 6 bases and making it superior.
Possibly, but it becomes a bigger target at 6, and being superior I find just makes me think it could be useful and try and use it.
seansmith wrote:
The Gladius is the best counter for a shooty army
Well, generally physical violence towards your opponent is frowned upon. Although it could be worth asking for a dispensation....
For catching shooty armies with HF, see madaxeman....

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Post by seansmith » Fri Apr 16, 2010 12:44 am

sadista wrote:Your first game looks to be Principate Roman played by Mark Holland
Yes it was, thank you.
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seansmith
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Post by seansmith » Fri Apr 16, 2010 12:49 am

david53 wrote:
seansmith wrote:
The Gladius is the best counter for a shooty army

Bravely stated but fives arn't that rare either :)
I don't understand what you are inferring :?:
"Democracy is a horrible system of government. The only thing going for it is every other system of government is even worse" Winston Churchill.

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