How (Not) to Win: Late Romans vs. Huns

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Kabill
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How (Not) to Win: Late Romans vs. Huns

Post by Kabill » Fri Apr 27, 2018 10:14 pm

The final round of the Legions Triumphant tournament was a battle between late Romans and the Huns. I played through this battle a few times in hotseat mode, trying to get my head around the Hunnic army. In each of these battles, I won with the Romans, with my closest game ending 57-62 but all others decisively for the Roman side. Apparently having found a winning strategy for the Romans, I employed it against my opponent in the tournament and won convincingly; but in the mirror game I lost plating as the Huns. The matter, then, remained: could the Huns win, and if so how?

The answers, as you'll see below, are: 1) yes; and 2) fairly easily.

Here's an outline of the strategy I had developed:
1a - Deployment.jpg
1a - Deployment.jpg (1000.77 KiB) Viewed 2571 times
The Roman army is comprised of the strongest infantry units available to them, as well as a mix of cavalry units in reserve and a flank-guard comprised of all light units. I use this force as follows:
- On the flank, the light troops draw off enemy light troops while I advance on the main Hunnic line with my infantry and cavalry
- When the light troops engage, I allow them to fall back a little, so the fighting happens behind my main infantry line and so enemy light troops are exposed to my horse
- My infantry continue to advance, pushing back the Hunnic cavalry which are unable to do significant damage against them and cannot face them in melee, while my horse move in support of the light units
- Because they have been pushed back and the infantry block them, the core Hunnic cavalry cannot support their flanking force which are thus destroyed
- From this point, victory is more or less assured and is simply a matter of chasing down Hunnic horse archers

My opponent for this battle was Nosy_Rat, who has reasonably argued that the knack here is simply not to face the Roman foot and instead fight primarily on the flank. So this is the opening of the battle - almost no Hunnic troops are deployed to face my infantry, with most on the flank (currently hidden by the hill):
2a - Early_Moves.jpg
2a - Early_Moves.jpg (986.19 KiB) Viewed 2571 times
At this early stage, however, I am still confident that I can use my strategy, so I advance my infantry at an angle to try and cut off my opponent's light troops from their heavier horse archers, as before:
3a - Pre-Engagement.jpg
3a - Pre-Engagement.jpg (997.08 KiB) Viewed 2571 times
Last edited by Kabill on Sat Apr 28, 2018 7:03 am, edited 1 time in total.
Kabill's Great Generals Mod for FoG2: http://www.slitherine.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=492&t=84915

Kabill
Sergeant - 7.5 cm FK 16 nA
Sergeant - 7.5 cm FK 16 nA
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Re: How (Not) to Win: Late Romans vs. Huns

Post by Kabill » Fri Apr 27, 2018 10:16 pm

However, it does not work, and my opponent is able to get most of their horse archers around the rough ground to support their light units:
4a - Initial_Combat.jpg
4a - Initial_Combat.jpg (981.43 KiB) Viewed 2570 times
With support from my own horse, I think there is still a fair possibility that I can win the flank, and so I commit them to an attack:
5a - Combat_Continues.jpg
5a - Combat_Continues.jpg (1000.52 KiB) Viewed 2570 times
We tussle for a few turns, but it becomes apparent that I don't have enough strength to win the flank. Meanwhile, my infantry hold off a small number of Hunnic units which largely steer clear of them, but the proportion of my army being used this task is excessive, resulting in a lot of wasted fighting power which is desperately needed to win the flank. This, coupled with some excellent positioning by my opponent, sees my force begin to crumble:
6a - Beginning_to_Waver.jpg
6a - Beginning_to_Waver.jpg (1018.81 KiB) Viewed 2570 times
Kabill's Great Generals Mod for FoG2: http://www.slitherine.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=492&t=84915

Kabill
Sergeant - 7.5 cm FK 16 nA
Sergeant - 7.5 cm FK 16 nA
Posts: 246
Joined: Fri Mar 16, 2018 8:52 pm

Re: How (Not) to Win: Late Romans vs. Huns

Post by Kabill » Fri Apr 27, 2018 10:16 pm

From this position, it takes only two turns to completely destroy my army and claim the game in a whitewash:
7 - Destroyed.jpg
7 - Destroyed.jpg (864.28 KiB) Viewed 2570 times
So much for my unbeatable strategy! My opponent rightly pointed out that the key issue here was army composition: too much infantry which was easily avoided, and insufficient cavalry to fight and win where it mattered. Just a few more units on the flank would have made a huge difference and would have given me a much greater chance for victory.

(Thanks to Nosy_Rat for this instructive match)
Kabill's Great Generals Mod for FoG2: http://www.slitherine.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=492&t=84915

rbodleyscott
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Re: How (Not) to Win: Late Romans vs. Huns

Post by rbodleyscott » Sat Apr 28, 2018 6:06 am

Very interesting.
Richard Bodley Scott

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Nosy_Rat
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Re: How (Not) to Win: Late Romans vs. Huns

Post by Nosy_Rat » Sat Apr 28, 2018 10:45 am

Very nice AAR.

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