A Late Republican Roman Army vs Turkish Horse Archer Army

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seansmith
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A Late Republican Roman Army vs Turkish Horse Archer Army

Post by seansmith » Sun May 02, 2010 1:54 am

Battle Report

Setting the Scene

I had a real ding dong of a battle against Shaun Dummond's Turkish horse archer army a fortnight ago.

My opponent had:
- 5 BGs of cavalry armoured lancers superior
- 4 BGs of light foot
- 6 BGs of light horse.

My army list is at viewtopic.php?t=15915

Shaun won the initiative and, unsurprisingly, choose Steppe.

Description of the Battle

I choose to deploy on the left side of battlefield, anchoring my defense around a piece of brush on my left flank. I deployed my legionaries to the right of the brush and my two BGs of cavalry and a BG of light horse to left of it. I had the Spanish Scutaraii occupy the rough terrain. The BG of elephants and Thureophoroi were in reserve. I deployed one BG of light horse on my extreme right flank to act as a delayer.

Shaun instantly spotted the weak point in my deployment and moved a couple of BGs of his cavalry to attack my cavalry on his right flank. In the centre I realised that deploying the legionaries in a single file was not a good idea and did mass move to the left so I could collapse legionaries into a two rank deep formation. On my right flank I forgot to move my BG of light horse on the second turn. This resulted in it being caught in the restricted zone of the Sean Dummond’s light horse. Shaun cleverly placed his light horse so my light horse couldn’t escape back to the safety of the legionaries. A couple of turns later the BG was wiped out. However, the delay did give me time to re-organise my legionaries.

I counted Shaun’s attack on my left flank by marching my elephants to the left flank. He decided he didn't want his cavalry to face the elephants and concentrated his cavalry two to attack the centre of my army. I counted this by moving the elephants back to the centre of army. Shaun then split his cavalry and had some attack my left flank and the rest attack my right flank.

On my left flank I charged two BGs of Shaun’s light horse with a BG of light horse and a BG of cavalry. The BG of light horse that was in path of my cavalry’s charge evaded and burst through a BG of cavalry disputing it. His other BG of light horse stood to receive the charge, because it had swords and it was only facing my light horse, which weren’t armed with swords. He also brought up his cavalry to assist his light horse. I promptly charged in my legionaries into his light horse (I had brought the BG of legionaries from the centre to reinforce the left flank) and my cavalry into his cavalry. Another BG of my cavalry provided rear support.

In the centre my javelinman broke his poor light foot. But they were then charged by his light horse and broke. I should have let my light foot continue the pursuit of his light foot, as this would have carried them out of charge range of his light horse

On my right flank he targeted my Theurophoroi (medium foot offensive spear protected). Good die rolling meant he was starting to get the upper hand on both Theurophoroi and a BG of legionaries. But my BG of elephants was approaching rapidly.

The decision point of the battle was on the left flank. His light horse broke. This allowed my legionaries to turn 90 degrees in preparation for a flank change on his cavalry. However, although I had placed the BG of Spanish Scutarii to prevent his cavalry charging the flank of the legionaries, I had mis-judged how far his cavalry could step forward. The flank charge, combined with earlier shooting that had a disputed the legionaries, resulted in the legionaries breaking. This set off a chain reaction breaking my cavalry, light horse and Spanish Scutarii. This, combine with the loss of my light horse at the beginning of battle, the loss of the BG of light foot and the sacking of my camp broke my army. This brought to an end what had been a thrilling battle.

Analysis of the Battle

The decision point of the battle was on my left flank, were mis-judging how far his cavalry could step forward set off a chain reaction. This, combine with me giving Shaun easy victory points elsewhere (forgetting to move a BG of light horse on the second turn and not defending my camp), caused my defeat.

How would I deploy differently if I could re-fight this battle?

1. I would have placed the camp closer to the brush.

2. The legionaries would have been deployed in double ranks.

3. Two BGs of legionaries would have been positioned to the left of the brush and the other four BGs of legionaries would have been positioned to the right of the brush.

4. I would have positioned the Spanish Scutarii so it could move into the brush and a BG of light foot would screen it.

5. Both BGs of cavalry, both BGs of light horse, the BG of elephants and the BG of Theurophoroi would have been in reserve behind the legionaries.

How would I conduct the battle differently if I could re-fight it?

1. I would have moved the light horse in the second turn of battle.

2. The light foot in centre would have continued their pursuit for a second turn.

3. I would have ensured that a general was with BG of elephants when it was needed. There were a couple of times that I could move the elephant as I wished, because I didn’t have a general with the BG.

4. I would have made sure that Spanish Scutarii where far enough forward to prevent his cavalry stepping forward into my legionaries.

5. I wouldn’t have charged the light horse on my left flank; but I would have still charged with the cavalry though.

How to fight light horse army

The battle showed me that LRRA has a good chance against a light horse army, because legionnaire’s armor and their quality (they are superior so they re-roll 1s for cohesion tests) means they shrug off shooting by light horse. The trick appears to be preventing the LRRA’s flanks being enveloped and adopting a tactic of counter punching.

Counter punching involves some of the BGs in the LRRA pinning the opposing army’s cavalry/knights/cataphacts frontally while other BGs attack their flanks. For example, Shaun’s army had only five BGs of cavalry. This means that the BG of elephants and four BGs of legionaries in my army could pin his cavalry. This leaves me with two BGs Roman cavalry, two BGs of medium foot and a BG of legionaries to attack the flanks of his cavalry.


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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.

cailus
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Post by cailus » Sun Feb 20, 2011 7:01 am

I have yet to play FoG - indeed I'm waiting for my copy of the rules to arrive (and have been waiting since December).

Terrain wise it looks very, very sparse - is this usually how much a game of FoG has (I come from a background of 40k and Flames of War). It seems even less terrain that you see in Warhammer Fantasy!

By the way, are those terrain pieces from Miniature World Maker?!

bertalucci
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Post by bertalucci » Sun Feb 20, 2011 8:17 am

In FoG the attacker gets some choice in what the general type of terrain will be ranging from Steppe (the most open) to Mountains (says it all).
Then each player has a degree of choice on types of terrain actually represented on table and dice throws decide where the terrain is - usually (but not always) around the edges of the battlefield.

In this battle the Turks won the initiative so could select Steppe and then probably chose open spaces and open fields or brush as with a cavalry army he would want a lot of space and no where for the Romans to hide. The Romans having a predominently heavy foot army would want some terrain to anchor its flanks but not too much because HF do not fight well in terrain either.

bertalucci
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Post by bertalucci » Sun Feb 20, 2011 8:18 am

In FoG the attacker gets some choice in what the general type of terrain will be ranging from Steppe (the most open) to Mountains (says it all).
Then each player has a degree of choice on types of terrain actually represented on table and dice throws decide where the terrain is - usually (but not always) around the edges of the battlefield.

In this battle the Turks won the initiative so could select Steppe and then probably chose open spaces and open fields or brush as with a cavalry army he would want a lot of space and no where for the Romans to hide. The Romans having a predominently heavy foot army would want some terrain to anchor its flanks but not too much because HF do not fight well in terrain either.

cailus
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Post by cailus » Tue Feb 22, 2011 12:04 pm

Thanks for providing some insight there. Interesting concept to regarding the attacker choosing the type of terrain that will feature!

kevinj
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Post by kevinj » Tue Feb 22, 2011 1:51 pm

The "Attacker" is not a FOG term, but it's one that's easy to revert to. The roll determines who has the initiative with regard to terrain.

david53
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Post by david53 » Tue Feb 22, 2011 5:17 pm

Lots of Lancers for a Shooty army...its nice to see the Turks running about again.

Dave

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