AAR Advance the Colors 25mm Tournament. Long.

Forum for anyone to post reports of their battles and pictures, otherwise known as After Action Reports.

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flameberge
Staff Sergeant - StuG IIIF
Staff Sergeant - StuG IIIF
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AAR Advance the Colors 25mm Tournament. Long.

Post by flameberge » Sun Sep 14, 2008 5:05 am

As I'd never played FOG before (though I've read the rules twice) I figured this would be a learning experience and a great way to learn the game. Sorry no pics and no detailed account because I was focusing on learning the game. I'll give you my general impression and how I remember the general flow of the battles going. We had 4 guys play in 25mm (700 points) in three 3.5 hour rounds. We all played everybody. I played LRR and my army list was as follows:

IC (Caesar)
TC
TC
4X Superior Legionaries (HF, Superior, Armored, S Sw, IF)
4X Superior Legionaries (HF, Superior, Armored, S Sw, IF)
8X Superior Legionaries (HF, Superior, Armored, S Sw, IF)
6X Average Legionaries (Average, Armored, Sw, IF)
6X Scutarii (MF, Prot, Average, IF, SW)
6X Scutarii (MF, Prot, Average, IF, SW)
6X Archers (LF, UProt, Average, Bow)
4X Heavy Cav (Superior, Armored, SW, Lt. Spear)
4X Heavy Cav (Superior, Armored, SW, Lt. Spear)

Game1: Vs. Early Crusader.
First Game was against the tournament organizer Hurmicurthemediocre (Jeff Fletcher). First off I'd like to say he was extremely helpful, was patient, and helped me out with the rules. Great guy and I hope to play with him again.
I don't know his exact composition but he was playing an Early Crusader army with a couple BGs of Average Mob, a lot of defensive spear, a good amount of knights, and I think one BG of MF archers. He had 13 BGs to my 9! I knew I was going to be badly outnumbered. I won initiative and so I picked Woodlands. To avoid being surrounded I placed a coast on my left flank and loaded up with as much woods and brush as I could get, hoping to guard my right flank. After all our terrain placement and shifting I was able to get a forest running along the edge of the coast and 3 areas of woods and/or brush in a staggered line to guard my right flank. I placed a unit of scutarii on my left flank hoping to rush up into the woods running along that coast and contesting that. The main bulk of my line was the legions. I placed a 4 stand unit on the left of the line of legionaries to get a small mobile unit capable of maneuvering if needed, the two bigger units to the right of them and the other 4 stand unit to anchor the right side of my legion line, again so I would have a small unit capable of maneuvering if necessary. The second unit of scutarii I placed on the right flank so they could run up into the woods on that flank and hold there. The two cavalry units I placed at the joins of my legion units to provide rear support and a reserve if necessary. Since his whole army was pretty much undrilled and my flanks were pretty secure due to terrain my plan was to charge up as fast as I could and get a break through before his bigger but less maneuverable army could envelop me. When I closed with his army I obviously would have liked his knights to have charged me so I could retain the +POA but he decided to hold his knights so my legion line surged forward anyway hoping to not get beaten by the knights too badly and to bust up the defensive spear as quickly as possible. Luckily for me Jeff's dice were abysmal and mine were pretty good. I didn't lose too bad to one knight unit and actually beat the other. The defensive spear really got clobbered. To make matter's worse Jeff put his general in the front rank and I killed him early on. Units started to rout which triggered more cohesion tests and Jeff failed almost all of them. His center crumbled. The scutarii on my right flank managed to charge some X-Bow, blew through them and sacked the camp. The scutarii on the left found some mob in the woods to slaughter and killed them. By the time his undrilled spear on my right finally started to clear the line of woods guarding my right flank I had broken his army. So after game one I had found my scutarii to be quite deadly against MF and mob, and found out legions aren't really all that bad off against armored knights and tough as nails against foot. I also found the IC to be worth every point. His huge command radius allowed me to apply his CMT and Cohesion modifier in almost every case I needed it. Jeff was pretty distracted during the game helping out other tournament players (there was a 15mm tourney going on as well) and his dice were pretty horrible but I'll take a win anyway I could get it. Victory 23-2.

Game 2: Vs. Free company.
This army was commanded by Doug Anderson. Once again I played a great guy who was patient with any questions I had and very helpful. Again, someone I'd love to play with again.
His heavily armored knights really scared me. He had a couple units of those, several units of X-Bow and Longbow sword, some heavy weapon troops, and some dismounted knights. He had 10 BGs but they were pretty big and once again he had a pretty long line that looked like it could envelop me.
Once again I won initiative (did I mention I love ICs). Once again I picked woodlands and loaded up with forest. This time I didn't go for a coast. The terrain ended up pretty well for me. I managed to get woods to guard both my flanks, though the one on my left was a farther back than what I would have liked. My setup was pretty much like the last game except my left flank was legions because I put one of the units of scutarii in the center of my line because there was a plantation dead center of my deployment that extended pretty far into the table and didn't want HF stuck in there. At first I started out with a similar plan to the last game but this time my flanks saw a good deal of MF missile troops closing in too fast. Not having a coast gurding a flank really hurt. I slowed down and advanced the scutarii on my right only far enough to get inside the woods on my right flank, and deep enough into the woods so I would't have to endure any shooting. The rest of my line slowed down and advanced only enough to keep me reasonably close to my right flank scuraii so they wouldn't be surrounded and cut off. His MF were quickly moving in on my flanks so to avoid his troops getting behind my line my left most legion unit and my left cav unit that I had held in reserve moved to face off against his MF on that flank while my right most cav unit I had held in reserve wheeled around to face the guys moving in on my right and my right hand scutarii unit was already holding in the woods his troops would need to go through. In the center his long line of mounted and dismounted knights were falling behind the rest of his army. At first things on the left flank didn't go so well. I charged in on him with my cav and found out just how deadly rear rank support shooting can be. I lost a base and bounced off and went disrupted. I quickly moved my mobile 4 stand unit of legions to support the cav and it started to turn around. On my right flank my scutarii charged both his rather large longbow/sword units crawling through the woods and beat them both. He had another unit of MF missiles going around the woods and I sent my cav after them. Once again I found rear rank support shooting to be deadly, lost a base, lost cohesion, and bounced off. By this time his center of big scary knights began to slug it out with my legions. He began to grind down the legions in my center but luckily I was losing slowly. A base loss here and there but my cohesion was holding up pretty well. This is where it really paid off to have a couple of larger units of legions as I could take the damage inflicted on them and they just kept coming back for more. Finally the battle going on my left was starting to come to conclusion as his units couldn't stand up to the remnants of my cav supported by the unit of legionaries. He broke and fled, I kept up the pursuit and destroyed his units on my left. On the right flank I was getting similar results with my scutarii breaking both his units and chasing them down. My cav on the right eventually got shot to death but by this point that wasn't of too much concern. By this time my center was finally beginning to break with one unit routing but because I had destroyed both his flanks I managed to break his army. It was a pretty close win for me really. By the end of the battle my center was pretty beat up and given more time would have certainly collapsed. Victory 19-6.

Game 3: Vs. Some type of Early Crusader Armenian army very similar to my first opponent.
This army was commanded by Steve Phallen. Yet one more great guy to play against. I wish all gamers were as nice as the guys I played with in this tournament and would enjoy playing with any of these guys again. His army had a good amount of LF and MF missiles and a unit of LH lancers as well as knights and some more big units of defensive spear.
This game was a real chess match. I won initiative again, picked woodlands again but this time terrain didn't work out so great. Steve was able to dice off my coast choice, dice off a woods, and move my last choice to where it wouldn't help me much. I did end up with a woods on my left flank but it didn't extend very far into the board. This time I placed all of my scutarii and LF inside this big woods on my left flank. The legions I deployed pretty much my standard way with big units in the center and small units on the flanks and the cav in rear support. The terrain was pretty scary for me because his army was huge and I was pretty worried about my flanks. Plus he had a flank march coming on. I began a cautious advance with my legions and my LF and MF stayed in the woods. He had almost all his skirmishers on my left flank, his unit of knights in the middle along with spears, and the right was a long line of spears with nothing to support them. I thought this was a bit strange so I figured this was probably where the flank march would come. His army held back quite a bit but his spear on my right was moving up pretty quick likely trying to capture the gentle hill near the center of the board. I thought I should go ahead and try engage his spear before a flank march showed up so I started to move my legions forward. I think it was the second turn however he diced to get is flank march to show up and of course it was a scary unit of knights with TC already starting behind my line. He showed up on the right side table edge but luckily my army was pretty far away from the right side table edge and gave me some time to maneuver. On my left he brought out his skirmishers. I brought out my Scutarii to intercept and chase away the LF. He brought out his LH lancers and ran them along the left side table edge probably hoping to get a rear charge on my scutarii but my LF bow actually did a pretty good job of harassing the LH, especially since the woods were near by to flee into when he charged me. He also didn't bother to go after my camp because it was fortified and so would have been pretty difficult to sack with LH. On the right side I quickly moved one of my reserve cav units to intercept the knights which were setting up for a flank charge on my legions and made a 90 degree turn with my right-side-4-stand unit of legionaries. The rest of my legions moved far enough ahead to keep my recently turned unit of legionaries from getting flank charged by the now close spear. The unit of legionaries then expanded out in a line facing the approaching knights. It was close but I was able to get my cav and legion units turned to face the knights just in time. From this point on we pretty much just stared at each other in a stalemate. I didn't want to charge his knights and defensive spear because I would be pretty disadvantaged as well as the fact that he had my line almost bent back like a bow trying to avoid attacks on my flanks. If I had charged out at him it would have left holes in my line. Obviously he didn't want to charge me because while his knights might do OK his def. spear would not have. Really the only fighting action involved him taking lots of shots at my scutarii while I chased him, pretty much to no effect, and my LF shooting his LH down to fragmented. After this we just went ahead and called the game because neither of us were going to move and we didn't really have all that much time left. I can't stress enough just how important the IC was, especially in this game. His huge command radius pretty much made my army immune to bow fire and made it possible for my troops to make complex moves when I needed them the most. He also kept my legions from charging without orders and breaking up my line in the process. Though there was no impact/melee fighting but I still had fun playing a game of maneuver and counter maneuver. I definitely learned the movement rules a lot better. Draw Game I think 11-9. Hey I won my first game and first tournament! I know, I know, it was only 4 guys but I'll take it! Not a bad way to start.

Summation: I had a lot of fun and played with top notch people. I really like the rules. I've never played ancients of any kind before so I have no other rule set to compare it to but I'm definitely impressed. There is a lot of depth to these rules. I was amazed at just how much getting initiative and getting to choose terrain could shape a battle in your favor. After my experience in these games I will simply never play without an IC. I was the only one in the tournament who used one but I love them. I thought the point cost was high at first but for me he is a must. I found Scuarii to be far more effective than I had thought they would be. It helped none of the armies I fought really had any MF that could match up with them. The legions performed pretty much as I had anticipated but found SSw was far more useful than I had expected. At first I did't think there would be many situations that would come up where it would make a difference but during the the game against Free Company it came in handy several times. HYW era knights scare me and I don't like the idea of fighting them again. I have nothing to counter them other than "I hope it takes you a long time to kill me." Finally, the LRR army is a very potent army that requires a lot of careful maneuvering and planning to win with because pretty much any army you fight is going to vastly outnumber you. I found that most of my strategy was "How do I not get flanked?" Hope you enjoyed reading my long winded ramblings.

Quintus
Administrative Corporal - SdKfz 232 8Rad
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Post by Quintus » Sun Sep 14, 2008 9:54 am

Hey I won my first game and first tournament! I know, I know, it was only 4 guys but I'll take it! Not a bad way to start.
Well done sir! :D

ars_belli
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Post by ars_belli » Mon Sep 15, 2008 12:57 pm

Congratulations, and thanks for the great report! :)

Cheers,
Scott

Quintus
Administrative Corporal - SdKfz 232 8Rad
Administrative Corporal - SdKfz 232 8Rad
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Location: Welsh Marches

Post by Quintus » Mon Sep 15, 2008 1:24 pm

How did the differently-sized legionary BGs compare?

flameberge
Staff Sergeant - StuG IIIF
Staff Sergeant - StuG IIIF
Posts: 264
Joined: Thu Mar 27, 2008 5:31 am

Post by flameberge » Mon Sep 15, 2008 5:25 pm

Quintus wrote:How did the differently-sized legionary BGs compare?
Well I wondered how the different sized BGs would work and that is why I tried the different sizes. The 4 stand BGs on the flanks worked beautifully. They allowed me to quickly react to attempted flanks. The large battlegroups in the center also worked great. During my 2nd game the 8 stand BG was able to take a tremendous beating from his knights before finally breaking which gave me time to win on the flanks. If I was going to do it over again I would do the BG sizes the same way.

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