Monday 11 June 2012

Wintercon 2012 Game 3

Sorry - no pics! I was very tired, somewhat vague and completely forgot. I had drawn Lawrence Greaves our British visitor, who was running Arabo Aramean. Largely Bow with some supporting cataphracts, some fast Light Horse and a few inferior Blade. Against EIR with all it's Blade, Arabo-Aramean really needs to use a lot of terrain, and so it was. On his left an enormous Dune area, a small gap then a large patch of scrubby going, another small gap to a scrubby hill on his left, forming an arc.

I had formed with my Green command, Auxilia and Blade on my left, Red command (Blade and Artillery) across the centre & centre right with the two boltshooters, and supporting them the more mobile Blue command of Cavalry and Auxilia behind.

Lawrence started with four dice, which worried me as I couldn't work out which side a flank march was more likely to come on, and so I dithered about where to commit the Blue Command, in the end I split it.

Across the centre, Lawrence had strung out two deep bow supported by some elements of blade, and with cataphracts and a small force of LH behind.

Looking at it, I felt fairly confident. I thought my Blade and Auxilia (rated 'Superior') would chew the bow in short order, and I could be confident of picking off overlaps and so on with the Artillery.

As it happened, I advanced on the Bow with the Green and Red Legions, (the first shot against a Blade was a 6-1 in Lawrence's favour, and duly removed that element..ouch!)

This advance was supported by the Blue Auxilia, and easily disposed of a couple of ordinary Auxilia to clear the path to the Bow. Seeing the artillery meant he would be exposed, Lawrence formed column and started to march one large bow wing away from the red artillery, and managed to get a Light Horse archer into the front of the artillery, which he duly disposed of.

Lawrence then disclosed an ambush of 4 horse archers on my extreme left and used them to set up attacks on the Green Auxilia who were holding down my flank. He had very bad luck and failed to make any real impact (the dice gods failed him with my Auxilia managing to roll up and survive a couple of rear attacks, while my Blue Cavalry marched half the width of the battlefield and managed to engage them.

In the meantime, I was finding the Bows in the centre a much tougher proposition than I had expected, and casualties were only running about 3-2 in my favour..  a string of 6-1, and 5-1 results against overlapped Blades were steadily dribbling away my strength and gaps were starting to appear. I had thought my Auxilia would charge through them easily with their combat bonus if winning.. only to find that the combat bonus doesn't really matter if you don't win...!

Nevertheless, I was making headway, and Lawrence, having opened up a gap - threw a cataphract general into the fray. Good pips in my next bound let me double overlap him, a 4-2 dice split in my favour - and one dead cataphract general.

There was much tooing and froing, and I had a last bound in which I needed a kill in one of three combats to break a command (I think) - but missed them all.

Overall, given the matchup, I think Lawrence played extremely well, and but for some bad luck with his Light Horse, would have had a very good chance to roll up my left wing.  On the other hand, I had some pretty poor dice in the central combats, when I would have thought that the large numbers of combats at 3-1 and 4-1 or 4-2 would have paid off for me.

Totting up the numbers, a pretty satisfying and intense 14-11 in my favour. At the end - the game was anyone's - I had one command very close to disheartened, and he was starting to find gaps for his mounted to exploit, whereas I was very close to breaking two commands (either would have tipped the other over.) On balance I think I would have eventually won but with at least one large broken command (Green), and another disheartened. So a 16-9 if we had played on...  Lawrence's opinon may of course differ!

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