Saturday, February 25, 2012

Romans and Numidians - Cold War Playtest

Rules: Hail Caesar
Figures:Magister Militum
Scale 10mm

We got together to play test a game for one of our members who is running a game at Cold Wars. The Romans are attacking a Numidian force holding a village at a crucial point by a river. The Romans must seize the village or exit off of the game board.

All Numidian leaders have a Command Rating of 8. All Roman leaders have a Command Rating of 8 except the leader of the right flank who has a Command Rating of 9.

The players
The Players are Chris, Jim, Kyle, Eric and me with Jack (back to the camera) hosting. We kicked off about 7:45 pm with the usual supply of beer and snacks.

The figures are 10mm and have an amazing amount of detail. Jack did a great job of painting them up. The infantry is based on 60mm frontages. We did not convert the scales from 28mm to 10mm for movement or combat purposes.
Turn 1
Roman and Numidian at turn 1
The Romans win the initiative and move out from their starting positions. Most of the troops activate as the command rolls succeed for each division. The Roman light cavalry wins 3 impetus and moves out 36 inches which gets them into position for an attack early in the game. The Roman center advances and faces Numidian elephants and light infantry but they are too far to attack. The Numidian cavalry on the Roman right moves up to fposition themselves for a flanking maneuver on the next turn. The Roman right flank has a unit of Spanish light  and medium cavalry on the extreme flank with 4 infantry units in the center right position.

Turn 2

The Roman left makes progress and disorders the Numidian light cavalry in the first attack of the game. The Numidians are disordered and retreat one full move while the Romans do not pursue. The Numidians had 3 other light cavalry units which outnumbered the Roman cavalry.  In the Roman center the elephants and skirmish troops move up slowly and are too far to engage the slow moving legions.due to low impetus.  Both sides are still too far to use missile weapons.  On the Roman right flank the Spanish cavalry is supported by infantry and another cavalry unit in a cautious advance. The Spaniards aer keeping close to the Roman troops. The Numidian light cavalry gets 3 impetus moves and aggressively towards the Spanish cavalry. The intent was to move past the Spnaish light cavalry but because they are formed up the Numidians had to stop and face them. If the Spanish cavalry were in open order then they would not have been able to stop the sweeping move around their flank. Basically "Units in other formations ca ignore enemies in open order when it comes to the proximity rule" (page 34). I am glad I was formed up and that is an important rule to remember when putting light troops on the extreme flank; but there are now 4 Numidian cavalry units threatening my flank. 

Turn 3
Roman left and center
 The Roman light cavalry moves up for a missile attack on the Numidians at the left flank. The Numidian cavalry is peppered with missiles from the Roman light cavalry, but there were no hits in the attack. The Numidians charged in their turn and the first melee of the game begins. Neither side had supports and the result favors the Romans as the Numidians are disordered after receiving some casualties. The Roman light cavalry does not pursue as there are more Numidians than Romans; there was a fear of rolling poorly on the command roll and stranding the Romans far in front of any support. The Roman center moves up and countered by the movement of Numidian Elephants and light infantry. The Numidian medium infantry is held in the rear near the village and not committed in hopes of softening the legions with light troops and elephants. On the Roman right flank the Spanish cavalry moves up with the support of Roman infantry. The Numidians attack on an initiative move bt fail to get support from a result on a poor command roll. The Romans get an extra 4 dice from the supporting units and that made all the difference. The Numidians take 5 hits and roll very badly in the break test. The Numidians flee the field and the Numidian players rethink the flanking strategy. The rest of the light cavalry pulls back and reforms a defensive line.

Roman right flank turn 3

Roman Center turn 3

 Turn 4
Positions at the start of turn 4

Center and left on turn 4

On the Roman left the light cavalry charges and the Numidians counter charged. The Numidians lose 2 light cavalry units and a third shaken and the Romans take some casualties but emerge victorious. The Numidian right flank is now broken due to the losses. In the Roman center the infantry moves up to engage the Numidian elephants and supporting skirmish troops. The Numidians lose 2 elephants out of 4 and the light troops hold their ground against the Roman legion assault and other units are locked in melee from a result of a draw. The Numidian infantry in reserve commits a light infantry unit to fill the gap in the center while the rest holds in place. A unit of Numidian medium cavalry in the center is also
Roman cavalry counter charges
committed to deal with the Roman right flank. The Numidians attack with renewed vigor on the Roman right flank. They hit the Spanish cavalry who separated from the infantry due to the rough ground ahead of them. The Spanish medium cavalry is destroyed after they countercharge and lose their support from a light cavalry unit. Basically I was force to chose to either counter charge which will lose any supportfrom the light cavalry and gain the bonus from the counter charge, or stay in place and lose the bonus but keep my support. The Roman right flank now has Numidian cavalry on it. This is a real pickle and gives me pause to continue moving the infantry forward.

Turn 5
Roman left is open
On the Roman left the light cavalry is free to advance with out worry as the Numidians are broken. A steady advance will put them within striking distance of the village in another turn or two but some of the legion is disordered. The Roman commanders will need to spens a turn reorganizing and wait for the disorder markers to be removed. In the Roman center the Romans push up steadily as the Numidians commit more light troops to support the remaining elephants locked in combat. The Romans prevail and now open the center. Only the Numidian infantry reserve stands in the way of securing the village. The infantry on the roman right advances past the melee with the last elephants. The Numidian cavalry remains a concern as the remaining Spanish cavalry unit falls back. The
Roman right flank is threatened
Numidians on the flank threaten the Romans and set up for a flank attack. The Romans will either need to face the cavalry or try to advance as fast as possible toward the village. At this point I am content with leaving the village attack to the legions in the center and left side of the field so I can anchor the right flank.

Wrap up

Roman center on turn 5
At this point we called the game. We played for 3 hours and got in 5 turns. We paused several times for references to the rules as we do not play them very often. We liked the game, it is balanced and forces you to use all of your troop types together as a team. We also liked the visual display of the game. With 10mm you get the sense of seeing massed units of men, horses, and elephants move about the field. It looks like you are seeing a battle from the air. I have been wanting to collect 10mm figures for a Seven Years War game and now I am inspired to do it after playing this game. Well done Jack.



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