Thursday, 7 January 2016

Sword and Spear ... Alexander defends Greece

Last night saw the first outing of my nw S&S army ... the Macedonians. I have recently had a burst of activity painting them ... thanks to rainy holidays .... and have the core of the force complete. The miniatures are Xyston and War and Empire by Forged in Battle. I especially like the forged in battle minis and, despite their much vaulted reputation, i have found the xyston minis not as good. Yes, the sculpting is nice but their is a great variance in size between figure packs, too much flash and the metal is somtimes brittle causing breaks.
 But ... back to my macedonians .... i am very happy with the product ... i still have to do the bases but i have varnished them so they can stand up to handling and thus gaming. I have many more unit to swell the army and allow it to become a diadochi and even a mithridatic army (can't wait to do the scythed chariots!)
 The game last night occurred as my good friend Rob and I renewed our Thursday games for 2016. He used an early imperial roman list. There was plenty of terrain but it all seemed o congregate around my base edge. I deployed clear of it as i had few light troops - playing only 400 pts in Sword and Spear leads to some harsh decisions. Given the preponderance of hills on my side we both reasoned Alexander must be defending Greece from roman aggression.

Rob anchored his line of legionaries between rough going (could be difficult i forget.) Those bloody little archers in the rough would provide my cavalry flanking force with ongoing issues. 

His other flank was held by auxilia spear with his cavalry waiting to see which side the Macedonians would push on. This flank (his right) i would spend most of the evening trying to get around (which i eventully did causing the game to be called early - only I wanted to see the effect of impact cavalry charging the cohorts in the rear while they faced pike blocks frontally.)

The above shows the Macedonian deployement. Only missing is the left flanks push by two Companion cavalry units under the command of Ptolemy (who fought like a lion when charged by Roman cavalry holding them up long enough for the other Companion unit to smash into their flank driving them from the field.)

Unfortunately i have no photography of the middle of the battle. As i have already suggested it was a game of cat and mouse on both flanks as both sides jockeyed for position. This opened a gap inthe Roman line a cohort from the centre was sent to reinforce the flanks. This allowed the Greek hoplites and one regiment of the phalanx to engage a single cohort .... needless to say at considerable disadvantage to the Roman. This situation was exacerbated by the evaporation of an elite cohort when it charged a hoplite unit and rolled 4 1's thus disappearing from the table in a single turn. With two central units out of the main line Alexander ordered the line forward. 

After dispatching the Roman cavalry on this flank the Macedonians evaded the ploding heavy foot ....the baggage would be theirs! Then to smash the Roman centre.

The Romans did not committ enough cohorts to the centre allowing 2 to 1 match ups.

So in their first outing the Macedonains buck the fresh painted hoodoo to win! In short Rob rolled poorly in two key combats which didn't helphis cause but his command dice were excellent despite this. We'll take the maiden victory however they come. Once again this shows the importance of flanks in S&S with both of us remarking at the end of the game how often battles were decided here. It was also a good example of sticking to your plan as the Macdonian cavalry eventually turned the flank and drew away vital cohorts from the fight in the centre probably deciding the game. Offerings will follow to Tyche as will  Macedonian invasion of Italy next Thursday night. 

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