Friday, 3 April 2015

Battle of Ilerda-Roman Civil War 49BC

Last night's gane can be described in 4 words-SPEC-TAC-U-LAR !!!
Paul was Afranius,facing me,Caesar.I had sent Paul a copy of the terrain and a list of his troops,so he could decide where to put them within the confines of the set-up area on the map,we both then wrote out our battle plans,and order sheets,and this fantastic game began.

The top photo is the map I sent Paul,the Spanish troops over the river were in column and consisted of 3 inf. 1 cav and 1 skirmish unit.
The whole objective of the game was the central hill-anyone commanding the hill controlled the river crossing and the town of Ilerda,on the right of the picture-all was set for a great game.

Because Paul and I have played together for over 100 years or so(!!) we can almost second-guess each other,and our battle plans were so similar last night,you'd think we had written each others!!-we both went for a "looping" outflanking move towards the town,whilst moving troops onto the hill,with the main body of cohorts approaching steadily in the centre.
This shot shows my first line advancing slowly,whilst my second line is in column,heading towards the central hill-my warbands have taken up a position on the hill,ready to protect their flank.At this stage Paul craftily "feinted" towards the hill with some Spanish infantry,prompting me to release my famous and fatal Gallic charge down the hill and into the Valley of Death!!!

This is the far flank towards the town-with cavalry shaping up for a clash-Paul's Spanish column is moving to his right,past the bridge,and my Gauls are just about to charge!!

I have beaten,soundly, Paul's Spanish cavalry,and my Gauls have caught the back end of his column,however the "sneaky" man has turned his cavalry against my rear and it looks like I will loose my Gallic warbands-or will I????????
In the background the Cohorts are still enjoying the walk in the park and the sunshine,neither side wishing to charge.I was perplexed at this stage because Paul had left 3 cohorts in his camp-why? I kept asking myself,has he got a cunning plan,which I hadn't thought about???

This is the action on the town flank,we are both lining our troops up ready for the inevitable clash-my cavalry are chasing Paul's away-hurrah!!(has anyone noticed the prolific use of the Kallistra mountains and the Roman Fort in the recent games-surely not!!)

Look at those lines!! in the centre background my Gauls are doing very well against the odds!! and actually extricated themselves from a potentially fatal position-another hurrah!!
I have managed to line the hill with some cohorts,and my left flank looks pretty secure-but I am playing Paul!! and nothing is ever what it seems-woe is me! Paul charged my cohorts with his Spanish infantry,and dealt me a withering blow by beating me in every melee-I need more troops!!!

I am being pushed back in this photo,and Paul is massing his Spanish,backed up with a couple of cohorts,in front of the hill-I am sending reinforcements as quickly as possible from my third line,plus the main body of troops are about to get stuck in!!-grand stuff!!

This shows the main cohorts about to charge-Paul is moving a cohort out of his camp via the back gate-he didn't have a plan that I hadn't thought about-he was just worried in case I was going to capture the camp-phew!!!

CRASH!!-Paul had made his cohorts strong,to give him the edge in the melee,however,as luck would have it,I managed to beat his far left cohort,forcing it to retire,which allowed my waiting cavalry to threaten his whole line-this was very significant,and possibly the game winning move,if only I can hold the hill,against a very determined attack by a combination of cohorts and Spanish troops.

I don't know how,but I am just doing enough to keep Paul at bay on the central hill-alot of my troops are still pretty fresh,and most of his are "knackered" to say the least-Paul conceded that he couldn't continue with the assault on the hill and very generously declared me the winner-but did I deserve it?-Doubtful,a draw should have been the fair result,I think!

One final photo,showing the situation outside Paul's camp,with my cavalry poised to attack his line from the flank.
By any standards this was a great game-I can't say any more!!

Roll on Sunday,a 7YW game,and Brian has said he will come along and play-great,good to see him getting back into the swing of things.
My old mate Charlie Wesencraft "popped" in  for a coffee yesterday,and to confirm the venue and game his group has invited us to on the 25th-coincidentally it is to be a Roman Civil War game,with about 12 people playing-should be good.We also discussed the way the "modern" game is being played with a plethora of card-led games,turning wargamers into a flock of sheep,following what they perceive to be "realistic" rules that don't allow you to use your tactical ability and historical knowledge-he is working on a new set of Napoleonic rules aimed at commanding a Corps-very simple,but totally realistic-I look forward to seeing them soon.

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