Tony has produced the stats for a number of different ancient armies for use with the Hordes and Heroes game system. Tuesdays’ club game pitted a Roman army against the Gauls using some of Tony’s extensive 6mm miniature collection.
The terrain layout was reasonably favourable to the Gauls, with three small areas of woodland which could hamper the advance of the Roman legion, and gently slopes leading to raised areas on both sides of the table which could be potentially advantageous to either side. The Gauls had the advantage of numbers but were mostly all ‘C’ class whereas the Romans were mostly ‘B’ class legionaries.
Chris, Steve and myself (the Gauls), deployed first, and we centralised our units on our table edge to await the Roman deployment. Tony and Dave (the Romans), deployed the Roman army with their cavalry on their left and the majority of the Roman legionaries on their right of centre, with lighter infantry between.
We Gallic commanders put our heads together and came up with a sort of plan; advance quickly and take control of the three areas of woodland, which would hopefully give our units a better chance against the Roman heavy infantry which could not voluntarily enter woodland hexes. Our quick moving 6 stand units of Gallic warriors soon gained ground on the Romans and we moved our 2 units of cavalry opposite their Roman counterparts.
The Roman Legionaries were soon engaged with Steve’s Gaul units on our left. The Roman missile troops disrupted some of the Gallic warriors before their heavy infantry engaged them. As a result many Gauls were soon relegated to the casualty tray and our right wing started to fall back towards our centre. On the other wing, Tony charged 2 units of cavalry into my Gallic cavalry. Thankfully, the mounted Gauls fought very well, held their ground and received support from Gallic warriors in our next tactical move.
Chris and Steve weathered the legionary onslaught on our right and centre, and after a very punishing start managed to isolate and destroy a couple of units of Roman infantry and one of their precious generals. Steve used the speed of the Gallic warriors to evade the advance of Dave’s heavy Roman infantry and pulled back towards the centre. Meanwhile, on the other wing I was able to follow up the defeat of the Roman cavalry and advance the Gallic cavalry to trap another Roman general and his unit in the elevated area of woodland.
The loss of 2 Roman generals was balanced by the much larger Gallic losses and at this point the game could have gone either way. Our missile troops became a real irritation to the Romans and they advanced two units of legionaries out of their line to deal with them. These were hit in the flank by Gallic cavalry and with the assistance of 2 generals were destroyed. This prompted the Gallic advance against the now retiring Roman line, which then adopted a strong defensive line along an extended slope.
This gave the Gauls the opportunity, and time, to organise our remaining units ready for full assault with Gallic warriors against the Roman line lead by 2 generals. Our gallic warriors did us proud! They fought really well - breaking the Roman line and effectively sealing the fate of the Roman army. Steve’s Gauls were also ready to outflank the remainder of the Roman left wing and so the Roman commanders excepted defeat.
This was a very close and fascinating game which could have been won by either side at different stages. After initial Roman success and heavy Gallic losses, the defeat of the Roman cavalry heralded a gradual fight back. The loss of 2 Roman generals enabled the Gauls to commit more of their generals into later attacks and combats which eventually forced the Romans backwards resulting in their eventual defeat.