Monday, May 28, 2018

On the Painting Desk- Men of Bronze

I have sent all of the final documents and photographs to Osprey Games for the publishing of Men of Bronze to move forward.  I will keep you folks in the loop as it progresses.  In the meantime, I thought I would share a few photos of the three armies I am building for future battle reports and demos of the game.

All models are from the Victrix range for Greeks or Macedonians.  They are assembled and painted by my friend Nick.  They are from my personal collection and (poorly) photographed by me. 

The first army is a classic Spartan army.  When complete it will have:

2 Elite Hoplite Units to act as the Spartiates
1 Drilled Hoplite Unit to act as Perikoi
2 Psiloi as armed Helots

Spartiates and Psiloi
The second army is from the city-state of Corinth, the second largest naval power in Greece.  After Athens lost the Peloponnesian War to Sparta the Spartans established a hegemony across Greece.  After some time, the Spartan yoke began to chafe and an alliance of Corinth, Argos, Athens, and Thebes rose up and challenged Sparta with Persian backing.  This is known as the Corinthian War. 

The Corinthian Army is anothe rclassic city-state army.  When complete it will have:

2 Drilled Hoplites from Corinth
1 Militia Hoplites from local allies
1 Archer unit
1 Peltast mercenary unit recruited in Thrace
1 Psiloi unit of local light infantry

Corinthian Hoplites in Phalanx

Greece would eventually fall to squabbling between City-states after Thebes replaced Sparta as the dominant City-state in Greece.  However, to the North in Macedon a new power was rising.  King Phillip the Second of Macedon was reforming and building an army of his own.  He made various reforms to the formations and style of his forces bent on capturing Greece and beyond.  However, his southern neighbors paid him little heed until it was too late. 
The Macedonian Army represents Phillip's forces as they move towards the Battle of Chaeronea.  It will have the following:

2 Macedonina Phalanx units
1 Drilled Hoplites from Thessaly
1 Cavalry squadron of Macedonians
1 Unit of Psiloi light troops

Macedonian Phalanx

So far, completed I have the following:

1 Spartan Hoplite unit
1 Corinthian Hoplites
1 Macedonian Phalanx 
1 Peltast unit
1 Psiloi unit
1 Archer unit

Archers and Psiloi in Loose Formation
There is still plenty of painting to do, but with my photos done and submitted for now, I can relax abit.  I won't need these for battle reports and Demos until Mid to Late 2019 now.  Osprey has long lead and production times since they are part of a much larger publishing company.  However, these three armies will stand ready to take the field before then.  

These three armies, cost me ~$250 from Victrix.  They will form the basis of my Men of Bronze armies.  However, I will also be using them in Broken Legions as the Argonaut Faction and Of Gods and Mortals as the basis of a Greek force.  I will only need to add a God and a Hero or two.  Plus, they can double up for a variety of other ancient games.  Who knows, maybe I can even get a game of Warhammer Ancient Battles or Hail Caesar in with these guys?   

No matter what, I am sure you will see more of these guys on this blog in the future.  

Spartans hold the Gates against the Corinthians


Monday, May 21, 2018

Wargaming on a Budget- Toys

For a long time, my hobby was limited by my budget.  This was actually a blessing for me as it forced me to decide if I was really into wargaming, or just kind of into it.  I discovered I was really into it.  Thankfully, this led me to do much more rules writing and creation.  However, when you have a limited budget wargaming can be challenging since a big appeal to it is the tactile and physical nature of it. To get that feel you need models! 

I have talked about some of my work arounds to this problem in the past.  The first was Paper Templates.  The second was Making Your Own Models.  Those are great ways to do it, but there is another fun path to follow.  That is using inexpensive toys on the battlefield.

As a designer, I have been fascinated by the idea of “Toys” as the main instrument of driving wargames.  I especially see this as valuable for beginner gamers.  This idea first started after playing Skylanders: Spyro Adventures as a video game.  I wanted to use those figurines for somethings more, and have indeed used them in Dragon Rampant, Super Systems 4th Edition, and started some initial work on my own Skylanders themed tabletop game.  Sadly, it was never finished, but some of the ideas migrated to my other “toy” based games such as Total CARnage and Green ArmyMen: Plastic Men, Steel Resolve.

To successfully use toys in your wargames, you need to think of the following:
1.       What do you need for your game
2.       Where do you source the toys
3.       Making them ready for the tabletop

Combat! Starring Vic Morrow

What Do You Need for Your Game
This is the easiest step.  You need to understand what you need to play your game.  That way, when you go out to get the toys, you know what you are looking for.  I have generally used toys in two major ways: models or terrain. 

1.       Models- This is using the toys to actually stand-in or work as the replacement for the models. 

2.       Terrain- The toys become obstacles to move and maneuver around. 

Which do you need?  Terrain can take all sorts of forms and shapes based on what you need.  I have used toys for fences, buildings, ruins, etc.  For models, I have used them for Star Wars gaming, Sci-Fi gaming, Car Combat, Super Heroes, World War II, and even beasts in Gladiator games. 

Total CARnage

Where do you Source the Toys
There are all sorts of places to source good wargaming toys from.  Of course, the Internet is the easiest answer but only if you know exactly what you want and need.  Most of my wargaming toys come from the dollar store, goodwill, or garage sales.  On rare occasions I will get them from actual chain stores when I am wandering through.  Whenever I go, I find myself strolling the toy aisles and glancing at what is available. 
Tomorrow's War

Making Them Ready for the Tabletop
This can be the easiest or hardest part, depending on what you have managed to find and what the purpose is.  In many cases, the models are ready for the table immediately.  In others you need to at least hit them with a wash, others require a quick re-paint, and in the most extreme case you will have to strip them and start from scratch.  Terrain pieces tend to need the most work, as you want to hide its original purpose as a toy.

Most toys are made of soft plastic or die-cast.  These can be striped with the conventional methods, but soft plastic can melt from heavy duty striping agents.  In some cases, it might just be better to paint over existing colors. 

Aeronautica Imperialis

Toys are a great resource for finding budget friendly alternatives for terrain and models.  They can be acquired cheaply and sourced relatively easily.  Even a budget conscious/strapped gamer can make use of them with minimal fuss. 

Now, you have a reason to go garage saling with your Mom.    

Rampant Stars

Monday, May 14, 2018

Battle Report: Men of Bronze- Battle of Ephesus 498 BCE- Ionian Revolt

Herodotus tells us a great deal about the Ionian Revolt.  Ionia was Greek colonies along the coast and edges of Turkey that had been captured and absorbed into the Persian Empire around 540 B.C.E.  In 499 B.C.E the Tyrant of Miletus, Aristagoras; failed to capture the island of Naxos.  This left him in a bad political position with his Persian overlords.  In a desperate bid, he decided to stir revolt amongst his people against the Persians.  This led many other local cities to cast off their Persian based Tyrants and replace them with Democracies. 

The Ionian Revolt had initial success in 498 B.C.E. when the allied Greek forces (including Athens, Eretria, and Ionians) managed to successfully attack Sardis.  Sardis was the seat of a Persian Satrap and one of the personal enemies of Aristagoras.  The city was burned and the sanctuary of a local deity was destroyed. 

Herodotus says thus:
So Sardis had been burned, and in the fire a sanctuary of the local goddess Kybele had also gone up in flames (…). [W]hen the Persians who dwelled in the districts west of the Halys River heard about these events, they gathered together and rushed to the aid of the Lydians. Discovering that the Ionians were not in Sardis any longer, they followed their tracks and caught up with them at Ephesus. The Ionians deployed their troops to oppose them, but in the battle that followed they suffered a severe defeat. Many of them were slaughtered by the Persians (…) Those who escaped from the battle dispersed as each one fled to his own city.   

The battle here is to represent the Battle of Ephesus after the burning of Sardis.  Many speculate that due to the speed of the Persian pursuit, that the army must have been mostly cavalry based and making use of the Royal Road.  Why the Ionians and their allies were so slow on the march is unclear.  Whatever the reason, the Persian forces caught up.  The Greeks were not ambushed, as they had plenty of time to deploy for battle.  The following battle will try to recreate this battle….

The Forces
I will be choosing troops from the Lists of Battle for the Persians and Other Greek City-States List.  There are no surviving troop numbers or description of the armies.  We can only extrapolate to build these lists.      

Ionian Greeks- General Eualcides
1 Drilled Hoplite
2 Militia Hoplite
1 Peltast
1 Psiloi

Persians- Satrap Artaphernes
2 Cavalry
1 Drilled Infantry
2 Archers

Both sides have 32 points. 

The river Cayster is on the Greek Left/Persian right.  The rest of the board is barren, arid terrain and will be good for maneuver.  A few rocky outcroppings dot the plain to break it up. This battle will be on a 6x4 board with both forces deployed on the long table edges. 

This is a Decisive Battle scenario and the Greeks will suffer from the Complication Hungry and Thirsty. 

The Greeks follow standard practices and place their best troops on the right and their Militia in the center.  The Peltasts are guarding the left flank while the Psiloi are to their flank.  The Persians also follow a traditional formation with the Drilled infantry in the center flanked by archers, and then cavalry on both sides.


The Greeks then check for Hunger and Thirst.  The Psiloi and Militia Hoplites on the left flank are both suffering from Hunger and Thirst.  That means their Discipline Checks have a Target Number of 5+ during the battle.  We will have to see if this is decisive or not. 

Turn 1:
Both armies collect their Arête Points of 5 each and consider their bids for Initiative.  The Persians bid 4 as they do not think they will get close enough to do much else, while the Greeks are content to let the Persian plan unfold and bid 0. 

The Persian horseman rush forward, while the infantry begins to shake out behind them.  The Greeks do not try to interrupt and let the Persians complete their maneuvers in peace.  The Greeks simple redress their lines and move a bit away from the baseline, content to let the Persians come to them.  They are concerned about keeping their flanks secured from the swift Persian horse. 

Turn 2:
The Persians again bid 4 Arête Points, to the Greeks 0.  The Ionians appear to be in no rush to engage.  The Persian cavalry on the left flank begins to cross-over in front of the Persian battle line.  It looks clear that the Persian point of attack is going to be the Greek left flank, where the Peltasts and Psiloi are stationed.  This may leave the Drilled Hoplites by the river woefully out of position. 

The Greeks recognize the danger and begin to re-dress their own formation.  The Peltasts move forward while the Psiloi on the edge move behind them.  Hopefully, the Peltasts can hold a bit longer than the Psiloi.  Meanwhile, the right ward militia unit breaks into open formation and re-positions itself.  The Athenian/Eretrian contigent of drilled Hoplites tries to move up quickly. 

Turn 3:
This time, the Persians bid 3 this time to save some Arête Points to try and move and shoot?  The Greeks bid 0 again, and hold to try to interrupt as the Persians get closer. 

The right flank Persian cavalry looks like it has managed to make it to the Greek flank, but it maybe too far out to successfully coordinate with the rest of the Persian army.  Meanwhile, the others Persians follow, trying to set-up a firing line to support the Persian advance.  The Greeks do not interrupt at all.

The Open order militia Hoplites reform Phalanx right away.  The other Militia Hoplites break into Open Order to reposition themselves in the gap betweent he Peltasts and the phalanx.  The Drilled Hoplites march up to cover the flank.  The Peltasts and Psiloi contemplate moving out and attacking, but judge the distance to be too great. 

Turn 4:
The Persians again bid 3 Arête Points, the Greeks 0.  The Persians set-up their attack, and the Greeks hold their position and do not try to interrupt.  The distances are getting close, and launching a premature attack could be fatal. 

The Greeks take over and reform their Militia Phalanx.  The Greeks form a batteline, but do not commit to an attack.  Tension between the two forces is very high.  Misjudging the distance at this point would leave your units exposed to enemy counter-attack and isolation.  Everyone is ready for the next turn to unleash their attack. 

Turn 5:
This time the Greeks bid 4 Arête points to the Persian 3.  The Peltasts rush forward and throw their javelins with an Arête point only to find that they are short!  The Persian player smiles knowing that his archers will shoot the Peltasts to pieces.  Seeing his attack fail, the Greek general begins to move his batte line forward, and the Persians do not interrupt.

The Persian archers open fire on the Peltasts and reduce them 2 Courage, the Persian Cavalry rushes up and attacks with their Javelins as well, but reduces them only 1 more Courage.  The unit passes their Discipline checks.  Suddenly, the Persians are not as confident. 

Archers fire on one of the Militia Hoplites but fail to cause injury.  This time, it is the Greeks turn to smile as he is confident he can charge home against the weaker Persian units now. 

Turn 6:
The Greeks bid 3 Arete Points to get the initiative as he needs some points to charge, while the Persians bid 4!  The Greek player is surprised but such a high bid. 

This time, Persian archery finishes off the Peltast unit and they are turned around and routed.  The Greek player decides to interrupt and succeeds the dice roll.   The Hungry and Thirsty Militia unit declares a charge straight into the Persian Drilled infantry before their flank collapses completely.  A Persian Archer unit decides to support.  The attack is successful, and reduces the Persians 2 Courage. 

The second militia unit breaks into open formation and declares a charge at the other Persian Archers.  They just make it.  The Persians archers are routed in the initial charge! 

The Drilled Greek Hoplites also break into open order and re-position themselves to fend off the Persian cavalry from rear attacks on the melee in the center.  Lastly, the Greek Psiloi move up and throw javelins at the Persian cavalry.  This causes them to waver after losing 2 courage.

Stunned, the Persians take back control.  They respond by having the Cavalry charge into the Psiloi supported by the second unit.  The Psiloi can not evade as they do not have any Arête Points left but with the movement of the Cavalry it probably would not have mattered. The Cavalry sweep away the Greek unit. 

The drilled Persians in the center fight back, and reduce the Militia 1 Courage, but force them to waver.  Since they are tired and Hungry, they will be at a big disadvantage next turn.  However, the Persians are pushed back 3 base widths. 

The Routing units are removed from the board.  This forces a Greek Collapse test, which the Drilled Hoplites fail!  They flee the battle!  The Persians pass their tests.  I did not see that coming!

Turn 7:
The Greeks get 2 Arête Points, while the Persians get 4.  The Greeks bid 0 to Persians 1.  The Persian Cavalry declares a charge into the back of the melee between the Militia and the Drilled Infantry.  That reduces them 2 more hits. 

The remaining Greek unit could join the melee or try to charge the unengaged Persian Cavalry.  It is likely that the other Militia unit is all ready lost.  They decide the other Persian cavalry is too far away and instead reform Phalanx and charge into support the main melee.  If they win, it is game over!  However, the attack goes horribly wrong as the main Militia Hoplite unit they are supporting is waver and Hungry and thirsty!  They fail to carry the day with their attack!

It is obvious that the Greek end is near. 

Turn 8:
The Persians bid 3 to 0 and guaranteed going first.  The Greeks hold on for re-rolls.

The last Persian Cavalry piles in for a rear attack.  The Greeks are swept away by this final overwhelming bit of force and the Battle of Ephesus is lost to the Ionians, no thanks to their Athenian/Eretrian allies legging it. 

The Athenian and Eretrians returned to their fleet and sailed back home.  They were content to let the Ionians handle their business from now on.  The Persians had managed to be a tougher nut to crack than they had hoped.  The surviving Ionians spread out and ran back to their own cities.  Meanwhile, the Persians set about restoring their power and crushing the revolt of the Ionian Greeks.

Another historical result from the rules.  The outcome of the Battle of Ephesus here was very much like the actual battle.  The Greek forces had a hard time dealing with the cavalry and ultimately the Athenians fled back to their ships.  The Ionians got beaten and the Persians won.     
I have to admit, if the Drilled Hoplites would not have failed the Collapse test after losing the Peltasts and Psiloi, things could have been very different.  They probably would have been able to fend off the Persian cavalry and keep the Militia Hoplites from getting completely over run by rear attacks.  Now, it is not as clear if the Militia Hoplites could have held their own as the main unit was “Hungry and Thirsty” and wavering.  However, if the second Militia had waited for the first to break, and then charged…. who knows! 

I didn’t have it all my own way as the Persians.  Turn 6 I should have tried to interrupt before the Militia unit charged my archers in open order.  I guess I was just too stunned by it.  Then, I could have saved my Cavalry from getting pin cushioned by the Psiloi before getting charged.  Just shows how you always need to be thinking about when to use your Arête Points.

The Cavalry was fun to use, and I think I did it right to try to use their mobility to attack a weak part of the enemy force, and try to get around behind the enemy.  They are not very good on the attack, and their firepower is pretty weak too.  The only way to maximize their impact is against Psiloi and rear attacks.  They would crumple against anything else.  However, the big units just look scary and they are so fast.

Peltasts and other Javelin throwers are an interesting set of units.  They are soft and squishy and their range puts them in danger.  It is tempting to use their move and shoot ability to soften up foes, but most likely they will not kill them.  They are better to use as a finishing attack, support unit, or against other equally soft and squishy units.  So far, I have only seen them run too far ahead and get shot to pieces by archers.  I have a feeling they do better against other Greek armies. 

This was my first time using Cavalry and it was a good time.  I look forward to the next battle of the Ionian Revolt. 

Monday, May 7, 2018

Battle Report: Conquest! Rome in Italy- The Great Samnite War 326-304 BCE

The Roman forces faced a humiliating defeat at the Caudine Forks in 316 BC.  Despite this defeat, the Samnites were the ones to be unsettled.  The Romans were incensed to fight on to regain their honor.  However, the prospect of continuing the war took time and the “Caudine Pax” took hold.  Despite an official peace, the war still boiled around the edges. 

 In 315 BC the war started in earnest again.  He war raged on until 304 BCE.  During this time, the Roman army evolved from the Phalanx formation into the Manipular Army of the Triplex Acies.  There were any number of battles and skirmishes between the two sides and their allies.  Besides local Italian tribes and city-states, the Etruscans also became embroiled in the war between 312-308 BCE.  It was a Pan-Italian conflict.  The winner would be poised to control northern and central Italy.

The battle here is to represent one of the many forgotten or ill-documented battles between the Samnites and Romans during this timeframe.      

The Forces
I will be using some standard armies from the Triplex Acies and Samnite lists.  These exact lists are found in the Sample Armies section of the book.  This was a small scale action and we will be playing on the edges of Samnium.  The two armies met as the Romans were maneuvering to besiege a Samnite city, and the Samnites have gotten the drop on them.    

2 Hastati
1 Principe
1 Drilled Hoplite
1 Skirmisher

2 Drilled Infantry- PIla
2 Warband Infantry
2 Velites

Both sides have 38 points. 

This battle will be on a 6x4 board with each corner having the difficult terrain famous in Samnium.  It will be using the Attack at Dawn complication.  The set-up will be a Surprise Assault mission with the Samnites acting as the attackers.   

The Romans deployed in the center in marching column.  The vanguard were the skirmishers followed by the Hastati, then the Principes, and the Triarri in the rearguard.  They were all in loose formation for the march.  Suddenly, warning cries went up from the lead officers.  The Samnites had been sighted the dim, early morning light. 

The way had been blocked by experienced Samnite drilled infantry, supported by Velites in the difficult terrain.  On the right flank appeared the Samnite warband, Drilled, and the second Samnite warband.  On the opposite flank a unit of Samnite Velites appeared to threaten any stragglers.

The Samnites want to keep the Romans penned in, while the Romans wish to punch through and off the board.  Let’s see what happens.      

Turn 1:
Both sides are distributed their Honor Points.  The Romans have 5 to the Samnite 6.  The Samnites bid 1 for Initiative and the Romans 0.

A unit of Samnite Velites use an Honor Point to Skirmish and rush through the woods to try to flank the head of the Roman column.  The rest of the Samnite force closes in on the Romans, who seem content to let the Samnite forces go about their business without trying to interrupt.  The last Samnite velites rush forward eager to do a move and shoot, but they are out of range. 

With that, the Romans are free to activate and not have to worry about Samnites responses.  The skirmishers move forward cautiously and fan out into a skirmish screen to slow any quick Samnite attacks to the fore.  The Hastati peel off and move away from the main Samnite attack, while the Principes turn to face the Velites and form Legion.  The Triarri swing in behind the Roman forces and form into their Phalanx wall to hold off the approaching Samnite warriors while the rest move to escape. 

Turn 2:
Both sides pick-up their new Honor Points, and think about their plans.  The Samnites bid 2, while the Romans bid 3 for Initiative.  The Romans only have 2 left, and the Samnites 4. 

The Romans begin by throwing in an Honor Point to charge with the Principes into the Velites.  The Velites could Evade for an Honor Point, but the Samnites decide they are too close and that it would not help their situation.  Since the Principes are in Legion, the Velites only real hope it to not die instantly!  The hope pans out as they hold, but are wavering with 1 Courage point left. 

The Samnites decide to spend an Honor Point to try to interrupt the Romans.  However, the Romans win the roll off and continue activating.  The Hastati continue their flight from the board, while the Skirmish screen gives them cover.  The Triarri kneel down and plant their shields in the ground, daring the Samnites to come for them. 

The Samnite Velite futily try to fight the Principes, but it is pointless.  The main Samnite battle line closes in on the Triarri cautiously so they can laubch the charge instead of receive it.  The Samnite warriors at the head of the column close in, but can not keep up.  Finally, the last velite use an Honor Point to Skirmish to leave the woods, and then move and shoot to eliminate the Roman Skirmishers.  Instead, they are reduced 2 Courage and are wavering.


Turn 3:
Both sides get their Honor Points, 5 Roman and 6 Samnite.  The Samnites bid 4 to the Romans who bid 3.  The Samnites must speed bump the fleeing Roman troops so their heavier elements can catch up. 

They start by having their lead Samnite Warriors declare a charge into the wavering Skirmishers.  The Roman skirmishers are quickly routed and turned about. 

The Romans spend an Honor Point and try to interrupt.  The Romans win the roll-off and take control of the Initiative.   They use their last point to form Legion on one of the Hastati units.  Both units push towards the board edge and safety.  Next turn they will escape unless something happens. 

The Principes finish routing the Samnite Velites.  The way will be clear for them to escape.  Meanwhile the Triarri continue to hold the center. 

The Samnites are now back in control of the turn as all the Roman units have been activated.  Their flanking Velites will not longer have a soft Hastati target to speed bump as they managed to form Legion.  They can only slow them with melee.  The Samnites use their last Honor Point to charge the Hastati in the Flank.  They have 7 attack dice, and need 4 to cause a Courage loss.  If the dice are lucky they can do it.  However, the dice are not lucky.  However, they do tie them up in combat and will keep them on the board.  

In the End of the turn, the Roman Skirmishers and a unit of Samnite Velites are removed as routed.  Only the Samnites could see their Velites rout, but all units in LOS passed their Discipline Check.  

Turn 4:
This time the Romans get 4 Honor and the Samnites 5.  Both armies lost a unit.  The Samnites MUST catch the Romans!  The Romans bid all 4 Honor Points to escape, while the Samnites do not bid any since they need Honor Points to launch charges.

Romans activate first.  The Principes march to the board edge in their Legion formation.  The second Hastati unit makes it off the board edge.  The Samnites do not interrupt.  The Hasati engaged witht eh Velites attack them.  The Velites are reduced to 2 Courage and are waivering.  One more turn and they will be routed.  The Triarri stand firm. 

The Samnites declare charges across the board.  However, two of the units fail to connect and end up wavering.  However, Samnites warriors swarm the Triarri in the center.  However, some bad Samnite attack rolls leave them only reduced 1 Courage! 

The Samnite Velite fail to scratch the Hastati, and they are pushed back the maximum amount!  The Hastati and Velite combat is at the very board edge. 


Turn 5:
If the Principes or Hastati escape the board this turn, the game is over!  The Romans collect 3 Honor Points and the Samnites 5.  The Samnites bid 4 to make sure they get to control the initiative.  The Romans are wise to this plan, and choose to bid none in case they need the re-rolls or interrupts.

A Samnite Warband manages to catch up to the Principes in the rear.  However, because they were wavering they could not use the last Samnite Honor Point to charge.  They simply moved to contact and tied the Romans up. 

On the other side, if the Samnite warriors move in they will be supporting the all ready weakened Velites and risk routing with them.  However, without their help the Hastati will easily rout the Velites and escape.  They also move into contact and support the Velites with a rear attack, so +4 dice!  However, no Charge bonuses since they could not use the Honor Point as they too were wavering. 

The Velites attack the Hastati with the Samnite Drilled infantry in support!   They use the last Samnite Honor Point to re-roll an Attack dice.  They only score 3 hits, not enough to cause a Courage loss to a unit in Legion!  Man, the Pila rules or a charge would have been helpful there, but the Wavering made it a moot point!

In the Center, the Samnites battle with the Triarri.  There the Samnites reduce them another  Courage down to 3, but they pass a Discipline check.  The Romans take back over and start with a Triarri counter-attack!  The Romans have a bad roll, and contemplate using Honor Points as re-rolls, but decide to hold onto them until the important fights! 

The Hastati manage to break the Velites and cause them and their supporting Samnite Drilled Infantry to Rout!  That was the danger of having the Velites be supported by the Samnites! 

Finally, the Principes fight with the Samnite wraband that moved to attack them in the rear!  Here the Romans use 2 Honor Points to re-roll misses.  The Samnites lose 2 and are wavering. 

In the End phase, the Samnite Units that were routing were removed.  In addition, the Triarri are pushed back as are the Samnite Warband. 

Turn 6:
The Romans get 3 Honor Points, to the Samnite 3.  There is nothing the Samnites can do to stop the Romans from winning the battle.  Therefore, the Samnites bid 0, and the Romans bid 1. 

The Roman Hastati unit moves off the board!  That means 16 points have succeed in leaving the board and the Romans have won!  However, we decide to play out the last two battles for fun.

The Roman Principes dismantle the Samnite Warband they are fighting and cause them to rout! 

The Triarri counter-attack the Samnites and reduce the Drilled infantry 2 Courage, but lose another Courage point themselves.  They are again pushed back but stay in the fight. 

The Roman forces were able to skillfully withdraw from the Samnites trap.  They were able to maneuver deeper into Samnium, and the Samnites withdrew before them.  This gave the Romans the space they needed to construct a fortified camp in which to harass the Samnites in their own territory.  The strategy to slowly encircle and cut-off the Samnites from potential allies was working. 

I expected the Romans to turn and come at my lines.  I did not expect them to flee the opposite table edge!  My initial Samnite deployment was heavy on one flank, and the lone Velites on the opposite side were to take opportunistic rear/flank charges.  The Romans turning towards them and charging them instead my main force did not cross my mind.  I was really lucky to catch up and make a game of it at all! 

One of the key things I wanted to determine was if the Legion rules were too strong.  After this game, I am not sure.  Velites were unable to even scratch the Romans in Legion, and I am not sure this is bad.  My Legion busting rules like “Pila” never came into play due to lack of Honor Points, Wavering, or the wrong units being able to engage.  I was not able to “crack” a Principe or Hastati Legion, but I also wasn’t using the right tools for the job once it became a matter of catching up with them first. 

The Romans only “lost” their Skirmishers and took damage to a unit that uses Phalanx instead of the Legion rules.  The Samnites lost 2 Velites, 1 Drilled Infantry , and 1 Warband Unit.  On paper, it looks like a pretty lopsided Roman victory with the Legion rules being overpowered.  However, the reality is my opponent just out played me.  I was constantly on the horns of a dilemma with the Samnites while the Roman path was clear and straight forward.  So, in the final analysis I was outplayed in this scenario and it does not necessarily mean I need to re-work the Legion rules.   I will need to playtest further to know for sure. 

I tweaked a couple of Stat line here and there to fit the timeframe a bit better.  Those should be in the new Conquest! Rome in Italy rules now.  I am unsure how long they will be up on the blog, so it you are interested you might want to grab them now.  

If you have tried the rules and know more about this topic than me, I would love to hear your thoughts on the Messageboard Here.