Tuesday, April 01, 2008

FOG Romans vs Selecuids

800pt FOG game at UWS Sat 29/03/2008

Game vs Keith Branagh at UWS club (some 5+ years since I attended there !!)

My Romans comprised
1 FC
1 TC
1 TC Roman Ally
2 4 base Roman HCav
1 4 base Numidians
1 BG of Elephants
1 4 base Extraordinarii (Prot)
2 8 base Supr Legions
1 4 base Elite Triarii
3 4 base Velites
2 4 base Avg Legions (Allies)
1 2 base Supr Triarii (Aliies) a
nd compulsory Fort Camp giving 14 BGs

Keith used (I think I recall it all correctly)
1 FC
2 TC (might have had 3)
2 Elephant BGs
1 4 base Companions
1 4 base Cataphracts
4 8 base Pikes (3 Avg 1 Supr)
1 8 base MF Bow
1 8 Base LF Bow
1 6 base Thorakati
1 6 base Thracians with Hvy Wpn
1 BG of Scythed Chariots
giving him 12 BGs

Selecuids won Initative and we placed terrain. On my left was an OF and a small Plantation with a OF on base line on Keiths half was a SH on his left about mid table and couple of OF that had no bearing on events.
I deployed with Legions lining centre (Avg Allies on my left) with Velites to front.
My Elephants took left flank duty with Numidians further left.
My Cav shored up my right opposite the SH.
I placed the Extraordinarii in ambush in the plantation.
Keith deployed his Pikes enmasse opposite my Legions with his right having the nasty Companions & Cats and Elephants with LF support.
His right was anchored on the SH occupied by the Bowmen/Thorakati/Thracians. Both sides advanced all along the line with my Numidians evading from the Heavy Greek horse.

Usual inconclusive shooting from LF was prelude to the clash of Pike and Legions.
My elephants supporting Allied foot clashed with enemy Elephants and one Greek set of nellies were destroyed. However a 4 Base Legions BG was fragmented.
As this was occuring my Numidians bravely stood against charges by both heavy Greek Cav BGs with predictable result (ie auto-broken) this exposed the flank of my own Ele and the shaken (sorry fragmented Legion.
Too late I brought my Extraords from their leafy sojourn (they never made it to contact). A Unit of Velites was routed exposing the flank of my centre.
On my right I extended one Cav unit into Skirmish formation and the other went Disrupted from bow fire but I had a TC on hand to restore cphesion.
In the centre a mighty battle ensued as I charged into the Pike Phalanx (4 BGs each 2 wide 4 deep) with my Impact Legions.
I gained very narrow advantage over two turns of combat disrupting one Pike block and managing to inflict a couple of base losses. This advantage proved decisive versus 3 of the Pike blocks in the end (due to loss of POAs once steadiness is gone) as one routed and the others failed cohesion tests.
It was great to watch 3 blocks of Pike flee with their General desperately trying to restore some order (not sure Keith enjoyed the spectacle as much)
One Pike block stood firm however and broke its oppossing Legion.
This was combined with the Companions/Cats flanking my Elephants and a Legion and breaking them both ! Time to send in the Triarii.
I only had the 2 base BG on this flank but had the Ally TC on hand to fight in front rank.
But despite intial stand they too sucumbed and another Legion was hit in flank (a Supr 8 baser !) and it too fled. On the right things were pretty indecisive as my Cav could not take on the Inf on the SH.
However when the Pikes wavered Keith was forced to come off his hill and charged his MF Bow into an overlapping Legion file but it made no difference to fight.
Indeed this unit then was charged by Roman Cav and routed. I charged my other unit of Cav into both the Thorakati and the Thracians but no advantage was gained by either side and the Cav broke-off.
At this point I had suffered 14 attrition pts and so lost the game but it was a bloody and close run affair with Greeks losing 10 attrition pts.
Keith might remember things a bit differently but I think I got the essential actions in reasonable order ?

Comments : All in all a very enjoyable game.
Only real gripe I had with rules was how to physically measure wheels ontable as it all seems rather fiddly. We had a few rules queries but managed (eventually) to find relevant answers after lots of page flicking.
As another confirmed 'DBMM lover' I must confess that FOG is a decent set of rules written in generally clear style with great support for any queries that arise and a lot less headaches than Dbmm.
Movement (wheels aside) and Combat flows logically and smoothly (we had several multi unit combats all resolved without headaches).
Combat takes a bit of getting used to with its 'grinding' nature compared to more descisive/quick events of Dbmm but it certainly works as it 'says on the tin'.
Actually its all has a familar feel to those of us who played 6/7th........... We played a solid 4 hours with minimal delays for queries, FOG games are not quick.
My main dislike is the Cmd and Control rules (or lack thereof) vis DBMM and FOG still feels like a smaller scope of battle than Dbmm despite having a few more toys on table, FOGs 'top-down' view seems to hover a tad lower than Dbmm
Whilst I understand the mechanism/simplisticty of having Generals whizz about the place from point to point I would have preferred that they were more limited in who they can control, that said it is certainly fun/exciting using them in front rank combat (despite numerous rolls and with every Gen on the table fighting at some point we were lucky we did not lose any !).
I miss the inertia generated by the PIP system of Dbmm as FOG allows every BG to move every turn potentially and indeed the new Strategems.
At times FOG feels like line 'em up roll' em forward and chuck buckets of dice but I know that is down to lack of playing experience and tactical nounce on my part although I am not sure just what tactics are viable in FOG compared to Dbmm as match-ups are not as critical ?
As I said recently on Dbmm forum if I rate Dbmm as 9 out of 10 FOG is a close 8. I can happily play either but suspect that FOG will be the more popular choice for Comps but maybe not otherwise ?
Looking forward to trying Cavalry based armies next instead of HF slogging matches
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