Monday, January 27, 2014

Piquet: Pulse Of Battle solo test

Having recently received new Pulse Of Battle from Brent Omans Piquet stable I decided to give them a whirl today in solo manner.
These are an Ancient period (1500BC - 500AD) set derived from the excellent Horse & Musket period Field Of Battle set. I had forgotten what a super system this is !
I selected a Galatian force of 16 units against a Late Republican Roman 12 unit force.
Romans had some veteran legionnaries and elite Triarii with the Principes and Hastati being a mix of heavy and medium Infantry. They included couple of Velites and heavy cavalry and two units of Peltast types (a form of Light Inf in POB).
The Celts had 12 warband units 5 of which I made veteran (as Gaestati-like types) with 2 Cavalry units (one heavy one medium) and two light Psiloi.
I used the terrain from my last Dbmm game as it was still in situ.
The rules do include points for units but I just went with gut feeling for balance.
Both Commanders turned out to be Poor types (D8 for leadership) with sub commanders a mix (1 x D12+1 per side).
I made all units of same type grade the same for Combat and Defence dice as easier to manage solo.
The Triarii were best with D12+1/D8 the Roman HI D12/D6 and the MI D10/D6.
Velites and Peltats I gave D8/D6 and Psiloi D8/D4.
The Celts were D12/D6 and D10/D6 all MI but their Cavalry was D12/D6 compared to Romes D10/D6.
Army deck quality (I got the very nice printed cards sets in addition to the usual stock cards) was Poor for Celts and Average for Romans.
I added a Warband Charge card to Celts deck and an Advance card to Romes.
Army morale totals worked out at 18 for Celts and 14 for the Romans.
I used my 15mm figs in 3 base units with POB ranges halved which seemed to work fine.
Being FOB based initiative is difference between opposed dice (ie D8s in this instance) with winner going first in solo trial.
I really love this card system and especially the chance to 'steal' 1 initiative on turn of a Lull card and the card system makes for a decent solo game.
In POB units can only wheel on a winning Even roll or a Maneuver card (only 1 per deck) so initial deployment can be important as no guarantee you can shift much.
Although a straight ahead move that is not into contact can shift one or two bases laterally.
Initial clashes seemed to go Celts way with Roman Cavalry getting worst of fight with Average Warband unit.
Romans in this period have a special rule that allows their HI and MI to interpenetrate on a normal move card and this came in handy a couple of times with Triarii moving through some damaged and disrupted Legionaries to inflict woe on warbands.
As with FOB Melee can occur on Even roll on move card that makes contact or on Melee card.
Things get tense with move rolls and card turning when units are engaged or nearby.
Melees can last several rounds (or can cease if opposing rolls are both odd) and the Odd vs Even rolls whether winning are losing are key.
Losing with an Odd roll results in Disruption and every 3 hits cause a Unit UI loss and corresponding Army Morale loss.
One interesting twist (which I do not recall from FOB ?) is that Warband and Cavalry who force back an enemy unit must pursue on an Odd roll and suffer 1 UI loss (but dos not count as Army Morale Loss) although the unit does not physically pursue it being assumed cohesion is lost to a degree but sub-units.
As I did not manage to rally any UI hits of all game this is a different way of simulating blown cavalry.  
After a lot of Melee actions the Romans gained the upper hand in nick of time as they were down to 4 Army Morale but caused Galatians to lose all theirs in same turn (in fact several Morale were transferred to boost Romans total to 7 at game end).
Last card turned in Celt initiative turned out to be an Army Morale check which the promptly failed (rolling a D8 against a D12) and it was Roma Victor !!
With 7 of their original 14 point Morale Total left this worked out as a Minor Victory.
Overall a very enjoyable game with a great set of rules that are nice change from more legalistic competition style of Dbmm and FOG.
Hope to get mate to give these a try.

~~ Note to Norman hope you are happy now !? :-)  ~~

Galatians deployed


Free for all in center (dice are UI losses 1 per dice)

Army Morale failure for Celts

The rule book and 'fancy' cards

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