Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Callinicum refight with Fantasy Rules!

For musing on Fantasy Rules! and deployment for Callinicum see here.

Note: Unlike my previous ruleset replays, this is the first game I've done with FR! so be gentle.

For other games I've deployed the battlelines 25cm apart, FR!TCE recommends 12" (30cm) deployment distance apart.  Light Cavalry has the same move distance in FR! as in Armati and Warrior Kings and I used 25cm separation in those games. I'll maintain the 25cm, just to be consistent, and it is a scenario after all.

The Persians will go first.

Deployment; Persians on the left.

Turn 1

Persian

Moved the Lakhmid Light cavalry ahead 5.  Also moved up the Elite cavalry and the Reserve cavalry so there is a nice diagonal line of Persian troops with the Lakhmids in front at one end.  All out of missile range of the Byzantines.

Byzantine
Moved the infantry forwards and some heavy cavalry in support of the infantry.

End of turn 1

Turn 2

Persian

Move:
The Lakhmid light cavalry charge the Ghassanid light cavalry. The Ghassanid's throwing weapons result in one demoralisation.  Lakhmid's throwing weapons result in 2 demoralisations.
An Elite heavy cavalry moves up to about 1" from the light infantry.  The rest of the diagonal wave of cavalry move up slightly and form a block of 4 to oppose the Byzantine block of 4, and angling a bit more to the left.  Now within missile range of some of the opposing cavalry.

Melee:
The base CF for the Lakhmids is 3, while the Ghassanids is 2, but the Ghassanids get a +1 bonus for being charged, and both have stands with a -1 for demoralisation.
The result of the melees is the Ghassanid on the edge of the board is demoralised again and pushed back.  Otherwise, one Lakhmid received a demoralisation and one Ghassanid received a demoralisation.

View of the centre from the Persian side

Phase winner: The Persians (2 demoralisations) Vs Byzantines (3 stands demoralised/double demoralised). Morale clock is Persian 7, Byzantine 6.

Byzantine

Rally: no recoveries.
Firing: Gang up 2 missile Vs one opposition for the two blocks of facing heavy cavalry.  Managed to demoralise a Elite Persian heavy cavalry.

Demoralising is important - demoralised units cannot charge.

Move:
Moved the Skutatoi heavy infantry full distance.

Note sure what else to move - not familiar with the rules and melee effects.  Ah well - lets see how it all works!

Moved the Elite cavalry and the general into contact with opposing heavy cavalry.  Also moved some other heavy cavalry into the flank of the Persian cavalry and also a heavy cavalry to 'pin' an opposing heavy cavalry. I assume (not 100% clear) that the heavy cavalry that is flanked cannot countercharge as one of the charging units was outside its forward arc.

Melee:
The charging and counter charging heavy cavalry get +2 charge bonus.  Also +1 for being armed with missile (although not stated that countercharging units get the missile bonus, countercharging units get the charge bonus so I assume units that are countercharged are counted as being charged.
The heavy cavalry are base CF4, the elite base CF5.
The elite charging the flanked unit gets +1 for the flanker.

Persian flanked unit double demoralised.  Cavalry follows up.
Persian unit opposed by general loses and is double demoralised.  Cavalry followup.

I think the Ghassanids are not going to fair so well in melee...and it wasn't so bad - the double demoralised stand was destroyed. The demoralised stands were double demoralised.  Lakhmids must followup.

Again, not clear in the rules but implied; I'm assuming that for determining the phase winner, you count new demoralised units.  Inflicted a demoralised result onto an already demoralised unit (resulting in a double demoralised unit) does not count towards determining the phase winner.

Phase winner: Byzantine.  Clock is Persian 6, Byzantine 6.

End of turn 2

Turn 3

Persian

Rally: The Lakhmid's demoralised result removed (rolled an 8 for both!), demoralised heavy cavalry successfully rally, the doubled demoralised heavy cavalry fail.
Firing: No result.  Even did some ganging up to no avail.

Move:
Far left Lakhmid turns to flank Ghassanid.
Elite heavy cavalry charge opposing light infantry and cavalry.  Light infantry throwing weapons no effect.  Byzantine cavalry counter charge.

Realise that maybe I should not just charge in but it is a learning game and there is not much room on the flanks.

Melee:
One Byzantine Ghassanid destroyed, one Persian Lakhmid demoralised.
Light Infantry double demoralised and cavalry followup.
The two Persian Elite Cavalry facing two Byzantine cavalry result in one double demoralised stand each.
The battle with the two double demoralised Persian elite cavalry result in the routing of the Persian cavalry.  Byzantine cavalry followup.

Phase winner: Byzantines.  Morale clock now Persian 5, Byzantine 6.

Byzantine

Rally: All attempts unsuccessful.
Firing: All firing caused nothing.

Move:
Moved Elite heavy cavalry and another heavy cavalry to surround a Persian heavy cavalry.  Throwing weapons demoralise both charger and counter-charger.
One heavy cavalry makes it to the flank of a Persian elite heavy cavalry.

Melee:
Ghassanid light cavalry destroyed (no surprises here).
Light infantry causes demoralisation on opposing heavy cavalry.
The two Persian elite cavalry facing the two Byzantine cavalry resulted in each of the double demoralised stands being destroyed (one each side).
The surrounded Persian heavy cavalry is destroyed.

Phase winner: Byzantines.  Morale clock now Persian 4, Byzantine 6.

End of turn 3

Turn 4

Persian

Rally: Rallied off a heavy cavalry demoralisation.
Firing: All firing caused nothing.

Move:
Two Lakhmid light cavalry surround the light infantry while the third moves as far as it can round the back of the light infantry.
The Elite heavy cavalry with the general (doesn't count as a move against the morale clock limit) turns and charges a heavy cavalry in the flank.  Enemy unit turns to face but cannot counter charge.
The heavy cavalry group facing the heavy infantry decide to oblique movement with two of them and charge one end of the heavy infantry line with one heavy cavalry making it to the flank.  The heavy infantry will have only +1 in support.  Interesting game tactic.
That is the 4 allowed moves (plus the move with the general).  I like the effect of the Morale clock.

Melee:
Light infantry destroyed.  Not unexpected.
Elite heavy cavalry with general destroys opposing heavy cavalry.  It over-pursues, is demoralised and charges into another heavy cavalry.
The heavy cavalry attacking the heavy infantry loses the melee and is demoralised.
Phase winner: Persians.  Morale clock is Persians 4, Byzantines 5.

Byzantine

Rally: All fail.
Firing: Demoralises a heavy cavalry.
Move: Only move is move the heavy cavalry stands on the left flank to contact the Persian heavy cavalry in melee with the heavy infantry.  One of them is demoralised and so cannot charge - it simply moves out the way.

Melee:
The Byzantine heavy cavalry that was contacted due to over-pursuit is double demoralised.
The General and Elite heavy cavalry cause a double demoralisation on opposing Persian heavy cavalry but it cannot be pushed back due to the infantry at its back and so is destroyed.
The other Elite heavy cavalry manages to also cause a double demoralisation (outscoring by only 1 the opposing Persian cavalry).  The unit was already demoralised so it is destroyed.

Phase winner: Byzantines.  Morale clock now Persians 3, Byzantines 5.
Persian Morale clock now at 3: Persians must demoralise 1/4 remaining units.  Persians currently have six units and demoralise two of the Light Cavalry.

 End of turn 4

Turn 5

Persian
Rally: One light cavalry is undemoralised.
Firing: Nothing.
Move: Moved some of the light cavalry and an Elite heavy cavalry on the left flank of the field.
Melee: Destroyed the Byzantine heavy cavalry facing the elite heavy cavalry and general.
Phase winner: Persians. Morale clock now Persians 3, Byzantines 4.

Byzantine
Rally: No effect.
Firing: Nothing.
Move: Moved the heavy infantry and an elite heavy cavalry to attack the Persian heavy cavalry on the left flank.  Persian turns to face the elite heavy cavalry that contacted on the side.
Melee: The only melee is as a result of the move.  The Persians lose. They are already demoralised and so are destroyed. Cavalry pass a rally roll and so do not over-pursue.
Phase winner: Byzantines. Morale clock now Persians 2, Byzantines 4.

Turn 6

Persian
Rally: Removed demoralised from Elite heavy cavalry.
Firing: Demoralised an Elite heavy cavalry.
Move:  The Elite heavy cavalry with the general charges the Byzantine Elite heavy cavalry just demoralised in firing.  A Light cavalry also charges the flank.  With the last movement allowed, the Persians move the other elite heavy cavalry closer to the action.
Melee:  The Byzantine elite heavy cavalry loses melee and destroyed.  Persian heavy cavalry passes rally roll and does not over-pursue.
Phase winner: Persians . Morale clock now Persians 2, Byzantines 3.
Byzantine morale now at 3: Byzantine must now demoralise 1/4 or remaining stands (one of five stands) - demoralises a Skutatoi heavy infantry.


Byzantine
Rally: no effect.
Firing: Nothing to fire at.
Move:

About faced the Skutatoi heavy infantry (i.e. 180 degrees).
About faced the Elite heavy cavalry with general and moved slightly forwards.
About faced the demoralised heavy cavalry and retreated (can't charge and was just in range of a Persian unit).
Melee: None.
Phase winner: No phase winner

End of turn 6

Turn 7

Persian
Rally: no effect.
Firing: Nothing in range.
Move: Rearranged the cavalry near the Byzantine Skutatoi to get them together.
Melee: None.
Phase winner: no phase winner

Byzantine
Rally: A cavalry stand is undemoralised.
Fire: An elite heavy cavalry is just in range of a Persian stand...but misses.
Move: Rearranged cavalry and wheeled the Skutatoi heavy infantry.
Melee: None.
Phase winner: no phase winner

End of turn 7

Turn 8

Persian

Rally: No effect.
Firing: no effect.
Move: Elite heavy cavalry charges a cavalry that then counter charges.  General comes too.  Other move is to about face the other elite heavy cavalry.
Melee: Only melee has no effect (scores were equal).  Oops - pinning hopes on a result here and possible morale clock reduction.
Phase winner: no phase winner

Byzantine
Rally: none.
Firing: no effect.
Move: Wheeled the Skutatoi heavy infantry again.  Charged a cavalry with general into the flank of the Persian elite heavy cavalry already in melee.  Now have a General and stand versus general and stand.  It seems to happen a lot in my refights.
Melee: Byzantines win and Persian double demoralised and pushed back.
Phase winner: Byzantine. Morale clock now Persians 1, Byzantines 3

End of turn 8

Turn 9

Persian
Rally: Double demoralised cavalry in melee rallies.
Firing: No effect
Move: An Elite heavy cavalry rotates and manages to charge the Byzantine elite heavy cavalry (with general) in the flank.  Enemy doesn't turn but now the Persian has an advantage of a +1 for a flanker.
Melee: Persians lose and are double demoralised and pushed back.

 General on General

Phase winner: Byzantine. Morale clock Persians 0, Byzantines 3

End of game as Persian morale clock is 0.

End of game position

Byzantines have lost 330 points so Persian score is 330.
Persians have lost 360 points of units and their morale clock is 0 so Byzantine score is 360+50 (for Persian morale clock)=410.
Difference is less than 100 so marginal victory to the Byzantines.

Verdict
The game went on longer than I am used to.  Not longer in time, but longer in that it carried on until there were few stands left.  Normally the game is over when 50% or so are gone (this is an artifact of the other rules or I applied that rule).  But these rules are fun and fast.  They are simple but not simplistic - there is distinctive troop types and diverse tactical options.  While the flanking of stands occurred often - and with my Armati background flanking is death - it was not as bad as I expected ad worked fine.  Troops have limited movement options, which I like. The morale clock didn't dictate command and control too much until the end game but it worked fine.  I would play this again.  The results 'felt' right. Fast and plays fine on a 2'x2' (though I would potentially use less troops to provide some flanks and also possibly reduce the morale clock to 6/3 to account for the smaller board). In my opinion, unmodified (except for troop types), Fantasy Rules! is an excellent fast play historical rule set.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Fantasy Rules! overview and Callinicum deployment

Background
As I was looking for fast play ancient rules a few years ago, I found a discussion that mentioned using a ruleset called Fantasy Rules! for historical play. I have played and own rules that originate with a fantasy version (Warmaster Ancients comes to mind) but zero interest in the rules they were derived from. So, not being a fantasy player at all - and the only few people I know that do play fantasy use Warhammer Fantasy Battles - this led to lots of interesting reading of various fantasy rules reviews and discussions.  My aim was for quick play, and I also wanted a set that was based around historical concepts that had fantasy elements mapped to it.  Fantasy Rules seemed to consistently top the list (Age of Might and Steel has potential too, which is why it is also on my list of rules to play).  Fantasy Rules! version 3 is the latest version, but Chipco have recently released FR!TCE which is a tournament version of FR!3.  Simplifying, it is a cutdown version of FR!3 without lots of the magic and characters and a very good army builder based around characteristics, rather than lists.  I'll be using FR!TCE although for my purposes, it is the same as FR!3 (just not so many pages to look through for rule clarifications). 

Why not use Days of Knights? Days of Knights (with version 2 the most recent) is also from Chipco, based on the FR! mechanisms but for (historical) late medieval battles.  There are a number of changes between the two, some large, some small.  for instance: command and control is different, movement is more restrictive, DoK has a panic check (FR! has sort of an equivalent with a double demoralise on cavalry charged units).  DoK double demoralise is not as bad.  DoK unit characteristics (combat factor, rally etc) are very specific to the period. All in all, DoK, from what I read and can see, captures the period specific flavour very well. DoK uses characters to manage command and control and I really like the morale clock in  FR!3.  FR!3 is more 'generic'.  I think I will be better off using FR!3 with minor mods rather than trying to make DoK, a period specific ruleset, work for something in 531AD, over 700 years earlier than it was designed for.

FR!/DoK links and reviews

A FR!: TCE description and where to purchase is at the Chipco FR!TCE webpage.  Reviews of FR!2 can be found at RPGnet and The Miniatures Page. The FR!2 Annex (Oct 2013: updated link to archive.org as original site no longer online) contains a whole lot of information for FR!2, including the FR!Ancients variant.

Days of Knights description and where to purchase is at the Chipco Days of Knights webpage. Here is a link to a The Miniatures page review and the Grognards review . The Ken Blackley DoK website  has some DoK information, including a review.

Lastly, the chipco yahoo group  has an active discussion on Chipco games.

Changes
I really want to limit the changes I make to FR!3 to make it fit to the game. One change I was going to do was restrict changing facing movement allowance.  FR! allows left faces, right faces and about faces for a cost of 1/2 the movement rate.  DoK has it costing the full move.  I was going with the full move cost.  but I have changed my mind - why implement what I think onto the ruleset.  I would prefer to be as generic as possible.The other changes are:

1.  Light Cavalry has a LOT going for it in FR! - x2 flank attacks etc.  Mounted (as a unit class) in FR! are mounted warriors.   In DoK, FR! Light cavalry equate to the Horse Archer units. So I will be going with the stats for the Callinicum Light Cavalry as per FR! Mounted (CF2, RF7+) but allow them to have some of the FR! light cavalry options at a total unit cost of 30: disengage from Infantry, Free facing and formation changes, Interpenetrate Cavlary, arm with bow or throwing weapon for extra 10 pts.  Maybe a better way to phrase it, thinking on it further, is to use the FR! Light Cavalry but reduce to 30pts by making it RF7+ and removing the doubling of flanking bonus.  Much better.  FR! Light Cavalry I would use only for specialist Horse Archers.  I'll make the Lakhmids elite as they performed much better than the Byzantine Ghassanids on the day.

2. Light Infantry as a class of unit doesn't really exist in FR! although Militia comes close.  I'll base it on the Light MAA class from DoK to represent the Isaurian Light Infantry. So light infantry is 30pts, MV 4/3 (no penalty for difficult), CF2, RF6+, +1 bonus when charged, armed with throwing weapons.

3. The Skutatoi are spear and bow melee heavy infantry.  I am going to use the spear class but add bow (not in FR!TCE but could be army specific in FR!3) for 10 points.  This should also make the cavalry  a bit fearful about charging them, as historically.

4. The Morale clock starts at 7 with a penalty when you reach 3.  I think Callinicum will be about 70%-80% the points of a normal 1000pt game (I'll work this out when I work out the actual force composition).  The Persian have 4 units and the Byzantines have 6 (although if you combined all the 6 stands of heavy cavalry into one unit there would only be 4).  I was going to start use a morale clock of 6/2 rather than 7/3 but have changed my mind - will stick with 7/3 and see how it does.


Units

Persian
6 Heavy Calvary (in two units of 3 stands each) with bows (300 pts)
3 Heavy Cavalry with bow, elite (+1RF, +1CF) (180pts)
3 Light Cavalry with throwing weapons, elite (+1RF, +1CF) (120pts)
1 Hero General (+2RF, +2CF) (190pts)

Total points:  790

Byzantine
3 Skutatoi: Spears with Bow (120 pts)
4 Heavy Calvary (in two units of 2 stands each) with bows (200pts)
2 Heavy Cavalry with bow, elite (+1RF, +1CF) (120pts)
1 Light Infantry (30pts)
3 Light Cavalry with throwing weapons (90pts)
1 Hero General (+2RF, +2CF) (190pts)

Total points: 750

Deployment
My troops are based for WRG 7th/DBM.  FR!3 really works best with 40mmx40mm bases.  The cavalry should be OK as 40mmx30mm - but will have to fudge it if a line all faces to the left or right - and I simply added an extra stand of infantry behind each other to create 40mmx40mm bases.  Otherwise, the deployment will be identical to that for Armati, Warrior Kings and Justified Ancients.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Callinicum refight again with Justified Ancients

Why a replay? and some house rules
I set up for the next rules - Fantasy Rules! -  had the troop types nearly worked out but Justified Ancients just kept bugging me at the back of my mind.  Although I suggested some minor changes at the end of my last replay, the one that keeps sticking in me is to make LO mounted also suffer disorder.  This will help a lot get the game moving a bit faster (disordered units are -1 in melee).  currently there is only a 2 in 9 change of 2 equal mounted units ever casing damage (a 1 and a 3 or a 3 and a 1).  But a +1 difference causes a push back but only disorders CO.  So a +1 difference will have an effect between mounted units.  I will also extend the support definition for +0 result to include adjacent stands (adjacent stands cannot be in melee - the order of choosing melee to roll for will be important).  Currently supported is only for stands with stands in support directly behind.  +0 effect is supported stands will push back unsupported stands.

OK now I've just double checked the rules and +0 unsupported push back only happens between foot units.  So now I am thinking that it should be extended to all non-skirmisher, not just foot.  lastly, for +1, pushed back doesn't happen if you outnumber the enemy 2-1.  So I am thinking supported Vs unsupported are not pushed back on a +1 result either (but would suffer all the other results such as disorder)  So the summarise my rambling I am going to use these two house rules:
  • Mounted LO receive disorder just like CO troops.
  • if one or more stands are adjacent (side to side contact or directy behind - not limited to corner-to corner) to a meleeing unit, then the stand is counted as supported for purposes of the +0 result.  Supported is not limited to foot, but is available to all non-skirmish stands.  Note the number of supporting stands doesn't count - a stand is either supported or not (you don't "outsupport" an opposing stand just because you have more stands in support).  A supported stand versus an unspported stand is not pushed back on a +1 result. 

Deployment is the same as last time.  Breakpoint for the armies is 1/3 (rounded up) rather than 50% I used in the first replay.  So breakpoint for Persians is 4, Byzantines is also 4.  A general does not count in working out the breakpoint, but will count as a lost unit if lost (similar to Armati).








Turn 1

Persian Lakhmid move up 5" to block Ghassanids.  Wheeled the elite and reserve cavalry
Byzantine attempted to move up Ghassanids but only one passed orders.  Moved up some heavy cavalry and the Skutatoi.







Turn 2


Persian
Lakhmid charges light infantry with no effect.
Moved up all the heavy cavalry in the middle.

Byzantine
Ghassanids past orders and moved up - one in support of the light infantry.
Moved up Skutatoi and supporting heavy cavalry.
Missile fire pushes back  elite heavy cavalry.
Light infantry pushes back light cavalry.



Turn 3

Persian
Lakhmid charges Ghassanids that fire and evade, one charger continues.
elite heavy cavalry charge and one pushed back. in melee, one flees (and is additionally disordered using my house rules).
Two heavy cavalry on the left charge opposing heavy cavalry.  In melee, one flees (and is additionally disordered using my house rules).
Charging Lakhmid pushed back.

Note: this was a a result of the house rule - the melee result was +0 but the Ghassanid is supported and the Lakhmid is not so it is pushed back.

Lakhmid  routed by light infantry.  Infantry do not pursue.

Note result was +2 but Lakhmid was fatigued so routed rather than fleeing.

Byzantine
Reforms the two heavy cavalry that fleed (and removed disordered - note that this is a 4+ order, without disorder, it could have been a  3+ order to about face).
Some charges that returned fire resulted in pushback.

But in another score for the house rule (but it is because the house rules exists that the move happened anyway) - an elite heavy cavalry moves up to support a disordered heavy cavalry in combat.  The general also moves into support.  The result was +0 but as the Byzantine is in supported and the Persian is not, it results in a push back.

Turn 4
No picture for turn 4 - don't know what happened to it.

Persian
Moved up some heavy cavalry
A Lakhmid charges a Ghassanid, the latter fires and evades.
The one combat resulted in the Byzantine heavy cavalry fleeing.

Byzantine
Successfully reforms fleeing heavy cavalry
Two heavy cavalry charge the elite heavy cavalry with the general. One Byzantine routs but the one with the general gets a pushback.

Turn 5
No picture for turn 5 - don't know what happened to it.

Persian

Lakhmid charge opposing Ghassanid, ,the latter receive and fire as if the evade they will be off the table.  The Ghassanid stand routs.
Elites heavy cavalry charge opposing heavy cavalry who are pushed back.
Heavy cavalry charge depleted heavy cavalry but no damage received anywhere.
The two generals fight it out and the Persian cavalry and general are routed.

With the general routed, I am assuming all order rolls are at -1.


Byzantine
Elite heavy cavalry charges a heavy cavalry that flees.

Turn 6

Persian
Where possible, moved into melee, managed to rout a heavy cavalry.

Byzantines
Managed to rout a heavy cavalry.

Note, the elite heavy cavalry is directly  behind a Persian heavy cavalry that fleed last turn.  But because charging units are fatigued at the end of the turn, the Byzantines can't charge again. It also meant that the Persian had a chance to reform (which it did), which meant it would not be hit in the rear, and also that the disorder is gone.

Regardless,  the Persians have lost 4 stands (3 plus the general) and reached their breakpoint.  The Byzantines have lost 3. End of game.


Verdict
Liked this game a little bit better  - maybe it was because I 'got' the tactics and how the interactions worked better than the first game.  There wasn't really any more damage. The rules cry out for tweaking.  If it was me (and the game would not be JA anymore), I would
  • do away with the turn sequence and go with the flow of newer games and do move, missile and combat per stand - this would make the game VERY dynamic!
  • Also include an order modifier for adjacent stands - maybe +1 for each adjacent (not behind) stand and can order all at once (must move/charge together).  I would increase by one the success number for ALL order types (move/charge/wheel/reform etc).  It would keep stands together. 
  • I would possibly also not do lining up of stands (just a personal thing - never liked it but would keep lining up for a semblance of JA).
  • Allow counter charging (as per John Davis experimental rules)
  • Get rid of push backs - push backs don't do much in this game; in DBx push backs are important as it opens up the the possibility of support for adjacent melees with the bonus -1 to that melee.   Alternatively, give a +1 for one or more adjacent stands and keep push backs.
  • Everyone except Skirmishers and LO foot can be disordered.
  • Support is defined as if one or more stands are adjacent (side to side contact or directly behind - not limited to corner-to corner) to a meleeing unit, then the stand is counted as supported for purposes of the +0 and +1 result. The number of supporting stands doesn't count - a stand is either supported or not (you don't "outsupport" an opposing stand just because you have more stands in support).   Support is applied for ALL stands except skirmishers.
As I said before , the rules would no longer be JA.  Maybe try these changes later on, after I've tried a few more other rules.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Callinicum refight with Justified Ancients

Introduction
For deployment see here.  The only other thing is there is nothing in the rules about when one side can claim victory.  I will work on a simple 50% loss rule.  At the end of any player turn, if a side has lost more 50% or more of its starting units, it loses.  if both sides would lose, the side that has lost the most units loses.  If this is equal, call it a draw.  With this simple rules, Persians will lose if they lose 6 or more stands, Byzantines lose if they lose 7 or more stands.  A lost general will count as a lost stand.

The rules state that after a charge, the resulting action (fire, evade etc) is done immediately for the charged stand.  This make a lot of sense to me.  But then in the example, all charging is done for a side AND THEN the resulting actions are done for each charged stand.  I prefer the former and have done this throughout the replay.  Charges should be done first before all other movement but I did some moves before charges if I didn't think it would effect the outcome.

The main points that may help in this replay is
  • Each stand must pass a d6 roll to perform a movement activity - 1+ for a straight move, 2+ for a small wheel or a charge, 3+ for a reface.  Major modifiers are +1 for trained, -1 for untrained, -1 for poor and -1 for each 6" further than 6" from the general.  for example trained units charging within 6" of the general are 1+ (no need to roll).  The Ghassanids are poor and so getting them to move is not a guarantee.
  • charging units are fatigued at the end of the turn.  Fatigue is removed at the end of following turn is not in melee.  Fatigued units cannot charge, flee or evade.
  • Melee is based on opposed 1d3 rolls. 0 is no effect, 1 is push back, 2-3 is flee and depleted (take a hit), 4+ is flee and dispersed (routed).  Two depletions (hits) will rout a stand.  The Elite Heavy cavalry can take 3 depletions.

Persians move first in all the turns.  Generals are +0 each.

 Deployment - Persians on the left

Turn 1

Persian

MOVE
Lakhmids move forwards to 6" from the Ghassanids (6" is charge reach - 5" move +1" bonus for a charge). No orders roll; move is a 1+ except for furtherest one (as it is  6" from general).
Elite Heavy Cavalry wheel 45 degrees to their left.  Again, no orders roll.
Reserve heavy Cavalry wheel about 30 deg to their left.

Byzantine

MOVE
Byzantines move up the Skutatoi. and the 2 units of cavalry next to them.
No other movement.

 End of turn 1

Turn 2

Persian

MOVE
A single Elite Heavy Cavalry stand charges the opposing Byzantine elite heavy cavalry (with general).  The elite heavy cavalry receive and fire.  Result is Persian's pushed back (and will be fatigued at end of turn).

Note get extra 1" to move if charging.

Remaining 2 Elite Heavy Cavalry wheel slightly to right and move 4" to close the gap.
The Reserve heavy cavalry wheel to the left (now aligned to the rest of the Persian's) and move straight ahead.

Note: I use green markers are fatigue. When it happens I'll use flesh rings for depleted and a black ring for disordered (only applied to Skutatoi as they are only CO troops on the board.  Only CO can be disordered).  I get a bit confused about already fatigued units and ones that should be fatigued at the end of a turn, so what I took to doing after this turn was placing a little brown tuft marker behind stands that should be fatigued at the end of a turn.  At the end of the turn I then removed fatigue markers from applicable stands and then changed the brown tuft into a green fatigue marker.

Byzantine

MOVE
Skutatoi moved up 2".
Elite heavy cavalry (with general) charges opposing Persian heavy cavalry. Persian Elite heavy cavalry receive and fire - byzantine pushed back (and fatigued at end of turn).

Note: missile firing at Heavy Cavalry will only ever result in a push back - never a depleted (need a 7 for disorder - +1 mounted, -1 heavy means a 6 is the most that can be rolled).

The other Elite heavy cavalry and the 2 heavy cavalry to its left charge the opposing reserve heavy cavalry.  They receive and fire  with the result the Elite heavy cavalry and middle heavy cavalry pushed back (and fatigued at end of turn).  The remaining heavy cavalry can melee.
Moved the remaining right flank heavy cavalry and Light Infantry up about 2" to provide better flanking opportunities.

MISSILE FIRE
No results.

MELEE
heavy cavalry vs heavy cavalry


Note all combat is 1d3

Byzantines roll 1, +1 horse, +1 charging = 3.
Persians roll 2, +1 horse = 3.
Result - conform and continue.

Note: The Byzantine heavy cavalry is fatigued for charging.

End of turn 2

Turn 3

Persian

MOVE
Persian middle elite heavy cavalry charges the opposing heavy cavalry that receives and fires - result is push back.
Other elite heavy cavalry tries the same thing.  Opposing heavy cavalry receives and fires - result is no effect.
left most light cavalry charges Light Infantry that receives and fires - result is depleted and pushed back.
For the block of cavalry on the left - moved the one of the left up to maybe flank attack the nearby byzantine heavy cavalry (needed to roll for this order).

MISSILE FIRE
Lots available.  The only result was to push back one of the byzantine heavy cavalry.

MELEE
Heavy cavalry vs reserve heavy cavalry - Persian wins +1 = push back with followup
Persian elite heavy cavalry vs heavy cavalry - Persian wins (Persian rolls 1, +1 horse, +1 general, +1 charging = 4; byzantine rolls 1, +1 horse) +2 = Byzantine flees, depleted, fatigued.  Persian may pursue and do so.
All charging units are now fatigued.

The 'zig-zag' that is happening in the centre

Byzantine
Options limited as many units are fatigued.

Note: I am starting to get into these rules - the push backs and fatigue is what did our head in last time but I think I am beginning to understand how it shapes the tactics of the game.  it is a lot more dynamic than Armati.  I seem to remember DBM100 (and DBA) plays with similar dynamism (although the mechanics are different).

MOVE
Skutatoi move up 2"
Ghassanid Light Cavalry move up to aggressively (well, as aggressively as they can!) threaten opposing Light Cavalry but only one passes the move order die!  Oops.

MISSILE FIRE
Results in some push backs.

MELEE
Only one heavy cavalry vs heavy cavalry.  Byzantines win by 1 - result is push back with followup
All byzantine fatigue markers (except the heavy cavalry in combat) are removed.

End of turn 3

Turn 4


Persian

MOVE
Light Cavalry charges opposing Ghassanid (needs a 3. ok).  Ghassanid fires and evades with no missile .  Lakhmid light cavalry continues its charge, and as it moves 6" when charging, ends up contacting another Ghassanid which must just receive.
A heavy cavalry attempts to charge an opposing heavy cavalry through gap  Byzantine heavy cavalry receives and fires.  Result is no effect.
A heavy cavalry attempts to charge opposing elite heavy cavalry.   Elite heavy cavalry receives and fires.   Result is no effect.
Right most heavy cavalry stands move up to align with the other heavy cavalry but only one is successful on the order roll.

MISSILE FIRE
Every heavy cavalry not in combat can missile fire.  Not one result.

MELEE  (from right to left to make it easier to follow)
Light Cavalry  - Persian Lakhmid wins by 1 - push back and followup.
Heavy cavalry vs elite heavy cavalry - elite heavy cavalry loses by 1- push back and followup.
Heavy cavalry vs heavy cavalry - Byzantine wins by 1 - push back and followup.
Heavy cavalry vs heavy cavalry - Byzantines lose by 2 - flee but as fatigues are dispersed. Persians decide to pursue.

Fatigue is important.  cannot be removed if in melee.

The Persian left with the breakthrough heavy cavalry in the middle of the picture

Byzantine

MOVE
Light Cavalry flank attacks the Lakhmid.  Passes order roll (4+).
Fleeing heavy cavalry attempts to wheel 180.  Successful
Elite heavy cavalry with general charges opposing elite heavy cavalry that receives and fires - no effect.

MISSILE FIRE
The Skutatoi managed to Pushed back two heavy cavalry facing them.

MELEE (from right to left for convenience)
Heavy cavalry vs heavy cavalry - Byzantine wins by 2 - Persian cannot flee (fatigued) so dispersed.  Byzantine does not pursue.
Elite heavy cavalry vs heavy cavalry - Persian wins by 2 - Byzantine flees, depleted.  Persian purses.
Elite heavy cavalry with gen vs elite heavy cavalry - equal score. No effect.
Light Cavalry into Light Cavalry flank - equal score. No effect.

Note that Skirmishers have no flanks for melee purposes so the Ghassanid do not get the +2 for a flank attack in this melee.

Light Cavalry vs Light Cavalry - Ghassanid wins by 1.  Push back and followup.

End of turn 4

Turn 5

Persian

MOVE
The breakthrough heavy cavalry rolls to wheel > 45, fails.
Elite heavy cavalry charges heavy cavalry that receives and fire - no effect.
Elite heavy cavalry with general charges heavy cavalry that receives and fires - no effect.
Lone Lakhmid Light Cavalry to the rear and far left charges opposing Ghassinid Light Cavalry - receives and fires - no effect.

MISSILE FIRE
Only into the rear of fleeing elite heavy cavalry - pushed back

MELEE (from right to left for convenience)
Elite heavy cavalry vs elite heavy cavalry with general - Byzantines lose by 1 - push back and followup.
Elite heavy cavalry vs heavy cavalry - Byzantines lose by 1 - push back and followup.
Elite heavy cavalry with general vs heavy cavalry - Persians win by 2 so heavy cavalry depleted and dispersed (as fatigued).  Persian does not pursue.
Middle Light Cavalry vs Light Cavalry - loses by 1 - push back and followup.
Rightmost Light Cavalry vs Light Cavalry - wins by 3 - flees and dispersed.  Persian does not pursue.

After Persian turn 5 with a number of gaps in the Byzantine line

Byzantine

MOVE
Skutatoi - 2 out of 3 manage to move forwards. 
Heavy cavalry moves to threaten flank. (cannot charge as more than 45 degrees out of arc)
Elite heavy cavalry with the depletion attempts to wheel 180.   Successful.

MISSILE FIRE
Only result is push back to the Persian middle heavy cavalry (from the depleted elite heavy cavalry).

MELEE (from right to left for convenience)
Elite heavy cavalry with general vs elite heavy cavalry - equal. No effect.
Heavy cavalry vs elite heavy cavalry - equal. No effect.
Light Cavalry vs Light Cavalry flank - equal. No effect.
Light Cavalry vs Light Cavalry - equal. No effect.  Damn - just a +1 would get rid of the Persian Cavalry as it is flanked.

End of turn 5

Turn 6

Persian

MOVE
Heavy Cavalry on right flank attempt to charge Skutatoi.  All fail their orders roll.
Heavy cavalry opposite elite heavy cavalry charge.  Elite heavy cavalry receives and fires - result is no effect.
Heavy cavalry to the right of this moves ahead so can charge elite heavy cavalry in the flank next turn.
Heavy cavalry with general about face.
Light cavalry on extreme left attempts to about face but fails.

MISSILE FIRE
Only result is to push back a Skutatoi.

MELEE (right to left)
Heavy cavalry vs elite heavy cavalry - Persians win +2.  flees, depleted, fatigued. Persians followup.
Note - Elite heavy cavalry are high morale and it takes 3 depletions before they are dispersed.
Elite heavy cavalry vs elite heavy cavalry with general - equal.  no effect.
Elite heavy cavalry vs heavy cavalry - Persians win +2 - flees, depleted, fatigued. Persians followup.
Light cavalry vs light cavalry to front - Persians win by +2 - flees offboard so count as routed.  Persians followup.
A lot of fatigue is removed.


Byzantine

MOVE
leftmost heavy cavalry charges heavy cavalry in the flank.  Can only receive.
Skutatoi charges same heavy cavalry that receives and fires - no effect.
Far left Skutatoi charges opposing heavy cavalry that receives and fires with a push back.
Middle Skutatoi moves up 2".
Elite heavy cavalry successfully about faces.
Heavy cavalry with one depletion successfully about faces.
Light cavalry about faces.

MISSILE FIRE
A few push backs.

MELEE (right to left)
Elite heavy cavalry with general vs elite heavy cavalry - equal. No effect.

 
 Heavy cavalry vs heavy cavalry in flank. Byzantines wins +4.  dispersed.  Byzantines do followup and contact next heavy cavalry (but this is not a flank attack)







End of turn 6

Turn 7


Persian

MOVE
Rightmost heavy cavalry charges Skutatoi that receives and fires with no effect.
Heavy cavalry charges opposing elite heavy cavalry with 2 depletions that receives and fires - push back.
Other heavy cavalry moves up to hopefully charge the elite heavy cavalry in the flank next turn.
Elite heavy cavalry charges heavy cavalry with 1 depletion vthat receives and fires with no effect.
Elite heavy cavalry with general moves to behind elite heavy cavalry with general.




Elite heavy cavalry with general moves to behind elite heavy cavalry with general.








Far left Ghassanids turn 90 degrees.

MISSILE FIRE
Only result is to push back elite heavy cavalry with 2 depletions.

MELEE (right to left)
heavy cavalry vs heavy infantry - no effect
heavy cavalry vs heavy cavalry  - Byzantines win by +1 - push back and followup.
Elite heavy cavalry vs elite heavy cavalry with general - equal.  no effect
Elite heavy cavalry vs heavy cavalry - no effect.


Byzantine

MOVE
Heavy cavalry charge elite heavy cavalry with two depletions that receive and fire - no effect.
Heavy cavalry to the side also charge in.  Note is not a flank attack.
Elite heavy cavalry with general charges the rear of the elite heavy cavalry with general.
Light cavalry charge heavy cavalry with one depletion in the flank.

MISSILE FIRE
none.

MELEE (right to left)
Heavy cavalry vs heavy cavalry - Byzantines win +1 - push back and off the edge so routed.  Byzantines followup (so a push back by the Skutatoi results in a dispersal).
Heavy cavalry vs heavy infantry - Persians win by +1 - push back and followup.
Heavy cavalry vs heavy cavalry (with 2 depletions) to front - Persians wins +1 - push back and off the edge so routed.
Elite heavy cavalry with general Vs  rear of the elite heavy cavalry with general - Persians win +3.  Byzantines dispersed.
Elite heavy cavalry vs heavy cavalry (with no depletion) - Byzantines win by +1 - push back and followup.

End of game - Byzantines have lost 7 stands (6 plus the general).  Persians have lost 3.

 End of turn 7 and the game

Verdict
Hmm...not sure I actually enjoyed the game.  Party because I am not that familiar with the rules and so tactics I thought would work didn't really seem to.  Not sure how to use Skirmishers and would need to think on it further - maybe a bit more of a test using them.  Also, there is no benefit to maintaining any line formation.  In DBx there is a -1 bonus for flanking stands, so it encourages you to have some friends on either side of a stand.  Warrior kings gives a +1 benefit to passing reaction tests for each friendly stand in contact.  Fantasy Rules! (and Days of Knights) gives a +1 combat bonus for a friendly adjacent stand. Armati has divisions that force you to move and melee in multiple stand units (and a combat system where 2 units can both  do a full attack against a single stand enemy making one stands vulnerable)  Enough examples but JA has nothing that promotes any stand being next to another, other than the obvious to prevent flank attacks.  But that is true of almost any ancient ruleset where you need to protect the flanks.  Maybe it is just me.  I really want to like it.

Push backs aren't really my thing either.  Maybe it is because every heavy unit has missiles as well so there is a lot of push backs but it certainly seemed that every turn every second unit got pushed back either from missile fire or combat.

I like systems where combat will inflict damage - Armati is a good example where melee will almost always inflict a hit on one of the involved stands.  It is not east to remove hits.  Warrior Kings - it is quite easy to inflict a hit, and most bad reaction tests result in more hits.  Hits cannot be removed.  JA has a melee system where fairly equal units (of which most of the cavalry were) will find it difficult to inflict damage on one another.  DBx doesn't either, but the -1 for adjacent stands and the push back/followup mechanism assists in making a more decisive result to combat.  I think it has more to do with the fact that it was an mostly cavalry battle with lots of missile and all similar units that made JA perform not as well as i expected.

How would I fix it? Some simple things come to mind - a +0 result is a push back if outnumbered (i.e one side has more adjacent units than the other).  Horse units (not skirmishers) can be disordered just like CO units. Possibly add in Elite units but not a simple +1 to melee roll (that is too much) but maybe something like nt pushed back if outnumbered on a +0 result or if they score less than their opponent in melee, they add 1 to their result.  Three training levels for orders seems like a lot - I think I would just have trained or not where trained is +1, otherwise -1 (naturally, this wold lead me to rewrite the orders table so all orders are  Other than that,  the things I would like to change take it away from JA (such things like not lining up units).  I do like the rolling for orders, I like the missile system (d6 and fire after moving). I do like the d3 combat system and results and how fatigue works and is integral to the game structure - all very elegant but from the above comments I would like to tweak combat for next time. I am tempted to come back to Justified Ancients with Callinicum and try out a couple of the ideas above.


Oh, and the game probably took nearly an hour.  Hard to tell writing it up as I go.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Justified Ancients overview and Callinicum deployment

Background
Justified Ancients is the third set of rules I am playing and the first I am trying that is specifically designed for 2'x2' and fast play.  It is available from http://www.lulu.com/ (search for justified ancients) (24 Jan 2014 update: The rules do not seem to be available anywhere, including lulu.com) and there is a review by John Davis here.  The Justified Ancients website  and forum have been quiet for a while.
While it is poorly written and assumes experience with ancient miniature gaming, John Davis is right in there a tactical nuances in the rules that cannot be easily gleamed from reading.  It has to be played a few times to understand.  I have only played twice (non-solo) a few years ago and I wish I had run through a few solo games first - I think we made a mess of it, trying to impose our DBM and Armati tactical backgrounds onto the game.  It doesn't play like either and a few more games would have seen us through; but my friend wasn't so interested in moving away to it.  I still think Justified Ancients has merit and the core mechanics lends itself to tinkering.  And on tinkering (nice segway) John has clarified some of the rules (definitely required), provided minor mods to heavy infantry movement (which make sense) and changes to some of the combat modifiers, all of which I think are fine. John's site is at http://jrd.eu5.org/ja/justified.html (note: updated link on 23 Jan 2014).    I'll be using all the John Davis house rules for the Callinicum refight.

I am unused to stands having the possibility of moving independently (as DBA does, although the number of units is limited).  Warrior Kings gives you bonuses for touching stands and Armati has command restrictions that forces an army to be segregated into units of multiple stands.  If I get around to it, I may play another game with a house rule where a unit is defined as one or more stands touching and a unit can roll for orders rather than rolling for each individual stand.

Force composition
One of the nice things about the first two rulesets, Armati and Warrior Kings, is they provide a easy way to differentiate between below average, average, good and elite units.  While Justified Ancients has three levels of training - trained, untrained and neither trained/untrained, that is more for orders; trained will be able to remove disordered better than untrained but disordered is only applicable to Close Order troops so doesn't really apply here.  JA has Poor (-1 on orders, -1 on combat) and High Morale (3 depletions until destroyed rather than 2), but I see Poor for the rabble/levy and High Morale for Elite units.  For Callinicum, I am not sure on the best method to differentiate them but am leaning towards leveraging the poor and high morale characteristics.
 
The deployment for Warrior Kings and Armati seem like a reasonable fit for JA.
Persians
6 Heavy Cavalry - Loose Order, Heavy, Horse, missile, trained
3 Elite Heavy Cavalry - Loose Order, Heavy, Horse, missile, trained, High Morale
3 Lakhmid Light Cavalry - Skirmish, Light, Horse, javelin
 
Byzantine
3 Skutatoi - Close Order, Heavy, Foot, missile, trained
4 Heavy Cavalry - Loose Order, Heavy, Horse, missile, trained
2 Elite Heavy Cavalry - Loose Order, Heavy, Horse, missile, trained, High Morale
1 Isaurian Light Infantry - Loose Order, Light, Foot, javelin
3 Ghassanid Light Cavalry - Skirmish, Light, Horse, javelin, Poor
 
I decided to make the elite cavalry High Morale to differentiate them from the normal Heavy Cavalry. The Ghassanids are Poor as they have to be worse than the Lakhmids and this is probably the simplest way to represent it.  Not sure if the Skutatoi should be Medium or Heavy.  Got them as Heavy but could be swayed to medium.  The three main differences between heavy and medium is 1) Heavy get a -1 when being shot at 2) a Heavy stands versus a Light stand gets a +1 for melee and 3) Heavies are -1" to their movement rate (note that in the John Davis House rules, this -1" does not apply to Close Order Foot).  A Medium has more of a chance of being hit while shot at, and is less effective in combat against Light armoured stands.  OK, so now I've listed out the differences, the Skutatoi should definitely be Heavy.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Callinicum refight with Warrior Kings

Here is a refight of Callinicum using Warrior Kings.  For a bit of information on deployment,house rules and how I graded the troops just go to this blog link.

Persian troops
6 Persian Line cavalry - Mounted Melee, Dual Armed, CV4, AC4, 3 figures
2 Elite Persian Cavalry - Mounted Melee, dual Armed, CV5, AC4, 3 figures
3 Lakhmid Light cavalry - Mounted Skirmish, CV4, AC2, 2 figures
Byzantine troops
3 Skutatoi - Foot Melee, Dual armed, CV4, AC4, 4 figures
4 Line Cavalry - Mounted Melee, Dual Armed, CV4, AC4, 3 figures
2 Elite Line Cavalry - Mounted Melee, Dual Armed, CV5, AC4, 3 figures
1 Isaurian Light Infantry - Foot Melee, Dual armed, CV4, AC2, 3 figures
3 Ghassanid Light Cavalry - Mounted Skirmish, CV3, AC2, 2 figures

Deployment

Deployment from Persian side - 3 year old daughter's arm at the back helping out

The General stands exist just to indicate which stand they are actually with.  They can't move from the stand in Warrior Kings.
For the Byzantines, I've linked the Light Infantry and all the Heavy Cavalry so they can be activated as one body.

Overhead shot of deployment (and an excuse for anther picture of my daughter getting ready to roll the dice for me).

Turn 1

Persians activate first - right to left (as they have to).  Moved the elite heavy cavalry 45 degrees to left and then moved another 1/2 move.  The Lakhmid Light Cavalry moved straight ahead 16.

The Byzantines moved the Ghassanid Light Cavalry to 4 the Persian Light Cavalry - out of missile range.  Moved half of Heavy Cavalry plus the Light Infantry up to align with the Ghassanids.  The rest of Heavy Cavalry their full distance (12) straight ahead and ended up about 5 from Persian Elite Heavy Cavalry.

I was thinking of moving the Ghassanid Light Cavalry directly back as Skirmish in WK can move in any direction.  However, flank attacks are quite deadly in WK and moving the Ghassanids back would have exposed the Light Infantry flank so did not. But later realised that Skirmish can't move into contact with non-Skirmisher units and so this may have been a good tactic.

Note only Melee units trigger enemy threat reaction tests so the Ghassanids moving within 4 of the Lakhmids does not trigger a test.

End of turn 1

I use a little green bush to indicate bodies that are halted/inactive.

Turn 2

This turn is fairly detailed in including dice rolls etc.  I'll tone it down for the rest of the turns but it is here to show how it works as, other than the example in the rules (between 2 bodies for 2 turns), there is nothing else to show how the dynamics or rules for Warrior Kings works.


Persians wheel the Reserve Heavy Cavalry and move 6.

The Elite Heavy Cavalry wheel and attempt to charge the opposing Byzantine elite Heavy Cavalry.
Attempting to charge reaction test: 3,3. pass 2 dice.  Persians move to 1 away.
The Byzantine Cavalry roll for receive charge reaction test: 3,2 - pass 2 dice with the reaction 'stand and fire'. Result of fire: d6 roll of 2 +1 (mounted target) - nothing (need 5 for a hit on AC4).
Persian Cavalry roll for received fire reaction test: 6,6  - still pass 2 dice (CV5 +1 for friendly adjacent, +1 for next to leader = 7) with reaction  'Chargers continue'.  Persians move into melee.
One stand vs one stand (no alignment of stands - similar to Armati in this respect). Byzantine roll 4 (+1 leader, +1 vs mounted) = 6 = one hit.  Persians roll 4 (+1 vs mounted, +1 shock cavalry first melee round) = 6 = one hit.  Leader risk check d6 = 4 (a 6 is bad).
Both sides roll a involved in melee test. Each now at -1 for 1 hit but with a high CV and leaders present a 6 is likely a pass as well.  Roll anyway and check if a 6 occurs.  Persians roll 1,5 = pass 2 dice.  Byzantines roll 5,3 and pass 2 dice as well.  Result is carry on.

Note that as I mentioned in my review of Warrior Kings, the original rules had the result for Mounted for passing the involved in melee test being they retire if did not cause the enemy to rout/retire.  In this case both would retire.  However, the update from Ed from the THW yahoo group re a new WK/WH rule (you will need to be a member of the twohourwargames yahoo list to access message 6245) is that a revised melee reaction test result for mounted should be used for Warrior Kings as well, which is Mounted will only retire if they did not cause enemy FOOT to rout/retire.  Either way would give a good game and there are arguments both ways that either one reflects history (my simplistic arguments - the original version highlights cavalry regrouping and charge, the new one is that at this high level the regrouping does not need to be represented by both stands retiring).

Lakhmids move up to within 3 of the Ghassanids and halt (as they are within missile range).  But they cannot fire as they moved.

End of the Persian turn and the Byzantines now start on the right.

Ghassanids missile fire the Lakhmids.  Each shot will be at +1 (mounted target).  First roll is 2 +1 = 3 is one hit; second roll is 5 +1 = 6 which is one hit (only one hit can be inflicted by missile fire from a stand).  Last roll is a 2 +1 = 3 is one hit.

Note: not sure if missile fire should be resoled individually by stand - i.e. each Ghassanid stand fires and a reaction test for the target(s) done, then the next stand fires and reaction tests done.  I think by body makes more sense and the example in the book seem to lean to this idea.

Lakhmids roll for a received fire reaction test - 2,4.  From right to left: first passes two dice (CV 4 +1 next to one friendly, -1 one hit).  Reaction is fire back.  Second passes test and so does the third (reaction tests are rolled per body but applied per stand).

Return fire (all three Ghassanids are targets as there are not completely aligned, and all stands directly in front of a firing stand are targets).  The leftmost Lakhmid rolls 1 (+1 mounted target) =  no hit.  The middle Lakhmid rolls 1 (+1) as well = no hit. Other Lakhmid rolls a 3 (+1) = one hit.

Ghassanids take reaction test for received fire (yes, Skirmishers will tend to keep firing at one another until one side is completely routed or retired). Roll is 4,4.  From right to left.  First stand is CV3 +1 friendly adjacent = 4 =  passes both dice (reaction is return fire).  Middle also passes (CV3 +2 for two friendly adjacent stands) and left one is CV3 +1 friendly adjacent -1 hit and passes 0 dice. Reaction is rout.
Ghassanids return fire (all three Lakhmids are targets as they are not completely aligned, and all stands directly in front are targets). Fire dice are 3 (one hit) and 5 (one hit)..  Middle Lakhmid stands chooses not to take the hit.

Lakhmids take reaction test for returned fire 2,3.  From right to left CV4 +1 friendly -2 hits = 3. Passes both dice.  Reaction is return fire.  All others do not have a worse modified combat value so pass both dice too.
Missile fire rolls (from right to left) are 6,2,2 (each +1 for mounted target) which is one hit to one ghassanid and 2 to another.

Ghassanids take reaction test for received fire. Roll is 3,5.  From right to left.  first is CV3 +1 friendly -2 hits = 2 passes no dice and routs; the other stand passes 1 die (CV3 +1 friendly -1 hit) - reaction retire (take 1 hit and move 7 directly back)
I choose not to implement the rout until all reaction tests are done for the body.  If I had, the -1 for friendly adjacent stand would not apply for the second Ghassanid and it would pass 0 dice and rout too.

Onto the next body....the Light Infantry & 2 Heavy Cavalry splits. The Light Infantry charges the Light Cavalry in the flank.  Flank attacks are defined if a stand contacts an enemy unit not on the front edge.  Flank attacks are very deadly in WK.  Light Infantry rolls for attempting to charge : 4,4, passes 2 dice.  Light Cavalry has to roll for a received charge. If it does not pass both dice, flank attacked units are routed.  If they pass, they are not longer treated as being charged in the flank.  Flank attack effects a receiving charge reaction test, otherwise it does not effect melee. Roll 6,3 - pass 0 dice (CV4 +1 friendly adjacent, -2 hits, -2 charged in flank = 1).  Routed.  Light Infantry rolls to pursue: 4 which is must pursue.  Pursuit distance is 4 but not enough to contact next LC.
The Heavy Cavalry charge into the Persian Elite Heavy Cavalry.  Charge reaction test - 4,3.  Passes both dice.

Note the charge brings the 2 Heavy Cavalry into contact with all 3 Persian elite heavy cavalry.  One of the Persian elite heavy cavalry is also in contact with the Byzantine elite heavy cavalry.  The rules are a little unclear (and I didn't find it in the Q and A either) about whether the overlapping Byzantine elite heavy cavalry will participate in a melee.  In this case I assume all would participate as all Persian cavalry will be in melee.  I assume also that if the byzantine heavy cavalry charge had only hit the two heavy cavalry and did not get to contact the third Persian elite heavy cavalry that the melee would only be between the contacting stands, the melee with the Byzantine elite heavy cavalry would then be a different melee.  This latter assumption is due to the fact that no stand is shared between the melee areas.  BUT in the actual case here, there is a common melee stand and so it is all one melee.  But after all that, it is hypothetical as I have to roll receive charge for the body, which includes all three stands.  If the stands being charged by the Byzantine heavy cavalry fails and retires/routs, then the Byzantine heavy cavalry would not contact it, and then there would be no shared stand...

View from the Persian side prior to the 2 Byzantine cavalry charge

Persian elite heavy cavalry roll for receive charge -3,6.  From the Persian right to left: CV5 +1 friendly adjacent, +1 adjacent to leader, -1 hit = 6.  Pass both dice.   Other two stands also pass both dice. Reaction is return fire.  The 2 Persian cavalry that can return fire do so - one die is 3, one is 4. +1 for target mounted is 4 and 5.  One hit (Byzantine left heavy cavalry).
Byzantine take received fire test - 6,4.  CV4 +1 friendly adjacent = 5. (and -1 for the one with a hit).  Each passes one dice with a reaction of continue charging plus take 1 hit.

The hypothetical melee outlined above now occurs and assume one combat. Persians roll 2,1,3 +3 mounted target, +1 leader  = 10 or 2 hits. Leader risk d6 roll = 4. ok.
Byzantines roll 1,1,3 (!) +3 target mounted, +1 leader, +2 mounted first round = 11 or 2 hits.  Leader risk check roll = 4. ok.
Involved in melee check:
Persians first - 3,2.  As the worst is CV5 -1 hit +1 friendly adjacent +1 leader contact = 6 all pass 2 dice, carry on.
Byzantines - heavy cavalry body first  6,1.  hmm.  CV4 +1 friendly, -1 hit = pass one dice = retire. Move back 4 and take another hit.  The Persians roll to pursue - a one so do not.
The Byzantine elite heavy cavalry  - 6,1 but as it is leader and adjacent to a stand it passes both dice - carry on.

Next body... Byzantine elite heavy cavalry - the other one has not been in melee - wheels 45 degrees and charges a flank.  Attempt to charge - 3,3 passes 2 dice.  Persian heavy cavalry receive charge test: 6,3 fails one die and routs. Byzantine rolls for pursuit - 5 yes.  pursuit distance = 4 which is not enough for another contact.


Note pursuit and retire distance is set by the Armor Class, number of figures and mounted/foot.  Almost always a stand's movement distance divided by 2 and minus 1.  To this is added +1 or -1 depending on the roll of a die (1-3 = -1, 4-6= +1).  Whether a unit pursues is subject to a die roll too and based on original CV - high CV stands will generally pursue if attacking, and less so if defending.  With low CV it is the other way.  Generally.  It is actually simpler than it sounds - roll higher or lower than original CV and compare to 5 types of reaction (attacking, defending etc).  Pursuit roll is required is enemy stand retires or routs.

Next body - Moved Byzantine heavy cavalry up 12 (full distance).
Next body - moved heavy infantry up full distance of 6.

 End of turn 2

Turn 3 

Persian to start - Note that no Persian units are active as all have done a reaction and they have all stopped moving.  They have only 2 activations and I want to move the Light Cavalry and charge the reserve heavy cavalry into the flank of the Byzantine elite heavy cavalry.  So the right most heavy cavalry is not activated.  The reserve heavy cavalry is moved and one heavy cavalry will be charging the Byzantine elite heavy cavalry in the flank - passes attempting to charge.  The Byzantine elite heavy cavalry takes a receive charge test - passes both dice (note: roll 3,1; CV5 -2 flank charge = 3).  Reaction is return fire but cannot (out of arc) so stands.
Persian Cavalry moved into melee.
Persians roll 1 +1 mounted enemy +1 mounted first round = 3. no hits.
Byzantines roll 1 + 1 mounted enemy = 2. no hits.
Byzantine roll for involved in melee reaction, pass one die - retire.
Persian pass both dice for involved in melee reaction.
Persians roll for pursuit - yes - and move 5 which brings them into contact again.  Melee carried over to next turn.
Note: when looking up the rules for something else later in this turn, I noticed that is the pursuer contacts the enemy that retire, the enemy is routed instead.  so the melee should not have carried over.  Also, new melees are not carried over but keep happening until no more contact.  For example, if the pursuing Persian Heavy Cavalry had contacted a new stand, then a new melee would occur rather than carry over.  I realised the error when another Persian stand contacts the Byzantine Heavy Cavalry and so chose to automatically rout it at that point.

Next cavalry body does nothing - not in range for missile fire and not activating.
Light Cavalry could both move and attack the Light Infantry in flank - but would likely die as Skirmishers charging rout if don't pass both dice.  But also if they have to themselves undergo reaction, they will need 3 or less to pass so don't really want to put them in a position where they need to take a reaction test.  Maybe try and follow-up the Ghassanids and keep them constrained.  Certainly need to get away from the Light Infantry.  So the Light Cavalry move up to within 2 of Ghassanid stand.

Byzantine's move and choose to move the Ghassanids away to protect the Heavy Cavalry  flank

Activates the Elite Heavy Cavalry stand with the leader, wheels and attempts to charge Persian Heavy Cavalry flank.  Passes 2 dice.
Persian Elite Heavy Cavalry receive charge reaction - passes both dice (Leader stands are tough - CV5 +2 leader, +1 friendly adjacent, -1 hit, -2 charged in flank: only a roll of 6 is bad) and stands.  Persians are now assumed not to be flank charged.
Melee:
Persians roll 6 +1 leader = 7. one hit
Byzantines roll 5 +1 leader, +1 mounted in first round = 7. one hit.
Both leader pass risk test.
Both pass 2 dice for involved in melee test and so melee will continue next turn. 

Next body - Heavy cavalry attempt to charge enemy Persian heavy cavalry body to its front.  Passes 2 dice.  Persians stands all pass 2 dice for receive charge test and return fire causing 1 hit to each Byzantine stand.  Byzantines pass only one dice for receiving fire, take an additional hit each and charge in.
Melee results in two hits to Byzantines and two hits to the Persians.
Involved in melee test results in Byzantines routing and persians passing 2 dice and pursuing. Pursuit causes possible charge of the Byzantine Elite Heavy Cavalry in front (charging its flank).  See previous error above in that the Byzantine Elite Heavy Cavalry should have routed, and so this is what was done now to resolve that:  The Byzantine Elite Heavy Cavalry is routed.  The Persian Heavy Cavalry stand that pursued it pursues now and does a pursuit move of 7.  The Persian Heavy Cavalry that was doing an attempt to charge is simply moved its pursuit distance.

What the Persian's see after the Byzantine Heavy Cavalry rout

Next melee is between the two Elite Heavy Cavalry with leaders.  Both currently have 2 hits.
Byzantine inflict 1 hit.
Persians inflict no hits.
Both pass Leader risk roll.
Persian involved in melee test results in passing 0 dice.  Routed.
Byzantines involved in melee test results in passing 1 dice.  Retire. Retires into the enemy heavy cavalry and so it routed.
The Persian army must now undertake a leader lost reaction test. All stands do so.  Starting from right to left:
  • The three heavy cavalry body all pass both dice. Carry on
  • The two heavy cavalry body (the reserve) pass both dice.  Carry on
  • The single reserve Heavy cavalry body pass 0 dice - ROUT
  • The 2 elite Heavy cavalry pass both dice.  Carry on
  • The 2 Lakhmid light Cavalry pass one dice.  RETIRE (another hit each - they are not much good except as speed bumps - but then again, the Lone Ghassanid is not in much good shape either).
The Byzantine army must now undertake a leader lost reaction test. All stands do so.  Starting from right to left:
  • The light infantry pass 0 dice and rout
  • The Ghassanid light cavalry pass 1 dice and retire.  
  • The heavy cavalry - the one with 3 hits passes 0 dice, the one with two hits passes 1 dice and retire.
  • The infantry all pass 2 dice.

While things looked grim for the Persians when they lost the leader, after the leader lost result for the Byzantines, it look much worse for the Byzantines - 1 light cavalry speed bump, a heavy cavalry that is likely to rout at the sniff of a reaction test and 3 good infantry that can easily be out-maneuvered by the Persian 6 heavy cavalry in good condition.  I'm calling it for the Persians.

End of turn 3 and the game

 
Verdict
While it may seem like a lot of dice rolling, in practice things moved very fast.  I could not tell you how long the game lasted as it took awhile to write the notes as I was going but I would say there was about 50 minutes of play.  I have played about 10 games on a 2'x2' board and they all lasted from 30 minutes to 1 hour. It was strange that no melee ever had an outnumbered side (figures for each side of a melee are totalled and the one with fewer is outnumbered and gets a -1 to the reaction test.  It applies for missile fire too but I often forget that). The game is very dynamic, very fast and well suited to fast play.  Warrior Kings gets a large tick for a ruleset that plays under one hour on a 2'x2' board.  The only real change I made was to make inches into centimetres.