Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Hydaspes replay number 4 - Ancient Warrior Battles

This is the last game of four replaying the Battle of Hydaspes with different rulesets.  Go to this post for background, troop descriptions, deployment and comparison to the other 3 rules.

Ancient Warrior Battles is a homegrown set.  Think of Ancient Warrior Battles as Justified Ancients with some RRtK reaction tests to determine enemy reaction to events and you will get the general idea of the rules. Sort of.  As per Justified Ancients replay, Alexander has a rating of +2, Porus of +0.
Horse archer advance, Chariot and cavalry attempt to charge horse archers but fail.  Horse archers fire. Cavalry pushed back; chariots forced to charge, one horse archer fires at the chariot - no effect- and evades, chariot automatically pursues but does not catch them.  Results are similar to Justified Ancients, but reactions to events occur a bit like Rally Round the King.

Horse archers pushing back the chariots

Porus moves to an elephant closer to left flank (maybe should have done this in the JA game as well as their is a distance modifier to order roll) and advances the right flank chariot and the archer battleline.  In the Macedonian turn, the horse archers advances to within range of the disordered cavalry and the chariot; missile fire causes the chariot to retreats (retreat is like flee in Justified Ancients so chariot is disordered and depleted).  The skirmishers, battleline and peltasts all advance.

The Indian left flank - note how far the cavalry has retreated.  The chariot is disordered and depleted.

The Indian battleline from the Macedonian side.  Macedonian skirmishers are in position to harass the Indians.

The Indians fire at the advancing battleline. Four skirmishers gone for only one archer pushed back in return fire.

Porus cries out "Release the elephants" does not receive the order (rolled a 1 - the only chance for a failure), but the rest go in.

First elephant contacts skirmisher and the latter rout. Elephants pursues into a phalangite unit who stands.  Combat will occur next turn.

The Elephant charges and contacts the phalanx line after routing a covering skirmisher.

Second elephant (with Porus) causes the contacted skirmisher to run away, the elephant continues into the phalanx line that stands. The last elephant in the line charges the Hypaspists who retreat in the ensuing combat.

Hypaspists retreating from an elephant unit.

The Chariot rallies off their disorder and the Indian cavalry fails to charge the horse archers.  The horse archers fire at the Indian cavalry that then retreats to edge of board.

Two pike units are in melee with the Elephant and Porus.  The Elephant loses and is pushed back.

Elephant with Porus retreats from pike line - a pike unit pursues and recontacts.

Another pike unit is in combat with an Elephant.  The elephant also loses and retreats.
The Indians advance all the archers within missile range of pikes (12cm).  Elephant on the far right still waiting for a successful order to charge!

Porus moves off the elephant that retreated and moves to an undisordered undepleted elephant - he can see the writing is on the wall for his old mount.
Elephant (now without Porus) Vs pike sees the Elephant destroyed, and also depletes the archers in the rout path behind.

Elephant (now with Porus) charges the Hypaspists, the latter that retreats and depleted.  As the Hypaspists were already depleted, they are destroyed.  The Elephant pursues.  The Chariot charges a horse archer that retreats.

Elephant pursuing the destroyed Hypaspist.  Horse archers retreating from the chariot.

The Macedonians move the horse archers to in front of the cavalry and chariots. The Thessalian Heavy Cavalry wheels to face the elephants that is now next to them after pursing the destroyed Hypaspists.

Thessalian heavy cavalry turn to face the Elephants.

The pike line advances and gets fired on by the Indian archers. One pike unit is disordered.  One pike unit charges and elephant - the elephant routs and depletes the archer unit behind it.

The battlelines.  Note the Indians are worse off with some depleted archers.

My three year old helping me out, here rolling dice off the end of a ruler.

The Indian right flank chariots charge a peltast unit that decides to stand and take it.  Both end up disordered.

The right most elephant then charges two peltasts who both rout.

The Elephants and Chariot on the Indian right flank.  There were two peltasts in front of them, but they routed.

Indian archery fire: All the pike units roll high for their fired-on test...except the last one to test that fails and retreats.

The Indian left flank - only one Macedonian pike unit (the leftmost one in the centre of the picture) retreats from the archery.

The elephant with Porus (next to the Thessalian cavalry) tests to turn to face the cavalry. The order will fail on a roll of a 1.  Rolls a 1.

But, on a whim, the heavy chariot charges the horse archer unit in front who retreat, already depleted so dispersed.

The other horse archer that is pushing the Indian cavalry close to the table edge, fires at the cavalry who are pushed back off the board.

The Companions charge the heavy chariot. The Chariots retreats but already depleted so destroyed.  Companions pursue.

Companions and Alexander against the chariots (that are destroyed)

The Thessalians cavalry charge the elephant (with Porus) in the flank. Poor rolling by the Thessalians see them retreat.

The pike battle lines charge the Indian archers. One pike is forced to retreat but four heavy archers are dispersed (two were already depleted that did not help).  Indians have reached their breakpoint (50%) and so I call it for the Macedonians (who were 3 units away from their breakpoint).

At game end from the Indian side - not many archers left in the centre.  Companions are off stage to the left.

A great game and a good outing for my rules.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Hydaspes replay number 3 - Fast Ancient Battles

This is the third game of four replaying the Battle of Hydaspes with different rulesets.  Go to this post for background, troop descriptions, deployment and comparison to the other 3 rules. 

The battle report is a little bit more detailed than I would do normally do just for a report, but I needed some detail as to who did what as it helped to write the rules comparison. 
The main differences between FAB and Bill Banks Ancients (BBA) is that not all units can moved - it is limited to a number of groups per turn.  The number of groups of units able to move per turn is 1 + the number of leaders.  The CRT is replaced with a die roll table but has a similar effect.  Lastly, missile fire cannot destroy any units besides skirmishers - another 'DD' on a unit is no effect.
The Macedonians have 3 leaders, Indians only 1.  In hindsight, Macedonians should have only got 2 leader, and in fact that is the number of generals in the Peter Sides scenario.
Horse archers and opposing mounted have a bit of movement and retiring resulting in a disordered Indian cavalry unit.  The archers, with good die rolling, manage to disorder and destroy some skirmishers.

Overview, Indians to the bottom.  Indian mounted has advanced on the horse archers to the left.  Some skirmishers in centre disordered (green marker) from Indian bow fire.

The Indian cavalry and chariot charge the horse archers in the flank.  They cannot evade and so are destroyed.  The Cavalry and chariot pursue 4cm.  This may have been a bad move as the Macedonian Heavy Cavalry is going to charge next turn.

Companions (Alex attached) facing the Indian cavalry and chariots

Alexander move to attach to the Thessalian Heavy cavalry (the Companions already have a good chance against the disordered Indian cavalry) and both cavalry units charge - The Indian cavalry is destroyed and the chariots disordered.
Post combat - Indian cavalry gone, chariots disordered.

The rest of the Macedonian battleline move forward, archer fire results in no hits (this balances out their good rolling last turn).

Indian Elephants contact the skirmishers who fire and evade.  Missile fire disorders the elephant with Porus, who rolls a leader check to see if destroyed.  Rolls a 1.  So yes - Porus has left the battlefield.  That is going to hurt.  Macedonian Skirmishers also disorders two archers.

Porus was attached to this elephant.

Two skirmishers move into the gaps between the elephants to protect the pike from the archers. This was a good move as archery destroyed the two skirmishers. The pike battleline charges the elephants.  The Macedonians ran out of group move points as they would have also really liked to move the hoplites into combat as well.  Note a general moved over from hoplites to a pike to help combat.
Thessalians Vs chariots see the Thessalians disordered.  One elephant is destroyed by a pike unit that pursues into an archer.  Some disorders handed out in other melees.

Battlelines - mostly elephants crashing into the pikes

At the end of the Macedonian turn, remove disorder from the Thessalians and a pike unit  with a general.  This is a large advantage that the Macedonians now have - only generals can remove disorder, and the Indians have no generals.
Note that ongoing melees are optional to resolve for the active player.  So the Indians do not resolve the disadvantaged chariot Vs Thassalians, but will do combat against disordered phalanxes as they are at -2 compared to ordered phalanxes.
Hypaspists destroy an elephant.  Pikes in melee destroy an archer and disorder another.  A Macedonian general attached to one of the pike units that is disordered fails the general in combat check and leaves the battlefield.

Battleline - only centre elephant left and the phalanx is getting into contact with the archers.

Alexander moves to the Companions which then move behind the battleline to face the Indian cavalry that came from the other flank - in the next turn they charge and destroy the poor Indian cavalry that had moved so far.   Combat sees one elephant down, and a few disorders on both sides.

Battleline - Alex and Companions on the left ready to charge the Indian cavalry from the right flank.

The Macedonian doesn't progress many melees due to the number of disordered pikes.  The Indian right flank sees the elephant and chariot charge in and disorder the peltasts.

Indian right flank - both elephants and chariots disordered, but so are the Macedonian peltasts.

The Companions turn around ready to charge the archers from the rear.  In FAB, this disorders the Companions, but that is OK as Alexander is with them and disorder can be removed at the end of the turn.  The Hypaspists destroy an archer in melee.

Battleline at end of game - not many archers left.

The Indians have lost 50% of their breakpoints and so the game is over with a Macedonian win.  Phalanxes are really strong in this game, and they also got some lucky rolls.  The skirmish screen worked very well and the phalanx units did not get disordered going in.   The Macedonians lost only the horse archers. Having 3 leaders really helped with undisorder and movement flexbility.  Losing Porus early really hurt as could not move extra groups nor undisorder units.  If I played again I would keep Porus out of combat longer as he is too valuable for group points to throw away for +1 combat.  There were also a number of archers that could have been better used by me on the Indian right flank - possibly outflanking the hoplites and helping remove the peltasts.  Overall a fun game - the multiple leaders and the leader disorder/rally concept is central to this game which make is different to play than most other games at this scale.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Hydaspes replay number 2 - Justified Ancients

This is the second game of four replaying the Battle of Hydaspes with different rulesets.  Go to this post for background, troop descriptions, deployment and comparison to the other 3 rules.

The battle report is a bit more detailed than I would do normally do just for a report, but I needed the detail as to who did what as it helped to write the rules comparison.  There is a lot less than I originally wrote left...

The Game
Alexander will be rated as a +2 General, Porus a +0.  Generals can move independently but for now, as per RRtK, Alexander is with the Companions, Porus in a lead elephant.
Horse archers move up (with a +2 general, they pass the move order automatically) and fire at the opposing Cavalry and Chariot. Goods rolling sees both pushed back.  Firing needs a 6 to deplete the cavalry and will never deplete the chariot (needs a 7).
The cavalry and chariot charge horse archers (pass order).  Horse Archers fire and evade and fatigued.  Note that in Justified Ancients, the cavalry and chariot would be fatigued too, but if a charger does not hit home, my house rule is the charger is not fatigued.
Archers fire, evade and fatigued (green markers)

The tactic I used in the RRtK replay for the horse archers will not work in JA - the horse archers cannot wear down the left mounted Indian flank. But the effect is similar in that they are screening the Macedonian Heavy cavalry.

Indian move battleline forwards and the Macedonians do as well.  It seems to be moving so slow!  They are moving 1/2 the speed compared to RRtK (move distances in RRtK are quite large).  And also cannot do same thing as in RRtK where advance with just elephants - each elephant needs an order roll.

Battlelines getting closer

Only one elephant successfully passes a charge order, contacts 2 skirmishers and they evade.  The left chariot and battleline all successfully pass order check and advance and fire at a few skirmishers.

A view of the Indian left and opposing pikes

Horse archers are back in front of the Indian left flank mounted but cause no damage (with firing on a die roll of 6 they can deplete the cavalry).  The Indian cavalry and Heavy Chariot charge (successfully!) the horse archers who evade.  The horse archers evade through the gap between Companions and pikes.
Horse archers retreat between Cavalry and Hypaspists

There is a bit of elephant charge and retire and some Macedonian skirmisher pushback from archer fire.  A centre elephant charges some skirmishers that fires and evades.  The fire has no effect so the elephant continues into a phalanx.  The phalanx flees and the elephant pursues, recontacts and destroys the phalanx next turn in melee.
Phalangite unit fleeing from a pike.

After failing charges tests, Porus finally passes charge test, gets to a skirmisher that fires and evades and Porus is pushed back by the fire. Ah well.

Archers firing pushed back more skirmishers and exposes most of the phalangites.  Skirmishers interpenetrating the pikes do not effect the pikes but skirmishers are depleted.  In my house rules skirmisher foot only take one depletion.  So gone.

The Macedonian battle line starts moving up.
Elephant Vs hypaspists: Tie.

Elephant in combat with Hypaspists

The Elephant that pursued the fleeing pike and destroyed it:

Elephant destroys pike and pursues - like a knife through butter

Skirmisher Vs Elephant with Porus: Elephant pushed back.

Elephant and Porus in melee with recalcitrant skirmishers

Hoplite Vs Elephant: Hoplites pushed back and disordered.

Elephant and Hoplites in melee

A turn of little happening is almost a lull in the battle - a few failed orders, firing has little effect but an elephant did destroy a depleted pike unit.

The left side of the Indian battleline


The right side of the Indian battleline

The Macedonian horse archers fire and deplete the cavalry (a 6 - finally).
The Macedonian battleline move up to contact archers where possible.  The archers all stand and fire but it does not help - four archers flee.

The Macedonian right - Hypaspists in the lower centre.

The Macedonian left - Hoplites are the lone lead unit.

The Indians then failed every move or charge order roll, except Porus that charges in. Even though there were not moves, there were a lot of combats - four archers units dispersed.  Porus was pushed back.

Field of battle - Indian lower, Macedonians at the top - archers and pikes are lost on both sides.  Heavy Cavalry to the top left have not yet entered the battle

Then the Hypaspists vs elephant sees the elephant dispersed.Porus and another elephant both cause there respective phalanx unit flee and in subsequent melee cause them to disperse.

My 3 year old son helping me move the Macedonian cavalry (yes, the game is in a map drawer)

The Companion and heavy cavalry charge the opposing Indian mounted.  The Indian cavalry flees and dispersed as already depleted (it was depleted by the horse archers - so they were very useful after all).
Combats go back and forth for another turn - then a peltast gets a elephant in the flank, and the elephant is dispersed; and Companions and the heavy cavalry destroy the heavy chariot.  This means the Indians have lost 50% of their forces, and so it is a Macedonian win.  It was close, as the Macedonians were only 2 units away from 50% as well.
End  of game - a lot of units went by the wayside in a rush. Indians table edge to the bottom, although most Indian units are scattered about in the centre

A fun and fast game.