Thursday, April 26, 2012

WW2 battle report - Western Front 1944 using 20mm and Take Cover

Introduction
In the process of rearranging three rooms in the house, a vacant spot turned up in a corner of a room.  While awaiting being filled by a cupboard in a few months time, I measured the spare space - perfect for a 4.5'x 5' table (half a table tennis table).  Even bigger than the fold out 3'x5' table I have.  So, with the promise I will only have use the corner for a week, I set up and played a 20mm WW2 Take Cover game. It was a year ago I last played with my 20mm collection and have done a couple of 6mm games during the year.  I had promised myself to try and get a 20mm game in during 2012 so I have achieved that goal.  The cat ate some trees, the small children moved some terrain and figures around at times, but I managed to get in a decent solo game.

Cat caught chewing the tress
An example of what the cat left behind.  Note that tree droppings ended up everywhere over the table and you can see bits of tree lying on the table in most of the pictures
Scenario
I was not planning on a game.  I have about 150 Red Devils figures I acquired last year and wanted to use them but had no scenarios with them in.  Several hours reading of unit organisations and WW2 history later, I realised I wasn't going to setup something too historical in the time I had to think about it.  I wanted it to be Spring/Summer and not too urban, so this is a hypothetical scenario as the 6th Airborne are advancing towards the Seine during August 1944.  Objective is for the British battalion to open the road that runs down the table.  Note that the Germans have two Marder IIIs as I got these about 5 years ago but have never fielded them, and it is plausible that they were used.  The companies are all below strength, particularly the Germans.
 
Germans (regular)
Battalion HQ: 5 figures
1st company: 6 figs + 1 Panzerschreck + 1 MMG
2nd company: 6 figs + 1 MMG
Support: 1 75mm howitzer (gun 6 no AP) + 2 81mm mortars (gun 6 no AP)
Armour: 2 x Marder III (gun 5, Light Armour)
 
6th Airborne (veteran)
Battalion HQ: 6 figs + 3 jeeps
1st company: 12 figures
2nd company: 10 figures
3rd company: 10 figures
AT support: 2 6pdrs (Gun 6) + jeeps + 3 PIATs + carriers
MMG support: 2 MMG + carriers
Mortar support: 2 3" mortar (gun 6 with no AP) + carriers
Artillery: Corp 25pdrs (gun 4)
Note: Small arms fire from Companies 1, 2 and 3 will be +1 at range 0-6" due to proliferation of SMGs.
 
Deployment
Playing solo, I usually play both sides to the best of my ability.  Not bored with this yet and happy to cheer each side on - I am more interested in how the game plays out and represents warfare.  But I did deploy the Germans on one day, and then a couple of days later use a photo of the initial table layout to determine the orders for the British.  At least this way, each sides deployment was a little independent of one another.  As an added bonus, I got a head cold in between deployments, so I couldn't remember the German deployment at all when it came to the British orders!

The table from the British side.  The vehicles, and the bear passenger on the right -  were not used; my 'helpful' children put them there.

German deployment
Battalion HQ is the rear woods.
1st company split across ruined farmhouse and the fields between village and farm. The MMG is detached and in the village covering the fields in front of the rest of the company.
2nd company in the village.
Howizter is at the rear to halt any advance down the German right flank.
Marders are to the rear and split (they can be up to 24" apart) across guarding the road and guarding any advance down the German left flank.

German Deployment
Closer look at the village and what the British 2nd company will face.

6th Airborne orders
1st Company to enter though the left woods and take the farm.  Once farm is taken, meet up with 2nd company in the village and advance down road. MMG to support advance of  1st company.
2nd company to advance on the left side of the road and take the village. Await 2nd company and continue down the road.  AT to support advance of 2nd company.
3rd company to advance through the woods to the  fork in the road and act as a reserve.
Battalion HQ to follow 3rd company. 
Mortars to end and deploy at rear (and commander in the battalion may attempt to call for in-battalion mortar support).

British orders
Rules Changes
I am using card driven initiative - a deck of cards with each unit represented by a card, includes a "game end" card to re-shuffle the deck.  A unit does all it actions on the draw of a card.  I have moved the morale part of the turn sequence to be the first thing a unit does as it works better with the card driven game.  Infantry if fired on have to take a morale check (note in the Take Cover amendments there is a special d10 based infantry fired on morale table - I just use the normal morale table in this instance).  Lastly, I have expanded the vehicle armour ratings - instead of Medium (+0 mod to penetration role) and Light (+1) and Soft Skin (+2), I have added in Very Light (+2).  This means universal carriers, halftracks and armoured cars are now very light.  And lastly, I have more transports per figure - a truck etc can carry only 3 squads, not 10 as per the Take Cover organisations.  Not that there are any trucks in this game as the 6th Airborne was very short on transport.  I used all this amendments in my last Take Cover 6mm game and they worked fine.

The Game
1st company forms up into platoons of 3 figures each and leapfrog over one another through the woods and over the fields into the outskirts of the farm.

On the outskirts of the farm

After quite a bit of a firefight, the 4 figures in the ruined farmhouse are gone for no British casualties.  Quite surprising, as the rules are quite deadly: 4 figures firing against someone in soft cover will inflict a casualty on a 3+.  But the Germans rolled lots of 1s and 2s.  The 75mm howitzer manages to get in shots at some figures in and around the farmhouse, but eventually a MMG takes the howitzer crew out.

Farmhouse is secured by 1st Company with minimal casualties
The German MMG in the village also takes out some more of the company.  That MMG is silenced by British mortar fire.  A platoon of 1st company enter into the woods next to the farm and comes into contact with some of the battalion HQ that is also in the woods.  They clear the woods at some loss.  Morale checks finally put a halt to first company who are pinned (no move and fire until rallied) with only 5 figures left.

Elements of 1st company advance into (and subsequently clear) the woods to the left of the village but sustained casualties end up pinning the company.
Meanwhile...
2nd company sends a platoon (3 figures) up to the hedge and are promptly suppressed by mortars called in by the German commander in the village.  Further to that, more casualties are received when the platoon of Germans facing them across the field also open fire.  British platoon gone.

British platoon advancing near the village.  Destroyed by mortar and enemy rifle fire.
Unluckily the German platoon is spotted (the 2nd company commander on the 2nd floor of the building near their entry point can see them - required a 5+).  Luckily the Germans are out of rifle range of the building.  More of 2nd company is sent into the fray but stall due to the mortar fire. The 2nd company is down 5 figures and have made no headway.


Battalion mortar fire is easy to do and deadly - it chips away at enemy units.  Just to show how a 81mm battalion mortar works in Take Cover against a stationary target in soft cover:
Each turn
  • Company commander rolls for communication link (2+ of a d6)
  • Rolls a 3+ of a d6 for registering on target.
  • Roll 3+ on a d6 to cause a casualty.
So, the chances of causing a casualty with a 81mm mortar is about 40% per turn.  And the German commander was rolling hot - a casualty each call!

My three year old moving troops down the road. OK, sounds good but not where they are supposed to go mind you, he just picked some up from elsewhere and is lining them up!
The supporting 6pdrs came down the road, deployed and managed to inflict a hit on the German platoon on the fields.  As this German platoon and the one in the farmhouse were the same company, they failed their morale check and became pinned (no move and fire until pass a rally check).  Subsequent to this the last figure went to British mortar fire.  German 1st company is lost except the MMG (that has not been seen nor fired). The Take Cover amendments allow for detachments that test separately for morale.  I have assumed that the German MMGs would operate this way in defense.  This MMG does good by firing at 1st company in the farmhouse before succumbing to British mortar fire.  

3rd company advance down the centre road to village supported by 6pdrs.
The British 3rd company is in reserve in the woods at the fork in the road.  With the 2nd company unable to advance without being destroyed, two-thirds of 3rd company advance down the road.  The cards were on their side and the German 2nd company were helpless while the 3rd company approached.

Elements of 3rd company attack first defended house in the village
Sidenote: this is what I (and obviously many others) actually like about card driven activation with an end turn card reshuffling the deck.  My limited reading of WW2 seems to be just like this.  units are not all seeeing, all knowing and are very focused on what they are doing without a bigger picture view.  In the current game terms, it is easily explained that the German platoon in the building is focused on what is happening with the 2nd company and so it not really aware of what is occurring on the other side of the building.  IGOYGO games just don't - to me - capture how WW2 firefights occurred.

Same three year old helping me turn over the cards (being reused from my IABSM days so it says Platoon 2 but is really company 2.).  He cannot read at all, but is doing a good impression.
The 3rd company makes it to the house containing a platoon of Germans from company 2.  I call it to be hand to hand combat, they are close enough for it. They clear that house and manage to advance into the next (ruined) house.

Cleared first house, occupy the next (ruined house).  This is actually as far as the British get.
The remainder of 3rd company is following up but then the unit comes under German mortar fire, fire from a unit across the road and also an MMG further down the village. A morale check sees the unit shaken (no move, fire at -1).

A final push with everything into the village.  To no avail.
Other highlights around this time is one of the Marder IIIs is ordered to move up to assist in defense of the village.  The 6pdr spots it but has little chance of doing any damage at long range and doesn't.

Battalion HQ set up in the woods, surrounded by fallen leaves and branches "shaken" off the trees by the giant cat.
The British have two units with an adverse morale state, another well down with casualties.  A Battalion morale test is required and sees the result that the entire battalion will pull back for one turn.  The Germans still have a reasonable force in the village - another unrevealed 6 figures, an MMG and 2 Marders.  This is more than enough to keep the British out and would continue to force Battalion checks that will see the Battalion continue to retreat.  I call it a victory for the Germans.

End game.  Not much to see but there are fewer Germans and not many Brits.
 In Take Cover, each infantry company begins taking morale checks after reaching a threshold.  For regular troops this is 30%  of the company starting figures, but generally will not get a poor result until losing 3 or more figures above the threshold.  Once a Battalion loses casualties over a threshold (40% for regulars), the Battalion takes a "higher morale check" with different modifiers and results to company morale checks.

Post game analysis
A fun game.  I do like the fact that Take Cover has two states for the infantry figures - either alive or removed.  No wounded etc.  There is another state for a group of figures - suppression.  This is another factor I like - infantry suppression occurs with either enough indirect or direct HE, or with double the amount of firepower compared to receiving figures.  This promotes the "fire to suppress and move" that seems common to my readings on WW2 battles at this level of play. In my last game of Take Cover with 20mm figures, I had no suppression.  In this game I had quite a few - at the farmhouse and in the village.  The game was great to play, and I had positioned the Germans very well.  If I was replaying the same game, I would give the Brits either more artillery support or more troops to make it a more balanced game.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Heraclea replay with Crusader Ancient rules

Background
I am on an ongoing quest on replaying the Battle for Heraclea looking for good fast play ancients rules that play under an hour on a 2'x2' table.  For the seventh game I will be using Crusader Historical Miniature Rules by Marks Sims of Crusader Miniatures.  Available in PDF from Crusader Miniatures.  There are also two army lists for Macedonian and Punic Wars, and Armies and Enemies of Imperial Rome.  There is an active online forum. Reviews can be found at Small Battles, War and Peace Games and a short one in this TMP thread. I should fess up now and say I do not think these rules will work on a 2'x2' table, but I have been wanting to try these rules out for years. To relieve you from skipping to the end of this post - they are NOT suitable for 2'x2' play, but they ARE fun.

This report is a bit light on pictures as the game went faster than I thought it would.  It is also very detailed, although I tend not to mention the the pips on the dice rolled, I do mention die roll modifiers a fair bit.  My aim is provide a lot of detail on the rule mechanisms to assist someone deciding to play with the rules or not.  And it will help me remember the rules if I ever get around to doing a comparison of the rules I used to replay Heraclea.  Lastly, there is a complete game example in the rulebook itself, that actually has more detail than this post - it documents each die roll pip as well.
 
Troops
Crusader works on units which are made up of a number of stands.  Stands are removed as losses.  Minimum size of units is 4 stands.  Playing with WRG standard 40mm wide bases gives me two choices: use the rules as per normal, or say one base = one unit and track stand losses.  The latter would work ok as combat is between units, not stands.  But if I did the one base = one unit, the game will last longer as I will have a lot more units on the table.  So I will crowd the table out a bit and make units multiple stands, as per the rules.

   
Troop Definitions

Romans
Leves: 1 unit of 4 stands. Trained, CS: Poor, BS: Av, WND:2, ATT:1, TL:6, M:6, ARM: Light, Hand Weapons, Javelins, Skirmishers.
Hastati: 1 units of 4 stands. Trained, CS:Av, WND:3, ATT:2, TL:7, M:4, ARM: Light, Hand Weapons, Thrown Melee Weapons, Drilled.
Principes: 1 units of 4 stands. Regular, CS:Av, WND:3, ATT:2, TL:7, M:4, ARM: Light, Hand Weapons, Thrown Melee Weapons, Drilled.
Triarii: 1 unit of4 stands. Seasoned, CS:Av, WND:3, ATT:2, TL:8, M:4, ARM: Med, Hand Weapons, Long Spears, Drilled, Steadfast.
Light Infantry: 1 unit of 4 stands. Levy, CS:Av, WND:3, ATT:2, TL:6, M:4, ARM: Light, Hand Weapons, Thrown Melee Weapons.
Heavy Cavalry: 1 unit of 6 stands. Trained, CS:Poor, WND:3, ATT:2, TL:6, M:8, ARM: Light, Hand Weapons, Mounted.
Light Cavalry: 1 unit of 4 stands. Trained, CS:Poor, BS: Av, WND:2, ATT:1, TL:5, M:8, ARM: Light, Hand Weapons, Mounted, Skirmishers, Javelins.
Commander is +1
Breakpoint is 6
 
Epirot
Hypaspist: 1 unit of 6 Stands (but became 4 - see below).  Seasoned, CS:Good, WND:3, ATT:2, TL:8, M:4, ARM: Med, Pike, Phalanx, Hand Weapons.
Pikemen and Hoplites: 1 unit of 9 stands (but became 6 - see below).  Regular, CS:Av, WND:3, ATT:2, TL:6, MV:4, ARM: Med, Pike, Phalanx, Hand Weapons.
Light Infantry: 1 unit of 4 stands. Levy, CS:Av, WND:3, ATT:2, TL:6, M:4, ARM: Light, Hand Weapons, Thrown Melee Weapons
Skirmisher and Slingers: 1 unit of 4 stands. Levy, CS: Poor, BS:Poor, WND:2, ATT:1,TL:4, MV:6,ARM:Light, Hand Weapons, Skirmishers, Sling
Agema:  1 unit of 4 stands. Seasoned, CS:Good, WND:3, ATT:2, TL:7, M:8, ARM: Med, Hand Weapons, Mounted, Thrown Melee Weapons.
Light Cavalry:  1 unit of 4 stands. Trained, CS:Poor, BS: Av, WND:2, ATT:1, TL:5, M:8, ARM: Light, Hand Weapons, Mounted, Skirmishers, Javelins
Elephant: 1 Elephant stand. Regular. CS: Good, WND:5, ATT:3, TL:6, M:6, ARM: Light, Elephant, tower
Commander is +2
Breakpoint is 5
Note: During play I reduced the Hypaspists to 4 stands and the Pikemen/Hoplites to 6 stands as I had misread the rules and made the unit larger than necessary.

Deployment
Crowded.  But based on my standard deployment, just units are a bit wider and deeper. Have a look:

Epirot on the left, Romans on the right

Romans will have initiative in the first turn as per my scenario notes.

Turn 1
Units are activated one at a time and do all their actions (move, fire etc) when activated. Activation is automatic if a unit is simply moving.  Changing formation or facing etc requires a unit to pass a Training and Leadership test.

Romans activate Leves who move 6" and are now within Javelin range (5") of the Epirot skirmishers.  Skirmishers can move and fire with no penalty so Leves now do so:
Leves has one missile attacks per stand (Thought is was two but the special rules on Skirmishers state it is always 1 per base) and have four stands = 4 attacks. Each attack is a d10 roll.  Require a 6 or more, die modifiers of  -1 target light armour -2 target skirmishers = 9+.  1 hit. The skirmishers have a Wound value of 2, so need 1 more hit before a stand is removed.

Romans activate the Hastati that move directly forward, then the Principes move directly forward.  The Triarii wheel 90 degrees to their left to protect the Roman left flank. Wheeling does not require a leadership test.  Previous games have proved the Roman cavalry on the left tends not to hold versus the Agema and Elephant so that is why the Triarii wheeled.

Epirots move up Agema and Elephants.  While the Agema could charge the Roman cavalry (movement is doubled when charging and Agema move 8"), the Elephants cannot reach this turn.  Better to wait until both units can charge the Roman Cavalry.  Although I knew you could activate only one unit at a time, and the rules even have a section on multiple melees stating why it would not happen, at this stage I still thought the Agema and Elephant could charge in together.  They cannot, and my brian clicked to it when I did want them both the charge and remembered the rule!


Now, what to do with the Phalanx and the Skirmishers. I can charge the Skirmishers into the Leves, I could fire on the Leves, I could retire the Skirmishers and charge the Leves with the Pikes to force a confrontation.  I do not believe the phalanx should get involved too early and should try and time getting into melee with what happens on the flank. Epirot will charge their Skirmishers at the Leves to see how that works.

Leves defensive fire 6+ -1 light armour-2 target skirmishers -1 being charged  = 10+ required.  No hits. Leves counter charge rather than flee so I can see how melee works.  Now for melee;  bear with me as I have not played the rules before and while melee looks quite straightforward, there are as few steps:
Melee casualties: each is 4 stands 6+ to hit, die modifiers -1 target light armour, 7+ to hit.  Each skirmisher has 1 melee attacks so 4 d10s per unit. Epirot Skirmishers inflict 2 hits which equals one Leves stand gone. Note that according to the rules I should have done a morale check here as the Leves have lost 25% of their unit but the rules errata state that morale tests are not taken for units in melee so lucky I forgot to do it here.  Leves inflict one hit, so with 1 hit already on the unit, that is one stand gone.
Melee winner calculation:
Epirot d6 = 3 +2 (Levy) +2 (enemy skirmish) =7
Leves: d6 = 3 +3 (Trained) +2 (enemy skirmish) = 8
Epirot loses with a difference of 1, so now to the Melee Victory Table:
Epirot Skirmishers have lost 25% so add +2 for a total of 3 so retire back 4" and become shaken.  They retire through the pikes.

Epirot activate the large pike unit (not the Hypaspist) and charge the Leves.

Leves have two choices depending on if they want to slow down the pike-legionnaire clash:
1.Defensive fire and stay their ground.  Inflict a little damage and slow the pikes by a turn.
2.Flee and the pike can continue into the Roman heavy infantry.
As the Romans want it sooner rather than later - wait too long and the left flank is resolved possibly not in their favour.

Leves flee (2d6").  Pike block continues the charge and meets the Hastati unit. Now the pike unit only had just enough movement (charge is 2x normal move) and so hit the Hastati off-centre.  Normally you should aim for the centre of the unit.

Triarii has turned (bottom centre) and pikes and Hastati contacted (centre).  Hypaspist have not activated and are off stage to the top.

Now, I made the pike units 3 bases deep as when I was reading the rules I thought a unit needed to be  3 stands deep to be classed as a phalanx.  But on re-reading, it is that a unit that has 3 stands or less loses its phalanx status.  Oops.  Very different.  I would have made the pike units only 2 stands deep in that case.  So, as it is a solo game and it hasn't actually affecting anything yet, I have removed the third line of stands from the pikes and Hypaspist units.  Lastly, the number of stands that fight is not released to stands in contact - the smaller width unit fights will all front stands, the larger fights with up to 2 more frontal stands.  So pikes will fight with 3 stands, Hastati with all 4 (and could not have fought with more than 5 if they were wider). To further complicate matters, I have looked at the rules errata and phlanx units must be in two ranks to get the phalanx bonus. So if they lose one stand from the back, they are not in phalanx anymore!  But there 6 unit phalanx will be very powerful against the 4 unit Hastati and Principes.  Rather than increase the size of the Phalan and Romans by another rank, I will just leave them in two ranks and have the phalanx morale bonus be +1 (rather than +2) if there are still some stands in the second rank.  Will be +2 if all stands are still in second rank.

Epirot Pikes Vs Hastati

Hand to Hand:
Epirot Pikes: Will roll 6 dice (2 per stand) for 7+ (6+ with die mods: -1 light armour). 3 wounds inflicted.
Hastati: 8 dice for 8+ (6+, -2 for medium armour). 4 wounds inflicted.

Note: Pila are represented by being able to re-roll any 1's rolled in melee.

Epirot Pikes lose a stand (also Wound 3) and carry over 1 wound.
Hastati lose a stand.

Hastati and Pikes get casualties (one base each).

 
Melee results:
Epirot Pikes: d6 = 4 +4 regular +3 wounds inflicted +1 pike Vs infantry (note would be +2 but see discussion above - I've made it +1 as there are still stands in the 2nd rank) +1 deeper ranks = 13
Hastati: d6 = 5 +3 Trained +4 wounds inflicted = 12.
Victory table:

Hastati lose by 1 +2 for at 25% looses = 3.  Result is retire 4" and shaken.  Cannot retire 4" as Principes in the way so simply retire until I bump into them.  Not sure what to do if you cannot retire the whole distance - I could not find it in the rules, but that does not mean it is not there!  I eventually found it in the errata - if you cannot move the full distance, then bump up the result to one worse.  But not I am thinking that both Hastati and Principes have the Drilled ability so I will rule that the Hastati retire through the Principes.

Hastati (middle line) retreat through the Principes (now to the front).


Hypaspists advance.  Now the Hastati have retired, they are too far away for the Hypaspists to charge.

Turn 2
With only a few units and starting close together, the game might not last too long!
Who goes first or second is determined only once at the start of the game - from then on, players alternative turns.  Therefore it is the Romans turn.

Triarii move to protect the cavalry on the left flank.
Hastati roll a TL test to remove the shaken result -  a 9.  No.
Principes charge the Pike unit, who countercharge.

Pikes Vs Principes
Hand to Hand:
Epirot pikes: Will roll 6 dice (2 per stand) for 7+ (6+ with die mods: -1 light armour). 3 wounds inflicted.
Principes: 8 dice for 8+ (6+, -2 for medium armour). 1 wounds inflicted.


Principes lose a stand.
 
Melee results:
Epirot pikes: d6 = 2 +4 regular +3 wounds inflicted +1 pike Vs infantry (note would be +2 but see discussion above - I've made it +1 as there are still stands in the 2nd rank) +1 deeper ranks = 11
Principes: d6 = 5 +4 regular +2 wounds inflicted =11.
A roll off for a winner (for a melee tie both roll a d6 and lowest loses by 1). Epirot loses.

Victory table:
Epirot pikes lose by 1 +2 for at 25% looses = 3.  Result is retire 4" and shaken.

Epirot pikes retire from the Principes in the centre.

Epirot player turn - TL check on pikes - passes, not shaken.
Hypaspists charge the Principes, drifting obliquely to get as close to the centre of the Principes as they can.  Principes countercharge.

Hypaspists Vs Principes
Hand to Hand:
Epirot: Will roll 4 dice (2 for 2 stands) for 6+ (6+ with die mods: -1 light armour +1 for difference in skill). 3 wounds inflicted.
Roman: 6 dice for 8+ (6+, -2 for medium armour). 1 wounds inflicted.
Romans lose a stand (down to 2 stands)
 
Melee results:
Epirot: d6 = 2 +5 seasoned +3 wounds inflicted +2 pike Vs infantry +1 outnumber by 50% or more stands +1 deeper ranks = 14
Roman: d6 = 4 +4 regular +1 wounds inflicted =9
Roman loses by 5.

Victory table:
Romans lose by 5 +5 for at 50% looses = 10.  Result is rout 8" through Hastati and Leves, Hastati are drilled so no effect, Leves take a TL test and pass.
Hypaspists breakthough move 3" but this is not enough to reach the Hastati.
As they routed, every Roman unit within 8" (everyone but the Light cavalry!) need to take a morale test.  All pass.  It is a 6+ on a d10, with, for example, +3 for seasoned/vet and +1 for leadership value for units within 6" of leader (who is just behind the Principes).  


Principes (just in front of the Leves) after retreating from the Hypaspists (at the top).
Epirot activate Elephants and charge the Roman Heavy Cavalry. Reading the rules an Elephant can cause enemy cavalry to be shaken and score a few hits - so I am sending them in the soften them up for the Agema charge.  Roman Cavalry must roll a TL test on contact with the elephant: result is shaken (if passed, would have been shaken anyway).

Elephant charges into the Roman Heavy Cavalry

Elephant Vs Cavalry

Hand to Hand:
Elephant: Will roll 3 dice for 6+ (6+ with die mods: -1 light armour +1 for difference in skill). 3 wounds inflicted!
Roman Cavalry: 6 dice for 10+ (6+, -1 for medium armour, -1 for skill difference, -2 shaken). 0 wounds inflicted.
Romans lose a stand.
 
Melee results (note that some modifiers are not applicable in melee with elephants):
Elephant: d6 = 5 +4 regular +3 wounds inflicted +2 enemy shaken = 14
Roman cavalry: d6 = 3 +3 trained +0 wounds inflicted = 6
Roman loses by 8.

Victory table:
Romans lose by 8 +2 for formed troops Vs elephants = 10.  Result is rout 10" (off the table). Elephant breakthrough moves 6", also off the table.

Elephant and roman Cavalry now missing from the Roman left flank


The elephant is really powerful! But then I have just looked at the points - the elephant is 167pts and each of the roman cavalry stands is 45pts. And elephants Vs cavalry was never going to be great either.
More morale checks for the units within 8". Everyone passes.


So the Agema will charge the the Triarii.  Oops.  Unfamiliarity with the rules - the Triarii would expect the Agema and the Elephant would both be required to rout the Roman Heavy cavalry so are facing the flank of the Roman cavalry.  But with the Elephant doing the job on its own, the Agema have a golden opportunity to flank the Triarii. In hindsight, I would not have wheeled the Triarii, just left it near the baseline as a reserve.  I blame being too ingrained in what happens in the other replays. Note that is will not be a flank attack as no stand of the Agema started the charge on the flank of the Triarii. Triarii do not countercharge so they can get a +1 for defending and being steadfast.

Agema hit Triarii in the flank


Agema Vs Triarii
Agema: Will roll 4 dice (2 for 2 stands) for 8+ (6+ with die mods: -2 medium armour). 2 wounds inflicted.
Triarii: 8 dice for 8+ (6+, -2 for medium armour). 0 wounds inflicted. (this is just unlucky dice rolling compared to the Agema!)

No stands lost.
 
Melee results:
Agema: d6 = 2 +5 seasoned +2 wounds inflicted +1 deeper ranks +2 commander rating  = 12
Triarii: d6 = 3 +5 seasoned +0 wounds inflicted +2 long spears Vs cavalry +1 steadfast =11 (so close!)
Roman loses by 1.

Victory table:
Romans lose by 1  and recoil 2". A recoil is directly away from the enemy.  As the Triarii are in a line almost perpendicular the the Agema, and if the line just moved back 2" this would seem strange; so I setup the Triarii in a line parallel to the Agema but 2" away from them.

Triarii retreat

Turn 3
Rally Principes: d10=6 +1 commander in range +2 regular -5 50% stands  = 4.  Continue to rout off the board.
TL test to remove shaken status from Hastati: 2d6 = 4 +1 commander in range = 5.  this is less than the Hastati TL of 7, so not shaken anymore. Can do nothing else this turn.

Leves move through the Hastati to now be between the Hypaspists and the Hastati.  So they shoot at the Hypaspists: no Hits.
No more Roman moves

Epirot Hypaspists charge the Leves who stay to do some defensive fire. 1 wound.

Hypaspists in melee with the Leves
 Hypaspists Vs Leves
Hand to Hand:
Hypaspists: 4 rolls, 2 wounds inflicted.
Leves: 3 dice. 1 wounds inflicted.
Hypaspists now lose a stand (down to 3 stands)
Leves lose a stand (only have wound 2 so lose a stand receiving 2 wounds)

Melee results:
Hypaspists: d6 = 5 +5 seasoned +2 wounds inflicted +2 enemy skirmisher +1 outnumber by 50% or more stands +1 deeper ranks = 16
Leves: d6 = 6 +3 trained +1 wounds inflicted =10
Roman loses by 6.

Victory table:
Romans lose by 5 +5 for at 50% losses = 10.  Result is Leves rout 8" through Hastati.  Skirmishers do not cause rout checks.

Hypaspists get a breakthough move on 3" into the Hastati.

Overview of Roman side of table with Hypaspists in melee with Hastati
Hypaspists Vs Hastati
Hand to Hand:
Hypaspists: 2 rolls, 0 wounds inflicted.
Hastati: 3 dice. 0 wounds inflicted.


Melee results:
Hypaspists: d6 = 3 +5 seasoned +1 deeper ranks +2 enemy shaken =11
Hastati: d6 = 2 +3 Trained +1 commander near =6
Roman loses by 4.

Victory table:
Romans lose by 5 +2 for at 25% losses = 7.  Result is rout  8".  Hypaspists followup 3".

Another overview of the Roman side after the Hastati  retreat

Agema charges the Triarii:

Agema Vs Triarii
Agema: 4 dice, 2 wounds inflicted (one Triarii stand gone, 1 wound carried over)
Triarii: 8 dice for 8+ (6+, -2 for medium armour). 3 wounds inflicted, one Agema stand gone.

Both Triarii and Agema down to 3 stands.
 
Melee results:
Agema: d6 = 2 +5 seasoned +2 wounds inflicted +1 deeper ranks +2 commander rating  = 12
Triarii: d6 = 4 +5 seasoned +3 wounds inflicted +2 long spears Vs cavalry +1 steadfast =15
Agema lose by 3.

Victory table:
Agema lose by 3 +2 at 25% losses = 5 and retreat 9" and are shaken.  Triarii advance 2"

Pike block advance down the table.

Turn 4
Romans rally Hastati: d10=4 +1 commander in range +2 trained -2 25% stands  = 5.  Continue to rout off the board.
Romans rally Leves: d10=5 +1 commander in range +2 trained -5 50% stands  = 3.  Continue to rout off the board.

Game end.  Triarii are to the bottom left, Roman general bottom right, rest are Epirot.

Note that the Roman side have reached their breakpoint.  The only effect this has is no Roman unit can rally  off its shaken status.  I decide to call the game here.  The Romans have really only the Triarii (at 75%) while Pyrrhus can call on the Agema, Hypaspists and the other Phalanx.  While all of the Epirot units have taken some damage, it will take some luck for the Triarii not to be worn down by the attacks of the three units and rout.  I call it a win for Pyrrhus.

Verdict
It was a fun game.  Multiple dice rolling is not really my style, and I am not used to checking three tables for a melee result (inflict wounds, determine who won melee, determining result).  But the game plays smoothly and the rules are not complex. There are plenty of examples in the book to help out. It also has a really good ancient battle feel to it (and yes, this is subjective I know).  The game is definitely not suitable for 2'x2', and this is obvious in the rules and mentions 4'x4' minimum - but I would say you could get by with a minimum of 3'x3'  to get a decent game, but wider and deeper is better.  I do not know how long the game took as I was looking up the rules and writing it up as I went, but I believe playing time would have been less than 1 hour.  The rules are recommended, a small table size for 15mm is not.  I would play them again - on a larger table.