Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Heraclea replay with Ancients D6

Introduction
I am replaying Heraclea with different ancient rulesets on a 2'x2' table looking for a fast play set (under one hour).   This is game 14.  When I first started out replaying battles back in early 2010, I was not going to use rules that used lots of dice and so had discounted Ancients D6 straightaway.  But a few months on, I actually read the rules and the number of dice rolled each time is not that great - it is a not a bucket of dice game.  And it is designed to be a fast game on a 2'x2' game so it fits perfectly into my constraints. This game has been on the 'to play' list for about 3 years.  Why so long to get to the replay with AD6?  The "oh shiny" principle - I kept getting distracted by other rules.

Ancients D6 is available from the author's Ancient D6 page.  There are also army lists available on the same page.

A review (by the author) can be found here at deepfriedhappymice.com.
 
This replay is a bit detailed, bordering on tedious, to show how the rule mechanisms work and so if these are rules you may like.

Troops
Romans
4 Leves: SK, Figs 2, MV 2, Arm 6+, Javelin, Non-Melee, Skirmisher
8 Hastati/Principes:HI, Figs 4, MV 1.5, Arm 4+, Battle Drill, Charge Bonus, Support
2 Triarii: HI, Figs 4, MV 1.5, Arm 4+, Battle Drill, Spear, Support, Veteran
1 Light Infantry: LI, Figs 3, MV 2, Arm 5+, Charge Bonus, Support
2 Heavy Cavalry: HC, Figs 3, MV 2.5, Arm 5+, Charge Bonus, Frenzy, Mounted
1 Light Cavalry:  LC, Figs 2, MV 3, Arm 6+, Javelin, Mounted, Skirmisher
1 General (2 order points) with Triarii
1 Captain (1 order point) with Principes

Army morale (number of figures): 59
 
Epirot
2 Hypaspist:HI, Figs 4, MV 1.5, Arm 4+, Pike, Support, Small Shield, Veteran
6 Pikemen: HI, Figs 4, MV 1.5, Arm 5+, Pike, Support, Small Shield
2 Hoplite: HI, Figs 4, MV 1.5, Arm 4+, Spear, Support
1 Light Infantry: LI, Figs 3, MV 2, Arm 5+, Charge Bonus, Support
1 Skirmisher: SK, Figs 2, MV 2, Arm 6+, Javelin, Non-Melee, Skirmisher
1 Slingers: SK, Figs 2, MV 2, Arm 6+, Sling, Non-Melee, Skirmisher
1 Agema: HC, Figs 3, MV 2.5, Arm 4+, Charge Bonus, Fear, Frenzy, Mounted
1 Light cavalry: LC, Figs 2, MV 3, Arm 6+, Javelin, Mounted, Skirmisher
1 elephant: Vehicle, Figs 3, Mv 2, Arm 3+, Behemoth, Charge Bonus, Terror

1 Superior General (3 order points) with Agema
1 Captain (1 order point) with Hypaspists

Army morale (number of figures): 55

Note that the units are based on the Republican Roman and Macedonian  lists from the Punic Wars army lists. 
 
Deployment
Similar to other games following my standard deployment except the pikes, Hoplites and Legionaries are in 2 ranks as there is a support bonus for this, so I thought I would play with this setup. I did not double depth the Triarii as I think this may overbalance the Roman side.

Deployment

The Roman Captain is with the Hastati - I could have placed him with the Roman Heavy Cavalry but as that is a delaying flank, I do not think adding a Captain would help or hinder the end result there.

Turn 1
Romans are the attacker so will give them initiative in the first turn.  Moved the Leves and Legionaries up and gave both an extra order. In AD6 all units may move and each General/Captain has a certain number of orders that may be given to units/group to perform an extra move/rally etc.  Orders are automatically successful within 8" and have a 50% chance of success out of this range.
Triarii wheel and continue wheeling with an extra order.  Light units on the right flank move forwards as well.

Epirot move the skirmishers to just outside Leves javelin range.  The rules are move and shoot but units of the first player that moved and did not shoot can shoot back at the end of the movement phase. Missile fire is 1d6 per figure so I have 2 skirmishers with 2d6 firing at 2 Levels.  Hit is 5+.  Just about everything in this game is a 4+ on the die except shooting and armour saves. Modifiers change the number of dice (that is normally based on figure) not the to hit number.  Nice.

Slingers cause 1 hit on a Leves and Leves get a chance to save - 6+ required but does not save.  1 hit and a morale check required due to fact casualties are received. Morale check is number of figures remaining, 1 in this case.  Need at least a 4+ on one of the dice.  Yes so OK (otherwise pushed back).
Archers cause 2 hits and the Leves save none of them.  Unit is routed and removed from the game.

Epirot Skirmishers shooting at the Leves


Other moves see Pike block move twice (with an order), Light units move forwards and the Agema/Elephant move twice (with another order)

End of turn 1

Turn 2
Epirot wins initiative.

Rally
General spends an order to rally off the hit from the Leves.

Move
The Roman Leves are going to move forward and I want the pike block as far forward as I can go, so I move the Epirot skirmishers up close to the Leves and fire. 1 hit inflicted on one of the Leves; they fail their morale check and are pushed back one base depth and cannot shoot for the rest of the turn (so cannot shoot back).
 
Pikes move up to behind the skirmishers. Agema/elephant move twice again.

Romans fire with one of the Leves at the opposing skirmisher but the Epirot skirmisher saves.

Now, the Skirmisher on the right moves up slightly and fire at the Hypaspists. 2 hits! Hypaspists save 1.  Subsequent morale check (using 3d6) sees a pass.

The right half the Roman line move once, General spends an order to moves the Leves unit back through the Romans, and then the General uses an order to move the roman Legionaries into the Hypaspists and one pike unit.  I want to see how melee works, and the Hypaspists are one figure down (so 1 die down in combat) that the Epirots could get back via rally at the beginning of next turn.
Note that in hindsight I should have moved the skirmisher to the flank so that it could fire some missiles at the light infantry. 
 
The start of the meeting of the pikes and legionaries.

Melee
Romans Vs Hypaspists:
Romans have 4 figures +1D for support +1D charge bonus -1D for facing pikes = 5D6.  4 Hits. Hypaspist armour save is 4+ but save none of them.  4 hits on Hypaspists
Hypaspists are 3 figures +1D for Veterans +1D for support = 5D6. 3 hits. Romans save 1. 2 hits on the Romans.
Hypaspists lose and also the stand is routed as casualties exceed the number of figures.  Romans don't advance - they have two hits and will hope to remove some during the rally phase. At the end of the turn (so not reflected in the picture below) I remembered they have the battle drill ability so I swap the unit with two hits with the supporting unit.  This is done at the end of melee with no advance after combat.

Romans Vs Pike unit:
Romans have 4 figures +1D for support +1D charge bonus -1D for facing pikes = 5D6.  2 Hits. Pike armour save is 5+ and 1 hit is saved.  1 hit on Pikes.
Pikes are 4 figures  +1D for support = 5D6. 2 hits. Romans save both of them.
Romans win the combat as they took less hits.  Pikes undertake morale check with 3D6 (number of figures) and pass (needed a 4+ on at least one die). Pikes retreat one base depth (including the support pike unit) and Romans followup.

End of turn 2.

Turn 3
Epirot wins initiative.
 
Rally
Romans remove a hit from the Legionaries.  Can only remove one hit as can only give one order to a unit per turn. 
Epirot removes a hit from the Pikes.

Move
Epirot uses and order and moves twice to charge with the Agema/Elephant into the Roman Heavy Cavalry.  Elephants have Terror that means the Cavalry undergo a morale check to see if they take casualties - they only pass with one die that translates into one casualty.

Epirot Skirmishers move sideways to get out the road of a pike block and also form a group with some pikes and hoplites.  Skirmishers can move in any direction and maintain their facing.  The pike block in the centre now chaerges the Leves.  Aseond order of the Hoplites/Skirmishers/pikes sees them move up close the the Leves.  The pikes/hoplites were more than one move away from the Leves or I would have arranged it so they charged them.

Skirmishers fires at Leves but misses.

Hypaspists charge the Roman Legionaries.

More units now involved in the battleline melee (as seen from the Epirot side).
Romans double move the Triarii and contact is made with one of them on the side of the Elephant.  However, it is still classed as a frontal attack.  I think the Triarii have to perform a morale check due to contacting a Terror unit. 5D6 (4 figures + 1D6 veteran), fail all of them.  2 hits. I wanted to added 2D6 using an order but that is  only for morale checks from shooting and melee.  Ah well.
Triarii get to the Elephant after it contacts the Roman Heavy Cavalry (the cavalry casualtyis from the Elephant and its Terror ability)

The Leves not in combat fire at Skirmishers and do one hit.

Melee
Agema Vs Heavy Cavalry first:
Agema is 3D6 +1D6 general +1D6 Charge bonus = 2 hits but I rolled a '6' and the Frenzy ability means a '6' counts as two hits so 3 hits all up. Roman Cavalry has a 5+ saves and saves 1, so 2 hits.
Roman is 3D6 = 2 hits, Agema saves 1 so 1 hit.
Romans lose and roll 1d6 for morale - do not pass and so are destroyed.  Agema must advance (Frenzy) and also passes a leader check for taking a hit and having the general attached.

Elephant Vs Cavalry and Triarii:
Elephant chooses the Triarii to be primary target. When distributing hits, the primary gets more with an odd numberof hits to distribute - the Triarii are more of a threat.
Elephant counts a 3 figures - 3D6 +1 charge bonus = 4D6.  Note that the Spear ability of the Triarii only applies to mounted and I believe the Elephant is not classed as mounted.  3 hits - 2 on Triarii (primary) and 1 on the cavalry.  All save their hits.
Heavy Cavalry is 2D6; Triarii is 2D6 + 1D6 general +1 D6 veteran = 6D6.  4 Hits.  Elephant has a 3+ save and saves 1.  2 hits on the elephant.
Elephant loses and retreats.  Cavalry advance (so that in rally phase can take off a hit from the Triarii).

Elephant retreats.  It counts as 3 figures so it near its end.

Pikes Vs Leves:
Pikes are 4D6+1D supported = 2 hits; saves 1.
Leves are 2D6 -1 fighting pikes.  no hits. Note that as they are non-melee unjits, they need to hit on a 5+.
Leves lose. Morale check passes.  Pikes advance

Pikes Vs Legionaries
Pikes are 4D6 +1D6 supported is 5D6 = 1 hit. not saved.
Legionaries are 4D6 + 1D6 charge bonus  +1D6 supported -1D6 fighting pikes is 5D6 = 3 Hits; 2 saved.
Both sides have 1 hit each. Support unit swaps to the front (battle drill ability)

Hypaspist Vs Legionaries:
Hypaspists are 4D6 +1D6 veteran is 5D6 = 2 hits, both saved.
Romans are 4D6 -1D6 fighting pikes +1D6 support is 4D6 = no hits.
both side receive no hits.

The result of the centre melee (Roman view).

Turn 4
Romans win initiative

Rally
Epirot Rallies Agema and Pikes

Roman rallies two of the Legionaries, each with one hit.

Move
Romans move general to the other Triarii unit that charges the Elephant. Terror morale check sees 1 hit.
A Leves move back though some Legionaries so the Legionaries can move up against some pikes.
Leves on the left flank move and fire at the Light infantry and score a hit.
Leves and Skirmshers fire at each other, Leves take a hit and rout.

Agema pivot 90 degrees and then use an order to attack the Triarii (with two hits already). Fear morale check sees another hit inflicted.
Slingers move and fire at a Leves that moved and score two hits, neither saved.
Hoplites move to near the Triarii.

The Roman left flank

Melee
Triarii and Cavalry Vs elephant
Elephant names Triarii as primary. elephant is 1D6 = 1 hit on Triarii that is saved.
Triarii is 3D6 +1D6 general + 1D6 veteran, Heavy cavalry is 2D6, is 7D6.  5 Hits, 3 saved, 2 hits inflicted.
Elephant is routed  as had 2 hits from last turn.
Heavy cavalry advance.

Agema Vs Triarii
Agema is 3D6 + 1D6 charge +1D6 general +1D6 veteran -1D6 fighting spears is 5D6. 2 hits that the Triarii saves.
Triarii is 1D6 +1D6 veteran is 2D6. No hits.

Pikes Vs Legionaries (new combat)
Pikes are 4D6 +1D6 supported is 5D6 = 1 hit. not saved.
Legionaries are 4D6 + 1D6 charge bonus  +1D6 supported -1D6 fighting pikes is 5D6 = 3 Hits; 2 saved. 1 hit inflicted.


Pikes Vs Legionaries (ongoing combat)
Pikes are 4D6 +1D6 supported is 5D6 = 4 hits. only 1 not saved.
Legionaries are 4D6 +1D6 supported -1D6 fighting pikes is 4D6 = 3 Hits; none saved.
Pikes retreat one base depth and take a morale check with 1D6 +1D6 supported. Failed. Routed.

Hypaspist Vs Legionaries:
Hypaspists are 4D6 +1D6 veteran is 5D6 = no hits!
Romans are 4D6 -1D6 fighting pikes + 1D6 support is 4D6 = 2 hits, both saved.
Both side receive no hits.

Overview of the battle from the Roman side.

Turn 5
Romans win initiative.

Rally
Epirot do not remove any casualties.
Romans remove 1 from the Triarii not in combat and the heavy cavalry.

Move
Romans pivot Triarii with General.
some Legionaries charge some skirmishers.
Legionaries charge the unsupported Pike unit.
Heavy cavalry moves twice to  to attack the hoplites next turn..

Epirot fires with a skirmisher at the Triarii for no effect.

Melee
Agema Vs Triarii
Agema is 3D6 + +1D6 general +1D6 veteran -1D6 fighting spears is 4D6. 1 hit that the Triarii saves.
Triarii is 1D6 +1D6 veteran is 2D6. 1 hit that the Agema saves.

Legionaries Vs Skirmisher
Legionaries are 4D6 + 1D6 charge bonus  +1D6 supported is 6D6 = 2 Hits; none saved. 2 hits inflicted.
Skirmisher are 1D6 = no hits
Skirmishers casualties equals number of figures and are routed.  Legionaries advance into the pikes behind them.


Pikes Vs Legionaries (centre)
Pikes are 3D6 +1D6 supported is 4D6 = 3 hits. all saved.
Legionaries are 3D6 +1D6 supported -1D6 fighting pikes is 3D6 = 1 hit that is saved.
No hits to either side.


Pikes Vs Legionaries (roman right flank)
Pikes are 4D6  = 1 hits that is not saved.
Legionaries are 3D6 +1D6 supported -1D6 fighting pikes is 3D6 = 1 Hit that is not saved.

Hypaspist Vs Legionaries:
Hypaspists are 4D6 +1D6 veteran is 5D6 = 2 hits, one saved so 1 hit inflicted.
Romans are 4D6 -1D6 fighting pikes + 1D6 support is 4D6 = 2 hits, neither saved.
Hypaspists lose, retreat and roll a morale check using 3D6 (2 figures and attached captain). Passed. Legionaries advance.


End of turn 5.


Turn 6
Epirot win the initiative.
 
Rally
Everything is in melee except one Roman Leves unit so remove the casualty.

Movement
Hoplites charge the Triarii with the general.
Roman cavalry pivots then charges the hoplites in the flank (required an order). Hoplites pass the Fear morale check.

Any missile fire caused no hits.

Melee
Agema Vs Triarii
Agema is 3D6 + +1D6 general +1D6 veteran -1D6 fighting spears is 4D6. 4 hits that the Triarii saves only 2.
Triarii is 1D6 +1D6 veteran is 2D6. 2 hits that the Agema saves 1.
Triarii routed.

Legionaries Vs Pikes (left flank)
Legionaries are 4D6 + 1D6 charge bonus  +1D6 supported is 6D6 = 1 Hit that is not saved.
Pikes are 4D6 +1D6 supported is 5D6 = 3 hits. none saved.
Legionaries retreat and morale check with 2D6 (1 figure and supported). Passed. Pikes advance

Pikes Vs Legionaries (centre)
Pikes are 3D6 +1D6 supported is 3D6 = 2 hits. all saved.
Legionaries are 3D6 +1D6 supported -1D6 fighting pikes is 3D6 = 2 hits, 1 saved so 1 inflicted.
Pikes retreat and morale check with 3D6 (2 figure and supported). Passed. Legionaries advance.

Pikes Vs Legionaries (roman right flank)
Pikes are 3D6  = 2 hits, both saved.
Legionaries are 2D6 +1D6 supported -1D6 fighting pikes is 2D6 = 1 Hit that is not saved.
Pikes retreat and passes morale check.

Hypaspist Vs Legionaries:
Hypaspists are 2D6 +1D6 veteran is 3D6 = no hits.
Romans are 3D6 -1D6 fighting pikes + 1D6 support is 3D6 = no hits.

Hoplites Vs Triarii and Roman Heavy Cavalry
Note: The Hoplite is flanked, it loses its abilities so it is not supported and does not count as spears against the cavalry
Hoplites are 4D6 1 hit that is saved.
Triarii is 4D6 + 1D6 general +1D6 veteran; Cavalry is 3D6 +1D6 charge bonus = 10D6 = 2 hits (!) and 1 is saved.
Hoplites retreats and does morale with 1/2 the dice normally as it is suffering a flank attack (2D6 rather than 4D6).  Passed.

End of turn 6.

Turn 7
Roman's win  initiative.

Rally
None available.

Movement
Epirot pivots Agema and charges into the rear of the Triarii with the General (required an order). Triarii pass the Fear check.

Leves hit the Light infantry.

Melee
I will  not bore you (if you have got this far) with the detail on the combats except the Agema/Hoplite one.

Agema and Hoplites Vs Triarii and Cavalry
The logical split ans not all attacker and defenders are in contact is Hoplites Vs Cavalry and Triarii Vs Agema.

Triarii Vs Agema:
Agema receive 2 casualties and retreat, morale check fine and general check fine. Note that after this I remembered that the Agema is Mounted and so gets a +1 to armour saves in first melee - they rolled a 3 that I counted as a hit when it should not have. 
Triarii receives 1 casualty.  Leader check rolls a d6 =6 and subsequently a 4 so Leader dies.  All leaders have to go before game is over.

Cavalry Vs Hoplites:
Hoplites receive one casualty and Cavalry receive 3 and rout.

Legionaries Vs Pikes (left flank)
Legionaries are routed and pikes receive no hits. Pikes advance into support unit.

Pikes Vs Legionaries (centre)
Pikes receive not casualties while the Legionaries receive 2, retreat but using battle drill, swap with the support unit.
Pikes advance.


Pikes Vs Legionaries (roman right flank)
Pikes receive 1 hit, retreat but fail their morale check (only had 1D6).  Legionaries received no hits.

Hypaspist Vs Legionaries:
Hypaspists receive 1 hit, retreat and pass their morale check.   Legionaries advance (I was tempted to swap ranks but then the Legionaries could not advance and the Hypaspists could then rally off a casualty.  With only one casualty to go, I would prefer to keep the momentum going.

End of turn 8.

Turn 8
Roman's win  initiative.

Rally
Epirot rally off one casualty from the Agema.

Movement
Romans move one centre right flank Legionary unit out the way so the rear rank can pivot into the flank of the Hypaspists.

Agema charge into the rear of the Triarii.  Triarii pass the fear inflicted morale check.

Melee
Agema and Hoplites Vs Triari
Triarii receives two hits and inflicts none (good saves by the Epirots).  Triarii morale check is at 1/2 dice (resulting in one die) and fails.  Triarii routed.


Legionaries Vs Pikes (left flank)
No hits.

Pikes Vs Legionaries (centre)
Pikes receive 2 casualties and rout. Legionaries advance.

Pikes Vs Legionaries (roman right flank)
Pikes receive 1 hit, retreat but fail their morale check (only had 1D6).  Legionaries received no hits.

Hypaspist Vs 2 Legionaries:
Hypaspists receive 3 hits and are routed, attached captain is killed. Legionaries receives 1 hit.
 
End of turn 8.

Turn 9
Romans legionaries organise themselves on their right flank.
Agema charge the rear of a legionary unit; eventual combat sees the legionary rout.
Centre combat sees the legionary unit get unlucky and receive 3 hits and rout.

End of game.
Romans have now reached their breakpoint (lost 30 figures that is over 1/2 the original figures).  Epirot are at 25 figures lost (from an original 55) so it was a close game.

Verdict
Well, that went on longer than I thought but to be fair there were more units on the table than for a normal game of Ancients D6. Units lasted longer than I thought -  with all the 4+ and 5+ armour saves, I was surprised how often I saved all the hits against a unit!  And the Battle Drill ability of the Romans is very handy at lengthening out combat as you can not advance and then rally off some casualties.  I found I did forget occasionally about  a units abilities, usually the Agema that has Fear, Frenzy and Mounted.  I put it down to my first playing with the rules.  I did not expect it to be as dice heavy as it was but that is just expectation management as it was fine. for each combat, each unit was rolling between about 3 and 5 dice to hit, then 1-3 saving rolls, and then the loser was rolling about 2-4 dice for morale checks. The advantage is that you are only looking for 4+ on each die so in that regard it is quick to read the result (a stated aim of the rules).  Anyway, the rules are fun and are fast (if playing with the recommended army size, not with what I used!).  I would play them again.


7 comments:

  1. A very nice report with great explanations...

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  2. I've enjoyed the games of AD6 I've played. Good report!

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    Replies
    1. Aaron,

      My very first blog post I had discounted AD6 as I thought it was a bucket of dice game - which it isn't. I believe it was you that a few years ago mentioned AD6 in one of the comments on TMP or here that made me look at it again.

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  3. Great report Shaun. I thought I was going to come by and say what you did wrong but it appears that you were playing the rules correctly! I could not find any discrepancies. The game was designed to play with "handfuls" of dice. Not buckets and not a single. I like some regulation in luck but only enough to still allow for the occasional wild swing of fortune. In all the games I've played, not a single one was a blow out because of luck.

    Most of the unit abilities were designed to mimic what I've read in various primary sources about how a particular unit type behaved. This of course is open to interpretation but this is my take on it anyway.

    Thanks for giving them a go. Glad you enjoyed them.

    John

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    Replies
    1. I did forget to do a couple of general checks when a casualty was inflicted. I think that was about it though.

      Glad to know I was playing the rules correctly!

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    2. I saw that in the text but did not mention it because you at least knew you were supposed to do that! :D

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