|Initial deployment. I need to buy|
We went with 1500 points from the AoA lists - I built both lists and gave him the choice of Romans or British Tribes, and to no-one's surprise he took the former.
Romans - James:
1 General, 1 Standard Bearer + 16 Veteran Legionaries
18 Seasoned Legionaries
9 Numidian Cavalry
1 Light Bolt Thrower, with 2 Artillery Crew
British (Brigantes) - me:
1 High Chieftain (in chariot) + 4 Noble Chariots
1 Chieftain + 31 Fanatics
1 Chieftain + 39 Warriors
Matters opened with the Romans advancing in the centre, but waiting to see what the Brigantes chariots did on the flank. The Brigantes, needless to say, did what warband armies the world over do, and pressed forward. On the flank, the Numidians flung javelins at the chariots then used their annoyingly useful Parthian Shot ability to get out of their way, so the chariots charged the archers behind them, taking one casualty from incoming fire.
|The Brigantes fanatics charged by|
Meanwhile, in the centre, I explained to James the point of skirmishers, as far as being tempts for warband armies, and then proceeded to demonstrate it by failing a warband test with the fanatics, resulting in them charging and chasing off his skirmishers and leaving themselves in charge range of the veteran cohort. Couldn't have planned it better myself.
The cohort did exactly that, needless to say, and rather impressively won the first round of melee, chasing off the fanatics. Having the general and ASB in the front rank certainly didn't hurt, but what clinched was the brief stats lesson in which I pointed out that the likely roll on 11 dice wanting 4s and 5 more wanting 3s was more than 6 hits, and using their Veteran re-roll right then would be smart. So James did, and landed about 13 hits, converting over half. I still saved three!
|The Brigantes fanatics about to get|
charged again by the Romans.
Next turn, I failed to rally them, and charged the other cohort with the other warband. Meanwhile, the chariots chased off the archers, twice before they made it stick, and the Numidians and they played a form of Parthian Shot/Feigned Flight tag while the Roman artillery tried and conspicuously failed to shoot them, despite having a flank shot three times.
Back in the centre, the fanatics failed to rally, and got charged in the rear, with predictable results, by the veterans, The other melée turned into a mammoth slugfest that lasted about five or six rounds of combat, with several roll-offs, the cohort using their Stubborn Give Ground ability, and several passed leadership tests.
It was a damned close run thing until the veteran cohort turned round and made up the distance between the two (despite being march-blocked and generally harried by my skirmishers). At which point, sadly for me, that was pretty much it. The veterans charging into the rear of the warband did for them (extra rank, +1 strength pilum hits smart) and they had nowhere to run.
So. Victory to James (with a little tactical assistance). We'll see how he does next time!