Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Celts vs Romans Battle Report

What better way to celebrate the completion of 1,000pts of British Celts than by having a battle against 1,000pts of invading Romans.

Yes, it's taken a bit longer than planned but the first stage of my Celt horde is now complete. In truth, the amount of painting time wasn't that much, probably about 3 months thanks to the dip method. But an almost 3 month break from painting during the summer rather delayed things. The figures are mostly Warlord, with a sprinkling of Gripping Beast, Black Tree and Foundry. Regular readers (with good memories) may notice from the photos that the hounds have switched sides. Whilst they were in my initial 1,000pt EIR army as a Barbarian support unit, I decided that they weren't very Roman so replaced them with some Gallic Celt skirimishers and a Scorpio.

15 Legion CSM (Centurion, Standard, Musician)
15 Legion CSM
15 Aux Infantry LSM (Leader, Standard, Musician)
15 Aux Infantry LSM
12 Aux Archers
9 Gallic Celt Skirmishers
1 Scorpio

Warlord, Army Standard Bearer, 38 Warriors LSM
Chieftain, 33 Warriors LSM
10 Light Cavalry LSM
3 Chariots LS
10 Slingers
2 x Packmaster and 5 Hounds

The Celt army is slightly more than 1,000pts but I had a few extra painted models and wasn't going to leave them off the table!

I haven't played WAB for more than year so getting things ready for this game was both exciting and slightly daunting in a way. How do the rules work? What is my plan? ... What is a 'plan' anyway? The best thing was to just get on with it! Here's a few pics, not quite turn by turn but near enough.

Here's a few shots of the armies. The Romans.

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The Celts.

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The Celt infantry and chariots.

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The Celt Cavalry.

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The Roman plan was to anchor one flank against the wood and use the Auxiliaries to hold the other flank whilst the Legionaries got on with the business of slaughtering Celts. We used secret maps for deployment - my favourite method - so I kept one unit of Auxiliaries behind the centre since I knew the Celts would try to outflank me. The Celt plan was to use the Cavalry, Chariots and Hounds to attack the Roman flanks whilst the Celt warbands overwhelmed the Legions.

One unit of Auxiliaries moved to the right in order to hold the flanking chariots and dogs. The Legions and moved forward whilst the skirmishers and left-most of Auxiliaries edged forward a little, whilst the Gallic skirmishers went further forward in order to tempt the smaller warband in to a charge later. The Celt slingers proved quite handy by inflicting a small number of casualties on the Legions, not many but enough to remove a rank bonus!

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The Armies moved closer and the smaller warband did indeed roll a '1' for it's warband test. The skirmishers fled leaving the unit just within charge range of the Auxiliaries. I should have waited for support but instead I threw them at the Celts. Alas the Celts proved too much and the beaten Auxiliaries fled and were destroyed. The archers and scorpio proved fairly useless but I hoped that would improve as the enemy came closer.

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With the Auxiliaries fleeing, the smaller Celt warband pursued in to a unit of Legionaries and subsequently the other Legionary unit piled in on the flank and wiped out the Celts. The Celt flanking forces continued their envelopment, though the other unit of Auxiliaries held firm against the Chariots and Hounds.

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The Legionaries manoeuvred to get a clear charge at the larger warband. The nearer unit received the charge and held, whilst the other prepared to charge in next. The Scorpio crew were slaughtered by the Light Cavalry, but the Auxiliary Archers managed to shoot a few. The Chariots and Hounds continue to fight the other Auxiliaries but once again they remain steady.

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The flanking unit of Auxiliaries finally succumb to the fearsome Celts. The Legionaries make hard work of the larger warband - even when both units engage the Warlord and his retinue - they falter and are routed!

After this it did not take long for the few remaining Romans to be mopped up. The Auxiliary archers did surprisingly well, seeing off the light cavalry and taking out another chariot.

A really fun game! A great reminder of why I love to play toy soldiers. Bothered about losing? Not me ... I play to win, but what really matters is that a fun game is had by all. Winning is a bonus.

Basically, a poorly co-ordinated attack by too few troops spelled disaster for the Legions. The superior numbers of the Celts ensured that they could prevail against better but smaller units of troops. The flanking troops were held off ok but the centre fell apart.

It's certainly given me a lot to think about in terms of army composition, plus it has really inspired me to expand both armies asap! I need more Legion and fewer Auxiliaries. Also, I'm not sure about the viability of a single Scorpio, such weapons to be deployed as a battery or not at all.

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