After spotting a comment on the Scarab forum about a game of War & Conquest, I realised that the location was near to where I live. After contacting the poster I found that it was going to be played at the gaming club just down road!
Chris and Ben are members of the Mid-Somerset Wargamers club and they were kind enough to invite me along. So yesterday evening I braved the cold (-4oC) and headed for the club.
It was to be their first game of W&C though they've played lots of other stuff. They even offered to let me command one of the armies but as I had recently played I offered to help Ben run the game using my vast knowledge (stop laughing, especially you Mr Broom!) of the rules!!! Both the armies were painted by Ben and they do look rather splendid, especially his Romans!
The game was set during the initial stages of the Claudian invasion with the Romans attempting to cross a tributary of the mighty Medway, brush aside a small force of local Celts and march on towards their villages where they would explain the benefits* of submitting to Roman rule. (*The foremost of which is not being chopped to pieces by lots of unsympathetic, well-armed professional soldiers)
The table featured a river running down the entire length, dividing the table roughly in half. The armies deployed either side and battle began. The Romans, led by Chris, won the initial strategic advantage and wasted no time in advancing towards the Celtic horde, led by Graham. Here they are.
They repeated this tactic in the second turn where they again won strategic advantage. However, their advance meant that all three cohorts of legionaries were still crossing the river. Turn three saw the strategic advantage rules really come in to play. In turn two, Graham had moved second and brought his warbands close to the Romans. He won the strategy roll at the end of turn two and elected to go first in turn three, effectively giving him two consecutive turns! Both flank units of legionaries were charged by Celt warbands, lost their combats, but held their ground - with the careful use of valuable strategy points. Alas, Chris' dice rolling was less than stellar. Although I should point out that formed units in difficult terrain become 'disordered' which reduces their combat effectiveness considerably. Here's the Roman centre and left flank.
In the Roman round of play the centre cohort rolled very low for moving through difficult terrain and remained partially in the river. The Celts again won both combats on the flanks but the Romans tenaciously held their ground and fought on.
Next turn the Celts again won the initiative and Warlord's retinue ploughed in to the veterans. Here's the action. (The scatter dice were impromptu push and shove markers)
Amazingly, Chris' Veterans were beaten and (even more astonishingly) routed from the crazed warband. The Roman's heavy equipment clearly slowed them and they were slaughtered amidst the shallows of the river. Despite seeing the destruction of their armies finest troops, the other cohorts gritted their teeth and held steady. But by this time the Celtic light cavalry had flanked the legionaries and rode in to support the warbands.
The Roman cohorts continued to fight bravely; stubbornly refusing to give ground, but with their numbers dwindling the battle could only have one result. So it was that as night fell across the field the triumphant shouts of the Celts mingled with the notes of a great bronze carnyx, whilst a few terrified Roman survivors fled, no doubt keen to avoid a gruesome death at the hands of the Druids.
An enjoyable battle to watch and help out with, plus a jolly nice bunch of chaps. I hope this will inspire more games of W&C at the club.
Oh, and I now have 100 followers! Hooray! Thank you to you all :o)