Two quick games of Basic Impetus were played, this time Indian army versus Alexander and his Macedonians. Both has opportunity to play both sides so I think it was quite equal – not to mention fun. Of course, I had not tried the alexander force composition before in any of the games, and were not very familiar with them when I opted for Macedon during the first round. Poor defense for utter failure against the Indian super heavy cavalry.
I arrayed my phalanx in the middle, supported right with hypaspists, and had the cavalry wing on the left and skirmishers on front. Opposition arranged elephants on his middle, chariots on right, archers on the left and decided to strike head on. Chariots mowed down my cavalry with nasty precision and elephants struck home with all their mass – while the archers – well they were mostly spectators.
Second game, when playing Indians went much better and I actually had even a plan. While the rather rubbish VBU 3 infantry, and even more rubbish VBU 3 cavalry performed better than the Roman equites ever had, victory was stolen from the Indians because Macedonians decided to keep Hypaspists out of harms way.
I decided to use the long bows for my advantage and give arrow screen to the elephants. Chariots had the honorary position on the left, and the rubbish cavalry in the right. Opposition had very odd formation with phalanx, skirmishers and both FL jumbled up in dense block.
What happened when the forces finally met was interesting. Archers did all they could to soften up the opposition and succeeded. VBU3 cavalry dispatched enemy lights and damaged CM before ending dead. Elephants surged against the pike block – and were pushed back (another failed to engage at all, because my line was much wider than his narrow block and I ended up creating a traffic jam unintentionally).
Then, I discovered why VBU3 bowmen are better spectators than combat units. Being fairly pricey with VD2, I was pushed over the limit and Porus conceded defeat but kept his thorne – I think.
Both games were loads of fun. Additionally, I learned again that yes, deep phalanx is an anvil that even the toughest elephant army can bang it’s head on for some time…
Talking of phalanx, I have decided to go for half bases when making deep formations. Eg. full phalanx of three bases deep will have total of 10 ranks, on 30mm and 2x15mm deep bases. After testing the layout with unpainted figures, it will look awesome. It also means that very deep phalanx will then be neat 60x60mm square.
For same visual reasons I thought about doing the same for war bands, but we shall see about that at later time (or earlier if I get them painted first…)
Third game of the day was a bit of Roman civil war. Which, incidentally, Romans won.
There were slight disparity in forces, one side was the standard 4FP, 2CM, 2S setup while other was a bit more mobile with 3FP, 1FL, 1CM and 1CL 2S. I lost the cavalry battle in my right flank, but consequently won it on the left. Then it was fairly simple to follow the plan and execute little legion shift to the left, so I only had part of my three legions meeting part of my opponents right. Sufficient for one legion to turn and meet the line from the side. It all happened a tad too quickly for the opposition to realize what was about to happen, and when he did, it was too late to counter the move. In this game we also witnessed the most heroic action that has even been seen. Single Velites held their ground against legions for two whole rounds and only were wiped out on third – presumably because the legions were pushed into disarray after losing their commander.