Field of Glory
Punic War 3 - A Field of Glory Battle Report
Posted 10 Mar 2009
This is the third Field of Glory game that Chris Harrod and I have tried. I took Later Carthaginian and Chris took Mid Republican Roman. In fact all three games have been with the Later Carthaginian and Mid Republican Roman 600 point Starter Armies. All have been good games and seemlngly good simulations of Punic War battles. On the down side they have been quite slow. 5.5 hours for the first one and 4.5 hours for the second - both of which were played to completion. We only had 3.5 hours for the third game and didn't come near a conclusion - I think we only played 4 turns each.
What was different about this game, and was actually the reason I got out my camera, is that I'd finished reflocking most of my Punic Wars armies and also completed a few FoG supporting items so I wanted to put some of them on the web.
Ambush Markers and Gullies
I did however make a couple of custom made Gully terrain pieces for FoG. I'm quite pleased by them. The smaller gully (6.5 MU x 4 MU) made its debut in this battle.
Plans and Deployment
In FoG if the Legionary shreding machine hits the Carthaginian foot the Carthaginians will lose. Simple as that really. This fact dictates the tactics used by both sides. The Romans try to contact with their legions as fast as possible. Meanwhile the Carthaginians try to delay the legions whilst winning on the flanks with their stronger cavalry. This basically was the strategy in all three of the games we've played to date.
The first photo shows the general table layout. The Roman fortified camp is on the left and the Carthaginian camp facing it across the table. There is a plantation in the foreground, a gentle hill just in front of the Carthaginian main battle line, a small gully in the middle distance, a vineyard on the far table edge, a road links the two long table edges, and there several open fields. What isn't obvious, being absent from the photo, is the near side of the table had some more open fields and another gentle hill. They didn't feature in the battle so I didn't include them in the shot.
Chris set up the Romans in three groups. The legions were massed together with two generals. The cavalry were to their left with another general. The Italian Allied foot to further out to the left in the nearest open field. Chris was the one with the three potential ambushes and since we knew the army composition I guessed it was the Velites that were hidden somewhere (Plantation or Vineyard).
I set up in three groups and the battle followed the fortunes of these groups ...
Carthaginian Right Hook
My right was a mixed force that could, largely, cope with uneven terrain. Their job was to run up the flank using 2 moves per turn and at the critical moment turn inward and attack the flank of the legions. The centre piece were the elephants.
Carthaginian Right Hook - Complete with Elephants
As per orders this wing charged forward quickly. You can see, in the photos below, the Italian infantry trying to high tail it away from this force.
At this point the events in the centre had unfolded enough and the majority of the force headed towards the legions.
[It was only writing up this report that I realised that I couldn't form the whole force into a single battle line. So a second move each turn wasn't legal. I should have left out either the Spanish cavalry or the Spanish Scutarii from this force to make second moves possible. We learn something new each game.]
Skirmisher Battle on Left
My left flank had the two battle groups of Numidian cavalry and the Balearic Slingers (not shown in the photo).
Numidians and Libyans of Carthaginian left flank
Facing them were the two battle groups of Velites in Ambush in the Plantation (the Cow and Sheep Ambush Markers; the Wolf in the far Vineyard was a dummy).
Most of the action featured these guys. In the centre the Numidian horse taunted the Roman cavalry into charges but didn't inflict casualties. This all happened between the main two batle lines with the Numidians gradually retreating back to the Carthaginian left flank.
On the extreme left the Velites mixed it up with Balearic Slingers. Later one battle group of Numidians, redeployed from the centre, joined the slingers but the results were still inconclusive.
Skirmish between Velites and Balearic Slingers
The Carthaginian centre had the bulk of the infantry facing the Roman infantry. My initial plan was for the foot to wait on the hill and try to survive contact with the legions.
As I mentioned Chris had deployed his Legions in big columns. As he advanced across the table he had to deploy each long columns into a supported line. This took some time. My Numidian cavalry (see above) also held up the Roman advance.
But the cavalry fight between the infantry lines encouraged me to come down off the hill. The promise of broken Roman Cavalry bursting through the advancing legonaries was too tempting. It would be race to see if I trapped the Roman Cavalry or whether they would escape and leave me to the mercy of the Legions.
The clock struck midnight and we had to pack up. Chris and I disagreed on the likely outcome if we'd continued so we called it a draw.
The last photo shows the battle at the end of the game. The significant features are:
In the foreground the skirmish battle continues.
In the centre the Roman cavalry are between the two infantry lines.
The two main infantry lines have advanced towards each other and the Carthaginians are bearing down upon the Roman Cavalry.
In the distance, near the gully, you can see my right flank troops have turned inwards towards the impending struggle in the centre.
In the open field on the far side of the my Numidian javelinmen are facing off against the Italian foot.