This game was played between Gary McMahon's 25mm Imperial Romans and my 25mm Persians masquerading as Sassinids using Warhammer Ancient Battles.
An Imperial Roman force under Garius Maximus defends a river crossing in Asia Minor. The main force will be composed of 1,000 pts plus a free general & army standard with an 800 pt detachment. The attackers will be 'early' Sassinid Persians under Rossaphernes cobbled together from existing figures and judicious use of the Persian list from the 2nd ed of WAB. so no Cataphracts for now and my Clibinari will have thrusting spear instead of kontos. A general and army standard with 1,600 pts in the main force and 800 pts in the flanking force. Keeping to proportions of cavalry and infantry in the scenario won't be easy with Sassinids but luckily the latest research indicates that the Sassinids had regular infantry in addition to levies. As it turned out the Romans deployed 2 cohorts of infantry and 1 of archers and an alae of cavalry at the ford and sent a 3rd cohort plus archers and a double alae of cavalry to block the bridge, The Persian flanking force was 1 unit of Clibinari, 1 of allied horse archers, a unit on mountaineer (using the marine stats) and a unit of levy archers. The main force was a large unit of spearmen and another of archers, a large unit of mercenary light infantry,2 units of skirmishers, an elephant and a unit of cavalry with bow and spear.
Things got off to a good start for the Persians. The first volley of arrows routed the Roman archers at the ford exposing the legionaries. The Roman cavalry trotted forward and were wiped out by one close range volley from the clibinari and horse archers combined. One cohort charged forward and swept away a unit of slingers but that brought them into close range of the massed archers and it was a small remnant that fell back in good order onto the hill. Over the bridge the Persian cavalry charged and broke the Roman cavalry taking the archers with them. By end of turn 4 it looked in the bag.
The horse archers completed crossing the river and surrounded the remnants of the cohort that had marched to the bridge while the mercenaries broke into skirmish order and along with the heavy cavalry crossed the river into the gap left by the Roman cavalry. The spearmen and elephants moved forward as well. Suddenly the Roman cohort demonstrated the advantage of well trained troops, turned and charge the horse archers, with no where to flee to they unleashed their weakest volley of the game and were broken, every unit of skirmishers within range panicked and ran as well.
The clibinari charged the flank of the victorious legionaries but they must have been dismayed, 6 charging spears only managed to down 1 Roman and the 8 remaining legionnaires stood. The Persian lights rallied but dusk was falling and their spearmen were barely 1/2 way across the river. Barely 30 Romans remained in 3 battered cohorts backed by a few archers but remain they did and the Persians had failed to breakthrough before dark.
In retrospect, I had failed to keep track of time and waited too long before launching my spearmen and elephant forward to exploit the effects of the archery. The early success seem to have lulled me into believing that my cavalry and light infantry could do it all themselves and even there I had left it till the last possible turn and gotten careless with my horse archers as well. Gary seized the moment and his counter attack secured the ford till dark.
In late 2008, in an effort to get myself playing more games, I decided to play all 52 scenarios from Scenarios For All Ages by
Charles S Grant and Stuart Asquith. More than that, I decided to play them in order, 1 a week, starting on Nov 5. I knew I wouldn't
manage to play every week so I set a deadline of Dec 31st 2009. With a little help from my friends, I made it with a day to spare.
In the end, I played 52 games in 60 weeks. 34 solo games, 15 face to face games, 3 Play-by-Email mini-campaigns
17 other gamers from 4 countries participated, (Canada 11, US 4, Ireland 1, Argentina 1)
11 'periods' were played - 20/25mm Ancients (3), Prince Valiant 40mm skirmish (9), 40mm 16thC (10),
40mm semi-flat War of Polish Sucession (1), 40mm AWI (2), 40mm Pirate
Skirmish (5), 40mm early 19thC fictional (17), 15mm ACW (1), 25mm Zulu War (1),
20mm WWII (1), 20mm 1960's fictional (2)
I posted a brief report on each game on my webpage. I am shutting down my website so I am re-posting
the reports here, starting at Game #52 so that they will eventually appear in order. The reports were written in a variety of voices and tenses (sometimes all mixed together!) and it was tempting to rewrite them but I have left them as they were originally written with only very minor corrections, particularly to things like links.
To avoid copyright issues and save myself work, I have not given the details of the scenarios. Having a copy of the book will help make sense of the reports. The book may currently be purchased from John Curry at http://www.wargaming.co/ as well as from booksellers like On Military Matters and Caliver.