Sunday, September 19, 2010

Patrician Romans v Early Lombards

This time my opponent decided to play Lombards so I took the Patrician Romans West.  My army was:
KnG, 2xKn, LH, Bd, 6xAx, Ps
I went with Ax instead of Wb because I wanted the faster units.
The Lombard army was scary:
KnG, 6xKn, 3xBw, 2xWb

The Lombards were the defenders and they put down a road, gentle hills and some woods.  I wanted the woods to advance through so I chose that side and got it.

After the first few bounds
The Lombards spread their Kn out in a line, with Bw and Wb on each side.  I put my Kn and LH on the left, hoping to be able to break through to his camp before his Kn could catch me, but then he switched an extra unit of Bw to the left making it harder for me.  I advanced my Ax in column through the woods.  My plan was to use the central block of Ax to trap a good part of his Kn in my ZOC, and the right hand block of Ax, fronted by the Bd, to try to go around the side of his Kn and kill his Wb and Bw on the hill.

Romans 0 - Lombards 1
He angled his bows slightly to cover his flanks with their arc of fire.  This allowed me to attack them with my Ps, with the LH behind for any follow-up opportunities that might be available, and with two units of Kn on the right of the Ps to give an overlap to compensate for the overlap of the Bw on my left.  This meant it was a 1 to 1 combat so anything could happen.  Sadly my Ps was doubled and killed.

Roman knights behaving rashly
Now my LH was a sitting duck for his Bw so they ran back far enough to be out of range next turn.  My Kn were also going to be in danger from his Bw so they took the plunge and hit the opposing line of Lombard Kn.  One Kn stuck in place, the other got a recoil and followed up, now surrounded by the Lombards.  Trouble is coming my way!  On the right, my Ax stepped forward to limit the movement of the last unit of Lombard Kn so that the Bd+Ax column could make a dash for the Bw and Wb on the hill.  Although the Bd was slower than the Ax I kept them in front as they would be better in combat if the Kn caught me in the open, though not by much.

Roman LH behaving judiciously
The Lombards closed the door on both my units of Kn, using Bw on the left and Kn on the right.  My Kn were surely doomed now, but surprisingly they held on.  The Lombards sent a unit of Kn to my right to guard their flank.

Romans 0 - Lombards 4
Finally my 2 units of Kn succumbed to the flank attacks and were cut down.  On the right, my Bd charged the Lombard Kn with an overlap from the Ax.  If I could just get a recoil, next turn I could get my Ax onto the hill and into the enemy Bw.  But the Kn rode down my Bd, ending the game quickly and brutally.

Post-game thoughts:
  1. I lost this game because I got intimidated.  I think my strategy of using my Ax in the woods to lock down the enemy Kn was a good one.  But on the left my mounted wing was too afraid of the enemy Bw.  If I'd had more Ax on the left I could have used them for Bw hunting and used my Kn and LH for overlaps.  I would have had to advance more slowly to give myself more time to get the Ax over to that side though.
  2. When I did send the Bd and Ax to the right I should have sent them much wider and had a unit of Kn available to screen his Kn.
  3. Both of the above points tell me that my setup was not flexible enough.  I should have set-up something like this: [LH] [Kn] [KnG] [Ax] [Ax] [Ax] [Ax] [Ax] [Ax] [Kn] [Kn] [Ps] with all of the Ax behind the woods.  This would have allowed me to advance the Ax in column into the woods if necessary but also have the Ax wide enough to get them to the flanks if necessary.

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