Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Romans vs. Parthians - "To the Strongest Game"

After a long spell abroad, my good friend Nick returned recently and we were at last both free this weekend for game at "the Lodge". We were both keen to try another Ancients game, so Nick brought his Imperial Romans and I gave my Parthians their first outing.

The Parthian army consisted of 6 Cataphract units, 7 light cavalry, 2 "militia" javelin men and 3 units of light infantry slingers - all of this was shared out between 3 commands, with the front rank made up of the light troops providing a screen for the Cataphracts

This is the view of the Roman Right flank from the perspective of the Parthians. The romans had 7 Legionary units, 4 auxilia, 4 heavy cavalry and 3 light infantry. The table is 8'x5', and 150 points per side seems just about right.

Here is the Roman left flank, at the start of the game. As you can see, the parthian light cavalry advanced to steal the centre of the table.

First blood went to the romans, with their light infantry taking out a unit of light cavalry with some impressive archery


It wasn't long before the parthian light cavalry fell back and the legions and Cataphracts started to slog it out - here on the Roman left...

...this time from the Roman perspective,  in the centre

And on the Roman right flank

Next a close up of the action in the middle of the table. The Cataphracts, with their bonus to hit card for the melee couldn't budge the Legionaries. Likewise, as the Romans struck back, their pilums just bounced off the Cataphract armour!

This was a stubborn unit of Roman cavalry, holding off the Parthian Cataphracts, despite being disordered, then rallied, then disordered. The game went back and forth with several cohorts smashing into the flank of the parthians

In the end, the Romans lost 4 cohorts, and a unit of lights; but the Parthians lost 5 of their Cataphracts, one light horse unit, a general and had a demoralised right flank. 

The game swung back and forth for a long time, it was fast, furious and very enjoyable, but the Romans won the day! This was the longest game of TTS I have played so far, about 4 hours, but in that time we must have had 20 rounds. In keeping with tradition it seems, any newly painted army usually loses, and my Parthians were no exception. Ah, if only I could have used WRG Ireegular A Cataphract camels, Nick would have fled the field much sooner.


Noss Calavera said...

Very nice AAR! What did you use to make the grid?

Barry Lee said...

Hi Noss. The grid is just a sheet of green felt, hung on the wife's washing line and sprayed with various earthy colours, then marked out with felt pen dots at 150 mm intervals

Simon Miller said...

Looks great Barry! I suppose honours should be pretty even between cats and Romans, with the latter having an edge. Carrhae aside the Romans usually seem to have prevailed.

I suppose the issue is to get the Romans disordered and then be able to charge before they can rally. One could use a pair of horse archer units, one behind the other. The first could shoot and retire behind the second, which could shoot in turn. The cats could be in reserve behind them. Sneaky, neh? ;-)

Best, Simon

Nick Abbott said...

Flee the field sooner? You should be so lucky!


Carlo said...

Great post Barry and a wonderful array of splendid figures.

Phil said...

Great report, your close-ups are very impressive, splendid troops!