Thursday, December 2, 2010

Dom Roms at Bob's

We recently had one of our semi-regular Ancients get together in Bob's Gaming Basement, and we had at least 8 people show up, mainly for Field of Glory games.  I was fortunate to be able to get in two games of my own - one being a training game for a friend who is considering playing in the Field of Glory Team Tournament down in Texas, the other being a first time test game of the Impetus rules.  As far as I could tell, lots of fun was had by all.

The Dom Rom Swarm Deploys
For my first game, I used a complete Morally Bankrupt version of the Dominate Roman Swarm in anticipation that this would be an army that my opponent would have a more than fair possibility of facing in the Lone Star state.  The Dom Rom Swarm has become infamous among Field of Glory players, for a variety of reasons, including the large number of battlegroups it can field (making it very difficult to break), and the swarm of 4 stand, armored auxilia that can be a challenge for opposing players to keep off of their flanks.  The version of this list that I ran included 9 battlegroups of armored auxilia, minimum legionaries, superior bow armed medium foot and light horse, and a few other supporting units, totaling 19 units.  My opponent, Chris, ran a Sarmatian list composed of a mass of undrilled, armored lancers, complimented by quite a few bow and sword armed light horse skirmishers.  I thought that the lancers would have been able to completely run through my medium foot auxilia in the open (since the table held very little terrain), but the game played out very differently than I initially expected.

Dom Rom Center Advance
My opponent decided to use a flank march on my right wing, but since it succeeded in arriving on the first roll it tested for, it came on too early to catch me out of position and I was able to redeploy my drilled units to face it off.  In addition, Chris also failed a straggle roll for one unit, which resulted in the flank march being weaker than what had been planned for.  The Sarmatians also surprised me when they decided not to concentrate their lancers on a mass charge into my exposed auxilia, but instead, turned and redeployed in order to maneuver onto my right flank.  In reaction to the Sarmatians' moves, I decided to advance more aggressively in the center then I had originally planned for, and then to turn several other units out of the center of my line, including the legionaries, to head off for the right flank as reinforcements against the flank attack and lancers.

Eventually, I was able to trap some of the Sarmatian light horse with my own light horse and auxilia, taking out pretty much everything my opponent left to delay on that side of the battlefield.

Sarmatians Redeploying
Things were not going quite as well on the other side of the battlefield, where the lancers had begun to arrive.  The flank march had been neutralized, but was still annoyingly hanging around, and I had gotten my auxilia too far forward where I would not be able to avoid the lancers.  I still had the ability of using the tactic of getting auxilia on a lancer flank in a position to force a charge that could then be intercepted.    This did work on at least one location, but after several poor rounds of rolling for me, my opponent turned to face me, bolstered, and I did not have enough troops in the immediate area to support my original flank charge.

Light Horse Hunting
Although the game did go on for several more moves, that was pretty much it before what would have been an ordinary time out.  I was almost on top of the Sarmatian camp and probably would have chased a couple of light foot skirmishers off the table soon.  My right flank was falling apart, but even if I had lost all my battlegroups there, there were still so many left in the swarm that I could have redeployed 90 degrees on the table to take on the lancers who now would have had much less room to maneuver.  When all was done, it probably would have been a winning draw for the Dom Roms with neither army breaking.

The Dominate Roman Swarm is quite a nasty army, I would have to agree, even if it takes a lot of practice to learn how to use correctly.  In the hands of a player more skilled than myself, I'm sure it would be fearful to face.  And it is fun to play.  Now that I'm getting more familiar with it, I've been digging through my pile of 28mm figures to see if I can put together the same army at the larger scale.  With the relatively smaller tables used for 28mm games, the Dom Roms would probably be even tougher.

Killing Sarmatian Light Horse

Auxilia Facing Lancers

Flank Charging Lancers

Ready for Camp Sacking

For the next post, I'm going to try and write something about the Impetus test game I played next, but after stepping through the game and subsequently rereading the rules, we obviously got so many particulars wrong, I'm not sure it was a fair test game.  At best, I can give a basic overview of how I thought the rules played.

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