Saturday, December 17, 2011
The game ended in a Seleucid victory, instead of the historical Roman one. The Roman left wing fought a pretty good delaying action before collapsing under tons of cataphracts and walls of superior pike (close to a historical outcome), while the Roman center had an easy time of it, chopping through a mob a poor quality pikes and hoplites (very much the same as what happened historically). The Roman right wing was completely demolished though, while in the actual battle, the Pergamene allies of the Romans easily won this action. Given the order of battle we used though, it is difficult to see how this could be replicated, since the Roman wing was completely outmanned. Supposedly, the Seleucid scythed chariots went out of control at the beginning of the actual battle though, routing through and disordering their own forces, while our Seleucid player wisely held his chariots in the rear. It is really amazing to dwell on how often these Ancient battles, even huge affairs like Magnesia, had their outcomes, and the future course of history, decided by such capricious turns of fate.
The Roman battleline before the battle commences:
Romans at the start line:
The central Roman advance on the Seleucid Phalanx:
Romans killing phalangites:
Cataphracts killing Romans, and then Romans fleeing from the same:
Roman right wing in a fight with elephants:
And finally, a photo of the entire battlefield at the kickoff:
Playing Field of Glory over the last several years, it seems that the games had fallen into a pattern of constant repetitions of 800 point, tournament style matchups. We all wanted to get back to having a game based on an actual historical battle that allowed for more socializing and camaraderie. Everyone had a great time, it seems, and it confirms that Field of Glory is not just a "tournament" game but is also very appropriate for scenario gaming. It is probably too complex a system to teach newcomers in a convention environment, but with reasonably experienced players, even very large scenarios play out just fine. I think our group will be looking forward to more of these kind of games in the future. And of course, there will be the HAHGS Hail Caesar campaign kicking off right after the New Year, I hope.