This week we played out the penultimate round of our Lost Battles campaign with some surprising results. The fixtures were as follows:
Rome vs Gaul
Carthage vs Syracuse
Macedonia vs Numidia
The three battlefields that we diced up this time were Hydapses (a plain), Munda and 2nd Mantinea. The latter is the only scenario in the book to feature impassable terrain.
As previously we each drew 3 cards to determine battlefield, deployment edge and choice of attacker or defender.
Oddly I drew the highest possible card and the lowest, which gave me the chance to choose the battlefield but little else. I chose 2nd Mantinea - not wanting to face swarms of light cavalry on a plain.
Ellimedes chose 2nd to face Nellibal on the battlefield of Munda. This left QVINTVS VITMORVS to lead his legions against Alanix the Gaul on a barren plain.
|Gauls rush forward to face the Romans in the rain|
It transpired that it was also Alanix's birthday and the Dice Gods had obviously taken this into account. Within a few moves it was 'down to the triarii', as they say in Rome, and after a few moves more it was all over. Definitely the quickest game of the campaign so far and a resounding defeat for the favourites.
Over at Munda, Ellimedes was torn between defending the hills and advancing onto the plain. The consequent indecision and mid game change of plan possibly contributing to the result - a draw.
|Carthaginians cross the river whilst the Syracusans hide in the hills|
Meanwhile at Mantinea the Numidians had choice of deployment edge. Thankfully, they chose to deploy on the open side of the battlefield, leaving the Macedonians with impassable hills on both flanks. This enabled Antigonus to mass all his cavalry on the left flank leaving his right secure against the mountainous terrain. The skirmishing Numidians were surprisingly effective (i.e. good dice) but the Macedonian line held on. They in turn put all their effort into their cavalry.
|The Macedonian battle line holds steady in the face of a swarm of skirmishing Numidians|
The Numidians inevitably succumbed to the strength of the Macedonian cavalry arm, led by Antigonus himself, despite using their mobility to reinforce the zone. The turning point of the game came when a rally attempt by Jimba himself prevented what would have likely been the rout of most of the army.
|Veteran Macedonian cavalry strike a mighty blow - |
only to be countered by Jimba claiming 'Favour of the Gods'
By Turn 10 the Numidian centre was hanging on but was surrounded on three sides. One more turn would likely have seen them rout.
Oh well, another draw for Macedon and they maintain their undefeated record - ahem.
|Numidians barely hold on until nightfall|
So with that surprise result, Alanix the Gaul leaps into first position, with Jimba in second place. By sheer coincidence these two face each other next week - whoever wins that game will claim first place. However, if they draw either Rome or Syracuse can claim joint first place if either of them achieve a win - coincidentally these also face each other next week.
This only leaves Macedon and Carthage - who let's face it are vying for bottom position!