Sunday, November 12, 2006

Armarti - the war against Etruria

OK, so for a bit of variety I took Armarti to the Leeds club this past week. It was another opportunity to 'display my wares' so to speak, and Armarti as a set of rules have the advantage of being very simple to run through in an evening, even with players who've never played the game before.

As makes sense, I'd preselected a couple of matched armies - Early Roman Republicans, and Etruscan Greeks (i.e Greeks with a warband ally for novelty value, a simple tweak of the Armarti Greek list). Once the players had the basics of units explained they deployed based on their map plans.

Armarti is dependant on the map deployment, like historical generals of the time players plan the fight with no idea what the enemy will do for sure; I wish more games used so simple a method, it produces fascinating results. Here the Etruscans deployed wide, whilst the Romans deployed deep and entirely refused their right flank.

Battle commenced and the Romans moved aggressively to try to outflank the Etruscans. Armarti dictates armies have a fixed number of available formations in a game. This limits tactical flexibility. The less flexible Etruscan army had to deploy a huge line, which spent the early game redressing to face the enemy.

The Cavalry battle eventually went the way of the Romans, though the horse were battered, their commander tried in vain to rally them. Eventually chosing to attack the Etruscan psoloi in the rough ground. An error as psoloi fight at their best in difficult ground - each unit has three combat factors, one for fighting in good going, one for difficult ground and one for being hit in a flank; in this case foot troops are better han cavalry in rough going. This as a result allowed the psoloi to hold the Roman flank attack up, whilst the phalanx closed with the Roman centre.

The figures used were from my extensive 20mm ancients collection. A mixture of Zvezda, Hat, Nexus and Revell in this case.

Late in the day the Etruscans clashed with the Princeps in the centre. At the rear the Etruscan general was lost along with the warband, to a cavalry charge in its' flank. In the end the Etruscans crumbled first in the cantre, largely through not being willing to attack the available flank of the Romans. It was a straight 5-0 break point victory to the romans.

Armarti is a good game, hampered mainly by only being suitable for stand-up fights. It is however quick to play once you are familiar with the conventions it uses you can get two games in, in the shortest of evenings.

My figures attracted a fair deal of favourable responses too, which is always nice!

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