Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Maronaea: 179BC

A chap called Craig had a game of Hail Caesar brokered for him with me;  I say brokered rather than arranged, as I had nothing to do with organising our meeting, Craig had spoken to James via another forum and came along to the Thursday club looking for a tutorial on the Hail Caesar rules.  It was a pleasure to see that his Republican Roman army was fully, and beautifully, painted:

It was mainly comprised of Aventine Miniatures, and based to 60mm - DBMM - frontages:

Including lots of cavalry.

The one thing that the army lacked was adequate numbers of Command bases, so Craig had to improvise by using command groups from infantry units not being fielded in the battle.  Craig was wanting to learn the rules for a display game he is putting on at Partizan, so he'll need to plough through a few command bases first!

Anyway; for the battle it was to be yet another outing for my Spartans against a horde of Romans.  One day they dream of hacking through a Persian Phalanx, but until then Roman Cohorts will have to do.  We each drew a map for deployment and then deployed alternate commands across a battlefield dominated by a Greek ruin, low hill and some scrubby thickets of trees.

The Romans formed two ranks with Velites screening the centre, Triiari to his Left and Cavalry on his right.  For my part I deployed the Greeks in an oblique line with a thick right wing behind the hill, a thinner line of Hoplites in the centre and my left covered by light troops - Thracian peltasts and slingers.

I took first turn, partly as an opportunity to show how the command system worked, and began a limited advance, compromised by the narrow gap between the woods and the larger friendly mass of Hoplites on my right.  

At the end of the turn only one of my units was in range to shoot upon the Romans and the result was uninspiring.

In return the Romans pressed forward; though their slightly lower command values saw them relying on discipline in places to advance, but not making any charges.

The masses on the Roman left closed but the ruins meant that Craig to was having to dress his lines, though his with a view to widening his frontage, where I remained in depth.  A unit of Cretan bows provided a steady, but uninspiring drizzle of arrows.

On his right, Craig's cavalry smashed through the Thracians and soon broke the light command covering my left.  However his cavalry were badly disordered by the victory, and I realised I had a chance of a death or glory attack in the centre before they rallied and savaged my rear (something the Ancient Greeks are only too familiar with).

The Greeks charged, though heavily outnumbered, but failed to contact.

The Romans countered, but the battle in the centre proved a disaster for them four units being swept from the field; breaking the Roman centre immediately (rolling ten dice and scoring only four hits which I then saved, whilst taking three hits himself, did for one unit, then making it easy for the Greeks to outfight the others).  The Greek pursuit took them effectively out of range of the Roman cavalry, whilst the unengaged Greeks turned to protect their flank.

At the very last the Roman Left marched up the hill to engage the Hoplites, but the battle proved inconclusive, and in the end with light fading (and club time running out) the Romans quit the field; leaving Sparta victorious.

Huzzah!  Two on the bounce!  Though as an exercise in teaching Craig the rules, I hadn't actually been looking to win!  Still the fickle god of Dice turned against him at a critical moment.

Craig runs a blog too, which has been added to my select blogroll; watch out for 'Watch That Flank!'


  1. Looks like a good game. Don't know much about this period, so very interesting to see the pics. Your mate Craig has a very nice blog, thanks for pointing it out.

  2. Great looking figures and an excellent looking game!

  3. James Symmons16 May, 2012 14:10


    Glad the game went well- sorry was nt able to make it.

    Hope Craig will be able to make it down to Night Owls occasionally.