So another game of Hail Caesar pitching the rebellious Gauls and Romans against Caesar’s loyal legions.
It was my turn to run the scenario so here’s the summary.
After the initial rebel attack on the loyal legions the local commanders were given the order to make an example of the Gauls. Legions descended on villages and towns and laid waste. One commander decided that well trained legionnaires against villagers was a good chance to blood some new recruits. He sent in an unproven unit supported by some more experienced auxiliaries.
Unfortunately the village targeted had been chosen by the rebels as the first counter attack. Instead of terrified villagers the raw soldiers faced a screaming job of battle hardened warriors with cavalry charging up the valley. Could the raw recruits hold out until more experienced soldiers arrived? How many more rebels would take to the field?
The table placed a village in one corner with a river crossing the table heading into a valley. The other end was pretty open with some small hills. The river was fordable but any unit that started or ended its move in the river ended that turn disordered.
This proved to be a good rule as it made life tricky for both sides.
The first stroke of luck gave the romans the initiative and so they back pedalled quickly into the river whilst the Gauls advanced and the cavalry made its way up the valley.
The first few turns saw the recruits slowly draw back chased by cavalry and warbands. The roman cavalry appeared and the two sides skirmished along the line suffering losses.
Both sides looked tired and were relieved to see reinforcements appearing.
The two battle lines marched up the table but struggled to form a line. The Gauls and rebels struggled thanks to the river and a stubborn warband that just wouldn’t get out of the way or perish. This disrupted the forward momentum. The Romans also struggled to get a strong line formed as Gaulish warriors harassed the lead units.
Eventually the two lines got into position and charged into combat.
The initial clash certainly went the way of the rebels who forced the Roman line back after inflicting heavy casualties. The fanatics on the far flank cut through auxiliaries like butter and charged into the remaining recruits.
As is the way, however, the impetus disappeared as the Roman line held, ragged though it was. The heavy legions ground their way into the rebel line and pushed them back. The recruits to the amazement of all stood up to naked lunatics and pushed them back, sobering the warriors at fast rate.
We called it quits at that point. For most of the game it was a close thing as to who was going to win. The final results saw the balance in favour of the loyal legions, but most units were on the edge and few were not beaten up quite badly.
The raw recruits performed far above expectation and the cavalry behaved as it should, chasing down units and destroying them. As the rebel commander I suffered from the isolated warband that should have been wiped out several turns before it did? If it had been removed it would have allowed an earlier assault on a ragged left flank. As it was the Romans were able to anchor the flank and prevent the warbands from rolling up the line. There was a cheesy way to have removed them, but that’s no fun.
The legions continue to be a hard nut to crack. The warbands have a great first round, but that sustained combat is a killer. Waves of warriors are needed so more painting to do!