Both sides took time to form up; the Romans in some kind of skirmish line, the Palmyrenes to put their Heavy Cataphracts forward. Roman skirmishing claimed an early banner but soon the enemy's cavalry was pushing them back. Meanwhile, the Roman's attack plan was developing against the Palmyrene left. This became the general theme of the game; strong Palmyrene cavalry roaming the centre, Romans evading and taking shelter where possible; the Roman right pressing forward. Both sides claimed banners in this way, with the Romans taking cavalry losses in support of their right flank assault, making for a close middle and end game.
Eventually Roman right flank Auxilia managed to press home the attack, edging the Romans ahead at 4:5. The last remaining full-strength Palmyrene cataphract unit forced back a lone Roman slinger unit but the hard-to-remember Caltrops rule claimed a hit and intense Roman ranged fire claimed another. More ranged fire claimed the Cataphract unit as a final banner as it was trying to make good its escape.
Round 5 Game 1 Immae
Viridovilas/Max Palmyra banners 5, blocks lost 27
SteveT Rome banners 6, blocks lost 24
The Roman infantry advanced quickly on the right, capturing the hills and two banners (0-2). The cavalry clashed in the centre, with one banner each – but an attempt to cut-off Palmyrene lights was unsuccessful and ultimately led to the loss of two Roman cavalry units that had been in turn cut-off (3-4). Not learning my lesson, the Roman slingers advanced far forward in the empty centre, aiming to pick off depleted Palmyrene units – they missed, were cut-off by Palmyrene cavalry, and destroyed (5-4). Racing against time, the Roman left flank infantry moved forward, warding off missile fire, and trapped the Palmyrene lights against the rear, destroying two units (5-6).
A tough and very close game!
Round 5 Game 2 Immae
SteveT Roman Palmyra banners 6, blocks lost 7
Viridovilas/Max Rome banners 0, blocks lost 25
Fortuna turned her eyes from Rome, I had the better of the early shooting, weakening the Roman cavalry, and the Roman cavalry lacked orders and was gradually hunted down by the Palmyrenes. The only time Max was able to order his cavalry, an attack against Zabadas’ cataphracts was hit by first strike with loss of two Roman units and a leader. Without dice or cards it could only go one way for Rome.
Thanks to Max for fun games and for putting up with terrible luck in the second game
In the first game we forgot to use caltrops and Roman legionary missile fire, and looks like in both games we missed that Zenobia needed to be added...
I didn't see a correction about Zenobia (I assume there was one, but I've been away for a few weeks). She will obviously have to stay on her tea-break for our game 2.
I had to go back to the hard-copy game to confirm that Zenobia should indeed be on the hills, with her Auxilia. Another long-standing miss from the Vassal module and consequently, this site. I will fix the module scenario in a maintenance release, unfortunately too late for this tournament.