Boredbeyondbelief / Eric (Athenians) 2
SteveT (Spartans) 6
The dice gods turned their face away from Athens: by the time the battle for the hills was over BOTH Athenian strategos' had died, each from double dice leader checks and the score was 2-5. Pausanios had gained the further side of the ridge, and filled with the lust of battle he and his single unit of hoplites charged (ie double time) after a fleeing unit of auxila (one block) into the midst of the Athenian hoplites, destroying it and ending the battle (2-6).
Round 4 Game 1
Mark McG (Athenian) 6 banners
Carl (Spartan) 5 banners
Athenians had a very poor start with the dice, which gradually thawed over the game. Losing a leader to the first 2d leader check was a bad sign. In the event the Light troops managed to hold the Spartan menace along the hill line, and Thrasybullus and his hoplites never stirred from their rest.
Round 4 Game 2
Carl (Athenian) 3 banners
Mark McG (Spartan) 6 banners
Dearth of Centre cards on both sides meant this was a scramble from the start.. Spartan leaders to the front, and a confused movement to the Right to flank the hill ended with the Athenians being commandless on the hill and wiped out. At least this time the Athenian hoplites moved and attacked.
Round 4 Game 1 Cavie (Atenian) 6 Banners won Andygor (Spartan) 4 Banners won
Athenians used the hills to their advantage and chipped away at the Spartans until their own forces became weakened. They then Double Timed it back off the hills to get reinforcement from their Hoplite infantry. A leader kill helped the Athenians continue to hold sway in their favor of the battle to eventually finish off the Spartans just in time before they could regroup.
Round 4 Game 2 Cavie (Spartan) 6 Banners won Andygor (Athenian) 3 Banners won
Athenians once again tried using the hills to their advantage but this time the Spartans were able to breakthrough. Athenian Hoplites Double Timed down to help with stopping the breakthrough but left their left flank open. The Spartans dispersed the field of battle and were able to take advantage of the Athenian left flank to end the game.
I advanced quickly upon the Athenian positions and walked right into a CoS card, which my crafty opponent quickly used to eventually gain a 3-0 lead in the early going. Although I was able to pick up a lone banner, Kartigan expertly evacuated the hill hexes and left my Spartans to blunder about, taking ranged hits while reorganizing. After a terrible Spartacus play, he seized the initiative and advanced upon my weakened force, and was very close to a victory, coming within a single block of a 6-1 crushing victory. However, a fortunate leader hit and a timely counterattack card, coupled with amazing rolls, salvaged a 6-5 win.
Game 2: Travis (Athens) 6, Kartigan (Spartans) 4
Our pattern of crazily unpredictable rolls continued, as we were continually caught off guard by the fortunes of war again in game two. This time, as the Athenians I was able to gain some momentum early, and then play my excellent hand to my advantage, catching some isolated Spartan units exposed with good rolls and eventually bringing up the Medium infantry to help seal the victory.
PCScipio42 allowed me to gain a "costly" toehold on the 3 frontal hill hexes. "Costly", because at some point the result was 3 banners to nothing for PCScipio42. This was the price for me to put his army in a grim position and build an unstoppable momentum. First, I mauled his front troops on the hill, kicking them away from the high ground. Then I awaited his cunning "Clash of shields" counterattacking maneuver, wearing down the rest of his MH troops. He managed to steal one more banner before I ended it at 6-4. The costly toehold and him letting his MH split into two groups of two units each let me defeat his troops in detail. Cards and dice were relatively balanced without some shocking and frustrating shows.
Cap (Athens) 6
PCScipio42 (Sparta) 3
I was determined not to allow a toehold for my opponent on my hill and put my auxilia to work, exposing it at the front hills, sealing its fate. After the inevitable Spartan MH frontal uphill attack started, dice came to mess the otherwise interesting tactical maneuvering. First, my auxilia was impotent to inflict damage at either attacking and battling back downhill (making my position senseless). Then, the scrap turned all the way around when my last and one-block auxilia managed to survive a complete MH "Mounted charge" onslaught. On the next turn, this "Rambo" auxilia alone took two banners, finishing off a Spartan MH and killing its attached leader. Dice definitely ruined the "romance" of the battle here. After the "Rambo" auxilia was eventually destroyed, the fight entered a lull. PCScipio42 occupied and sat on the hills asking me what do I do now. I used this hush to harass and finish off some of his back rank retreated weakened units with my light ranged troops, taking the banner score to 5-3 for me. The multiple turns of stalling allowed me to build a decent hand which I used to finish the battle with a thunderclap, collecting the last banner with my MH frontal uphill assault.
Thanks to PCScipio42 for his patience and the tactically worthy battles!
This scenario is all about the hills. Before the Spartans were able to get a toehold in the hills, the Athenians played an early Double Time to bring their hoplites up, then a Line Command to completely occupy the hills. A very fortunate hand and start and almost certainly decided the battle. Surprisingly, after an early blood exchange in the foothills, including a surprise leader kill by the Spartans, the tempo of the battle slowed as the skirmishers on both flanks settled into a desultory exchange of ranged fire which felt like it went on forever, and included a Darken the Sky and Spartacus. Eventually the Athenian lights got the upper hand and the Spartan hoplites were finally forced to to assault the hills, where they suffered with the terrain disadvantage, and the Athenians finished it off with a Mounted Charge.
Daniele (Athens) 4
BrentS (Spartan) 6
Mindful of the carnage of the previous battle, the Spartans pushed into the hills as quickly as possible with an Auxilia and Warrior and leaders detached from the rear. Good in principle but the Athenian Auxilia performed heroically, immediately eliminating the Warriors and sending Pausanias fleeing back to hoplite line. The Spartans forced the Athenians off the hills with a Mounted Charge but it was a pyrrhic victory as they lost two hoplite units and their lines were scattered and mauled. Savage fighting on the north of the hills left Pausanias alone with a 1 block hoplite and down 3 banners to 4. A decisive and dramatic end game now…..the Spartans played a humble Coordinated Attack to order their Medium Cav and Pausanias’ unit, seeing three possible banners. The Athenians used their First Strike against the Medium Cavalry cutting off their Light Cav’s retreat path, to no effect. Pausanias took out two Athenian infantry and a leader to take the victory for the Spartans.
Well played, Daniele, and thanks for two very enjoyable battles, particularly the second, which I had no right to win. Very tense and hard fought. I know you felt you made a mistake using the First Strike against the cavalry instead of Pausanias in that final play and it may have made the difference but there’s no knowing…..sometimes in Ancients there’s no right decision, you can only go with gut instinct.
Geoff's Athenians advanced to the front of the hill and held on while punishing my advancing Spartans. The Spartan Hoplites eventually gained the hill but lost 3 units to the Athenians 2. It was still looking OK for the Spartans at this point. They had the hill and only 1 unit down. Then the Spartan cavalry just ran away (many flags rolled by Athenians) and never came back and it went down hill (pun intended) from there. A lone 2 strength Athenian Auxilia unit with leader cleared all the Spartan Hoplites from the hill and killed the Spartan Hoplite leader for the win.
GomJabbar (Athenian) 6
gheintze (Spartan) 5
This time my Athenian Auxilians gained the front of the hill and planned to hold while Geoff's Spartans threw themselves at the hill. It was looking promising for a while but the onslaught of Spartan Hoplites and cavalry cleared the hill of Athenians. The game was even at 3-3 at this point. The Athenian Hoplites then joined the fight. The Athenians regained the hill and a lone Spartan Hoplite and leader went chasing after a 1 strength Athenian Hoplite behind enemy lines and got caught and decimated but the leader escaped back through lines of Hoplites to it's own side. It was then a desperate battle on both sides chasing 1 strength units for the final banners. There were a lot of bad cards and bad rolls on both sides against 1 strength units with no effect. This went on for several turns until my Athenians finally took out the 1 strength Warrior unit for the win. It was a close one.
Thank you Geoff for the games. I made a few key mistakes that I will make sure to remember for my next games.