so I'm going to extend this round by 1 week to the 7th August.
Coinciding with the World Boardgame Championships seems to have created a problem. (World being used in the same sense as the baseball world series..)
"I will either find a way, or make one."
attrib to Hannibal Barca
Round 5 Game 2 Caralis
7 banners gained, 31 blocks lost
Steve T Rome
8 banners gained, 35 blocks lost
The Roman light infantry raced forwards to occupy the woods, with exchanges of missile fire between the lights of both sides ensuing for most of the battle; the Romans generally doing better but without being able to harm the elephants. The Roman cavalry attacked the Carthaginian cavalry who were still in their starting positions – but the Carthaginians came off best, with each side left with one medium cavalry block and the Roman cavalry leader dead. Score was 3-3 when the Roman auxila and medium infantry were launched into the Carthaginian right, still on the rear two ranks of the battlefield. A desperately hard fought melee ensued against Carthaginian light cavalry and light infantry – but coming to their assistance were the Carthaginian auxila and elephants and Hanno. The Romans were still leaderless on this flank. The Romans had better cards and the Carthaginians better dice. The result was the closest of Roman victories!
Thanks to Forrest for two hard fought, tough close games, 8-7 each
After an excruciatingly close (but immensely enjoyable) game one, this one followed the same pattern. Unforeseen twists and turns, and like last game, the plans I had going into this match quickly fell apart once the game began.
The Romans moved quickly up on the Roman right, advancing into the treeline and disrupting the Carthaginian left in the process. Although my hand of command cards was never as dynamic as Marco's, who consistently put pressure on seemingly all parts of my army, I absolutely benefitted from some key rolls that helped turn the tide. In particular, Hasdrubal and his HI unit he was attached to were the undisputed heroes of the day, dispatching 5 of the 8 Roman units in the match without losing a single block in the process. Due to a dearth of solid cards, I used a DT out of desperation which blunted the advance of the Roman left, and enabled my center to hold out just long enough for a concentrated effort there to finish the match.
Despite the unequal rolls, I had an excellent time against a worthy adversary in each of these games.
Tony was the Roman in game 1 and went first. Initial ranged fire skirmishing saw him have luck with the dice and place several hits on my lights. My fire was less successful, although I eventually improved and got some important weakening hits on MI and HI later in the game. He initiated a cavalry battle on his left but got the worst of it, losing one of his MC and rendering the other hors de combat. My MC and one of the LC were also reduced to 1 block, and my cavalry force played no further role in the battle.
The eventual clash in the middle, fortunately for me, never emerged as an organized set-piece battle, but devolved into a whole series of disconnected tussles, especially by my Carthaginians. Neither of our lines were especially well-placed, and my units entered the battle piecemeal. But I did get some good cards – sometimes at less than optimal times – but two Line Commands and two Double Time cards proved useful. The game could easily have gone either way. Tony’s hand ended up with 4 unusable cards and a First Strike, which could have won, but his roll came up one short.
A game that started off slowly eventually became quite exciting, with an improbable ending.
John (Carthaginian) 4 (29 blocks lost) vs Togan (Roman) Alper 8 (23 blocks lost)
Key for this game was good results on ranged fire for Romans which accounted for two kills and two early Roman LINE COMMANDs which ordered a total of 37 units. This enabled a massive push forward and resulted in most of my units close to my board edge.
John (Roman) 8 (37 blocks lost) vs Togan (Carthaginian) Alper 7 (36 blocks lost)
A much closer game but two DOUBLE TIMEs fell into Togan's hand with the last nearly providing the win. We both had chances to end it on my right but my 3d three hit BB got the win for me.
John S 12 (66 blocks lost) Togan 15 (58 blocks lost)
We played by my opponent as I did not see any mistakes. Congrats on the match win.
Caralis, game 1.
Tony (Bangla) – Carthage - 8 banners - won
Mike (scipio1zama) – Rome - 5 banners - lost
Another absorbing battle between Mike and Tony. Early Line Commands brought the two armies closer together from the outset. The two sides traded banners for much of the battle, and Carthage reduced several units to 1-block but they were shepherded away. The Romans seemed to be getting the better of things, especially on their right where they weakened the Warrior units and had HI and MI ready to strike, so the Carthaginians pulled back to earn some time. As a diversion Hanno moved to threaten the Roman cavalry, but the Roman cavalry got their attack in first to gain the upper hand on that flank too. The situation was looking rather desperate for Carthage, so the Elephants were sent in. A stand off with a MI where no hits to either side were made, they were eliminated in a counter, though they severely weakened the MI, which bought more time. A well timed Double Time and one Carthaginian HI went onto the offensive against the Roman right. Two banners eliminated but they were themselves down to 1-block. Somehow, successive attacks against them only enabled them to retreat to the safety of their own line. 6-4 in banners to Carthage. Rome needed to strike to get back into the game. The centre hit the Carthaginian centre and eliminated one Auxiliary, but then a Line Command for the Africans unleashed their HI which bulldozed their opposite line, gaining the final two banners and the win.
These were an excellent pair of battles where both sides could have won in either. Mike was an excellent opponent, and I look forward to playing against him in the future.