Saturday, 1 September 2012

Tigranocerta 69BC - part 2 - the game

Hostilities opened with a Roman cavalry attack towards the baggage train (above), facilitated by the 'Order 4 units centre' card.  I felt that this was worth a try as it might be the only opportunity before the Armenian cavalry managed to redeploy.  The Romans managed to see off some of the enemy light horse and (below) secured a first victory banner in turn 1.  Not a bad start!

Tigranes responded with a 'Counter attack' card - which enabled him to order 4 units in the centre.  the 4 chosen were the cataphract cavalry units. 
The ground shook under the weight of so many armoured horsemen (they are heavy figures!) and a wave of cataphracts slammed into the lighter Romans.
The Armenians swept away the first Roman unit - cavalry units can take 3 'hits', the blue triangle is a hit on a medium unit and the swords hit anything.  Ouch.  To add to the fun, the accompanying Roman general perished in the attack.  Two banners to Tigranes.  Three actually, as a second Roman unit was overrun while the third fled. 

Lucullus's response involved much twanging of bow strings, some casualties being inflicted - included the first action on the (Roman) right flank.

A gap in the narrative (sorry!) is followed by the Roman centre shuffling troops into position, while the surviving cavalry decides it it feeling lucky.  It is, managing to inflict 2 hits on the cataphracts (red=a hit on heavy troops).  As the cataphracts survive, however, they fight back, finishing off the Roman cavalry.

Tigranes then does a bit of tidying up, moving two weakened cavalry units out of harm's way.  More skirmishing took place on the other flank.

Lucullus took advantage of the card above to move the bulk of the Roman infantry forward to confront Tigranes's foot troops.
The Roman attack came unstuck when the enemy infantry survived and managed to carry off a unit of legionnaires - giving Tigranes his sixth victory banner and winning the game for him!
All this took around 40 minutes to play through.  As it was such an unhistorical result I set the game up again and will give it another go when time allows.


Archduke Piccolo said...

A brisk little action. Were the Armenians unusually lucky, do you think, or was this one of those battles that could have gone either way?

Those cataphracts look impressive.


Tim Gow said...

Archduke Piccolo
Inspired Armenian leadership - or inept Romans? Either way it's down to me. I have since played the game again and will post a report soon.

Al said...

Cool, well explained too Tim

Ross Mac said...

Nice looking Armenian general.
I take it the scenario starts after the Romans have crossed the river to outflank the foe. Interesting to see the baggage involved, usually its all about legionairies, outnumbered 5 :1 stabbing clumsy cataphracts' horses and panicking the enemy army without a fight. ( Doesn't smack of propaganda at all really )

Looking forward to seeing the 2nd go round.

Tim Gow said...

I thought it migh help to show the order cards around which the system revolves.

Tim Gow said...

Ross Mac
I have other Tigranocerta scenarios which involve a river crossing....
I had held off doing this game for want of wagons - until I remembered the WW2 stuff.
As to the rematch. Let's just say it was different....

David Crook said...

Hi Tim,

Great report and certainly a rather different result than perhaps expected. I liked the inclusion of the key cards and dice rolls - a nice touch and one I shall look to use myself. Loved the cataphracts - they look really impressive models. Round 2 should be interesting!

All the best,


Tim Gow said...

David Crook
I felt that showing the cards might help readers to make some (but not a lot!) sense of the report.