We played a 100 point game of Art de la Guerre last night. Matt led a Gallic army (8 swordsmen, 3 medium cavalry and a light chariot) against my Carthaginians (3 Numidian light horse, 3 medium cavalry, 2 African spears, 2 Spanish Scutarii, 1 celitiberian swordsmen, 1 Balearic slingers, 1 light javelins). This was our first involvement with impetuous troops. Lots to get used to there. Matt was defender, playing the part of the chieftain who can't believe that the Punic army only wants to pass through his lands. We played on a 120 by 90cm table, with 6cm unit frontages and 25mm figures.
The game played fast and bloodily. Matt deployed his horse out on his right wing, planning to go around behind the Carthaginian left. He set his warriors up in the centre, anchored to a wood on their right. I placed my Numidian horse on the left and medium cavalry on the right. The African spears took the centre, with Celtiberians on the left and the Scutarii on the right. To start with, we both advanced our right wing horse. The Numidian horse was able to slow down the Gallic cavalry, whittling them down, evading charges and generally keeping them occupied. The first melee was between the Carthaginian cavalry and the swordsmen on the left of the Gallic line. It was inconclusive for the first couple of rounds. The foot in the centre then clashed all along the line. Fortunes were mixed in this clash, with units on the right of both lines doing generally better. The pattern for the rest of the game was set: each side trying to eat up the opposition from their right flank. The Gauls on the right chewed up the Carthaginian left, punching a hole and turning to flank the Celtiberians. Meanwhile the Carthaginian horse got into a flanking position and returned the favour to the Gallic left, while out on Their extreme right, the Gallic cavalry started to disintegrate under enemy javelin fire. Alas for these troops, they stayed without orders for a couple of turns due to low command rolls and higher priorities in the main engagement.
While losses were stacking up at a similar rate in the infantry combat, the loss of their cavalry pushed The Gauls into demoralisation. The final ratio of victory points (12 to 6) belied how close the battle had actually been.
Impetuous troops can certainly liven up this game. I like it that they must win fast or get bogged down.
A 100 point game feels quite different from 200. For a start, with half the points but only one third of the commanders, CPs are in shorter supply. We concluded that only a very good general can afford a spread deployment, as there just won't be CPs enough to keep everybody moving. With fewer units, unlucky dice rolls can have a disproportionate effect, so next time we will perhaps use the reroll rule. We might even try average dice, although I have been warned against these for slowing melee down too much.
Not many photos from this game but I quite like the ‘action’ shot with the blurred moving chariot. The product of a poor camera phone but fun nevertheless.
The Gauls included some very old Minifig 25s, Newline 25/28s and Black Tree 28s. The size difference is huge but it didn't show so much during play as I'd feared.
I'm tempted to bring out the Macedonians soon, to see how pikemen perform.
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