Last night I was really itching for a game, so, inspired by Will’s post over at Fanaticus, I decided to play a game of solitaire. I’ve been wanting to use my Marians (II/49.) since I haven’t used them since Historicon, and it’s been even longer since using them in standard DBA. I wanted a good heavy infantry fight, so I picked Ptolemaic II/20. (c) as the other army. Ptolemaic’s won the terrain, placing a waterway, 3 woods, and a steep hill (Yes, I forgot about the waterway for some reason and put too many optional features).
Each feature was set up to accommodate the Ptolemaic plan to deploy a wing of mounted and a main battle line four base widths wide. The Romans ended up with the waterway to their rear. Unfortunately though, when you play solitaire you have the ability to read the other general’s mind. Knowing that the Romans would block the littoral landing, the Ptolemaics deployed as normal.
King Ptolemy deployed his pikes two deep, with his blades on the flanks in a position to wheel between the terrain features. The psiloi deployed in the woods to slow the advance of the Romans, and the light horse protected the lane that led to the camp. The elephant, knight, and auxiliaries deployed on the far right to punch a hole in the Roman right flank. The Romans did the best they could, given the terrain. They set up a force to refuse the right flank (triplet of blade w/psiloi support), and formed a battle line on the left to challenge the pikes (five blade+psiloi+cavalry).
Another view of the Ptolemaic line and their beautifully painted camp!
For the first few bounds the main battle lines lumbered towards each other, while the opposite flanks stayed static. The Romans pushed out towards the board edge and sent the psiloi out in front of the lines, while the Ptolemaics began to wheel, confident that the mounted could protect their vulnerable flank.
Slow and steady…the next Roman bound.
Finally getting some pips, the Ptolemaic battle-plan springs to life. The light horse and psiloi move up to arrest the Roman advance, while the phalanx continues its wheel. The mounted wing also advances. King Ptolemy decides to go and aid the mounted wing.
About two bounds later. The Romans challenge the Ptolemaic psiloi and send a column of blades to block the light horse. The Roman line wheels to meet the phalanx.
The psiloi battle is quick and bloody. To the Roman commander’s chagrin, he realizes that he left his psiloi no avenue of retreat (doh!).
The Roman psiloi are quickly avenged however, when the Ptolemaic psiloi is trampled by the Roman cavalry. Other movement: the column of blade moves closer to the light horse, and the Ptolemaic auxiliaries break off and head into the hills to support the phalanx. The Roman line continues to wheel.
To be continued…