Conquest 2016, part 1, the last practice game

7 November, 2016

Last Friday, the night before I went to Conquest, I got in one final practice game of BBDBA with Nick. I’d looked over the Runners and Riders and suggested he try out a Palmyran army with its mixture of bow and cataphracts. He was able to get his Early Imperial Romans to do this.

I’d settled on my commands before I left. I’d chosen them to correspond to the different PIP dice. the C-in-C was Hanno, commanding the largest contingent and having the high PIP dice. With 16 elements, it required 6 casualties to break.

Hanno's command.

Hanno’s command.

This command had two elements of elephants and four of Gallic warbands. The hope was that the elephants would create overlaps for the warbands and increase their chance of breaking through. The command also had three elements of spear, and four of cavalry (including the commander), along with a light horse and a pair of psiloi.

Gisgo had the mobile command, designed for bad going and for outflanking. It got the middle PIP dice. It had 10 elements and broke after 4 casualties.

Gisgo's command.

Gisgo’s command.

This command had a high proportion of Spanish mercenaries; three elements of scutati, two of caetrati, one of Balaeric slingers, Gisgo command of Spanish cavalry, another of Spanish light horse, and finally a pair of Numidian light horse.

The final command was led by Hiero, a Greek mercenary commander. Like Gisgo’s command it was 10 elements. It was intended to hold the line and got the low PIP dice.

Heiro's command.

Heiro’s command.

Hiero had six elements of spear, three of Sicilian Greeks, and three of Campanians. He had two warbands, including the redoubtable Androgeus and a reserve of a psiloi and some cavalry.

  • Against the Palmyrans

The game against the Palmyrans saw the Carthaginians attacking. There was an oasis, two difficult hills and some rough going. The Palmyrans deployed across the entire line, with the bulk of their cataphracts in the centre.

The Palmyran deployment.

The Palmyran deployment.

I’d made the mistake of putting my camp behind the oasis and therefore could not simply ignore the right flank. I decided to have Hiero’s command hold the right flank and Gisgo on the left flank.

The Carthaginian deployment.

The Carthaginian deployment.

Gisgo's command facing a difficult hill.

Gisgo’s command facing a difficult hill.

I was relieved to learn that bow could not shoot into the difficult hills, and this gave some solidity to the left flank, but the warband strung out in the centre facing cavalry was not a good situation. Hiero might have been better there, and the warband could have been in the oasis.

After a few turns of advancing.

After a few turns of advancing.

I don’t remember the details now, and as my luck was not equal to rectifying errors in deployment, my photography ceased!

The centre is about to engage.

The centre is about to engage.

I had a problem with how to attack in the centre when my right flank was not advancing. I made the mistake (in retrospect) of attacking the Palmyran bow with my cavalry. It didn’t work, and delayed the attack of the elephants; however, whatever the cavalry did, the elephants faced trouble with support.

A warband breaks, and Hanno rushes to fill the gap.

A warband breaks, and Hanno rushes to fill the gap.

Gallic cavalry recoil from the Palmyran bow.

Gallic cavalry recoil from the Palmyran bow.

More warband break and Gisgo attempts to fill the gap.

More warband break and Gisgo attempts to fill the gap.

Spanish scutati are broken by archery and more warband die.

Spanish scutati are broken by archery and more warband die. Hanno remembers to use his get out of jail +1 and avoids being defeated.

Palmyran cataphracts break Gallic cavalry.

Palmyran cataphracts break Gallic cavalry.

I think Hanno was defeated when flanked, and his command broke. This was a battle that I never really had an advantage. I think my main mistakes were:

1. Choosing the bad going to deploy from. It might have been better to have inflicted its disruption on the Palmyrans.
2. Putting my camp behind the oasis.
3. Sticking with the deployment despite the way the warband had to be stretched across the centre facing mounted.
4. Deciding to go for the bow of the right command rather than support an attack by the elephants.

It wasn’t a good note on which to set off to Conquest.

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6 Responses to “Conquest 2016, part 1, the last practice game”

  1. TWR Says:

    I still have a great fear of Gisgo’s command. Those Spanish fight with great determination!

    • Mark Davies Says:

      They were phenomenal, but in both my first games I put them on the wrong flank. They were fighting for dear life against the odds.


  2. The group shots of the armies are splendid and I also very nmuch enjoyed reading the battle report.

    • Mark Davies Says:

      Thanks, I enjoyed personalising the commands. Trying to get nationalities together aided this, even if it might not have created the strongest commands.


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