Since the start of this project I have collected a
variety of enemies to field against the consular army and as the size of the collection
was based on historical numbers I have not had an opportunity to field these
armies in their standard 12 element a side format. Therefore I have a series of
test matches with each of Rome’s enemies using options available to both sides.
This series may prove useful for those starting ancients and for the
experienced player perhaps shed some insight to the finer aspect of the rules
and the use of allies which was not available in the older version.
army meet Numidians.
Polybian Roman have two cavalry
including the general’s element, two each velites (Ps), hastati (Bd), principes
(Bd) and triarii (Sp) totaling ten elements. The remaining two elements
represent the allied troops which may be either 3 or 4Ax.
Numidian have four each light
cavalry (LH) and skirmishers (Ps) lead by a general which can be either (Cv) or
(LH) and for this experiment I selected the remaining three elements from the
Roman trained infantry and elephant option.
In all three tests Numidia defended and selected only difficult
hills and wood to be placed as a river and road would benefit the Roman player
as attacker he would select the base edge.
The Numidian would open the battle with the Roman
trained infantry (4Ax) and elephant deployed in centre and each flank covered
by two Ps. The plan was to engage the Roman infantry while the Numidian LH
would encircle the Romans and attack their reserves or threaten the camp.
The elephant earned its keep by destroying an element
of blade and by the third and fourth turn the battle lines were becoming
disjointed; skirmishers fled from spear or blade in most cases giving no other
option to the Numidian player than to use the general and LH reserve to plug holes.
The general showed his worth by destroying an element of blade to bring the
Numidians to their first victory (4 – 2).
The elephant accounted for two kills, the second being
a recoil into a Roman allied element before eventually succumbing to encirclement
by Roman infantry. The Numidian psiloi fleeing from spear and blade I found an
advantage as this would bring them well out of a Roman TZ to be redeployed
elsewhere and by the sixth or seventh turn there were plenty of exposed flanks
The LH encirclement did keep the Roman reserve
occupied but this could easily have been accomplished with half the number of
elements. On hind sight additional LH may have been useful supporting the
Some minor adjustments were made to the composition of
the two armies, Numidia would replace the two Roman trained Ax for Bd and Rome
would make use of Celtiberian allies (1 x Cv, 2 x 3Bd) to replace one Sp and
As you will note from the photo, Rome deployed with
her flank resting on the only terrain features placed; the Numidians formed up
in a similar manner as the previous game. Moving first, Numidia would attempt
to turn the Roman right flank with their LH and the centre would add their
weight (El, 2 x 4Bd) forcing the Roman line onto the wood. Rome advancing in
echelon formation with the right flank leading effectively nullified the
Moving forward in a cohesive formation gave Rome an
advantage with an overlap or two in successive combats. With steady loss of
troops by Rome and Celtiberia, Numidia suffered a defeat (2 – 4). In
retrospect, both games ended after a high number of turns and this was not due
to poor pip scores, but through the necessity of redressing lines to attack as