Last week I was invited round fellow SLW member Mike’s house for a game of Sword and Spear. This ruleset has really taken off down at the club and I was only mildly interested as I’ve never been into Ancients at all but Mike had asked me a month or so ago if I wanted a game and I agreed, especially as we would be playing at his place using his table, terrain and troops so who was I to argue!
So I went round and we played a great game with ‘my’ Carthaginian army being narrowly beaten by his Romans and I really enjoyed it – if you get a chance have a go at the rules: they are nice and simple but with some subtle touches and a really simply clever, elegant activation mechanism which makes for an interesting game – so when he asked he at the club last Monday if I wanted another go I jumped at the chance.
This time I was given his lovely painted Britons and he took Romans again – we set up and got to it. Our terrain rolls hadn’t gone too well for me with Mike ensconced on a low ridge and me stuck on a wide open plain. My cunning plan was to move up the left with a ‘combined arms’ force to lever his right hand side cohort off the ridge to allow my main group of Warbands to develop an attack on the rest of the Legionnaires once they had moved to counter that threat. On my flanks I wanted my Chariots and Lt Horse to keep his cavalry/lights busy whilst hopefully braking into his flank and rear.
Needless to say, that plan didn’t go at all well. Mike managed to take out my Lt Horse on the left and his Auxillia with the Blue shields came off the hill and together they started to chew through my left flank group until I had nearly nothing left, then one of his right flank cohorts descended and finished off my Warband thus bringing me close to break point and threatening my main Warband group on the right. The only bright spot in this whole sorry episode was my Chariots ‘escaping forward’ and scaring the bejeezus out of his Legion on the hills as they went all the way round the back and causing them to start moving down onto the plain. On the other flank Mike’s Cavalry managed to hold up my Chariots nearly the whole game, trading blows all the while and putting on hits. Eventually my chariots routed them off and with the other ones about to hit the Legionairres still on the hill in the back and a chance that I might get to engage with my Warbands I thought that I might just be able to save the battle, however the gods were not with us and the follow up melee that the Chariots fought caused them to rout off thus ending the game.
As this one was over quickly we decided to have another bash and I refused Mike’s offer to take the Romans as I thought that I could do better. We rolled up some new terrain and this time things went much better with the battlefield being very cluttered with woods, rough and hills – much to my advantage as it turned out. I deployed with most of my Warbands in the large wood facing the bulk of his Legionnaires whilst I loaded my right flank with my big hitting units – Chariots and Fanatics supported by light Horse and Cavalry. I quickly won the smaller wood and took the central hill with Horse and a Chariot unit. On the right I proceeded to clear up, destroying Mike’s force there quite quickly and ramping up the break points on him. He did manage to take out a couple of Warbands but my Chariots and Fanatics were running rampage and into his rear, with me soon forcing the win.
So two cracking games done and home before 6pm! I must say I really like these rules and am seriously thinking of getting together an army, must resist though too much to do with other projects!!