Monday, August 25, 2014

Battle of Manzikert

My center Turkish command after the heavy cavalry passed through the skirmisher screen, with the Byzantine center force in the background
 Steve V is running his Battle of Manzikert game using Hail Caesar rules in a few weeks at Advance the Colors 2014, in Springfield, OH. So, though we'd play tested it before, he wanted to get it out again and blow the dust off of it and make sure it was ready to go. Hail Caesar seems to be the rules of choice for big battle Ancients games, lately -- ever since we tired of De Bellis Antiquitatis (DBA). There is a lot of dice rolling, so games are fairly fluid and units can be fragile. The morale tests seem to be what causes most units to disappear, which seems to be fairly accurate, in my opinion.
Mike S commanded the left and overran Joel's Byzantine flank command
Mike S and Keith made me play Alp Arslan, the Turkish commander. Opposite Mike on my left was Joel, while Allen was ranged across from Keith. I was tackling Steve V, and I was a bit worried in the first turn when his dice were hot and mine were not. However, he went cold quickly, and my dice picked up and remained fairly steady throughout the game. The battle is meant to be more of a historical refight and less of a complex scenario. Steve deploys the troops for the players (which I am not a big fan of, by the way), and there is no terrain on the tabletop. Players make grand tactical moves and then tactical ones to decide when to shoot, charge, etc. So, it is a straight-forward game.
Keith's Turkish command on the left had twice as many horse archers as the Byzantines did in their skirmish screen
There were some hesitant moments on our side, but we pretty much bowled over the Byzantines across from us. All three of us ended up breaking the opponent's command (or were about to), with the loss of only one unit on our side. The Turks outnumber the Byzantines if you don't count their reserve command, which may not enter the game at all, depending on the events of the game and some random chance. I wouldn't say the Byzantines have no chance in the game, just they will have to have some pretty interesting tactics and some pretty spectacular die rolling to change history. As it was, our game pretty much repeated history with the Turks smashing the Byzantine army in what was pretty much its most disastrous defeat in the empire's thousand year history.

1 comment:

  1. I like, I like. I wanna play this. Badly enough to shamelessly ignore all social proprieties and beg to be invited next time you play. Will this or a similar event be run at ATC 2015?