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My first Challenge Experience

Page history last edited by Rob Brennan 11 years, 5 months ago

As the great debate rumbles on, I thought I would share my experiences of the Challenge.

As a few of you may know, I am a great fan of Constantius II (a much maligned Roman Emperor now subject to several revisionist articles which state he was far from useless and actually held the Roman frontier against all comers). So, I upped and took Constantius to Challenge with the following army-

Late Imperial Roman (Eastern) 360AD

C-in-C (Constantius II Inert) Reg Bd (O) ME: 36, Disheartened 9.5, Broken 12.5

7 x Legionarii Reg Bd (O)

4 x Legionarii Archers Reg Ps(O)

8 x Auxilia Palatina Reg Ax(S)

8 x Auxilia Archers Reg Ps(O)

4 x Skirmishers Reg Ps(S)

12 x Gothic Foot Irreg Wb(O)

Sub-General 1 (Trajanus) Reg Cv(O) ME: 23.5, Disheartened 6, Broken 8

2 x Clibanarii Reg Kn(X)

2 x Equites Reg Cv(O)

3 x Equites Illyricanii Reg Lh(O)

1 x Equites Sagittarii Reg Lh(F)

2 x Equites Sagittarii Indigenae Irreg Lh(F)

2 x Auxilia Palatina Archers Reg Bw(O)

2 x Pseudocomitatensis Sagitarii Reg Bw(I)

1 x Pseudocomitantensis Auxilia Reg Ax(O)

Sub-General 2 (Ursicinus) Reg Cv(O) ME: 27.5 Disheartened 7, Broken 9.5

4 x Clibanarii Reg Kn(X)

2 x Equites Reg Cv(O)

3 x Equites Illyricanii Reg Lh(O)

1 x Equites Sagittarii Reg Lh(F)

2 x Equites Sagittarii Indigenae Irreg Lh(F)

4 x Auxilia Palatina Archers Reg Bw(O)

1 x Pseudocomitantensis Auxilia Reg Ax


6 x Baggage Mules Reg Bge(F) ME:3, Disheartened 1, Broken 1.5

Total ME: 90, Army Break 45.5

Being an open competition I felt that there probably would be Kn(S)/Cv(S) in numbers so the army was designed to at least blunt their effectiveness and wear them down by sheer weight of numbers. The Gothic foot were put in as cheap but effective filler that hopefully would deal with any enemy foot they encountered.

That was the plan…

In the event, several of my worthy opponents looked at the size of my infantry formation, and moved as far away from them as possible!

This led to most of the action in the five games I played being fought on the wings, with the notable exception of the game I had against Jim's Western Sudanese where the dreaded Ex blew away my center!

The pip dice rolled were remarkably kind, I never rolled less than a 4 for the C-in-C's command and because I averaged the dice for both sub-gen's commands, I only once in the five games ended up with only one pip to use for them.

My game plan was fairly simple, form the infantry in the center, the two mounted wings on their flanks, and drive forward to victory as fast as possible!

My first game against Tim's unpronounceable Byzantines was a very brutal encounter where the battle swung back and forth and the balance only being decided right at the end. Tim finally managed to break both my wings, leading to his 18-7 win (I had managed to break one of his commands and I think dishearten another, my Gothic foot tearing through his Bw giving me a certain sense of satisfaction!)

My next game was against Jim's Western Sudanese and those blasted Sheep!  Another exciting game, where Jim managed to badly maul my Infantry command curtesy of said Sheep. I narrowly held on, with Jim getting a 15-10 win.

The next game was against Ray and his indestructible Han C-in-C!!! How many times did I surround this one element? How many times was I beaten off? Another very close game which went right to the wire and Ray got a 15-10 win.

The first game the next day was against Steve, another chariot army. Steve took one look at my army, which deployed second, and moved his chariots from his right flank to his left!!! A real swings and roundabout game where the battle on the wings went backwards and forwards right to the end of the last bound. Another 15-10 win to Steve (anyone notice the theme developing here?)

The last game was against Tony's Normans. A BIG river ran from his left rear side of the table to my right rear side, complete with two long boats! This was the game where the mulitiplicity of deployment mistakes I made came back to haunt me. This included misjudging where Tony's flank attack was going to come from to putting my mule train the wrong side of an orchard on the center of my rear. The highlight of this game was my Gothic foot charging into Tony's dismounted knights, expecting an easy victory and then getting a sound thrashing for their efforts! Again, the game went to the last bound and Tony won 15-10.

So, whilst I scored no victories, there was no utter disgrace either.

A very enjoyable weekend and I'm looking forward to next year.

Oh, the `Worn Out's', we wuz robbed in the quiz!!!

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