About Me

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London, United Kingdom
A mythical beast - a female wargamer! I got back into wargaming in the summer of 2011 after a very, very long break. My current interests are Ancients, ACW, 30YW and SciFi gaming.

Friday, 10 February 2012

AAR: FoG 650 point friendly game

This was my first game of FoG for just over 2 months and only my 4th game ever. It was also the first outing for my Sarmatians, so I was looking forward to finally getting them on the table. As this was a friendly practice game for our club's tournament, the armies would be 650 points maximum and the battle would be on a reduced size table (3' x 4' with terrain maximum szes reduced accordingly). My opponent, Alan, had told me that he'd be bringing an Alexandrian Macedonian army, but brought an Early Successor army instead, not that it made a great deal of difference.

My army:
C-in-C: Field General
Subs: 2 Troop Commanders
4 4-base BGs of "Other Cavalry"
2 6-base BGs of Armoured Lancers
3 6-base BGs of Light Foot archers
1 6-base BG of Light Foot javelins

Alan's army:
(I think this is what it was)
C-in-C: Troop Commander
Subs: 2 Troop Commanders
5 8-base BGs of Heavy Foot pikes
1 2-base BG of Elephants
1 4-base BG of Armoured Lancers
2 4-base BGs of Light Horse javelins
2 8-base BGs of Light Foot javelins
1 8-base BG of Heavy Foot offensive spear

Pre-Game set up:

We diced for pre-battle initiative - I was on +3, Alan on +1. He rolled a 3, I rolled a 2 so I won and chose Steppes as the terrain (what a surprise!!). We selected terrain pieces (each of us could choose 1 compulsory and 1-3 optional items) which gave us 3 open terrains, 1 gully and 2 brush-covered rough grounds. On to placing them and at this point the Dice Gods chose to play cruel tricks on me with the tresult that the open areas were in places where they were next-to-useless whilst Alan was able to get the terrain that would be awkward for me in areas where it would restrict me (ie - the centre of the battlefield). Grrrr!

Alan had to deploy first, and put down 3 BGs of pikes; I deployed my light foot archers on the same side of the table. And so it went on. I realised my big mistake later on and also what I should have done instead.

Note to self: DO NOT deploy lancers in the battle line facing pikes!!!! Or if you do, make sure they stay out of charge range of them until they are disrupted!

Alan's Deployment (note the huge pike phalanx on his right wing):

My deployment (note the weak deployment on my right wing, stupid placement of supply camp, stupid placement of my cavalry reserve and stupid placement of 1 of my generals - why on earth did I put him in with the archers?)):

The Battle:

Turns 1 and 2 proceeded with very little action, just moving towards each other. My light foot did manage to get some shooting in and even managed to disrupt one pike block. Turn 3 saw a little bit of movement, mainly on my right flank.

In Turn 4, I discovered to my cost that I had accidentally brought my lancers to within 5" of Alan's pikes so they had to test NOT to charge - one BG passed, the other failed. Crash, bang, whallop - burst through 2 BGs of my light foot straight into 2 BGs of pikes. The impact resulted in them going disrupted and losing a base, the first casualties of the game. On my right wing, a BG of Other Cavalry did manage to cause Alan's Light Horse to run away. Unfortunately this cleared the path for his light foot javelins to disrupt, fragment and break my light foot javelin troops (even though they hadn't lost a single base). This left them in a very handy position to reach and sack my supply camp.

Stupid, impetuous lancers!!! Grrr!

That's right, run away from us you cowards!!

First casualties (sheds a tear!)

"You're meant to fight them not run away!"
"Well, if you hadn't given us bent spears we might have stood a chance"

It all got rather messy from that point onwards, although my impetuous lancers did manage to break one of the pike blocks, but in doing so lost enough bases that they reached the auto-break point.

"Those pikemen don't like it up 'em Mr Mainwairing!"

And then the elephants got involved. The various impacts and melees succeeded in breaking enough of my BGs to cause an army rout.

Some pics of the mess that was the last few turns:

My general climbs up to get a better view.......

Whoops! The other BG of armoured lancers breaks, game over!

Despite the loss, it was a fun game and an excellent learning experience.

Lessons To Learn:

1. The Dice Gods are capricious - sacrificing to them does nothing, they regard those who do so as folls to be toyed with.
2. For terrain, choose 3 normal sized pieces of open ground so that at least there's a chance of blocking terrain you don't want
3. Don't deploy lancers in front of pikes, or if you do ensure that you keep them out of charge distance until you are ready.
4. Don't place your supply camp near to a sparsely deployed wing
5. Don't put just one BG of LF and 1 of cavalry to defend your open wing
6. Make sure your open wing has a general in command range to help the BGs there.
7. Don't let your light foot get caught between your lancers and your opponent

I definitely need to reconsider my army list for future games. In retrospect I probably had too much light foot in the army, and having the lancers in 6s when the pike blocks I was up against were only 2 bases wide wasn't sensible.

I might take some or all of the foot archers as medium foot instead - more shooting dice over the same frontage should help soften up the opposition for my cavalry to charge in against.


  1. Recognising your mistakes in this game will ensure you don`t make them again............or will you? Mind you, the rolling of the bones is a factor over which none of us has any control, so there is always that element of luck on one side, and it has always been my experience that if you start a game rolling badly, it seems to carry on throughout the game, one reason why you will never find me in a casino.

  2. Better to get all those errors out of the way in the first game. Great report. Lets see more.

  3. The other thing - don't use 6 base BG's of skirmishers. Use 8 base BG's or more. If an 8 base comes up against a 6 base, they can get more hits in (4 dice to 3), are therefore more likely to force a cohesion test (just 2 hits from 4 needed - i.e. 50%) and in their turn are virtually impervious (the opponent needs all three dice to be hits to force a cohesion test - i.e. 100%).

  4. thanks for the tip Phil.
    And Tamsin, good thing to have recognized my mistakes. Better result next time?

  5. That´s the thing...read up on how the sarmatians conducted thier battles...mostly stand off..shower the opposition with arrows, force thier flanks in on themselves and then go for a full frontal heavy cavalry charge when the enemy was looking a bit unstable/disordered..it didn´t always work though ;-D

  6. And so it begins, the wargame shuffle. That's one of the best bits in my mind, the constant changes based on games played. Something to look for when picking armies from the lists is how many options you have


  7. A great battle! A superb game! There wargame without bottles of Coca Cola on the table ...Alex


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