Once again I find myself apologizing for the quality of the photos. Neither the added light, cleaning the lens, trying to get the tripod at a usable height nor playing with settings helped. Seems unlikely that the camera would forget how it used to do it so it must be me or the environment. Back to the drawing board. Luckily a score or more of poor and unusable digital photos cost nothing but time and helpfully they will at least give some sense of the flow of the game.
Given the toy soldier level of accuracy of the Elastolin 4cm figures and the variety of periods represented I was tempted to set the game in a fantasy setting but will settle for a Comic Book Gaul while resisting the temptation to do the footwork to turn this into a Prince Michael scenario. There are essentially 4 armies involved including the allies on either side. This represents just over 1/2 the total available for the final battle.
Attacking. The Huns under King Akala: 3 elite light cavalry horse archers, 3 horse archers and 3 allied light shock cavalry under their very minor and forgettable chieftain. Off table was a body of Barbarian Allies (Vikings mostly) under their Captain said to be the reknown Helgin himself, along with 8 shock light infantry and 2 archer units. Not having inside info the Huns were allowed to search for fords one base width at a time with a 5,6 indicating a fordable spot. Apparently the river was low because they found more than they could use.
|Cue dramatic music and some caustic comments by the farmer's wife. (A Prince August viking homecast and the only non-Elastolin on the table) as the Cavalry rides on to the rescue. Sort of.|
Once the Romans had been drawn left the Huns suddenly rode farther to their left to outflank the bridge guard leaving the allied light cavalry to pin them until the Barbarian Horde could wade the river and engage. Of course if these hadn't kept failing their out of command roll a different approach might have been used.
The Romans were having to scramble and counter march with their poor cavalry pelting from flank to flank several times but their allies rolled low and arrived in the nick of time. The Barbarians had to rush their attack, leaving a few units behind in the river to follow at best speed while the formed battleline attacked.
|Moments before the big clash.|
The infantry battle was epic with much carnage and with reserves well needed to pulg the gaps that appeared. The heavy cavalry charge was somewhat less epic and between arrows and melee the lighter enemy did more damage than they took. The charge of the 2nd group to arrive went slightly better but with 12 of 15 turns played I wasn't sure that the Romans could hold out until the end let alone drive the Huns back over the river.
Since they were losing the arrow battle across the river on the other flank the Romans advanced a unit of heavy infantry across the river to force the horse archers back. The light cavalry were moved up to support them against the threat of encirclement but it felt like a risky move.
|Then it happened. The allied Barbarian chief went down!|
The world was saved for another week at least!