Friday, June 4, 2021

Saga Age of Hannibal Game vs Byron

This past week my friend Mike (left in the photo) hosted another of his series of Age of Hannibal Saga games. This one, our FIRST in-person game. My opponent was Byron pushing Romans. I asked for the "Hobson's Choice" allowing Mike to pick the army I would push. Mike chose the Carthaginians for a nice historical match.


Byron had a balanced force with Cretan archer mercenaries, two hearthguard infantry, one unit of cavalry and the balance made up of warriors in six-man maniples. Byron also had the legendary commander that allows his hearthguard infantry to be considered maniples and also to use the Pilum advanced saga ability as if it were a basic ability.

My force included an elephant, a unit of levy archers, a unit of hearthguard cavalry, and three warrior units. I divided these into four six-man units to try to limit the Roman advantage of being 'outnumbered'. In the end this is a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" choice as six-man units don't give the Romans extra dice in combat, but they're still small, less-powerful, more brittle units. 

Byron got the best of the terrain placement dropping a swamp in my back line which forced me to deploy in depth. I also assumed we was hoping that would force me to advance forward to deploy, but I resisted that temptation. In my first turn I used the "Punic Perfidy" ruse to bring my Hearthguard in on the flank of my levy archers. My hopes was their rage would cause casualties on Byron's legions forcing him on the attack. This is a double-edged sword as Romans are quite potent when attacking.

Byron stood firm in his first turn, and I followed up with my levy shooting a volley at one of his legions flaking a couple of figures. From then on Byron's saving throws and Scutum Saga ability reduced my shooting casualties to a trickle. 

Byron advanced his Cretan archers into a position to shoot up my warriors and flaked a figure. The following turns were looking grim for trading shot-for-shot. Luckily for me Byron had to fatigue his Cretans to get his shot, and the following turn I rolled a rare saga die which I placed on my 'Delay' ability. In Byron's following turn I used this to cancel the Cretan's activation and prevent them from activating for the rest of his turn. Having secured safety in front of the archers I advanced a warrior unit to threaten them with melee. 

At the start of Byron's next turn I used my 'Redeploy' ability to pull that warrior unit further to the flank and out of charge range of Byron's legion. Byron attempted to activate the Cretans, which I blocked as planned. Byron then re-located his warlord to further support the Cretans in the following turn. 

In my following turn I had another good shooting attack end up with no casualties thanks to Scutum and good save dice by Byron. I did roll another Rare Saga die, re-charging 'Delay' which Byron acknowledged with an appropriate grumble.  In his turn Byron double-activated a legion, slammed into my warrior unit and killed five of the six figures in it suffering only a single casualty of his own. Romans - are good on the offense. That one charge matched the entire games worth of shooting casualties from my levy.

With the final turn coming up and insufficient casualties to secure a win, I forged forward with my Levy to shoot Byron's cavalry - which he saved all but one casualty, and I advanced my Elephant so that their composite bows could shoot at Byron's legions. Eagle eye secured a couple of casualties, but not enough carnage to satisfy the blood gods and our game came up with a draw. Well played by Byron and a pleasure.

Mike recorded the game and broadcast it via Zoom for others to watch. Our friend Michael did stop in and observe. Hopefully the embedded video below will allow you to view the video.

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