Today we played out our 2nd game in the Germania mini campaign. This time it was the escape from Aliso. After being besieged the Romans realise there isn’t much hope of holding out in hostile territory and try to break out under the cover of darkness. The scenario was based on the Warlord games Germania supplement. Our game followed the following format.
The Romans deployed in column leaving the fort.
The Germans has 4 forces. Each represented by a playing card deployed in ambush. There were another 6 cards that were ‘dummies’.
After the Germans had played all the Cards then (knowing where the their deployment was) the Romans players got to exchange 2 cards and move 3 to add a it of fog of war, simulating the confusion of manoeuvring at night. When a roman units got to within 8” the card would be revealed and troops deployed if necessary. Once deployed there was further random event to represent the drifting away of the German tribe during the siege. For each units a dice was rolled , on a 6 they vanished into the dark thinking better of it. On a 1 they were poorly motivated (or drunk), for these we treated them as poor troops. So 33% of each units having some adverse effect.
There were some house rules. The Romans were allowed to always do a march move while in a single wide column. With a general they could do at 3rd match move too. The goal of the Romans was to escape and all their victory points would come units leaving the table from the furthest road exit. A tough assignment.
The whole table we treated as uneven, with a few patches of clear space and few patches of denser wood. This was in an attempt to balance the fact that in FoG:AM barbarian warriors don’t have much of chance against the legions. (Uneven gives HF disorder). All the Germans were classed as MF. All troops were average, apart from a couple of units of veteran legionaries.
The forces were –
24 Battle groups of German warriors each with 12 bases
18 battle groups of Roman Legionaries each with 6 bases
3 battle groups of Veteran Roman Legionaries each with 4 bases
One further random event was , if the Ace of Spades was uncovered panic set in amongst the Romans ranks. Each units must dice , on 6 they too would disappear into the woods thinking they could slip way without anyone noticing .
Of the events, 3 German units were made poor, and another 3 removed. The Ace was revealed and the Romans disastrously lost 5 units to rolls of 6. Critically 3 units right in the centre
When the fighting began it seemed that the Romans had no will to fight (dicing terribly) but the Germans troop quality help then out. When time was called the Romans had lost 5 Bgs and 2 civilian units. The Germans has lost 5 in the battle. The game scoring meant that the Germans got points equal to the difference in BG casualties. So 3 points. The Romans didn’t get any off table (3 pts each)… so a 3-0 if that means anything. It seemed like a narrow victory to the Germans.
Interesting playing Hail Caesar the players had a far more easy going approach to the game. When playing FoG:AM which is normally the standards for ‘pick up’ or competition games it felt a little more tense. With a lot of random variables there was a lot of cursing and gnashing of teeth when everyone’s plan fell apart. The first game we played was in some ways easier to run , and everyone has a equal share in the battle. This time it seemed that random events meant that some players has more or less to do, which is probably not a good thing. I deliberately picked lower level quality troops then would normally be used in ‘pick up’ games with less generals to try and cut down on the exploitive moves and prolonged melee that can occur between high quality armies. In the end I’m not sure if we had too many random events. I wanted to get a sense of ‘loss of control’, and try to get players to react to an adverse situation. However, I’m not sure that made for such a fun game.
We timed out after 3 hours, with a reasonable result to call.