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Small is Beautiful. 
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Joined: Sat Jun 11, 2011 2:39 pm
Posts: 230
Post Small is Beautiful.
I’ve been introducing a couple of my Grandchildren to War & Conquest recently and whilst one of them is a little tender in years, the other is “doing the Greeks in school”. This gives me an idea, and gets me reaching for my box of Greeks.
To get them playing I gave each an identical force. I had to help the younger one out to start with, but was soon told off for interfering...

We had a 4x4 board with a hill and an area of scrubland on each side, with a decent open plain in the middle.
In the initial game we (well me, really) decided to give both a Battle Objective of Pitched Battle – kill 75% of enemy. As it happens this is probably reflective of Hoplite warfare...

Both boys quickly twigged they could both simply advance, rather than risk a double pace move. Also you kill more skirmishers, than Hoplites with Bows and Javelins.

All this added up to a showdown between the two units of Hoplites on each side. Only one unit of Javelins surviving the precursor skirmisher battle.

The Phalanxes containing the Generals faced off against each other, and the Hoplite battle lines slugged it out for several turns, until the older boy hit a purple dice rolling patch and our line looked at risk, but “snake eyes” saved things.

The next turn, the 5th of the Phalanx scrum, saw the younger boy’s Hoplites flee and his General cut down (another 3x 1’s!).
The remaining broken Hoplites were charged and dispersed, ending the game.

So what did we all take from the game, well it was fun and the boys were able pick up the basics within a couple of turns. That’s young minds for you, I guess.

Using a few core troop type figures we were able to recreate a reasonably historical outcome of a battle between Greek City States.

One of the beauties of this game is if you were looking to start a City State force you can start small and grow your forces in stages.

Here’s the 1,000pt. force used on each side.

1 Taxiarchos, 1 SiP 140

24 Mercenary Hoplites 384
24 Mercenary Hoplites 384

8 Skirmish Javelins 32
7 Skirmish Shortbow 28
8 Skirmish Javelins 32

Mon Jun 27, 2016 7:44 pm

Joined: Sat Jun 11, 2011 2:39 pm
Posts: 230
Post Re: Small is Beautiful.
Small is Beautiful – the Escalation.

Since we last played the boys had been pressurising their parents and me to ‘do another game’ of War & Conquest, so a session of babysitting, early Saturday evening, proved most opportune. Sucker...

On return from MacDonalds, we got the 4’x4’ board out along with some of my Greeks. I thought it would be better to see if we could cope with slightly larger forces, so I drew up a couple of 1,500 point armies.

The boys wanted loads of terrain, luckily mainly hills, with a few woods on the table.

The presence of cavalry seemed to catch the eye of the younger boy, so his brother took control of the other force, which he called Spartans (but they were not from the Spartan list). We decided they would face off against Thebans.

After an initial briefing on possible tactics, I was relegated (as before) to “interested bystander, and talking rulebook ”.

The forces were deployed with the Phalanxes in line centrally, with the skirmishers in front of them. The Peltasts and Cavalry deployed to the left of their respective line of Phalanxes, as the terrain favoured them there.
The Phalanxes ground towards each other, and the bowmen plied their trade most successfully against the opposing skirmishers, when they managed to catch a glimpse of their opponents amongst the hills, that is!
When the Javelin armed skirmishers got in range, all Hell was let loose. I’ve never seen small hands roll so many 5’s & 6’s. How come I never manage this sort of thing? Each side seeing the bowmen and one of their javelin armed skirmishers disperse, the other “Spartan” javelins rout and the Theban javelins pass their Morale test, with the aid of a couple of SiPs!

The (so called) Spartans won the initiative and charged forward with their Phalanxes, scattering the javelins before them. Casualties were minimal, just a couple of casualties aside, the Spartans winning the melee as they charged. The Thebans passed their Moral tests.

The Spartans took the initiative and flank charged one of the Mercenary units, that passed its combat morale test (with a Drilled reroll) with the Peltasts. As the contacted Phalanx had lost its phalanx it suffered at the hand of the Spartans.
The Theban Citizen Hoplites (CA 2), clearly anticipating the arrival of their cavalry on the flank of their opponents dished out 6 kills!

Amazingly the melee was overall a draw! Mind you the Spartan General couldn’t get out of the way of a Theban spear thrust, costing him one of his 2 Lives.

The Theban turn saw the cavalry crash into the flank of the line of Spartan Phalanxes, followed by handfuls of successful attacking rolls and 1s & 2s for armour saves on both sides, heralded the end of the battle.

Both Spartan Mercenary units fled and were run down, then to rub it in the Spartan general lost his second wound, but the Citizen Hoplites passed their tests with treble 1’s each time! The Thebans escaped serious damage.

As we can see by simply adding a few figures to the original skirmish units, a further 24 man Hoplite unit and a few cavalry or Peltasts a 1500 point force is within reach, providing additional tactical opportunities in your War & Conquest games.

Must remember to avoid the food next time - bl**dy indigestion...

Here's the forces we used:

1 Strategos, 3 SiP 170
24 Mercenary Hoplites 384
24 Mercenary Hoplites 384
24 Citizen Hoplites 264
19 Peltasts 152
12 Skirmish Javelins 48
12 Skirmish Shortbow 48
12 Skirmish Javelins 48

1 Strategos, 3 SiP 170
24 Mercenary Hoplites 384
24 Mercenary Hoplites 384
24 Citizen Hoplites 264
10 Heavy Cavalry 150
12 Skirmish Javelins 48
13 Skirmish Shortbow 48
12 Skirmish Javelins 48

Mon Jul 04, 2016 3:31 pm
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Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2009 6:02 pm
Posts: 3450
Post Re: Small is Beautiful.
Thank you John

both those reports are really entertaining - I expect to see the youngsters rolling dice for you at the next event or if they have any sense, offering their dice rolling skills in a more mercenary capacity to the highest bidder - Jack used to do that when he was younger :mrgreen:

Kind regards

Mon Jul 04, 2016 4:08 pm
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