Friday 29 June 2012

An historical debate concluded: A FOG batrep

First of all, my blogger friend Ray is having a prize draw to celebrate his 250.000 hits. Go there and see for yourselves, this draw is interesting. Congrats again Ray.

Tout d'abord, petit message publicitaire pour mon ami Ray, qui, a l'occasion des ses 250000 hits, organize un tirage au sort plutot sympa. Allez voir, ca ne vous engage en rien ;)

If you read on the internet, you can see that sometimes you get the question: who was better? The Chinese or the Republican Romans? Who could have dominated the world, provided they would fight each other? Well, that's an interesting question. A while ago, before going on holidays, I managed to squeeze a game of FOG for the ancients competition. I played against Dave and his Mid-Republican Romans. For your information, Dave is at the moment the 2011-2012 club champion. So it must mean something. After a careful reading of the lists, I knew I had one asset against his veteran legions, my heavy chariots, who could fight on equal terms. So I took the 8 of them. In the mean time, I wanted to strike fast and hard, so I took 3 simple commanders (Troop commander in FOG) just to keep them attached to the units (elite chariots anyone?)  to strike even harder. I knew it could be a tough game, especially when the legions would come into grips with my poor medium infantry.

Peu de temps avant de partir en vacances, j'ai joue une partie de FOG comptant pour le tournoi interne, me confrontant a Dave et ses Romains Republique. Dave est actuellement le tenant du titre et je m'attends donc a une partie difficile. Pour contrer les effets du hasard, je mise sur tous mes chariots superieurs, renforces par des generaux pour les transformer en machine a tuer, tout en evitant de me confronter a ses legionnaires veterans.

Here is the battlefield: fields on my right, and fields on my left and center, on the other side of the board. Good. I could lay a trap, placing my camp in the middle, in the open, to lure the legions forward. I only had shooting cavalry to protect it, while I had some infantry on my left, and the chariots and more infantry on my right. Do you remember Cannae?

the battlefield, with the troops arrayed

LE champ de bataille m'est favorable, avec un centre degage et des ailes garnies de champs. Je peux faire un magnifique appat en placant mon camp au centre, protege par... deux unites de cavalerie equipees pour le tir... Mes efforts se porteront sur les ailes, plus particulierement sur mon aile droite, car Dave a place de simples legionnaires, alors que j'y place mes chariots. Ca ne vous rappelle pas vaguement Cannes?

the regular Romans on the left flank

the mighty veterans in the center

I moved first and didn't lose time surging forward with everything I had, moving on my wings, ready to strike, while delaying in the center...

Bougeant en premier, je me precipite sur lui pour l'empecher de manoeuvrer sur les ailes, tout en le ralentissant au centre. Et tres vite, c'est la charge des chariots sur les pauvres hastati... Rome va devoir a nouveau recruter a tour de bras, niark niark niark.

And... Crash! The chariots charged and it was a massacre... The Romans were dying by the hundreds...

Dave tried to send reinforcements but it was never enough and I slowly crushed him on this wing... Though a unit of Triarii managed to survive longer than anyone else...

Dave tenta bien d'envoyer des renforts, mais cohorte apres cohorte, ce fut bien insuffisant... Seuls les Triarii survecurent suffisamment longtemps avant de succomber...

What happened on the left flank? Well, after two turns, my troops were on the good side of the battlefield, ie, in the field, flanking the Romans, and started to shoot at them, to good results. Meanwhile, my cavalry was shooting and denying the dreaded veterans any respite... He he. But then, he had to attack to win. So he charged, and I charged too... While he broke two of my units in the center, I broke his on the left flank... Yes, it was another Cannae, and the Romans faced total annihilation after 2h of battle.

Quant a l'aile gauche... Je fus rapidement en position dans le champ adverse, flanquant les Romains plus lourds, et commencant a les harceler au tir... Pour eviter une defaite totale, Dave me chargea, je tins bon. Je chargeai, il craqua... Au total, je perdis deux unites au centre, tandis que les Romains etaient massacres dans leur fuite. Rome devra donc lever de nouvelles legions pour continuer la guerre. J'ai eu de la chance dans la disposition des terrains, car j'ai pu faire ce que je voulais. Il me reste donc a affronter Andy et Chris.

So, were you an historian, you'd say the Chinese were better? Well, I had luck on the terrain, so I could manoeuvre and try a wing encirclement. So, now, I'm still to face Andy and his Seleucid, and Chris and his Assyrians.


  1. A very interesting read Seb, one of the worlds long asked questions, finally answered!! Thanks for the link back too!!!!

  2. argggghhh

    unpainted figures on the table!!!!!!
    what have you done???????
    4 chariots needed only 8 hours of painting and basing;-)


    Gilles "the unmasked thefrenchjester and last defender of Roman republic;-) "

    1. I know, I know. Disgraceful is it not? THough 8 hours to get the full BG? I couldn't do it...

  3. I think they did something in Wargames Illustrated asking the same question. There was a time when the Romans were less than a day's march from the outlying Chinese outposts! But the Chinese had a standing army of 1 million men and the Roman Empire could only call up in total legions providing 70,000 trained soldiers. MAke your own conclusions from that.

  4. Nice report, could anyone beat an army of that size?

    I also cringed at the unpainted figs but with me that would be 8 hours per chariot!!!


  5. belle démonstration de la puissance chinoise :)

  6. So, what about the rest of the group games though... will we get a re-match in the Club final ??

    1. well, I'm in third position, but with 2 games to play. Andy is first with 15 more points, and I still need to play against him. So yes there is a chance of a rematch ;)

  7. Bravo aux chariots, une de mes unités favorites, autant pour le jeu que...esthétiquement.

  8. Thanks everyone

    Merci tout le monde ;)

    1. Bravo pour ta victoire :)

      Les chariots lourds c'est comme meme enorme :)

      il tire, ils sont drilled, ils tapent avec deux dés, jamais de malus d'armure :)

      Le Romains doit avoir le moral, contre les piques , ca va etre plus compliqué...