Field of Glory: Tunis Turn 9 (Final)

It’s over.

As I watch the replay for the end turn by the Carthaginians, I see how skillfully Makris moves his troops in large cohesive battle-groups. Never overextending himself. Never splitting a group for mere opportunistic ego boosts. His troops move as one, and sweep round exerting a pushing force, rather than any sort of cutting motion. My few victories at the unit level in the late game have all been lucky strikes, not choreographed efforts between many units.

I think part of my problem, is that my morale within the game drops when I see my troops becoming Disrupted or Fragmented, and often when I see a unit Rout I count them as lost and focus more on what I can do with what is left.

Makris comments:

It is hard to save routed troops. I do it for key units in key places by sending a two-flag or ideally a three-flag commander after them in their rear, as it can save them sometimes. Once they move two turns away, they are too far to save, as it would take your commander too far away from the battle. Also I bolster fragmented units in this way, but it is hard to do if the unit is engaged.

I felt as if I should have done more to save my Left Flank, which have now collapsed – but I’m always scared to put a Commander behind units that are about to rout as they can take cohesion hits themselves.

I also noticed that when I gain a victory on a unit per unit basis, with my unit routing an enemy, they would often charge ahead to take up the routed units position, and suddenly find themselves in a compromised position against fresh troops. This battle momentum or combat frenzy, to chase after routed units has seen me in trouble a number of times. I ask Makris how he deals with it.

Makris comments:

If I understand your question, you were asking if units that rout a unit and then follow them and charge into another unit not of your choosing can be stopped from doing that.  Not as far as I’m aware.  What I do, and it goes for evading units too, is to check the map to see if that causing a unit to route or evade might draw me into an unfortunate position.

It’s an inexact science, but you can get an idea.  I usually don’t mind with routing units as I’ll always look to maximise those opportunities, but with Light Horse (LH) and Light Infantry (LI) I will usually be quite cautious.  In fact in the game I’m playing as the Romans I deliberately avoid it to keep my units together.

Concluding my findings from having played through a battle like Tunis, was that the key concepts to grasp with the game are

a) Decide on a movement plan, before you move anything (look for weaknesses, look to flank and harass always).

b) Move your troops as one cohesive battle-group.

c) Measured, supported marches take the battle to the enemy better than one-off unit versus units surgical strikes.

Makris comments:

Don’t feel bad about losing.  The Romans are about two legions understrength in that scenario, but playing them I believe teaches you a lot about the game.  In fact I learnt most of the fundamentals of the game by playng the Romans in that scenario against man and machine.  It really forces you to think about flanks, support, cohesion, leaders, use of skirmishers, formations, relative unit strengths.  Playing the Carthaginians is less of a challenge and therefore hides key features of the game.

I thought you put up a good fight.  I think you did well to negate the collapse of your left flank by wheeling around as you did.  It kept my forces off balance and out of position for a while.  I think you lost it when you didn’t get your legions into a solid line once you wheeled.  They were a bit bunched up and quite a few were out of the battle for too long.  If you’d brought them to bear as a coherent formation earlier it would have stopped me from picking them off individually.

Sage advice. I’d like to thank Makris wholeheartedly for agreeing to playing through this game, and for sharing some of his experience and tactics with us all. I for one have become a lot more familiar with the game, and can see its hidden strategic depths beyond the complex rules and simple to play gameplay. It has certainly taught me quite a bit, processing each of these turns and having to think about what I was doing, what was happening to my troops, and how I could make their situation better.

Hopefully with practice, and more understanding (I’m going to have to plough into the rules a bit more to solidify my knowledge about the units themselves), I’m going to be able to put together a better strategy in the future.

Thanks for reading, and hopefully this game has provided some insight into the game, and some tactics that can be employed. I hope I can inspire some other aspiring armchair generals in the field of Ancient Warfare to pick up their triple banners and have a go.

The final scores are as follows:

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Ian Bowes / spelk