So, last week, we got to finish the first chapter in our Shatterzone game with a lot of fighting robots and psychics.
But before that happened, the Polybian Romans were roundly defeated two times in a row by the Carthaginians. They were two great battles, and the tactics required make me love this game more every time I play it. Any game where you can lose twice and be ready to jump back in the ring again is a good one. Right now, I couldn’t care less if my win-loss record keeps moving towards 0%. (Ask me that again, when I hit 2% or so, though.)
I don’t entirely remember what happened in the first game. It was a pretty straight-up fight, with me invading. Robert’s water landing in the first turn got me flustered, and I spent too many orders on the left side of the board trying to save a single unit of Light Horsemen from the naval Spearmen. I had lined up most of my forces on the right side of the board, but then got my General in the wrong place and had to spend too many points to move the mass of my troops. Robert’s Warband kept luring me in. (They are the only units he has painted at this point besides an Elephant. The Warband’s paint draws me like a bee to a flower, and the Elephant’s paint scares me away.) I spent a lot of time trying to get to the Warband, while Robert’s Elephants and General chewed up my middle troops.
Game two, I remember a bit more. This game, I was defending, so I put a big river down the middle with only a road/bridge crossing it at one point. I lined up with all of my troops on the left side of the river, straight across from Robert’s camp, and Robert lined up on the other side of the river (with, I guess, the intention of crossing the river by my camp). This fight should have been an easy win. I should have been able to march straight across, take Robert’s camp, and then cherry pick my fights across the bridge until I got two more units. (Dice rolls are always a factor, but I should have had the advantage.) That, of course, was based on the idea that the river would actually hold back the Carthaginians. . . . It didn’t. You see, in DBA, you roll the first time a unit enters the river to see what type of river it is. Robert entered the river with his elephants, and it turns out to be about as strong as the stream that flows down the driveway when you leave the garden hose on….
I wound up having to fight the Elephants off with whatever was near, and my troops made a valiant effort of it, but they were slowly being chewed up. Meanwhile, my Psiloi were futilely assaulting the Carthaginian camp in a maneuver that I imagine must look something like one of those paddle-ball things, where you bounce the ball against the hard wood over and over until the rubber band snaps and the ball flies across the room, lost until recovered months later by the household cat. My psiloi are waiting for the cat.
To be fair to my poor Romans, the game ended with a chance for me to win it. I had an elephant flanked and another battle line with mostly even dice rolls to make. But my spears couldn’t take the elephant, and the game ended with another W for Robert. Did I mention that this game is so fun, that I don’t really care if I lose?
Well . . . maybe I care a little. Next week, Robert, next week.