I have jumped on the Too Fat Lardies bandwagon, and purchased their brand new Infamy, Infamy rules for "Large Scale Skirmishes in the Ancient World". The focus of the game is on Romans vs Barbarians, with a sideline in Roman Civil Wars, like the war between Caesar and Pompeii, or Anthony vs Octavian, or the Year of the Four Emperors. So after receiving my 'full bundle' package in the mail, I slapped a bit of paint on the poker chips:
And then decided to use the card deck for my first game, and maybe try the poker chips later. (I,I has an activation system similar to Sharp Practice, where each leader gets to act when his card or his poker chip is drawn)
The focus of the game is on the Romans, and it has lots of special rules to accommodate Roman drill, especially for the armies of the late Republic (the time of Julius Caesar and the civil wars), and for the early Empire (including the conquest of Britannia and the Year of the Four Emperors). However, I don't have any suitable Roman figures at the moment (although I considered using my Late Romans as a proxy for EIR). Instead, I pulled out my old WAB Gauls, blew off the dust and decided to field them for a bit of Gaul on Gaul.
One of the nice things in I,I is that the TFL have decided to differentiate between Gauls, Germans and Britons, rather than just lumping them all together under the single banner of 'barbarians'. So the Gauls come off as being a sort of pre-feudal group, with noble warriors mounted on horses, or on foot, supported by a levy of warriors and some more common folks. They feel a bit like a medieval host, rather than barbarian mobs. I split my Gauls into two groups.
Blue force are Gauls, formed around a core of noble cavalry, well armed and armoured, with a supporting group of nobles on foot leading two groups regular warriors, along with some slingers and tribal (skirmish) cavalry.
Facing them is Red force, the Belgae. These are all on foot, and include noble warriors with three groups of regular warriors, some tribal levy, slingers and for fun, two groups of naked fanatics! Because where's the fun in a Gallic army if there aren't any naked fanatic warriors?
I diced for the scenario, and for the table layout. The brown felt is a marsh, there are forested hills on either side of the table, leading to a small settlement. The Gauls are to escort a wagon carrying barrels of wine to the village, and the Belgae intend to stop them.
What follows is a quick pre-game test where various factors are considered, such as how strong each side is in skirmishers and cavalry, who can be counted on to counter or neutralise the other side's ambush points.
And then the game begins! Blue Leader II starts things off, deploying a classic swine's head formation with his noble warriors up front backed up by two groups of warriors in support. First lesson learned: build some movement trays! The bases of the individual figures catch too easily on the Hotz mat, and they fall over far too easily on the sides of the hills. Movement trays will speed up the process of moving troops around.
Blue IV comes up next, and out leap his light tribal cavalry from their ambush point in the marsh!
Not to be outdone, Blue Leader I (the warlord, status III) deployed next, taking full advantage of the cavalry's increased deployment distance to push ahead of the lowly walkers.
And finally the Belgae get a chance to deploy some troops, when Red V comes up, bringing the tribal levy maneuvering through the woods.
And the Tempus Fugit card is dealt (Latin for "time flies"), and the first turn ends. For those used to CoC, the terminology is a bit different in I,I. Where CoC has phases and turns, I,I instead has turns (which end when the Tempus Fugit card is dealt) and Acts. The end of an Act is analogous to the end of a CoC turn.
First card up in Turn #2 is for Red IV, and his Gaesatae. These mighty warriors spend a signa card to allow them to ambush (from the disk with a '1' on it), and they rush down the slope to attack the Gallic noble warriors.
While the skirmishers battle on the flank, the Belgic warlord advances his big horde of warriors slowly along the valley. He has been gradually building up fervour among his warriors, so they will be ready for the coming fight. The white dice in front of the warriors show that fervour is now up to 5 points for each group, while the levy groups (red dice) are down to 1 point of fervour each.
After this, I stopped taking photos. The Gallic tribal cavalry eventually circled around the back of the Belgae, then attacked the tribal levy in the flank. As I mentioned, they were more effective than they should have been, as they nicely coordinated their actions and supported each other. My intention was for the tribal cavalry to throw javelins and harass the Belgic levy, but I rolled high for movement and assumed that they were required to charge. Not so, skirmishers may always stop short of formed enemy groups. However, since I pushed them in, they ended up punishing the levy, and further whittling away at the Belgae.