Tuesday, 19 June 2018

Messages. Manouvering. Money - and a word meaning "Endgame" staring with "M".....

How To Lose Friends and Influence, People.....

The campaign suddenly rushes to its finale....  

Cotta's destruction of the raiding party is is good news - but my subordinates are not working together - no scouting worth the name, so it took ages for them to know where the other was, and Cotta's request for Porcius's spare Tribune to be used to help persuade Tribal Chiefs to come-in peaceable-like (a nice, well-bred Tribune can do this. A crusty Primus Pilus lacks the necessary charm) was turned down. Oh dear.......

Cotta stumps off to the hills from whence the raiding party came, bent on pacification by the only method left to him; the old Roman stand-by of burn & butcher... There is no resistance and, after ravaging two previously unpacified zones, he heads to rejoin the Main Force in the west.

Meanwhile, Porcius's North Vexillation heads north to Fort Firmium, where they 
receive the Legate's orders to proceed into the hills to pacify the Serova-Bagadiffa Highlands. 
Thanks to a turn of the card the Garrison at Ft. Occamium get a touch of "Hill Fever" - rumours of raids and burning to the east, no news from The Front and the mist and spookiness of the silent hills gets to them. They desert their post and head off for the Main Force, eventually taking refuge with the garrison of nearest fort (Nidanum).

Over the following turns further cards bring bonuses, in terms of movement and forage, while pacification of the
Serova-Bagadiffa Highlands and along the Isca by North Vexillation proceeds without incident and the Main Force slowly subdues the Coastal Strip and the areas close to the north-south rivers. The locals are so cowed that on the 11th the chiefs of five zones come-in to make submission of their own accord (another lucky card). Things are looking good.. 

BUT..... 

On the 13th (unlucky for some) an agent of the Procurator arrives at Isca (card). A dice throw decides that it take 5 days for him to make his report. The drastic measures (zones subjected to ravaging) and damage from the raids are going to come back to haunt us. To save costs, the time allowed to complete the mission has been reduced by a week.


The next ten days are spent in frantically trying to get round as many zones as possible without exposing the columns to too much risk. In the west I make a couple of bad calls route-wise, losing time unnecessarily, but there is no formal resistance.

Porcius sends his "spare" Tribune off to deal with a zone up in the north east, missed during the early advances. This is successfully pacified, but on the last day of the campaign, after succeeding in their mission, this unit is attacked and severely mauled in the hills en route to join Porcius, causing it to seek refuge in Fort Firmium.

The campaign ends on a bad note: several zones still unpacified, a military defeat (minor, but bad for prestige) to add to the not insignificant losses of the previous fights, and a hostile force loose in the hills; small, approx. 2,500, but more than capable of ravaging several zones before I can catch up with it with my main force. I have NO confidence in Porcius and his crew of cautious officer-advisors dealing with it on their own initiative.....

I pen my report knowing that the Governor will NOT be impressed, and suspecting that, even though the mission will dressed-up as a success in despatches to Rome, my recall to a less lively posting is imminent... 


 
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Well, that's that...... Times Up & Game Over... Mission failed - only just, but failed (see map; the blue bits are unvisited and unpacified, the pink pacified, the green ravaged).

It was the ravaging (by my guys and the hostiles) that led to me not having the time to complete the task (bloody civil servants...)...



The main force was left alone for whole of the game, and the cards and dice were generally very kind throughout the campaign - there was very little fighting this time - but only a couple more raids/ambushes could have been enough to scupper me.

Had I been able to predict how kind the cards would prove to be I would have split my forces more - but then would have been very, very vulnerable to bad cards....

My inept North Vexillation commanders (the first getting himself hors de combat and the second showing about as much initiative as clam) were a nuisance, but from reading about real missions that's part of the "friction" of campaigning, so while frustrating at times, the experience was also strangely pleasing....

A fun campaign with minimal bookkeeping - keeping track of all the couriers was the worst part..

My biggest problem was Communication; e.g. at one stage two detachments were a zone - a mere 10-15 miles - apart from each other, but with neither knowing the other was there because couriers were still en-route, and as neither were slinging patrols in the right directions, they might as well have been on different sides of the moon. But again, pre-wireless that reflects a potential reality...

Mind you, at times I was SO crying out for Signal Stations or a good old heliograph.....

Overall this was an interesting, fun trial of different "decision" mechanisms (for the various parties) and a campaign that kept me guessing the whole time. The cards work well, and added tension and flavour....

This will be a system I will try again.....

5 comments:

  1. I really reckon you should join the Bennos´forum...there it´s 80% plus 1/72nd Plastics.
    You wargame...which not many there do and you´ve got your own set of rules for wargaming, which, as far as I can remember , no-one else there has...and you´ve got a sense of humour, which is the best Thing about the Bennos Forum.
    http://bennosfiguresforum.com/index.php

    ReplyDelete
  2. PS... the pics from your last post are stunning, especially no# 4, the celts camp.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cheers.. Having seen your work that is akin to praise from the Master... :)

      Re. Benno's: I did apply (via the "send an e-mail to show you're no a robot" instruction) a couple of weeks ago. I see from his site that he gets busy, so haven't chased. Will have another go later...

      Again, thanks for the kind words - and yes; guilty as charged re. a sense of humour I've found laughter to be essential in this crazee world..... :)

      Delete
    2. I´ve chased up your Bennos application (application?..sounds too official and way too serious)...er?...Request!!:-)

      Delete

Post Xmas "Crossfire" etc.

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