The Infamy Infamy rules came out a year ago. I played the game solo last autumn, over a webcam in the spring with my friend the Admiral (https://wordpress.com/post/paulhhodson.wordpress.com/4439), and yesterday, at the Amsterdam Six-Shooters wargames club, face to face for the first time, against Marc H. It’s even better this way!
Marc, as the veteran Aquitanian warlord Bituitus, rode at the head of two groups of noble cavalry. Alongside him fought three groups of warriors under Adiatunnus, plus two groups of skirmishing slingers. As centurion Augustinus I commanded three groups of Roman legionaries, two groups of Numidian light horsemen and a group of Numidian skirmishers with javelins.
Augustinus was supposed to escort half a dozen small cows from one end of the table to the other. He set the skirmishers to drive along the cows; advanced the steady Romans as quickly as he could; and sent the Numidian horse on ahead to tangle with Bituitus’ nobles.
Bituitus, helped by excellent shooting by the slingers, had much the better of the cavalry fight. I got one light horse group into position on the flank of Bituitus’s column of nobles, but when we studied the rules it turned out that a column is the optimal formation to resist a flank attack – so I did not press it home.
Meanwhile, Adiatunnus lurked.
He sprang out at last from the edge of the woods, three groups of infantry in a wedge. They fell on a group of my light cavalry and drove them from the field. They would have charged on against the legionaries, who’d caught up with the battle at last. But a roll of three (on two dice) meant that the group at the head of the Gallic wedge failed by a hair’s breadth to strike – and then a double one for a supporting group broke up Adiatunnus’ mob.
Instead, the Romans charged. In a series of attacks, with Augustinus fighting in the front rank like a devil, they wiped out two Gallic groups. Adiatunnus managed to sneak the third group out from the front line and away, battered beyond belief.
As this decisive fight went on, Bituitus’ heavy horsemen took up a position of menace on the Romans’ rear. Then charged. To their disbelief, the few remaining Numidian cavalrymen made a sacrificial stand. They bought Augustinus the time he needed to complete the infantry’s rout. (The photo shows this moment of the battle.)
The Romans, perhaps, were set for victory.
But foolishly I had moved my skirmishers, with an excess of care, to protect the Romans’ flank. I had left the cattle, that I was supposed to drive, roaming free across the battlefield.
Four hours’ play ended with the Romans ahead in terms of force morale – but with no troops fast enough to catch Bituitus’s noble cavalry and finish off the job. Instead, those nobles were well placed to fall on the cows and carry them off themselves. We’ll be feasting tonight, boys, cried my enemy Bituitus.
We called it a winning draw for the Romans.
It must be obvious: I love this game. Each side has their own tricks to master. Every game throws up a different story.