Sunday, August 2, 2015

Battle of Zama, 202 BC - Historicon AAR

Old friends from the Piquet circle Jeff Grein and Freddie Avner made the flight out from the left coast to Historicon this year. Jeff brought his 15 mm Republican Roman and Carthagenian armies, and put on two versions of the final clash of the 2nd Punic War, the Battle of Zama. 


Friday night Jeff ran Zama using miniatures with the Commands and Colors Ancients rules.  I understand it played quickly and enjoyably - enough so that they played it out a second time, switching sides. I think I recall hearing that Andy C. was on the winning side for both games!  Picture courtesy of Tim C. from the UK. 


Saturday afternoon Jeff ran Zama again, this time with Brent Oman's "Pulse of Battle" rules; in the center of the four Roman players are Tim's son Noah and Andy's son Sam. The next several pictures courtesy of Tim C from the US.


For an era where the missile fire is limited in both range and effect, I thought the lines started fairly far apart, but Jeff wanted to build some drama, as well as help the players absorb the mechanics of Pulse of Battle. Fair enough! My contribution to the game was limited to the groundcloth, dice, rules, markers, and some extra summary sheets. 


Noah and Sam push their Legions forward!


Elephants Stomp Ahead!!! The ponderous pachyderms did pretty well on the day = much better than in the actual battle.


Q.    What's the squishy pink stuff between the Elephant's toe's?
A.    Legio XIV!



A few pictures of my own, using the crummy camera in my i-phone3.
Jeff tries to remember the rule for PoB instead of CCA, as UK Tim gives his usual suspect advice to the hapless players.  The Roman Cavalry greatly outstripped their infantry in the initial; phase of the battle. 


I watched the battle play out and chatted with friends, with my eye anxiously on the clock. I was supposed to run my own Italian Wars game at 7 PM, at which point Jeff's game would be over. 
 I understand that Zama ended almost exactly on time at 7 PM itself. The fighting came down to the wire, but when it was all over, the Romans turned an Army Morale Card when they were out of Morale points, and failed their roll - marginal victory to Hannibal's men. Scipio will have to return to Rome to try again another time. Carthago non delenda est. Ave Jeff, for a great game, and for bringing the troops all the way from California!

    Ken B. and I had planned on running 2 Chariot games using my Egyptians and his Canaanites, and Pulse of Battle and/or Archon, 2nd edition. Unfortunately, Ken decided to cancel both games when he realized that his heart just wasn't in it. That made my Friday less crazy for sure (I was scheduled to run/help with three games, including the Chariot one that night), but I would have been perfectly fine with the Saturday AM game. Ah well, no point in spending time doing hobby stuff you if aren't enjoying it!

19 comments:

  1. That is just marvelous using the same (great looking, I might add) figures for two different rulesets - at a con no less. The C&C game where the players switched sides is a great idea - and the winner being the same for both indicates something about this generalship!

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    1. Thanks, Dean; Jeff did a great job with the figures and the games both... and did it with bringing his troops on the plane with him form California!

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  2. The ancients games look terrific. I agree with Dean. Having the same battle played out using two rulesets is great luxury and an excellent exercise in "Compare and Ccontrast."

    Too bad we will not be seeing any BatReps of your Biblical contingents. I was looking forward to that! Still, this IS a hobby and the decision to cancel is understandable. Maybe you can still take a photo or two of your Canaanites just for fun?

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    1. I agree about the comparison between 2 rules sets. indeed, that was part of the plan, to run the Canaanites vs Egyptians twice, once with Pulse of Battle, and once with Archon 2nd edition. The Canaanites are Ken's, and I've never actually seen them myself, either in the lead, or photos!

      I do have some things in mind for the Ancients - the first of those is trying "To the Strongest!", so we might see some chariots again there!

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    2. I am certainly interested in reading your impressions of To The Strongest." Being grid based, it might be of interest to both of us.

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    3. I'm on semi-vacation next week, and plan to download the pdf...

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    1. Thanks, Ray; Jeff would be pleased!

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  4. Awesome! love the Commands and Colors Game system! Great looking painted figures, love the basing/flocking of the units - Marvelous!

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    1. Yes, Jeff did a great job on them!

      I have C&C Ancients, but have never played it - I spent about 3 hours putting on all the stickers and then lost all my energy for it. Kinda of funny of you consider the huge number of hours it takes to paint our armies, which I do all the time!

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    2. I have all CC games series by Richard Borg - Napoleonic's, Ancients, Civil War and Memoir 44! including the expansion volume box sets! :o)

      cheers,

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    3. I really do have top try it some day!

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    4. C&C is a very enjoyable system and games can be played in relatively little time.
      The Ancients and Samurai versions are my favorites in the system. I recommend giving it a try!

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  5. A lovely looking game there. That is one of the nice things about Ancients and the battle of Zama in particular, in that you don't have to spend a small fortune on terrain.

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    1. Quite right about the paucity of terrain for most Ancients battles. Certainly that was one thing Jeff *didn't* have to take on the plane with him to and from!

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    2. I also agree with Lawrence!

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  6. I had a great time putting both games on. The figures are my new Punic wars collection using the new War and Empire range from West Wind miniatures. They are all painted by Monty Luhmann. He is a fantastic painter that is supper fast. I know these days if I want to get a game on the table I need someone to paint for me. I will probably not be putting on a game next year since I will likely be in Switzerland working my other passion, hiking in the mountains. Thank you all for the great comments and thanks to Peter for putting up a great AAR.

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    1. You're welcome, Jeff. Hiking in the Alps in summer sounds good to me - it is more than 40 years since I was last in Switzerland, and I'd go back without hesitation. My wife has a long time freind who lives near Zurich... when she's home. As a professional violinist, that isn't often!

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