Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Historicon 2022: Heraclea 280 BC, with To the Strongest!

Historicon 2022 started off in grand style for me at 9 AM on Thursday, with 8+ players and the Battle of Heraclea a (see scenario previously posted), using the fantastic To the Strongest! rules, by Simon Miller. 

Epirote players, left to right: Ted, Joseph, Jeff Grein, Jim Mauro, and Milton Soong.


Both sides advance, with the Romans pushing forwards over the river and attempting to drive off the Epirote light troops that had been "observing" the Roman positions. 


Roman players, left to right: David Knight, James Sulzen (in our club HAHGS (Hartford  (CT) Area Historical Gamers) polo shirt from 13+ years ago (yeah, I still have and use mine, too!), ?, and Todd. 


My freind form the UK (and Historicon roomate), David was playing opposite a long time (20+ year) Piquet/Filed of Battle freind, Jim. David had command of the Roman Cavalry, which outnumbered the "Greeks" 3:2. Dave managed to lose his entire command in record time!  This put the Romans seriously on the back foot, especially on their right! 


Pyrrhus managed to get his Phalangites into the action more handily than in the playtest. However, the Left flank Roman cavalry performed much better than their opposite number, and soon there were 2 units of Roman/Allied Light cavalry in the Epirote backfield; never a good thing! 


The Romans have cleared the river fairly handily!


Right flank Roman cavalry... where's they go - poof! Tghis left James' legions seriously exposed on the flank, a situation the Greeks were all too happy to capitalize upon!


Whern James tries to stabilize the situation, the first card he turns is... an Ace (no activations for the command this turn)!  Every TTS! player dreads those moments!


On the Roman Left, Pyrrhus receives a light wound (exactly as he did in the actual battle), and has to use every bit of his Great Leader abilities to tie up the Roman heavy cavalry for the entire game. 


Whoah, Nellies!


A Roman Legion eliminates an opposing Phalanx, achieving a breakthrough!


However, the Epirotes continue roll up the Roman right flank infantry command, unit by unit.


Pyrrhus manages to hold on (losing him and his elite Cavalry would have been the game, and the Romans run out of Victory medals - game to Pyrrhus, with much the same heavy losses as suffered historically in the original "Pyrrhic Victory"!


As usual, the gam was over in about 3 hours, and everyone enjoyed the game and came of impressed by the rules if they hadn't played before. Jim Mauro had the rules, and had played once a few years back, and then forgot about them. He liked them so much that he was already planning his first game back home with his own gaming crew while we were cleaning up the table. In my case, over the past 10 years or so, TTS! has caused me to increase the size of my decades old Ancients armies by 50-100%, as well as adding some new ones! 

19 comments:

  1. Looks great Peter, and 3 hours with so many figures is a nice length. Another well-attended game.

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    1. My TTS! games are almost always full, usually with a number of returning players. It's a great game, and perfect for convention play!

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  2. Wonderful looking game as always Peter. You know how much I love “To the Strongest” and your game looks absolutely stunning.

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    1. Thanks, Carlo, and I know you are at least as big a fan as I am.
      I've often thought about a Napoleonic variant, but I think that might stretch the system too far. Besides, I am very happy with Field of Battle as it is!

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  3. Lovely looking massive To the Strongest! Game, sounds like tons of fun, I think Simon is working on a Napoleonic ruleset but he's got a few other things on and I would like to see the renaissance version first!
    Best Iain

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    1. Thanks, Iain!
      We used the unofficial Renaissance adaptations for the Pavia game.

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  4. Couldn't agree more about To the Strongest, great set of rules. Impressive looking game, looks like everyone had fun.

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    1. Obviously, we think similarly, although I haven't yet had anyone who strongly disliked them, and most are surprised at how well they work!

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  5. I had a great time Peter and a great looking game to boot!

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    1. Thanks, Jeff; we both love To the Strongest!

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    2. One question is whether we could get Simon to come to Historicon in 2023?!

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    3. I would love to get him over here. He does not like to fly apparently. We should both work on him. I would be happy to put on a game or two. In 2024 this is going to be much easier when I am in North Carolina.

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    4. I agree. We could very easily do a moderately size friendly Tournament as well; I have quite a variety of armies at this point!

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  6. Peter: great game and well run. We have already played 4 medieval games since the Con and have enjoyed all of them. The rules really model Horse Archer tactics very well ( which is what I like!). Look forward to the next Con

    Jim Mauro

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    1. First and foremost, it was great seeing you again, Jim, and having you play in one of my games is always a treat! I'm happy to see that you carried through with playing more TTS!

      I agree, they model LC very well - pesky, and more than that if they get around your flanks, hard to pin down, but brittle when you do!

      Bar unexpected obstacles, I will certainly run more TTS (and FoB) next year in Lancaster!

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  7. I haven't been knocked out of a game that quickly in a long time. Thanks to Peter and the players for making me welcome even if it was only for a short time. I was able to go and help Tim GM a game of Test of Resolve Wars of the Roses so all was not lost!

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    1. I think it was a bit of a record as a GM as well! :-)
      At least you made good use of the time!

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