Prufrock's Wargaming Blog

Prufrock's Wargaming Blog

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Magnesia with Pat

My boardgame buddy Pat and I had been planning to get together for a game day for some time, and we decided that we would go ahead with the event today despite the horrific earthquakes, tsunamis and threatened nuclear meltdowns up north.  It turned out that it was a good way to take our minds off the horror, and I certainly feel a lot better after a chance to chew the fat and let off a bit of steam.

I'd had a few ideas for games, but with the disruption of the past week we ended up settling on the tried and true - Magnesia with Lost Battles - and the simple and classic - the Quatre Bras scenario from SPI's 1976 quadrigame 'Napoleon's Last Battles'.

We got through two games of Magnesia, with Pat cleaning up both times as the Romans on the back of aggressive cavalry attacks on Eumenes' flank and canny use of all-out attacks in the centres.

The first game ended early with Antiochus' death in a rally attempt leading to a general rout.  The second game was much closer, with the Seleucid line being rolled up from its left while the phalanx tried desperately to break the legions opposite them.  In neither game did I manage to shatter a Roman unit, which shows how well Pat managed his forces.  It was good to see the Romans perform well, as the last time I played the scenario some ridiculous dice saw Scipio and friends utterly routed ( go here to see a report of that battle).

From memory, the first game was won 80-33 and the second 91-76  

The Quatre Bras game was a light way to fill in the last hour of the visit, and some good dice results saw the the French beaten off.

Here are some photos of the Lost Battles action.  As always, click on the images to see larger shots.

* I've got a new 1800 x 900 table (well, our school does...) which allowed us to try out my latest ground carpet and use zones 320mm (8 bases) across.  On the whole I was pretty pleased with how it looked, compared to my usual set up.


  1. Looks good, Aaron - it's nice to see another Magnesia being played.

  2. Thanks Paul. It was good to get a face-to-face game in. Cheers!

  3. Very nice looking game Aaron.
    The difference between the pike and Roman units is very striking and you would think that the Romans would just get walked all over.

  4. wow, very nice! Keep them coming. :)

  5. Great looking figures and game!!!

  6. I loved that SPI Quatre Bras scenario; good to hear of it getting an outing!

  7. Thanks very much for your interest and comments, gentlemen!

    @Paul D: you're spot on, the difference is stiking. It does clearly reinforce the notion that numbers aren't everything...

    @Mark: we might try the four-map campaign version one day. It's quite nice to go 'old school' hex 'n' counter for a change. Sticky ZOCs, compulsory attacks; all good fun :)


  8. I had a wonderful time gaming with Aaron yesterday. I see he's kindly refrained from mentioning all the helpful advice he gave that guided me to victory in our Magnesia battles!

    The first game ended almost before it started, when Antiochus was fragged by his own men about ten minutes into the battle. The second game was a much closer affair, and both sides were getting quite brittle towards the end.

    This was only my second go at Lost Battles. The first time Aaron and I played the game really didn't click with me, but I came away with a much more positive impression of the system this time around. As a (mainly) hex-and-counter gamer, I've played lots of SPQR and other games in the Great Battles series, and I was struck by how much better Lost Battles seems to be at simulating the cascading effect of rout on the ancient battlefield. As Aaron aptly put it, playing Lost Battles is like reading Polybius.

    As for Quatre Bras, Aaron cleaned my clock nicely, and the dice had very little to do with it!

    Aaron, I'm looking forward to our next game day!


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