Calgacus (Mal) surveyed the terrifying scene before him. These Romans certainly were persistent! They had remorselessly pursued his forces up into the highlands, until now, with their winter food supplies threatened, the Caledonians were forced to turn and face the deadly Roman killing machine in open battle.
The battle started very badly on the Caledonian left flank (Phil’s bit). An overwhelming superiority in Caledonian light cavalry (the Romans had put all their cavalry on the more open left flank) was rapidly decimated by the fire from the Roman Olympic archery team! Never-the-less, the massed ranks of the Caledonian warrior blocks still pressed forward in the centre.
Amongst the sweating, grunting and blood-letting (and this was just the players!), fortunes were going either way, but slightly more in the favour of the Romans. The pila, scutium and gladius combination was working its age old grim reaping, although the Caledonians did manage punch a couple of holes in the Roman line, it was at a high cost, with most of the deep warrior units carrying 1 or 2 disorder markers. Then the Caledonian left flank started to crumble, after the loss of 2 of its big warrior blocks.
However it was left to a motely group of women, boys and old men (single peasant deep unit) to hang-on on to the Caledonian far left, distracting four Roman legionary & Auxiliary units from the task of rolling-up the Caledonian centre. This struggle however was only going to go one way, but they had bought much needed time for the Caledonian right flank and in the process shamed the manhood of Rome!
Calgaus (Mal) used this time to press into the two small holes created in the Roman centre and at the same time completely envelop the Roman right flank (Brian). Soon Caledonian light cavalry and light infantry was pecking vigorously on all the exposed flanks of the hard-pressed Romans and their chariots were threatening the Roman rear.
A loss of two Roman legionary units suddenly started to even up the medal tally situation (which had left the Caledonians down to only 2 victory medals for the majority of the latter part of the game). The Roman left (Dave) now started to fall upon the Caledonian troops enveloping the right hand side of the now hard-pressed Roman left. At one point, a Roman legionary unit mounted four attacks into the unprotected rear of a Caledonian warrior (deep) unit, only to come away with inflicting a single disorder! In fact the Caledonians did not even deign to turn to face the Romans. They just fell while still facing the forward! (Although some suspicion started to fall on the motivation of the Roman units?!).
Yet, the Caledonian centre still refused to collapse! The Romans too, were now down to only 2 Victory medals. So, in the end, it was left to Mal’s wide riding light chariots to sweep into the Roman camp and scoop-up the last 2 Roman victory medals. Caledonia was now free, a new history is forged! The dingy place in the North was free of Southern civilisation attempts….hang-on, has anything changed?!
Yet another nail biting game from ‘To the Strongest’ and another lesson that, with these rules, one should never give up! “You can disorder our units, but you will never take away our last victory medals!!”, was the cry.
Elsewhere, a very strange sight greeted to the club members, Pete using a computer!! At least 4 club members had smart phones out to capture the occasion, concerned that others would not believe them. He was looking like he actually knew what he was doing, well until he went round the club members, asking them to scribble their email addresses onto a scrap of paper. He was later found trying to poke this piece of paper into the optical disk drive of the laptop!