Rome and Macedon square off against Carthage and Scythia. I play Rome, Carthage and Scythia are competent players (not brilliant, but not bad; Carthage is the better of the two), my partner Macedon is not much of a player.
Scythia, predictably, fields an all-cavalry army. Carthage is evenly split between cavalry and infantry. Macedon is mostly infantry and timid, he forms a half circle and stays put trusting in his artillery.
The game opens with Scythia advancing on me, taking up a flanking position which forces me to keep my cavalry off th the side to face him. Carthage easily defeats Macedonian cavalry and proceeds to pin his front line with SB infantry, then circles around and slams into the backs of Macedon, easily slaughtering them all with minimal losses.
Throughout this, Scythia is positioned just off to my side making it impossible for me to help Macedon in time to prevent their rout as they charged me just as Carthage is flanking Macedon.
This is where keeping a cool head paid off. I moved my outnumbered cavalry back, then countercharged his horsemen with my cav and 3 units of urbans. Scythia routed easily, and I immediately sent my cavalry against the Carthaginian cavalry. A melee ensued, with me at a disadvantage as I was fighting both his cavalr and some sacred bands. Scythia panicked and charged their horse archers, which wasn't dangerous but held my urbans up a little.
By the time my Urbans joind the Carthaginian melee, praetorian cavalry was all either dead or routing; however, they managed to severely weaken Carthaginian cavalry and the arriving urbans finished the job. They then proceeded to withstand repeated charges from rallying Scythians and Carthaginians to win the match by the skin of their teeth.
What did I do right?
- Routed all Scythian cavalry early
- Kept the initiative from now on: hit Carthage in force before they had a chance to reform, fighting elements of their army at a time instead of the entire thing
- Kept my archers alive and firing at key points in the battle
What did they do wrong?
- Scythia chose noble cavalry instead of HHM; if they fielded maidens, I'd have taken a lot more losses
- Scythia charged their horse archers too early; should've kept them shooting instead
- Carthag's infantry took too long to arrive on scene to change the outcome. He should have taken them out of phalanx and ran them
All in all, a great fight in which I managed to beat two decent players because they made some key mistakes that I was able to exploit. It goes to show that sometimes, tactics and a cool head count for more than numbers.