Ancient Warfare magazine

Friday, September 2, 2016

Rome v. Gaul: L'Art Action Online!

       Last week I saw myself fully engaged in running a fantastic game of L'Art de la Guerre for some of the members of the TtC community. This was basically a two player game, although several different players took command as the battle raged. I myself also took command of one side to fill in for a missing player. Was a really enjoyable battle that really brought out the best in the L'Art rules.

The rushof the Gauls on the Roman battle line.

       This was a 200 point battle featuring the Republican Romans against the army of Gaul. The battle lasted a total of nine turns and saw the Roman army under the command of David Nickols pull off a close contested win - Gaul exceeded their break point by four points.

The Gaul army quickly defeated the Roman elephant and gained control of the Roman right wing.

       I really enjoy the L'Art rules system. It seems a perfect blend of some other well known and popular sets of rules, such as DBx, FoG, and Impetvs. Not only that, it allows for small armies for the beginner, as well as larger battles on a typical 6' x 4' table, or larger. These rules have really caught my attention and I am pretty sure they have now become my "go-to" rules for ancients gaming, along side DBA and Impetvs. I still need to try the Hail Caesar rules, however.

Some things I really enjoy about the L'Art rules:

  • foot elements - called 'units' in L'Art - look more impressive, being 2-3 bases deep;
  • allows for small DBA-like armies, as well as bigger armies;
  • lots and lots of army list included in the rules;
  • analytical rules without being overly complex;
  • similar feel to both DBx and Impetvs;
  • feels like an ancients battle!

These Numidians would be soon driven from the field.
       Of course, the rules are not perfect. I always liked unit reactions to combat, such as push-backs, recoils and retreats. L'Art has none of that - it does allow some limited disengaging from melee, however. The rules themselves could have been better organized and written in some respects. It can be a chore remembering some of the more fiddly things. All minor complaints really.

We used these markers spread between the various commands as a visual aide for players.

Late in the fight. You can see the Romans have completely defeated the Gaul right, and Gaul has all but broken through the Roamn right!

The Romans cleaning up the Gaul right flank.

Very early on the Gauls were very aggressive and launched head-long into the Roman lines.

A close up of the Gaul troops breaking through the Roman right. All that remains is a lone Creten unit.

Last turn of the fight! Rome wins!
        With the battle over, I have now moved on to another scenario - a SOLO affair. Perhaps I will post this one later. I will be pitting my Republican Romans against the horde of Gaul once again, this time using some historical deployments to see how the Romans fair. Stay tuned.

Until next time...