As bit of a distraction to the Seleucid army I am hurriedly painting up at the moment (update to follow after the weekend), I popped through to the club this week for a second go of “To the Strongest”, a set of rules from Big Red Bat – https://bigredbatshop.co.uk
We’ve been looking for a set of Ancients rules for club use, multiple players, and not a tournament set – as an ADLG tournament player myself, it is no fun for the non-tournament players in my gaming circle to play what is supposed to be a relaxing evening against a tournament player! Mal proposed “To the Strongest”, so we gave it a go last week, quite liked it, so gave it a proper run out this week.
This week we did Alexandrian Macedonian vs. Classical Indian – Mal provided the Alexandrian army, and I provided the Indians. The table was 120cm x 80cm (using one of our ADLG mats, and the grid was 10cm square, with units being on an 8cm frontage.
We did the terrain set-up and deployment as per the rules, though we chose not to use stratagems.
We used little terrain bits to mark out the grid (To the Strongest uses a grid for movement/shooting etc), with each marked square being 4 quarters – it was easy enough to see where everything should be.
The Indian army consisted of three escorted elephants, four units of Raw Longbowmen, a unit of Javelin (held in reserve), and two flanks each with a unit of Heavy Chariots (yeah, I know they look like light chariots in the pictures….) with one unit of Javelin armed Cavalry. The Chariots had Longbow, as did the escorted elephants, so everything in the army shot!
The Alexandrians were a central corps of 4 pike (expensive at 16 points each) and flanks one side of skirmishers and Light Horse, and one side of Cavalry.
On the Indian right flank, the Chariots moved forward, supported by the cavalry. The Alexandrian cavalry also moved forward and charged straight in.
Meanwhile in the centre, the Indian Longbow was firing multiple shots along the line disordering 2 of the Alexandrian Pike units.
The phalanx decided to ignore the disorder, and plough on regardless hitting the front of the elephants and some of the bow.
Break through as one of the Pike units died to the elephants and a unit of chariots who had outflanked it!
With a simultaneous break through on the opposite flank, as one of the elephant units popped!
The outflanking Chariot unit was shot down…it was time to commit the reserves…as the Javelinmen moved forward to fill the gap!
On the right flank, the other chariots, and cavalry were making good progress, killing a unit of Alexandrian Cavalry, however, they were unabale to press the advantage – lack of command after losing a general cost it dearly!
Both units were down to their last break point (Alexandrians started on 10, Indians on 11)…
…and the general-less chariot was surrounded and taken down….victory to the Alexandrians!
Thoughts on the rules
If I were to say that the game was a little more “random” than ADLG, that wouldn’t necessarily be a criticism…it allows players who maybe don’t play tournament games to have a reasonable chance against a decent player.
We also liked (something we learned from last weeks Rome v Carthage bash) that screening light infantry are invaluable in getting your line intact to contact…this week, the Longbow did a great job whittling down units.
Excellent set overall, and one we will certainly use at the club in the future…the turning of cards in particular led to a certain base level of excitement!
One criticism perhaps is the amount of table clutter, but i am working on that for the future – I’ve just ordered some mini-cards from Amazon (6cm x 4cm) which should help….sometimes size does indeed matter!