Simon Miller, author of "To The Strongest" rules kindly agreed to put on a demo game at Essex Warriors, ably assisted by Nick Speller, who has been known to paint a figure or two for Simon !
Here's the gang assembled, ready for action
Simon gives a quick briefing to the players and explains the rules basics
Another shameless plug, just for Simon ... !
The opposing sides line up and glare across the plains
The Romans have a fort for their camp
Scythed chariots in front with archers
Here we see the Roman camp guards
The opposing forces close on each other
Pikes galore ...
Light cavalry clash on the Roman left
In the centre, the cards show activated units - being attacked by the chariots
Despite drawing loads of Aces (which are bad news in To The Strongest), Rafael laughs in the face of adversity whilst Wes tries not to get sucked into the madness !
Oh dear, a chariot has "bounced" and heading back to the phalanx behind
Disrupting the foot unit
The Romans charge forwards
But right of centre a bold phalanx has advanced towards the Roman fort even though three units are waiting and ready
One Roman unit has got behind this phalanx and battles with enemy skirmishers
Hand to hand combat all along the line
Casualties being removed by a God-like hand !
The Roman archers wait for the outcome ...
The Roman cavalry has been routed on the left and the enemy left marauding
whilst their support units wheels onto the Roman flank
The central phalanx has defeated one Roman unit leaving a gap in the Roman lines
The veteran Roman infantry on the right are faring rather better
and are pushing the enemy back
but in the centre all that stands between the Phalanx and the Roman camp is a light archer unit
whereas the Romans cannot even see the enemy camp because of the dense ranks of the enemy
This Roman general on the left dies trying to bolster the ranks - which triggers the collapse of the Roman left
although the central Phalanx is harassed on its flanks, the fort is still its target
The Romans on the right hear the horns warning them that the battle is lost as left and centre have gone - time to break off from contact and make for safety !
It has to be said that the unpredictability of the fall of the cards, really causes the players problems and gives nail biting problems just when when least expected !
Having Simon Miller present certainly ironed out any rule queries and showed Steve Clarke and I a few areas we had interpreted wrongly in our first game.
The gang actually switched sides and played a second game but I left before this was concluded - although I think the Romans were struggling again.
Big thanks go to Simon for bringing his superb Ancient armies from north London over to the wilds of Essex and giving us a tutorial - great fun !