I have been pondering marking my main table cloth with squares for To the Strongest rules for some considerable time. I have also been pondering what size of squares I would use, considering my unit footprints, because my unit footprints wouldn't allow the full eight squares cross table that the rules recommend. However, after a brief exchange of emails with Simon (author of TTS) he confided that seven squares across would be perfectly fine for all but battles involving two cavalry armies. Indeed, he admitted that many early stage play test battles were successfully fought on tables only six squares across - that swung it and I went for seven 25cm (10 inch) squares across table. My infantry unit footprints are based on four 6 cm stands, so when lined up, units will form an almost contiguous front.
I have marked the squares at the intersections (corners) with dots in dark green acrylic ink. They are easily visible, they are 2 mm - 3 mm diameter, but only when you are looking for them - for some reason the eye doesn't pick them up when scanning the armies. The dots, in the pictures below, are not the bits of 'scrub'.
The Ilkley Lads have played a lot of To The Strongest in Graham's wargame room, so we are now very familiar with the rules. They are incredibly fast play, so a I'm fairly confident that a battle this size can be easily fought out in an evening (2-3 hours). There are quite a few figures, but not that many units - both units are deployed in the confines of a thirteen squares wide by two squares deep deployment zones, separated by two squares.
It is interesting to note that if the table was eight squares across the Romans would be deployed one square further forward and the back row would feature the Trebbia river.
We will play a couple of special scenario rules, effecting the Romans, to give this battle a little more historic feel . This will make winning the battle difficult for the Romans so the game victory condition is for them to break through the Carthaginian line, and get off the Carthaginian table edge, with more than eight units of heavy infantry.
|The set up from behind the Roman right.
|The Roman Army deployed as though it has made one move towards the Carthaginians - historically they attacked, and this deployment creates a clear row of squares behind the Roman army. The Carthaginians will get the first move in the game proper.
|The Carthaginian horde.
|Hannibal rides before his battleline - he will be Heroic and Brilliant. Spanish and Gauls in deep units - these are 72-ish figures strong.
I will do a brief report on the game later in the week.