Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Woad to the Vanquished - Triumph! AAR

April 28th was International Tabletop Day, and Half Day Studio was running an all-day event with various games to celebrate. Everyone who came in and played entered for a chance to win a raffle, with the prize being the Roman Invasion of Britain starter set for Hail Caesar, donated by Warlord Games.

I decided to run a couple games of Triumph! for the event using my 15mm Ancient British and Early Imperial Roman armies. While these had originally been intended for DBA, they work just as well for Triumph!, which was a system I demoed and played in an event at during Cold Wars. 

Following the army lists on Meshwesh, I came up with the following lists:

Early Imperial Romans 
5 Elite Infantry (General)
4 Raiders
1 Archers
2 Javelin Cavalry

Ancient British
10 Warband (General)
4 Battle Taxis
2 Bad Horse

Basically, the Romans have a smaller but better army, while the British have more troops of lower quality. However, their Warbands can kill the Roman Elite Infantry if they manage to just outscore them in combat, rather than the normal need to double their combat score. 

For the first game, Bill chose to play the Romans. Somehow, the British managed to win the Topography roll, and the Romans chose to fight in an Arable landscape. Having won the Tactical advantage, the Romans then got to chose the terrain. We ended up with a Village, a Gentle Hill, Rough Ground, and a Coast.

The Romans set up their Elite Infantry and Archers in the center of the, with their Javelin Cavalry and Raiders taking up either flank. The British set their long line of Warband across from the Roman infantry, and had their Battle Taxis and Bad Horse on the flanks.

While the Roman Raiders and Javelin Cav advanced, their Elite Foot held back. A poor dice roll for the British meant that only the Battle Taxis could move forward.

The British infantry seemed content to watch as all the action developed on the flanks. A bad combat for Bill saw one of his Javelin Cavalry shattered by the British Bad Horse. On the other side of the battlefield, the Raiders and Battle Taxis edged closer together, hemmed in by the coastline.

The resounding clash between the Raiders and Battle Taxis saw two of the Roman units shatter. Meanwhile, the Roman Javelin Cav and British Bad Horse circled around, keeping each other from exploiting an open flank.

While Bill managed to remove a unit of Bad Horse from the table, the loss of another Raider unit was enough to cause the Romans to break. The British cheered and celebrated their victory!

But it wasn't to last for long...

Since Triumph! plays so quickly, we decided to set back up for a second game, with Bill commanding the Romans again. This time the Romans won both the Topography and Tactical roll. Bill chose a Village, a Steep Hill, a Forest, and a Stream as the terrain.

The British infantry were flanked by their Bad Horse, while the Battle Taxis were set up opposite the Roman camp. The Roman Elite Infantry and Archers set up in the center once again, but were now flanked equally on both sides by Raiders and Javelin Cavalry.

With no terrain in the center of the table to slow anyone down, both sides raced towards the fight.

Bill managed to sneak around the flank of the Battle Taxis with a Javelin Cav, and caused it to shatter. The British were forced to break up their chariot charge to deal with the Roman cavalry.

The British left flank had descended into chaos, with the Battle Taxis and a unit of Bad Horse moving to hem in the Roman Javelin Cavalry. On the Roman left, Bill sent his other Javelin Cav units to intercept the last of the British cavalry.

Undaunted, most of the British infantry continued forward.

Like the last game, the flanks were embroiled in combat while the center refused to commit. Bill's units were much more stubborn this time around, and refused to budge.

Unlike the last game, the Roman legions surged forward into combat. This was a risky gambit - while the Elite Infantry had a superior combat factor, they would be shattered by the British Warband units if beaten in close combat. This was best demonstrated by the Romans losing a unit of Elite Infantry in addition to a unit of Javelin Cav.

What had started as two lines of battle had become a bloody mess. The Roman Legionaries and Auxilia managed to kill two units of British Warband, and the British failed to respond in kind.

The Legionaries had finally gotten to grips with the enemy, and their swords chopped through the British Warbands. Three more units fell, pushing the British over the break limit and securing victory for Rome.

While there were a couple rules I needed to check, Bill and I found Triumph! to be a fun set of fast-play ancient rules, with relatively easy to understand rules and interesting in-game mechanics that rewarded tactical thinking. I'm hoping to play more in the future. 


  1. Thanks again for throwing the link over. Both games seemed great ( the second in particular!) Very excited to be getting into Triumph!


    1. Sorry for missing this comment! Glad you enjoyed the post. Triumph! seems like a pretty good set of rules, and I'm hoping to play more in 2019.