You need to pre-declare your intent, so it's an interesting friction where some troops may fail to activate at all, while others lurch across the table at dizzying speed.
Joel threw down all his painted stuff, in rough parity, Nate grabbed the Romans, and I took the Carthiginians. In the end it turned out I had about a 20% point advantage (up an elephant and a skirmisher) but it was a fun game none the less. Lots of good natured heckling from all three of us.
While the Romans were loaded up with legions (including some convicts), 2 skirmishers and 2 medium cavalry, My own forces had a mix of gaellic (med) cavalry, horse archers, skirmishers, 3 elephants, and a number of blocks of spearmen.
The special rules aren't too common, or overpowering, but do add a certain character to some national units. In particular, the roman pilum rule seemed pretty kickass.
Nate (on the left) took the first turn, but failed to move half his army, thereby ending his turn. We each had two commanders with leadership 8. Largely this meant we needed to roll 8 or less in order to move AND issue another order.
I moved my gaellic cavalry to hamper his cataphracts cavalry which I was rather concerned about. At this point I don't think I had quite grok-ed how fast things can lurch around in this rule set and suddenly I was charging the armoured cataphracts. Cavalry can counter charge, and suddenly we had combat in the middle.
Through some very fortunate rolling on my part, I dumped a good number of hits on Nate's troops, avoided too many myself, and we remained locked in combat.
In the start of a long series of failed commands, I fail to move my spearmen at all. In the centre my skirmishers (heavily damaged) have scuttled away and hidden in the back. Their vanquishers have flanked the gaellic cav on the centre upper right. My horse archers moved to bow range and started to harass the roman cavalry.
A turn later the skirmishers have been seen off by the gaellic cav, but the cataphracts have won. My cavalry are spent and unable to advance on the enemy, however I've lined up my SECOND unit of gaellic cav, and moved my elephants and spearmen up.
Meanwhile on the other flank the horse archers dance out to extreme range and proceed to do what they do best.....be seriously annoying.
The roman cavalry charge them, BARELY avoid catching them, and both disappear off the table.
This would start the hilarity of the horse archers returning and, largely, blocking the return of the romans.
Meanwhile on the right, the second gaellic cav manage to rout the cataphracts. The Roman convict legions are the first infantry fights, and are steadily worn down.
It is around this point we find out that roman legions with the 'pilum' rule are pretty kickass on the attack. They rapidly break, and follow up charge a couple of carthaginian spearmen unit succesfully.
The over success allows a multiple unit charge on the Romans and takes out a unit. The Romans are rapidly approaching army exhaustion.
The action on the right is largely complete, just a matter of getting the elephants into action.
The left has seen more roman cavalry drive off horse archers, and leave the table in pursuit. This would result in a slightly lower break point for the Romans and cost them the game (although the direction of battle suggested this would happen anyway(.
Fun times were had all around and the game played out to an obvious conclusion in a very reasonable amount of time. No futzing with removing partial units was also great. I think we were all of a similar mind that this is certainly a play again ruleset.