I think many of us have played enough to come out of the game with a few good stories of battles won and lost by now. I've got one or two myself which I'll get down soon, for now we'll just say that I'm the Britains and the Gaul's and Germanians have me in a pain sandwich despite my best diplomatic efforts.
Ok, one story.
I play on "difficult" level battle mode. The filthy Germans set siege to my original mainland starting city (Samarobriva) with a sizable troop, about 1300 men to my 500 or so. Most of my guys were warband (starting pike units) and I managed to train a couple head tossing units just to see if they could toss the limed things over the wall. I also managed to bring up one merc cavalry unit and one chariot archer unit as a reinforcement before he finally decided to attack. They had to start on the opposite side of the map once the battle began.
Why did he wait? So he could build four rams to batter down my walls, that's why. It had never even occurred to me to try that myself, I always used just one and dealt with the clogged entry. As the rams made their approach they split off and attacked three widely spaced parts of my wall and my main gate. I only just have enough for one unit of melee units to cover each spot the rams were hitting. I backed them up with head tossers and hold my slingers back in reserve along with my general's heavy chariot unit.
As they moved towards the gate I order my reinforcement archery chariots to ride like the wind around my city and start hitting the closest troop ramming my walls with arrows. I'm still outnumbered two to one but I figure they might as well kill as many as they can. I also brought my cavalry up to see what kind of trouble I could cause before they started breaking through. For those of you who haven't fought the Germans, they have these long spear units (Warband Spears) that are just just death if you hit them head on with anything. Once they broke a hole in the wall my troops wouldn't be able to hold them off toe to toe, it's a wall of spikey death.
A unit protecting their rammers broke off to run after my chariots which left the ramming troops all alone. I sent my cavalry swinging wide and slammed them into the ram units, killing enough of them to drop the siege equipment and make a run for it. Just as I did that, they broke through the three other attack points, all at the same time. I then used my chariots and cavs to keep the outside forces busy for the rest of the battle. Quick strikes and fast retreats to keep the long spears at bay.
At the first breach point along the line I brought my units back from the wall and let the long spear bastards come right in. As they started to slaughter my men I brought the now freed extra pike unit inside the wall to their flank and destroyed them. I also sent my cavs on the outside over to distract the remaining unit near the breach to prevent them from pouring in to back up their flanked comrades. From there I broke my now freed two units through the hole they just defended and swung them outside and up behind the attackers all piled up at the other two entries. They were just about to route my defenders (head throwers included) when I hit them from behind and turned the tables. It was a near thing but I managed to kill their general and the rest ran off. In the end, I lost 80% of my six hundred total units (including my reinforcements) and they lost just under 900 men (and one unit of woman screamers) before they ran for it. My general got big points for that one and the map is permanently marked to show our great victory.
I love this game.