Friday, 29 November 2013

Carthage vs Rome. 28.11.13.

It was another two-game Thursday yesterday,Brian in the morning and Brian and Paul at night.
As it happened we played the same game,but with different results,and play tested a couple of minor,but significant,changes to our normal rules.

The morning game,with Brian writing his battle plan and orders,he commanded the Carthaginians.
Our plans were quite simple,each were to hold the stream flank,whilst attacking "vigorously" on the other flank.

This shows us attacking "vigorously",my Hastati have driven off Brian's light troops,and are meleeing with his Spanish infantry.In the immediate foreground you can just see some Numidian cavalry,passing through a marsh to out-flank me and take on my inferior light cavalry.

After some initial skirmishing,Brian launched his Elephants at my line of Triarii,this proved disastrous,and they eventually fled back-hurrah!! Meanwhile on the far flank,our heavy cavalry are shaping up for a fight!-This fight went on for about four moves before I was victorious-for a while!!-Then Brian sent in his second line and drove me back-great wargaming!!

Brian's Numidian cavalry have "smote" my light cavalry and driven them back to a nearby hill(to quote Caesar!)-This was to prove significant in the following few moves,as it compromised my retiring Hastati,as you will see!!

Things are looking good in the centre for me,I am just about to exchange lines and let the Princepes take over the fighting-but I must keep an eye on those pesky Numidian cavalry,if they get in my rear(stop it!!) I could be in trouble.

Damn it!! my outnumbered and casualty-ridden light cavalry are heading for home,forcing my "retiring" Hastati to form a defensive formation(in this case a square!!)-Things have also taken a backward step with my Princepes,who have been beaten in a melee-things ain't looking good!!

Brian's heavy cavalry have pushed me back over the stream,but I have "mobbed" him with my second line,and saved the flank-hurrah!!

The final shot,one flank each won,so a "DRAW" was declared!!
The subtle changes to the rules that we were testing,are pretty obvious,I think,from the photo's you can see that there are no individual units fleeing all over the place,that's because we used the "LINE" as the fighting "UNIT"-it looked right band felt right,so we'll play test some other Ancient games just to make sure-good stuff.
Brian is busy painting his Late Roman figures,and brought these along to let us see.

One word,Brian, MAGNIFICENT! those shield transfers are great,now for the rest of them........

Roll on Sunday.

Monday, 25 November 2013

Battle of Glen Dreary 1640

We had a bit of a "different" game last night,loosely based on historical fact,with Scottish Clans fighting English regiments,with a bit of cavalry and a couple of guns thrown in for good measure!!

These photo's show the scenario and initial troop dispositions,Graham and Paul commanded the Scots,whilst Brian and Richard commanded the English.
Paul's plan was to make a feint move towards the marsh,and then swing onto the centre,massing the Clans,for an all-out attack on Richard's English regiments-a good plan and it worked!!
Brian and Graham,both commanding troops facing each other across the stream,had very similar plans,involving getting the cavalry to grips,and then moving their troops into contact.

This shows Richard's troops,facing Paul's Clans,you can just see the feint move about to take place on the far right background.

Brian and Graham's flank is shown here,after an initial bombardment from their guns,the cavalry moved forward and clashed-the melee lasting most of the game,whilst the infantry moved slowly forward to "push of pike"(don't tell him your name pike!!)

The cavalry battle in full swing-Graham was throwing high dice,putting Brian on the back foot,however he persisted,throwing his second regiment into the fray,and the melee swung back and forth-thrilling stuff!!

The English advance begins,with colours flying and drums beating,the Scots are waiting patiently on their ridge,safe in the knowledge that soon the English will be out-numbered and their charge can begin!!

After a tremendous volley from Richard,the Clans make contact,and were halted in the first round of melee,however,as you can see in the photo,the "marsh" clans are now making an appearance,swooping down onto the flank,and about to "do" for the English.

Meanwhile,on the other flank,Brian and Graham have,after much "huffing and puffing" got to grips-this was fairly even with neither side getting the upper hand for a while,then Graham's demon dice throwing took over and Brian was thrown back across the stream and the flank was secure,apart from the on-going cavalry battle!!

The Clans are pushing the English back here,and a single Clan(in the fore-ground) is moving to out-flank the line-this was a good move and sealed the fate of Richard's brave English troops.

Richard's troops have had enough and begin to retire,Paul has won the flank-hurrah!!

Brian's troops,apart from the still unresolved cavalry battle,are beaten,and he has had to retire behind the stream,so the Scots were declared the winners.
A good and interesting game,involving all elements of the opposing sides-well done lads!!
Roll on Thursday-possibly two games,and possibly Ancients.

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Smoggcon Report 2013.

Brian,Dave and I braved a cold and damp day to go to Middlesbrough for the annual Smoggycon event  today.
When we arrived we were greeted in a friendly manner by the "boys" on the door-no concessions for O.A.P.'s but at least I got a free wrist band! once inside we saw the usual mix of unkempt,unwashed and unloved people that seem to populate these shows,but there was also a preponderance of good,decent wargamers too!!
The show was set on two levels,with a good mix of games and traders,and money was being spent-always a good sign,as usual at theses do's we bumped into long lost friends,talked to traders and gamers,and then retired for a cup of coffee and a sandwich-this is where the show fell short,in my opinion-long queues for the sandwich bar,which appeared to have only one person serving,coffee machines with no cups,however on a positive note,I did manage to eventually get a cup!!

The epitome of what a good demo game should be,lovely figures,good terrain,but most of all the guy had time to talk to us,about his figures,rules,flags etc.etc.-well done Independent !!Dave seems interested.

Another good game which attracted alot of attention,from Tyneside Group,Pete and Frankie seem to be enjoying themselves-is that my old mate Paul in the background from Charlie Wesencraft's group?

There were of course the bizarre and unusual games-Toy Town,and Wild West shoot-out to name but two-the enthusiasm shown from these guys is remarkable-long may they continue.

This is just a general shot of the room-very busy and loads of people attending-one final shot has to be included...........

This shows Brian,forming an orderly queue to play the Wild West shoot out game!!

All in all a good day out,we will,of course attend next year-well done to the organisers.

Friday, 22 November 2013

Romans vs Britons

Last night saw the trusty three re-enacting last Sunday's game but using Ancients as opposed to Napoleonics-another great game-different result!!

This is a shot of the whole table,Brian took charge of the Landing Force,I took charge of the hill and ridge,and Paul took sole charge of the Britons.
Brian's plan was to land,sweep away the opposition,and then march to support me.(no mean feat when you look at the opposing warbands!!)My plan was to hold my positions as long as possible.
Paul had decided to hold back his cavalry on the far flank,launch his chariots as mobile shooting platforms(against my flanking cohort) and the attack along the whole line when a gap appeared.

Paul's attack is just developing,there seemed to be "thousands of 'em!-and indeed there was!!

Singing jolly sea shanties,Brian's jolly boats,full of jolly Romans,carrying jolly Pila,have landed,and are immediately assailed by not-so-jolly Britons-this was always going to be tough!
The ensuing melee mostly went Brian's way,and the Britons were forced back from the beach-hurrah!!

Paul's first wave has hit the Roman line,and his chariots are making their presence felt on my far left flank.his second wave is just about to break over the Auxilliaries!!-Brian appears to be doing ok,and Paul has retreated his warbands to a better position,ready to counter attack-the swine!!

Now there's a fine line!! that is apart from the far flank cohort,which has been forced out of line by good use of chariots from Paul-is this the "chink" in the Roman armour?

A resounding YES!! is the answer,having to turn to face the flank threat,Paul is launching another few warbands at my line,and I am about to buckle!!-My cavalry are doing well on my right flank,and Brian is being put under renewed pressure on his flank-oh woe is us(as opposed to toys is us!!)

The cavalry battle is going my way,but the ridge is lost-all now depends on my erstwhile ally and dependable general (who last week ordered his cavalry to "hide") to come to my assistance.

This is Brian's "high water mark" he just couldn't get through the mass of warriors-never mind there's always another day!!

This was an excellent game,played in good spirit,lots of action-what more could you ask for?-well a win would be nice!!
Roll on Sunday-probably horse and musket.
Dave,Brian and I are going to "Smoggycon" on Saturday,so expect a full report on Sunday.
Finally,a couple of photo's of work in progress from Brian and I....

These show my latest Andalusian cavalry from Warrior Miniatures-I'm chuffed with them!

Brian's latest offering from a combination of Gripping Beast and Front Rank,late Romans-we both seemed to have gone for the light blue look!!

Monday, 18 November 2013

Battle of Santa Major 1809,Spain.

Last night the "famous five" fought an excellent Napoleonic battle,with Graham and Paul taking the roll of British commanders,and Brian,Richard and I commanded the French.

These first two photo's show the scenario and the table before any movement.

This shows Paul's landing force,which was met by Richard,whose objective was to delay them,whilst Brian stormed the ridge,and I captured the town and out-flanked the ridge-great plan,what could go wrong?

This is Brian's central position,he outnumbered the French by two to one,his cavalry was better,all he had to do was move forward and take the ridge,what could go wrong?

This shows my infantry,about to attack the town "a la bayonette only!) I outnumbered Graham's Spanish by three to one,what could go wrong?-it would be like a walk in the park!! My cavalry and horse artillery are about to start their out-flanking move to my left.

There's the rocket,there it goes,where it lands-nobody knows!! Graham fired the rocket 8 times and managed two hits-not bad!! Along with the rocket he had three highland regiments and a gun battery,backed up with lots of cavalry,who he sent mainly against mine!!

I have eventually taken the town,and the Spanish are vacating it at a rate of knots!! However my cavalry and gun are being beaten in melees and being forced back-but not before I killed Paget!!-hurrah.
To the right of the town,Brian is sending his Dragoons forward against guns and heavy cavalry,whilst his infantry(advancing in line!! ignoring the Scots Greys coming over the ridge!!) are about to be shattered by the British lining the crest.

Paul's force has landed ,and is moving forward to support Graham,however Richard is in a fine position,and will be okay,as long as he doesn't lose his guns!!-guess what? he lost his guns to a well-timed charge by a Portuguese regiment.Now Richard was in trouble,outnumbered two to one,but still in a good position.

This shot sums it all up!!Brian is crying,Richard is gloating(?) and Paul looks positively beaming!!
Our objectives are looking further and further away at this time!!

The final shot,the French centre is devastated,and the British cavalry is reforming,ready to complete their victory,I am fighting a defensive battle on my flank,and Richard is living on borrowed time-and Paul is still beaming!!

This was a good game,loads of action,and loads of mistakes,loads of fun.

Roll on Thursday-probably same terrain,possibly a Roman landing against British warbands.

Friday, 15 November 2013

Selucus vs Indians 280BC

It was a two game Thursday yesterday,Brian and I played in the morning,and Dave,Paul Brian and I played the same game at night-oh joy of being retired(I am you know!)
In the morning Brian and I took the opportunity of trying a slight rule ammendment,which,as it turned out, was good.
The change involved NOT implementing our normal "push back" move for losing a melee,instead we stood and let the melee run it's course and let our morale rules dictate what happened to the losing unit-not exactly radical but it worked.The reason we decided to implement this change was to eliminate the spectacle of our Ancient armies ending the game with units scattered all over the table,this doesn't look right,especially Roman cohorts!! I have always maintained that in Ancient battles your line must be intact or you lose the game!!

Having successfully tried the new rule,we rolled it out on the unsuspecting duo of Dave and Paul!!
They struggled at first,(old habits etc.),but eventually saw the error of their ways(nothing like a routing unit to do that!!) and we had a good and exciting game-The highlight of the game was the very last dice throw,from Brian(who else!!)-see last photo on blog.

Look at those beautiful lines.Paul and Dave's plan was to hold back with their cavalry on their right flank,and attack our centre with a combination of elephants and phalanx,once the hypaspists had done their bit-our plan was remarkably similar!!

The cavalry are "squaring up" to each other but neither of us wanting to instigate a melee- apart from Dave breaking his line and sending an elephant against my poor cavalry!!

The phalanxes have been ordered forward against the Indian line,however not as a line(old habits etc.) with mixed fortunes! The village is being attacked from land and sea,but Brian put up a staunch defence with a unit of archers,and beat off the attackers.

On the flank,the cavalry have at last clashed,Dave had used his horse archers well and weakened my cavalry before the melee took place,and this told in the ensuing fight!!-in other words,I lost!!

Our cavalry is being hounded,our centre is being smashed,and we are in danger of being outflanked-I suppose a draw is out of the question??
The lines(apart from the units fleeing) are pretty well intact,so I suppose the new rule(still under debate) has worked-we believe in changing and testing as much as possible-all to the good and enjoyment of the game,so we'll give it another try in another game soon.
Now that last dice throw........Brian threw the dice,it bounced off a tree,rolled down a hill,hit a wall,bounced over the wall and landed in the doorway of a house in the village-only Brian could have done that!!!!

And it was a five!!!
Roll on Sunday,probably horse and musket,we should have full turn out,if Graham is fit.