Thursday, 24 April 2014

S.P.Q.R. 30AD

This morning,Brian,Allan and I had an absolutely thrilling Ancients game,of Spanish vs Romans.
Allan and I commanded the Romans and Brian commanded the Spanish.

This is the scenario and basic troop dispositions,the marsh areas halved movement and caused disorder to any troops venturing into them.

This is the board before any movement,we had catapults,and decided to knock the walls of the barrier down before the Romans attacked "en testudo" We had also decided to reinforce both flanks with cohorts from the Roman second line to give us a bit of "clout"

Allan's attack is under way,and the catapults are doing their job-it must be pointed out at this stage,my artillerymen made a grave error of judgement and happened to hit one of the testodos!!
They have now been crucified!
You can see in the background,Allan's troops moving forward to the marsh,with two cohorts in close support-as it happens,they were needed badly,as Brian's troops made a damned good show of it in this sector!!

My left flank auxilliaries are moving to attack Brian's Spanish,and I am just about to instigate a cavalry melee,behind the "mountain"-Brian was very strong on this flank,and he used his skirmish troops(mounted in the tower) to good effect,hitting the flank of my leading cohorts,causing them to take casualties and stopping them from moving forward on morale!!

Despite being "clattered" by their own catapults(!!) the cohorts have reached the walls and in the ensuing melees,pushed the defenders back-however Brian had some well-placed heavy infantry to plug the gaps.On both flanks melees were in full swing,and the game was evenly balanced to the point that either side could have won.

This shows my troops making heavy weather of getting through the marsh,however my cavalry have won the melee and are pushing the Spanish back-hurrah!!

Allan has broken through in the centre,and is winning on his right flank,if only I can win on my flank,the victory would be complete(if only!!)

Brian's troops are holding their own,and keeping me from victory,however with the centre and left flank gone,Brian had no alternative but to capitulate!!-hurrah again!

This was a great game,played in a good spirit,plenty of laughs,groans and good old fashioned banter-roll on tonight,Paul will be making an appearance,probably commanding the Spanish,whilst Brian and I will command the Romans in a refight of this morning's game!!

Friday, 18 April 2014

Two Ancient battles,and the Russians are coming!!

Yesterday saw Brian and I having a game in the morning,and Paul,Brian and I having a game at night-with a "passing" Dave observing!!
The first game was a Roman republican army against Pyrrhus-this proved a formidable game pitting Pila against Pike-not for the faint hearted!!After a good and exciting game,Pyrrhus(Brian) beat the Romans(Me),but the game itself brought up some good questions as how to work out who would have the advantage after the Pila had been thrown,and the long Sarrisa had come into play-this was great stuff,and to me,what wargaming is all about.

At night Paul was in charge of a Carthaginian ambush force (some of them hidden in some woods) trying to stop a column of Roman reinforcements,from reaching an occupied camp-Brian was in charge of the camp,I was in charge of the column.

This shows my column advancing towards the camp,with Paul's Elephants,cavalry and Spanish infantry advancing towards the column!!-surely Brian will leave the comfort of the fortified camp and help me(??!!)

Paul's advance has just begun in this shot,his Numidian cavalry are going to give me hell(he thinks!!)-The central force was the real worry-a good mix of troops-Paul's plan was to get around the front of the column and cut me off from the camp,and if (if only!!) Brian was to come out of the camp to help me(if only!!) he would spring the ambush from the woods in the foreground(the troops in the woods were Gauls and Celts-thousands of 'em!!)

This is my left flank-I have given the Numidian cavalry and Spanish light infantry a "bloody nose" using hit and run tactics,and am now retiring to my main line,however the pesky Numidians kept up a barrage of javelins,and eventually forced me to retire further than I wanted to!!-ie off the board!!

My main line is under attack from Paul's centre troops-the elephants have made contact with my leading troops,and his cavalry(I was outnumbered two to one!) are gradually getting around my flank-oh if only (if only!) Brian would come to help me-he's sitting in the bloody camp with 4 units of Princepes and 4 units of Triarii-HELP!!

Oh look,it's move six and still the camp people are not moving-has the man no shame??-obviously not!!

This is move number 8 or 9,and Brian has been shamed into leaving his camp,and has walked straight into the Ambush!!-It's all over now-I am fighting with last of my troops on my left and in the centre,and Paul has managed to cut me off from the camp-Brian is doing an "eightsome reel" with his troops-infamy,infamy-they've all got it in for me!!!

My left flank is lost,so is my centre-Brian is being cut to pieces,so we decided to ask for a draw-well, shy bairns get nowt!!Paul graciously told us to go and poke our swords up our Togas,and he was declared the winner!
Another good game,frustrating,but good.

Dave and I have been painting figures-

WOW!! this is half the unit he bought at Middlesbrough show,the other half will be completed shortly.

I have been waiting for almost three years(yes three years!!) for Paul to finish his Austrian Seven Years War army,so in frustration,I have decided to paint a Russian army to face my Prussians.
I have decided that I will only very crudely(and for me that's par for the course) paint the figures,without any "embellishments", and that included such incidentals  as belts,cartridge boxes,buttons etc. in other words just basic colours to identify them as Russians-green and red!!

The above photo's show one hell of a contrast between Dave's approach to painting and mine.

I have finished a whole brigade(three regiments) and will be starting the second brigade next week.

Friday, 11 April 2014

"El Cid" 11th Century AD

Last night Paul,Brian and I played a game that saw all of us worn out at the end of it!!
I commanded the Moors whilst Paul commanded the Spanish infantry and Brian commanded the Spanish cavalry.

This is a shot of the table before any movement,Spanish on the left and Moors on the right.The objective of the game was for the Spanish to capture the town and hills,and for the Moors to defend both-simple!!

Paul's first attack begins,he swept forward with his armoured infantry,against the "cream" of my army-Ben Yussef's Black Guard-Brian appears to be contemplating his moves,or is it just wind??

This shot is taken from behind the Spanish cavalry,and shows what a formidable task Brian had.I had written a plan that would see a Moorish cavalry unit move to outflank Brian-but he had forseen this move and had written a counter manoeuvre-the man learns too quickly!!!!!

My central infantry have charged forward in an attempt to stop the Spanish infantry from moving-this was,initially, successful,but then Brian helped Paul out by attacking my exposed flank-he definitely learns too quickly!!-This tussle went on for a couple of moves,then I began to win and Push everything back-Hurrah!!
Of course this situation was not to last,and eventually numbers and wonderful dice throws sent me packing!

The inevitable cavalry clash! I gained impetus by charging down hill and Brian was beaten in all of the initial melees-however he fought back with tenacity and the whole affair turned into a swirl of horses,lance against shield,oaths and furious dice throwing by both myself and Brian-thrilling stuff!!

This is another shot of the cavalry battle,both sides putting their reserves-at this point I was in real trouble.Meanwhile in the background Paul's infantry are creeping forward,driving my Guard back,and threatening to assault the town,my only success on this flank was my cavalry beating Paul's-another Hurrah!!

Paul's assault is shown here,my central infantry have all but disappeared,and with only very poor troops in the town,it looks all over-HOWEVER-the empire strikes back,and I somehow managed to keep control of the town-yet another Hurrah!!!

I am piling troops into the town here,and Paul has been repulsed!! We had been playing for nearly three hours,and a count up showed that I had 5 cavalry units still left on the hill,against Brian's 2,and the town still hadn't fallen-so I declared myself the winner-Brian and Paul agreed that I was the winner and that I played much better than they did and also had a better plan-Well,really they whinged and moaned,and said a Draw would be a fair result,and of course I couldn't argue against that,so we called it a draw!!

We won't be playing on Sunday-too cold! but I have another painting project on the go,so has Brian and I will post some photo's of that-and hopefully Dave will send me a photo of his latest "El Cid" offering.

All of the figures used in last night's game were from Warrior Miniatures "El Cid" range.

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Battle of Wadi Halfa 10.4.1885

This morning Brian and |I had our first campaign battle.This proved a very exciting and tense affair,with all the elements of a Colonial set to!!
The campaign is based on the second relief of Khartoum,with the British forces starting at Alexandria,and having to get to Khartoum via "water towns"-vital for the British,but not so for the Dervish Army,who travel at an alarmingly fast rate-ask Brian!!

This is the battle map showing the positions of all troops-obviously Brian didn't know where my troops would be!!
Brian's plan was to advance on the town,whilst keeping an eye on either flank,just in case I had any troops hidden in the dried up river bed,or behind the low hills-AS IF!!!!!
The game started with Brian advancing,still in column,and being hit from my gun batteries and rifles,the British replied on the second move,and inflicted alot of casualties,prompting me to act as a Dervish would-so I charged from the river bed,but held back behind the hills.

This shows Brian's column forming up awaiting the attack that surely must come!!

And here it comes!! My left flank Ansars have exposed themselves,and the British do not like it.however their volley fire decimated my ranks even before they could get in with the sword and spear.

This shows a general view before I charged out from cover,but also shows my unit,that was hidden beside the rail track,having to retire due to some well directed fire from the camel unit.

With Brian's right flank engaged and fighting for their lives,and the front of the column now at a standstill,I decided that now was the time for the Haddendowah to make an appearance from behind the low hills-they swept forward,making a grand sight,with banners flying-until they were hit by the British volley fire(note dead figures on ground!)

Brian's right flank is making "mincemeat" out of my brave Ansar units,and I was forced to call the attack off!-the shame of it!!-However my Baggara cavalry did manage to get through the lines and attack the British waggons carrying water,food and ammo.-this move will tell during subsequent battles!!

My left flank attack has failed,although I did manage to get to the British lines and won a couple of melees!! Things might have been different if I had managed to get all of my Haddendowah units to the battle field in time,but half of them are busy cutting up a detachment of cavalry and a mountain gun battery,that Brian had sent back to assist Cairo and his Egyptian allies!!
So I lost the first battle,and Brian can take Wadi Halfa,replenish his water supplies,and continue to relieve Khartoum-not if I can help it!!
I will keep you posted on subsequent map moves and impending battles in due course.
Paul will probably come along tonight for a game-possibly "El Cid"

Monday, 7 April 2014

Back on Line-Ancient Game archives

Hurrah!! back on line again,having suffered blog withdrawal symptoms,I have had my computer updated from "steam" to "gas",and with a new "clacker valve" fitted I am raring to go!!
This game was between Brian,Paul and I, a while ago,and pitted Legion against Legion.

Look at those lines-Paul was Caesar and Brian was Pompey-whilst I was helping Brian out on the left flank.

We're off!! In this shot I am attacking Paul's Spanish auxilliaries with a mixed Gallic and Spanish force,meanwhile in the centre,Brian has launched all three Legions against Paul.

All along the line,the Hastati are engaged,in a very even struggle,in the background Paul is sending a column of Triarii to block the gap between the woods and attempting to outflank Brian-Brian is sending his "ever-so slow" elephant to assist on the flank-will it get there??

On my flank,things appear to be going well,but I don't like the look of that Triarii column moving into place!!

The Hasati,having done their bit,gave way to the Princepes,who also did their bit,and now it has come down to the Triarii-both sides are now desperate to win in the centre-on Brian's far flank a real old tussle is going on-without the elephant it has to be said!!-Brian reckons it is "lurking"

The "lurking" elephant eventually gets stuck in-but was beaten!!Paul's dice throwing was phenomenal,and,despite our superior tactics(ahem!!) he was declared the winner on a points count up!!
As I remember it,this was a good game-lots of figures on the board,lots of colour,and of course excitement.

Brian and I have been conducting a small campaign called the Relief of Khartoum part 2,and our first battle will be on Thursday,so I'm looking forward to that(I think!!)
We will not be playing Sunday Club games for the next few weeks,until the weather improves,due to financial reasons-no money in the"kitty" for Gas!!
Dave has said he might pop in on Thursday,and bring along a figure he has painted of a Spanish Knight.