Thursday, 31 July 2014

Germans vs Romans

This morning Brian and I had a really interesting game featuring Wild German tribesmen pitted against a Roman Legion. In our never ending search for historical accuracy in our wargames,we decided to try and emulate the German "wedge attack" to see how the Legion would do against it,and what counter-measures they could adopt-the result was a great game!!

This shows the table lay-out,with Brian's Germans defending a "Homestead"-my objective was to capture it!!-You will note the two wedges,about to start their move towards the Roman lines.

Brian's right flank(in line) has made contact with my left hand cohorts,and the cavalry have clashed-Brian has abandoned the homestead,and the defenders are rushing towards their death!!

While the skirmishers skirmish,the "wedges" are getting nearer,I have "doubled up" the central cohort in anticipation of the nearest "wedge" hitting there-it did and I had managed to stop an automatic push back,although I still had to endure an automatic "hit" of the leading cohort-this seemed to work-hurrah!!

The leading "wedge" has hit and the constituent warbands are "fanning out" to engage the cohorts on either side of the contact point-success!!
On the other flank my cavalry are taking a beating,although my cohorts are yet to make contact.

The Roman line is holding,but only just!!-on the other flank I am gaining a little ground,but I just couldn't compete with Brian's amazing dice throwing-just because Paul is on holiday in Crete doesn't mean you have to assume his "persona" Brian!!!

My left hand cohorts are becoming fragmented,and I am losing cohesion,as well as my mind!!
The Germans could win this,if I'm not careful.

This is the end,Legio Fragmentata,is beaten-oh well never mind,we'll just go back to Rome and raise another one!!
The "wedge" tactic worked(as long as you're not Roman!) and we also tried mixing infantry with cavalry,on the German side-only using the infantry in a melee,if the cavalry were being beaten-this also worked,so we're getting something right.
This was a good game,very interesting,and worth trying again.
If you're reading this blog in Crete,have a great holiday!

Monday, 28 July 2014

A Scottish Adventure 1810

Last night saw 7 of us start a very unusual Napoleonic game,a look at the scenario will explain!

We drew lots,and Graham was Hill,Paul was Ackland leaving Richard as Wellington,whilst Dave was Munro(clan leader),Michael was Soult,and Brian was Grouchy-I was the "umpire" and believe me trying to control 6 experienced blokes around a wargames table is not easy!!

This is a shot of the table,before any movement-each player was given a note telling them what they commanded and little bits of info. on the troops they had-for example,Munro(Dave) couldn't move his troops until move 3-because Munro was having his breakfast in the castle!!

After a five minute discussion,both side drew up a battle plan,and the game started-this shows move number 1,with Hill deploying to protect the stream crossing against the majority of the Clans.

The British battle plan called for Hill to guard the crossing places,but he got carried away and actually crossed the stream just as the Clans arrived,and a mass brawl erupted!!-The Scots Greys were told in their note,that the Clans could not stand up to a charge-so we all expected the Clan in front of them to get Slaughtered-however the Greys decided to charge the approaching Hussars instead!Meanwhile things were moving along nicely across the whole of the board,with lots of movement,especially from Michael,who had decided to move the 3 Clans under his control,across the board to the centre-excellent stuff!

A "pensive-looking" French team-Paul has moved a number of his troops around the far flank-can Michael react in time?? Richard has got his troops into a good position,and is awaiting the French onslaught.

The out-flanking move is shown here,Michael did manage to get his infantry into square and his Hussars to move against the threat-however Paul's "demonic" dice throwing tipped the scales in his favour,and eventually the flank was won-but not without a good show from the French!!

Munro has devastated Hill's incursion over the stream-the Rifles have been seen off,the 92nd have been beaten in melee,and the Scots Greys have been forced to retire out of the game.
The central position is being fiercely contested,and it it needed was a forceful push from Brian's command-would he do something dynamic??

We'll have to wait to find out..........
The battle raged on in the centre and right flank-this was intense stuff-come on Brian!!

Oh!! he's formed square on top of the hill!!-well I suppose from that position he can get a nice view of the rest of the battlefield!!!!
Paul's nice little out-flanking manoeuvre is now complete,and the Clans under Munro are exhausted,it looks like the end for the French "adventure".

This is a shot of Michael's troops in all kinds of "bother" and the rear of Brian's troops about to be "compromised"-well done to all who took part-it's difficult when an unusual game like this is played,it requires a bit of give and take,and acceptance that unusual things and situations will arise.
Roll on Thursday,Brian and I will be playing in the morning,but,as Paul is flying off to Crete tomorrow,we probably won't be playing at night(?)

Friday, 25 July 2014

Battle of "Waddi Rorki" Sudan 1898

Last night Brian,Paul and I had a strange colonial game,based around Rorke's Drift,but set in the Sudan-the game provided a lot of laughs,and was as fast flowing as this morning's game.

This is the general scenario and troop dispositions-the outlying picket were meant to be the sacrificial lambs of the game-they had other ideas!!

The British position with,quite accidentally,a fitting backdrop!!

Timetable of events-
0600 hours   Reveille.
0630 hours   Breakfast
0700 hours   Strange humming noise from desert
0730 hours   Shit hits fan!!!

The Haddendowah appear,from all directions,at this point,Paul who was in charge of the British,was visibly shaken!!

The attack begins-Brian was in charge of the Haddendowah,and I took charge of the Dervish "Ansar" troops in the foreground.My task was to occupy both hills and then attack the position,Brian's task was just to take the the supply dump position-this was an easy task for a man,who,this morning,destroyed a whole Roman Legion with a few Elephants!!

This shows Brian's first attack going in,but the "dead" figures are not a good sign,and he "bounced" off the walls-it's a good job he has loads of other troops-surely they would get in(??)

Although Paul's Gatling gun jammed a couple of times,he put up a stout defence, and the casualties were mounting up on Brian's side,and not much headway was being made.
On my side of the board,the "flying pickets" were making mincemeat of my Ansars,through cannister fire and well controlled volley fire!!

As if things weren't bad enough for the Dervish forces,Paul's reinforcements have arrived,in the form of Cavalry,Artillery and some Camel-mounted troops-however,you can just see my Ansars that have come down off their left hand hill,and have made contact with the wall,being defended by the Berks company.Inside the position,Brian has managed to get over the walls,has destroyed a company of Seaforths and a company of Northumberlands,and is pressing on to complete our victory-or is he??

I am about to be driven away in this photo,and Brian's troops are beaten in all sectors-what went wrong?Well I blame Brian!!
Seriously,this was a good game,played for laughs,lots of excitement,certainly very colouful,and Paul was a gallant winner.
We will be playing this Sunday,and should have a full house of 6-probably horse and musket,but which period,as yet,i don't know-roll on Sunday

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Carthage vs Rome

This morning Brian and I played out a Carthaginian vs Roman game which proved to be a lesson to me,not to go against the dreaded Elephants!!

This is the scenario and table layout,with the Romans on the right,my plan was to hold both flanks,soak up the initial Elephant charge,then swing in and take out Brian's centre-the simple plans are always the best-aren't they??

I am being "beset" by Brian's Elephants,and I am not liking it!!-Brian managed to beat my whole line of Hastati,and drove them back-even exchanging lines didn't save me!!

What a mess!! Brian has deliberately held his second and third lines back to avoid being disordered if the Elephants should become "beserk"-which they did when I put my Princepes into the fight-HOWEVER,the bloody things ran amok straight at my troops!!!!!

My left flank cavalry are doing ok against Brian's cav. in this shot-I did beat him after a while,but it was too late to save the Legion-war is hell!!

My right flank cavalry are also doing ok,but in the foreground you can see the Elephants upsetting my flank guard-Brian had wisely left a big gap for the rest of his Elephants to go through.leaving his troops unharmed-that "smug" look says it all!!

After a couple of melees,it was clear that I wasn't making any headway,and Brian still had a third line almost intact,so I was declared the Loser!!
This was a fast moving and exciting game,Brian did well and in his own words "I have never seen such good handling of Elephants outside Billy Smart' circus!!"

We will be playing tonight,Paul is coming along,and I feel a desert scenario is in order-hmmmm.

Monday, 21 July 2014

Medieval-Moors vs Spanish

We didn't have a club game on Sunday,but I'll "blog" a game Paul and I had a while ago now.
If my memory serves me well,this is the game that Paul threw five 5's in a row and destroyed my army of Spaniards!!

I was "La Tossa" and Paul was Ben-Y'Il,I can't remember too much about the game as my mind obviously has tried to block it out!!

My cavalry out-numbered Paul's and he was at a disadvantage being lighter types-and I still lost all melees!!!!

Even with "La Tossa" shouting encouragement from the safety of his hill,I was still being driven back-perhaps the assault on the village will be better........

Well,it looks good,and I'm about to surround the village-maybe,just maybe!!!

It doesn't look as if I am making any headway,but the world loves a trier!!

Oh dear!!-it looks as if I am being surrounded in this shot,and still "La Tossa" is shouting encouragement!!!

The church is still burning,and my cavalry are still running,but what about the village?

It was holding out-I obviously didn't want to take a photo of it!!Paul was the worthy winner,however after the game I think I took the dice he was using and burned it along with the church!!

Hopefully we will be playing on Thursday and Sunday this week.
Brian is not well at the moment,so get well soon,mate.

Friday, 18 July 2014

Batle of the Danube 96AD

Last night Paul,Brian and I had a Roman vs Dacian game,with me being the Dacian commander and Brian and Paul each taking a section of the Roman army to command.

This is the scenario and initial troop positions-what the Romans didn't know was that I had,hidden, in the grassy terrain, a unit of Fanatics,Falx armed and dangerous!!

This shows the armies preparing to move against each other.Brian and Paul had come up with a plan,not to move any troops until the reinforcements arrived from the camp-this did not take into account that my plan was to attack the Roman line from move one!!-this caused considerable consternation,to say the least!!

By move number 2 my whole line had charged into the Romans,who,because of their plan,had to stand and take it!!-hurrah-doesn't Brian look a happy chappy??

This is my left flank-Sarmatian heavily armoured cavalry,mixed with a couple of warbands-these were,initially,very effective,and drove the Roman cavalry back-note Paul's reserve cavalry trying to out-flank me,via the grassy terrain!!-big mistake!!!!!!!!

This gives a good impression of my attack putting Brian in a lot of trouble,despite the pila,my troops are pushing onwards-this was going to be"a piece of cake"............

Oh Hell!!what's gone wrong?? this wasn't supposed to happen!! My line has disintegrated under superior training and discipline(and some "jammy" dice throwing!!)-Paul is pressing on with his cohorts,even though my Fanatics are giving his out-flanking cavalry a good old thrashing!

Apart from the nice photo of a clothes peg basket in the background,this shows the demise of the Sarmatian cavalry,and Paul's well timed advance with his cohorts,pushing my tired warbands back-woe is me!!

One final photo,showing my "done for" Dacians trying to form some sort of battle line,and the victorious Romans "mopping" up the last of my right flank troops!!-well done to Paul and Brian.

This was a very good game,full of tense moments when either side could have won-great stuff,and two good games in one day-it's great being retired you know(have I mentioned before that I'm retired?)
No game on Sunday,but will be playing next week sometime-Hurrah!!

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Rorke's Drift 1879.

This morning Brian and I had a great game,re-enacting the battle of Rorke's Drift,possibly the most iconic battle of the Zulu War 1879.
I had made a model of the British position,and we decided to play the game as close to the actual battle as we could,but starting with the Zulus about to surround the Drift,and the Zulu snipers on the Oscaberg being pinned down by a company of Redcoats.

This is a view from the Zulu sniper position,Brian was in charge of the British,whilst I took command of the Zulu regiments(who,in this shot,are taking up their positions in the scrub and garden,to the front of the hospital and store house)

The first Zulu attack is going in,however the volley fire from the troops manning the wall,have decimated them,and the ensuing melee was a forgone conclusion!!-But,if at first you don't succeed..........

Try somewhere else!! In this shot I have managed to get into the position,but Brian was moving troops from one side of the enclosure to the other,making life or death decisions,as to where he needed to reinforce his battered troops-great stuff,and very realistic!!

How does the "Queen" song go,Under Pressure!! I am trying to surround the whole Drift position,Brian has abandoned the south wall(facing the Oscaberg) and has reinforced the North wall-just in time,as a massive Zulu attack is coming in!!-Note the Zulus attacking the hospital have set it on fire-can the British hold out??

This shot shows the British can hold out!!-although I can see some Black faces peering over the southern defences,ready to spring over the wall into the rear of the hard-pressed defenders-hurrah!!

The North wall has been breached,and the South wall is under attack!! Brian,at this point,had to have a sit down,to relieve the pressure-you would think that this was real!!!!!

In this "atmospheric" shot,the Zulus have been held,and,with most of the regiments "knackered" they might just not get into the British position,let's see...............

Most of the Zulus have been forced to seek cover in the scrub,and the littered "dead" figures tells its own story-a combination of good dice throws,and even better bayonet work has saved the day for the British-hurrah!!

A final shot-note absence of Zulus against the North wall,and just a token attack still on-going against the South wall-This was an absolutely thrilling game,and,as it turned out,a realistic finish and success for the British-now I need a lie down in a darkened room before tonight's game-probably an Ancients. Well done to Brian who handled the pressure and the troops in a most admirable way!!