Monday, 30 March 2015

Caesar vs Pompey,Roman Civil War 49-45BC

Last night was a night of "treats" for me-Brian came along to watch our game,Dave came along to play,and Paul brought me a Body Warmer,which he said is mine,but the Wife says she's never seen it before!!(however I will accept it,c'cos it's better than the one I'm wearing now!!) and the best treat of all,was the game we played-full of action,grand tactics and thoroughly enjoyable.

Here is the scenario,and table before any movement-I took "inspiration" for the game from the Terry Wise book,Battles for Wargamers(1974!!)
Dave was in command of the Caesarian forces on the right,whilst Paul and I took charge of the Pompeian forces on the left.

The opening moves,both side intent on getting stuck in!!-Paul and I had a "conflab" before the game started and came up with a cunning plan,which was to advance upon the enemy and "knack" them!!-Brilliant.
Paul looks too happy in this photo-is he the only one playing??-where's everyone else?

CRASH!!-we had put our German allied warbands in our front line,to take the dreaded Pila,and to blunt Dave's attack-this worked well,however the cavalry battle in the foreground didn't go as well,but on Paul's flank his Germans were doing ok,and holding Dave's Gauls(oh dear me,what have I said!!!!)

This is Paul's left flank-he managed to break through Dave's Gauls,eventually,but it took a while-Dave charged and counter-attacked,and at one point drove Paul back-this was serious stuff!

Oh look,there's Brian!!
This shot shows the whole table,ablaze with melees,and with both side's second lines waiting to get involved,in the foreground Paul's cavalry and infantry are fighting for their little lead lives,meanwhile,on the far flank,my infantry are advancing against Dave's flank-soon,something must happen!!

It did!!-after a long and hard struggle(in which my cavalry were destroyed!) I eventually gained the flank,which put Dave in a bit of bother,and with Paul also gaining his flank,the fate of the Pompeian forces was being rapidly sealed!!

With both sides throwing all caution to the wind,and their second lines involved,Dave was being put under tremendous pressure-however he coped well and started to turn his cohorts into a defensive "dog-leg" formation to meet our attacks-it was beginning to look like a Cannae situation!!-would he survive?

Oh look,there's Brian!!-Dave was being surrounded,and pressurised on both flanks,with no hope of winning,he "fell on his sword" and Paul and I were declared the winners.
It's always difficult commanding an army against two opponents,but Dave did extremely well,and should be congratulated on doing so well,especially as Ancients is not his "first love".
We all enjoyed the game,including Brian who kept us amused throughout with comments and anecdotes,we hope to see more of him over the coming weeks.
Roll on Thursday-another Ancients game,continuing the Roman Civil War theme,but only involving Paul and I,'cos Dave is working(ah yes,work,I almost remember that!!) and Brian is still attending Hospital appointments during the week.

Friday, 27 March 2015

Battle of Fouville 1706

Last night saw only Paul and I playing,but yet another terrific game! I enjoy the games we have that involve a lot of initial manoeuvering-and this game certainly had that-then an almighty clash!!

As usual,the scenario and table before any movement-Paul picked the French,and was handed a bit of paper telling him that the Bavarians on his right flank were almost "mutinous" and he had to throw a dice every move to see if they would follow his orders-oh dear-this provided us both with laughs and groans!!

This shows my overall position,with the Austrians in the foreground-My battle plan was to hold on this flank,but attack "vigorously" the Bavarians,hoping to drive them away and occupy that flank,ready for Paul's Irish to attack.

My attack begins-Paul threw his dice and 50% of the Bavarians stood still and refused to move but the rest moved forward and fired,and beat my regular British troops-what's going on???
However I managed to drive his cavalry backwards-hurrah!!

Paul's left flank troops are drawing near,but he had to traverse a wooded hill,which took quite a long time to do,which gave me time to re-align a gun battery and prepare my British troops on that flank-meanwhile,my Austrians are,not wisely(!) moving forward to take on the French-this was not a good move!!

I had to take my cavalry away from the French line,because Paul had retired his cavalry(I'm retired you know!) and replaced them with infantry,and I didn't want to lose them!
Paul then opened up with everything his French had and decimated my line-woe is me!!
In the background you can see my British troops being victorious against the Bavarians,who,eventually,left the table,but not before inflicting significant casualties against my two flank regiments-this was to have disastrous results later on!!

This shot shows my Austrians in all kinds of dis-order,but my British are ready to repel the out-flanking attack from my right(the wooded hill)-In the background the Irish are just beginning their advance-I had to quickly re-arrange my line to match them-would I be in time?

The Irish advance and open fire on my stretched line-Paul's dice throwing was back to "normal" and I suffered badly-say no more!!!-I was under so much pressure now,that if I had been a bunch of grapes ,I would have turned into a glass of wine!!!
Paul was also developing an assault upon the town,moving his left flank cavalry into the centre-despicable man!!

Then it happened!!-one of my Bavarian-weakened regiments broke,had to retire,and left an ugly hole in the British line,this was quickly followed by two more regiments breaking-double woe is me!-Paul massed his cavalry for a grand assault against this flank,but we called it a day(!) after 14 moves and the time was 10.30-and some people have to go to work(work? ah yes I vaguely remember the term!!)

One last photo for Paul to "gloat" over-Austrians in full retreat,and the town about to fall-look at the time,maybe one last,last photo.........

Big gaps in British lines=defeat,but not dishonour!!
This was a great game,and well played Paul-roll on Sunday,probably Ancients,and,Brian might make an appearance-we hope so.

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Corporate Image for Falkirk

We have decided to go for a "Corporate" look for our upcoming visit to Falkirk show in May-
Dave wanted pink,Paul wanted Blue,and I wanted Black,so we (I!!) got this lovely Geranium Red colour!!!!

Get your sunglasses at the ready,if you see us at Falkirk,come and talk to us.
This is a very rare photo of me,johnc aka william

Monday, 23 March 2015

Battle of Rowde 1643.

I took last night's battle straight out of March Wargames Illustrated magazine,but enhanced it a bit,with lots of units and a few twists in the scenario !
Dave was in charge of the Royalists and Paul was in charge of the Parliamentarians,whilst I was referee.

These two photo's show the initial troop dispositions and the scenario.Paul received reinforcements on move 2 at point B and Dave received reinforcements on move 4,from down the road,and move 6 from behind the gun position-as a further "twist",Paul's ammunition waggon(on the road) blew up on move number 1,and scattered his escorting cavalry for two moves!!!-he called me an awfully rude name!!!

Dave's camp(!!!!) with casualties coming in already,and the game hasn't even started yet!!

This shows Paul's magnificent advance from the woods,heading towards the stream-impressive or what?

He might be smiling now,but he wasn't smiling 14 moves later!!(note burning ammo. waggon on road,and scattered cavalry in field!)

Dave's first lot of reinforcements arriving from Rowde-he placed them in a good position behind the hedges,and kept his cavalry in reserve for a couple of moves,until Paul's fierce cavalry attack in the centre,forced him to send them to help.

This shows the first of many cavalry encounters over the stream,both commanders sending troops to help out where and when needed.

As mentioned,the cavalry battle just grew and grew!-with neither side gaining any real advantage,Paul's mass of advancing infantry were stopped in their tracks!!

With nowhere to go,until the cavalry melee sorted itself out,the Parliamentarian infantry were forced into idleness-Dave looks very serious-or is that wind??-however on the far right of the picture,Paul and Dave are about to come into contact with some infantry-hurrah!!

The infantry melee about to take place-Paul lost!! But back in the centre,a couple of Royalist cavalry units have routed and Paul moved some infantry forward over the stream-is this the break-through he needed?

Well,it would have been,if Dave hadn't marched two white-coated regiments onto his flank and proceeded to give him"what for" with musket fire!!
In the background,Paul's cavalry are now suffering,and Dave's better morale and fighting points are beginning to tell.

In the far right background,you can see Dave's reserve cavalry have forced Paul's infantry into "square"-but he cunningly by-passed the squares and is making for Paul's rear(oh dear,what have I said!!!)
This was the game-winning move,with his cavalry beaten and his forward infantry isolated,it was only a matter of time before he was forced to surrender!!

This was another great game,played with fantastic spirit by both commanders-well done lads.

Final photo,showing Paul's isolated brigade,and his cavalry being driven back across the stream.
Roll on Thursday,Paul has requested a Marlburian game,and who am I to turn down his request?
The vast majority of the figures used in this game are from Warrior Miniatures.

Dave's Painting update.

Last night Dave brought some newly painted "stuff" for us to see,the figures involved are a combination of many manufacturers,such as Crusader,Firing Line,Connoisseur,Foremost and Elite,see what you think(I think they're fantastic!)

Bavarian command figure with Kettle drummer to go with his Marlburian Bavarian cavalry.

Norman/Spanish knights to go with our "El Cid" set-up.

Napoleonics now-Mamalukes of the Guard-superb!!

More Napoleonics-Neapolitans this time-Commander and Lancer.

Murat and cronies-full of movement,great stuff Dave.

Last,but by no means least,Dave has been "Basing" some 7YW figs. for Paul-very nice!!
I am quite envious of Dave's painting-you would think that after 44 years of wargaming and painting,that I could manage a better finished article than I produce!!!-Well done Dave,can't wait to get them on the board.These figures are a mixture of Front Line and Crusader.

Friday, 20 March 2015

Battle of Sorauren 28th July 1813,Spain

Last night two (maybe three!) rare things happened,one, we fought a Napoleonic Battle,two, we re-fought an actual battle (maybe three,I think I won!!)
The battle we fought was Soult (Paul) against Wellington(me) in Northern Spain,and what a "cracker" of a battle it was.

Here is the scenario and table before any movement-I had decided to attack with my "weak" right flank,bolstered with some good British infantry and cavalry and a R.H.A. battery,and hold everywhere else.

Paul had decided to contest the hill facing my right flank,and attack in the centre once the hill was being contested.-The area around the main town of Sorauren was going to be the least fought over section-we thought!!

My Spanish troops advance to take on the French,I am massing my cavalry to attack Paul's cavalry,supported by RHA-the infantry assault went very well indeed,and the French,after a good long struggle were driven back-hurrah!!

This gives a good impression of Paul's first attack on my ridge-it was,as the French would say "formidable!" but I managed to get the two flank regiments to fire on the flanks of the attacking columns,as well as fire from the front,and the result was fairly predictable-the French retired-but Paul is made of stern stuff,and re-commenced the attack with another brigade,supported by "laser guided" artillery,this attack put my ridge in a spot of bother,to say the least......

This shot shows my flank regiments pouring fire into Paul's first attack-in the background you can see the "Titanic" struggle for the far hill.
There is an ominous gap in my line between my right and centre-I hope Paul hasn't noticed it(!!!)

Meanwhile,on my far right,the Spanish are getting up close and personal with the French defenders-I moved the Spanish horse battery onto the flank of the French and this caused them to retire,however Paul then attacked my cavalry with his,and the fight for the important gap started-it hung on a knife edge with both of us gaining then losing ground-wonderful stuff!!

This was so crucial to the whole battle-if Paul won he would drive a wedge between my right and centre,if I won I would be able to threaten the left of his centre,and roll up his entire line!

As the battle for the flank goes on,my stoic British infantry calmly await the mounting attack developing in the centre-by this time my troops had been weakened by artillery and musket fire,and I was far from confident of beating this new attack-I needed to gain myself some time,so I sent my left flank cavalry forward to try and stop the French advance.-This move worked,but only provoked Paul to send his cavalry forward to meet the threat!!

In this photo the French have decided to abandon the hill to the Spanish,but now Paul has moved two gun batteries onto their flank-they didn't like that and were forced to retire when they were hit several times!!-the cavalry battle is still on-going but we have both lost a regiment-I can't take much more of the strain-I'll have to have a lie down somewhere!!

The French are going for the gap in my defences!In the background,Paul's Hussars have advanced towards the town,and have been severely mauled by my Portuguese infantry,who fired on their flank,and caused them to "break"-however Paul put his cavalry commander forward,to lead them,and they regained their composure and advanced to beat my cavalry-woe is me!!-My central line is at breaking point,but I had a reserve regiment of Portuguese,they advanced,fired on the French,and the gap was saved-hurrah!!!

Final photo,the French,under their most able commander,Paul,have failed to take the ridge,but I have also failed to beat them emphatically,so,as in the actual battle,a draw was the final result-but what a game!!
I don't mention,enough,the figures we use in our battles-the majority of the figures in this battle are from Irregular Miniatures,and I must have had them for at least 12 years,and have fought countless battles with them.

My source for this battle was.......

If you get a chance,buy a copy!!
Roll on Sunday-Dave will be joining us and I am setting up an English Civil War game between him and Paul.