Sunday, 30 October 2016

Challenging Game

Have you ever tried out a scenario and it did not quite work out? That was the case for our gaming group at our event last night. We played a game of Sword and Spear last night with the Romans taking on the hated Carthaginians. Rather than play the usual game of line em up and charge, we tried a scenario from the rule book and played Attack on a Prepared Position. The Romans were defending and set up  behind a river as there defensive terrain. We put a forlorn hope of skirmishing Velites and Numidian Cavalry over the river with a captain to make sure they followed orders.

 Roman Deployment

Carthaginians on the left

The Carthaginians as the attackers had the option to send an attack on the flank which they elected to do. They flankers were put aside and the remaining Carthaginians set up with an plan of eradicating our Forlorn Hope to get an early advantage and then attack the river defenses.
Roman Deployment

The first couple of turns saw the Carthaginians slowly advance the heavy infantry while their skirmishers dueled with our advanced skirmish screen. Unfortunately for the Carthaginians, their best skirmishers had joined the flank attack and the Romans were able to win the initial engagement between the skirmishers.

Skirmishers mix it up in the centre

The Carthaginian flank attack appeared on turn 4. The Romans had guessed that the flank attack would appear on their left as this had the most open terrain and would be most easily supported by the main force of Carthaginians. The Carthaginians achieved surprise by turning up on the opposite flank led by Hannibal himself. The Romans scrambled to form a line to defend against this new threat and were able to do so due to the Generals presence and the presence of a forest that slowed the Carthaginian advance. The Carthaginian Cavalry charged forward bravely but Roman Legionaries on the defense were able to see off the attackers and even managed to unhorse Hannibal and remove him from the battle. Below is an after shot showing the victorious Romans chasing the flank attackers off the board.

Victorious Romans regroup

The Carthaginians continued to advance toward the river line but with the loss of their flanking force, they would not have the ability to defeat superior Roman infantry defending a river line. The game ended with the Carthaginians continuing their pursuit of the Roman skirmish screen with no luck. The Carthaginians lost an elephant to bow and javelin fire in the last turn.

Roman missiles fell an elephant

Carthaginians approach the Roman held river line

The game ended in a lopsided victory for the Romans. We learned some lessons from this scenario. 
1)This scenario should have had the attacker having a 10-20% advantage in troops. 
2)The two sides should have started closer together the picture above shows the Carthaginian main battle line approaching the defended river line. After 8 turns they were still 3 or 4 moves away from engagement. 
3)Roman Heavy Infantry are a tough nut to crack!
4)The river gave too much advantage to the Romans and should have been downgraded to a stream or fords and bridges should have been added.

Excellently painted figures and beautiful terrain and playing space provided by Zak. My newly acquired Greeks from Ross MacFarlane made their first game appearance as stand ins for Carthaginian African Spearmen.


Thanks to Brent, Martin and Zak for the good company and fun game. Credit goes to Martin for Roman success in fending off the Carthaginian flank attackers.

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Greek and Macedonians

Here are some pictures of figures acquired from Ross MacFarlane of Having battled against these troops on a number of occasions I had always admired their hand painted shields and Corinthian Helmets. When Ross needed to part ways with the troops to make way for newer projects, I was happy to receive them.

Refurbishing them will require dusting with a dry brush, replacing missing heads and weapons and straitening or replacing bent spears. Hopefully no rebasing will be needed.

Painstaking shield art

The figures date back to the late 70's I am told. No doubt the veterans of many campaigns. They certainly wear a lot of dust from their travels. Below is a poor picture showing a dusted unit on the right and the original dust on the left.

The figures are true 25mm and will scale up small to my current collection. My current basing system should help hide some of this difference as 1 stand holds 8 - 12 figures as a unit. The rebasing should be minimal.

Pike and Thurophori

Persian Chariots and an Armored Elephant

Thracians and peltasts

Sunday, 16 October 2016

Upgrading Figs and Terrain

As note previously in the blog, I had acquired a large collection of 28mm infantry and vehicles plus the rules for Bolt Action. I have spent the past week upgrading the paint and basing for the Germans.

Here is a before shot of some gunners. The figures just had simple block painting over a black undercoat like so:

German Gunners

The first step was to glue sand to the bases and add a brown wash to it. A similar wash was given to the figures. The base was highlighted with light brown and then flocked. I also bought some long grass and tried adding this to the bases. I was pleased with the result.

The figures had a grey-blue highlight especially to the helmets, boots and strapping as this was all jet black. The result was satisfactory but does not look like many German uniforms I am used to.

German Heer and FJ infantry

Of course, all these new troops required some terrain to fight over. I built this ruin in 28mm and based it on some MDF. All done in an evening. I have an artisitic block when it comes to making building so this was something of a breakthrough. Next I want to make a complete building with a removable roof and a hay barn I say in the latest Wargames: Soldiers and Strategies. I am a little conflicted doing terrain in 28mm when I need to do it in 15mm mostly but I guess I need to do both. Bigger terrain is easier. It fills more space on the table and allows for less fiddly details.

Monday, 10 October 2016

Scipio in Spain

Here are some pictures from my Command and Colors Ancients game. The scenario was Epic Ilipa. Scipio travels to Spain to beat up Hasdrubal before he can march to reinforce Hannibal's marauding forces in Italy. At least that was the historical outcome. My C&C game is converted from the blocks to miniatures. A unit is contained on a 4"x2" base. Hits are recorded by adding beads to a post attached to the base. Heavy and Medium Foot have 8 figures to a base, Auxilia have 6 and Light Foot have 4. Heavy, Medium and Light Horse have 4, 3 and 2 figures per base.

Romans on the Left - Carthage on the Right

We had 5 players and the game took about 2 hours to set up and play. The Romans opened with an unsupported cavalry charge on their left the resulted in heavy losses. I played Carthaginian left. I planned to stall the Roman advance will the strong centre closed to beat the weaker Roman centre. My elephant played a big role in this. My opponent assigned greater strength to this unit than it had and took great pains to avoid it.

Carthaginians - beads denote troop type

Carthage took and early lead but the Romans were able to mount a semblance of a comeback. Carthage reversed the historical outcome by winning 13-8. The elephant on the Carthaginian right routed some Principes and then killed a general that was leading the routed unit for the final victory.

Romans facing screening Light Foot

Cotton balls mark units that received orders this turn

Thanks to Brent, Ross of fame, Eric and Martin for a fun time.

Saturday, 8 October 2016

Lucky Strike!

I am struggling to find time to write but have to post on a new addition to my collection. A friend was making space and I was able to purchase a large collection of figures for a very good price.

I am breaking my rule about collecting the same period in 2 scales. The collection I purchased was 28mm WW2 based for Bolt Action. This is a rule set the group has been interested in trying.

100 infantry, 2 artillery, 2 Shermans and an Halftrack

German Vehicles
4 Halftracks, 3 Tiger 1s, 3 Panzer IIs, 2 PaK 40 75mm ATGs

140 German infantry
 100 British foot + a Crusader I think
 90 French