Sunday, 19 April 2015

Roman Civil War - After Action Report

A slight change of period this time, but only a shift of a a hundred years or thereabouts.  Not Imperial Romans this time but Ian's collection of Caesarian Romans.  Ian has been working on these for a good few months and it was great to see the end result of all his hard work.

I laid out the desert cloth which I purchased the best part of 8 years ago (and had never used!) to provide a suitably arid landscape for the scenario for a clash between Caesar and Pompey using the Hail Caesar ruleset.

This was to be a small-scale meeting engagement between 2 x brigaded formations apiece.  Ian took on the role of Caesar and I took on the role of Pompey,  We utilised some of my Numidian warband, Greek Peltasts and Gallic Cavalry as allied contingents.

I managed to work out how to label up the maps with text boxes.  Units were organised and placed as above.

This view should correlate with the map.  The central area was quite open and I thought that having the wood to my right this would provide a suitable anchor point for my army to position itself.

We threw for commanders leadership ratings and Ian did well with a 9 for Caesar and an 8 for Mark Antony as subordinate commander,  I threw a 7 for Pompey (Magnus? Magma more like!) and an equally poor throw for his subordinate commander Labienus.  This was going to turn my order giving and movement into a real struggle!

Ian also won the dice to go first.  The first turn saw his legion moving one turn forward (due to being drilled as they actually failed their order), and his Numidians making a double move (please excuse the lack of spears in the Mumidian's hands - I hadn't got to arming them up before the game!)

Pompey failed his orders, but the drilled Legionaries moved forward one move as the rules permit.

Caesar and Antony failed to get their units to carry out orders in the following turn.  Pompey deployed slingers to the right of my line and into the woods to protect the right flank.

For the following turn, Ian's managed to get Caesar and Antony giving positive orders.  He extended his lines out on both flanks, directing the Numidian warband to face my slingers in the wood and his Gallic Cavalry to threaten my left flank at the opposite end of the board.  I adjusted my ranks and deployed into a more linear formation, with the aim of getting all of my units to have flank support.

The fourth turn was quite dramatic.  After all the initial manouvering and redressing of ranks, Ian launched a determined assault on either flank and got very high dice throws allowing the attacks to go hurtling in.

On my left the Gallic Cavalry hit my left-hand allied Peltast unit whilst at the same time the front was hit by legionary troops.  On my right the Numidians charged straight into my slingers.  The slingers attempted to evade but alas the Numidians achieved a triple move and wiped the slingers out as they caught up with them.

The Numidans broke out of the wood and behind Pompey's army.  How I wished I had enough for a reserve!

The melee on my left flank went even worse, The Peltasts were sent running away disordered by the double attack by Gallic cavalry and Legion, while my next unit of Labienus Legion was broken by one of Antony's Legions.

This suddenly meant that Labienus's Brigade was broken.  As he had attached himself to his Legion unit he was wounded and captured...perhaps Caesar would be merciful....?

It was clear at this point that Pompey was going to have to withdraw if he could.  Perhaps to's nice at this time of year too!

I have to say despite the dramatic ending after just four turns, this was a superb game which we both enjoyed.  I really am going to have to paint up some extra legionary troops to deploy with Ian's collection. Mainly because I could really do with a reserve for when it all goes wrong like this battle! I am painting some but in 10mm currently - clearly I need to be painting them in both scales.

All in all a great evening which even left time for a quick game of Star Wars X-Wing for the first time in over a year!

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

War of the Roses - Henry VII Mounted Men at Arms

It's been nice to have the time to complete a few small projects of late which I started but never quite added the finishing touches to.  This weekend it was the completion of a unit of Henry VII's mounted men-at-arms.

The figures are from the Perry's plastic boxed set.  I really enjoyed building and painting these troops. There are a lot of options within the box for varying degrees of horse armour, but I decided to go fairly minimal on the equine metal-wear.

I painted this unit primarily as I have a fascination with the battle of Stoke Field and I hope to have enough troops to try this out on the table soon.  They will also be mightily useful for Bosworth.  I am sure to use them in countless other games too but perhaps ignoring the livery and flag of Henry VII !

I'm particularly pleased with the way the standard bearer's horse turned out. I do like the contrast with the lilac shades too.

The flag and livery badges are by Citadel Six.  I have applied some shades over the flag to give an impression of folds and highlighting.  (Note to self: With a decal flag applied to a metal foil base it is important to remember not to bend it excessively or the paper decal will rip!) Some very carefully applied paint in the split paper seemed to correct this thankfully.  

I opted to use a square flag for the unit as I use the long swallow-tailed flags for command stands.  So for most battles Henry is likely to find himself with his cavalry so there will be a wonderfully medieval display of flags and heraldry wherever he gallops.

I really like the livery badges by Citadel Six but do find it essential to stick to their instructions - the use of a decal softener is an essential.

The Perry's armour sculpting is so crisp and just great to see assembled into a full harness.  When the dismounted Men-at-Arms were released I purchased a box of these very quickly, though I only assembled my first figures yesterday.  I look forward to getting these painted up shortly.

Paints used were a combination, but mostly Vallejo and games workshop.  The livery green is 'Coat d'arms - Grass Green' which I am running out of and hope I can still get - I must have had this bottle for years.

I'm going to have to get a unit of these for Richard III, it just has to be done!

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Theban Hoplites

I have some time now to catch up with putting up photos of recently painted figures. These are the excellent 28mm Victrix Theban Hoplites from 5th - 3rd Century BC.

The paints used were mostly from the Foundry range as I am getting good results from their triad system of colours

Oddly, I hadn't really planned to get into painting Thebans. My original intention was to paint Athenians and Spartans, but once I saw the box of these troops at a wargaming show, I knew I just had to get some. The Boeotian helmet really adds a lot of character to the Thebans.

Of course now I have them painted up, inspiration has struck and I want to build up an army of these. From what I have read so far, they changed sides from being an ally of Sparta to being the enemy who finally destroyed them.

The figures were a great pleasure to paint and I am really looking forward to getting the time to paint up some more units to support them.  As usual though, I have too many projects!  No doubt when the spring turns into summer and the heat starts cracking the roads again (or close enough to it for the UK!), I shall turn my attention again to Ancient Greece.

PS. Apologies to those whose blogs I normally follow and comment on - I have been away for over two weeks and have to catch up with lots of reading!