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Monday, 20 December 2010

Seleucid vs Galatian clash!

After a couple of weeks of no gaming due to weather and work commitments, Nick and I played a 2000pt WAB game using the excellent draft lists posted to Jeff Jonas's excellent website (now taken down by the 'evil empire' boo!)

I have long struggled to get a Seleucid army I like out of previous army lists, but I actually managed it from these lists. It was just the sort of army I like - mobile and looking to use missiles and open order troops to disrupt and run rings around my opponent. Nick rather surprisingly for him, went for a Galatian army. He's always wanted to use a Gallic army but they just haven't been up to facing a 'mainstream' army in WAB - the only chance they have is to maximise the number of characters in the army. The Galatians seem to offer something different.

The battlefield was pretty clear with two steep hills on my left flank and Nick's right flank. An area of rough ground was about halfway down the table on my right flank, Nick's left flank.

I deployed left to right: 13 javelin light infantry; 32 levy phalanx; 2 heavy bolt shooters; 32 levy phlanx with another 13 javelin skirmishers in front; 24 Babylonian archers; 11 Tarantine light cavalry; 11 horse archers; back up by 10 seleucid heavy cavalry and a unit of 17 Guardsmen deployed as open order peltasts led by the army standard bearer.

Nick deployed from right to left with a unit of javelinmen backed by one warband, then three other warbands with some javelinmen skirmishing in front; some skirmishers with slings and a unit of Gallic light cavalry in skirmish. In reserve was two scythed chariots and on the right a unit of Gallic heavy cavalry. The warbands were all imitation legionaries and as memory serves the centre two have heavy throwing spears; the other two just throwing spears. They all had at least one character in the front rank to give them more punch.

My plan was simple. Sit back with the levy pike and try and reduce the size of the warbands with the bolt shooters, while the right flank went around his left with the line hinged by the archers who can fire full effect in two ranks if stationary. Nick won the initiative and rushed forward as quickly as possible to get his warbands into combat before my shooting could have an impact.

In my turn I charged his centre javelinmen with my skirmishers but lost the combat and was run down. On the right the babylonians and tarantines peppered the slingers but they passed their morale. The horse archers fired inconclusively on the gallic light cavalry.

Turn two Nick brought a chariot to his left flank and the heavy cavalry also moved across the back of his line to support his hard pressed left. The rest of his line pushed forward as fast as possible with the now free javelinmen in the centre screening my bolt shooters (see here).

My turn, I shot away the slingers and the forced the light cavalry back allowing my guard infantry to push forward into the rough ground opposite the heavy cavalry and scythed chariot. My javelinmen charged his skirmishers on the right flank and beat them, but failed their morale and charged through into the warband behind.

Nick charged where he could on turn three with one warband charging home on the left flank phalanx; the heavy cavalry charged into the seleucid havy cavalry now in wedge who countercharged (see left); and the scythed chariot charged the guard who being drilled opened their ranks to let it harmlessly through. In the ensuing combat, the levy phalanx held up very well against the heavy throwing weaponed gallic warriors who only won by one. The Seleucid general was with 12 inches and so they passed the morale test.

Meanwhile the Gallic heavy cavalry, also led by a character diced awfully against the seleucid heavy cavalry. Despite the gauls being better weapon class, the Greeks had more figures and won the combat and broke the barbarians. But they outdistanced the pursuit. The scythed chariot which had gone through the guard then routed from seeing the cavalry battle! The seleucid skirmishers duly were destroyed by the warband they charged into on my left flank.

In my turn, the now uncommitted seleucid heavies pivoted and charge the left hand warband in the flank, but it passed its morale test for being charge to flank. In the combat the cavalry won without loss, but the Galatians simply fell back in good order leaving the cavalry unable to followup or risk recieving a charge from the other scythed chariot in the flank.

My remaining levy pike formation charged Nick's central skirmisher unit who ran, leaving the pike to crash into the warband behind - a good way to get levy to charge close order enemy! (See pictured left, note the warband pushed back by the seleucid heavy cavalry behind the phalanx)

In the combats that followed, my left flank pike formation, despite losing the momentum in the combat managed to beat the Gallic warriors but their morale held. Meanwhile the pike who hit the central warband managed to lose the first round, and despite the King being right there, their morale failed and they ran. But all my men nearby passed their morale thankfully.

And that was all we had time for - it was a very tight battle and it probably had another 3 turns to go before it was conclusive either way.

The levy phalanx showed as a large block they were very resilient against the warband and once they held the first found, they had every chance to beat the barbarian foot. Nick's light cavalry and slingers were always up against it against two BS4 light cavalry formations in my army, backed up by the fearsome babylonian archers! And what I wanted to do do actually happen. I pushed my way aorund Nick's left flank and was threatening to roll up his line. But his plan worked too with the warbands pushing through the centre and likely as not to defeat my two pikeblocks and bolters. The bolters were hopeless, only killing one skirmisher all game!

Still it was a fun game and I look forward to when we actually see the successor WAB lists finally hit the market after so long.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

VBCW Campaign gets underway

There wont be much wargaming in the coming weeks in the Flaming Pigs home garage in the next few weeks due to work commitments, and the coming Christmas period. But we have decided to kick off our Very British Civil War campaign around the Fall of Basingstoke with the first 'turn' orders due next week.

I say orders but our intention is not to have turns as such, as I will run things almost real time. I have deliberately left it vague as I want to see how Tom and Nick choose to interpret this free-form approach. Really I want them to think like a real commander would in the situation, and pretty much anything goes therefore.

I will also be developing personalities for the subordinates under their control and that will also colour how they react to independent command and actions.

I also plan - we'll see how real life permits this - to run an occasional newspaper - the Basingstoke Gazette - which will have snippets of news and rumours which might help - or distract Nick and Tom. The first edition is out you can download it here!

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Warfare Reading

The boys spent the day at the excellent Warfare show in Reading.

It's always one our favourites as it combines location - handy for all of us to get to - and great traders. Plus of course it always coincides with the autumn rugby internationals!

Warfare is a great show - a good number of traders and some nice games. The boys were on VBCW frenzie and we all bought stuff for the campaign.

Personally I've never bought so many kits - I came away with a couple of cars; a couple of fuel trucks, some tanks and an armoured truck.

Plus I ordered some 20mm resistance figures from SHQ which I am looking forward to painting up.

Overall a good day - especially with England winning in the rugby too!

Friday, 19 November 2010

2nd Battle of Broadwater

Last night we played a second game of Very British Civil War using the Warhammer Great War rules. In truth it was a very inconclusive affair as Tom - playing the local Basingstoke Defence Force - took a very cautious approach to the battle.

The objective for Tom was to destroy the bridge over the river before BUF reinforcements could destroy them. To do this, he had two infantry companies, with a HMG and a couple of light mortars. Also he had another company of infantry mounted in trucks and some improvised armoured cars - trucks with armour plate and MGs. Another company of infantry, an assault platoon and the engineers with the explosives were due to arrive later.

In defence, Nick had a couple of companies of fascist militia, a light mortar and HMG. He was waiting on the BUF Legion and an armoured car arriving later in the game.

Tom chose to delay his motorised company initially and moved his foot companies through and around the woods on the left flank. This was about as far as possible from the objective. He did so as he was worried about the casualties he'd suffer attacking the village directly, but in doing so, he fell into a carefully constructed defence Nick had formed. In this picture you can see Tom's militia in the wood caught in the crossfire from the large building at the bottom, the barn, and the hedged field at the top. The HMG was also in the barn at the top of the picture.

In the face of all this fire, there wasn't much Tom could do so he brought the motorised infantry and armed trucks along the extreme left flank to try and skirt around the defences. The extra infantry battalion was also used as a sacrificial attack to try and capture the large building and distract the defenders.

Then the vagaries of the chance cards struck. Drawing a random card, both commanders were found to be mortal enemies and all units - except support weapons - had to charge towards their enemies unless they threw a 5 or 6 on a d6...... At the same time, the BUF Legion arrived on the table in force and it was all looking grim for Tom and the Basingstoke militia!

To the left you can see Nick's troops storming forward into the face of Tom's forces - they managed to capture the wood and destroy two platoons in the process before being destroyed themselves. The other fascist platoon in the big building on the right flank which had been holding up well against the largely ineffective fire, then also charged out and destroyed another of Tom's platoons before it too was destroyed.

At this point, the Basingstoke Defence Force had lost 5 platoons and the BUF were firmly holding the village with the Legion troops now holding the bridge. Their losses were considerably lower - just 2 platoons and an HQ section - so at that point Tom decided to pull back and the Fascists celebrated another victory!

Pictured here you can see the BUF Legion troops arriving on the front line in their trucks. The Fascist militia are surging forward to get hold for their foe!

Thursday, 18 November 2010

The table for tonights game - complete with smouldering armoured car from the game last week.

Second Battle of Broadwater

Tonight we should be fighting the second Battle of Broadwater as a precursor to the planned Very British Civil War campaign I have been working on.

Primarily this is so we can get to grips with the rules and get a feel for how the games play before jumping in on a full blown campaign. Nick and I played last week and despite having used the Warhammer Great War rules before on several occasions, we still got some things wrong.

Both Nick and Tom should be over tonight so I have developed a new game to follow on from last weeks battle. This time the BUF having successfully captured the critical bridge, are now having to defend against a local counterattack.

Nick's force is largely based around Fascist sympathisers with a few BUF Legion troops arriving later in the game. Tom's force will be lots of militia and the hope is that numbers will enable him to swamp Nick before the quality of the BUF Legion turn up. Nick's objective is to blow the bridge, not necessarily defeat the BUF, so we'll see if he can keep to the objective or get side tracked!

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Mini clearout time!

Time to have a mini clearout from the figures cabinet. These are all figures which I bought at sometime - usually as a job lot with other figures I wanted and I've painted them, or tarted them up a little. They look pretty good if I say so myself and hopefully will bring in some funds for the Very British Civil War campaign.

Here's an Officer of the Fleet for the Imperial Guard 40k armies. Nice figure and the touchup went pretty well I think.

Here's another Imperial Guard HQ figures - an Astropath - again I picked this up in a batch of Imperial Guards and I already had one in my 40k army soI painted it up and its going spare.

This figures if definitely in the category of - picked up somewhere - its somesort of Space Marine although I don't really know what type as I've never played them. I picked it up at a show somewhere and have painted it up. I think it looks pretty good really.

Last but no means least, are two squadrons of lovely 28mm Napoleonic cavalry - I believe Perry Miniatures plastic figures.

There is a squadron of 7 French Cuirassiers .

and a very nice unit of 7 French Carabiniers.

I bought both on eBay some time ago already painted to a reasonable standard and I've touched them up and I think the effect is great, but there is no way I'm going to get into 28mm Napoleonics.... we have thousands of 15mm Napoleonics already!