Monday, 25 October 2010
So it was off to Homebase where I managed to get hold of some very reasonable 6mm MDF boards which were cut into 2ftx2ft boards. I also picked up some very cheap brown floor tiles which will make nice fields and bases for forests.
So the project in the next few weeks will be to build some nice terrain boards which will provide the base for some of our games. Heaven knows where I'll be storing them, but the project will be fun. I'm now scouring eBay for cheap buildings and trees etc to use on the boards. The roads can be produced by gluing some flock etc to the board moulded with plaster etc.
If nothing else it will keep me busy I guess!
Friday, 22 October 2010
Nick and I picked two 2000pts WAB armies from the lists Tommy provided for the weekend and I went Oscans and Nick Early Macedonians.
My army was two 23 man Oscan hoplite blocks one with the army general, one with the army standard. I took 2 units of 13 javelin skirmishers, 1 unit of 12 moorish archers, 10 Numidians, 12 Campanian heavy cavalry, my now favourite 18 Bruttian warriors, and a unit of 23 Italian hill warriors (javelin, throwing spear and shield) led by a character. My plan - as ever to use the hoplites to fix the enemy and use the mobility of the Bruttians and the hill warriors to get around the flanks.
Nick went drilled mad. He took three units of pike - all drilled, two of them with half light armoured, and one was stubborn. He also had his companions led by the general (Philip?). He then had a unit of cretan archers, some slingers and some javelinmen. To support the cavalry he had a unit of Illyrian light cavalry, and two mule mounted light bolt shooters. Most worrying he had a unit of hypaspids equipped as thrusting spear and shield and again drilled!
We played on the usual 6x4 table and the terrain was sparse with two hills on the left, one in the corner of the table, one halfway up, and a wood between the hills - they played no part in the battle.
Nick deployed to his left with the illyrians and companions, then the pike and hypaspids led by the cretans, the slingers and javelinmen holding his right flank. Tom joined my army as consultant general! and we deployed with the Numidians, campanians and archers on our right. Then the two hoplites with some javelinmen in front, then the other javelinmen and the hill warriors and Bruttians in fast march column.
Tom and I got first move and swarmed forward on the left with the javelinmen, hill warriors and Bruttians moving at full speed forward. The hoplites wheeled slightly and moved up while the Numidians and archers looked to sell themselves dearly to delay the Macedonian army!
The next few turns saw Nick push forward on his left, while we did the same on our left. We were unable to do much shooting so in the end charged the Numidians into the cretans, and the Campanians into the Illyrians. The Illyrians fled and in the pursuit the Italian cavalry hit the companion wedge behind. Unable to respond to the charge and therefore receiving it to the halt, Macedonian's finest came out of wedge and looked to be in trouble. But the dice gods didn't see it that way and poor dicing meant the Campanians lost the combat when Nick put two oracle points into the result. Morale was good, but the Macedonians had momentum and next round the pike smashed into the cavalry! But again it was inconclusive and the Campanians lost on ranks and this time fled. Meanwhile the combat gods also failed the Numidians who failed to win against the cretans. Again this morale held, but they broke off.
The picture left shows the situation now. The Numidians and moorish archers have pulled back to the flank of the Oscan hoplites. The Campanian cavalry have rallied in a line, but next turn are charged from the table by the pikes and companions.
Meanwhile the Italian Hill Warriors and Bruttians had got around to flank and ultimately charged the middle pike block. Despite the pikes having no armour, they just managed to hold the warriors although the momentum was with the Italians.
And that was as far as we had time to play. The Bruttians and Italian warriors were about to be charged by another pike block and the campanians had fled the table. Nick had lost one of the bolt shooters - overrun by the Hill Warrior's charge, and his javelinmen and slingers.
The points would have been tight - the campanians were gone, and the Numidians were down to half strength, and one of the Italian skirmisher units were in rout. But Nick had lost two skirmisher units and we had two table quarters in our control, while the other two were contested, so maybe the Italians would have sniffed it..... a fun game though!
Thursday, 21 October 2010
I just know that Tom in particular will love the idea of being able to form a 'Camden Town Irish Free Corp' or something and Nick will probably love the Fascists of something. Not sure what I'll go for - maybe a Royalist faction or something.
The biggest challenge of playing outside of an official club is variety and the need to invest in lots of stuff just to try something new. In a club someone else might have the rules and we could 'try before we buy'. The good news is that actually we have quite a few 20mm WW1 and RCW figures from various earlier projects so I think we can try these out before the urge to buy lead takes over!
My main concern is about what rules work best with these supplements. The books are all source books apparently so don't have any rules in their at all. So you need to adapt some other rules. We've used Warhammer Great War before, but would these work well with VBCW?
Wednesday, 20 October 2010
So next up was a fight against a combined Carthaginian army led by a father and son team - sorry I forget their names! They had 2000pts drawn from the 2nd Punic War in Italy and 2000 from the 2nd Punic War in Spain.
The battlefield was pretty clear with two woods, one just ahead of each sides left flanks.
While you couldn't have any extra units, you could use your territory cards so we played two - allowing the Bruttians again to have heavy throwing spears yet again; and then another nice card which enabled all our formed troops to be considered veteran and so to re-roll 1 set of combat dice per game.
The Carthaginians deployed right across the table with a mixture of warbands - Gallic and Celtiberian - and trained African spear units. In the centre was three carthaginian elephants and on the left some heavy cavalry, open order warbands and assorted skirmishers. To the right flank was a small unit of Gallic heavy cavalry.
We deployed with the plan of launching a right hook and my forces looking for a gap to get around the left flank.
The Carthaginians came forward at some speed as you would expect, but in the end it unravelled very quickly due to the warbands losing control. The open order spanish troops heading into the flank woods decided to charge Nick's skirmishing peltasts who were skirting through the same woods but they couldn't contact in the charge and ended up leaving their right flank exposed to a charge by Nick's Oscans led by a character. In the charge, the Carthaginians had no option but to flee or risk destruction. Next Nick charged the Bruttians into a unit of Gallic Veteran warriors alongside the wood. The heavy throwers the Bruttians carried for this game ripped through the proud Gallic warriors and routed them. In the ensuing panic tests, a unit of cavalry; and trained Africans also decided they had had enough.
Meanwhile in the centre. The Carthaginian elephants came forward bravely but my Moorish archers managed to wound one, who failed his morale and stampeded into a unit of Oscan Hoplites in the Carthaginian centre. They then spend the game pushing that unit to the baseline.
Meanwhile one of the other Carthaginian elephants was charged by our two Indian elephants, who beat it and it turned and hit a unit of Trained Africans. I therefore had the novel situation of dicing for two of my enemies elephants fighting his own troops through most of the game!
The remaining elephant charged our central pike block, but simply pushed it back.
Meanwhile on my left flank, the Gallic cavalry tried valiantly against the mass of Numidian cavalry they faced but ultimately were reduced to 3 figures and routed from the table. Meanwhile the lone Carthaginian skirmisher unit was destroyed exposing the warbands to whithering missile fire from my skirmishers. At least two Celtiberians were reduced to half strength by the end of the game and routed from the table.
Our opponents had no luck what so ever, and continually failed all their panic tests which enable Nick and I to pick up lone units one at a time, causing yet more panic tests and failures. Their centre was also gone and as the game finished I had pushed the Carthaginian veterans and a units of Oscan warriors right through the centre. On Nick's right, the combined companions, pike and Bruttians had largely routed the whole Carthaginian left wing. It was a rout.
The final result was a crushing victory for us, 2572 vs 100pts.... very satisfying as our army played pretty well the way we planned it back in my garage!
Flaming Pigs 4-0!
The table was completely bare with just one low hill just ahead of the deployment zone on our left flank. The scenario dictated a 24inch deployment zone and now we could deploy right to the table edges, which wasn't exactly what we wanted given our light army and lots of cavalry against Malcolm's hoplites!
We decided to play three cards in this round. One the one which gave us an additional unit over the two; the card which gave the Bruttians heavy throwers and we made one of the pike blocks stubborn again. For our three extra units we took Nick's drilled hoplites again; the Punic cavalry and the trained Africans.
There really was just one option for deployment. Put all the skirmishers on the right where the battlefield was completely bare, and put all the best troops to the left where if the Spartans appeared, we might have an advantage with the hill.
Ultimately this was a game completely dictated by the deployment, with Malcolm deciding to put all of his army on his left flanks and leave the right - opposite Nicks forces, empty.
So the game was simply one where I tried to delay the Spartans coming down the right flank, while Nick moved his troops as quick as possible from the left flank. In the end there was little fighting and despite all our best efforts, we simply won the game based on holding our left flank table quarter, and having taken the Spartan right flank quarter and getting troops onto the Spartan left flank quarter of the table to deny that to him. We won 507-72!
Nick looks on concerned or is that confused? as his troops try to sweep around the Spartan right wing - he's standing on Malcolm's side of the table here!
Below our lights try and stop the Spartans - but with toughness 4 and a saving throw of 4+, it was a pretty tough call although you can see one phalanx has been cut down a little just in front of Malcolm's hand!
So we took Malcolm's remaining territory card which completely escaped me right now and it was: Flaming Pigs 3-0!
Now if there was one army we were more worried about our army standing up against than any other, it was a large shooty army like the Persians. When your army is lots of light cavalry and small 18man blocks, they can die very quickly against an army with lots of missile troops. Indeed against a Persian army Tom worked out and we played in our one serious practice game, we struggled and lost a lot of men to Mardians etc.
This game was fought on the same battlefield as we played on for the first game, so just a couple of hills, one on our right, and one on Tim's right centre deployment zone, and a small rocky area on our left. We reasoned that since Tim had lots of heavy cavalry which being massed and now very manoeuvrable, he would likely put them on his left where the rocks wouldn't disrupt him. So we deployed with a skirmishing wing on the right, and with the aim of attacking on the left and looking for a chance to get around the right with the lighter troops.
As you can see from the first picture, from left to right we deployed: armoured Tarantine cavalry, backed by the upgraded Bruttians and companions (out of picture); then came the cretan archers backed up by the drilled pike and drilled hoplites; then the thracian slingers backed by two pike blocks. A third normal pike block was slightly refused with the Carthaginian veterans supporting them, and the two elephants pushed forwards covered by the peltasts and one of the Numidian infantry skirmishers. Then came one of the numidian cavalry skimishers, moorish archers, javelinmen and the last numidian cavalry block. In a second line alongside the pike and veterans, we put the 12 man numidian cavalry into skirmish rather than open order, the two oscan blocks and the trained africans anchoring the line. Tim deployed, as we hoped, with from left to right: skythian cavalry and infantry skirmishers; three big blocks of persian heavy cavalry in heavy armour and barding each with a character, then came a 48figure Mardian archer block, the Greek hoplites, one led by a character; three scythed chariots; the Great King in a chariot behind the centre; another 48 figure Mardian archer block; some Kardakes, a unit of apple bearers, some skirmishers and the Persian Kinsmen heavy cavalry - again in heavy armour with barding.
Tuesday, 19 October 2010
So top to bottom:
The new Chaeonian Guard Phalanx.
Veteran Greek Hoplites.
2 Elephants with pikemen onboard.
30 year old Companions!
Greek mercenary Peltasts
30 year old Tarantine cavalry
Monday, 18 October 2010
We deployed from right to left: 11 Numidian cavalry; 10 Tarantine cavalry; the drilled hoplites; the companions; the drilled pikemen; 18 Carthaginian veterans; a pike block; 2 elephants; 2 more pike (one stubborn with the territory); 18 Bruttians (to the left you can see them heading right to support Nick's attack, but after his 'elephant' troubles they reversed and came back to support the left of the pike line); 12 open order numidian cavalry with light armour (due to card); the extra Punic heavy cavalry; 2 units of Oscans and the last unit of Numidian light cavalry. The cretan archers and thracian slingers supported Nicks right; while my numidian javelinmen were across the pike and elephant to the front, and my moorish archers were on the left supported by Nick's peltast javelinmen in skirmish.
Our opponents - Team Munky (picture left shows their right flank against mine) - deployed as we expected with the Carthaginian mercenary hoplites on their right, opposite my lighter flank, and the slaves to their left against Nick. The Carthaginians have a couple of small 9 man numidian cavalry on my extreme flank supported by a unit of Punic heavy cavalry which meant I was outnumbered in cavalry for the first and only time for the weekend. My opponent and I fenced each other for a good three hours, each of us trying to find an opening to break each others lines. My Oscan's occupied the rocky ground and the Numidians did what Numidians do and skirmished all game. Every time I thought I had a chance to charge in with the Bruttians and Punic cavalry, but they closed it up! The top picture shows the peltasts and Numidian cavalry pushing forwards, while the Oscans occupy the rocky ground. In the second picture you can see the two centre's moving forward. Nick's pike opposite the slave warbands packed with gladiators and leaders!
On the other flank things were much more exciting. The slaves pushed their two elephants against Nick's numidians and tarantines and despite lots of shooting, they seemed impervious to arrows, slings and javelins. At one time Nick got 22 hits on one elephant, but all wounds were saved..... That forced Nick to pull his cavalry back and try to seal the line with the drilled hoplites and Carthaginian Veterans.
Friday, 15 October 2010
Wednesday, 13 October 2010
Having read some battle reports on the WAB 2.0 rules, and playing my own army a couple of times now, I am wondering if I should drop one of my Oscan warrior units and take a unit of Punic Cavalry instead. If I could take the Spanish HC I'd do it at a shot as the Punic Cavalry are only weapon skill 3, while the spanish are 4.
The advantage of having another highly mobile flank threatener could be useful indeed to our army, but then we'd be a foot unit down and that might be a major issue.
On balance I think I'll stick with the army I have an leave the heavy cavalry out. I just must make better use of the open order Numidian's instead. In most of the battles I've kept them back as a reserve which has been useful, but maybe I should try and use them more aggressively.
Why is it whatever number of points you can take for an army - its always one unit too small....?
Monday, 11 October 2010
Top to bottom:
- A bronze helmet with crest holderand detachable horns as horse-headed seas monsters from 325-275BC Italy.
- Roman helmet from the Punic Wars 220-170BC
A Bronze montefortino helmet of Gallic origin 300-100BC; a Bronze samnite helmet 400-300BC and a Bronze Tripple disc breastplate from 400-300BC
- A Bronze Pot Helmet from 600BC from Picenum, Umbria or Etruria.
A bronze statue of a horseman from Taranto, 550BC
- A Corinthian helmet
- A Bronze Corinthian helmet made in Apulia 600BC
- A Carthaginian Mosiac
- Attic helmet
- Bronze spearheads and sword from 800-700BC
Sunday, 10 October 2010
They were bought to join my Campaign Weekend next week, but in the end I couldn'tget an army which I liked which included them!
But I painted them up anyway as I can do with less figures in my pile of unpainted figures and these Crusader figures were so nice looking I didn't mind doing them.
I hate painting horses and cavalry generally, which is annoying as I love playing with them, so painting cavalry is usually a chore, but these came together well. I continue to be in love with dipping figures and these came out very nicely I think.
Friday, 8 October 2010
It was a good game, but the Persians were a lot harder than I expected. Tom wisely played it pretty defensive and used archery to wear us down and then counted on the hard Greek hoplites to defeat us. And actually it went pretty well. I tried my usual trick of pushing the open order columns around the left flank and looked for holes.
The Persian heavy cavalry were a liability and the Numidians had a great time shooting them up before parthian away and out of their arc. The 1/2 move penalty for massed persian cavalry if they had to wheel was crippling. But in the end they stood in there and if Tom had had some horse archers rather than foot ones I would have struggled. As it was, one of the 11 man Numidian light cavalry units was reduced to 5 figures by the shooting of a block of 20 Mardian foot archers who while formed could fire at full effect overhead - nasty. They rallied and the remaining numidians and foot archers I had crippled his bowmen in return.
In the end, Nick's Macedonian pikemen beat a unit of Kardakes and just beat a unit of stubborn
Melophoroi and he was through the line. Meanwhile my Numidian infantry skirmishers (the weakest unit in the game!) 'punched' a hole through Tom's rightcentre by destroying a large unit of levy skirmishers and charging a battery of 3 light bolt shooters. This allowed my 12man open order Numidian cavalry to move into the gap and be ready to charge any of Tom's 3 remaining infantry blocks in front and rear while simultaneously being hit by Nick's pike from the front. We didn't play on, but it would have been messy.
Overall impression was that Nick's and mine armies complimented each others pretty well but the table - even at 8x6ft is pretty tight for two 4000pt armies. So mobility might be an issue and we'll be looking for holes to get through to beat our opponents. Overall good fun and that's the name of the game really!
Wednesday, 6 October 2010
So I opted for a Carthaginian army from the 2nd Punic Wars in Africa. I have always liked the Carthaginian army although they never quite seem to be as good as historically you might expect. However, with the new rules open order troops seem to have great advantages in mobility and I love the idea of trying a Cannae type tactic of drawing the enemy on while hitting the flanks and rear.
Taking two 2000pt options to the weekend, we get one general and army standard for free so the army I have worked out is:
2 x 11man Numidian Light Cavalry in skirmish formation
1 x 12man Numidian Light cavalry in open order with leader, musician and standard and shields
2 x Officers
17 man Veteran unit with light armour, large shield and thrusting spear. Also drilled and stubborn. Close order
17 man Oscan warrior unit with light armour, large shield and throwing spears. Open order.
18 man Oscan warrior unit with light armour, large shield and throwing spears. Open order.
18 man Bruttaii warrior unit with light amour, shield and throwing spears. Open order.
12 man skirmisher unit with javelins and buckler
11 man skirmisher unit with javelins and buckler
11 man Moorish archer unit skirmishers.
Its a small army, but in practises with it playing alone, I've found the infantry can all deploy in march column and rush forward. Then once close, their great mobility allows them to fall back in front of slow moving enemies and hopefully expose flanks which can be charged. I love the 12 man Numidian cavalry option too - I was going to use some heavy cavalry, but given I'm likely to face companions and other great HC I decided these might cause more trouble. They still shoot effectively and have feigned flight and parthian shot, and being formed, the enemy has to worry about them. Time will tell, but in the two practice games I've played with them, the tied down phalanx and even elephants without difficulty.
I'd really like a second distance missile unit, but the Carthaginians are very limited in options and you must take one skirmishing javelin unit for each other skirmisher unit and I can't justify the points for all that.
Tuesday, 5 October 2010
It will probably be the biggest game I've ever played of WAB and Nick and I are entering as a combined army with each of us choosing a 2000pt army to fight with.
I'll admit I wasn't really sure about doing this weekend as I had pretty well fallen out of love with WAB after a particularly bad period of bad luck dooming me to game after game of defeat even though I played pretty well (if I say so myself). But the thought of a fun weekend in Nottingham with Nick and the fact these weekends focus more on the fun element rather than competition convinced me to play.
Now I'm looking forward to it.
Of course the first decision was what to play with. The options were pretty wide and in the end I determined to go with an army I'd enjoy playing rather than one which will be all conquering. So having thought about Numidian, I went with a Carthaginian army from the 2nd Punic wars in Africa. I like mobile armies, and so I decided to model it on a raiding/advanced party with lots of cavalry and open order troops. Nick also went for what he likes and so we have an 'unhistorical' match up of Carthaginian and Phyrric!
We've been wargaming now for - errr more than 30 years in some cases - and refuse to grow up, especially where beer is involved.
I will try and remember to post regular updates on our games and hopefully pictures of the games and who knows even video.
I am sorry in advance for all of this.....