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Monday, 25 October 2010

Keeping busy

I was in town at the weekend and when looking around the local model shop I came across a large roll of railway/gaming grass matting and a bit of a light bulb went on in my head. Now I know Nick will suggest that I have far too much time on my hands - which I don't really - but I love a good project!

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

Back to the garage!

After gaming in the salubrious surroundings of Warhammer World in Nottingham it was back to the usual Flaming Pigs venue of my garage!

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

A Very British Civil War

I can feel a new project coming on..... I have been very interested by all the articles I see from time to time in magazines about the Very British Civil War games and I have just made an impulse purchase to buy some of the source books.

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

Campaign Weekend - Game 4 against Carthaginians

So the final game of a very enjoyable weekend arrived on Sunday afternoon. Nick and I were very excited about this game as for the first time we would be fighting on the whole 8x6ft table, with no additional units, so it was a chance for us to try to play our army how we originally planned it to play. So to use the mobility and above all the speed of our army to defeat our opponents. The only issue was that the deployment zone was 24 inches again, which meant we couldn't pin our enemy back as we expected. No matter.

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!

Campaign Weekend - Game 3 against Spartans!

Sunday morning dawned bright a cold and with Nick looking less grey than the Saturday morning the lightweight! The gaming started around 10am which was nice and first up we had a tough match up against a Spartan 4000pt army generaled by Malcolm.

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!

Campaign Weekend - Game 2 against Persians!

So to our second game of the weekend in Nottingham with an exciting clash with Persian mad Tim and a very pretty 4000pt army drawn from the Alexander supplement.

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.

This time we took as extra units, the drilled hoplites again, plus from my army a unit of 24 trained African spearmen. We also decided to use two territory cards and so Nick's tarentine cavalry got light armour (giving them a 3+ save against missiles!) and the Bruttians got heavy throwing spears to replace their throwing spears.

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.

The game went pretty well to plan. Nick pushed forward on the left while I tried to slow the cavalry avalanche on the right. He managed to destroy two of the three chariots with missiles, and only let one chariot through which killed 6 figures out of one of the pike blocks. The Kinsmen charged the Bruttian warriors and were defeated. They burned their stubborn but were then destroyed in the followup when the companion cavalry charged in to support their Italian allies. That allowed the tarantine cavalry and companions around the rear of the Persian army and Nick systematically rolled up the line by charging frontally with his cavalry behind giving the Persians nowhere to run.

In the centre the Greek Hoplites in Persian employment came forward to support their cavalry and tried to take on the elephants. But their lack of unit standards cost them. One unit was routed and destroyed, another was pushed all the way back to the Persian baseline. Incredibly, the elephant in question lost all its crew and Mahout in the fighting, but passed a stampede test on a 4 and continued to push the Greeks backwards!

The Carthaginian veterans came forward and took on the third Greek hoplites and while losing the first round of combat, their stubbornness allowed them to hold until the spare elephant charged the Greeks in the rear, destroying them.

Meanwhile on of the 18 man Oscan units managed to get through the Persian centre and charged the 48 Mardian archer unit. While their dice were awful, they had the effect of holding the massed archer unit in combat and not firing for a good 3 turns.

On our right against the massed persian cavalry, I had a heck of a job dealing with the Sythian horse archers who brought one Numidian block down to just 5 men firing, routed another which only just stayed on the table. But in the end I managed to get it to flee down the table and that allowed me to try and run rings around the persian heavies while still giving ground. Towards the end of the game, Tim charged my Numidians with his light infantry skirmishers; I ran for it now wanting to risk a defeat and failed morale test, and in the follow-up his men hit my African spears who had moved across to the right flank to try and provide some sort of stability to all the light troops. Needless to say, the spear won and destroyed the skirmishers, but in pursuit hit one of the Persian cavalry blocks. Amazingly the Africans defeated the Persian and then cut them down in the pursuit! Tim had that sort of game!
At the end of the game we had a convincing win - see this picture to see the dead pile! In points we had a 2276 vs 399 victory. We took a territory card which would allow us to field three rather than two extra units in the next games which was also helpful!
2-0 to the Flaming Pigs!

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Nick's pretty army

Now he's discovered I've got a blog, Nick's sent me pictures of his pretty Phyrric army so I suppose I should post them! He paints so well they probably deserve a viewing. Interestingly, some of these figures are over 30 years old and just go a little TLC for the weekends gaming.

So top to bottom:

The new Chaeonian Guard Phalanx.

Veteran Greek Hoplites.

2 Elephants with pikemen onboard.

Macedonian Phalanx

Mercenary Phalanx

30 year old Companions!

Greek mercenary Peltasts

Thracian slingers

30 year old Tarantine cavalry

Cretan archers.

Very nice - and after the weekend's performance, it seems they can fight too!

Monday, 18 October 2010

Campaign weekend 1st Battle - against Carthaginians and Spartacus Slave

The first battle Nick and I fought at the Campaign Weekend in Nottingham last weekend was against a combined 1st Punic Wars Carthaginian army and a slave army from the Spartacus supplement.

Before the game, we diced for who would be the army general and Nick got that honour and so the CinC and army standard bearer would be Macedonian for the weekend. Also all the teams were given three random territory cards which gave extra army benefits. You were allowed to play up to 3 territory cards during each battle, with the winner taking their choice from the territories risked. We got three very useful cards:
Sardinia - a single unit maybe designated stubborn
Calabria - may designate one formed unit of infantry or cavalry as having light armour
Luciana - a single unit using throwing spears may upgrade to heavy throwing spear.

We had all been asked to bring along a few extra units to play as the scenario dictated. For the first game we could have an additional two units a side. We took a unit of drilled Greek hoplites from Nick's army and a unit of 11 Punic heavy cavalry from mine. We designated one of Nick's pike units as stubborn with the Sardinia card, and my 12 Numidian open order unit as having light armour using the Calabrian card.

The table (8ftx6ft) was fairly bare with a rocky area to our left flank and a hill to our right. There was another hill to the centre right of our enemies deployment zone. We could deploy 18"into the table and there was an 18" flank zone which only cavalry could initially deploy into.

We deployed intending to do a right hook with the main strike units of Nick's army, while most of mine tried to hold the left and look for an opportunity to get around the flank.

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.

The picture here shows the Veteran Carthaginians moving up to support the numidians, while the drilled hoplites occupy the hill. The companion wedge is looking for a hole to charge through while the tarantines and cretan archers try and remove one of the elephants - something they completely failed to do all game! Most crucial is the thracian slingers just to the right of our elephants, they helped turn the tide somewhat by charging some slave skirmishers - beating them in combat (they are warband) and then chasing the routers onto a block of slaves behind who had the fiery logs. While the thracians were trashed, they used up the logs, and then saved their morale throw so stood in there for one more turn slowing the slave movement!

Next turn several of the slave warbands failed their tests and that signifantly disrupted their formation with one charging a pike block, and another having to wheel to their left revealing a right flank to my forces. The warband was held and defeated by the pike, despite having a few gladiators in the front, but managed to hold in there. Next turn Nick put in a couple more charges and routed a couple of slave blocks including the one now devoid of fiery logs thanks to the thracians. His companions moved up to charge another unit which would have been hit in the flank by my punic cavalry at the same time, but in the end that was it and time was up!

It was a great fun game - with lots of challenges but not a lot of fighting, mainly because I held back while Nick was hampered by those elephants who seemed impervious to missiles! But we came away with a minor win 607pts to 419pts. In doing so we could take one of our opponents territories and so we took Numidia - which gave us the option to make one skirmish unit in our army have feigned flight.

1-0 to the Flaming Pigs!

The Southern Raiders return

So Nick and I are back from a great weekend at Warhammer World in Nottingham for the Wargames Weekend. We took our combined Pyrrhic and Carthaginian armies along for the Mediterranean Megalomania event and we came away with 4 wins in the 4 games!

Admittedly two of the wins were more drawing wins, but a win is a win in any ones book! But most inportant of all we had a great weekend and the atmosphere of the weekend was brilliant with everyone seeming to play in the 'right' way and with having fun as being the first and most important consideration.

First up we had a very tough battle with a 1st Punic War Carthaginian army combined with a Slave Revolt army. We had never played the slaves before so that was a novelty and after a very long and intense game we sneaked it 607pts to 419pts.

Second game was against the one army we were most worried about - a Persian army of 4000pts. As a force with lots of small units we were worried about the impact of massed archers. In the end we managed to screen our men pretty well and then we rolled up the Persians from the left flank and went away with a big 2276 to 399 win.

Sunday dawned with Nick feeling slightly more human than the first day (Friday beer!!) and we had the most unsatisfying game of the weekend with our opponent fielding a 4000pt Spartan army. In the end we spent most of the game moving around the table without any significant combats and we won 507 to 72 largely due to having one quarter of the table safe, and capturing one of the Spartan quarters.

So last up was a game against a combined Carthaginian force - one drawn from the 2nd Punic war lists in Italy and Spain. Lots of warbands and trained Africans. We played pretty well, but our opponents had absolutely no luck at all and we won a convincing victory 2572 to 100!
So in the end we won the 'competition' having 7 territory cards and having a lot of fun along the way. I'll try and write up some of the battles from memory and post some pictures of the event in the coming days.

Friday, 15 October 2010

Ready or not.... here we come

I think Nick and I are ready for the weekend's wargaming at Games Workshop in Nottingham. We played a final practice last night against one of the Seleucid armies someone kindly posted up on the Wab Forum.

I know both of us thought the same thing as we saw the layout, the massed pike and great heavy cavalry the Seleucid army fielded (and I played) was fearsome to behold and our army looked weak and light in return.

But in the end it held up very well - the vast blocks of Galatians (64 figures!) and 18 Cataphracts, was really tough to deploy and manoeuvre. And literally we ran rings around it. Also it was very light on light troops - only 2 units of 10 javelin skirmishers and a very useful block of 12 skythians. However Nick used his cretan archers, tarantine light cavalry and one unit of Numidian light cavalry to defeat them and then the mobility of his drilled pike, backed by the Bruttian warriors gave the two Seleucid heavy cavalry wedges nowhere to go.

OK so I don't know how the guy planned to use his seleucids but we came away feeling a lot better about our army. I do still think some of the large block stationary archer type armies will be our nemesis but only time will tell.....

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Doubts.... I've had a few.....

OK so yesterday I went into army doubt mode. I know this always happens in the run-up to a gaming weekend, and this weekend is no difference.

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

British Museum and inspiration

So I must make another confession that I am a museum junky and to me there is no better museum than the British Museum.

So when I get the chance, I love to drop into the British Museum to look around for an hour or so. This morning I had a little time before meetings, and so dropped into the Italian/Roman rooms for inspiration for the coming weekend. Simply brilliant to see all the Roman and Italian goodies.

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

Spanish Cavalry done

The battle against the 'lead mountain' continues with another 12 Spanish heavy cavalry finished on Friday.

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

First real practise

Last night the Carthaginian raiders got their first outing alongside their Phyrric allies against a 4000pt Persian army played by Tom.

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

Army set... well sort of...

So I think the army I'll be using at the Wargames Weekend in Nottingham is pretty well set. I was going to play with a Numidian army but in the end I decided it just doesn't have enough punch. Normally I would have gone 'heavy' on elephants but the new WAB rules seem to weaken elephants - particularily if you are using cavalry. In the past if they failed a break test, they 'ran' forward so it was relatively easy to keep your cavalry away. But now you throw a scatter dice which means they can go anywhere.

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

Wargamings Weekend

So Nick and I are off to the Campaign Weekend run by the nice folks at Historical Wargames. It will be a weekend of Warhammer Ancient Battles 2.0 (that's WAB to you all) playing 4 games over the two games with both sides using 4000pts each.

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!

New blog

So welcome to this new blog. I am aiming to make this a regular blog update on the wargaming adventures of my wargaming buddies, Nick Brown and Tom Cusack and myself.

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.....