Monday, 27 January 2014

Hail Caesar Battle - Romans Vs Romano-British

I took along my camera to Deeside last Thursday with half a thought of doing an ancients battle report – the games are so rare that merely getting a picture of one is an event in itself!  In the end, however, there wasn’t a huge amount of movement, and a post with plenty of excitingly painted toy soldiers, and a paragraph explaining why, will suffice.  Aidan commanded his Romano-Brits, while I split my Romans between myself and Michael.

My Wwwwomans (led by Biggus Dickus surely) had discovered their two Romano-Brits (time travelling and very confused) enemies were planning to meet on the road to Amarillo to combine their forces.  This obviously would not do and the legionaries and their allsorted foreign assistance were mustered.  The battlefield began to fill with nicely painted miniatures in lovely marching columns, which were spoiled once they spotted each other and began to hurl insults. 

The legionaries, commanded by your truly, stepped off the road, deployed in a wonderfully red formation, dressed the ranks to perfection, and then ruined it all by charging the heavily armoured Romano-British horse.  The horse realised Christmas had come early, while the Roman CO went off to bang his head against the nearest wall, and a snap of the fingers later and the legionaries were mostly gone; the horse carving through them and coming out in the Roman rear (oo-er).  This undid Michael’s good work with the Romans auxiliaries, who had put some of the Romano-British infantry to flight.  Surrender was graceful and without name calling for the most part.  Romano-British victory.

The Battlefield - The Romano-Brits arrived from the top left (cavalry mostly) and the bottom (infantry), the Romans on the right road.

The Romano-British, having grown in size since their last outing - Aidan has been busy painting!

The Legionaries arrive!  Pity they didn't fight as they looked - disciplined, organised, tough.

King Arthur I think, or at least one of his friends.  Nice shield - painted on, not a transfer!

The Romano-Brits wonder if the Romans are feeling generous today.

The Romans are not, and deploy.

Michaels Auxiliaries and scorpions await the enemy just exiting the village.

Romano- Brits. Goats. Pregnant vampires. This village has everything!

The Romans realise their CO is an inbred useless waste of tactical space.

Part of the expansion of the Romano-British army; Gripping Beast un-armoured generic dark age warriors.  There were more with slings elsewhere on the battlefield and they looked the part.

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Napoleonic French - Part 2

Its been a long while since I threw anything Napoleonic into the mix, the initial enthusiasm being damped by my inability to paint white competently, and more specifically the decision to go with an English Civil War battle for the Gauntlet gaming weekend in July so the focus switched to my Royalists and never returned.  However others have continued to make and paint, and having decided against a World War 1 game for this years Gauntlet we have plumbed for a Napoleonic battle.  Given Aidan and Blue Team Dave have the biggest collections so far, and the British of 1809-14 feature heavily in them it will be a Spanish adventure, and they need French opponents.  Luke has already turned his painting hand towards the French army, and I, as well as wanting to play, want to provide some troops.  So the models are out of the garage and back on the painting table.

The Plan:
I haven’t the most painting time in the world, so my aims are limited, I hope to complete a single brigade.  This fortunately is just 3 infantry battalions, and even more fortunately I have the figures to do so!  28mm is the scale, and as well as the Perrys boxed set I originally bought I have been lucky enough to have a second lot, and a bunch of French Victrix infantry, donated too me (thanks Pete!).  All are built, and between them provide enough models for 3 infantry battalions and a bunch of skirmishers to go out front on occasion.  I’m also aiming to add a cannon (for variety) and a grouping of officers to act as the brigade CO.  Looking ahead a trip to Sheffield and Tripples should help with this.

Unit Organisation:
 This was something that was much argued over on the forums, and brought the realisation that between the current 4 of us building armies we have 4 different views!  Luckily they are all compatible (thanks Blackpowder for being nicely flexible), and I have settled with the organisation the Perrys boxes suggest; 6 models to a base, 6 bases to a battalion, each base being 45mm in frontage, and 40mm in depth.  Overall this will give me a unit 36 models strong, and a battalion width of 270mm when deployed in line, closely comparable to everyone else’s.  I’ll add four individually mounted skirmishers as extra models out the front of the regiment when they are deployed.

Paint Job:
I had sprayed my original box of infantry white, and I’m looking to paint those first.  The other 2 battalions have been partially painted so will require a slightly different approach.  I am painting the models individually, with 3 mounted to a stick and being fully painted in block colours (no dry brushing or detailing) before having the Army Painter Strong Tone dip used sparingly on them and finally being based afterwards.  I think I’ll cover that in a later post. 

Current Work:
I am aiming to finish my Perrys battalion set first, with all the models sprayed white, and around 13 on the painting table waiting for some work, and then move onto the other 2 battalions afterwards.   I’ve included a couple of pictures of my first 6 models, just missing the last bit of work with the weather being a bit cold and wet to risk the matt varnish spray.

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Work In Progress.......December 2013

Work in progress, yes, right, um.  Well lets just say there hasn’t been any.  I simply haven’t had time nor energy between the combination of early mornings working at Asda, early to beds because I have to get up early in the morning, and the space in between being filled with the words “daddy play with me” (initially very cute, but soon excruciatingly painful when it prevents me doing anything else, including job searching and trying to claw our way back to the surface financially).

As such the most wargaming related activity has been a very enjoyable evening playing Saga in Broughton, and several 6mm ACW bases painted a bit brown (but not a lot brown).  Christmas once more failed to provide any related gifts, apart from a copy of the Hobbit, and a book by Conn Iggulden called Stormbird and based around the Wars of the Roses.  I did receive a small sum of money, but not very much. 

Somewhat of a write-off then, painting/purchased total remains the same at 0-0, hoping January is more fun but not setting any targets because no one period now stands out for me.  Didn't even feel refreshed by the arrival of the new year - back and side pains and a cough that exagerates said pains didn't help.

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Saga: A Welshman, an Anglo-Dane, a Norman, a Viking and a Strathclyde-Welshman went to Broughton....

A festive treat of wargaming as Michael hosted a gathering of reprobates and scuff laws, with me, Luke, Red, Chris and Aidan descending upon his house, and only some of that number came just for the food.  Red split off to take on Ben in a bit of Star Wars dog fighting, and the rest of us settled down around Michaels dinning table to play the Wooden Oaths scenario for Saga.  It was designed for 4 players, but suited 5 nicely, with Aidan’s Strathclyde-Welsh and Michael’s Normans pulling black and facing off against my Welsh, Lukes Danes, and Chris’ Vikings.

The Battle:
General fear broke out immediately amongst the red players about the effectiveness of being stabbed in the back by Aidans roving (off-table) horse, and we all began moving into the centre of the table.  This brought my Welsh into contact with Michaels Normans, and an exchange of javelins and crossbow fire saw me come off worse, but not by much, with a fair few horsemen down.  The Strathclyde-Welsh ‘harassed’ the Vikings and Danes bringing fatigue but little else.  The first turn card draw came and went with everyone trying to second guess the others and ending up on the same side as before.  This gave Michael the opportunity to use his crossbow firing squad on the advanced guard of the Anglo-Danes, cutting down several, while my Welsh did little to help their allies.  The Vikings clustered more towards the Danes hoping they would lead them to a fight, and the Strathclyde-Welsh, with most of their troops off table ‘harassing’ the Danes and Vikings did nowt.

It then became unpredictable and interesting, with the cards seeing me and Chris join Michael, and Aidan switch to Luke’s side.  This left the Danes in a very nasty sandwich between the Welsh and the Viking attack column, with the Normans coming up on the rails.  With the Strathclyde-Welsh in no position to assist, Luke was glad to get first turn, and took advantage of the Viking Warlords impetuous nature to bushwhack him, gaining revenge for the insults  hurled beforehand by the Viking chief!  The Welsh and Normans bloodied the Danes on one side with javelins, crosswbows and horsemen, and the Viking warriors waded in and joined the Welsh warlord in wiping the floor with the rest of the Danes, leaving Luke with just his warlord.  Chris’ Vikings, having butched most of Lukes troops then allied with him by switching straight back to the Red’s, joining Luke’s warlord and Aidans Strathclyde-Welsh, and stuck with that for the rest of the battle, while I went with Black and an alliance with Michael’s Normans.  I caused a rumpus when I attempted to stab the Normans in the back while supposedly on their side, and having ruled as a group against such nefarious tactics the Red’s then had cause to regret it when they looked at Luke’s warlord, whose death would have greatly increased their points total by reducing the division of their victory points!

The last few turns were quieter.  Luke’s warlord launched a single-handed attack on my Welsh and was killed off by a couple of lucky hearthguard.  Chris’ Viking warriors did the same against my warriors and bounced off somewhat embarrassingly, while Aidans troops turned up, but then charged in against the Norman horse only to be wiped out.  Finally my warlord made an unnecessary (but entertaining and dramatic) 18” charge on foot across the battlefield to try and take out Aidans warlord, only to fall himself.  Battle over and the Blacks (me and Michael) had won comfortably, and with Michael having plenty more surviving troops than me he took the plaudits and the overall victory.

From a technical point of view we used 4 points a player to speed up play, and a kitchen table much smaller than the recommended size, but we fudged it and it worked well!  We also spent much time bickering, insulting, and a fair amount of time sitting chatting and eating – as an evening it was extremely well spent! 

As for the Star Wars result – in Red’s own words:
In the kitchen I faced a tooled up Millennium Falcon, Wedge Antillies (with R2D2), a Red Sqn. pilot and Rookie pilot in X-Wings, a Green Sqn. pilot in an A-Wing and a Gold Sqn. pilot in a Y-Wing. For this first game I had 6 Tie Fighters, 3 Tie Interceptors and 2 Tie Bombers.
I think Ben was a little overwhelmed by the options which left him lacking firepower to take down enough of my ties.
He learnt the lesson well though and turned it back on me in the second game where I took a pair of Y-Wings against 3 Tie Fighters and a Tie Interceptor. 

Looking forward to the next game.