Thursday, 22 December 2011

More Lead - Spartan Hoplites

Or should that be plastic?

I've long been an admirer of the Immortal Miniatures range of 28mm classical greeks. The owner and creator of the figures had let the line slip a little over the past year, distribution had been transferred to North Star Military Figures and most of the metals were no longer available, so it was a welcome bit of news a couple of weeks ago to see that Warlord Games had bought the lines up and were going to start producing them again.

I'm a follower of North Star on facebook, where they often post news of limited bargain deals they are doing. This week they announced they were selling off their remaining Immortal stocks at knock-down prices. A box of 24 Spartan Hoplites for just £7.50.

Now these figures are cheap enough anyway (RRP £12), but I couldn't resist this deal so I decided to snap up 3 boxes for the princely sum of £22.50 for 72 figures! They arrived the next day, which was frankly incredible at this time of year, but when I opened them I quickly realised the Spartan frame was not an upgrade, but an additional frame to the basic 24 hoplites, with 8 bodies and various right arms and heads. This meant each box in total contained 32 bodies well over 50 right arms and heads, but only 24 shield arms.

I'm therefore planning to use Instantmold to make 18 additional shield arms from greenstuff, and then make 6 slingers using the remaining 6 spare bodies, making sure they are the ones in tunics and no armour.

I'll use these guys in Hail Caesar as units of 18, giving me 5 units of Hoplites and 1 small unit of skirmishers. I've had a long look at Hail Caesar and the unit sizes don't really work for me, so I've scaled them down, I'll detail it in a future post. I'll probably make up 2 as Spartan/Lacedaemonian elite hoplites and 2 as levy hoplites and maybe the last lot as allies. 96 figures and a 200pt HC army for £22.50.

Yet another project and a big pile of plastic, I've already got a pile of over 100 28mm celtic types to do something with...

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Narrative Game

Apologies for the time since the last post, I've got distracted with various projects, some of which I'll probably get round to showing on here. I've built up a ~6000pt Vampire army made up of ebay purchases and lots of Mantic's fabulous undead range. I've also been sculpting some of my own figures for a zombie survivor game (more to come soon on this).

I did get together with a couple of my good gaming friends last month though and finally managed to persuade them to have a game of Warmaster Ancients with me. I pretty much used all the figures I have, didn't worry about points values. It was Imperial Rome against Carthage, and I'd guess it was about 3000pts vs 2000pts respectively.

I came up with a quick narrative scenario that the Romans were on a patrol from a main camp and starting cutting up rough in a local village (OK it was a Dark Ages village, but we won't worry about that). The Carthaginians with a sizeable quota of Gallic allies appear on the scene and ambush the patrol, and the main Roman army then turns up to save the day.

6x4 board with the village about 8" square set up ~24" from the Roman board edge and 30" in from the left hand board edge (so roughly central just in the Carthage half of the board). The village is surrounded by a stone wall and so all units behind this count as defended.

The Romans deploy first with 1 unit of legion, 1 unit of archers and 2 units of auxilliaries and 1 leader. The rest of their army deploy as normal near their own board edge.

The Carthage forces deploy as normal.

The objective of the game is to control the village by having 1 or more core units inside it and no enemy units.

It is quite a challenging scenario tactically, because the both main armies need to decide whether to try capitalise on successful commands to try and get forces into the village (either to support or attack), or to try and advance as normal with a solid battle-line. The Carthaginians also have a difficult decision of how early to commit their best units 

In this battle I took command of the Carthaginian forces and Jon and Jan took command of the (evil) Romans.

As the initial ambushers Carthage moved first, but only the Numidians on the left flank moved at all! The Gallic centre and the Spanish light cavalry on the right wing stayed put. Not the start they needed to try and sieze the village before the bulk of the Romans could arrive.

In response Rome got one big legion brigade moving and in the village the commander sent the archers out to get a range on the gauls and moved the auxiliaries up to the wall.

Roman Archers looking a little exposed.

The middle period of the battle saw a lot of manoeuvring but no deceive combats. The archers frustrated the gauls by inflicted confusion on them and the Carthage skirmish screen began to lose odd stands to the main Roman force's artillery and archers.

The Gauls, strangely reluctant to move off their hill and get stuck in.

With the main Roman army now forming a solid battle line to either flank of the village and with their cavalry wing threatening to sweep through the Carthage left flank it was looking decidedly dodgy for them, even though at this stage it was still 0vps each.

As were playing to a time limit the final turn was predictably silly! I charged with most things that could into the village, but despite taking some stands off the Romans all the fights were lost and the Gauls pulled back, the Romans deciding to hold their ground. The Spanish light cavalry on the right managed to sweep right around the Roman's flank and attack their skirmishers in a rare moment of success.

In their last turn, as we knew it was time to call it a day Jon and Jan declared charges with anything that could! The Romans in the village leapt over the wall and charged the demoralised Gauls, while their cavalry on the Carthage left smashed into the Numidians. Both main wings of their battle line also piled in. The results were predictably devastating. Most of the Gauls were wiped out and there were break-through charges aplenty. The only real bright spot for Carthage was the Spanish cavalry chewing through the skirmishers on the hill at the back.

As an impenetrable mist descended onto the battle field the picture was far from clear cut. A count back showed a narrow Roman victory on VP by 85. However no-one was left in control of the village due to the hot headed leader of the patrol!

This was a fun game to play and it was a shame we had to call time on it when we did. I've played a lot of tournament/campaign games where the player going last almost always wins due to being able to call charges where they can wipe out a unit, but leave themselves horribly exposed, knowing there can be no counter-charge as they know it is the last turn.

In this game it was fun to do and I'm glad we got stuck in and rolled some serious dice, but it always feels a tiny bit unsatisfying when a game is nicely balanced and you don't get to see how it would have played out normally. I'm keen to try out a similar scenario in the future though, its good to play something a bit different as most of the games of WMA I play are 1250pt tournament style ones.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Dark Age Buildings

I bought four buildings from a company called Total Battle Miniatures a while back and have got some paint on them now

This picture is of the "Great Hall" and a small wattle and daub dwelling. I've also got a 2nd dwelling and a "workshop" which is about half-way between the sizes of these two. The Great Hall is definitely the star of the show and will make a great centre-piece for a game.

Even though they are sold as Dark Ages, I don't see any reason why they couldn't be used for Late Roman, Northern Europe setting and possibly the workshop and dwellings all the way through to ~1600AD. As I understand it the Romans in Britain encouraged the move away from round houses to rectangular ones, so I'm happy to sub these in for a game of Gallic types against Imperial Romans as a rebellion or something.

On to the buildings themselves - they are not too expensive and I think they are worth it for the cost. I bought them from Maelstrom Games; unlike most MG stock they are not discounted normally, but I waited for one of their frequent 16% off vouchers and bought them then. So it was Great Hall - £6.75; Workshop - £4.20; Dwellings - £2.10. The resin casting quality is not too bad, but there are some problems with bubbles up around the eves of the thatch and the base of the buildings.

On balance I'd recommend them though. A nice quick way to populate a 10mm table.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Carthage Commander

I've been very quiet recently, got sucked into 28mm for a while; Mantic Undead, Dark Elves for Warhammer and some zombie survivors. I think I'll start to post stuff about these as well. I figure its probably better to post regularly and be a little less focused, than to drop the frequency of posts and keep it restricted to Warmaster/10mm only. If you've got any thoughts let me know in the comments.

Meanwhile I have finally finished my Carthage army to 1250pts, which is the level that is commonly played round here. This fellow is one of my Leaders - he's a magister millitum Numidian commander figure.

I tend to use him to command skirmishers or the Numidian light cavalry on my flanks.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Ángel Giráldez 10mm painting

I'm a massive fan of the work of Ángel Giráldez, who is miniature painter for Corvus Belli and also does work for Privateer Press and Governance of Technology amongst other brands. Not only is his painting style clean and beautiful, but he tends to paint for the mini ranges I love as well.

His most recent update is of a 10mm sculpt of the classic Mordheim personality "Aenur Sword of Twilight".

Something to aspire to with my 10mm painting...

If CMoN is your thing you can vote for his paint job here, and if you're quick bid on the mini itself!

If you like good painting check out his blog - link should also be to the right of this page -->>

Monday, 4 April 2011

Salute Preview - Battle report of Magnesia with Warmaster Ancients

It was my good fortune to take part in a huge game of Warmaster Ancients at the weekend, based on the Battle of Magnesia. This was a practice run for a demonstration game at Salute which will be run by The Purbeck Brotherhood of Ancients in a few weeks and I strongly recommend you check it out if you are at the show.

The real battle took place in 190BC between a force of Republican Romans under Publius Cornelius Scipio ("Scipio Africanus") and his brother arrayed against a larger force of Seleucid Successor under Antiochus III (the great) along with exiled Carthaginian general and all round Roman botherer Hannibal Barca. The Romans reportedly had ~35,000 men against some 65-70,000 Seleucids.

Historically the powerful Seleucid cavalry on the right chased off the Roman flank and then went off to loot the baggage train, meanwhile the Roman right broke the Seleucid left. In the centre it was a fairly even fight between the legions and the Seleucid pikes, until the pike phalanxes were outflanked and destroyed.

In the Warmaster Battle the host, Jim Brown and a few helpers set out the battlefield and deployed the troops in a reasonably historical set-up the night before. All told there was just shy of 4000pts per side on a ~12x4' table!

View from the Roman Right, with the River Phrygius in the background
I was on the Seleucid side commanding the right-hand side of the Phalanxes and a brigade of archers, which probably put me in the shoes of "Philip, master of the Elephants" according to wikipedia.

Any attempt to have a detailed account of the battle would be largely futile, as I rarely had any idea what was happening on the Seleucid left, or in the centre! Therefore I'm just going to post up some super-sized pictures I took during the battle. As always click on them to enlarge to full-size.

After a couple of movement turns the lines were getting close to clashing
Jim used a sensible rules change for the first turn, which was that each overall commander threw a D4 and the result was the number of brigades that couldn't move during the turn - all other brigades move up to full pace with no orders. With another D4 thrown to see how many brigades could double move. This got the lines closer much quicker without dice rolls or too many tactical decisions.

The Seleucid Left saw the first hostilities as cavalry clashed
The middle part of the battle was very hard to keep track of, essentially the two flanks of cavalry pretty much cancelled each other out, with neither able to break through and get into the flanks of the enemy infantry. In the centre the Seleucid pikes on the right-hand side and the gallic warband traded blows with the Romans with no real decisive blow. However on the Seleucid right and centre firstly the Legions and Triarii managed some flank charges and significantly disrupted the Phalanxes here, the counter-punch when it came though was devastating. Frontal charges against the Legion by the pikes ripped them apart and the tide firmly turned towards the Seleucids.

View from the Seleucid Right Flank. Decimation across the board, but there are a few more pike blocks still standing than Legions
There was outrageous luck on both sides, both good and bad. On the Seleucid right the dice totally abandoned the Romans at the crucial moment and although all the business was being conducted in the centre, the chance to even things up and swing down the Seleucid lines was lost.

Not sure about the Roman losses, but there were 36 stands of pikes in this part of the battlefield at the start of the game! I think there might 5 left!
Just some of the Glorious Dead. Seleucids in the front-right, Romans towards the rear (behind the pikes)
In the end the Romans were fairly comfortably broken (break point 23!!). Although they had lost quite a few more units than the Seleucids, the crucial factor in breaking the Romans was the loss of all the Triarii units (which count as 2 units towards the break point).

So the course of history was changed! Scipio Africanus was sent packing and the Seleucid Empire went onto dominate the Eastern Mediterranean....maybe.

Hope you enjoyed this massive battle report, and once again get along to Salute and check out the demo game with all fancy terrain and everything on April 16th.

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Battle Report - Sarmatians vs Dacians

This the second of the two games I played at the Stalbridge Warmaster Ancients day last month. It was a Dark Ages battle between two sets of Eastern Barbarians (at least that's how the Romans and Byzantines would have probably seen them).

I had first pick of the Dark Ages armies and went for the Sarmatians as a totally different type of force to ones I had previously fought with, being made up almost exclusively of cavalry, with warband shock cavalry at the heart.

2 Subordinates
6 Shock Cavalry
2 Light Cavalry
3 Skirmishing Cavalry
2 Levy Archers
4 Levy Infantry

Break point - 7

2 Subordinates
10 Warriors
2 Falxmen
4 Archers
2 Mounted Skirmishers
3 Sarmation Cavalry

Break point - 10

All the maps in this report have been produced using the FREE program - Battle Chronicler.


In order to get the game moving quickly we just set up our own forces simultaneously without worrying what the other player was up to.

 I set up with all of the warband cavalry on my right flank, in two brigades of 3 units to take advantage of their warband rule*, screened by the light cavalry. The mounted skimishers deployed on the far left opposite the wood, and the levy troops made up a very squishy and unreliable centre.
Ben deployed all of the warriors in one long line, two units deep, with the dangerous falxmen in the centre. He had archers on both flanks and all of the cavalry held in reserve.

His broad plan I think was to advance en masse and try and overwhelm me with numbers, I was trying to engage quickly with the cavalry and pick off isolated brigades.

* - warband gives you +1 to command rolls when brigades are 3 or 4 units strong.

Turn 1 & 2

The Dacians took the first turn and by their second turn had advanced in fairly good order to nearly the centre point of the battlefield. The only troops left behind were two units of archers that Ben had already decided to abandon as a lost cause. They were in difficult terrain (so immune to cavalry charges) and I had no infantry that could either get there, or do much if they did, so this made sense.

Ben ponders his next move

 His archers on my right flank were close enough for some pot shots at my levy archers and hit twice with the 4 stands that could see. With no armour and only 2 hits per stand (almost all units in the game have at least 3 hits) they lost a stand and were pushed back, being confused into the bargain.

This really bought home to me just how bad these Levy troops were, and how in serious combat they would quickly be decimated. I resolved to keep them out of harm's way for the rest of the battle. In my second turn I got my mounted skirmishers moving with a double move to cover the flank and clumped all my non-confused Levy troops into one big block. Then disaster struck as I rolled a blunder (12 on 2D6) to move my light cavalry screen, forcing them to move away from the nearest enemy. I managed to minimise the damage by moving them out to the extreme right flank, rather than through and behind the shock cavalry.

Sarmatian Turn 2
Turn 3

The lines were now only about 40cm apart, which is a double move (two consecutive successfully issued orders) for both infantry and cavalry, so there was a chance for Ben to charge my shock cavalry, or Levy troops. Unfortunately he was unlucky with his orders and in the end elected to move the left-hand archers into the wood and move the brigade of falxmen and warriors round opposite the levy. His positioning here was clever as they were a distance from my cavalry and anything charging this block would have the archers to their flank.

The archers again took plot shots, missing the levy, but scoring 3 hits on the mounted skirmishers pushing them back substantially and knocking off a stand. The Sarmatian left began to look decidedly dodgy (or it might have been it was dodgy all along and it was contact with the enemy that was bringing the fact home to me!)
Dacian Turn 3
In my turn I was determined to get stuck in. I intended on charging two units of shock cavalry into the falxmen. The way the narrow frontage of the shock cavalry works on the charge meant I could get all 6 bases of cavalry fighting against the frontage of just one falxmen unit. Although they would hit me with 12 attacks, these would be split between the two units and hopefully I would lose only 1 stand at worse, in reply I would hit with 24 attacks, needing only 9 rolls of 4+ to wipe out the unit.

I rolled for my chieftain on the left-hand brigade -12! Another blunder and they stayed put.

All is not lost I thought - I'll use my general to command the right-hand brigade. I easily passed the first command roll with Ld8, but made a very bad mistake in the movement - I split the brigade of 3 into the 2 units I wanted to charge and the one being left behind. This meant the brigade was no longer big enough for the warband rule to apply (+1 to command rolls). It meant my general now needed to roll 7 or less, instead of 8 or less to charge. - yes you've guessed it; I rolled an 8 and the attack stalled. And I had no more commands and a mess of a battle line.

Sarmatian Turn 3
 Turn 4

The Dacians wasted no time in capitalising on the mistakes of the previous turn, they reordered into a more solid central battleline, bringing up the flagging brigades. Ben then sucessfully charged one unit of shock cavalry over the hill on the right and into the flank of the dithering Sarmatian warband cavalry. In the shooting phase more hits and drive-backs were scored on the right and left flanks, but no confusion or lost stands resulted.

Dacian Turn 4
The combat was predictably bloody, over two rounds the Dacian cavalry managed to knock two stands off the cavalry unit they were fighting, pushing them back quite a way, before falling back out of the fight rather than stay with their flank exposed to the waiting Sarmatian battleline.

The Dacian cavalry maul the central Sarmatians

With time running out it was clear that the Sarmatian turn would be the last of the game, so I was determined to make it into combat this time. Firstly the 2 right-most shock cavalry units in the big brigade used initiative to charge the Dacian cavalry that had just pulled back. I then wanted to charge the falxmen brigade that escaped last turn but the two units that had taken a mauling from the Dacian cavalry (SH5 and SH6) were not upto the job on their own, but were blocking line-of-sight for the two units behind. I therefore used initiative to evade with the unit down to one stand and get it out of harm's way, I then used initiative to declare a charge on the light cavalry in the centre with SH5. If he stood and fought they would be wiped out, if they evaded, as they choose to, unit SH5 could fall back and would have broken up the formation of the cavalry brigade. The way was now clear for the remaining two units (SH1 & 2) to charge into the falxmen together. Finally I used initiative to charge the right-hand light cavalry into the mounted skirmishers on the extreme right.

Sarmatian Turn 4 - charges
Against the falxmen the shock cavalry duly wiped out the front unit and the unit behind over two rounds before withdrawing unscathed. On the right I got very lucky. I decided to fight the light cavalry first, hoping to wipe them out and get a break-through charge into the warriors on the hill. The mounted skirmishers were wiped out over two rounds, but Ben then pointed out very sportingly that actually with a 360o field of vision the closest charge target for the break-through charge was the already engaged shock cavalry. The lights hit them in the rear, and despite minor hits being inflicted, and the Sarmatian shock cavalry losing a stand, the Dacians lost the fight and were destroyed as they had no path of retreat with enemies to front and rear.

Turn 4 - follow up charges
With that the battle ended on a turn which had decisively swung things the way of the Sarmatians.

Final Positions

End Game
End of game positions
Dacians - 60pts
Sarmatians - 235pts

Break Point
Dacians - 3/10
Sarmatians - 0/7

As with my other Stalbridge battle report, there wasn't quite enough time to get to a decent conclusion of the game, although personally I feel this one was swinging firmly the way of the Sarmatians. Shock Cavalry unit SH5 is almost certainly doomed. However I'm not sure there are many other exposed juicy targets. Likely the Dacians would use their upcoming turn to reform a battle line, and possible move their brigades more toward the hill for a defended position. The complete lack of cavalry, skirmishers, or missile troops on the right flank though means it would be very tough to prevent the Sarmatians from harrying this flank and getting shock cavalry engaged here.

Another really enjoyable game, Ben is a great opponent but I didn't deserve to come out on top in honesty after the decision to split the warband brigade when trying to charge, and for not being aware of the possible rear break-through charge that was pointed out to me and was instrumental in finishing off the Dacian shock cavalry (+110 VPs).

Hopefully coming soon is a brief battle report of a huge practise game I took part in for a Salute demo game.

If you enjoyed the report, or you've got any other feedback, please leave a comment.

Thursday, 31 March 2011

I don't need any encouragement!

My wife bought me this great map last week from the Ordnance Survey

It's got a map of Roman towns, major roads, villas and industrial facilities, overlain on a faint map of the current UK. It also has a few little panels and box-outs with a brief history of various Roman institutions (Villas, Towns, etc). All in all a very nice thing for any ancient history geek - but she really doesn't need to encourage me; I'm quite capable of spending/wasting time and money on wargames all on my own!!

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Battle Report - Alexandrian Greek vs Persians

This is a battle report from my first game at Stalbridge Warmaster Ancient's day.

I was paired up with a fairly new player to the game called Jerry, who was in command of a Late Achaemenid Persian army led by Darius in his chariot, while I had Alexander's Macedonians led by the great man himself (Alexander not me!)

Alexandrian Greek (1250pt - Break Point 7)
Alexander - General
Leader x 2
4 Medium Phalanx
4 Unreliable Hoplites
2 Archers
2 Peltasts
1 Skirmishers (left in box!!)
1 Thessalian heavy cav
1 Companions Heavy Cav
2 Skirmishing Cav.

Persians (1285pt - Break Point 10)
Darius in Chariot - General
Leader x 2
4 Persian Infantry
8 Unreliable Subjects
2 Archers
2 Skirmishers
2 Heavy Cav
4 Light Cav
1 Light Chariots

The battle maps have been prepared using the free Battle Chronicler program, I heartily recommend downloading a copy! Through-out the report I'll be referring to "left" and "right" as per this map (and my perspective in the original battle). For those people not familiar with Warmaster Ancients I've provided a glossary of language I consider to be a bit 'Warmaster specific', at the end of the post.

The battlefield had a large hill with broken ground on the right flank and a smaller hill with a wood just to the left of the centre. I deployed the Greeks to move and take the centre ground, the Persians were deployed with their greater numbers across a wider frontage to try and overlap round the flanks.

As Gareth explained to us during set-up it was going to be a case of whether the superior Greek infantry could punch a hole in the Persian lines to be exploited by the Companion shock cavalry, before the Persian skirmishers and cavalry got round the flanks and disordered the Greeks.

The Persians had two solid brigades of subject infantry in the centre, with two small brigades of Persian infantry as reserves. Two big brigades of cavalry occupied either flank, with the heavy cavalry concentrated to the right flank Skirmishers and Archers covered the immediate flanks of the subject infantry.

I deployed the Greeks in two mirror image brigades of 2 phalanx, with peltast in front and archers to the flank. The unreliable Hoplite allies were on the right flank with Alexander to keep them in line and the cavalry formed a reserve. Giving me only 4 brigades to command initially (having forgot to deploy the unit of skirmishers!!)

Turn 1

I won the roll for first turn and ordered a general advance. Leader #1 got the right flank moving, but Leader #2 failed to move the second phalanx brigade in the centre, and thus the cavalry was trapped behind. Alexander got the Hoplites keeping pace, so my battle line was decidedly concave, but I was confident at this early stage there would be no problems.

 Jerry's turn started with a failed command on the right hand cavalry brigade, but all the other orders were passed and the Persians advanced solidly across the board, passing 7 other command checks.
Persian Turn 1
End of Turn 1
Turn 2

Luck was with me in turn 2 as I made most of my command rolls and recovered the shape of my battle line, first double moving the central phalanx brigade, before shuffling the left and right flanks a little and moving up the cavalry. Mindful of the threat posed by the light cavalry and chariots on the left I deployed the left hand brigade, moving the archers into line formation to guard the flank of the phalanx and moving the Peltast to the crest of the small hill to stall any charge by the Persian subject infantry. Alexander shifted to the centre and one of the leaders went out to the left flank.

Greek Turn 2
Persian Turn 2
In response Jerry was very unlucky with his command rolls, but nearly made up for it with his shooting. The left and right flank cavalry both advanced, but failed their 2nd and 3rd command checks respectively to leave them one move short of really causing problems for my flanks. His right-hand skirmishers moved up ready to shoot. In the centre however his general failed his command roll and the main infantry body stubbornly refused to move.

In the shooting phase the first genuine hostilities of the battle resulted in 2 hits on the front right Hoplite unit from the skirmishers, driving them back and confusing them! To make matters worse they had been pushed back so their flank was exposed to the hill which his cavalry was about to ride over, with no way of moving them next turn.

Turn 3

With the Hoplites immobilised on the right flank I somewhat lost my nerve this turn and mainly just shuffled around aimlessly in the centre. The exception was the non-confused Hoplite block who charged the skirmishers, who wisely evaded. This was the plan though as the Hoplites now had their flank resting on difficult ground protecting them from the flanking cavalry.

The Peltasts on the left pulled back to guard the phalanx flank and the archers shuffled along to accommodate them. All the phalanx unit shuffled forwards a touch.

In the shooting phase the left hand archers took a few pot shots at the chariots and succeeded in driving them back, although not substantially disrupting the brigade.
Greek Turn 3
Persian Turn 3
The Persian 3rd turn was very much where it all kicked off! The right flank cavalry brigade split to move the heavy cavalry into reserve and to move up the light cavalry, who then failed their 2nd command roll to charge! In the centre however Darius was calling the shots and first moved up the left hand subject brigade, before successfully double moving the right brigade into combat with the respective phalanx block.

The shooting phase was again useful with the right-hand Hoplites taking hits and again being pushed back and confused, this time by the light cavalry. The advanced block of Hoplites took two more hits and were threatened with a substantial drive back off the difficult terrain, so the rear unit decided to stand their ground, refusing to give way to the fleeing unit and forcing them into confusion.

The combat phase was quite messy. Because of the layout of the units Jerry had only been able to get 3 units from his brigade of 4 subject infantry into combat; one against the front of the Peltasts, one into the front unit of archers on the right and one unit in support. The Peltasts lost their combat and rather than risk being confused the Phalanx coldly stood their ground and refused to make way for them as they were pushed back, resulting in the Peltasts being destroyed. The archers made a decent effort of it, but were also wiped out. Devastatingly the loss of the archers meant the Persians could charge into the flanks of a phalanx unit, where the phalanx would be unable to effectively fight back. In the ensuing scrap a whole phalanx unit was lost and although the Persians had lost 1 unit of subject infantry and had two others down by a stand, the Greeks had lost a unit of Phalanx, Peltasts and Archers and had two stands of subject infantry in the flank of a second phalanx.
The Greek centre in trouble
End of Turn
VP: Greeks - 25; Persians - 150
Break: Greeks 3/7; Persians 1/10

Turn 4

As we were nearing our time limit for the game I threw caution to the wind in this turn. I firstly used initiative to charge the Thessilian heavy cavalry into the rear of the subject infantry menacing the phalanx, and the right hand unit of light cavalry into the same unit's flank. I then used initiative to charge my two left hand phalanx units into the heart of the Persian lines, my plan was to then double the Companion cavalry through the resulting gap into another part of their lines. Although the first command roll was a success they failed their second (needing 8 on 2D6). This forced Alexander to join the Thessalians instead as he was spoiling for a scrap.

Greek Turn 4
The Phalanx punched through the Persian lines, taking heavy losses themselves though trading one Phalanx unit for 2 subject infantry.

In the centre the effrontery of the subject infantry in the flank of phalanx was paid back, facing Alexander and chargers to their flanks and rear they were wiped out. The victorious Phalanx and light cavalry reformed while Alexander and the Thesselian cavalry rampaged through another 2 units of subject infantry to leave the Persian centre in disarray.
Alexander rampages through the Persian centre
Alexander leads the charge through the Persian Centre
End Game

Unfortunately at this point we had to stop with the game nicely balanced. Both sides I think felt they could have gone onto win.
End of Game
End of Game
Toting up the damage it was clear how close the battle was:
VP: Greeks 150; Persians 200
Break: Greeks 3/7; Persians 6/10

The Greeks had an extra turn, but both sides had a turn each of dictating charges, so it was probably reasonably balanced. Although the Persians had next turn it is hard to see where they could kill another 4 core Greek units in order to force them to break. The right hand Hoplites would probably be able to hold their own against the Light Cavalry, even if charged in the flank, certainly to the extent of avoiding being wiped out. There was a possible flank charge against the left Phalanx, which would have been fatal, and with some lucky command rolls the left flank light cavalry would have maybe been able to deal with the Peltasts and Archers.

However in the subsequent Greek turn the Companion cavalry would have had the two remaining subject infantry in their sights and Alexander and the heavy cavalry would likely have a charge against the Persian infantry in the centre, which would have taken the Persians to one unit short of their break point. So I think the Greeks probably had the upper hand positionally.

Let me know if you enjoyed this battle report, or any feedback you've got.

Warmaster Glossary
Brigade - 2-4 units in base contact that can be activated with a single command order
Command Roll/Test/Check/Order - 2D6 roll against commander's leadership, modified by distance, etc
Initiative - allows a unit to charge or evade from an enemy unit in 20cm with no command rolls
Evade - either in initiative or as a charge response (for skirmishers) unit can move away from an enemy unit
Drive Back -units taking hits from shooting are forced to retreat D6cm for every hit
Push Back - unit driven back into friendly units can "push" them back as well as they make way
Confusion - units driven back on a d6 roll of 6, or who cannot pass through friendly units are "confused" they cannot receive orders next turn.

Stalbridge Warmaster Ancients Day

I was lucky enough to make it down to Stalbridge in Dorset at the weekend and meet up with some guys I knew from the Devizes warmaster campaign last year as well as some new faces. The day was organised by Gareth Harding, who helped to write some of the updated armies lists on Rick Preistley's website and who owns a huge collection of painted warmaster armies.

He provided sets of paired armies for the games with full army lists and hints on how to deploy and use them and we played two over the day, one ancients and one dark ages. Although the turn out was disappointing (possibly something to do with the nice weather) it was a great success with old hands getting some games in and a few people being introduced to the game for the first time.

I played my ancients game as Alexander's Macedonians against Late Achaeminid Persians commanded by a new player called Jerry. Then in the afternoon I played as Sarmatians against Dacians, with Ben, an opponent from Attack! last summer.

It was great fun to get playing Ancients again and I'm going to post a couple of battle reports using Battle Chronicler as separate posts, the first hopefully tonight or tomorrow and the other later in the week.

Numidians from TB Line

TB Line have been busy of late, just releasing two more 10mm Ancients packs; Numidian Skirmishers and Balearic Slingers.

The Numidians look really good, excellent definition. Not so sure about the skirmishers though, they seem to lack a bit of definition around the face (the picture above is probably the best). I'm still intending on getting a few packs of these excellent figures, but as with Pendraken and Magister Militum there is a "house style" developing for TB Line, in that the poses for each horseman are pretty similar between the different ranges, so I'll be interested to see how they look as two opposing armies.

These are a smart release though, there are lots of armies that use the equivalent of Numidian light horse from Carthage, and most of the Roman lists and slingers can be used in most Mediterranean based lists from the Ancient World with not too many problems.

Friday, 18 March 2011

Big range expansion for Governance of Technology

I've been a huge fan of Antenociti's Workshop; Jed Norton's terrain and lately miniature website, for a long time. It introduced me to Infinity and really upped the stakes in my terrain scratch building. Although slightly off-topic, this is one of my creations using some of his terrain elements.

gothic corbels and window frames
window frames, ivy and dead leaves
barrels and kegs

His newest project is a joint miniature and terrain line, called "Governance of Technology" (GoT) which has been going for about a year now. It is set in a dystopian future where an all powerful technology board strictly controls each planet's access to technology, thus keeping each civilisation in stagnation.

It's a bit of a strange beast, in that there is a website with loads of background, quite well defined factions and whatnot, but its not actually a miniature game in its own right, so ostensibly it is just for figure collection. I know Jed is a regular on the Infinity forums and plays the game, so to me it is surprising that there are not proxy rules for GoT figures using Infinity rules, but maybe he is playing the long game and there are developments in the pipeline to turn it into a full-blown skirmish game?

I have seen today on the South London Warlords site the GoT range will expanded quite a bit at Salute with:
* 7 new GOT Figures
* GOT-Trooper Suad-packs x3
* Nova-Rus Light Tank 28mm
* Nova Rus APC 28mm
* UK Firefly Light-Gunship 28mm
* Terminus Police Dodge-Tata MATV 28mm
* GOTA - APC 28mm

The vehicles are really something to look forward to as his Nova-Rus "Bear" is a great looking kit and has been selling faster than he can cast it.
Nova-Rus "Bear" 4x4 Jeep
 There are currently 37 figure types (some packs of two poses of same model) and 1 squad pack in the range, along with 8 vehicles, so an expansion of 7 figures and 5 vehicles is relatively a pretty big one.

I'm looking forward to seeing these new models a lot and hopefully in the next month or so I'll post up my first building tile for GoT/Infinity which I've been working on.

Meanwhile, back in the land of 10mm Ancients there is another Salute announcement on the website that is of interest from Magister Militum:
"We have three new 10mm buildings which will be out for Salute, a Roman villa/farm, slave/workers quarters and barn."
Quality 10mm ancients building are in short supply, with only Kerr & King's Jerusalem and Total Battle Miniatures' Dark Age settlement springing to mind, so this is very exciting news as well.