Wednesday, 30 March 2016

The Punic wars, Roman republic v Carthaginian

                           Citizen Spearmen led by a Carthaginian general

Last weekend we managed to have another crack at the sword and spear rule set but this time we used my dads new Mid Roman republic and late Carthaginian 10mm armies. The Carthaginian army were short of the Gaul Warbands as with the bank holiday post they hadn't quite arrived in time, so to compensate for this the Roman Hastati units were classed as raw. I've never used either of these armies before so after a roll off I was given given command of the Roman Republicans.

The battle lines
My Hastatti units positioned behind behind the Principes and Velites units.
The heavy foot of the Carthaginian infantry in the form of Libyan Spearmen and accomping elephants 

I had deployed quite away back from my dads Carthaginians so all the early action was between our cavalry. I managed to rout a unit of Numidian cavalry but after pursuing into a unit of citizen spearman my Roman cavalry became embroiled in the melle enabling another unit of Numidian cavalry to flank them, this led to Roman cavalry been routed, also on this flank I lost a second Roman cavalry unit to the Numidians. 
After charging the javlinmen skirmishes my allied Numidian cavalry unfortunately found itself in combat with the elephant unit. Unsurprisingly they were eventually routed but they had granted my army infantry a few turns where they were not under threat from the rampaging elephants.
After the Principes with stood the initial charge form the Lybian Spearmen the Hastati charged into the combat with bonus impetus which saw the Lybian infantry rout from the field.

By the mid stage of the game our battle lines were well within charge range, I had lost my cavalry on the right flank but my dads units over that side were a little isolated from his commanders and the main battle itself so weren't posing to much threat yet. Whoever could grab the initiative over the next few turns could see the game swing in their favour.
All our front line troops clashed in the centre of the battlefield when the Lybian heavy infantry charged into the Principes units who once again managed to hold their ground (just) before the Hastati units charged into break the Lybian infantry putting the Carthaginian centre in abit of trouble.
 my Triarri units hold the hill on the left flank where the Gaul/citizen and Spanish cavalry become cautious to charge. Behind these the Veteran Spearmen with the white shields can be seen.

With the Carthaginian centre in trouble my dad decided to finally launch his cavalry into combat. The citizen cavalry charged the Tari unit and the Guals charged a unit of Principes with both units unable to cause any significant damage. In the centre the elephant units moved into a portion to charge
A unit of Elephants charges into a unit of Hastatti and the results aren't pretty for the Romans despite the elephants not been fresh as they suffer heavy casualties and rout. The Roman army had now lost a  third of its army and all units had to take a discipline tests part from the Triarri who are steadfast.
The Romans respond as the Triarii defeat the citizen cavalry and despite orders to hold there ground they pursue after the routing Cavalry
The Principes remain locked in combat as the Cathaginian commander keeps the Gauls in the fight with some important rallying.
The rampaging elephants are flanked by a unit of Triarii however a round of poor dice rolling sees the elephant win the combat, in return the Numidian cavalry charge into the rear of the Romans, who somehow manage to stand and continue to fight.
And that was just about time reached, I tried a couple of times to rally some units ready to fight in the following rounds but was unsuccessful so I finally repositioned a couple of units ready to charge if they were afforded the inititive. My second unit of Triarri had routed the Spanish cavalry but my dads Carthaginians were still 4 or 5points from losing a third of their army and having to take discipline test across their army. The elephant and Numidian cavalry somewhat surprisingly still failed to break the unit of Hastati and elsewhere the Gaul cavalry remained locked in combat. With the final position reached the game had ended in a winning draw to my dads Carthaginians as although the battlefield position was still in the balance my army was extremely close to reaching its break point and the likely hood is that it would have been reached before my dads army did. The elephants proved to be a real force in this game and when they get abit of extra impetus dice to them they are almost unstoppable, very dangerous indeed. The rules we managed to get through without to much delay in checking the book, and once again we both had thoroughly enjoyed the game, sword and spear seem a excellent set of rules, well suited for ancient warfare.
The final positions of the armies.

Saturday, 19 March 2016

Fantasy action

                                                   Undead v Dwarves 300 points 
With all the new rule sets we have been playing of late I decided that this weeks game would be a fantasy affair using the quick and easy Warband rules. I decided to field a Undead army which would do battle against my dads Dwarf army. 

The armies consisted of: x 2 Undead warriors, X 1 Undead riders (skirmishes) X 2 Zombie hordes, X 1 Scrubs, 1 X Undead Catapult, Nexromancer and Undead Lord (powerful/regeneration). The Dwarves had X 5 Warriors (steadfast) X 1 Troll Slayers, X 1 Hounor Guard (steadfast) 1x Dwarf cavalry and a Exceptional Dwarf commander.

The battle lines advanced towards each other 

In the opening moves I utilised the commander to move my troops as a group move, it can be painfully slow going trying to get the undead army up into combat, especially when there are hills and fields hampering your progress. This was probably my first mistake as I had positioned my catapult behind the hill, the idea was to get it on the hill so it would be in a position to have a good field of fire. However  I couldn't get it to move more than once so I wasted a good couple of turns when it could have been firing. When I did get it into position the catapult caused severe damage onto a Dwarf warrior unit, but after this most of the Dwarves managed to get into combat so my targets were limited much to my frustration, oh well lesson learned!

The much under used catapult, when it did shoot it showed its potential to devasting effect with the added help of the commanders points.

The dwarves are ready to charge as the scrubs eye the badly wounded warrior unit which has just suffered from a almighty rock landing amongst there ranks 

The Dwarves hurl abuse at there foe under the watchful eye of their commander aloft on his throne.
With the initiative this turn the dwarves are Unable to contain themselves and charge the line of undead, however despite having the bonus of the charge the undead line held firm with the Undeadlord particularly fighting well. However these bearded folk were made of stern stuff and been steadfast they refused to give ground.

Try as I might I could not break the Dwarf warriors who had suffered at the rock of the catapult. The scrubs charged over and over again but I couldn't get the one remaining hit I required to rout them, even with the added help of some magic from the necromancer. The Skelton riders joined the melee  and were in turn counter charged by another drwaf warrior unit. This multi combat turned into a fight of nutrition as both sides just couldn't get enough hits to rout or destroy there foe as the combat lasted the entire of the rest of the game. The undead Lord eventually managed to retreat the troll slayers but the undead warriors in support crumbled to dust as there last casualty was reached. The other undead warriors were also forced out of the combat leaving the undead Lord,at least at the moment fighting on his own.

Gaps start to appear in the battle lines as units are pushed back from the fighting.

The Dwarf baby horses ermm sorry cavalry move around to support the warriors who have just charged and forced the necromancer to retreat opening a gap in the undead line.
At this stage of the game I charged as many of my troops as I could into combat. Right along the line most of our units were in combat. However a combination of some fine dwarf armour protection and my necromancer not getting enough magic points to cast his combat boosting spells onto the undead units saw me unable once again to cause any panic in the dwarf line as another of my warrior units crumbled to dust. The honour guard and troll slayers pushed back both my units on the far right side of the hill as my right flank started to look very vulnerable.

All out action as both armies are locked in a swirling melee across the entire front line
The troll slayers look to meet a fitting doom they fight against the ranks of the undead

The combined fighting power of both the troll slayers and the Hounor guard over powered and destroyed my zombie horde and pushed back the undead warriors. With this result the slayers managed to charge into the flank of my Undead Lord who was already locked in combat to his front. This sparked a series of charges as my necromancer and warriors charged to help the Lord in a desperate struggle to try and tip the balance of the combat. In return the hounour guard charged into the melee in what was a series of charges counter charges and flank attacks.

The big melee in the centre, if the Undead Lord was to be defeated it would surely lead to the final destruction of the undead force.

Still on the my left flank the scrubs and riders continued the fight against the stubborn dwarf warriors, two of the three dwarf units were now  down to one final hit point but I was unable to inflict the required damage to rout the units. A zombie horde also managed to keep the dwarf cavalry and warriors locked in combat for a number of turns 

The dwarves King charges into the Undead Lord in a challenge to the death
Despite the best efforts of the troll slayers and the challenge from the Dwarf King, the Undead Lord holds his own and survives to continue the fight as his powerful attacks inflict damage onto the King.

With this turn completed we had ran out of time and the battle had ended in a stalemate. The Dwarves were definetly holding the upper hand at this point and I don't know how much longer the Undead Lord could hold out before he would be destroyed . His destruction would have been the final nail in the coffin ( ha no pun intended ) and my army would have crumbled. Although I hadn't manage to destroy any dwarves units they far from had it their own way as the fact a number of their warrior units were down to their final hit. It was good to have a game of Warband again and get out the fantasy armies, always makes for a nice change from historical periods.

The final battlefield position

Thursday, 17 March 2016

Marlburian/War of Spanish Succession Battle Report

We fought a cracking game of Blackpowder last Sunday evening using for the first time my dads 10mm British and French Marlburian armies. I've only sampled this period once before when I took a command at the big game put on by the lads up at Westerhope. We used the extra rules from the black powder supplement Last Argument of Kings with a couple of additional amendments my dad felt help give the feel of the period. I opted to play the British and Austrain force, with my dad using the French/Bavarian/Irish army.

The armies deployed for battle

The battalions of two British brigades in the centre of the battlefield

Over on my left flank is the Austrain Currasiers and infantry brigades.these troops would preform somewhat underwhelming during the course of the game
The first brigade of French advance in the centre battlefield towards the strategically important hill line
Austrain Currasier redeploy to oppose the threat of the Frenchheavy cavalry who have advanced just off the centre of the battlefield and threatened to exploit a gap in my battleline

A long hill dominated the centre of the battlefield and this is where most of the heavy fighting was to be done. My dad rolled the better command rolls and managed to get his French infantry deployed on the hills before I could get there along with his artillery. It was going to be tough to dislodge the French infantry from this position, but it was exactly what I intended on doing. I advanced both my lines up to musket range as quick as possible and engaged in a fire fight with the French.

The British lines advance towards the French infantry on the hill line under heavy artillery and musket fire.

A view from a French prospective as the British infantry advance.

The Barvarian brigade eventually obeyed orders and advanced to occupy the buildings in the town

The first lines of both armies suffered heavy casualties with a number of units becoming shaken and been withdrawn to rally behind their second lines. It was around this time that I started to get the upper hand as I was able to cause disorder on a number of French units for a couple of turns in a row which allowed me to push my troops up to point blank range. My dads Irish brigade was in real danger of breaking at this point but some astute rallying helped keep them I the game and stop the French right centre from collapsing.

The British make there final move to drive  the French from hill line by moving up to point blank range.

After blundering and retiring two moves the Austrain infantry returned to the position of the French right flank. However after my dad had moved his Currasiers around to threaten my flank, following this I managed to fail the Austrian battalions order to turn and face the new threat of cavalry, Instead They remained stationary as the French Currasiers charged into there flank. Needless to say the infantry were broken, although it surprisingly lasted for two rounds of combat before they turned heels legging it!

On the centre left a battalion of French infantry crumbles under the pressure from the British infantry and a supporting battalion of French infantry turns its heels and runs aswell.

With this sucess on the right hand side  of the hill I moved my Dragoons forward to try and capitalise on the gap in the French line. The Dragoons charged and subsequently broke another unit of French infantry breaking the brigade. On my left flank the French and Austrain Currasiers fought over a number of rounds with eventually both brigades becoming shaken.

A French infantry battalion is destroyed by the British Dragoons 

Both Our cavalry on my right hand flank had positioned itself into a stalemate as neither side committed them to combat. My dad used a portion of his cavalry to reposition in the centre where the gaps had appeared from the broken French infantry brigade who had occupied the hill top. A unit of French Dragoons managed to call a follow me order and survived some poor closing fire from the British infantry, who in turn fell back from the onslaught before routing in the following round of combat, as a result of this both supporting British infantry also rolled very low on their moral test and joined there comrades in fleeing from the battle. My gains on this flank had all but been lost as I had no reserves to filter into the combat. Along the centre I made one final push to break the battered French second line along the hill top. I had moved my battalions to point blank range to get the best chance at breaking the French line but alas Unlucky for me I managed to roll some quite horrific dice and caused no casualties or disorder against the French. This was to prove the vital moment in the game as my troops too were badly shot up and I had vitally been unable to rally a unit from my second Bitish brigade with my CnC over the last two turns. This ment if I suffered one more unsaved hit on this brigade they would be broken and my whole centre would have to retire. 

The final volley from the French breaks the British centre

My dads firing in the following turn proved to be more deadly than mine had and I failed to save one of the hits on the only fresh remaining battalion of the second brigade rendering it now shaken. The following morale saw me roll a four and with that the brigade broke. At this stage although my army wasn't completely broken, I was forced to start retreating with my remaining battalions in the centre and I was now in no position to continue. My ineffective firing phase in the previous turn had proved a major turning point in the game and my dad had been able to capitalise on this opportunity. Had I managed to score a few hits I could have shaken a number of French battalions who were one hit from becoming shaken, possibly breaking them aswell and then been able to take control of the high ground, this was how delicately the game been had been poised at this late stage.

The victorious French troops still hold the hill line as the British troops start to retreat from the battlefield, in the back ground you can see the remains of the British 1st brigade routing from the field. 

Blackpowder once again proved to be very cut and thrust and at times very unforgiving ( just ask the Austrain batallion who after failing to pass their command roll were flanked by a unit of Currasiers!). The amendments definetly helped give a feel to this period, especially not been able to shoot if you make more than one move. A cracking game, definitely a period I look forward to playing again.

The final position of the battlefield 

Saturday, 12 March 2016

New project underway and a game of Blucher

My Dead Mans Hand Western side project is well under way with the first of my Lawman and Gun men 'posse' figures completed along with some of the buildings i purchased recently. All the models/buildings are from the Peter pig 15mm Western range. I love the look of the buidings, my dad had some Western shop signs lying around amongst his "just incase i ever decide to do this period" spares BIG box. They are orginally 28mm signs but they have been photocopiyed at a smaller scale and the results i think are great.

Up holding the law, Marshal Heals, Judge Haime, Sheriff G and gunman
Agent Barber Pilkington (grey coat) and various gunmen
"wanted dead or alive" Bad man Mongo Larry
Hopefully after another look through the rules i will be get a game played in the next couple of weeks, it certainly seems like it should be a fun game, so i look forward to it.:-)

Also in the last week we played another game of Blucher, however this time for a first i played the Austrains while my dad had a go at handling the French in a 300 point game

the game set up

It was yet another good game using Blucher with the momentum swinging my (Austrain) way during the second half of the game. After managing to hold off a large cavalry attack from the French on my left flank i was able to make big inroads into the French centre. This was helped my my ability to roll pretty low activation points for my dads command phase much to his frustraition throughout the entire game. I managed to time a couple of my movement phases to great effect when i gambled on having plenty of activation points which luckly i did!  Also i managed to commit my reserves to good effect for a change, with my Grenadier corp when called apon really pushing deep into the French centre effectivly splitting my Dads army in half.

The 1st Corp lead the attack in the Austarian centre supported by the Veteran Grenza from the Reserve corp
French line infantry brigades of the first corp advance through the fields in the Centre of the battlefield
Close combat fighting rages in the centre of  the battle
Mid way stage of the battle
Under a heavy cavalry and infantry attack the Austrain Infantry brigades of the 2nd corp crucially hold their ground
After repulsing the French attack the Austrain left flank launches a late counter attack led by Dragoons and Hussars
The final actions of the battle sees the French infantry retreating in the centre of the battlefield under the cover of the Curraisers
I wasnt able to break the French army by the time the game ended but my dad and I both agreed that the battle was currently standing in favour of the Austrains, who we felt still had the strength in numbers to inflict the loses required to break the French morale (i think my dad was 2 units away from the army break total). My dice rolling in the fire fight exchanges had been better in this game and my artillery had proved a useful addition, constanly inflicting casualties all through the game on my dads troops where as the less said the better about my dads dice rolling for his artillery fire! So my first outing with the Austrains ended in a Tactical victory