Thursday, August 6, 2020

Jaxartes River 329 BC - Command and Colors Ancients



Saka deployed on the left, Macedonians on the right



Opposite end



Macedonian right flank with Companions led by Alexander



Macedonian centre



Macedonian left flank



Saka left flank



Saka centre



Saka right flank



View of the table from the Macedonian left flank



View of the table from the Saka left flank




Last Wednesday afternoon I played another solo Command and Colors Ancients (CCA) game out in the shed. The scenario was Jaxartes River with the Macedonians under Alexander taking on the Saka under Satraces. I made a few changes to the scenario making the Saka all light bow cavalry, except for one medium cavalry unit, Satraces' nobles, who were also bow armed. I also used the Parthian shot special rule introduced in Command and Colors Medieval (CCM) for light bow cavalry and the Saka medium cavalry were also able to use this when evading. 

This rule allows a unit to evade two hexes while firing with two dice and it can only be hit with the appropriate coloured dice ignoring all other results. The only change to the Macedonians was to allow the light cavalry Prodromoi to hit on swords as well, reflecting their use of the sarissa. Missile fire across the river was possible only for Alexander's catapults but troops crossing the river could fire and were targets themselves. 

In retrospect the Parthian shot rule was overly effective as the the Macedonians never managed to make any headway and a double flag dice result on the Prodromoi, a retreat of eight hexes and a casualty for every hex beyond the base line they were unable to retreat, seemed to typify their luck in the game. In the end the Saka slaughtered the Macedonians 7-2 victory points. This was a totally unexpected and rather unsatisfying game, given the complete reversal of the actual historical result. While the Parthian shot rule reflects the tactics of steppe nomad armies it may be better reduced to a single dice for CCA scenarios, as moving light bow cavalry normally shoot with only one dice anyway.




Macedonians attempt to cross the river in the centre



Macedonian javelinmen are forced to retreat



Macedonian pike cross in the centre with a double time card



Alexander launches an attack on the Macedonian right flank



Companions advance, Saka evade and cause heavy losses



Companions suffer under heavy bow fire



Casualties mount on the pike in the centre



Macedonian left flank launches an attack



Side view



Macedonians are destroyed or forced to retreat

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Bolt-Shooting Torsion Catapults











Here are some bolt-shooting torsion catapults and crew that I've just finished painting. The three above all Vendel/Sgt Major figures and are early examples of oxybeles as illustrated in Duncan Head's WRG book Armies of the Macedonian and Punic Wars 359 BC to 146 BC (p.187). The one below is a later Hellenistic scorpion (p.188) with three crew and is by Relic Miniatures but doesn't seem to be on their website anymore, which is a pity. I will use all four for a Command and Colors Ancients (CCA) scenario of the Battle of Jaxartes River 329 BC, where Alexander used the catapults to provide covering fire for his troops, as they crossed the river and taught the Saka a lesson.










Monday, July 27, 2020

Scythians versus Neo-Assyrians Chariots Rampant Game



Table view from the Scythians' side


View from the Assyrians' side



Scythians advance



Assyrian cavalry mixed bow and spear



Sab Sharri mixed bow and spear



Chaldean slingers and Assyrian chariots



Sab Sharri mixed bow and spear



Assyrian cavalry mixed bow and spear



Scythian horse archers



Scythian noble cavalry



Scythian horse archers



Scythian horse archers




Last Sunday afternoon out in the shed I played a solo Chariots Rampant game with the Scythians taking on the Neo-Assyrians somewhere in the highlands of Uratu (Armenia). Chariots Rampant is a Bronze Age variant of Lion Rampant and can be found in Wargames, Soldiers and Strategy magazine Issue 82. The scenario was the standard Bloodbath encounter, the two sides were 32 points and, except for a single skirmisher unit of Chaldean slingers, every unit was bow armed. The Scythians suffered early casualties and a horse archer unit was forced to retreat battered in the face of some withering fire from the Assyrians. A unit of Scythian noble cavalry recklessly charged a Sab Sharri unit, and while they won the combat they were forced to retreat battered. Eventually sheer weight of numbers told and the Scythians' bow fire wore the Assyrians down and their left flank routed.




Scythian noble cavalry



Scythian horse archers



Scythian horse archers



Both sides advance



Scythian horse archers retreat battered in the centre



Scythian noble cavalry charge the Sab Sharri



They win the combat but retreat battered



Casualties from missile fire mount



Scythian horse archers make skirmish moves



Sab Sharri advance



Assyrian left flank routs



Assyrian chariots are the only unscathed unit

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Scythian Noble Cavalry 2















Here are some more Scythian noble cavalry and horse archers that I've just finished painting. The nobles are all Tin Soldier figures and the horse archers are a mix of Wargames Foundry and Old Glory. I have enough painted Scythians or Kimmerians for some games I have planned but still need to paint up some more figures for their opponents. I have enough figures for both sides to try a small Chariots Rampant game, so may do that for fun (I haven't played it for a while) and just to give them a run.













Jaxartes River 329 BC - Command and Colors Ancients

Saka deployed on the left, Macedonians on the right Opposite end Macedonian right flank with Companions led by Alexander Macedonian centre M...