Monday, May 16, 2022

Bibracte 58 BC - Strength and Honour Game


Gauls deployed on the left, Romans on the right

Opposite end from the Gallic side

Both sides advance

Helvetii cavalry and warband

Gallic advance is ragged

Boii and Tulingi flank attack appears in the woods

Romans wait on the edge of the hill

Romans charge downhill 

Last Sunday afternoon Rick came over to my place with his 9'x4' Deep Cut Studios 10 cm gridded mat and some Gauls. We played a Strength and Honour game of the Bibracte scenario which can be downloaded on the Too Fat Lardies Forum. We diced for sides, I was the Romans, rolling +4 for the Auguries, while the Gauls rolled +2. In the scenario a flanking force of Boii and Tulingi warbands could appear in the woods on the Roman right flank from turn three.

We played about ten turns of the game, and there was plenty of ebb and flow in fortunes before it ended in a draw. The actual battle continued on in to the night before the Helvetii broke. In the end we ran out of time but the Romans had their backs to the wall and were 14 breaking on 18 and only narrowly avoided having their fortified camp captured. It was a lot of fun, the Gauls definitely had the best of the encounter.

Combat in the centre

Raw XI becomes disordered, Caesar is attached to the Veteran X

Boii and Tulingi emerge from the woods

A Gallic warband is pushed back

Romans are pushed back

Gauls are on a roll

Roman setback and disaster cards mount

The Boii are Frenzied and charge but are pushed back

Game is a draw but Romans are 14 breaking on 18

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

River Arar 58 BC - Strength and Honour Game


Tigurini  deployed in column while the Romans await in the woods

Opposite end Roman attackers are about to launch their ambush

Romans roll + 4 on the Auguries!

Tigurini + 2

Romans advance out of the woods, some of the Tigurini turn to face

On Wednesday I played a solo Strength and Honour game out in the shed with my 28mm Late Republican Romans and Gauls. The scenario was the River Arar in 58 BC with Caesar's legions ambushing the Tigurini with their baggage train near the river Arar. This is the first of three scenarios from the Bibracte campaign that Mark Backhouse, the rules author, posted on the Strength and Honour board on the Too Fat Lardies' forum. Caesar describes the encounter:

There is a river, the Arar which flows through the territories of the Sequani and Aedui and into the Rhone. The weakness of its current is incredible; a person cannot judge by looking at it, which way it is flowing. The Helvetii were crossing it by building rafts and tying small boats together. Caesar was informed by his scouts that three-quarters of the Helvetian forces had already crossed this river and only one quarter was left on the same side of the Arar as the Roman army; so during the third watch, he set out from his camp with three legions and came to that part of the Helvetii that had not yet crossed. Attacking them by surprise while they were burdened with their baggage, he slaughtered many of them. The rest sought safety in flight and hid in the nearest forest. They were from the tribe that is called the Tigurini, the whole Helvetian nation being divided into four tribes.

The Landmark Julius Caesar The Complete Works 1.12.1-4 pp.12-13 Translated by Kurt A. Raaflaub Anchor Books, 2017, New York.

For the game I used the reverse side of my Hotz mat with five inch hexes that I use for Command and Colors Ancients. I marked in a 15cm grid with dots from a felt tip pen which were clear enough to the naked eye but unobtrusive at the same time. I know the rules are designed for smaller scale armies, and there are a lot of advantages with these, but most of my painted armies are 28mm, so it was good to play another game to learn the rules and I think it looked OK as well. I didn't have any painted Numidian foot skirmishers for the Roman army so just substituted some Gallic skirmishers instead.

The scenario and the game were very one sided, so it  is probably best played as a solo game. The Romans rolled + 4 on the Auguries table, the Tigurini +2. The Tigurini are deployed in a column facing the river and all their units manoeuvre on 4 + compared to 2 + or 3 + for the Romans so it is tough going. The Tigurini used all their points on the command board early in the game trying to turn and face the Roman attack, with little success. In the end the Romans won very easily with barely a set back card or push back in sight but still quite a fun and satisfying game to play.

Caesar is attached to the IX Hispana

Tigurini  baggage is pushed back

Tigurini cavalry rout, baggage and a warband are disordered

Another push back for the Tigurini 

Tigurini  finally break with a single unit remaining

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Bagradas River 49 BC - Strength and Honour Game


Numidians and Romans deployed

Numidian cavalry advance on the left flank

View from the Roman side

Numidian cavalry on the right flank fail to move

On Wednesday afternoon I went over to Rick's place for a game of Strength and Honour, the new set of ancient rules by Mark Backhouse, published by the Too Fat Lardies under Reisswitz Press. These cover from the Marian reforms (about 107 BC) until about 200 AD and are designed for smaller scale figures (2mm to 15mm). We played the Bagradas River 49 BC Roman Civil war scenario (pp. 98-99) with Numidians under Saburra taking on a Caesarian Roman force commanded by Curio. We used Rick's 6mm figures on 40mm square bases, he was the attacker with the Romans and and I was the defender with the Numidians.

We bumbled our way through our first game, a familiar experience but we both enjoyed it. The Numidians routed two Roman units, the skirmishers and cavalry, and looked to be well placed but a couple of bad dice rolls for the Numidian spearmen and the army was broken. Rick revealed his cards afterwards and he was broken too, the timing of the 'Homunculus Est' activation call is fairly critical! This is where the combined tally of setback and disaster cards is revealed on request to your opponent.

There's always quite a bit to absorb with any new set of rules, and it can take a while before everything is clear, so plenty to ponder for future games. Strength and Honour are quite innovative, but concise with fifty nine pages of actual rules, the remaining forty odd pages covering campaigns, scenarios and army lists. The photos are excellent, lots of lovely 2mm troops, terrain and tables. They're well supported by videos on YouTube, a Facebook group and a dedicated forum on the Too Fat Lardies website. Warbases sell the Antonine Miniatures 2mm ancient ranges developed for these rules, which are very nice and surprisingly detailed for the scale. I'm really looking forward to painting some of these packs.

I'm still unable to comment or reply on blogger now with the new sign in with Google button.

Roman cavalry charge the Spanish and Gallic bodyguard

Combat result is a grind, both sides are pushed back

Romans call Homunculus Est but Numidians' break point is 13 

Numidian spearmen rout

Numidians break this time

Thursday, April 28, 2022

Early Crusaders


Here are some Early Crusaders from the Victrix Norman Cavalry plastic set that I've just finished painting. Shield transfers are by Victrix and banners are by LBM from the Norman lance pennants set. Great figures as you'd expect but really versatile too, with Norman, Early Crusades, Spanish and Andalusian options. I liked these so much I ordered another set to do as Spanish caballeros for my Reconquista army.

I'm having a few issues commenting and responding on blogs with the new sign in with Google button feature so apologies for the lack of comments on other blogs and responses here. Hopefully I'll sort it out soon!

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Sassanid Heavy Infantry


Here are some more Sassanid infantry that I've just finished painting for my 15mm Sassanid army. These are all Forged in Battle figures from their Sassanid heavy infantry pack with an LBM banner. These are really lovely, detailed little figures, more true 15mm than 18mm, that are just great to paint. I have quite a few more packs of these to paint, mainly Clibinarii and a pack of the Daylami hillmen.

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Normans vs Anglo-Danes ADLG Game


Anglo-Danes on the left, Normans on the right

Normans advance

Norman Milites charge on both flanks

Anglo-Danish right flank is under pressure

On Tuesday afternoon Craig came over to my place and we played a 200 point ADLG game with Normans vs Anglo-Danes. I was the attacker with the Normans, they advanced and the impetuous Milites charged, assisted by the Breton light horse on the left flank. The Greater Fyrd and then the Select Fyrd were rolled up on the Anglo-Danish right flank with some lucky dice. In the centre and on left flank the Huscarls slogged it out with the Norman spearmen and Milites. In the end we called time as the Anglo-Danish were almost broken (they were 21 breaking on 23) while the Normans were relatively unscathed (10 breaking on 21). It was a fun, quite prolonged game with these two armies, Craig had some terrible dice.

Centre and left flank is scattered but firm

Greater Fyrd is rolled up

Centre and right flank slog it out

Select Fyrd are almost gone

Anglo-Danes are almost broken

Bibracte 58 BC - Strength and Honour Game

  Gauls deployed on the left, Romans on the right Opposite end from the Gallic side Both sides advance Helvetii cavalry and warband Gallic a...