Monday, July 15, 2019

Battle of Sentinum 295 BC - Command & Colors Ancients

View of the table from the Samnite/Gallic side

View from the Roman side

Gallic and Roman cavalry in action

Gauls attack on their right flank

Roman right flank

Samnites on the left flank

Last Sunday Garry, Rick and I met at the Vikings Club in Lanyon for the monthly club meeting and we played a Command and Colors Ancients game (CCA) of the Battle of Sentinum, from the Third Samnite War in 295 BC. Rick commanded the Romans, Garry commanded the Gauls (the Senones) and I commanded the Samnites. In the afternoon we also played a Hun versus Patrician Roman 100 point ADLG game, and a game of Battle Ravens, the Dan Mersey shieldwall boardgame. I'll put photos of the Hun vs Roman game in a separate post.

The Gauls had early success on the right flank and before long had established a reasonable lead over the Romans. This brought in to play the Devotio Special Rule where the Romans could sacrifice the consul Decius Mus, when two or more victory banners behind, and receive a victory banner and in subsequent turns, units in combat would hit on a leader symbol. At the end of the turn the Roman player also draws two cards and plays with six for the rest of the game.

According to Livy (10.28)

Decius shouted to his men and asked them whither they were fleeing, what hope they had in flight; he tried to stop those who were retreating and recall the scattered units. Finding himself unable, do what he would, to check the demoralisation, he invoked the name of his father, P. Decius, and cried: ‘Why do I any longer delay the destined fate of my family? [13] This is the privilege granted to our house that we should be an expiatory sacrifice to avert dangers from the State. Now will I offer the legions of the enemy together with myself as a sacrifice to Tellus and the Dii Manes.’ [14] When he had uttered these words he ordered the pontiff, M. Livius, whom he had kept by his side all through the battle, to recite the prescribed form in which he was to devote ‘himself and the legions of the enemy on behalf of the army of the Roman people, the Quirites.’ [15] He was accordingly devoted in the same words and wearing the same garb as his father, P. Decius, at the battle of Veseris in the Latin war. [16] After the usual prayers had been recited he uttered the following awful curse: ‘I carry before me terror and rout and carnage and blood and the wrath of all the gods, those above and those below. [17] I will infect the standards, the armour, the weapons of the enemy with dire and manifold death, the place of my destruction shall also witness that of the Gauls and Samnites.’ [18] After uttering this imprecation on himself and on the enemy he spurred his horse against that part of the Gaulish line where they were most densely massed and leaping into it was slain by their missiles.

While our game was not quite as dramatic as that, there was close fighting and plenty of ebb and flow in fortunes from turn to turn. In the end the Romans managed to secure a close victory by eight to seven victory banners.

Gauls have early success on the right

Samnite cavalry attack

Samnite infantry

Fighting on the Samnite left flank 

Romans win a close victory

Friday, July 12, 2019

Libyan Command, Chariot and Archers

Here are some Bronze Age Libyans to fight my New Kingdom Egyptians. The chariot and most of the archers I painted a while ago. The command stand and archers are Wargames Foundry figures and the chariot, horses and crew are Essex Miniatures. I have another two of these Essex chariots to paint. Warlord Games/Cutting Edge Miniatures have just released an Early Libyan chariot and I have two of these on order.

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Hun Commanders and Cavalry

Here are more Huns for my expanding Hun, Late Roman and Byzantine armies. Some of these are command figures and the rest are tribal cavalry. The figures are a mix of Wargames Foundry and Gripping Beast.

I've played two scenarios of the Command and Colors Medieval board game (CCM) recently,  Catalaunian Fields, the Roman left and right flank. In the left flank game, Rick was Aetius and flogged me as Attila, by 7 to 3 victory banners. In the right flank game, the Romans narrowly won by 7 to 6 victory banners. The right flank scenario was quite different from what I'd imagined, as I've just finished reading Simon MacDowall's excellent Osprey book, Catalaunian Fields 451 AD. In the CCM scenario there is no devastating charge by Thorismund's Visigoth cavalry on the Hun and Ostrogoth flank.

Hopefully I'll be running the left flank scenario as a participation game at the Little Wars Canberra event on the 17th of November this year, if it is actually held. If you're thinking of running a participation game at this event, you'd better get your skates on and contact Ian Haidon. If there aren't sufficient games on offer, it won't be held this year.

Friday, June 14, 2019

Lion Rampant War of the Roses Game - The Convoy

Yorkist defenders and Lancastrian attackers with the wagon convoy

View from the opposite corner of the table

Lancastrian attackers and wagon convoy

Yorkist Scurrers and Foot Men-at-Arms

Yorkist Longbowmen and Irish Galloglaichs

Yorkist Longbowmen and Foot Men-at-Arms

Last Wednesday night Rick and I met down at the Vikings Club in Lanyon for a Lion Rampant, War of the Roses game. The scenario was The Convoy, where the Lancastrian attackers had to escort and protect a wagon convoy from one corner of the table to the other. The Yorkist defenders had to prevent this and their forces were split in three, one each in the remaining corners of the table. Both sides had 36 points. In the end we ran out of time with the convoy about half way across the table but the Yorkists were in pretty bad shape and three units had already routed.

View down the road

Lancastrian Mounted Men-at-Arms

Yorkist Scurrers retreat

They charge again

Reinforcements arrive

Lancastrian Longbowmen

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

First Game of Command and Colors Medieval - Utus River 447 AD

Command & Colors Medieval board with Utus River scenario from the Byzantine side

Command & Colors Medieval board with Utus River scenario from the Hun side

Yesterday I finally received my long awaited copy of the new GMT Games boardgame, Command and Colors Medieval (CCM) by Richard Borg. This morning I played a solo first game with the Utus River scenario, the first of nineteen scenarios, with Attila and his Huns taking on an Eastern Roman army under Arnegisclus. The details of this encounter are fairly obscure. For gamers familiar with Command and Colors Ancients (CCA) much is the same but there are changes, some that reflect the increasing importance of cavalry and the reduced role of infantry in set battle in the fifth and sixth centuries.

All cavalry units are now four blocks rather than three and Heavy Infantry now fight with four dice instead of five. Other changes include bow armed medium, heavy and super heavy (cataphract) cavalry for many scenarios with the Huns and Sassanids, superior armour class and superior stature, Parthian shot rules for evading light bow cavalry and Inspired Actions tokens which can be used when playing a Leadership Command Card. Medium Infantry now move like Auxilia and may move one hex and battle or two hexes and no battle. The Inspired Actions feature is an interesting addition to CCM and there is a reference sheet for this. The tokens can also be used to Move a Leader, Bonus Battle and Bravery and can be gained in a number of ways.

In my solo game the Byzantines performed quite well and were defeated by the Huns by nine to seven victory banners, a surprisingly close result, and were actually leading the game at one point. The mounted Hun medium and heavy bow armed cavalry are really powerful and mobile units, especially with an attached leader, and are a double threat in ranged or close combat. I'm really looking forward to trying out the other eighteen scenarios in CCM and will definitely be planning and playing games with miniatures like we've done with CCA.

Huns defeat Byzantines 9 to 7 Victory Banners - surprisingly close!

Monday, June 10, 2019

Battle of Saguntum 75 BC - Sertorius versus Pompey

Sertorius & Spanish forces on the left, Romans under Pompey on the right

Opposite end

Spanish right flank

Sertorius with his Veteran Legionaries

Roman left flank with Pompey and his legions

Spanish allies on the Roman right flank

Spanish and Roman forces clash

Spanish cavalry and skirmishers

Action on the Roman right flank

Last Sunday afternoon Craig and I met down at the Vikings Club and we played a L'Art de la Guerre (ADLG) game of the Battle of Saguntum 75 BC with Sertorius taking on Pompey. It was one of the quietest monthly meetings I've ever seen, with only three others playing DBA, no doubt the fact that it was a June long weekend contributing to this. Craig was Sertorius, as he is about to take off for a three week Iberian holiday, while I commanded the Romans under Pompey.

This turned out to be a cracking game that went right down to the wire and it was neck and neck for most of the game. In the end it was a narrow victory for Pompey, although his entire corps was wiped out and he survived numerous general death rolls, including three where his unit was routed! Sertorius, on the other hand, led his corps of four veteran legionary units through the battle almost untouched, though his Spanish allies were killed almost to a man. Thanks to Craig for a great game.

Sertorius' Lusitanian cavalry, Scutarii and slingers

Lusitanian Scutarii

Gaps appear in the Roman left flank

Roman right flank has more success

The game hangs in the balance

Crunch time

Roman left flank is destroyed

Romans are victorious on the right

Battle of Sentinum 295 BC - Command & Colors Ancients

View of the table from the Samnite/Gallic side View from the Roman side Gallic and Roman cavalry in action Gauls attack o...