Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Walking Hadrian's Wall

First view of the Wall

Black Carts Turret (29a)

Limestone Corner

Carrawburgh Mithraeum (Brocolita)

Altars of the Mithraeum

Approaching Houstead's Fort

I'm currently reading Adrian Goldsworthy's excellent new book, Hadrian's Wall: Rome and the Limits of Empire. This book, which is beautifully illustrated, brought back memories of August 2011 when we visited Hadrian’s Wall and associated sites and museums. We stayed at a nice B&B just outside of Haltwhistle which was a very convenient base with a car. For guides we had Guy de la Bédoyère’s Hadrian's Wall: History and Guide and for track notes, the not entirely reliable, Lonely Planet’s Walking in Britain.

As we had only limited time we opted for a day walk along one of the more interesting central sections of the wall which turned out to be from Cholleford to Caw Gap, a distance of about 22km. We didn’t have a very detailed map when we did the walk, but subsequently bought the Harvey’s National Trail Hadrian’s Wall Path map, which I highly recommend. We left our car at Chollerford near Chesters and just made the last bus heading back there from Once Brewed. These photos are from our walk and fortunately the weather was really nice on the day.

We also spent a few days looking at a number of sites including: Tullie House Museum's Roman Frontier Gallery, Carlisle Castle, Chesters Fort and Museum, Housteads, Vindolanda, Roman Army Museum, Birdoswald and Lanercost Priory. Visiting Hadrian’s Wall and the fantastic forts and museums there was definitely a highlight of our trip and something I’d recommend to anyone visiting the area.

Northern Gateway of Milecastle 37

Climber belaying on Sewingshields Crags

Sycamore Gap

Milecastle 39 (Castle Nick)

Caw Gap

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Goths versus Britons Saga Game

Romano-British (top) and Goths (bottom) deployed 

Goths advance

Goth Hearthguard

Goth Warlord screened by Hearthguard

Brit Hearthguard

Brit Warlord with Companions

Brit Hearthguard on the right flank

Last Wednesday night down at the Vikings Club, Craig and I played a Goths versus Britons Saga game. It was a standard 6 point Clash of Warlords scenario which turned out to be a fairly one sided game. It was my first Saga game with the Goths and the Britons managed to run rings around them. In the end my Warlord was killed but not before the writing was well and truly on the wall! Still it was fun to give the Goths a run and I definitely learnt a bit about using the Goth battle board.

Goth Hearthguard attempt to gain First Blood

Brits show No Pity

Goths withdraw again

Goth casualties mount

Brits close in to finish them off

Goths are further reduced 

Brit Hearthguard circle

Goth Warlord is killed

Sunday, November 18, 2018

The Cattle Raid Dux Bellorum Game

View of the table from the Saxon lines

View from the Romano-British lines

Both sides advance 

Last Saturday afternoon Craig came over to my place and we played a third game in our Dux Bellorum campaign using the Age of Arthur WAB supplement with scenario 9, The Cattle Raid (pp.114-115). After two Mighty Victories in the previous games I was now the attacker with my Romano-British and Craig had a slightly reduced Saxon force of 29 points. The Brit raiders had looted a Saxon settlement and were making off with the loot (two ox carts and a flock of sheep) when the Saxons returned determined to prevent them and recapture the baggage.

The Brits lost all their skirmishers early in the game but the casualties were mounting on the Saxons' side and they were slowly but surely being driven back. The Saxons managed to recapture all the baggage but were not fairing so well in actual combat. We stuffed up the main combat on the left flank by forgetting to target the hits on my Noble Riders rather than my Companions, so called it a draw, as otherwise the Saxons would not have routed so quickly.

Romano-Brit foot skirmishers are destroyed in the centre

The Saxons are driven back

All the loot is recaptured but the Saxons are on the verge of breaking

Friday, November 16, 2018

Scythian Horse Archers

Here are some Scythian horse archers, they are a real mix of ranges - Hinchliffe Miniatures, Warlord Games, Wargames Foundry, Old Glory and a single A&A figure. The Hinchliffe figures are single piece castings that I bought and painted way back in the mists of time! I must admit to a nostalgic fondness for these figures and have rebased them and touched them up a bit.

The Foundry figures are the nicest range but I quite like the Old Glory and Warlord figures as well. I have two six figure units of the Foundry Scythian nobles to paint then I should have enough for a game of Chariots Rampant with the Scythians. I really like horse archer armies even though they don't do very well in most rule sets (often the table size is an issue) and also have Parthians, Huns and Mongols.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Battle of Hydaspes - Command and Colors Ancients

Side view of the armies deployed

Indian left flank

Indian centre

Indian centre

Indian centre

Indian right flank

Macedonian right flank

Macedonian centre

Macedonian left flank

Macedonian pike advance

Side view of the action

Here are photos of our Battle of Hydaspes, Command and Colors Ancients game, at Little Wars Canberra last Sunday. We played two games, the photos are all of the first game between Dennis and Paul. Both games were a lot of fun, quite close and with identical results, 7-6 victory banners for the Macedonians but Alexander was killed in both games! In the afternoon game I commanded the Indians and Dennis and Rick were the Macedonians. The Indians started really well in both games but eventually ran out of steam to be pipped at the post by the Macedonians. Thanks to Dennis, Paul and Rick for the fun games.

I was chatting to an interested spectator about my Indians and Ancients generally, and it turned out that they lived in the same street as me, three houses up the road! Quite a coincidence! We've exchanged emails and hopefully will get a chance to play a game at some stage.

Opposite side

Indian chariots and elephants get stuck in

Alexander's Companions charge into combat

Another side view

Alexander escapes, for the time being!

Back on the other side

Indian elephants and chariots attack the pike

Closer view of the elephants in action

Indian right flank is threatened

The final surviving elephant unit takes on the pike

Both armies are tied - the deciding combat

Command and Colors Ancients - Lake Vadimon 283 BC

  The Romans, Etruscans and Boii deployed Opposite end Etruscan light infantry suffer casualties from a retreat Roman leves with casualties ...