Saturday, May 28, 2022

Watling Street 60/61 AD - Strength and Honour Game


Side view of the armies deployed

View of the Iceni from the Roman lines

View of the Roman forces

 XX Valeria Victrix with Suetonius Paulinus attached

XIV Gemina with a small cavalry reserve attached

Veteran auxiliaries Roman right flank

Veteran auxiliaries Roman left flank
 with a small cavalry reserve attached

Britons advance

Iceni warband

Trinovanti warbands 

On Friday afternoon I went over to Rick's place for a game of Strength and Honour. The scenario was Watling Street, with Rick commanding the Romans. The Iceni were the attackers and we both rolled +2 on the auguries. Both forces were deployed fairly close together so it didn't take long before they were in combat. The Iceni pushed backed the Roman auxiliaries on their right flank and threatened their left flank with chariots and light cavalry. The Atrebates were very slow starters and took a couple of turns before committing to forward movement! 

The Roman auxiliaries held firm and repulsed all attacks, eventually routing the chariots and one of Iceni warbands. At this stage of the game the setback and disaster cards were mounting for the Iceni but they continued in pressing the attack, pushing back the auxiliaries repeatedly. The Roman line held firm, and the Iceni were unable to break though. In the end the Romans won convincingly, but it was a really fun game with quite a few tense moments for both sides.

Sluggish Atrebates warbands

Iceni warband with Boudicca attached

Light cavalry and chariots on the right flank

Iceni charge Gemina XIV

Boudicca urges on her troops

Auxiliaries are pushed back and flanks threatened

Auxiliaries repulse all attacks -
routing chariots and an Iceni warband

Auxiliaries are pushed back again

The Roman line holds firm

Iceni break

Sunday, May 22, 2022



Here are some Perry Miniatures Turcopoles that I've just finished painting. Half of them have LBM shield transfers. I've also assembled and primed a set of the new Fireforge Games plastic Turcopoles and have included some comparison shots below.

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

Skirmish Before Stoke Field - Billhooks Deluxe Game

  Yorkists deployed on the northern edge of the table Royalists on the southern edge German skirmishers head for the woods German pike reinf...