Wednesday, 12 August 2020

Roman Civil War - the first outing

Monday night gaming returned with a cry for Hail Caesar and the first chance for Mark and I to pit our Roman Legions against one another. You may recall that in the latter months of 2019 I was bashing my way through an Imperial Roman Army - more HERE

Whilst completing mine Mark my regular gaming buddy was doing the same thing. Covid 19 pout the breaks on us fielding them any earlier. We now both have sizeable Roman and Celtic Armies. Indeed so many we would need a table 30ft long to field them.

Last nights game was a straight forward 'bash' between two relatively matched sides. Each side fielded six brigades and about 25 units aside. Our simple engagement was fought between Mark/Callum and myself and Alastair.

Little time permits a full AAR but I can safely say that my Legion came off second best - Alastair and I got absolutely hammered

The forces face of eavh other in a field in Greece, The 'Aquarium temple' watching over proceedings

Marcus Fosticus's forces

The forces of Ericus Shedicus eager to engage

Posed for advance...

A bloody fight for the hill and the graveyard for my cavalry

Battle lines take shape

Callumus's forces sweep forward smashing into his fathers troops in the distance

Casualties mount up on both sides rapidly

Fighting across the field

The trees on the table are incidental - this really was an open field bar a couple of small hills

More Romans of the Fosticus legion advance

The Praetorians of Shedicus (lower picture) enter the fray

Fosticus Legions siezes the initiative across the field 

The Praetorians bite the dust under a sustained legionnary attack 

Great fun - if a little silly. Proper scenarios are now called for. Hopefully Romans versus Celts very soon.

Tuesday, 11 August 2020

Sharpe's Rescue

 Wednesday last week saw a small game of Fist Full of Lead set in the Peninsular War and the continuing misadventures of a certain Captain Richard Sharpe.

A simple scenario - one of Sharpe's chosen men, the learned Harris has gone missing. It is quickly established that he wandered off to look at the artworks to be found at the Convent of St Pedro the crippled Wanderer. Unbeknownst to Sharpe Harris has been captured and is now suffering the interrogations of Monsieur Ducos.

Sharpe and his merry band along with a small contingent of British infantry must rescue Harris. Each side had the same number of troops (5 figures for each player). John and I played the French and deployed first whilst Glen and Simon commanded the Green and Red Jackets.

The Convent shown above - the British would enter from the near end and far end over the bridge.

The french placed out five tokens that showed the possible locations of Harris - only one could be correct.

The following are a short set of photos from the game - I got so engrossed I forgot to take many...;-(

Sharpe once again failed his mission - he was shot clean dead by a French sharpshooter. Harper didn't do much better.

Fortunately our hero is a tough old bird and will no doubt come out fighting again.

Stay safe folks

Wednesday, 5 August 2020

First Game - War of the Roses

Afternoon All

The twice weekly gaming sessions continue and on Monday we played something completely different. This time we dipped into the War of the Roses. During the lock down myself, Alastair and John had all painted up retinues for my planned 2021 campaign. Mark (currently unavailable) has also mustered a sizeable force.

Monday night was the opportunity to get some of these on the table. We were using Hail Caesar as a rule set but because we had insufficient forces units were restricted to six men for infantry and three for horse. In hindsight this was a mistake as we had too many units on the table.

Prior to kick off I set up the table - a rather cramped affair with lots of hedgerows, a small river and a couple of villages.

Each of our forces were drawn randomly using some cards I created based on the Kingmaker board game. For example a titled noble (eg the Earl of Warwick) would get a men at arms unit, a retinue bow and a retinue bill. If he had an office (eg Warden of the Northern Marches) he would receive appropraite forces for this office. Finally depending upon the number of towns and bishoprics hen controlled gave him addition bow and bill. This system still needs tweaking but all the players thought it worked well.

What did not work so well were the 'alliances'. By drawing cards we determined who would be supporting Lancastrian/Yorkist. Two players were elected this way with the use of playing cards - a jack, queen or king of a particular suit denoted the allegiance. The other two players then had three cards to play their suit and numerical value determining who they would support in the coming rounds.

This was somewhat chaotic and in the end I was confronting all three other players with Warwick's meagre retinue (11 units versus 40+). Who says wargames need to be balanced ?

With such a superiority the game was very one sided so no full action report but we did get some great action shots...

Warwick asd his allied nobles realise they are up against it...

The Forces of Percy advance

The forces of Talbot mover forward

Finally Arundel advances on Warwick's right flank

Archers and Bill take up positions

The tin cans are very shiny !!

Opening shots exchanged

The killing field

More troops for Percy

The battle rages in the centre

Its proving disastrous for Warwick

Chaos - but its colourful

More forces surge forwards

So it was a dark night for the Yorkist cause - Warwick took a pounding. Have no fear the War of the Roses will pick up again very soon.

Stay safe

Saturday, 1 August 2020

Take the Village - A Black Powder Napoleonic Game

Last Wednesday I convened another Black Powder Napoleonic Game. This scenario was set late in the War with the beleaguered French defending a small village in the south of France.

The scenario was specifically designed for three players. With two Allied players and one French.

The French player had to defend and hold the village for 12 turns. If at the end of the 12th turn it was still in French hands he could claim victory. Rather than playing with battalion strength forces I decided this would be a small company affair with each unit representing a company or squadron of cavalry

The table can be seen above - complete with fortified farmhouses & redoubts

The French Player had at his disposal.

2 squadrons of Dragoons (cavalry)

1 company of Guard (please dont ask why they were there)

1 company of swiss regulars

2 foot artillery guns (emplaced with no limbers)

1 undersized infantry battalion consisting of

1 company of Elite (4+) Grenadiers
1 company of Elite (4+) Voltiguers

3 companys's of raw conscript fusileers (everytime they take a hit they must take a break test)

The French player had cards to denote all tyhese forces along with 4 blanks - these were placed down on the table in advance of the Allied deployment. Until these units fired., moved or were seen (24" distance) they remained off table.

View of the table from North West -Allied troops could enter from far end and along the edge on the left

The French player could deploy these anywhere on the table.

The hedges would restrict movement but offer soft cover. The Vineyards and planted fields were denoted as hard going. Each building area could hold one company only.

Below is a view from the far French right

The Allied players had significantly more forces at their disposal

2 squadrons of light dragoons ()elite) plus horse battery
2 squadrons of hussars plus horse battery

1 battalion of portuguese regulars consisting of

4 companies of regular infantry
1 company of cacadores
1 foot battery

1 battalion of British Line consisting of 

4 companies of infantry
1 foot battery


2 large companies of highlanders (tough fighters)
1 company of the 95th rifles

The above could be added to any of the units 

Allied forces outnumbered the French by about 2-1

With the table set and forces mustered, we rolled dice for the forces. I ended up with the French defenders. Fearing that my lines might be overrun too quickly I elected to put my best infantry in the forward positions, the artillery in the redoubts and my solitary guard unit out on the far right.

Glen and Alastair divided up the Allied forces with Alastair taking the Portuguese, bolstered by the 96th and Glen taking all the redcoats. The cavalry was split evenly.

Glen elected to come on from the Short edge and the Portuguese would assault the centre. No erffortt was made to attack from their left flank.

The Portuguese advance

The British troops quickly moved towards the first farmhouse to discover it was being defended by veteran grenadiers. Musketry was exchanged.

The Grenadiers were coming uder sustained fire but the walls kept casualties low.

The British continued to march forward in line - supported by their small cavalry contingent

By now the Allies could see the defenders with the french guns beginning to pound the Allied lines.

Using his cavalry as a screen Alastair pushed forward his Portuguese line troops, his skirmish Cacadores taking up position in the woods and playing havoc with the French cavalry

Sensing that the Portuguese might push forward to quickly I elected to send up my Dragoons in defence - A blunder - they charged just failing to reach the Allied Hussars

Seeing that the French cavalry was deployed Glen charged his cavalry up the town road to threaten the redoubts rear. Things were getting tight.

The cavalry fight in the centre was won convincingly by the British hussars, with the French driven off

The British just couldn't break the light troops in the most forward farmhouse and xcaught betwen the guns and muskets the street for the Dragoons was turned into a bloodbath

By now the French Grenadiers were fighting hand to hand with the redcoats. They held on for three turns before their luck ran out

All the forces were bow deployed. My french Guard were beginning to attack the far flank of the Portuguese in the woods and the redoubt had been bolstered by the Swiss company.

With a final huzzah the British forces stormed the farmhouse and won through on weight of numbers

With the clock ticking - the Allies finally cleared the second farmhouse and could now assault the battery.

The charge was made and....with heroic cheers the Portuguese charged forward. Only to get slaughtered by the musketry of the swiss and field artillery

By turn 11 it was obvious the village was going to hold. A victory for Les Frogs !!

Alastairs report (and more pictures) can be found HERE

A great evenings game that could have gone either way.

More soon