Tuesday 28 May 2019

Battle of Barada River (28mm Crusades)

Last Monday night saw the Shed return to the Holy Land for a spot of Crusaders versus Saracens using the Hail Caesar Rules. To celebrate the game I ran the the cross of St George up the flagpole

The game was taken directly from the Hail Caesar rulebook - the Battle of Barada Bridge 1148.

In summary three crusading kings - Baldwin of Jerusalem, Louis of France and Konrad of Germany have decided to lay siege to Damascus in Syria. They have decided to attack the city from its weakest point which meant crossing the Barada River. Blocking their way to the river was a small force of Saracens holed up in the fields and villages. These could be joined by reinforcements from Damascus. The crusaders have to fight their way across the table before the vast reserves of the enemy can come into play.

I set out the table and forces exactly as the rule book stated. Typically a knight unit would have six figures, an infantry unit 12 or 8 and small light units four figures. I didn't have quite enough mounts for all the light horse so these are represented by 3 figure units.

The buildings are all from my rather stalled Khartoum project.

The following pictures are some snapshots of the action.
The defenders await the crusaders - Damascus lies in the distance

The first crusaders of Baldwin meet the enemy 

Saracen forces rush forward

The Crusader forces were numerous but could only enter the table at one point - a failed order meant the whole column would grind to halt until they could get off the road.

Once onto the table they could spread out and advance. The picture above shows two of the three divisions on the field

The first clash under the palms - a rather one sided affair as the Hospitallers charged into the lightly armed Turkopoles

But the Saracen forces were starting to mobilise outside Damascus. If you thought the Crudsaders had a lot of troops the Saracens had eight divisions. By the end of our game they were all ready to enter the table.

More soldiers of Christ enter the table - King Louis of France

Baldwins archers push up through the farmlands

With the Saracen advanced cavalry knocked out the defenders just sat and waited in the orchards

The battle outside the village was now in full swing. The advanced soldiers of Christ quickly disposing of the Saracen advanced guard but soon ran into trouble against the numerous reinforcements.

Trying to push on the Crusaders came under heavy fire from Moslem archers in the Orchards.

The Knights of Christ pushed on....

into another headlong melee - suffering more casualties and slowly becoming weaker

More Saracens crossed the bridge and lined themselves up to meet the invaders

Battle was raging across the village end of the table

It was time for the bloody infantry to earn their keep as thy marched towards the villager

More saracen cvavalry moved up to stifle the Crusader advance

Things fared better for the Christians as they forced their way into the orchards

It was at this point the game had to cease - the crusader cavalry had taken some hard knocks and with the Saracen forces massing for a counterattack we called a halt to the nights proceedings.

A short discussion later suggested the Crusaders would never meet their objectives and so a Saracen victory was declared.

In the scenario write up in the book it suggests the Crusaders won. They must have been extremely lucky. The sheer number of defenders puts them at a massive disadvantage.

More soon

Sunday 5 May 2019

Romans versus Britains Part 1

Hi Folks

I promised you news sometime ago about the next big project - Romans versus Ancient Britains - and here is the first posting. As before I'll add links to these so you can catch up if you miss anything.

The good news is that my wargaming mate Mark is also doing the same project (as per ECW) - its our aim to field the best part of 1500 x 28mm figures for this period by this time next year. Rather than just picking a side each we are both painting Celts & Romans.

As of today I have around 250 Warlord Games celts  - I reckon I am about a third of the way through painting these -

In addition I have around 40+ horse (a mix of warlord, victrix gauls, and I think renegade) - most of the horses have now been painted.

Plus the Brits need fanatics, chariots and some more armoured chaps. Victrix has come to help out with packs of these which are now assembled

and three bags of chariots (going to need more ;-))

these ancient britons are going to need slingers and archers so the following dark boys are going to be pressed into action with some head swaps

On the Roman side nothing has been started but the forces are now starting to appear

There is about 350 figures in this pile of plastic

More soon.....

Thursday 2 May 2019

Trying to get back in the groove

Lets face it the frequency of blog posts here has been terrible...I am, not going to bore you with excuses other than I seem to have lost a vast amount of spare time (if anybody can find it I am offering a big reward).

To combat this plight I have actually written three blog posts and these will get posted as and when required.

First up though are a few pictures from a Black Powder Battle we fought on Monday night (four players, approx 20 regiments aside) - this should have been relatively balanced but thanks to some fortuitous dice rolling by Alastair and Mark this was a rather one sided affair as they smashed Colin and John in just under two hours (probably the quickest game we have played this year).

I was on tea and umpire duty (practising for the upcoming Grand Game in Glasgow in 40+ days time).

Talking of which if you live in Glasgow and want to come and see 20,000+ 28mm figures on a humongous table you can buy tickets now from eventbrite. All money is going to charity

The evening tickets can be found here

I don't think they have released the day one's yet

Onto the pictures of Monday night

Most of the Brits stayed in Deep Formation (Albion Triumphant rules) and not surprisingly the French in attack columns

Thanks to all those involved