Romans and Seleucids

A post I started writing a year ago but never finished until now!
The Romans came out of hiding- (as readers of the blog would know, my record with my Republican Romans has been pretty appalling) to fight my Macedonians, parading as a Early Seleucid army.
Romans: Lochlainn and myself.
Seleucids: Richard, Phil and Paul. ( Ross was advisor in chief)
Two well matched armies with elephants, good infantry but the Romans were completely outnumbered in cavalry.

The Romans in line: Looking good lads!

Sydney- The Frontier Wars.

Inspired by 'A Grab Bag of Games' Blog  and 'Mac's Little Friends'  (see down the right hand side) I couldn't resist a game that represented historically what happened in my own back yard- So I bought some figures, made the terrain- bought some trees and hey presto- a nice little game!!

My solo effort was meant to give the rules a dry run- a group of warriors ( Just over 30) were hunting- and found a shearing shed and group on their traditional lands- a dozen or so Redcoats were in the area- they had to be - it wouldn't be much of a game if they weren't!

AWI- SPRINGFIELD 23rd June 1780

While the main focus of the war shifted south, the commander of the British Army in New York was under pressure to do something rather than watch the Continentals across the river in the Jerseys.

Our game represents the result of that pressure when Knyphausen crossed the Rahway River near the town of Springfield in June of 1780.

The British side of the table- the Rahway river - the crossings held by two continental units- the river was fordable along it's length but slow going and disordering for the formed troops. The buildings in the middle represent the small town of Springfield.

Batlle of Binh Ba- Vietnam - Modern Bolt Action.

The table from the Australian end- the APCs and Centurions advance.
This battle was one of the major actions undertaken by the Australian Task force during the Vietnam War. On the 6th June 1969, D Company 5 RAR commanded by Major Murray Blake, was called out with a troop of Centurions and APCs as part of 1ATF Ready Reaction Force in response to enemy activity in the village of Binh Ba to the north of the Australian base at Nui Dat. Binh Ba had been occupied by Vietnamese forces ( 33NVA Regiment and D440 Battalion) and had to be removed.
For more pictures see 'No Duff Gamer' Blog down the right hand side.

The Town

ECW- Montrose, the Irish and the Covenanters.

I was taking stock of my Highlanders the other day- thinking about the fact that this year was the 300th Anniversary of the battle of Glenshiel- the Rebellion of the '19 and preparing to do the battle again!!
(Click on "Jacobite Rebellion of the '19" down the right side! )

Now all these Highlanders could also be put to use from just about any period from the 1600's to 1746, so I started ticking off in my mind what I could use them for- and had an idea after reading Trevor Royle's book: Civil War, The Wars of the Three Kingdoms  and decided on one word- Montrose!!

Freeman's Farm - 19th Sept 1777

After the success of Guildford Courthouse (see previous blog) I decided to give Freeman’s farm a go. This saw the Americans under Benedict Arnold on the attack in an attempt to beat ‘Gentleman’ Johnny Burgoyne. The British had one Brigade in the middle of the table ( Hamilton’s- Richard), one brigade in the earth works on the left flank ( Fraser’s- Ralph ) and one brigade ( Reidesel’s Hessians- Richard II ) to arrive with a randomised dice throw.
The Americans also had three brigades and two ( Morgans  -Phil and Poor's -Chris ) were on the table. The third ( Learned’s- Liam ) would arrive very quickly to help destroy Hamilton’s brigade and secure the victory. Well, that was the plan….

Guildford Courthouse 1781

Having wanted to refight this famous action for quite some time I wanted to use a set of rules that all the Brothers could use quickly and easily.
My ‘go to’ rules for the American War of Independence has always been British Grenadier! But for a game with possibly 7 players for a Saturday afternoon I took a chance on using a fast play set from the net- Fife and Drum from the ‘der Alter Fritz’ blog: Now these are truly  a ‘1 page set’ and we decided to play them as they stood, to see how they worked. The really amazing thing that won me over was that by turn two of the game, everyone had a good understanding of the basic rule mechanisms and I could enjoy the game without continually referencing the rules.

The Middle of the table- viewed from the British lines,

War of the Roses Clash

About eight weeks ago, late one cold and stormy Friday night, Paul's Lancastrians made the long march to my garage to challenge my freshly painted Yorkists. Now my Spanish had suffered a savaging at the hands of these Lancastrians and their damned English longbow! That was last year. It's taken me the best part of a year to get the Yorkists ready. So the challenge was on- and uniquely both armies had exactly the same composition. Why? Well why not? Totals: 9 units of longbow, three dismounted Men At Arms, three bill-men, one artillery piece and four units of knights.  I'm very sure that it is very rare that two wargames armies are not only exact in points but in composition as well!! Predictability in wargames??? No way!

My Knights- Heavy Metal!

Army of Louis XIV vs the Allies!

I hadn't had my early 18th Century stuff on the table for a while, so I opened up the cupboards and pulled figures off the shelves so that i had a solid French force with Dutch, Prussian and Imperial opponents.

Nick and Ross were the French and Phil, Richard and I were the Allies. The scenario was a little convoluted. Prince Eugene had given one of his subordinates the task of proceeding down a valley and take a small village at the far end. The subordinate mistakenly  stopped and the first village where a brigade of Irish troops was installed and began to deploy his troops to besiege the village- the wrong village. Eugene arrives and orders the village to bypassed and get through the valley. The local French commander had managed to put a force of dragoons and second rate infantry together to block the advance- this was the starting point of the game.

ZOGO: The Crisis depends and expands. ( PART 7).

More news from the central African nation of Zogo.
See 'No Duff Gamer' Blog down the right hand side for a lot more photos.
Recent developments:
The small African nation has over recent months descended into chaos, violence and bloodshed. The arrival of French and US troops on Zogon soil has set off a series of chain reactions that were totally unforeseen by the relevant parties. In response to the arrival of these forces into the province of Kelwazi (see part 6) the President for Life, T’Mbolo M’Shombou, dispatched the bulk of his dreaded Presidential Guard and the key components of his Zogon African Rifles (ZAR) to contain the French and US forces. These forces, still in place due to strenuous requests from multinational mining companies to protect their staff and assets showed a vote of no confidence in the President by the international (read – western) community.
The western orchard in the President's compound- and his luxury SUVs.

The President and his Special Operations Force Bodyguards, arriving in his mountain compound.

WORLD WAR 1- The Battle of Villers- Bretonneux April 24th 1918

Nowadays the fighting at Villers-Bretonneux is becoming as famous as the Gallipoli campaign for Australians. This small town in France saw heavy fighting during the opening weeks of the German's Spring Offensive in 1918 as part of the Kaiserschlacht. The village was held by Allied forces and the Australian 9th Brigade held the Germans off during the first battle. The second battle saw the Australian 13th and 15th Brigades AIF (Australian Imperial Force) taking the village back on the evening of the 24th and into the 25th of April in 1918. It was also the first time in History that just to the south of Villers-Bretonneux near the small village of Cachy that the first Tank vs tank battle ever took place.

I kind of liked the idea of refighting the action by the 13th and 15th brigades 1st AIF - and by condensing the time frame being also able to fit in the tank fight. So our game represented the German tank attack with the British tanks fighting to stop them as the Australian brigades began their fast attack to secure the town from the Germans.
The view from the south east- the German tanks - one A7V and a captured MkIV.

FORCE on FORCE- Foreign Legion in Afganistan

My son decided he wanted a small game as he and I hadn't played a game in a very long time-
"What do you want to do?" I asked.
"Surprise me!"
So I took out my handful of modern Foreign Legion, took out a couple of handfuls of Taliban, set up a small 3'x4' and gave him a scenario. The Legion were all regulars ( of course) and for this game so were their opponents. The mission was for the legion to capture or eliminate a HVT ( high value target); a local Taliban leader who the Allied forces had been after for a while. He had his small body guard with him. There were no further reinforcements- the 10 Legionnaires were up against 24 regular fighters- but they had the element of surprise- and much better ability; D10 vs D6s.
That said Nick and I didn't anticipate the sheer number of failed rolls - '1's -and the use of Fog of War!! This would have more of an impact on the game than all our decision making processes! 
The Taliban had one technical and two requisitioned Humvees- the Legion were all on foot.

Nick's sentries overseeing the safety of their commander.

Bolt Action- Germans vs British

Place- somewhere in Western Europe, autumn 1944.
The vanguard of two opposing forces move into an abandoned French village-
Chris popped in one evening asking me to walk him thru the Bolt Action rules- he had a tidy little force of 4 infantry squads with medic and HQ, three half tracks ( including a Stummel), a sniper team, two MMGs, a mortar, a Sturmgeschutz and a bloody great Tiger tank.
The good guys had two Fireflies, a half track, a Humber armoured car, a truck, two MMGs, two mortars and 4 rifle squads plus HQ.

The dreaded Tiger movers up- first turn!!

More terrain!

I had a few nights when the heat was so bad I couldn't sleep, so out came the paints and more teddy bear fur at 2am- just ridiculous.  I know, it's nuts but I've become a bit obsessive with regards to new look ideas for terrain.
After I finished, I got some sleep and then later in the day, set up some figures from my AWI collection. I pulled out my forces for Cowpens and placed them on the mat. I kinda like the effect.  It's a game I'm going to have to play!!

Pacific Island Assault- Bolt Action

The table was ready, the troops were prepared and it was 'go!' The objective was simple, the combined Australian/US Marine force was to take the two islands. The Japanese just had to survive.
The allies decided to assault only Red Beach ( Red 1, 2 and 3) rather than hit the main island from both sides. This had its pros and cons as it meant that the Japanese who had Green beach covered- several machine guns, mortars and rifle squads- were now facing empty beaches and had to be redeployed. For the allies, they spread themselves across the three beaches, with no critical concentration of force so they found that they did need more troops by mid-game.

Marines come ashore on Red 1

Teddy Bear Fur Terrain!!

Don't be put off by the title- I've got this idea from lots of other blogs ( not least Jay's Wargaming- see down the right hand side.- and he does a brilliant job)  So I thought I'd give this a try- just a small piece to try the techniques. In the end the final piece still needs a little more work- but I don't think it turned out too bad...and it was much faster than my Pacific Island terrain! ( and about 1/4 the size!)

See for yourself. I added a few figures to see the effect.

The final effect.

Bolt Action- Pacific Terrain- Stage 1

The Brothers have had this notion that they'd like to play a game of Bolt Action- A large one. They have also mentioned, in passing, that they'd love to play a Pacific war scenario. As the appointed 'minion' ( with Marines, Japanese, Amtracs, DUKWs  and loads of other stuff) I guessed it was up to me to put something together. Paul has Japanese army and sailors, Spyros has Aussies, Japanese and palm trees and I've had boxes of palm trees sitting ready to go and have used them for some games but  inspired by the series 'The Pacific' and other movies I splashed out on some XPS foam, 30 metres(!!) of doweling, glue, paint and other bits and pieces. The first phase was to cut the foam to shape, glue it to the MDF board after cutting some trenches into it. I originally bought 5cm thick foam. Next time, i'd probably go for thinner stuff- it was a pain to cut and my beaches ended up a little too steep.

A Japanese Patrol on the final product.

English vs Spanish

Paul recently made a very sensible, prudent, erudite and timely purchase, showing he has great taste, towering intellect and some spare cash  - he bought a lovely 28mm War of the Roses Lancastrian army- from me! And so he decided that he should use said army against me- where's customer loyalty these days?

Well, he of course was lacking any real experience in using such an army,   I confidently fielded my Trastamara Spanish with lots of pike, arquebus, some field fortifications, a couple of knights and the famed jinetes!

Deployment was a bit problematic for Paul as he had 9 units of Longbowmen, so he just put them in a long line on his left flank, and packed the rest of the army on his right.
Bad move. Really bad move.

The loooooong line of longbow. With stakes. ( thin 'red' line- or is that from another era??)

Anglo-Danes vs Normans

View from the Anglo-Saxon line .  All Fyrd! Select Fyrd in front, general "cannon fodder" in back.
I recently completed my Anglo-Danish army with lots of spearmen (Fyrd) and some axe wielding Huscarls and a few skirmishers. Ross took one look, thought 'Hastings!' , fielding his Normans and then proceeded to completely smash my army to a pulp. In the parlance of the Brothers it was a complete 'pants down'.
I was too embarrassed to write up the blog so I demanded another rematch. In our first game Ross had done his homework and sat back shooting with his crossbows and archers.
I sat on a hill. It hurt.
So in the second game I had to come off my hill, and the unedifying spectacle of my Fyrd and Huscarls chasing his cavalry was tragic. Oh the shame of defeat!
So for our third time, I tried something different- well I thought it was something different..I put my Fyrd in two lines on my left and my Huscarls in two lines on my right......but Ross predicted it again.  The big difference was there was enough gap to enable the front line to retreat or be pushed back without interfering with the second line...........

Romans vs Sassanids

Nick has two beautifully painted armies, late Roman Imperials and Sassanid Persians. They're both very large and he had the opportunity to put both on the table for a game.  He, Phil and I were the Romans and Ross, Roger and Richard were the Sassanids.
The Romans had their legions in the center(me) their heaviest cavalry on their left (Nick) and a lighter force with Equites, Sagittari and Auxilia holding their right ( Phil)
The Sassanids deployed with their heaviest forces ( elephants, clibanarii and Savaran on their left (Ross), infantry in the middle (Richard ) and more Savaran with Daylami light heavies on their right (Roger).

The Savaran: The Persian Cavalry