Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Hail Caesar: Successors again

Another practice battle for the upcoming campaign.  This time 400 pt armies, the size most will be in the campaign.

Seleucids: Mark & Steve: 3 divisions, 6 phalanx + 3 skirms, 2 elephants + 2 small light inf, 2 Agena + 2 small light cav. Army break test: Fail if phalanx div fails.

Greeks: Mike & James: 3 divisions: 4 hoplites (phalanx) + 2 skirms, 4 hoplites + 2 skirms, 2 medium cav + 2 small light cav. Army break test: Fail if both infantry divs fail.

The Greeks are on the left. Cavalry on their left, Phalnx hoplites in the centre.
The Seleucids have their elephants on their right & cavalry on their left.

The battles starts with the Greek cavalry hastling the enemy skirmishers.

The centres move together.  The Seleucid cavalry go wide to outflank the Greek right.  The Greek cavalry fall back before the phalanx.

 Half the Greek phalanx charges to initiate the first serious combat.
The infantry fight in the centre become general, but so far indecisive with the phalanx rule applying to both sides.  Steve's cavalry in the foreground has been refusing to advance, but has still tied up the enemy right.  On the far flank, the elephants are slowly working around the Greek left.
On the far flank the elephants have broken a Greek cavalry unit & are pushing around the flank.  On the near flank, Steve's horse is still have command problems, but keeping the enemy left occupied.  In the centre the Seleucid numbers are beginning to take effect.

The centre is getting desperate for the Greeks where their outnumbered phalanx is on wood.  The Greek cavalry are still giving ground, but hanging on.  The Seleucid cavalry is still doing little, but achieving a lot by preventing the hoplites helping out in the centre.

The Greek centre has broken,  The Greek cavalry have struck back & now it's the elephant division in trouble.  A counter attack by the hoplites has seen off some Seleucid cavaly, but the swarm of light horse is whittling the hoplites down.

The hoplites circle the wagons as the Seleucid phalanx units are rallied & re-deployed.

Having beaten the elephants, the Greek light cavalry have come across the rear of their army & have driven the Seleucid light horse back.  The Greek archers are keeping the Agema at bay.  The hoplites have counterattacked bravely & are still hanging on.

The Seleucid cavalry has now been broken by the Greek light horse, but the hoplites have lost half & the rest are shaken, so they too are broken.  It is a phyrric victory for Seleucus who has just 4 units left & most of them are shaken.

This game took longer than most Hail Caesars - heavy troops are hard to break and especially a division of 6 of heavy units.  The rule we tried of making the army tests dependant only on the infantry seemed to favour the Seleucids as their flank divisions tied up more enemy points than they had leaving the Greek centre outnumbered.  But the rule does have some logical merit & arguably the Greeks might have avoided having all their right flank div tied up by the Seleucid cavalry.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Hail Caesar: Successors

Chris as Ptolemy v. James' Greeks

Chris had a 6 unit phalanx supported by skirmish archers & 3 smaller divisions. 2 elephants + 2 light inf. 2 Agema HC + 2 LCav.  2 Cleruch MC + 2 LCav.  Command ratings were 9 for the cav, 8 otherwise.  Army break test = fail if phalanx fails or any 3 divs.

James had dvisions: 4 HI hoplites (phalanx) + 2 skirms, 4 HI Thorakiti + 2 skirms, 4 MI Thureophori, 2 MCav + 2 LCav.  Command ratings were 9 for the HI, 8 for the rest.  Army break test = fail if both HI fial, or any 3 divs.

Ptolemy is on the left.  Elephants & LI on the left of the phalanx, cavalry on the right.  James has the Hoplites on his left, then the Thorakiti and the cavalry & Thureophori in two lines on the far flank.

Both sides advance their cavalry on their right flanks.

On the far flank, the Greek horse pushed back the light infantry but a counterattack by the elephants sent the cavalry back in turn.  In the centre an Egyptian phalanx made a breakthrough only be broken in turn by the second line of Thorakiti. On the near flank the Egyptian light horse is peppering the Hoplites though a hoplite charge has take out a medium cavalry unit that came too close.

On the far flank, the Greek horse has fallen back.  In the centre both sides are manoeuvring looking for an advantage.  On this flank the victorious hoplites have been broken by the hail of javelins from the light horse.

On the far flank the Greeks are attacking again & one elephant has gone.  The Thorakiti have taken out another phalanx.  The hoplites are circling the wagons in the foreground.

On the far flank the elephant division is hanging on.  The Greek medium cavalry has been sent across the rear to the near flank to take some pressure off the hoplites, but the right side of the phalanx has finally got moving and the hoplites are in big trouble.

The elephant division has finally broken on the far flank, but so have the hoplites on the near flank.  All the remaining Greek divisions are badly damaged.  James looks in deep trouble now, but he's taken one last throw of the dice and charged the far end of the phalanx with the usable remnants of his army.  The end phalanx was hit in front & flank and broke.  The next one was already shaken and in the next turn it breaks, thus the phalanx division breaks and so the Egyptian army.

This was a very exciting battle with frequent changes of fortune& lots of blunders (some fortuitous) on both sides.  Possibly Ptolemy's critical mistake was to take himself with the cavalry on his right.  Much of the large phalanx division didn't get any orders on some critical turns - it really needed him there. 

Friday, February 20, 2015

Retired Gentlemen at Black Hills: 202BC

Hail Posiedon: 

Another play test of PeterC's ancient naval rules. 
Chris had 5 veteran Athenian triremes (black hulls) v. Jim's 6 triremes & a fiver, all regulars.
The Athenians were decisively defeated losing 2 ships sunk & 1 captured.   It's hard to say if 7:5 is the right ratio to make up for crew skill difference as the Athenians were arguably outmanoeuvred plus threw some crap dice at critical times.   The rules modifications resulting from last week's experience generally worked well & some more ideas for further improvement came up for Pter to ponder for next time.

Hail Caesar:
Peter's Carthaginains v. Chris' Numidians, Jim umpiring.
We repeated last week's battle.
Both sides deployed as they did last week, cavalry on the same flank.  This time the Numidians were aware of the strength of their innocuous looking light horse and advanced their cavalry at the start.

Once again the Numidian infantry was soon smashed by the heavier Carthaginian foot, but this time the Carthagian horse put up a better fight.  They were pushed back back refused to break.
Eventually, the Carthaginian horse was broken, but this week the Numidian horse was too badly damaged to counterattack the Carthaginian foot & it was driven off the table.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Napoleonic: French v. Prussians

Steve brought his new 28mmm Prussians along so he and Mike took on Mark & Chris' French.  Battle fought using Hail Frederick, Jim umpiring.

The French make their plans:  They have a cavalry division of 6 units on their left and two infantry divs of 6 each centre & right.

The Prussians deploy with their 8 unit infantry div on their left & centre & two 5 unit cavalry divisions on their right.
The French take up defensive position in the farmland & orchards while the Prussians advance slow & steady.

The Prussians have moved up into musket range on their left and started a firefight.  The Prussian cavalry continues a cautious advance.

The Prussian foot are grinding away at the French right flank.  The Prussian cavalry have charged the French horse.

Oakie's famous dice have sent the Prussian horse reeling back.  On the far flank a Prussian general examines the fields of fire with the latest technology.

On the far flank the French infantry div has broken.  In the centre the French infantry are advancing on shaken Prussian horse.  One of Steve's cavalry divs has broken while the other is withdrawing.  Oakie's horse is slow to follow up (he keeps throwing 6's for command - can't help himself).

The large Prussian infantry div is slowly wrapping around the French right & the French infantry advance in the centre has recoiled back.  The French cavalry have finally got to grips with the Prussian cavalry again but their slow advance gave them time to rally some units back from Shaken status & & Oakie seemed to run out of 6's.  With some help from the infantry in the centre the Prussian horse redeems itself, breaking the French cavalry.  

This means the French have lost 2 or 3 divisions while the Prussians have lost only one, so the French fail their army break test and the Prussians have won. 

Sunday, February 15, 2015

More Crusaders in the Desert

Returning to Hobart after uni vac in SA James kindly came straight to Camp Cromwell to get the malware off my computer.  After that we fought a Crusader battle using the same armies as last Tuesday - this time a simple free for all scenario.

We deployed a division at a time as we drew coloured chits from a bag Bolt Action style. Jim's Saracens are on the left, James' Crusaders on the right.

 The Saracens are making a general advance.  The Crusaders right advanced slowly, but they allowed their left held back while their left centre infantry got a bit carried away and advanced too far in front of the mounted Sergeants on their left.

Saladin sent his light horse on the right forward to harass the Sergeants while his heavy cavalry helped the infantry destroy the exposed Crusader foot on the hill.

The horse archers torment half the Sergents near the oasis while the other half charge up the hill at the Scarcen heavy cavalry.  On the far flank the Knights have simply ridden down the Arab infantry on the left flank.  The Arab heavy cavalry on that side are assiting the infantry while the light horse have fallen back.

The knights are now being tormented by the light horse on the far flank .  The Crusader's right flank infantry are under pressure from foot and horse.   The Sergeant's are in big trouble on this flank.  They can't get at the light horse & are being beaten by the heavies on the hill.
On the near flank the Sergeants have broken under attack by heavy cav from one side & light on the other.  The knights have failed to come to grips with the enemy and while not broken are not in great shape.  The end comes when the 2nd Crusader infantry division breaks under the hail of bow fire.


Thursday, February 12, 2015

202BC at Black Hills

Chris & I went to PeterC's place at Black Hills for the day for some practice games for the upcoming 202BC campaign Peter's C & W are organising.

Naval War
We fought two small naval actions so Peter could test out the proposed rules for the naval side of the campaign.  In each case Chris had a fleet of elite ships & I had a larger fleet of standard (1st game) or levy ships (2nd game).

In both cases numbers prevailed over quality.  The rules worked pretty well & gave Peter some food for thought on further improvements.

Carthage v. Numidia
Peter's Carthaginians fought Chris's Numidians - trying out two of the armies proposed for the upcoming campaign using Hail Caesar. 

Carthage is on the left.  On the far flank 2 Numidian cavalry divisions faced the Carthaginian cavalry.  On the near side 2 Carthaginian infantry divisions faced one large Numidian infantry division.

Both sides advanced their infantry, the Numidians held their horse back.  The light Numidian infantry were no match for the Carthaginian foot.  Half of them have broken before I remembered to get the camera out.
While the Numidian foot was being finished off the Carthaginian cavalry charged the Numidian horse.  With 4 small light units in each division the Numidians looked outgunned, and with their infantry already broken the Numidian cause looked lost.  But the Numidian horse was stronger than it looked and quickly broke the Carthaginian horse.  It then wheeled right to attack their foot.

Despite the discrepancy in numbers the light horse managed to break the foot division on the right snatching victory & proving that you should never give up.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Crusaders in the Desert

My spoils from Cancon included 3 boxes of Gripping Beast Arabs & some palm trees from the 2nd hand shop.  Both got their first run tonight.

Chris' Crusader column is coming on in the far corner - 2 infantry divisions of crossbows & sergeants & 2 cavalry divisions, one of knights & 1 of sergeants.  The Saracens are deployed waiting.  2 infantry divisions of spears & bows on the hills and 2 cavalry divisions of Marmalukes & Turcomen on the left. The Crusaders have to get to the Oasis or they will die of thirst.

The Saracens send foot and horse forward as skirmishers to harass the enemy deployment & advance.

The mounted sergeants have rushed forward scattering much of the light cavalry screen.  The knights are following up.  The Crusader foot is slow in deploying in the rear.

The sergeants gained initial success, but a counterattack has set them back.  The Saracen foot has began an advance.

The Saracen cavalry is being crushed by the Crusader horse, but the Saracen foot has attacked the disorganised Crusader foot and has it in trouble.

The Crusader horse has broken both Saracen cavalry divisions, but the Saracen foot have done the same to the Crusader foot.  The Crusader horse gallops on to the oasis and survives to fight another day, but their foot is lost.  Probably a Pyhric victory for the Crusaders.

We used Hail Richard II our Medieval adaption of Hail Caesar & finished the battle inside 1 1/2 hours.  The palm trees are actually 15mm scale, but they do the job (& I've only based a bit over half of them). 

Monday, February 09, 2015

Bolt Action at Good Games

Good Games are now stocking Bolt Action books & figures.  The prices are good because the stock was got before the dollar went down the tube.  They invited us to play a game or two so they could put some pics on their Facebook. 

We played two games on Sunday afternoon.  Mark's Brits v. Jim's Germans and Chris' Soviets v. Steve's Germans.  Both games 1,000 pts infantry Demolition Scenario.  Both were draws, but god games anyway.  (This is scenario that is hard to win).

There was a bit interest in BA shown by other blokes at the shop.  It was also good to see three blokes there playing a 7 Years War strategic board game (for once ours weren't the only grey hairs there).