Saturday, 5 April 2014

Companion Miniatures Numidian Skirmishers

There are 32 of these particular guys, and they have my first attempt at hide shields in a very long time.
I hope you can see them a little more closely in this photo.
The colour scheme is intended to fit in with the large units of spearmen I painted last month: browns and some black for hair, and off-whites, browns and greens for clothing.
A top-down shot of the lot of them.
I've also just finished 16 archers.
I tried to vary strap colours, quivers and fletching on these guys, while on the slingers I used different colours for the slings themselves too.
Top-down shot of the archers.
I also made up three casualty bases to go with my spearmen.  These are plastics by Wargames Factory.  This little lot takes my ongoing tally for 2014 to 211 foot and 44 cavalry.  Next up: 60 Light Cavalry to go with this lot, by Navigator Miniatures this time.

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

On the Painting Tray: April 2014

Companion Miniatures Numidians: 56 skirmish infantry to base, and 60 cavalry to paint from scratch.  Oh, and three Wargames Factory plastic Numidian infantry to base as casualties.  That lot will keep me going this month...

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Campaign round-up

William rolled for what happened after the great defeat of the Romans by Macedon at the Battle of Ambracia in 149 BC.  That took us up to the winter months, and then I rolled for what happened next.  Overall, there is a gentle hum of background activity, mostly taking the form of resupply and reinforcement, but here are the main events:

Summer 149

  • Egypt annexes Marmarica
  • The Parthians invade Atropatene
  • The Romans build up their next army in Calabria to attack Macedon

Autumn 149

  • The Roman army in North Africa "pacifies" Byzacium in preparation for a grand assault on Carthage itself
  • Storms in Calabria prevent the Romans crossing the Adriatic in force - the next wave of invasion will need to wait until the spring
  • Atropatene is incorporated forcibly into the Parthian Empire
  • The Egyptians move into Libya

Winter 149

The various armies go onto winter quarters, and the more substantial empires begin to replenish their treasuries somewhat.

Spring 148

The Roman army in North Africa heads for Carthage, and encounters the defenders in full battle array.  The first battle of the 3rd Punic War is about to begin...

Sunday, 16 March 2014

The Big Birthday Game

Here we go:
The battle begins.  Macedonians on the left as you look at it, Romans to the right.  Simon ran the far flank of the Macedonian army, Simon from Ayrshire the centre left, Willie the centre right, and I took the right flank, nearest the photo.  The Romans were William at the far end, then Billy, Gordon and finally Graham at the end nearest the camera.  The armies have started their advances; the Macedonians rumbling forward apart from my forces, and the Romans sweeping forward, with some movement towards my flank by the Italian legions in white.
Photo number two shows the situation as the armies close.
My wing at this point.  The skirmishers have cleared off and the cavalry are all about to go in.  The Latins have two units of heavy Equites; I have a large unit of elite Companion cavalry and some Peltasts.  Both sides also have some light horse. It could go either way.
Contact all along the line.
How it looks to me.
The central infantry struggle.  Unfortunately for Rome, the Hastati perform really badly, failing to degrade the phalanxes.
However, the Romans at the far end of the field from me are seriously threatening a breakthrough.  The weak point in the Macedonian array is the link between phalanx and cavalry, the Galatian foot, and Simon's Galatians are getting stomped.
A low level shot from my table edge.  I like this one.
A slight advantage develops for me as my light cavalry see off their Latin counterparts.
Things are not looking good for us at the far end of the field, though, as the Romans gain an overlap against the leftmost of our phalanx units.  Having said that, though, Simon's cavalry have broken through, and the Romans have had to divert their Triarii to face them.
My cavalry are also beginning to gain the upper hand.  This battle is getting well nasty.
The mass of the phalanx begins to tell in the centre as the Hastati are swept out of the way for relatively little loss.  The Romans will need to exploit their advantage against Simon and Simon before the phalanx crushes everything in sight.
Gordon, in command of the Latin legions, realises this as well and executes an especially risky manoeuvre: his endmost Principes do an about face to try to catch the end of the phalanx in the rear, while hoping that Graham can hold me off long enough for the blow to land.
The phalanx presses on relentlessly... the endmost Roman legion at the far side breaks through completely.  Will they be able to turn back again quickly enough, though?  At the top of the photo you can maybe just make out Simon's cavalry as it starts a wide sweep around the Roman right and into their rear.  The mass of troops just ahead of them is the dead pile!
I am not killing Graham's cavalry quickly enough, so I risk the King and send him into the front line of the cavalry combat.  This works (just!) and I am now able to threaten the rear of Gordon's Principes.  We will probably lose our end phalanx unit, but hopefully the rot will stop there as I hit the Romans from behind.
Which is indeed what happens.  I prudently remove King Demetrius (or whoever he is - we haven't decided yet) because my cavalry are exhausted.  Indeed they do destroy the Principes, but then are destroyed in turn by the waiting Velites of the Latin legions.  The king's intervention is the only proper decision I make all game, but I like to think it matters.
The final photo shows the phalanx as it is about to hit the Triarii - Macedon wins.

It was close, though.  The Romans just failed to capitalise on their rightmost Roman legion's breakthrough, mainly because Simon's wide cavalry sweep forced the Triarii to turn to face rather than help out against the phalanx.  When the dust settled, the Macedonians were one unit away from breaking, with 42% of army value lost.  However, when a Roman army is beaten, it goes down big time - 75% destroyed.  That will put a crimp in their plans for world domination.

Thanks are due to every who came and made it a memorable day.  It was good to see everybody together for a change.  Since it was my 50th, they clubbed together and made an order to Magister Militum: a whole load of Numidian cavalry for my growing collection of North Africans.  Thanks guys!  And thanks to Cathy for putting up with us all...