Monday, 1 September 2014

On the Painting Tray: September 2014

One of Caesar's legions.  This one will have cloaks, but I'm painting them a different shade from the previous lot.  Basically, officers' will remain bright red, but the rank and file will have a deeper, crimson shade.  I don't want too much of the same thing; besides, if they are side by side on the table, the player will need some sort of visual clue about which legion is which.  There will be 80 figs plus a mounted legate.

Saturday, 30 August 2014

Welcoming Einar Olafson

The redoubtable Einar has a well-known painting blog here. I will try to link back, if blogger lets me!

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Campaign Events, 138-134 BC

Summer 138: The Romans subjugate Illyria  and their roving eastern Mediterranean army arrives in the Propontis. Both of these armies will remain in place for some considerable time, due to uncertain rumblings from the many other tribes in the region. In the east, the Egyptians retire to Babylonia and the Parthians re-enter Persis.
Autumn 138: The Romans annexe Propontis and the Parthians retake Persis.

Spring 137: The Parthians advance into Characene.
Summer 137: The Parthians retake Characene.

Autumn 137: The Parthians advance into Elymais.
Winter 137: An Indian army arrives in Sind ready for conquest northwards.

Spring 136: The Parthians retake Elymais and the Indians move into their northernmost province of Sattagydia.
Summer 136: The Indians invade Gandhara.

Autumn 136: Alarmed by Indian movements, the Parthians move their army to Aria on the Bactrian border, picking up central reinforcements on the way. In the meantime, the ndians annexe Gandhara.
Spring 135: The Indians invade Ammyrgia. In the west, a massive slave uprising occurs in Siciliy, led by one Eunus. 

Summer 135: The Romans raise a new army in Latium to deal with the slaves, who establish full control over Sicilia Poeni. In the east, the Indians annexe Ammyrgia.
 Autumn 135: The Roman army moves to Sicilia Sicarii and Eunus advances his slaves into Sicilia Greacus. The Indians move into Tocharia.

Spring 134: The Romans advance into Sicilia Greaci. There is some vicious guerilla warfare and then the slaves retire to Sicilia Poeni. The Indians annexe Tocharia.

Autumn 134: The Romans attack the slaves in Sicilia Poeni and the Indians invade Bactria.
This gives us two major battles in the same season, after four campaign years of relative quiet.  Things are heating up again...

138 BC: Somewhere in Illyria

A Roman consular army attempts to subdue the brave Illyrian tribes:
Simon constructed the Illyrian list and Gordon deployed them.  This is what the Romans see facing their own left: a range of hills with a large marsh protecting the extreme right of the enemy forces, and an area of dead ground behind the hills.  There's actually a wood there, but the Romans don't know that yet.  Infesting this part of the field are some cavalry, peltasts and thureophoroi types, ably screened with large numbers of skirmishers.  Malcolm in command here.
There is a large gap in the Illyrian deployment, and the main forces is concentrated on their left (our right).  Many infantry on a large hill (Keith in command), with peltasts ready to go into a large wood beyond that.  The cream of the nobility leads the way at the far flank, all mounted, with even more warbands following (Gordon in command here). I had thought that the Illyrians might want to sit on the (very) favourable terrain and wear down the legions, but instead it looks as though they are going to gamble on an all-out assault on our right.
Our left: Numidian auxiliaries, Latin Equites, and two large units of mercenary peltasts, with skirmish archers out front.  I am in charge of this lot.
The central legionary deployment: two Latin legions on the left (Graham) and Billy in command as consul of the day leading the two Roman legions on the right.  No Triarii in this transitional period.  As consul, Billy has decided to go for a double-line of Hastati supported by Principes to give maximum power in the centre, as opposed to a semi-sort of cohortal deployment.
Our right: Willy in command of a mirror image of my lot on the far left flank, except that he has some more skirmishers.  He is going to be well up against it here; lurking off to the top of the photo is most of the enemy army.
The opening moves on my flank: I spread my cavalry wide to try to take advantage of my superior weight here.  Malcolm wisely holds position and advances his skirmishers to try to soften me up a bit.
A view across the entirety of the rest of the field from my position.
Back on my wing.  My forces have straightened up to face the enemy.
To my immediate right, Graham's Latin legions advance remorselessly, while you can just see some manoeuvres to the right by the Roman legions, shifting to face the impending threat from that direction.
Another side-shot of the rest of the field as the Illyrians thunder forward in the distance.  My role as Prefect of the Latin Equites makes me quite happy at this point.
My forces close on Malcom's.  He hasn't inflicted as many missile hits as he would have liked.
Billy's legions trying to face the threat. Melee is already taking place as the enemy chieftain leads in the warbands.
A rare shot of the action at the other end of the field.  Willie's command is about to be swamped. If it goes, the right flank of the Roman legions will be wide open.
Initial contact on my flank as the Numidians gang up on sone enemy light horse - the Numidians have already inflicted a couple of javelin hits.  Malcolm and I are having a nice civilised little combat over here -m not like all that noise emanating from the far side of the field.
The left most of the Latin legions prepares to assault the hills just to my right, while the second start to move into position to go to their right.
Confused fighting at our army's right.
I am efficiently and rather boringly grinding down my opponents - the enemy light horse has been vanquished.
Meanwhile, on our extreme right, howls of anguish erupt from the Illyrians. Against all reason (not to mention the odds), Willy's outnumbered cavalry has crushed the enemy's noble horse.  It looks as though this will be Rome's day after all.
Gaps begin to appear in the centre too. One Roman legion has had its Hastati removed, but one of the main warbands has been destroyed too.
I grind on relentlessly as well, destroying the rest of the cavalry facing me.

Another central warband goes down, taking the enemy general with it, and it is game over, a major victory for Rome. This kind of deployment is always a gamble for a tribal army - if something minor goes wrong, it could spell disaster, and indeed this is what happened here, although it wasn't so minor. Rome marches omwards...