Sunday, 10 May 2015

Hydaspes at Carronade

On the portable sand table, no less:

A side shot of the whole thing looking towards the river in the distance. The unit cards show tasteful photos of the various killers, along with their game stats. I made these in case we ended up with people playing who didn't know the rules, although Tactica is elegant enough that really you don't need them. We removed them for game play and further photos.
The Indian right: elephants with secrets out front and massed foot behind.
The Indian centre: more of the same.
The Indian left: chariots out front with cavalry behind, egged on by Porus and his own elephant unit. Simon supplied almost the entire Indian army, almost all by Irregular miniatures (25mm). There were 20 elephants in total.
Companions led in person by that nasty wee man Alexander, fronted by horse archers and light cavalry. This lot comprises the Macedonian right punch, and is facing off against the chariots.
The Macedonian centre right: a large block of Hypaspists led by a certain Seleukos, then three taxeis of the phalanx. Airiness and archers out front.
Next up game another two phalanx units, and then the Macedonian left (above): Greek hopes, Thracians and heavy cavalry. Unlike the Indians, the Macedonians are deployed en echelon, leading with their right. Figures supplied by Simon, Willie, Gordon and Graham, with a few by me.
 Another side shot of the whole thing, this time from the Macedonian right and with the unit cards removed. I hope you can make out the relative deployments. Macedonians to the left as you look at it. The idea is that the Macedonians move out in order, starting from their right, with the various commands activating n a cascade.. Technically most of the army isn't meant to be on the field yet, but it's much easier at a show to try to place them in advance - less hassle for later. We were helped by the 6' table depth, and by deliberately setting the Indians quite far back on their side.
A gratuitous close-up of the horrible little man and his superb cavalry.
A photo taken from the other end of the field after a couple of turn - I hope you can see how the echelon is working.
The fight is on, and the Indians have thrown some of their reserve cavalry wide. At the bottom left of the picture you can see some of the foliage I bought from Hugh on the day - useful!
A long shot, again from the other flank, of the developing battle.
Phalanx against elephants. The dust clouds denote extra impetus effect. not that is matters - Billy is running the pikemen and he is clearly favoured by the dice gods. I like this photo - it shows Gordon's newly painted phalangites in action. Meanwhile, on the Macedonian right, the Companions have broken through. Even though they are being led by Alexander, though, they go tearing off in pursuit. This will stop them turning in and rolling up the Indian army for a while.
On the other wing, the Greeks are taking on the elephants. I was quite pleased about this - the previous time we played this scenario, it was all over before this point. I have beefed up the Indians a bit to make it more of a game based on that experience.
A slightly elevated shot taken from the same place at the same time - a lot of combat!
Alexander has rallied the Companions from pursuit and is riding like a madman for the Indian left rear.
Back to the other side of the table. The elephants here died under the combined onslaught of Thracians and cavalry - the latter, although badly mauled, have just gone into the flank of an Indian unit fighting the hoplites. It's looking like a double envelopment.
More fighting in the centre. The changes to the Indian army have made sure that the elephants are lasting a bit longer this time.
Rampaging elephants. This was quite funny - they found a gap in between victorious bits of the phalanx and did a runner. At the top of the photo you can see the impending arrival of Alexander and his pals.
Poros fights on bravely, taking on the Hypaspists as well as some of the Companions!

Well done to Colin for constructing the portable sand table, and for providing the flock to lighten it up a bit. Several people commented on how good it looked, especially since it makes the flat plain look interesting. We also had the river and foliage down one side, and some hills down the other t represent high ground off in the distance. It made it a bit more interesting. Hoping to take the game to Claymore in August.

28 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Hi James, good to hear from you!

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  2. Great looking game as always and a nice report. Was wondering what "extra impetus effect" was. Is that where they have a second round of Impetus?

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    1. Hi Mitch, it's really just the standard impetus - i wa strying to be as rules neutral as possible in my description. Having saifd that, one of the ways I increased the Indian army's effectiveness was to give infantry charged by elephants a -1 to their test against the impetus, basically because they are a lot larger than warbands or lance-armed cavalry!

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  3. What a nice collection of figures. Always nice to see old figure in use . Really like the old Corvus Companions.

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    1. Cheers, Joe. Between us we probably have a museum's worth of old figures...

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  4. Paul, great looking game!! Mike Adams

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    1. Hi Mike, thanks for looking. It was fun.

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  5. Impressive armies, and a nice AAR. Lots and lots of figs on the table.
    Things like this inspire me a lot to keep painting more troops of my own.
    Many thanks!

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    1. Thanks, Wim. The good thing about this game is that I don't have to supply very much of my own.

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  6. Wow looks great and seems to have been fun to pkay!
    Roy

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    1. Hi Roy, thanks for looking in on us again. We made it a more interesting game using comments from the trial run in November.

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  7. Superb looking Hydaspes!

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    1. Ta much, Cyrus. If you look closely you can see more foliage appearing on the river banks as I purchased it during the day. Creeping triffids.

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  8. Looks great, Paul. Nice to see the TtS! card chits getting good use as casualty markers - I use them for that too!

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    1. Well spotted, Aaron, they do blend in very nicely indeed.

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  9. That looks terrific Paul! I bet the 20 ellies took a bit of lifting. the sand table is really effective. Best, Simon

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  10. Cheers, Simon. and congrats on To The Strongest!

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  11. That's a bunch of elephants! Great looking game and AAR.

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  12. Good photos, Paul. We still have enough stuff left to make you a more manageable sized PST if the your club needs it. Colin and I will be up on Tuesday to practice Shako 2 with Ferdy.

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    1. Hi Simon, it went down very well indeed. Next year's grand battle will be Pharsalus, Caesar against pompey. We will need 20 legions for that one, plus supporting cast. Funnily enough, I think we'll manage! Table size would be 18' by 6', so we could play it on Williw's sand table.

      I won't be at the club for a while - Cathy is revising for exams, so I need to keep the kids out of her way...

      Cheers!

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  13. I hope that's not a personal question!?

    Actually, I built a Republican legion as 24 Velites, 48 Hastati, 48 Principes and 24 Triarii. Theoretically there should be 48 Velites, but I couldn't be bothered painting that many skirmishers. Besides, I'd never use that many on the tabletop. I have four of these, and in most cases they could do double duty as eight legions.

    I'm painting a Caesarean legion as 80 figures, ten cohorts of eight. Much easier to manage! I should have a dozen of these by the time I'm finished, as well as some of the supporting cast...

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  14. I've still got those Imperial Legionaries you got me in the biscuit tin from Claymore all those years ago. Naismith's I think they are. My only truly ancient army.

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    1. Ah, that explains it. How many of those legionaries do you have? I organise my Caesareans as three batches of three cohorts, one of which includes a command stand with an officer type, a musician and a standard bearer. The tenth cohort also has a command stand, but that one has the eagle and an additional senior officer. So a legion of 80 figures has 13 command types, meaning that I actually only use 67 legionaries. For your period, the eagle cohort can be double-size, which adds another eight of the rank and file - 75 legionaries plus 13 command gives you 88 in total. You might be able to squeeze a couple of legions this size out of the ones you have?

      I have been buying single command and musician figures from Navigator Miniatures for Caesar's army. I can't remember if they make Imperial Legionaries, but you could probably get away with earlier command types anyway. Might be worth a shot as a way to maximise your forces?

      By the way, Wilie wants to celebrate the refurbishing of his sandtable with a large game on Saturday July 4th - I'll be bringing my legionaries along en masse. If you can make it, you'll see them then...

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  15. That is superb Paul. What a marvellous display of what a big game is all about. No doubt everyone had a great time of it too. Well done to you all!

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    1. Thanks, James. I hope your preparations for the grand 200th are coming along well...

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