Monday 30 January 2012

Carthaginian mercenaries in Southern Gaul

Just a quick report to keep the campaign up to date.  Last Tuesday the Carthaginians took Gaul as a precursor to Hannibal's assault on the Romans.  The Gauls had a long defensive ridge line and a bit of rough to their left. The army was basically warbands in the centre and all of the cavalry on the open right, with a lone unit of Soldurii as back-up. The Carthaginians set up with infantry in the centre and two cavalry wings.

The rules force Gauls in non-disordering terrain to test to avoid reckless charges, and so in they went right across the line, leaving the hills behind them.  Carthage managed an overlap with heavy cavalry as the warbands charged past the rough, and then the whole Gallic line was rolled up in classic fashion.  Not a lot could be done about this situation - the Gallic commanders saw it coming and hoped for a quick result in the centre or on the right to compensate.  It didn't happen.

I might suggest changing the rules, since they force the Gauls to do stupid charges even when they have a defensive advantage, which doesn't seem right to me, but no one was surprised by the result anyway.  The warbands on the flat next to the rough ground would have had no choice, and in fact they were the ones who led the charge.  It looked glorious, if futile.  I didn't take photos since we were using Paul's Gauls for the first time, and I wasn't sure how they compared with our other figs.  He has his based for WAB, but as it turns out, mostly on six-figure bases, so they worked really well.

Next up is a Successor game tomorrow evening as Bactrian Greeks move into Mesopotamia. In campaign terms, this represents Persia attacking.

Saturday 28 January 2012

Welcome to the Lead Warrior

...aka David from Falkirk, whose blog is here.  It would be good to get you involved with Plataea at Carronade, if you don't end up doing too much work for the show...

Friday 27 January 2012

Welcome to Lead Legion

Or should that be The Lead Legion?  If you have a blog, please let me know and I'll link in with it too.

Saturday 21 January 2012

Campaign update: 240-230 BC

Quite a lot has been happening in our Empire campaign; I just haven't had the time to document it until now.  The first thing to report is that the Macedonians finally took Illyria (ie Gordon beat me).  I took photos and saved them to my laptop, and then promptly lost them.  It's a bit of shame, since it was a good game and a close one.  On a constricted field, the Macedonian phalanx punched through the Illyrian defensive hill line, which was composed of medium hoplites from the coastal city states and some wild warbands.  Every phalanx was badly damaged, but the weight in the centre won the day.

Secondly, we rolled for the Indians, and they took Bactria.  We incorporated the Indians into the game so that we could see Simon's lovely army on the table.  However, he hasn't been well, so we left their shot until the end of the turn.

Summary of events this turn:

1:  Bactria rebels from Persian control
2:  The Persians reconquer Persia
3: The Egyptians conquer Syria
4:  Carthage takes Iberia
5:  Rome takes Sicily from Carthage
6:  The Macedonians conquer Illyria
7: The Indians conquer Bactria

The most surprising thing about this is the success rate of the Great Powers: usually they are rubbish, but in this turn they have excelled themselves, each winning in their active phase.  First time that has ever happened!

At the start of the new turn, the Thracians rebel from Macedonain control and the Ptolemies attack a Macedonian field army in Asia Minor.  This time, I forgot my camera altogether, but it's probably just as well since I ended up effectively umpiring.  I didn't get the time to take any photos anyway.  It was another extremely close battle.  Billy and Willie ran the attacking force, while I set up the Antigonid defenders and ran the weak left flank.  David had our central phalanx on a nice ridge line, and Paul had our right wing.  Billy steadily forced me back on our left.  Stalemate for a while in the centre.  Willie eventually broke through our right at great cost, but was finished off by excellent shooting from Paul's Cretan archers.  Eventually we won in the centre due to the hill.  A great game.

The current map situation:
This is a composite of two scans, which didn't align exactly, but it does give an idea of the strategic view:

Carthage controls Carthage, Numidia and Iberia.
Rome controls central and southern Italy, and Sicily
Macedon controls Macedonia, Greece, Illyria and Asia Minor
Egypt controls Egypt, Syria and Armenia
Persia controls Parthia and Persia
India controls Bactria and India

Next up is a Carthaginian probe into Gallia.  Methinks the Barcid war party is getting restless in Spain...

Welcoming Duane

Hi Duane, thanks for joining.  Please let me know if you have a blog or website and I'll link back.


Sunday 15 January 2012

Welcome to the Madaxeman

...whose website is here. Do have a look; there's loads to see.  The "pants" page is hilarious, chronicling the sorts of things we all see or do on the tabletop.

Saturday 14 January 2012

Test for Plataea battlefield

This week I received the first batch of three for my attempt to make a full tabletop from cork tiles.  The idea is to have pretty much a fully interchangeable surface that will do for most Mediterranean to semi-arid areas:
 From the photos on the website of the company who makes them, Siesta Cork Tiles, I had thought these came in three elevations, but when I saw them, they really work in two - a sort of patchy level and some depressions. So I tested a couple by filling in some of the lower areas with textured paint and flocked them.  I know the flock won't look perfect and will come off in bits as it usually does, but it's a cheap and quick way to see if can get the look I want. The photo above shows a newly revamped unit of hoplites standing on the end result.  I'm reasonably happy with it so far - I'm after a sort of patchy, scrubby plains effect.  The thing is, these tiles will see a lot of use and abuse, so using more expensive terrain elements seems a bit excessive, which rules out silflor-type grass clumps.  I was originally intending to use astroturf, but it's a bit too tall and would simply end up coming off altogether.  So will flock, but that's easily replaced.

Thursday 5 January 2012

Welcome to Lee Hadley

... of Big Lee's Minipainting on Blogspot.  He has a much wider range of interests than I do, or at least than I've managed to put on here.  I'm always interested in periods such as WWII, but I want to concentrate on as few projects at a time as I possibly can.  In other words, I'm trying desperately to resist that bane of the wargamer's life, the Ooh Shiny! complex.

Monday 2 January 2012

Anne Boleyn: Work in Progress 3

Just to prove to myself that I did get some painting done during the winter holidays:
This figure is taking a lot of effort.  Here she is with the first basic coat done.
Strictly speaking, that's not true.  I have managed to do quite a lot of work to the pedestal of the sundial.
In the original box artwork, the pedestal is simply stone-coloured.  I decided to try to get a marble effect.
I think it is beginning to look like my mental image.  High gloss varnish should bring up the stone nicely.  Before then, the highlighting and detailing will need to be done.  Those will take some time...

Sunday 1 January 2012

On the Painting Tray: January 2012

In December I managed to complete 24 Spartans.  Still on the painting tray this month are another 60 Hoplites plus Anne Boleyn; she is taking a lot of effort.  I might make one slight change to the blog this year.  Now that I have been doing this for two and a half years, I think it's about time that I keep a running tally of how many figures I manage to complete.  I'll stick to 25mm for this, since that is my main interest.  Anything else I manage will be an added extra.

And a Happy New Year to everyone loosely floating around in blogspace and the outer ether of the interwebs...