Saturday 28 September 2013

Titanic Struggle in Greece

The Romans and Macedonians go hard at it again in Greece.  The Macedonians, led by Philip V in person, attack the Achaean League, and the Romans send an expeditionary force to help their allies, consisting of a proconsular army of four understrength legions.  The last time this happened, the Macedonians won because the Greeks all ran away; who knows what the outcome will be this time...
Above is a shot of the Macedonian right, as seen from my perspective behind the Roman lines.  Two waves of light horse, some heavies, and a load of Thureophoroi types.  Skirmishers out front.
The Macedonian centre: a large heavy phalanx, with their guards held back.  Note the celestial radiator behind them...
Their left: more phalanxes, with heavy cavalry and skirmishers.
The left of the allied army is mostly the Achaeans, with me in charge.  Light and heavy horse, and Thureophoroi.  Just at the right of this command are the Latin Triarii, deployed wide instead of in support of the other legionaries.  This is a new-fangled formation devised by some guy named Scipio...
Romans, looking like Romans.  The middle of our array.
Our right: Roman Triarii, Achaean thureophoi and the amalgamated Roman and Latin equites.  Some more peltasts are ready to go into the rough.
A full table shot of the army deployments from off to the Roman right.  Whatever the outcome, this is going to be nasty...
The one above is an angled shot of the enemy phalanx.  Deadly impressive.
A closer shot of the legions from the same perspective.  Damned well drilled, these barbarians.
Final photo from this end of the field: the armies advance.  It's a bit blurry to see details, but it does give an idea of the sweep of the game.
The same moment, this time from beside my command of Greeks.
I'm first into combat as my light cavalry takes on theirs.  Right in the middle of the photo you might be able to make out the enemy guardsmen.  They have moved out to this end of their phalanx to face off against the Latin Triarii.  This will be the point of decision, because if the guards do not hold out, the flank of the phalanx will be turned before its weight crushes the legions.
The aerial shot should give some idea of what I'm on about.  In the immediate foreground the Latin hastati have already engaged the guard pikemen.  Just off to the bottom of the photo the Triarii are crunching enemy Thureophoroi.  Once that's done, they can join in here, but the timing is going to be tight.
This is the action right at the extreme edge of my flank, with the battle stretching off into the distance.
A terrible struggle ensues on my flank.
The Macedonian foot guards have disposed of the Latin hastati, and not the Principes go in.  The remainder of the Romans are having a bad time in the centre of the army.
The wight of the phalanx is beginning to tell at the far end of our army.
Above is a close up of the Roman right having a bad time.
The enemy right wing collapses and the Latin Triarii are free to hit the Foot Guards.

But it is too little too late, as the phalanx grinds it way through the middle, despite King Philip getting himself killed right in the middle of the line.  Another expensive victory for Macedon.  But it is a short-lived one; the Romans counterattack with a full consular army and crush the Macedonians.  I have no photos of this one, because I forgot my camera, but it wouldn't have mattered anyway because we were in a different part of the hall and the lighting was crud.

Next up: at the start of the penultimate turn of the Empire campaign, Gallia Narbonensis rises in revolt against the might of Rome, so that should be fun...

Tuesday 17 September 2013

Welcome to Firey Monkey Boy

...who has four blogs.  Here's one: Some of you may recognise him from The Miniatures Page.  Thanks for coming over!

Saturday 14 September 2013

Welcome to w.vdberghe

I just wanted to say thanks for joining in with us - please do let me know if you have a blog of your own and I'll link back...

Quick edit: Wim's blog is here:

Thursday 12 September 2013

Indians Crush Persia (and a large map)

Just a short entry to remind myself of the game we played on Tuesday, mostly in semi-darkness due to the lighting at the club being on the blink.  So no photos then, which is a real shame - I remembered my camera this time because I really am determined to take better pictures of Simon's Indian army, but it was not to be.  Anyway, it was a game of two halves.  I was up against Simon, and Gordon faced off his part of the army against Billy.  I did very well indeed, or rather Simon did badly because of his dice; on the other wing, Gordon moved into position to crush Billy.  It looked as though we were going to walk it.  And then Billy started rolling dice and it was game over for us.  His guys were in a really bad mood.  Anyway, that means that the last remnants of Persia have now finally been removed from the map.  There are only two moves left in this turn, and then two more turns, so the campaign is mostly beginning to wind down.  The main area of action will be in and around Greece as the Macedonians and Romans come to blows...

After that, we'll do an Empire Victory Points calculation and move on.  I have a cunning plan for this:

This is a digital map of the Roman Empire and beyond that I found on a Total War forum.  I've completely recoloured it using MS Paint, the idea being to use it as an electronic resource for a more intensive campaign charting the end of the Roman Republic and onwards.  I'll also print off a large scale version for handy use at the club.  Do feel free to blag it if you like!  The plan is to colour in the borders between powers as they shift.  Once the Empire campaign is complete I'll update this map to reflect the position of the various states at that point, and we'll take it from there.  Might as well keep going now that we've started...

Sunday 1 September 2013

Successors against Galatians

Finally, it feels as though we are getting back to something near normal.  I managed to take a full set of photos of our campaign game last Tuesday, as the Ptolemaic Successors mounted a counter-offensive against a large Galatian incursion into Syria:
First up is Willie, proud commander of the Galatian right flank, as seen from our side of the table behind the safety of the central phalanx.
The Galatian centre was a huge, deep mass of warriors.  Figures courtesy of Simon.
Their left wing was relatively sparse - some skirmishers and light horse skulking in the vicinity of a low hill.  There is no plan as such - it's obviously just going to be straight in with the warbands.
Above is a purely gratuitous shot of the loonies in all their glory - an impressive sight indeed.
I was deadly dull and boring.  I deployed the Ptolemaics in a sort of balanced array, with the pikes in the centre and two reasonably strong wings of horse and other types on each wing.  The shot above is from my perspective as commander on the right of the army.  David controlled our centre, and Gordon took the far side.
The armies close.  I charged on our right against my meagre opponents with a combination of light and medium horse.  I also threw our elephants straight towards the outermost warband.  The phalanx advanced en echelon and then the majority of it halted to await the inevitable loopy charge.  Gordon was just as aggressive on the far wing as I was on mine.
Gordon managed to use our endmost unit of pike to force the enemy chariots to retire, and swung both units of heavy cavalry into the centre towards the rather inviting flank of the infantry horde.  You can probably see what's coming...
I have cleared my flank, and attacked the Gallic infantry here with a combination of elephants to the front and medium cavalry in the flank.  This doesn't seem to bother them, though, and their morale holds out turn after turn as I grind them down.
The next warband in from my side is led by the chief loony in person, but I manage to slow him down a bit with judicious use of peltasts, the Ptolemaic sacrificial type of choice.  The rest of the pikes shrug off the main assault, and Gordon's heavy cavalry start to destroy everything in front of them.  Billy, in charge of the warbands, rolled really well for morale all evening.
However, the weight of Gordon's heavies was simply too much as they munched their way through the first warband...
...and then a second.  Game over for the Galatians, caught in a double cavalry envelopment.

Next up will be the Indians attempting to go further than they managed in real life, against those pesky Persian loyalists again.  Last time was an easy victory for the plucky defenders, but maybe their time is finally up...