Archive for January 2016
Another Battle in our Campaign. Mike’s Romano British yet again took on Phil’s Picts and Angles in another of Arthur’s battles. This time it was another one of the Twelve Battles of King Arthur: on the River Tribruit.
We used Mike’s official To the Strongest Battlemat and wooden counters. Excellent.
The Romano-British deployed first with Arthur’s cavalry appearing on the right flank as soon as the East Angles had deployed opposite the Romano-British infantry. This meant the Pict spearmen had to deploy behind the East Angles in a long line starting from the far left flank. One unit was left out of command and hardly moved all battle whilst another ended up drawing it’s in command status from the Senior general himself so as to support the East Angles flank.
The East Angles and Picts advanced rapidly towards the Romano-British who kept a tight line and a skirmish screen of infantry. Then Arthur’s cavalry surged forwards but the Pictish spearmen held their ground. They then pushed the cavalry back who evaded in disorder whilst the infantry lines closed.
Arthur was able to rally his cavalry just before they were pushed off the baseline at spear point and they in turn charged the spearmen. This time the spearmen were in disorder as reinforcements raced to close any potential gaps. Javelin armed Angle skirmishers slowed the cavalry enough to give the spearmen some time to rally.
In the centre the East Anglian Warband Hearthtroop smashed through the Roman lines, slaughtering the proud First Legion and threatened the camps. To the far Roman left the Pictish cavalry had been skirmishing and harassing all this time supported by the King and his Noble cavalry. Eventually a break through came when the infantry became disordered from javelin fire and the Pictish cavalry finally stopped evading and charged. The British held but the cavalry could now move around to the rear and threaten the Roman camps too.
As dusk fell Arthur withdrew his shattered infantry forces and victory was awarded to the Picts who now had even more booty to take North as they turned towards Eboracum itself intent on further plunder.
Notes: The Army Lists used were based more on the Late Roman or Post Roman Gallic lists than those in To the Strongest. This was based on my reading for example the Warhammer Age of Arthur Supplement, the idea being a force inspired by a Leader of Battles and Professional soldiers still existing in some form along the wall in Coel Hen, Northern Britain. So they were classed as Legions and Auxilia having some military training, living in Forts or Garrisons with access to old Roman methods and Manufacturing skills to provide arms and armour plus trade with Roman or post Roman Western Europe. I would not have classed them the same should they be fighting the professional soldiers from the Eastern Empire or the height of Roman Britain prior to Macsen Wledig.
However I think this better describes them compared to untrained/ poorly drilled militia troops who are correctly described as just Javelinmen. This makes quite a difference in the battle as saving on a 6 is much easier especially when facing cavalry and the extra manoeuvrability of the Legionaries also comes to play when making diagonal, sideways or rearward moves. Compare this to the difficulties faced by the Spearmen or Warbands especially. This led to a better game at least than simply brushing aside lots of militia with Elite Shock Armed Deep Warbands and Veteran Spearmen. Next time however it maybe that the citizens of the Roman North need to defend their lands alongside Arthur’s Cavalry, especially with the loss of the First Legion in the Battle of the River Tribruit described above!
This clash of arms game tracks the life and times of grognards as they hopefully rise through the ranks during the 20 years of Napoleon’s wars in Europe. Mike, Phil, Bruce and Darryl played.
We started in 1805 as Chef de Brigade just as the wars in Austria began and went straight into the campaign. Bruce heroically challenged the Austrian duellist champion, a true giant of a man and expert fencer to a duel. Unfortunately he was gravely wounded and missed the forthcoming battles. Phil and Mike fought at the front lines whilst Darryl was placed in charge of supplies at the rear. Mike took a bad wound.
Next Bruce and Mike recovered whilst Phil contracted lung fever and watched his already poor health fall further. Later Phil was the only one to take a wife, the daughter of a wealthy and influential French Aristocrat. The others chose to take mistresses except Mike who had little success with the fair sex unless of course he paid for which he contracted the Pox.
Darryl went carousing gloriously but then lost face when he overhead a fat merchant insulting the Emperor and simply slinkedaway.
Darryl by now had certainly earned the reputation of a cad and a bounder Chef Blackadder being his name but he was strong and healthy plus an expert duelist after some lessons. Also wherever he went he caught the notice of Napoleon and was successful in his military endeavours.
Phil in contrast caught the eye of Napoleons female relatives but had bad luck with his health. Plus he suffered an unlucky wound in the build up to the next campaign missing out on the ensuing action, catching more lung fever and falling from his horse. However thanks to his marriage he soon became the wealthiest Grognard.
Mike concentrated on military matters and was always in the thick of the action though he too fled from the fat merchant. Bruce though continued to be promoted to positions such as the Staff and the Reserve always gaining glory and experience wherever he went, being in the right place at the right time to capture Napoleon’s notice without fail. His expolits duelling the famous Austrian Champion preceeding him in fame and honour and then his success at the capitulation of Danzig being especially a highlight. Darryl of course excelled at the peace negotiants at Tilsit and generally avoided any risk whatsoever. Phil missed out on the Christmas Party being wounded.
Finally the heroes gathered for the final campaign of the session. Phil took part in a famous duel as a second and challenged the cheating opponent’s second to a duel. Unfortunately it turned out to be Darryl himself just returned from fencing lessons and in excellent health. He made short work of Phil who also earnt Napoleon’s displeasure for his troubles. Fortunately it was just a scratch. As this was a peaceful turn not much happened and all the players managed to be promoted to the rank of Major with Darryl of course being the Senior Grognard at the end. Both Darryl and Bruce looked well on the way to reaching the rank of Colonel whilst Mike wa not far behind. Phil too was close but his ailing health would require him to spend yet another year at the health spa with his wife away from Paris thus slowing his progress again.
Another successful game of this narrative campaign in the Napoleonic era.
Game data from Mike:
Most played game on a Sat night for 2015 was Imperial Assault – 6 playings.
A whole load of games had 3 outings – Libertalia, Thunderbirds, K2 and Love Letter to name a few.
Most played miniatures game was Sword and Spear with 4 appearances.
The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 9,400 times in 2015. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 3 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.
There were 132 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 257 MB. That’s about 3 pictures per week.
The busiest day of the year was April 16th with 220 views. The most popular post that day was barbarica conspiratio ; The Great Conspiracy 367AD.
Arthur’s 11th Battle (Battle of Bregouin).
Using the To the Strongest rules I played a learning solo game of this Battle, which I set at Ribchester in Northern England in the Romano-British period.
The forces set out for battle. Picts and Angles to the East and British to the West. The road runs from North to South with the Watch tower to the North.
The Picts with the Angles on the Southern flank and the Pictish King and his cavalry held in reserve, light cavalry to the flanks.
The Roman line advances steadily. A unit of light archers gets carried away with its enthusiasm but fails to fire.
The Elite Romano-British veterans beneath the Banner of the Virgin Mary.
Artorius beneath the bear banner with his cavalry.
The Picts also advance rapidly. The unit of archers has succeeded in drawing out one unit ahead of the line of spears (being caught and Lost doing so).
The Pictish King rides to fill the gap and the Angle cavalry fail to move at all. A theme that gets oft repeated throughout the battle!
The lines close to the North as the British cavalry advance to the South.
As the spearmen clash with the Romano-British infantry a gap opens in the British line.
The British Elite though stand firm beneath their Holy Banner.
The British cavalry drive away the Barbarian cavalry (who evade). The Angle cavalry remain motionless whilst all this goes on around them.
Subsequently the Romano-British clashed with the Angle and Pictish cavalry destroying the former and driving off the Picts who evaded. The Picts returned once on the Southern flank but then switched to the Northern flank once they were forced to evade again. As the Romano-British infantry and cavalry turned North and began to envelop them the Angles turned to stave off this advance but were eventually surrounded. To the North the British infantry advanced towards the camp but fearing encirclement by the Pictish Light cavalry retreated again until a gap appeared which they exploited to turn the flanks on the Pictish spearmen. With both flanks now threatened and with the losses mounting up the Pictish King retired from the field one last time: no doubt leaving the Angles to their fate with little thought other than it will give him more time to make good his escape.
I really enjoyed this learning game of To the Strongest. The card driven system works well especially for solo games. I had ordered Blue and Red Dragon decks which I really needed as I kept mixing them up after each turn!
The Barbarians had attached leaders whilst the Romano-British were detached and this gave the latter a greater ability to be present when required as one would expect. This actually makes a difference as the fighting starts up in earnest and towards the end it was Arthur’s presence alone which kept the infantry in place against the Angle Warriors. I had not initially realised that warriors were deep in case those eagle eyed amongst the reader’s notice and again fixing this towards the end made an interesting difference. The Angles with 3 hits stood a long time but were quite hard to move. Of course the Angle’s constant ability to fail to activate even with their leader is present (Two Aces seems to come up a lot) did not help. Their cavalry only moved at the end when the Picts had run away just in time to get hit in the flank by the Roman-British light cavalry who had travelled through the far North of the board and across the bridges to get there. The combat played quickly and though I did need to look up a few rules like evade, interpenetration and diagonal moves a few times I think it will be fairly straight forward to play once familiar. Both Arthur and the Pictish King took wounds in the fighting (being Heroic) but will live to fight again another day.
Certainly this campaign is not over as Artorius will now need to drive the main force of the Picts away from Eboracum and back across Hadrian’s and then the Antonine wall before the year is over and order is restored to the North.
StrongestRomanBarbarian2 Click to read the Army Lists.
Phil, Alex and Mike carried on their Rebellion against Darryl’s imperials. They chose the Homecoming mission. This involved helping Luke Skwalker get into his garage. The heroes raced through the Trandoshans and the Nexus. The stormtroopers retreated towards the terminal. Phil and Luke raced towards the terminal. Opening the doors on the fourth turn using the terminal revealed the defenders hidden inside the garage. Mike and Alex took out the defenders whilst Phil kept Vader distracted and opened crates. Luke ran into the garage. A rebel victory followed and the players used their credits to buy a targeting computer for Alex and to pay off Darryl’s nasty Imperial Influence card.