Last Friday evening we got together at my uncle's house to play test some proposed rule modifications to his ancients rules, Hannibal at the Gates. Since we're currently playing a campaign with these rules we thought a separate non-campaign game to try them out would be appropriate. This was a game pitting the Carthaginians against a Gual force of warriors reinforced with some local Roman model legions. The core of the Carthaginians were their ponderous Hoplites facing off against the ponderous Gaul Warrior units....or as Ralph described it, "hot ponderous on ponderous action".
As a group we settled on liking almost all the proposed rule changes with only a slight adjustment to soldier units combat factors. The table also included a lot of terrain so we could test the new terrain effects on soldier units. Soldier units include peltasts, scutari and theurophoroi.
The game was fun and bloody. Phil was able to destroy a whole wing of elephants while inflicting some, but not enough return damage to the Gaul center. On the far flank Bob's cavalry command did well against Charlie and on the right I mostly demonstrated on my flank while Mike and Bob won their areas. When your team mates are rolling hot dice don't muck it up by adding in any more of your poor rolls than is absolutely required. That's my motto.
All in all it was a great time. Calling it a 'play test' doesn't do it justice. Really we played a great game with alternate rules in place to make sure they worked out, which for the most part they did beautifully.
These are photographs from the first game in our new first Punic war campaign, the "Scramble for Sicily". The campaign is being run by my friend Mike (black shirt middle of the photo to the left). This was a battle in which Rome (right side players Phil, Ralph and Randy) attacked Syracuse (left side Michael, Charlie, Greg and Bob). The romans had 5 wings present at the battle and the Syracuse army had three reinforced wings - about the same amount of troops as 4 wings. The battle started off with the Greg having some really hot dice for Syracuse, but in the end the rolls evened out and Rome's advantage in numbers bore fruit for them. Syracuse abandoned the field suffering greater losses than Rome.
The games for this campaign will be run using Ralph's home brew rules, "Hannibal at the Gates". So far they're looking like a lot of fun. For this game I helped Mike host the game setting up terrain and providing the space. In future games I'll also be a player as I'm one of the Carthaginian wing commanders.
This is a unit of Campanian Hoplites for my 28mm Carthaginian army. The figures are Old Glory from their Italian Wars line. The Figures are from their Oscan Hoplite bag, but they do nicely as Campanian with plenty of helmets with two, three or four vertical feathers characteristic of the Campanian area. This is a fantastic pack of figures with nearly every figure in the pack unique. For the non-command figures there are 3-4 body types with a myriad of head choices. Wonderfully luxurious. The spears are from Warlord Games.
This group will make a six stand battle group for Field of Glory, or two 12-figure phalanx units in Hannibal at the Gates as seen in the bottom center photo. The bottom left photo shows the rear rank of figures so I could show off all the nice shields.
A Carthaginian army isn't any good without some leadership. These Carthaginian generals are primarily Old Glory figures with the exception of the Hannibal figure on the white horse. He's either a Renegade figure or a Crusader figure, I don't remember. I added a standard bearer to Hannibal's stand to indicate that it's an army commander while the others represent wing commanders. I felt a rose colored cape was particularly fitting for the flamboyant chap on the right.
Apologies for the poor photo quality. Light in the mornings in the fall months isn't very good. Unfortunately by the time I get home from work the sun is already either setting or it's already dark, so this is the best I can do until I finally give up and return to the winter method of using the indoor photo booth.
The back of each base has a magnetic strip added to allow me to put different magnetized labels on them according to what the scenario requires. These can be simple names or names and statistics depending on the rules I'm using for the game.
I also based up two Gaul officers that I purchased from Ebay. These came with the soldiers I posted about last week. There weren't enough to make a full base of cavalry with so they seemed like good candidates for Gaul officers. Possibly later when I paint up my Gaul officer figures these will find themselves relocated onto a combat stand. For now they'll be fine as command figures.
This is the next unit I've painted for my 28mm Carthaginian army. In Field of Glory this is a single unit of medium infantry. In Hanibal at the Gates this becomes four units of the 'soldier' unit type as seen below.
These are all Old Glory figures from two separate packs. The figures in metal helmets are from their Scutarii pack and the more characteristically Spanish leather helmets come from their Caetreti pack. The shields are hand painted. Originally I was going to feature a more purple striping on the tunics and shields, but in the end I settled on the dark red that most other wargamers use. The figures were 'dipped' using army painter strong shade. The spears are from Warlord Games.
Next up are some Carthaginian generals that are painted but awaiting dipping and basing. Following these will be some Campanian hoplites that are currently on the painting table. If you're following my blog be sure to scroll down for two additional posts I've made today.
These are two units of what Hanibal at the Gates calls 'soldiers'. They're called medium infantry in Field of Glory and Auxilia in DBA/DBM. The figures I purchased painted from a private seller on Ebay. In our upcoming first Punic War campaign some of the players have large hoplite armies that will need some extra soldier bases. When I saw these on Ebay I jumped on them.
Each two-stand unit will make one maneuver element of soldiers in HATG. The Gauls will pair up with my other Gaul heavy infantry units. The Thracians will accompany some Hoplites in Charlie's army I believe. I couldn't resist buying these because of the beautiful paint jobs on the Thracian cloaks.
Yesterday was our club's monthly game night. I played in Earl's beautiful French & Indian war skirmish game that uses the 'Musket & Tomahawks' rule set. The rules are simple, fun and bloody. I was on the French side with my friends Ed and Greg (photo left). I started off with two squads of Courier de Bois and two squads of Indians. One of my squads of Coureurs de Bois got mauled right away by new member prospect Matt, but then my luck turned around and I was able to trade blow for blow with Matt and Gordon's British irregulars and British lead Indians ending up on top. Additionally my Indian officer was able to commit an act of martyrdom and get killed which was a side objective for him. Fun game beautiful terrain and figures.
Phil ran a 28mm Volley & Bayonet game for the Battle of Hubbardton. This small scenario was able to be played three times by our experienced V&B players.
Kevin ran a beautiful France 1940 WWII game in 15mm using Blitzkrieg Commander rules. The terrain on this table was as plentiful as the figures. They must have been having a great time because this game was still going strong when I left.
Yesterday we lost one of the founding fathers of Wargaming, Donald Featherstone. I've had the pleasure of being one of the 'yanks' who had the pleasure of 'chatting up' Donald at one of his HMGS visits as well as attending one of his talks. We all owe a great deal to this man for what he added to our hobby. As president of our wargaming club for the upcoming year I think I'll make one of our game nights themes 'Featherstone' night hopefully bringing in some of the old-school games for the evening.
If you haven't had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Featherstone, here's a nice YouTube video of him chatting about various wargaming topics.
Yesterday I got the chance to do some rare Sunday gaming thanks to the Labor Day holiday on Monday here in the USA. Gordon at Adler hosted a day of Bolt Action gaming at his store complete with catered lunch of meatball subs and Italian ice for desert thanks to a contribution by Scott.
I played in a historical scenario Gordon is working adapted from a scenario book. It's a North African battle that actually happened pitting Italian light armor M13/14 'medium' tanks against a desperate force of Australians defending an old desert fort with just some Boys anti-tank rifles and a couple of portee 2 pounder anti tank guns. To successfully delay the Italians the Aussies would have to get up close and personal with anti-tank grenades and side armor shots with the Boys ATRs.
This scenario was well played by the Aussies, led by Chris helping new players Jeff and Marco learn the rules. On the Italian side we had Marco's son Guillermo and me being tutored by the other experienced player, Dan. This was my first game of Bolt Action actually playing and it was easy to learn and quite fun. The scenario seemed very well balanced for a first play. The Italians were down to their last shot on their last tank of the last turn. Hit and they win, miss and the Australians win. Very close with the Italians squeaking out the victory.
On the other table some of the more experienced players played a four player game in the ruins of Berlin. I believe it was Americans against Germans, so western Berlin I would assume. I'm unsure of the outcome but everyone seemed to be having a great time.