Saturday, February 28, 2015

Electronic Brigadier Cavalry Play Test Game

Last night a bunch of my friends came over to help me continue to fine tune my Electronic Brigadier rules. We again used generic units to help dial in the effects of casualties on morale. Additionally I put two cavalry units on each side to hopefully further test cavalry's interaction with infantry and each other in charges. The latter was definitely desperately needed as we did find some fairly significant issues that I've had to address in cavalry vs. cavalry charges. Hopefully next time these charges will work more smoothly.

The Americans, shown on right below, were Ed, Ralph and Phil. The British, shown on the left were Bob, Charlie and Mike.

The Americans took up a defensive position using a central woods and a ravine to protect their flank. The British initially occupied the farm while they sent a battalion to cross the ravine and threaten the American's flank. Once developed the British pressed across the battlefield, eventually forming the very keen battle line shown in the title photo at the top of this post. 

Defensive fire by the Americans softened up the British and when pressed with charges in the center of the battle line the British wavered in the face of the charges collapsing the center of the line. The British recovered and countered by reforming the line and pressing the American's with volley fire. This led to our conclusion that penalties for units fleeing in the face of a charge needed to be adjusted to be more punitive. This is a change that we'll test in the next play test game. 

Even with the things we've found needed to be worked on it was a fun night with plenty of laughs, good gaming and very constructive input from the play testers. Thanks guys! I'm including plenty of eye candy from the game below for those who weren't there and enjoy looking at them.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The Battle Panormous - Conquest of Italy Campaign

Last Saturday seven of us braved a small snow storm to play the third game in my friend Mike's ongoing First Punic War campaign. This was another case of the Greek player aggressively attacking the Carthaginians, this time in the town of Panormous on the island of Sicily. The armies were closely matched, both primarily composed of hoplites with a few skirmishers and soldiers tossed in.

The Greeks, shown to the left to right were Phil, Charlie the Greek commander, and Bob. For Carthage was Ralph, Rob and myself.

This game was a very dominating performance by the Greeks. Both sides played well, but the Greeks additionally had the dice Gods in their favor. By the end of the game the Carthaginian army was in shambles and the Greeks had suffered only minor losses. The loss puts Carthage in a very desperate position in the campaign. We'll have to see how things go from now on but it is quite likely that Carthage will end up beaten back to Africa before too long. Rome has turned south towards the Greek holdings in mainland Italy, but for Carthage it could be too late to save them from the Pyrrhic aggression.

With Ralph's help filling in some missing stands, I was also able to get my new Greek hoplites on the table for the first time. They performed reasonably...well as good as the rest of the army did at least. The game exercised the new phalanx mechanic in Hannibal at the Gates. The new rule seemed to work just fine and definitely kept the hoplite wings in more historic looking tabletop formations.

As an added bonus, here are two YouTube videos of MOST of the game. My camcorder battery ran out about 2/3rds of the way through the game. The last video is one my friend Mike made that contains a slide show of photos we all took at the game.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

28mm Spanish Caetrati Skirmishers

These are five units of 28mm Spanish Caetrati skirmishers for my Carthaginian army. I know a few posts back I said I was finished with the army, but then I started to play games with it and realized that Numidian skirmishers just don't look right in a Spanish wing so I decided I HAD to have some Caetrati. I split a bag of Old Glory figures with my friend Bob. I'm not sure if he's started his 15 figures yet, but mine are done...take that Bob!

The shields are hand painted and I've varied the colors of the tunics, shields and leather helmet decorations. I've included one shield on each stand with a geometric pattern typical of the Spanish to give the units the right look. Basing is for Ralph's home brew rules, Hanibal at the Gates, soon to be re-named Marathon to Marius. The black portion on the rear of each stand is a magnetic strip which will hold an appropriate label describing the unit's characteristics.

These are again indoor photos, although there was a touch of sunlight in the room from outside. I've also started to figure out how to use my fancy new camera to much better effect. I hope to keep improving the photo quality, but I'm closer to happy with these than before.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

28mm Roman Triarii and Velites

These are the first figures for my 28mm Roman army. The figures are all Old Glory figures painted by myself. I will be doing at least 4 legions, probably more. The first three legions will have red, white and tan shields as shown in the three Triarii units. Each legion needs one unit of Triarii, and two units of Velites. These figures represent all but one stand of Velites and Triarii for my first three legions.

It's been snowing constantly and very gray here so these are indoor photos without any natural light. Sorry for the poor contrast due to the flash and fluorescent lighting. Next up on the table is a unit of Spanish Caetrati skirmishers that I forgot to paint for my Carthaginian army. After those I'm actually painting up some additional Carthaginian figures for recently completed units in order to facilitate re-basing my figures for Hanibal at the Gates.

You may notice the rear of these stands have magnetic strips affixed to them. These will eventually hold magnetic stand labels. These are my first completed figures of 2015; 30 figures in all.

Greek Mercenaries

These are some Greek hoplites and cavalry that I recently purchased on Ebay and have based up for Hanibal at the Gates. The figures are a mix of lead and plastic figures from various manufacturers and feature very nicely hand painted shields. I've chosen to mix the lead and plastic figures evenly on each stand in order to give each unit a similar look as well as to spread out the lead figures to give each stand the right amount of weight. The cavalry was also included in the auction with the infantry and conveniently contained three figures which is just enough for a HATG battle cavalry stand. 

I'm still getting used to my new camera, but the photo below is getting closer to what I'd like future photos to look like. The key is getting the proper amount of light, wich I could only do by lifting up the stand with my hand. 

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Hannibal at the Gates Play Test Game

Last Saturday Charlie, Bob, Ed and I visited Ralph to play a game of Ralph's ancients rules, Hannibal at the Gates. The scenario featured a mix of troop types for us to play test some recent rule changes to pike and hoplite units as well as warrior units such as Gauls. This was a fun game and provided us with some good data on the new rules as well as some proposed additional modifications.

Below right is a photo of some Macedonian cataphracts that we got on the table for the first time in a game. They were very tough both to play and to play against.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Northern Conspiracy - February 2015 Game Night

As an often quoted family friend was prone to say, "Shit and shoved in it". I took a plethora of photos from our clubs recent February game night, but somehow when uploading them to my PC I ran into a large snafu and all my photos were lost. My apologies to all of the game hosts.

One of our scheduled game masters came down with the flu, so I ended up running an Electronic Brigadier game in his place. Per the recommendations of my friend Charlie I ran a play test scenario with a mirrored battlefield and order of battle. All units were the same size (300 men) and all were average quality. The game was enjoyed by everyone and gave me some very good data on what to adjust. I think I will do the same for my next play test game.

Below the only media that survived the snafu, video from my camcorder of some turn play during the game.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Ancients Re-Basing Started

I have started to re-base some of my 28mm ancients for Hanibal at the Gates (HATG). Previously they were based for WRG and used sabots for HATG. I was under the impression that this would be ok, but as HATG has evolved the depth of the bases has changed and is no longer easily manged with sabots. The local thoughts are that most people are keeping their 15mm WRG based miniatures for use with DBA, DBM and Field of Glory and basing up their 28mm collections for HATG. I'm saddened that I'm having to re-base my Carthaginian army so soon after finishing it, but I guess that's part of wargaming.

These first few test stands are my Gaul infantry and some Thracian infantry that I posted earlier in my blog.  The re-based figures make up five Gaul warrior stands and a Gaul skirmisher stand. The eight Tracian figures I had make up a very snappy looking soldier and skirmish stand. The Thracians will be used in my Macedonian/Pyrrhic army that I'll be starting soon. The black strips on the rear of the bases are magnetic, allowing stand labels, printed on magnetic paper, to be affixed and changed as needed.

Please forgive the photos. I have recently purchased a new camera. That along with the fact that I'm photographing indoors due to the recent multiple blizzards here in New Hampshire has proven difficult. I'll be continuing to refine my skills with the new, better camera in hopes of providing better photographs in the future.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Macedonia vs Persia - Hanibal at the Gates

Yesterday we got together to play a game of Hanibal at the Gates at my uncle's house. The battle was an Alexandrian Macedonian army versus a Persian army. The Persian army list has been recently revised based on previous play testing and now includes some nice terror units: elephants and scythed chariots.

The new terror divisions did good work softening up the Macedonian pike units. Eventually the pike were able to clear out the Persian infantry in the center but at the same time the massive Persian cavalry wings overwhelmed and eliminated the Macedonian cavalry on both flanks. We called the game due to time with the Persians retaining 8/25 of their core unit strength points and the macedonians retaining 6/20 of their core unit strength points - a close fight. Opinions on which army would eventually win were mixed. I think the new Persian army composition is a good improvement.

Below the photographs is a video of each side's players discussing their pre-game strategy as well as the GM Ralph discussing with the Persians how terror units work.