Friday, 8 December 2017

A Bloody Affair ~ Lion Rampant

Greetings folks, after not playing Lion Rampant for quite some time I played a couple of games at NWA last night against Lorne G. I think Lorne's troops were Franks (I may be wrong) but mine were,most definitely, Normans.

My Normans are pretty limited & consisted of a unit of mounted men-at-arms, foot men-at-arms, foot sergeants, mounted sergeants and crossbows. My opponent had more units but they tended to be of lesser quality.

We rolled for a random scenario: "Hold on Tight" - In which a central piece of terrain is fought over, the first player to hold it for 5 turns (non-consecutive) is the winner. We selected a low hill and by the time one of us managed to accumulate 5 turns/points there were very few troops left on the table.

I don't know the name of Lorne's commander. He had a red shield & cape, so I shall name him: Woger... Woger the Wed. Would he be a match for the brave Norman Comes Richarde la Tête? (That's Richard "Dick" Head to us common folk)

We rolled for our Leader Skills: Woger the Wed rolled Great Leader! (his unit could move/attack/shoot/ & rally without having to roll any dice). Richarde la Tête rolled: Commanding (re-roll one move/attack/shoot per turn).

Opening Proceedings...

So, the protagonists deployed and set out to win this valuable piece of ground in the center of the table.


Richarde and his knights are deployed on the far left behind his trusty crossbowmen.


"Advance, men and the hill will be ours!"

The Frankish array looks like a tough nut to crack.


Woger the Wed, in the Frankish center with a troop of mounted sergeants.


The first couple of turns involved both of us trying to get our troops moving into position. As is usual with Lion Rampant, this can be difficult if the dice are against you. Initially the dice were with Richarde la Tête and not really favoring Woger. But things balanced out in short order.

The first casualty was inflicted on a unit of Frankish yeomen, who lost one of their number to a well placed crossbow bolt. Some of Woger's bidowers on the Norman right moved into some woods and took aim the a unit of foot sergeants to no effect.

The Fight Begins...

After the initial maneuvering and desultory missile fire the first unit to gain the hill were my brave foot knights (after having to trudge through some woods which they mistakenly thought they could just waltz through easily).

At the same time the Norman infantry assaulted the skirmishers who were shooting from the woods. They only killed one but that was enough to drive them back.

On the other side of the table a second group of bidowers moved into another wood with the idea of luring my impetuous knight into charging them with their Wild Charge rule. This called for a detour because Count Richarde isn't a total meat-head. 

Said Count Richarde: "This way men, through this other wood where we shall 
become bogged down and stuck for a couple of turns."
Note: Count Richarde has Papal; Banner - for when times get tough!

And so, Woger the Wed reacted to all of this Norman chicanery and told his cowardly archers to unleash a volley at the brave knights on the hill. Who, when poor of Otto took an arrow in the eye bravely ran back down the hill to safety.


More arrows flew from the skirmishers which killed one of my mounted sergeants. To which they said: "Enough of this merde. Thou has giveneth us a gutfull." ... So they charged into the cowardly archers and drove them back but lost another two men in the process. Maybe those archers were not so cowardly after all.


The Norman infantry tried to charge the biddowers in the woods again but were themselves, driven back by a well aimed volley as the bidowers evaded.

Back in the center, the Norman foot knights once again advanced to take possession of the all-important hill.

Only to be driven off once again (bravely I might add) by Woger and his mounted sergeants. This time another two of their fellows fell and made their way to their heavenly rest.
The Dual...

Finally Richarde la Tête, brave knight of Normandy, emerged from the woods and lead his men towards Woger the Wed. (He, of somewhat dubious ancestry.)

"Come thee forth and meeteth me in mortal combat," cried the Wed one named Woger. And Richarde, seeing that his troops were somewhat disturbed by his hesitation, replied: "Oh buggereth thee with a broomstick."

And so, charging up the hill to meet the Wed Woger, a duel was fought. 

And bravely, with great courage and skill, did Richarde get cut to pieces like a well cured sausage.

"Alas! Alakaday! Richard's gone and got his head cut off and our re-roll has gone with him," cried his men. And many courage tests did follow.

In vengeance for the loss of their re-roll, the the Norman foot knights did charge back up the hill, killing Woger's remaining companions and driving him off.


"There he is," said the crossbowmen lets shoot him down. And they tried but they all missed.


The End is Nigh...

Woger the Wed, he of  somewhat dubious ancestry, fell back and took shelter with some mounted sergeants. These very same troops charge the hill and attacked the foot knights, killing two of them but were reduced to half their numbers and were themselves throw back off the hill.

Frankish yeomen now assaulted Sir Bonzo de Baguette, the last remaining foot knight and cut him down. But at least he took some of them with him. Woger the Wed once again rode forth and shouted: "The hill is mine, again!"



Meanwhile, while all this was happening, my mounted sergeants were charging everyone in sight and did a pretty good job of driving off the archers and yeomen, whilst my mounted men-at-arms did bugger-all except sit there and get shot.

So the brave sergeants, did bravely ride forth, up the hill and bravely did they plunge their lances into Woger's back in a brave show of the bravest bravery.


So endeth Woger the Wed.

And, in the next turn, these guys too.

I don't remember what happened to my Mounted knights. I think they had enough and ran away (bravely). My mounted sergeants took one too many shots from the bidowers and also fled the field.

In the final turns my foot sergeants (who had been trying to fight the bidowers) took the hill and gained the last remaining points needed to win the game. The only troops left were these, my crossbows and those pesky bidowers.

T'was a bloody affair.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

It was a really good game. Thank you to my opponent, Lorne.
The tables turned and turned again and it was only in the last couple of turns that victory was determined. Alas neither of our heroes lived to tell their tale.

We had time for another bout but that's another story.




Thursday, 7 December 2017

My Antigonids Get Some Thracian Allies

I'm quite happy with the progress of my Antigonid Successor army. I started these guys at the start of November and in just one month they are starting to look like a viable force. I still have a way to go with them as I want a fairly large force of at least half a dozen pike units and as many thureophoroi and allies - Thracians/Galatians/and Thessalian horse. I don't really need a great deal of cavalry but I'll probably do more than I need. I can also co-opt my earlier Greek hippeis if I need to.

So, here are my newest additions: Another unit of pike and a unit of Thracian medium infantry with romphia.


This looked like an odd colour scheme as I was doing them. 
But I like the end result. Somewhat understated.




My whole phalanx as it stands at this point.


Monday, 27 November 2017

Quinquereme's and a Hepteres (or 5's & 7)

What does this strange title mean?

It means that my tiny fleet has grown - with larger, more powerful  ships!

By larger, I mean that compared to my triremes, the quinquereme's (5's) are about 2mm longer and about 1mm wider and the hepteres (7) is so huge it needed a bigger base! (because it's about 4mm longer and about 3mm wider). The sails are bigger too.

Outrageous!

As for power they each have an engine and some have towers but I think that they are all classed as having towers in the Ad Mare Bellum rules. The engines are basically light torsion projectile weapons such as light ballistas or scorpios.

I'm using the 5's primarily as Hellenic but the actual models are Carthaginian. I'll probably use them as quadremes (4's) sometimes too. As for the 7, I wanted to include a couple of bigger, hard hitting ships that canbolster the line a& also act as squadron commanders. I also have a Octeres (8) waiting on my desk and that will be my flagship.

Just like the pictures below I have, waiting to be done, another 6 quins, another 7 and the 8. That should complete my fleet for the time being.

I had a lot of fun trying to paint the eyes on the prows.






Wednesday, 22 November 2017

New Additions to My Hellenic Phalanx

I've added another couple of units to my Successor army. Two units of thureophoroi. However, I did cheat a bit with these guys,  because they were already 90% done. I both units last year (I think) made up of 10 figures on two large 80mm x 40mm bases. So what I've done now is make their numbers up to 12 and base them on 40mm squares. So the unit foorprint is the same dimensions but they are a bit more flexible and the unit looks fuller.






Saturday, 18 November 2017

Successors ~ My New Project

So I've decided to build a Successor army. In particular I'm making Antigonid Macedonians. The reason I chose this kingdom is because I think the figures will be able to serve as various other lesser Successor states such as Pontus or a Pyrrhic army (or even as Carthaginians at a stretch).

This army will also go along with my tiny fleet, which is about to have larger Hellenic ships added to its numbers. Together the land and sea forces will go together well for a, hoped for, campaign next year.

As it were, I've finished my first two units: A lochi/regiment of Chalkaspides (Bronze Shields) and the Agema of the Peltasts. The Chalkasipdes are pretty much the "regulars" of the standing army and form the bulk of the phalanx. I'll also be adding Leukaspides (White Shields) which are more-or-less reservist phalangites, thureophoroi, Thracians, Thessalonian cavalry and probably some Gaulic warbands.

Quite a mix.

Oh... And elephants!

The Peltasts are not like the skirmishers also called peltasts. These troops are more like the elite or guard troops of the Antigonid Macedonian army and the Agema is the premier regiment. The peltasts are lighter armed than regular phalangites but still considered heavy infantry.

I'm not sure what set of rules I'm basing these guys for. I decided to go for 3 figures to a base to cut down the amount of figures I need to paint and also cut down the cost of figures (because I plan to do quite a few of them).

I wanted to make the footprint of a standard pike unit 80mm x 80mm. This won't fit with many rules and some people wont like the 20mm/40mm depth of the bases. But when it comes down to it: I don't care. Some will also be upset about the 3 figures to a base instead of 4. I don't care about that either. If needed, I'll play Hail Caesar or IMPETVS with them instead of the more pedantic sets of rules.

So here's the small start of, what I'm hoping, will end up being a big little army. The figures are 15mm Xyston.




Saturday, 11 November 2017

My Little Fleet's First Outting

I had a game last evening with Richard at NWA. This was the first time I used my tiny fleet (dubbed the Athenian Fleet for this game). We used the Ad Mere Bellum rules by David Manley.

It was great to see my burgeoning fleet arrayed for battle on Richard's very nice Deep Cut Studio ocean mat. And after this game, I'm quite happy that my second order of 12 quinquremes, 2 Seven's and an Eight have arrived and waiting to get on the paint bench.

For this game it was Greeks v's Romans.

Initially the Richard had 10 quinquremes and a Seven against my 15 triremes (10 cataphract and 5 aphract). This proved to be fairly unbalanced.

So, we had a "half game" which, because of the draw of the activation's, saw my fleet get smashed front on.

From the first "half game."



As I said, this front on ramming smashed my lighter vessels.

The first ever ship of my fleet to be wreaked.


We then decided to restart and add a bit of differentiation. This consisted of my Greeks being assigned the Maneuver aspect and the Romans designated as Boarding. The difference being that I was better at ramming and my opponent better at boarding.The Romans also had siege engines, towers and corvus.

So, arrayed against my 15 triremes were 8 quinquremes and a pair of sixes. So I had the numbers and the maneuverability but the Romans had size and toughness. This really made a quite a big difference.

This time around, I managed to maneuver into position to get some of my ships into the Romans resulting in immobilising one ship and capturing a couple. The Romans drew the card for the next turn and dropped their corvus's (or should that be corvii ?) onto several of my ships and lock them together. This resulted in a couple of my ships being captured and a couple were wreaked.

In the following turn my brave Athenians managed to back-oar a couple of ships and inflict some missile damage on some of the Roman crews. One of my ships also managed to break through the Roman line. As luck would have it I drew the card for the next turn (2 turns in a row!) and drove my ships back into the oar-banks of the Romans. This didn't really do me much good. One of my rams was front on and it was my ship which was wrecked.

In Richard's next turn his Romans managed to board and capture a few more of my ships and I only had two ships remaining without damage. Out of 15, three were wrecked and about 6 were captured. The remaining four were heavily damaged.

So, it seems the trick is to ram and back out fast. Don't get caught and boarded by Romans. But that, I think, is easier said than done and the only way to find out is to have some more games.


Some pictures taken by my opponent, Richard.


Our first clash again, this time from the Roman perspective.


The scene from the second battle. As you can see I tried to avoid 
frontal ramming and aimed for the Roman oars where I could.


One thing became obvious from these two games and that is the need for plenty of counters. Counters are needed to show: Hull Damage, Crew Damage, Immobilised, Wrecks, Fire, Captured... I think that's all. In the pic above we improvised with blast markers for damage, gems for crew damage and small planks for corvus.

My Conclusion:

I can't wait to try this game again. We're already looking at a couple of house rules to add a bit of spice. I have a bunch of larger craft to paint up and Richard has a fleet of triremes on the way. So, in the future we should be quite evenly matched. There are also others at our club who are interested and have started fleets and we're looking to incorporate land and sea battles into a Late Successor / Early Roman campaign some time next year.

Should be interesting times.



Monday, 30 October 2017

My Fleet is Finished

Well for now, that is...

I finished the last squadron of cataphract triremes. This time I did them with the sails set. I'm not so sure, after making these that they really look any better the ones in fighting trim. When I look at them now they all look just as nice as each other.

So for now I have a small fleet of 5 aphracts and 10 catafracts. I have some more in the post which should arrive in about a fortnight - 12 x Quinqueremes, two 7's and an 8 as a flagship, to boost my little Athenian fleet into a good sized Successor Fleet. I ordered Langton's Carthaginian quins because there were no other options (other than Roman).

So, here is my last squadron:




And a final photo of the whole tiny fleet.