Welcome

Welcome to my wargaming blog,
I'm Dave and live in Morpeth, Northumberland in the UK.
This may or may not be a regular thing, we'll just have to see how it goes.

I am a painter/collector of figures first and a wargamer second. My thrill in this great hobby of ours is to place that final well researched & painted unit into the cabinet. The actual gaming with the figures is an important but secondary experience, we all like to win, but it isn't the be all and end all of it, being with good friends and having fun is.
Hope you will enjoy reading this blog as much as I will writing in it.
Just to remind the visitor to scroll down the various pages and click on 'older posts' to see more.
Dave.

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Caesar Vs Pompey campaign.The first battle of Rome 49BC.

In the summer of 49BC Pompey with two legions plus supports moved from Naples to occupy Rome.
Mark Anthony advanced from Genoa with the 8th and 12th legions with Caesar coming from the north in support with the 13th. The first battle of the campaign was about to begin.
As stated previously one strength point on each block will be represented by one unit on the table. Cavalry strength points equate to cavalry units, auxiliary strength points equate to skirmish/missile troops but the strength points of general markers in the campaign can be chosen from legionary. cavalry or skirmishers. This gives a bit of flexibility to the choice if a general is present.
The game will be played using the excellent To the Strongest rules but using my hex mat. The hexes allow units to manoeuvre slightly more than the rules intended as they were designed to be used with a grid system but it is what it is!


The blocks above will participate in this battle, Pompey in green plus the cavalry he bribed to come over to his side this turn. Mark Anthony below and Caesars reinforcements. The game will be twelve turns and Caesar will be allowed to come on the table from the north on game turn three.


The terrain is randomly decided, Pompey is at the top of the picture, Mark Anthony at the bottom while Caesar will wait till turn three to appear from the north (left).


Pompey's force, six average legionary units, four raw legionary units, three cavalry and one skirmish. Two attached generals and Pompey himself senior/detached leader.


Mark Anthony's force, six average legionary units, two cavalry and three skirmish units. Two attached leaders and Mark Anthony senior/detached.


Caesar, five average legionary units, one cavalry and the man himself an senior/brilliant/detached leader. This force will arrive GT three.




Pompey decided that a quick victory was essential as he was aware that Caesar was advancing quickly to support Mark Anthony. Pompey pushed his cavalry to the flank to slow Caesar when he arrived while his centre attacked Anthony's position in a somewhat piecemeal fashion.




Occupying the higher ground Anthony's forces were inflicting heavy casualties on Pompey's legionaries with one unit routing already. Fortunately the rout did not spread to units on either side of the gap.
Black die donate units which have thrown their pilum while the red die show damage, a legionary unit will be destroyed if it suffers two of these while a cavalry or skirmisher will go on one damage. Units can recover these but will be better off attempting to do so from a position where they cannot be charged, hence the legionary unit in the bottom right of the photo has withdrawn behind it's support to attempt do so.


Pompey is forced to plug the gap in his lines with two of his raw legionary units from his reserve.


Turn three, Caesar appears on Pompey's right flank, with two of his reserve units already committed it doesn't look good. I know, Caesars units should be orientated so that they face the point of the hex, I changed that later!


A general view of the field on GT four, Caesar had failed to move last turn turning up two aces in a row while the two centres were simply grinding away at each other.




When it goes it goes, three of Pompey's units rout in his centre leaving a gaping hole, is this the end?
Simon has changed the rules slightly so that if a non skirmish unit routs then all units adjacent must test, they have two chances to save themselves. One legionary unit went one the right of Pompey's centre, the skirmisher failed as did the legionary unit. The two yellow shielded ones in the top picture managed to hold though. Not much consolation for Mr P!


That was it though, Pompey had lost all his tokens, you are allocated a number of them according to the size of your force, you loose one for each skirmisher unit destroyed and two for each legionary/cavalry/general. A huge hole had been punched in his centre and the time to get out of Dodge (or Rome in this case) had come.
All destroyed units counted for strength points taken off the campaign counters, Caesar occupied Rome while Pompey's remaining force limped back to Naples.
It will continue.
Dave.

Friday, 14 April 2017

Caesar Vs Pompey, To the Strongest campaign. Intro.

This has been a long time coming. I've been wanting to get into a campaign of some sort for as long as I can remember wargaming but really the time, opportunity and enough figures to cover everything myself has never materialised.
I apologise in advance if this particular post is mainly a description of the board game used to facilitate the campaign but I feel it is necessary to set the scene as it were. The next post will cover the first engagement on the tabletop.
My collection of 10mm Caesarian Roman figures has been on the simmer for many years but the final push was always needed. This came in the form of buying the Columbia Games block boardgame Julius Caesar



A highly recommended boardgame based on the Roman civil war 49-45 BC which plays out very well indeed as a two person game by itself. So having completed enough 10mm figures to cover the intended battles - off we go.


The mapboard showing the Med area in 49BC with Caesar's forces (red blocks) and Pompey's forces (green blocks).


This shows the Iberian peninsular, the towns are marked with major roads (thick lines) and minor roads (dotted lines) running between them. Each block represents either a leader, a legion, or an auxiliary unit, with four units (inc a leader) allowed to move along major roads but only two along minor roads.
Forces (groups of units) may either move two cities per turn or attack any enemy occupying the city next to them. Enemy forces may reinforce that turn using the same movement restriction as above.


This shows Caesars central position at the start of the campaign. Rome is unoccupied with Pompey to the south in Neapolis. Normally the blocks are set up facing their owners who sit on opposite sides of the table thereby making them unsure of the composition of their opponents forces. Playing solo I just had to make the most obvious moves for each side, not ideal but needs must.


This picture shows Pompey's reinforcement pool. On the left the blocks with eagles are legionary units, next column are auxiliary units, then cavalry, elephants and ballista units and finally naval fleets.
On each block clockwise - top left, unit designation (i.e. 38th legion), strength ( IV Roman numerals), attacking order/number required to hit on a D6 (C2). A's attack first, then B's C's and so on.
On the board each block is stood upright as seen here but as it takes casualties the block is rotated with the current strength showing on the top of the block as it stands. So when looking at your opponents block you know neither the forces composition or strength.


At the beginning of each year each player is dealt six cards, after discarding one card each that they don't want players play one card per turn and move their forces/fight battles if they occur. After all five cards have been played that is the end of that year. The forces on the board then go into winter quarters with the restrictions that entails and everyone moves into the next year repeating the process.
The game is won when one side has occupied a number of key cities/recruitment centres.
The cards shown above have the number of forces (not units) which are able to be moved that turn on the red standard (so two on the left card) while the rings below the red standard show the number of strength points which may be recruited to their forces after movement (but before battle).



As can be seen above Pompey has moved to occupy Rome and has bribed a force of Caesarian cavalry to come over to his side. Mark Anthony has moved directly south to engage with Caesar himself reinforcing from the north.


The two forces which will engage in the battle of Rome 49 BC. Remember each strength point represents a unit on the table, Caesar will join the battle on game turn three out of twelve.
Next post will cover the battle on the table using Simon's To the Strongest rules. See his blog here
Shouldn't be long before posting, have a good Easter folks,
Dave.

Thursday, 6 April 2017

10mm Russian cavalry

I did these a while back for Blucher and forgot to put them on, photos are a bit crap so sorry for that.







Dave.

Sunday, 2 April 2017

10mm French Napoleonic

Very quick really, here are the first two French brigades for Blucher:






The magnetic brigade ID strips are still to go on the back of the units in between the die holders but I thought I'd get a few done first. It's a start.
Dave.

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Was my Piedemont passage blocked? The final push!

Neal and I left off last week with the race to the red spot (my withdrawal point) about to reach a climax.
One section of Austrian line infantry led by their level three commander Oberstleutnant Von Strumpa had just about completed an out flanking manoeuvre wider than the Schlieffen plan of 1914 and were approaching my exit point at a fair lick of speed with the intention of capturing and holding the said point for one turn thereby forcing my French to completely re-trace their steps back to the church on the outskirts of the village of Barolo taking the saintly but somewhat bow legged Contessa de Knickerbocka with them. Not an easy task I can assure you particularly with a considerable number of Austrians in their way.


If you recall dear reader this was the situation at the close of play last week, who would get there first? It was all down to who's token was pulled out of the bag first.
Me, Me, two blue flags, out they came the little beauties. Two flags mean I can order any unit, well no choice there, it had to be the French section who had split of from the unit on the hill and had ran down towards the withdrawal point. One throw of three dice running, minus one dice for two points of fatigue, two dice to go four inches - you can just see it coming can't you.


That's it then just don't throw two ones says Neal, frick'n had to didn't he!
French Sergent boil on his arse ran forward a miserable two inches falling short by about an inch and a half, couldn't write it could you.
Fortunately the 'Tiffin' token came out straight after this signalling the end of this turn so there was still the minuscule glimmer of a chance, if Neal had occupied the point on the current turn then I had no-one near enough to take it back as the closest French section had been used this go and can't go again.



Next turn the Austrian number one token came out and Neal's Austrian section casually marched up and occupied the withdrawal point causing a moral test which lowered the force moral by two points, there hadn't been any reduction up to that point so it wasn't a completed disaster but I had to throw the Austrians off that withdrawal point this go.



Another token out for the Austrians, this time Neal decided to charge my French skirmishers behind the hedge, this adventurous decision resulted in one French dead but with two Austrians skewered and their fatigue on about six, they decided discretion was the better part of valour and retired to pick oranges from the orchard.



Crunch time, two more blue flags in a row and it had to be a straight charge in. Now the French in 95 were conscripts but were classed as aggressive, the Austrians on the other hand were line infantry (one class above), were led by a level three commander compared to my level one sergeant but had accumulated four fatigue points on their run around the table.
Neal still had an advantage in dice but it could have been worse. 6's a kill and fatigue point and 5's kills.
As can be seen the French got the win, four kills plus fatigue points on the Austrian group, two kills and a fatigue point on the French.



The Austrian section was forced to withdraw and the commander dropped from a level three to a level two, and the second Austrian section suffered fatigue points from being fired on by the French on the hill.
We called it a day after this as the Austrians were now in no condition to stop the Contessa and her many, many, many friends from getting her to a place of comfort and relaxation, presumably dumping her husband somewhere along the way! She will now be able to inform the Revolutionary Council of the size of all Austrians in the local area - the formation sizes of course!
A cracking game, loads of fun. I have to say that if I had known more about the rules I would have set it up so that the Austrians had a bit more of a chance, it was a bit easy to get  the French off the table, but hey, tough titty Neal!!!!
He will get his revenge at some point.
Hope you all enjoyed reading it as much as we did playing.
Dave.

Sunday, 5 March 2017

The 1795 Olympics

It has to be said sometimes I'm a bit slow, my wife would argue with the 'sometimes' bit but in general the old thought processes ain't exactly speeding up. So when I looked at the Austrian infantry marching steadily down the road I thought, well trying an out flanking manoeuvre, fair go I will just occupy the hill on the right flank and shoot them to bits as they come up and wait for my rescue party to come along with the Countessa and lend a hand.


So imagine my chagrin  when we got to this point in the game. You see my line of communication/exit point is marked by a red token just underneath the tree in the bottom right of the picture. That is where I have to get the fair maiden and as many of her escort to, then off the table and this is where Neal the sneaky bugger was heading, no should I say running (suffering the relevant fatigue points on the Austrian infantry) in order to get there first. If he captures that point then all of my force has to take a morale test and the exit point is removed and I will have to retrace my steps back to the church!
Now I hear you say, just swing those infantry around and give em a few volleys to see off. Not so easy, as I found out.
The French force on the hill is only commanded by a sergeant who at best can order his group to fire and reload, or, wheel and fire. This then leaves them unloaded for next time. In the mean while Neal's Olympic athletes are galloping past them with a level three commander in charge. Bollocks!




In the meantime the other part of my cunning plan was going to rats poop as well. These pictures show the rescue column just about to cross the stream covered by skirmishers behind the hedge, so far so good, a few fatigue points and one casualty from the Austrian infantry at long range but I will suffer that.



Next a crushing volley into my flank (double fatigue points) and crossing what I quickly realise is not a piddly stream but a major obstacle breaks up the formation and causes yet more fatigue points. I am still thinking in terms of large battalions which would only be slowed up by this obstacle, in this scale though this is a bloody great drainage ditch.



So with a rear guard left in place to cover the gap in the hedge what is left of my much vaunted relief column struggles up the hill. The Countessa and her escort moving at her half speed (her husband has a gammy leg) got over without issue.




I was left with no other option, the sergeant on the hill had to break up his force and run his men downhill towards the red line of communication/exit point.
Who will get there first? basically whichever token comes out of the bag. Heady and exciting stuff.
Same time, same place, same channel folks.
Dave.