Friday, 17 February 2012

Three Games, Two Days, One Ruleset

With a couple of days off at half term some games of War & Conquest seemed to be in order. On Wednesday I spent the day as a guest at Scarab Towers, kindly hosted by Rob, along with Scarab chum and all round painting machine, Mr Phil Turner.

I must begin by pointing out that Scarab Towers is undergoing a certain amount of renovation so we were limited to the use of the North Wing only. This imposed some restrictions on lighting which will go some way to explaining why my pictures aren't too good - and nothing to do with my ineptitude! ;o)

I'm not going to give a turn by turn account of each of the games, (Rob is hopefully writing up the notes he took), but will instead give a few highlights of the action.

Game One
First up was a classic game of Early Imperial Romans vs British Celts, continuing our theme of the conquest of the west country in the middle of the first century by the Legio II Augusta.

We used the 'Autumn' deployment method, with the Celts having the objective of capturing and holding one of the crossing points, whilst the Roman objective was to crush the continued rebellion by destroying 75% of the Celt army.

The Celts won the strategic advantage in the early part of the game and raced for the ford and the bridge. After a short pause at the river bank (where it became clear that the Romans were not going to get their feet wet) they crossed to engage the enemy.

On the flanks the Auxilia did sterling work holding up the chariots whilst the legions and warbands fought a series of combats. In the end the training and discipline of the legions prevailed, but only just. The battle was a draw as neither side completed their objectives, but the Romans had the upper hand.

Game Two
For this game we skipped back a few hundred years to the days of the Peloponnesian War. Phil has a splendid collection of Spartans and Greek City States, added to which were Rob's marvellous Hoplites. This added up to a lot of toy soldiers. Phil took command of the army of Sparta, whilst Rob and I teamed up to lead the Greeks.

I had command of 4 phalanxes of Greek Citizen Hoplites plus some Thracians, whilst Rob lead the other flank which included "proper" Hoplites, skirmishers and cavalry. (Please excuse me here; my knowledge of this era is rather sketchy at best!)

For the first few turns the armies marched towards each other. In W&C, like many other rulesets, phalanxes are fine moving forwards but any sort of manouevre slows them considerably. This gave me time to take some pics of Phil's lovely models.

Foundry Greek citizen hoplites.

Scarab Spartan hoplites (my personal favourite!)

A view along the Spartan lines.

The armies edge closer as each side plucks up the courage to thunder in to close combat.

The Spartans proved to be an extremely tough prospect for the Greeks. Both sides fought tenaciously with the lines holding for several turns. First the Greek left (my flank) crumbled then routed. Then the Greek centre began to give way. Sensing victory the Spartans surged forward but at least some of the Greek army held their nerve and held the Spartans. But after 9 turns it was clear that Sparta had had the best of the battle - but again it was a close game.

Foundry Spartans clash with Scarab Greek Hoplites.

Another exciting game that I found particularly enjoyable and inspiring. Both Phil and Rob are very enthusiastic about ancient Greek warfare. If I didn't already have a mountain of figures to paint then I'd definitely be ordering a bunch of Scarab Spartans! May be later in the year perhaps?

With that it was time to pack up and leave, especially as it was past 11pm! As I left I heard Phil ask Rob if he fancied an all night chariot wars game!

Game Three
As some of you may know, my lovely wife has an interest in toy soldiers and asked me if I could run a smallish game so that she could try out the new rules. As you might expect I was delighted by the request!

So out came the Legions and Celts for another battle. Both armies are around 1,600pts. Here's the scene after the Celts have had their first turn.

The Celt's objective was to raid the Roman baggage (I really need to make some proper Roman baggage - it would be very useful in W&C) whilst I, leading the Romans, had to take and hold the centre point of the battlefield. We marked this with a small tree. (Hmm... some objective markers would be good too!). Here's a pic of the cavalry and chariots.

I didn't take any more photos as I was busy running the game and explaining the rules. However, key moments included the chariots getting on to the flank of the Roman line and causing havoc. The legions held off the warbands but the Celt Warlord and his retinue of nobles fell on the newly recruited Roman legionaries and tore them to shreds. The small Roman force was completely outmanouevred and outflanked (Note to self: I really need some cavalry and more skirmishers). The Celt cavalry plundered the baggage with ease whilst the warriors mopped up the last of the Romans.

Even though it was a hefty defeat for the Romans it was still a very amusing and enjoyable game. Also, I was pleased that in the course of one small-ish game I was able to cover most of the key rules with only a few references to the rule book and my wife seemed to pick up the mechanics of the game fairly easily. She's certainly keen to have another game soon.

So there you have it, three games in two days with one ruleset.


VolleyFireWargames said...

I am absolutely amazed at any wife that would be interested in wargaming but then i am running into a feww of the we' savage lasses now and again!

Ray Rousell said...

A great looking game, with some really nice troops!!

Vladdd309 said...

Great looking games - sounds like great day!

Rodger said...

Wow!! Great looking table Matt.

Dan said...

Very nice!

Keith said...

Fantastic looking games & write up Matt