Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Bristol War and Conquest Weekend

It's been a while since I last took part in a WaC event (Aug '17 I think!) so I was anticipating an enjoyable day of battling it out in the ancient world with a few good chums. I was especially looking forward to my game with good chum George; the last game was far too long ago! For logistical reasons I could only attend on the Saturday, however this turned out to be the same for a number of other players due to the suddenly inclement weather, the so called mini “beast from the east”.

Game One – Saxon Civil War!

This game was against Steve, a newcomer to WaC and this was to literally be his first game. Thankfully Rob was on hand to help us with the rules as I was decidedly rusty in places :o)
Steve has a lovely Saxon army so I’ve posted a couple of pics here.

I dusted off my own Saxons but, as I hadn't used them for three years, I couldn’t quite find all of the figures so we were limited to 2,000pts a side.
The forces deploy for battle!
My Saxons prepare the Shieldwall as Steve's advance
Battle is joined!

This was all of the pics I took as I was engrossed in the game. It was a good dark age tussle as the lines clashed. I quickly formed shieldwall and used my few missile troops to whittle away at Steve’s formations. Rather than be peppered with slingshot and javelins, he dashed forward – perhaps a little too hastily with his Mounted Thegns who charged a unit of mercenary Vikings! Funnily enough we both managed to achieve our objectives in the final turn of the game - although I edged a win on points ;o) I moved several units off Steve’s side of the table and he got a unit in to my deployment zone. A really fun game played with good humour and gentlemanly spirit.

Game Two – Rome vs Celts!

Ooh I was so looking forward to this! Steve had kindly loaned me his beautiful Celt army so that George could use his Thunderbolts for this classic ancient battle.

My plan was to hit one flank hard with a combination of chariots and elite cavalry supported by light cavalry and skirmishers whilst the rest of the line advanced, paused for a turn or two to allow the skirmishers to thin out the legions a little, then the warbands would get stuck in to overwhelm Rome’s finest with sheer frothing hairy madness. I’d like to point out here that the bulk of my warbands were just “ordinary” Celt warriors with only the one ‘elite’ warband accompanying my Warlord ;o)
Steve's splendid Celts

George’s army (lovely paint-jobs sir!) was, as you might expect, largely composed of heavy infantry. However, I was intrigued by his choice of three “recruit” legionary formations... would they hold the line? Here are a couple of pics of his lovely cohorts.
George's Veteran Legion Cohort
More Legion - love those weathered, dirty shields!

We both agreed to ignore the prescribed deployment for game 2 of the weekend and drew our forces up in two long lines.
A sight to warm any gamer's heart!

2,500pts per side doesn't leave much room for manoeuvre.

The Celts had some success early on; the Lancarii were routed by a hail of slingshot, the chariots swept over a unit of Roman skirmishers and my own skirmishers proved the worth of all their javelin practice. This swiftly encouraged George to form up his precious Legions in Testudo.
Rome's left flank wavers...

... her right flank wobbles ...

... and legs it!

The Roman Auxilliary cavalry head for home

The shooting prowess was not all Celtic. The Auxiliary archers massacred my light cavalry – I had expected a few casualties... but not 11 out of the 12 in the unit!
Ouch! Take that you hairy what-nots

With the Roman flanks trembling I turned my attention to the centre – the warbands faced off the Legionary cohorts. The testudo formations meant standing off and pelting them with sharp sticks would be a waste of time. So the horns brayed loud, a roar went up from the warriors and they pounded forward right across the line.
Fighting all along the line

No quarter asked ... none given!

It's swords & boards all the way!

The Roman line heaved and buckled at the onslaught but all that drill paid off! Centurions fell, shields splintered and men died but, by the narrowest of margins, the line held. What ensued was a vicious struggle that ebbed and flowed right across the battlefield. First Celts would have the upper hand then Rome. Eventually one of my warbands broke but then so did the Roman General’s cohort and the fleeing Romans were chopped to shreds in a welter of blood and gore!
Rome flees!

Alas this victory was short-lived and the battle ground on, gradually swinging further in favour of Rome's finest. My Celts had fought with incredible bravery but that was matched by the fearsome tenacity of George's Cohorts. A hard fought and well deserved win for the Thunderbolts. What a superb game!

Indeed, what a splendid day of gaming. My thanks to my opponents, gentleman both in every regard. My thanks also to Rob and Barbara for a great event. When's the next one Rob? ;o)


George Anderson said...

A stirring read and as you say a great days gaming. I look forward to the next clash.

Steve Evans said...

Nice write up mate :0) and nice to see you,we really need to get together for a game sometime soon.
If you ever want to borrow the Celts again just let me know.

The Wargames Table said...

Thanks chaps!
Steve - I'd be delighted to lead your splendid Celt army again. Anyway, they're thirsting for revenge on the 12th! 😂

Matt Crump said...

A good looking day of gaming ......very nice

Phil said...

What a pleasure to look at such beautiful figures, great post!

Engel said...

Looks like lots of fun.

The Wargames Table said...

Many thanks chaps! :o)

Tobias K. said...

Nice read. Thanks for sharing.