Tuesday 28 January 2020

Solo Game

Keeping up my promise to have more games in 2020, last weekend I decided to set the table and have a solo game using my Vaubarians and Astrovians.
And I decided to just play and enjoy, with no thought to doing a full write up. So I just took a few pics of the layout.

It was a very enjoyable 3 hours, and I may rerun the affair and write it up fully in the future.
But, for now, dear reader, perhaps you might consider what you might have done as either of the commanders...

This coming weekend, I'm heading to York for the Vapnartak Show, and have plans to catch up with a few old pals. 
I've got a very thin purchase list which, without exercising some constraint, might lead to trouble. Trouble of the impulse purchase kind!
Hope to see some of you there...

Sunday 19 January 2020

Workbench update

One of the dangers of having a permanent table set up in the wargames room is, of course, that it gets covered in clutter, work-in-progress, and other paraphernalia (wargames magazines, newly purchased books before they find  the right place on the right shelf, and so on).

In a bid to prevent this happening, I've resolved to always have a game set up. And at the moment, there's a WVS game all ready for me to play next weekend (I'm away all week).

Which is why these new peltasts have been photographed just as they come off the production line on the workbench rather than on the proper table.

I'm pleased with how they've come out and am spurred on to do more Successor stuff over the coming weeks. The eagle-eyed reader will be able to spot, in the background, Cretan archers, all prep'd and ready for painting. There's also a phalanx unit ready too, and I've got many more units in the little stockpile which will be prep'd up whilst the cricket is on in the background today (if the rain in Port Elizabeth doesn't persist!).

All the best for now...

Monday 13 January 2020

The Temples of...

Learning of the sad passing of Rush drummer, Neil Peart, at the weekend, I decided to tackle a couple of pieces that have been in the 'ancients miscellany' pile for a while. 

So with several albums of the inimitable Canadian rockers playing in the background, I spent Saturday afternoon producing these...

The Temple of Syrinx (only the Rush fans will get the reference, so here's to you!)

… and the sacrificial altar.

This will be used as an Oracle for my WAB games.

I'm thinking that The Temple of Syrinx is at the ancient religious capital of Macadamia, Mintsos, where sacrificial offerings to the gods were a regular occurrence, and where one could get an apprenticeship in reading sheep entrails.

In the context of the Bathelas campaign (with Henry Hyde), the tradition in Macadamia is that the sacrifice is of a Byzarbian goat or sheep, that must be untouched by human hands and must be a virgin ... but apparently it's very rare to be able to find any goats or sheep in Byzarbia that fulfil these criteria these days!

Sunday 12 January 2020

The Elephant in the Room

Continuing with my Successor army...
The inevitable elephant (not easy to say!).

Ready to cause mayhem, probably to its own side if I remember the old WAB rules correctly!

This is an Aventine model, and very nice too. 
Getting the right colour for elephants is tricky. Yes, we know they're grey, but... when you see them, like so many living creatures, their actual colour is less easy to define and represent. There's a brownishness to them, and the grey is darker than you might imagine.
Surfing through images on the net led to even more difficulty to really define the colour to paint... in the end, its a series of washes, and drybrushed highlights. I've also picked out some pink-ish/fleshy coloured blotches and patches in small areas just for variation and to bring the creature to life a bit, mainly around the snout of the trunk, and parts of the ears, but I was careful not to overdo this.
Anyway, I'm happy with the result. And, I suppose, that's all that really matters.

Saturday 4 January 2020

Endgame... Victory!

The battle of Muhldwein rages on...

On turn 7, the Astrovian Kuirassiers advanced towards the gap left by the retreating Vaubarian infantry and guns, and infantry regt Schrodinger wheeled slightly to volley at the Dragoons. The latter caused only one casualty on Schrodinger, whilst the Astrovian infantrymen (rolling 11 on their 2d6) inflicted two casualties on the Dragoons who deemed it high time they were also heading back to the safety of the town and turned tail...

Lacking a suitable target, the Astrovian gunners decided to fire a shot into the town, setting one of the buildings alight! Hooligans!!

Things were starting to look very positive for the Astrovians, and Von Schwarzenatter viewed the scene with some contentment. The grenadiers, having had no casualties this turn, returned to normal and would advance again next turn. And regt Frankl's retreat was rallied and they stood shaken on the spot. They too would be able to return to the fray shortly. Surely a full on assault would soon take the town.

But the Astrovian glee didn't last long. As the Kuirassiers von Klammer picked their way across the makeshift defences, a glance to their left revealed ... The long-awaited Vaubarian relief force marching with some haste and purpose onto the table. Church bells rang out, and the Vaubarian brigade commander, Schweinsteiger, who had orchetrated the defence, almost wept with joy. His ally, The Markgraf Karl von Orff had arrived, just in the nick of time!

Simultaneously, at the start of turn 8, the Astrovian hussars who were tracking round the wood on the Astrovian right flank, suddenly encountered the Vaubarian hussar regiment Podolski, entering the table.

All was now lost for the Astrovian attack. In the face of the arrival of these fresh Vaubarian forces, Reichsgrafen von Schwarzenatter decided to save his battered army and retire to fight another day.

In the town, the sight of the Astrovians making an orderly withdrawal, and the Vaubarian relief force advancing to see them off, was received with unconcealed celebration. Not only had the town been saved, but The Elector's Christmas Chest too. And all would receive the bounty of the Elector as a thank you in these troubled times. In particular the musketeers of the Breitner regiment and the Dragoons of the Muller Lights would receive ample reward from grateful locals in the taverns of the town.
For now, such trials as Astrovian incursions could be forgotten, and peace reigned throughout the land!

What an enjoyable game. I hope you have found it as interesting to follow these past few days as I have found it to play. The rules worked well, the new wargames room was ideal for this relatively small encounter, and my lighting set up for photos did not intrude on the game.

The casualty return is as follows:
Breitner infantry regt -5 figures (25%)
Artillery -2 figures (66%)
Muller Dragoons -3 (25%)

Frankl infantry regt -9 (45%)
Schrodinger infantry regt -3 (15%)
Grenadiers -7 (35%)
Artillery -1 (33%)
Croats -4 (33%)
Klammer Kuirassiers -1 (8%)

As a wargamer, I might have continued on for a further few turns in reality, but it's back to work in earnest on Monday, and I wanted chance to clear up the table, so it seemed reasonable to call a halt, and prevent any further loss of life! in addition, were this a campaign game, it is unlikely that Scwarzanatter would continue on against a defended town, with a significant relief force arriving from one flank, and fresh enemy troops also attacking the other flank, so it seems reasonable to conclude the game as I did.

I have deliberately given a more detailed account of the action than I normally do, and in future my games reports will have a more narrative flavour, rather than documenting individual dice throws and firefights and morale throws. But I do hope you have enjoyed my first game of 2020.

Friday 3 January 2020

Battle of Muhldwein rages

An initial note on proceedings as people have been asking... The rules in use are a heavily adapted version of the very old WHC marlburian rules. I've adapted them for 20-figure infantry units (as opposed to 16s), and also tidied up some specific areas around things like moral and light troops.

We left it yesterday with the opening moves having taken place and the Astrovian infantry advancing upon the town.

The Croats began turn 4 with a compulsory retreat move.
The Vaubarian dismounted light Dragoons decided, faced with a freshly unlimbered Astrovian gun and infantry regiment Schrodinger starting towards them, that it was time to return towards the town through the woods.

At that point, the Astrovian hussar ADC reached Von Schwarzenatter with the message that a considerable Vaubarian relief force was less than an hour away to the left flank. His own hussar patrol had been tracking them for over a day. Important news indeed. Schrodinger resolved to press on at best speed with the infantry advance.

The Vaubarian artillery once again caused casualties on the Astrovian grenadiers. And then the Vaubarian infantry, regiment Breitner, opened up with a very powerful first volley, inflicting 5 casualties on the Frankl regiment.

At the end of the turn, the Croats reached the baseline, but rallied... The first bit of good news the Astrovian command had had all day!

But, both the grenadiers and Frankl regiments narrowly failed their morale tests and went shaken. They would be unable to advance next turn, although they would be able to fire. They would have to hope they could dislodge the Vaubarian defenders with firepower alone!

The next turn firefights were again in favour of the defenders, however, and with the light Dragoons forming up to fair the defenders, the Astrovian infantry this time wavered and the. Went into retreat. However, the firefight had taken its toll on the defenders too, with both the Baubarian artillerymen and regiment Breitner going 'shaken.'

Turn 6 saw the retreat of the Astrovian infantry and the Schrodinger regiment making a half move (very short wheel) to face the enemy and present its first volley.the Astrovian gunners were also starting to Joe.  The firing with some counter battery fire.

At the end of the turn, the Astrovian grenadiers rallied, although regt Frankl continued to retreat.

But all was not well for the defenders who were now coming under pressure from the continuing attritional battle. Both the artillery and regt Breitner went into retreat, and headed across bridge and stream to return to the cover of the town.

A view of the stricken field...

And no one had noticed, meanwhile, the arrival on the right hand side of the Astrovian baseline, a regiment of Astrovian hussars, hastening to the sound of the guns!

Tomorrow will see more new arrivals... will the Vaubarian relief column arrive in time?

Thursday 2 January 2020

Battle - Opening moves

By mid-morning, the Astrovian force under The Reuchsgrafen von Schwarzenatter had arrived, and deployed into line of battle to begin a steady advance towards the town.

Open fire!
The Vaubarian field gun stationed in the town opens up on the advancing Astrovian troops, targeting the Grenadier regiment and causing the first casualty of the day. The red marker indicates the casualty caused. The other counter indicates that the grenadiers will need to take a morale test at the end of the turn (because of being fired on by artillery... a test the Grenadiers subsequently passed very comfortably. Brave chaps!).

Meanwhile, Vaubarian dismounted dragoons (regiment Muller) hidden at the edge of the woods open up with a first volley on the Astrovian Karavani Croats.

The Croats suffer 2 casualties and will also need to take a morale test (for receiving over 10% casualties in a turn)…. a test they narrowly fail, forcing them to go 'Shaken' (indicated by the yellow counter in the photograph below). This means they must remain halted next turn, although they are able to fire (with a reduction to effectiveness).

The Astrovian advance continues.

The firefight between the light troops continues at the woods.
The Croats inflict a single casualty on the Dragoons (who are in cover, of course).
The Croats suffer a further 2 casualties and this time their morale test gets even worse, and they are forced to retreat (a compulsory move they will make at the start of the next turn).

Meanwhile, the grenadiers did not suffer casualties in the second turn, but now, they have advanced to just within canister range and receive 3 casualties from the jubilant Vaubarian gunners in the town.
However, the Grenadier morale holds.

The Astrovian Croats have retreated (having taken a total of four casualties, a 3-figure stand has been removed, and a single casualty marker remains). The right hand Astrovian gun has unlimbered to deal with the pesky Vaubarian Dragoons. Having moved and unlimbered, it cannot fire this turn, but is well placed to open up next time.

You'll see that the Astrovian Schrodinger regiment has also started to wheel towards the woods, ready to move in on the Vaubarian light troops too.

The Dragoons this time turn their attention on the deploying Astrovian artillerymen, inflicting one casualty.

And then, a Hussar ADC arrived, with an urgent and important message for the Astrovian commander, Reichsgrafen von Schwarzenatter.

More moves tomorrow as the battle continues...