Thursday, 23 July 2015

Prussian army finished - Roll Call!

One of the first figures I painted - Frederick. I painted him over 15 years ago.

I have three armies for the Seven Years War: Russian, Prussian and Austrian. I painted the base of each army around 15 years ago. Each was between twenty five and twenty eight units strong. A couple of years ago I decided to roughly double the number of units and increase infantry strengths from 16 man units to 24 man units. I finished the Russians some time ago and since then progress has seemed slow. Last month I decided to stop painting Austrians for a while (I still have 18 units in the lead pile to do) and paint up the last few six Prussian units. 

The Prussian Army - 50 units.
Today I based the last of them. The Prussian army is finished. Time for roll call.

12 guns and 47 crew

5 24 man units of combined grenadiers - they are, front to back CG 29/31, CG 9/10, CG G6/G8, CG 8/46, and Standing Grenadier IV.

4 units of Musketeers. Front to back they are: IR 24, IR 34, IR 1, IR 5.

4 units of Musketeers. Front to back they are: IR 29, IR 10, IR 4, IR 23.

4 units of Musketeers. Front to back they are: IR 19, IR 2, IR 14, IR 25.

4 units of Fusiliers. Front to back they are: IR 46, IR 49, IR 37, IR 40. (IR 46 is only 23 figures strong).

IR 15 The Guard, an 8 figure strong unit of Jaeger, a unit of Garrison 3 and a clutch of 12 command figures.

Six units of Hussars. Front to back they are: Two units of HR 2, two units of HR 7 and two units of HR 5. Three of these units are only 7 figures strong.

Six units of Dragoons. Front to back they are: Two units of DR 6 and one unit each of DR 5, DR 1, DR 8, DR 11.

Four units of Cuirassier. Front to back they are: CR 8, CR 7, CR 11, CR 10

Four units of Cuirassier. Front to back they are: CR 13, CR 5, CR 2, CR 1

So there they all are. The smallest of the three armies, it comprises 776 figures. Job done!

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

I love pilgrims, but I couldn't eat a whole one.

This post is part scenario and part after action report. As the game starts with very little on the table the photos only show the game thus far. More to follow.

Tonight's game, at Graham H.'s request, is going to be a Crusade game using Ager Sanguinis 2. First I though about doing a straight up, line them up,  battle. Then, having a good memory of a recent scenario set by Charles Grant, I decided to do a 'wagon train' game.

This scenario is fairly simple. It is set in the First Crusade period. The Crusaders are travelling across Anatolia (Turkey) to reach the Holy Land. In their way are the Seljuks who see the Crusaders as a welcome source of slaves and concubines - Jihad, at this point, not having been thought of.

Anatolia is country of rolling arid hills, low mountains and wide vales, some of which are heavily wooded. In many respects it is the ideal terrain for setting a war game. After looking through a few images of the region, I settled on this type of terrain (but with slightly lower hills) to set the encounter: this is ambush territory.

The Scenario:
In the usual fashion for wagon train games I decided to set the game so that it will run lengthways up the table rather than across it. I decided to deploy the wagon train as part of the initial set up, and I decided, just add a little spice, to have the train in two distinct parts, one part well ahead of the other. 

According to "The Chronicles of Kermit the Hermit."

  • ......and it came to pass that in their rivalry Charlie le Chaplain sought to outdo the Abbot de Costello and pressed his following to be first into paradise.
The basics of the scenario are simple. The Crusader player must exit the far end of the table with as many civilians as possible. The Seljuks must prevent as many of the Crusaders exiting as possible.

This shot shows the initial set up and the deployment of the Christian civilians. Rocky hills (type II terrain and cover) surround the Crusader's route. A fast flowing stream (type II) crosses the route. Several woods (type II and cover to foot but not passable to cavalry) are marked by conifers; other trees are scenic only. The village, like so many in Anatolia at this time, is a ruin (type II and cover).

The Crusader deployment area has been delineated with Autumn leafed trees. 

You can probably just make out the Seljuk arrival point makers (small circular discs at the edge of the table); they mark the mid point of 36" wide deployment zones. Their are four zones that run along the right hand side of the table (as you look at it) and two that run along the bottom (just out of shot) of the table - the latter in the path of the Crusader advance.
The Crusader Forces:

The Abbot of Costello and his dishevelled band.

Abbot de Costello: (D8)

2 Pilgrim units (unshielded civilian fanatics, peasant weapons): D6 D6
1 Pilgrim unit (shielded civilian fanatics, mixed bow and spear): D6 D6

Charlie le Chaplain offers prayer as his followers move briskly past.
Charlie le Chaplain: (D10)
2 Pilgrim units (unshielded civilian fanatics, peasant weapons): D6 D6
1 Pilgrim unit (shielded civilian fanatics, mixed bow and spear): D6 D6

The Crusader player has three further commands he can freely deploy within the bounds of the Crusader deployment area (see notes on first pic).

Gerard de Pardieu: (D10)
1 Knight unit (heavy, shielded, couched lance armed elite fanatics): D12+1 D10
1 Seargeant unit (heavy, shielded, mixed crossbow and spear armed mercenaries): D8 D8
1 Seargeant unit (medium, shielded, mixed ordinary bow and spear armed stubborn mercenaries): D8 D8

Matta de Harri: (D10)
1 Knight unit (heavy, shielded, couched lance armed elite fanatics): D12+1 D10
1 Seargeant unit (heavy, shielded, mixed crossbow and spear armed stubborn mercenaries): D8 D8
1 Seargeant unit (medium, shielded, mixed ordinary bow and spear armed stubborn mercenaries): D8 D8

Lyintwous the Byzantine: (D12)
2 Mercenary horse archer units (medium, shielded, bow and javelin armed mercenaries). D8 D8.
Peter decided to depoly with his teeth clearly showing up front. I, as umpire, took control of Lyintwous and his Byzantines. When I deployed behind him he wasn't at all sure about me - which between Crusaders and Greeks is just as it should be. I think the name helped in this:  'lie-in-to-us' isn't too much of a concealed threat, but mistrust should, where appropriate be well stoked.

Crusader Victory Conditions:

To win the game the Crusaders must get at least half of their civilian units off the end of the table and have at least half of their martial starting force (not including expendable Byzantines) intact. Retreat is not an option. 

According to "The Chronicles of Kermit the Hermit."
  • All, without fear, went forth to seek His Domain. Yet the knights, knowing of the trials that would yet come, looked to preserve their strength even in the face of this enemy.
The Seljuk Forces:
Mudderfakir's troops (under Graham H.) were the first to arrive. They arrived at point 6; the end of the table; a blocking force.
The Crusaders were quick off the blocks and managed to get over the river and form a bridgehead before the Seljuks could react. The Christians were getting the cards and turns, repetitively ending on doubles, were not helping anyone.
Atabeg Mudderfakir (D12)
1 unit of Ghulam cavalry (medium, shielded, lance and bow armed elite professionals): D12 D8
1 unit of Seljuk horse archers (shielded, bow and javelin armed elite tribal cavalry) D10 D6
2 unit of Turcoman horse archers (bow and javelin armed tribal cavalry) D8 D6

Formalinonas Prince of Rum (D10)
1 unit of Ghulam cavalry (medium, shielded, lance and bow armed elite professionals): D12 D8
1 unit of Seljuk horse archers (shielded, bow and javelin armed elite tribal cavalry) D10 D6
2 unit of Turcoman horse archers (bow and javelin armed tribal cavalry) D8 D6

The last mounted commands are deployed. Graham forewent the deployment of his foot troops on two occasions. He regretted it. Because the foremost Crusaders advanced quickly and he was unable to occupy the wood opposite the village. His options limited, they appeared much further back - they are just in shot and about to pounce on the Abbot of Costello.

The Crusaders rear is well and truly exposed. Fearing 'the red hot poker' they start to form something approaching a defensive circle. Oh look, the Byzantines (centre) look like they are being helpful.

Diswaydatway of Tutherway (D10)
1 unit of Seljuk horse archers (shielded, bow and javelin armed elite tribal cavalry) D10 D6
3 unit of Turcoman horse archers (bow and javelin armed tribal cavalry) D8 D6

Itchi the old Ghulam (D12)
2 units of armed soldiers (shielded, heavy blade armed tribal infantry) D8 D6.

I have decided that the Seljuks of this area, being largely tribal, don't have a centralised command structure.The battle plan will be decided by a factionalised council of war. The Seljuk player will have to decide his deployment areas with an element of randomness.

According to "The Chronicles of Kermit the Hermit."

  • Knowing of the Crusader's arrival in their country Mudderfakir convened a council of war. At the council a dispute arose over how the Seljuks should dispose their forces.........

To simulate the random effect of this council, two edges of the Seljuk side of the table have been divided into three foot arrival point sections numbered, in this case, 1 - 6. At the start of the game, the Seljuk player draws a playing card (numbered 1-6) from a deck. One mounted command must be ordered to arrive here at the behest of the council. The Seljuk player may decide which sections his other two mounted commands will arrive in, but each must arrive in a different sector - one may join the sector of the 'council's choice'. All commands arrive separately regardless of entry point on Stratagem 4 cards (two in deck), one at a time.

As well as the mounted commands, the Seljuk player has a band of foot warriors raised and trained by the local 'head man'. An ex-professional soldier, he is called Itchi for reasons best left unspecified. This force may be secretly deployed in any wood or village unexplored by the enemy. Its location need not be specified until it is activated on the Stratagem 1 card.

Seljuk Victory Conditions:

To win the Seljuks must 'destroy' at least two thirds of the civilian units and have at least a third of their own starting force intact.

According to "The Chronicles of Kermit the Hermit."

  • The Atabeg Mudderfakir, though fearful of undermining his own power by a defeat, sought to curry favour with the Sultan by sending the Christians to him in chains...........
The end of the Crusader column is being enveloped. The Abbot has indeed been tardy - though rolling three ones for movement hasn't helped.
When Itchi's troops charge out from the wood onto the hapless pilgrims all looks lost. In the nick of time the Byzantines charge to the rescue. Some of the pilgrims are running, but now so are their assailants. 
Next week we will fight this confused battle to a conclusion.

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Those funny looking Prussians - Update

Except for a flag and basing I've finished painting up those funny looking grenadiers for IR 15 Garde Bataillon. It's quite amazing what you can do with paint. If you remember the coat had no collar and no buttons. 

I've painted these up to be the grenadiers of third battalion of 15th Regiment. I added the lapels by simply painting them on, along with a collar, the simple lace and buttons. Funny looking they might have been - now they are fit for action. 

The second and third battalion were paired and did most of the fighting in the AWS and SYW. 

First battalion only fought at Mollwitz (AWS), Lobositz, Kolin and the defence of Breslau (SYW).

Second and third battalions fought at Chotusitz, Hohenfriedberg and Soor (AWS), and Rossbach, Leuthen, capture of Breslau, Hochkirch, siege of Dresden, Liegnitz, Combat at Hochgiersdorf, Torgau, Burkersdorf, Reichenbach, and finally took part in the siege of Sweidnitz (SYW).

This was the last of the infantry units for the Prussian project. I've just got two cuirassier to do - the 5th Cuirassier Regiment and the 13th Garde du Corps. The latter I'm painting up at the same strength as the other units even though it was only three squadrons strong rather than five - it will be a more versatile unit that way. I hope to have them done by the end of the week. I'm hoping to do a roll call post sometime next week with everything flagged up and based - 50 units of Prussians done and dusted! At last the end is nigh.

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Prussians and funny looking Prussians

This week I've gone a long way towards finishing the last of my seven Years War Prussians. Front to back, IR 2, IR 14, and IR 25. I plan to do the standards and basing, all together, after I've finished the last three units of figures - namely 3rd Battalion of IR15 and two units of Cuirassier.

All figures are Wargames Foundry. 

I've just noticed, looking at this photo, that I've placed the standard bearer's base at the end of the line rather than in the middle.
The thing I like about Foundry Prussians is the lack of packs and such. Presumably they have piled these accoutrements in the rear, guarded by an NCO and men on the sick list, before marching out to do battle.

Now we come onto the 'funny Prussians'. 

I bought these figures, via ebay, from Wargames Foundry. I bought them over a year ago when Foundry were selling off old stock on the cheap. From memory these were advertised as a 'Guard Grenadiers regiment pack of 24 figures'. They were 'buy it now' £12. I needed another unit of infantry and I didn't have any IR15 figures in their distinctive uniform so I bought them without thought.
I haven't looked at them until now. I've always assumed they would be 'up to standard'. 

On close inspection I'm completely baffled as to what I've actually bought. These figures (3rd Btn, IR15) should have lapels with simple lace. The cuffs should have simple lace. The figure should have a coat with a collar. 

These figures appear to be half finished conversions. How very, very strange that these figures made it to market. 

Edit: Also, and just to be spooky, they don't have eyes, just holes where the eyes should be.

Edit 2: I've just found out that these figures are available at full price from Wargames Foundry as pack "SYWP83 - Frederick's 15th Grenadiers". Buyer beware, these figures are not wearing the recognised uniform of any battalion of IR 15.

I've now removed the complicated lace from the cuffs. I'll paint lapels, collar, lace and buttons. From a distance they should, from past experience, look OK. 

Next up, this unit of grenadiers and two units of Cuirassier. Once flagged and based, the Prussians will be finished. Fifty units done and dusted - Huzzah!

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

First Napoleonic stuff painted - French voltigeurs

French voltigeurs - the first batch of Napoleonic troops. Figures are by Front Rank. They were painted, by me, in enamels.

Given that I was invited up to Scotland by the League of Gentlemen Wargamers I thought it might be a good idea to take a small contingent of troops to join the fray. Rather than paint up a unit or two I decided to paint up some French voltigeurs.  I did this because the LoGW use units of 36 figures, (where I will use units of 24 figures), and skirmish stands would 'blend' in better with what was there. I painted up 24 in campaign dress. These will be the skirmish stands for the six units of line infantry I have in campaign dress (another six units are in full dress and will have voltigeurs dressed likewise). 

It seems I've also decided on a basing system for infantry. Line will be based four figures per stand on 40mm x 40mm (six stands per unit), skirmishers will be on the same size bases but with just two figures per stand. Under Lassale rules, French line infantry have a skirmish factor of two, so two stands per unit. Now, I know what you are thinking. In Lassalle most units have four stands, not six, and stand width is important. I've decided to base for use with a lot of different rules and, for Lassalle, I'll make a 'frontage stick' marked with four graduations and I'll fudge 'large' units.

I was quite pleased with how they came out, though I'd forgotten just how much work is involved painting Napoleonic French. But, given one batch is now under my belt, the next lot should be much easier.

I like these figures very much. I painted them in lightish blue coats because they were prone to fade quickly in the Spanish sunshine. Finding  information on unit distinctions (pompom colour, shako bands, etc.) was a bit of a pain. It seems this was down to the whim of individual colonels: In the end I chose to use the unit distinctions for 1815 and poetic licence. The green sword scabbard wrappings are, apparently, shako cords.
So what next. Well, I'm going to try and get my SYW stuff finished. First up, the Prussians. Four units of infantry and two units of Cuirassier. I wonder if I can get them done by the first week in July?

Monday, 22 June 2015

Gaming with the League of Gentleman Wargamers - Charles Grant scenarios

For a second time, I was invited to join the League of Gentleman Wargamers in Kirriemuir for a weekend of war gaming entertainment. Invited twice, what on earth were they...........?

Last time the game was organised by Steve R. It was a game organised to such a level that hats were doffed by all present - he had done Kingmaker (one of the best boardgames ever devised) made big and war game stylie. I couldn't imagine anyone equalling it.

The venue is a dream. A huge room and very reasonably rented at £10 per head (including coffee and biscuits) for the entire weekend.
The League on the second day. Though backs are facing, left front to back, Angus, Peter, Steve, Colin (off left) and Bill in the distance. Right, a blurry Charlie, Dale, Steve and Charles. The other Peter couldn't come on the Sunday due to unforeseen  family circumstances.

Same game at about the same time but with an unblurred Charlie (in salmon pink) and in the black top, the man with the rules plan, Kev. Angus, don't do it! Dale, look the other way.

This time it was Charles Grant's turn to design and run the scenarios for the weekend. The scenarios were set, befitting this commemorative year, to mark the fall of Napoleon. Charles ignored the obvious and decided not to do Waterloo, Ligny, Quatre Bras, etc. Better some what ifs further afield involving the others advancing to crush Napoleon's return; a weekend of proper gaming rather than a 'grand demo' of what might have been.

I travelled by train from Yorkshire to Perth to link up with Steve, who kindly gave me a lift for the last leg up to Kirriemuir. We checked into our digs for the weekend, had a meal, a pint or two, then went to the venue to set up for Saturday. After the kiddies disco kicked out (an unforeseen eventuality - half a dozen middle aged me standing outside a kiddies disco doesn't feel right), we succeeded in getting the four tables for the Saturday games set out in under an hour - not bad, and plenty of time left in the evening to chew the fat in a local hostelry.
Vendee country
The Alps

The Pyrenees
Somewhere Vs the Prusso-Russians (?)

Three of the games (four in total) were concerned with the French holding back the advance of the 'coalition' in various theatres. There was a scenario holding back Prussians and Russians; another holding back the Austrians in the Alps (thankfully I didn't have to do this one as the terrain was terribly complicated - it was the Alps!); and one holding the Pyrenees against advances from the Peninsular. The fourth game involved getting a wagon train through a rebellious 'Vendee'. There were eleven players; once twelve, when Charles decided to weigh in. 

My First game. My French try to hold the Pyrenees

Remarkably, I manage a draw.

Vendee country. My troops escort a wagon train (just in shot, bottom right) to the French barracks. Easy peasy. A win. My cavalry take out all three units of Vendee before the wagons are pushed across the bridge. For a moment it looked less certain. The unit in the foreground catastrophically failed its first volley check and was destroyed.

My last game is more difficult but a joy for me to fight. The cavalry melee goes one way then the other until finally, after several turns, I lose: Very exciting.

The rules were designed by Kev. These rules have, apparently, been used for several H&M periods gamed by the LoGW. They are, in essence, very simple. They are very easy to play, have a period feel and an all important element of risk - 'CATASTROPHIC' is a very cleverly defined result! I liked these rules a lot. The mechanisms were very elegant indeed: Well done, Kev. 

On Saturday morning the games commenced. Each scenario was set to last about two and a half hours. Each player would play three of the four scenarios on offer during the day, though from the start you were either French or Allies - I was French. To be honest, I thought the itinerary highly ambitious. It is a mark of Charles' experience that this was achieved without demur of lack of time from any of the players. The scenarios must have been well balanced because at one point or another I think each scenario was won by attacker and defender.

Charles umpired the weekend except for the last 'Vendee' game. I think he must have a thing for unshaven men with scythes. Regardless of his penchant - or not - for the downtrodden and smelly early 19th century 'Daily Mail' reading proletariat, he somehow won the 'Vendee' game. I don't think anyone else did.

At the end of the day I had won one, drawn one and lost one. A mid-table result. I enjoyed each scenario, and actually enjoyed the game I lost the most - it was, from early disasters, a lost cause that just got better. Losing can be the best fun: Is it O.K. to say that out loud?
Just before dinner on Saturday. The French have deployed first. The game is set.

At about 5pm Saturday's games ended. Within an hour, or so, all the games had been dismantled and reset for the big Sunday game. This was to be fought on a 24 foot long by 6-8 foot wide table. It would be the French holding back Prussians, Russians and Austrians (I think). I held the French right against a combined attack from Austrians and Prussians. I was outnumbered 5:2 and I lost but, at the last turn, I still had one unit left, Huzzah! Victory conditions must have been a bit confused because although I thought we had lost, my compatriot Steve (also on the right) thought we had lost, and the entire Allied army thought we had lost, our C-in-C and Angus didn't. At that point I realised why Steve and I had not been reinforced with troops sufficient to hold our position. I hold Dale (our C-in-C) entirely responsible for our defeat and if the 'Empire' is ever restored I will personally hold the basket. Dale, if you read this it's nothing personal, it's merely a 'Matter of State' (LOL).
This is my position just after lunch. That thin and scattered blue line in the immediate foreground is me. That bloody great chunk of white is them. Steve, his belly in blue, and just in shot , does his best to support me, but without reinforcements from the centre I'm doomed. C'est la vie, je t'aime mon Empereur.

So apart from having a lot of fun, as an old dog, what did I learn from the older dog? Well, that is difficult to put into words, and more so as certain assumptions were merely further enforced. More than anything, I think that Charles has designing scenarios down to fine art, even when using rules that are quite new to him. This can only come with experience so I'm not going to even try to explain what he does. But, what he does do, is to keep everything very simple. For want of a better example, when he devises his forces for a particular scenario and wishes to exaggerate a difference in arms (artillery, cavalry, infantry) he will exclude an arm from a force. This might not seem 'historically / army list' right but makes sense in broader terms. When devising scenarios in future, I will now keep this in mind. It is a very 'old school' thing to do; it is something that I, an old lag myself, had somehow forgotten. In game terms it worked magnificently. The victory conditions were also so clearly defined that everyone knew what to do to win. There were no points totting here. You achieved a mission or you didn't. A draw was given, gentlemanly fashion, if one side might have achieved victory if the game was longer or it was too close to call. I gave a draw in my first game because although I had technically won 'at time' I felt that I couldn't, in conscience, claim a proper victory.

Every game was conducted in the best spirit; any gamesmanship was decidedly jocular; fun was had, winner or loser, by everyone; loser's described their fleeting moments of victory with decided glee.

So, how was the weekend for me? The League of Gentlemen Wargamers are a crew that any wargamer would like to associate with (and the general public would probably be best to avoid, LOL). I'm very proud to associate myself with this bunch of backstabbing,  murderous, hard drinking, dice totting, scoundrels. In short, pirates to a man, you just can't beat them for company; but, best check your wallet before you leave. 

I'm hoping that I can make it up to the November bash with a Prohibition Chicago setting: I wonder if  Rocky 'Le Roc' Roche will be there. Named after the 17th century pirate and terror of the eastern seaboard [bizarrely true, and I've half convinced my nine year old son we are related, obviously to each other, and Le Roc].  He would be a sea captain running liqueur, in considerable bulk, out through the St Lawrence to 'States south'. With his trusted crew of well armed waterfront cutthroats and very, very pretty dockside ladies of disarmingly ill repute (yet unpainted and unsourced) he would be a force to reckon with. Pugilists (LoGW members know this is important) beware, this guy's boxer fights under his master's name - cue music.

If I can't make it, due to an appointment in Barcelona, I'm looking forward to the next one after, if I'm invited. I'm down to do an Italian Wars weekend sometime in 2017 - though that is a long way off, it seems I might be a 'Gentleman'. Having said that, given the company........................(LOL).

Friday, 12 June 2015

To the Strongest - A proper game.

This is the AAR of this week's Punic Wars battle fought using To the Strongest Rules by Simon Miller. This was the second time we have played using these rules and they ran the game like clockwork. They are definitely well thought out and well balanced. Most of all, they are elegantly simple.

I'm not going to do a blow by blow, card by card, AAR of this battle. Explaining how TtS is played has already been done elsewhere by more experienced players. This is a simple battle narrative with some general impressions of the rules. 

 The table was set with plenty of flank space, though this wasn't used. The battlefield represented an open plain with areas of rough, rocky ground. This counted as difficult terrain for movement but didn't count for cover to missilery. First games are generally best with little terrain.
 The Carthaginians formed up in a battle line with cavalry on the wings and infantry in the centre with few reserves.
 The Romans formed up their infantry in triplex acies with cavalry on the wings.
 The Carthaginians advanced their cavalry wings and their skirmish line. 

To the Strongest throws the odd spanner into the works and the central infantry command's turn ends before all of the skirmishers can be brought forward. 

This lack of 'total control' is a feature of TtS. Being Piquet players, we like this kind of thing.
 On the Roman left the Allied cavalry comes forward to melee with the advancing Carthaginian cavalry. This cavalry battle will go back and forth for the entire battle with cavalry charging, fighting, withdrawing to rally before charging in again. 

Note the 'barrel' counter next to the Roman commander - he has been lightly wounded in the first encounter.
 Meanwhile in the centre the Roman legions steadily, if cautiously, advance. Doing so allows them to maintain formation.

Steady progress, rather than possible extravagant advances, seem to be best in delivering massed units together.
 On the other wing it is the Carthaginians who press the action. The Carthaginian commander is wounded (barrel counter).
 The cavalry action on the Roman left  is fierce but inconclusive. The Roman commander is killed.
 On the Roman right, the Carthaginians get the better of it and begin to seriously threaten the flank of the Roman centre, but they lose their commander in the process.

The pennies, BTW, are ammunition - 'shots' - markers.
 The action on the Roman left has been going on like mad for ages. Not a single unit has been lost.
In the centre the infantry come to grips. Although the Carthaginian commander is wounded then killed, the Roman attack is wrecked by some very spirited fighting by the Carthaginian infantry. The Romans have brought their wooden training swords for the fight - they can't hit and can't save either and, being in small units (maniples are lost on a single fail to save) get slaughtered.

But, it is on the Roman right that the death blow falls. In the far distance of this shot you can see the Carthaginian cavalry has turned the Roman flank. The Romans lose their final victory medal. The Carthaginians still have three. 

Note the 'tuft' counter. We use these to mark disorder. 

Note the 'broken wheel' counter. This marks the presence of an unused minor 'hero'. Heroes allow a failed to hit card to be re-drawn; when the hero is used the counter is removed; presumably the hero goes down doing something heroic. In this case the 'hero' is a hairy Gaul (hairier than any man has a right to be?). Simon M. has a lot of very nice figures representing these, but a counter serves just as well in game play.
(Staged shot - Graham, the standard bearer's arm, pinned and glued, went back just fine; better, stronger than before).

This game, the second time around for the rules,  flowed much better and we made few if any rule mistakes. Also, tactical play was more evident and decisions were far more considered. As a consequence the game was very good fun. 

One noticeable occurrence was the save failure rate by certain unit types during the game. This was, I feel, 'flukey' and added a great deal of jeopardy to the game. 

The loss of leaders: Three leaders, all 'heroic', were lost during the game each having been slightly wounded before succumbing to second hits, they were saving on three plus (non heroic leaders save on two plus). 

Failure to save by the Roman infantry maniples did for the Romans: Not one managed to draw a six or five plus save card (most things were saving on sevens and eights) and they went down like flies. 

Another thing which we liked, was the back and forth nature of the cavalry fight on the Roman left. Although both sides managed to score hits and disorder the enemy, they were all able to rally before they could be finished off with a second hit. Sometimes they withdrew out of charge range to make it easier, and sometimes fresh cavalry were brought up to block charge lanes to protect them until they did. It had the feel of an inconclusive cavalry melee - it might have flamboyantly swirled and clashed about but, they all came home.

We really like these rules. I think they are going to be our go to set for the Punic Wars for the foreseeable future. Mention was even made of running another Punic Wars campaign - though I think having played one, lasting God knows how long last year, we will not be doing that for another year or two. We will certainly try them with other troops we have that fit into the scope of the rules. 

Lastly, mention should be made of Grahams elephants. In their first four activations the drew three aces and a ten. You never hear Graham swear but, I think he was coming pretty close. Those that know TtS will know that this is not good.