Thursday 18 March 2010

Isle of Fob continues

Kermit the Hermit on his trusty steed 'Miss Piggy'.

From the Chronicles of Kermit the Hermit....

....Following his uncle's death at the Battle of Ghazzan, Baldwin de Chernobyl was duly, and with right ceremony, crowned King of Fob on the 8th day of August the Year of Our Lord 1111......

........the Hashishmendids were sorely vexed by their unwarranted defeat at Ghazzan. Seeing the Franks in some turmoil after the battle the firey and unpredictable Mohamed Emir of Ali sought to gain capital from it. Rather than march south to besiege the capital of the Franks [Lampron] he about faced his army and went northwards to the county of Ghazzan......

.....In Ghazzan, Montisgarde de Troimilland collected together every man capable of bearing arms, myself included, and took the field. The army marched some miles from the town in order to block Mohamed [Emir of Ali] at the Fords of Tulac. It was here, to great rejoicing, that the army was joined and greatly increased in number by Prince Omar Sharif and his Armenian followers.......


The Forces of the Franks: (SP3, 21 units, 1 battlefield posture card.)
Montisgard de Troimilland: 1 small unit of knights, 2 units of Frankish sailors.
Laurance d'Olivier: 2 units of foot sergeants, 1 unit of levy spearmen, 1 armed mob, 2 civilian bands.
Gerrard d'Edpardieu: 1 small unit of Hospitaller knights, 1 small unit of secular knights, 1 small unit of Hospitaller brother sergeants, 1 unit of secular sergeants.
Omar Sharrif's Armenians: 1 unit of knights, 2 units of light cavalry, 2 units of spearmen, 1 unit of foot bows.

The Forces of the Hashishmendid Seljuks: (SP2, 16 units, 2 battlefield posture cards.)
Mohamed [Emir of Ali]: 1 unit of Ghulams, 1 small unit of Ghulams, 2 units of Seljuk horse archers, 1 unit of Arab askari.
Abu Hamsah: 2 units of ghazis, 1 unit of mutattawia, 2 units of arab foot bows, 1 camel caravan.
Yassah Arrafat: 2 units of Turcoman horse archers, 2 units of Bedouin.

......The Franks, in four divisions, deployed themselves above the Fords of Tulac on two spurs and in the valley between. The right hand spur was smaller than the other but was steep and rocky. This position of honour was given over to Omar Sharrif and his bands of dour and sturdy Armenians.......

......The left hand spur was low and undulating and it was here that Laurance d'Olivier with foot sergeants and the rabble of Ghazzan [Kermit was here] had command. In the valley Montisgarde deployed his main strength, the Hospitallers [commanded by Gerrard d'Epardieu] in the van and Montisgarde in a rearward that formed a reserve..........

.....On the following day arrived the Hashishmendids. Mohammed [Emir of Ali] sought with his smaller force to bring what might he had against the right hand wing of the Franks. Here he posted himself at the head of his Seljuks whilst Abu Hamsah, a man sworn to the Jihad, fell in beside him with may of his wilder followers.........

On his own right Mohammed [Emir of Ali] posted his trusty lieutenant Yassah Arrafat with the bulk of his tribal auxiliary cavalry........

........the fight would chiefly fall on our [Franks] right and the forces of Omar Shariff. I led many in prayer to God that this heretic would today have Our Lord's Blessing.........

Friday 12 March 2010

Campaign Rules for Ager Sanguinis

At Vapnartak (York wargames show) I had a conversation with Andrew Hubback of Miniature Wargames magazine. He asked me about the possibility of more articles. Following this, I had a conversation with Brent Oman (of Piquet Inc.) regarding the publication of a set of rules governing Ager Sanguinis campaigns.

With all of my ducks lined up, I am now in position to announce that a set of rules called "Isle of Fob" will be published this summer as part of Miniature Wargame magazine's Ager Sanguinis series; bringing the series to 4 articles.

The campaign rules will allow players to create and fight campaigns using Ager Sanguinis rules for the table-top battles. For those without the time to make maps and set up their own campaign scenario the rules include the set up for the Isle of Fob campaign that Perter J. and I are currently fighting. Although the rules were written for Ager Sanguinis campaigns, and I make no apology for that, the campaign system could be used for any period, and using any table-top rules to resolve battles, with a little adaption. The mechanics allow for large or small figure collections to be used without a change in the rules; though I would suggest a minimum of a dozen units a side for some force variability.

Isle of Fob uses a combination of mechanics. These were devised by me, or adapted by me from Theatre of War by Brent Oman. A deck of sequence cards from Ager Sanguinis master rules is essential - though these are listed in Isle of Fob and could be made without a further purchase.

As a preview, here is the map for Isle of Fob. When the rules are published they will come with this map but, for those who want a electronic copy for 'quality' enlargement and printing, I will be happy to email you one (once the rules are published and you buy a copy - I'll ask for a password). Please do not email me now.

Ager Sanguninis rules are currently available as a bundle:

The Battle of Ghazzan - the conclusion

The Chronicles of Kermit the Hermit continue.....

.....the Emir, gallantly rousing what remained of his host, launched a most vigorous attack against the centre of the Franks. They came on with such speed that there was nought the Franks could do (note the 18" move of the Seljuk infantry - they rolled a triple move on their march card)........

Only the Hospitallers could match their audacity; and it was they who stemmed the flow by carving a way into the maddened throng until, surrounded and outmatched in numbers, they were killed to the last.......

.....Now the King [Chernobyl] was far from what remained of his army. He sought, with his sword in hand, to cut a way through. At first the impetus of his charge carried him onward, but then, woe worth the day, he fell, and his knights were scattered........

........As the sun dimmed and nightfall began to fall, only the Frankish pedites, which had been posted to the Mount of Pines, and until now had viewed the battle from its safety, watched the plain before them fill with soldiers of the Seljuks. Stubbornly, they elected to stay to see what the morrow would bring.........
This battle was, when the victory points had been worked out a very, very, close run thing. Using the campaign post battle victory system:

Franks starting morale: 19.
Seljuk starting morale: 31.
Sub total: Franks +12.
Franks finishing morale: 0.
Seljuk finishing morale: 2 (2 morale points, the Franks having none, were ceded to the Seljuks at the very end of the game).
Sub total: Seljuks +2
Final morale sub total: Franks +10
Franks objective points: 2
Seljuk objective points: 10.
Sub total: Seljuks +8.
Final total: Franks +2.
A very marginal win for the Franks!!!!
The Franks and Seljuks lost 2 army strength points each (army die Vs 4 rolls), both were vexed and the Seljuks fell back to their arsenal at Eschiva.

.........and in the morrow, Praise be to God, the Seljuks were gone...........

Next week it is back to the map campaign. The Seljuks, with their National Will Point total at a very low level, are in deep doo-doo.

Sunday 7 March 2010

The plan

Now that I am nearing the completion of stage one - working towards a first battle - I have to plan out my painting schedule for the rest of the project. I have 20 months to paint and base about 1600 figures.

At the end of stage 1 I will have painted figures for: The Battle of Trebia at half scale. Note that not all of the figures get used - I paint in quite big batches for speed.

4 units of velites (48 figs).
4 units of hastati (96 figs).
4 units of princepes (96 figs).
4 units of triarii (48 figs).
4 units of cavalry (32 figs).

2 units of Libyan spearmen (48 figs).
2 units of Spanish scutarii (48 figs).
4 units of Libyan skirmishers (32 figs) I'll use 2 units.
4 units of Balearic slingers (32 figs) I'll use 1 unit.
4 units of Spanish caetrati (48 figs) I'll use 3 units.
4 units of Gallic warband (88 figs) I'll use 3 for Carthage and 1 for the Rome according to Livy.
4 units of Spanish cavalry (32 figs).
4 units of Gallic cavalry (32 figs).
4 units of Numidian cavalry (32 figs) I'll use 3 units.
2 elephants.

Stage 2: The Battle of Lake Trasimene at half scale will be my target. This will require me to double the Carthaginian force used for Trebia (except elephants) with the extra addition of:
4 units of Gallic warband for 12 units total.
2 units of Gallic cavalry for 10 units total.
Stage 2 will require me to paint 436 figures.

Stage 3: The Battle of Telemon. This is where the end will be coming into sight and whole nations will be finished, in this case Gaul and Rome:
6 units of Gallic warband (for 18 units total).
12 Gallic chariots.
20 units of Romans (double those already painted for 4 legions total).
Stage 3 will require me to paint 464 figures (chariots counting as 1 each).

Stage 4: Spain. Finish the remaining Spanish troops.
11 units of Scutarii
2 units of Caetrati
2 units of Spanish cavalry
Stage 4 will require me to paint 304 figures.

Stage 5: Africa / Spain. Finish the remaining Carthaginians.
4 units of Libyan spearmen.
2 units of Libyan skirmishers.
6 units of Numidian skirmishers.
6 elephants
2 units of Carthaginian cavalry.
2 units of Numidian cavalry.
Stage 5 will require me to paint a mere 198 figures (elephants counting as 1 each).

So that's the plan. I've broken the remaining figures into four 5 month chunks, with the amount of work in each chunk getting less towards the end. I'm bang on schedule so far so I can't foresee any problems. 2200ish figures in just over 2 years.

My next project, The Peninsular War, is already in motion. I'm buying books and doing the reading and research. My library for this project is still quite small (36 books) but it is getting there. I should have read most of them by November 2011. My plan is to make this project, the painting being rather more complex, much less aggressive (I can chew the Punic War project but it is hard to swallow). I plan on only doing 36 - 48 figures a month for this one.

Thursday 4 March 2010

Isle of Fob - the Battle of Ghazzan

Orders of Battle:

Franks: C-in-C King Chernobyl with 12 units:
1 small unit of knights, 1 small unit of Hospitaller knights, 1 unit of foot sergeants, 1 unit of English sailors, 1 armed mob, 2 units of turcopoles, 1 unit of Armenian cavalry, 2 units of Armenian foot, 1 unit of Arab cavalry, 1 unit of Bedouin.

Hashishmendid Seljuks:
C-in-C Mustapha Camel Emir of Chiossus with 24 units:
3 small units of Ghulam cavalry, 4 units of Seljuk horse archers, 6 units of Turcoman horse archers, 2 units of Arab cavalry, 1 unit of Bedouin cavalry, 2 units of Ghazi infantry, 1 unit of Muttatawia infantry, 1 unit of Turkish infantry, 2 units of Arab foot archers, 2 units of civilians.

From the Chronicles of Kermit the Hermit:

...and Chernobyl saw on the horizon the dust raised by the powerful host of the Seljuk Emir. Fearful of being caught in the open he set his foot to climb the steep slopes of a pine covered hill nearby where they might better withstand the coming onslaught, whilst he, with his cavalry, and right manfully, set himself in the plain.......

.....Mustapha led his troops up to a large abandoned village and there deployed them skillfully. To his left he set his Arabs and ordered they should envelop Chernobyl's line whilst he fixed it with his Turcomans and infantry. He himself, set himself on the right beyond a stream with a powerful reserve.......

.......No sooner had his Arabs begun to take up their position than his Turcomans, whipped into a fever by the rantings of their mullahs, did case their bows and, with wild frenzied cries, charge the Franks with spear and sword. They were punished for their arrogance but their charges did not abate. Time and time again they charged doing great harm but seconded none the less until the last were surrounded, destroyed and scattered. [Out of the 6 units which started, in two command groups, only 2 units were left recovering in the rear. Both commanders were abysmal D8 leaders who managed to roll three consecutive natural 1s on their movement dice, forcing uncontrolled charges).......

......On Mustapha's left, his Arabs deployed out onto the plain. With countless thousands of the enemy still in the field, King Chernobyl, still saw his doom. With a cry of anguish he launched himself and his knights into the fray. Here the battle raged with new intensity, like hammers on the anvil, both, like the metal between, diminishing in equal measure.....

........with his forces growing less, his centre crumbling, and his assured victory now hanging like an Autumn leaf in the wind, Mustapha committed his reserve across the narrow stream....... be continued.
[This battle is a belter. I had remarked to Peter, before the start, that it would be funny if his fanatic Turcomans rolled any movement die 1s, but three in a row; a 1 in 512 chance of that happening. What seemed like a very sticky wicket had become one to bat on. The attack of the Turcomans had cost Peter 20 morale chips! We will fight this battle to conclusion next week and then continue, if there is time, with the campaign moves. This battle is going to be close run thing.]

Tuesday 2 March 2010

Punic Wars - Libyan spears.

The first Libyans are finished: 48 spearmen (first batch of four) .

These are equipped hoplite fashion. I have not given them Carthaginian spears, which were apparently shorter, but full on long thrusting types. I have done this for two reasons: firstly, they look better; secondly, they will, at a pinch, double for Syracusan hoplites.

All figures are Renegade. Shield transfers by LBM. Standards are home made out of old shields, bits of Roman standards, and wire spears. All figures are painted with enamels.

Anyway, here is how they came out.

This months quota will be 30 Libyan skirmishers, 20 Balearic slingers, 12 Spanish caetrati and some Numidian cavalry. Next month I'll complete the cavalry (mainly Spanish) and command stands I'll need to do a mini-Trebia. Then I'll have to base them all up - all 600 of them. At that point I'll be over quarter of the way towards completing the collection. What's more, I'll be able to fight my first battle with them.