Thursday 26 April 2012

The Battle of Numantia 214 BC (part 1)

Scrotivius wrote:

"At Numantia the Romans took a strong position atop a long hill and awaited the arrival of Hasdrubal....

.....Hasdrubal came with so large an army that it seemed to fill the eastern horizon." 

The Romans are outnumbered nearly 2 : 1.
Scrotivius continues:

"The Romans clung to their hill......."

 ".....and allowed the Carthaginians to come on."

Scrotivius then tells us of the gallant Roman cavalry which, in a long and complex action, managed to throw the Carthaginian right into confusion.

The Carthaginians threw the kitchen sink at them; Spanish cavalry; elephants; infantry. The Romans were victorious until, finally, their luck ran out and they were routed.

On the Carthaginian left another, more equal, cavalry contest took place and Hasdrubal's infantry began an assault on the hill.

 Three shots of the action.
On the Roman left, the Carthaginian spearmen, elephants and Numidians began to envelop the flank.
The 'besieged' Romans, in triplex acies, cling grimly to their long hill.

Note: Before the battle I changed the scenery a little.

Friday 20 April 2012

The Battle of Arpi (part 2) and its aftermath.....

Scrotivius writes of the battle.

"The Roman right continued its advance towards the open flank of Hannibal's army and caused great fear and consternation amongst his commanders...... 
".....pinning the Africans to their 'hairy hill'......"
"...but, on the Roman left, the Romans were not so lucky, for the Gauls had rallied and began their onslaught anew....."
"....surrounding the Romans there, and slaughtering them en masse...."
"...The sound of the relentless murder carried to the rest of the field, the  courage of the Romans failed them, and they began to withdraw......
 "....but, the fighting had been so fierce, and the Carthaginian cavalry so scattered, that a determined pursuit was not possible...."  

At the end of turn 4, I gave Peter the option to make an uncontested withdrawal.
This hard fought battle was deemed to be an 8 (H: R Vs C) turn battle with a no adjustment attrition roll. Marcellus withdrew to Rome. Hannibal had lost 2 CU in the battle; Marcellus lost 5 CU in the battle and retreat.
During the next part of the campaign turn another small action occurred. Nero dashed down to Croton forcing Mago to battle. This was not a big battle and the H: R Vs C system was used to resolve it. both sides lost 2 CU, Mago was displaced.

The year 215 BC ended with this situation after the playing of the above cards.

The campaign turn (turn 5) starting 214 BC began with Fabius Maximus and Titus Longus elected to the consulship. Marcellus was, for his effort in 215, made pro-consul. Fabius was sent to Spain.

Cards were played as follows. 

Fabius made an advance into the interior of Spain.

H. Gisgo landed on Sicily with a small army.

Fearing Fabius would deprive Carthage of more Spanish allies Hasdrubal moved to intercept him at Numantia. Sharp diplomacy, "Spanish Allies Desert", deprived Fabius of his new Spanish friends before battle was joined.

The Battle of Numantia: Hasdrubal 11 CU versus Fabius 6 CU. As the battle takes place in Spain I have decided to use arid terrain, for a change.

Thursday 5 April 2012

The Battle of Arpi 215 BC

Last night Peter, back from his stable duties in Devon, and I started to fight the Battle of Arpi (part of our 2nd Punic War campaign) which was set up a fortnight ago.

Both of us felt this battle would be close. Two good commanders, the Romans with slightly more numbers and a very similar army characterisation card draw - 9 cards to 8. As it was, Carthage drew 74 morale chips, a Momentum (cavalry) March card, and a Stratagem (favourable omens) card. Rome drew 70 morale chips, an Aggressive Melee Up 1 card, and a Stubborn Army Morale card.

And so the battle began.........

The Battle opened with a cavalry fight in the centre which the Romans got the better of.
Carthage launched an attack with Numidian cavalry which skirmished with the Roman infantry to good effect.

The cavalry battle ended with heavy losses on both sides, especially for Hannibal who had to commit infantry to redeem the situation.

The Roman left advanced to clear 'the long hill' of Gallic warriors.

The battle initially went the way of the Gauls.......
But the Gallic counter charge was blunted after heavy fighting and they were pushed back in disarray.
The battle on the Roman left becames general......

The Roman cavalry on their extreme left did well initially but, then disaster struck. A series of 1 rolls shifted the balance of power.
Marcellus advanced the bulk of the army to put pressure on Hannibal's left.... 
.....but, Hannibal feared the imminent collapse of his right. Abandoning his position on the left, he rushed troops from there, behind his line, to reinforce it.

The Romans attack the 'hairy knoll' in the centre.
A shot of the battle at the end of turn 3. At this point Hannibal is down to 34 morale chips, the Romans are down to 13. Carthage is running out of fresh units, Rome is running out of morale chips - this is going to be close!

To be continued.........

Wednesday 4 April 2012

The Prussian Plan

I have spent a little time upgrading some more Prussian units. I now have six and they are pictured below. Under the pics you will find the composition of the planned Prussian army.

I have also re-thought the basing. I have decided to do the infantry at six to a stand with each stand measuring 45mm x 45mm unless the unit needs extra depth to prevent 'bayonet clash' when opposing units come into contact or when the stands are placed in 'march column'; extra depth stands are 45mm x 60mm with a marks towards the back of the stand to show the extra depth (the marks were made before the stands were cut by drilling 2mm holes at the 45mm point).

Prussian Army Composition


Painted units for upgrading to 24 man units: I have five units of line and two units of grenadiers by Foundry (6 pictured above). I have five units of line (including one fusilier), and one unit of grenadiers by Front Rank.

Unpainted units: I have 6 units of line (including two fusilier), and two units of grenadiers by Foundry.

In total there are a total of units, including 12 musketeer, 3 fusiliers, and 5 grenadiers. This gives a total of 480 figures.


Painted units of 8 figures: I have four units of cuirassier

Unpainted units: I have five Foundry units to paint. There are three cuirassier and two hussar units.

Unpurchased units: I need to buy two more units of dragoons. I will use Front Rank.

This gives a total of fifteen units comprising: Seven cuirassier, five dragoon and three hussar units. A total of 120 figures.


I have three batteries of two guns each. I will increase this to five batteries. The figures are a mixture of Foundry and Front Rank. A total of 10 guns and 40 crew.


There will be 9 command stands comprising 20 figures. They are a mixture of Front Rank and Foundry.

In total, there will be 660 figures in 40 units.

Sunday 1 April 2012

The Russian Plan

After doing the first two Prussian unit upgrades to 24 man units, and quickly adding two more (photos to follow), I decided to do some Russian unit upgrades. Whilst I sorted out the figures to upgrade 5 Russian units in their green coats, I also counted everything up. Below are 4 photos showing the newly upgraded units; they include the Apcheronski Regiment in their red gaiters, which would date them post 1759 - but who's counting. The figures are Foundry; painted by me in enamels; the flags are also by me in enamels.

Below the photos I've listed the planned units for this army. The list gives the number of units requiring upgrades from figures in stock, the number of new units from figures in stock, and the number of new units requiring a purchase.

 The Russian Army

As before, I plan to wargame at regimental and not battalion scale. This is because a regiment of cavalry, when in line, has a similar frontage to two infantry battalions. I have always had to scale most historical battles anyway, so this 'scale' makes even more sense in the round.

Ratios of types were quite roughly worked out from looking at the regiments present at Gross Jagersdorf, Zorndorf, and Kunnersdorf.

I have chosen to do the Observation Corps (all regiments) because the Russian infantry are almost indistinguishable from each other and it provides variety; I will have no problems using OC units as normal infantry where the OC was not present.

Russian cavalry is a problem for me as a wargamer. The Russian army, outside of its cossacks, seems to have fielded less cavalry than its western neighbours, and in smaller units than the Austrians and Prussians (my other SYW armies). I have decided to field more dragoons than were historically in evidence so that I can have them on both wings. I have decided to field cuirassier in units representing two regiments each - but with only one flag.


Painted in need of upgrade to 24 man units: I have five painted line units in coats (above), four line units in waistcoats, and three units of grenadiers - all by Foundry. I also have two Front Rank units  of line to be upgraded. 

24 man units to be painted from scratch: I have two line units, one in coats one in waistcoats. I have one unit of grenadiers. I have four units of Observation Corps line infantry and one unit of OC grenadiers in waistcoats - all by Foundry. 

This will give a total of 17 line units and 5 grenadier units - 528 figures in all. 


Painted 8 figure units: I have two units of cuirassier and 3 units of cossacks by Foundry. I have one unit of horse grenadiers and one unit of hussars by Front Rank.

Unpainted 8 figure units: I have two units of cossacks and a unit of hussars by Foundry.

Required 8 figure units: I need to buy a unit of horse grenadiers and two units of dragoons. I will use Front Rank unless ebay come to the rescue first.

This gives a total of 13 units comprising 104 cavalry.


I have three painted batteries each of 2 guns and 8 crew they are a proper mixture of Foundry and Front Rank. I have the guns for three more batteries (again a mix of Foundry and Front Rank) but they are currently without crew. I will use Front Rank for the crew.

This gives a total of 12 guns and 48 crew.


A mixture of Front Rank and Foundry figures which will go towards making nine command stands. There are 15 figures.

This will give a Russian army of 695 figures in 41 units - a good night's game, and with a very 'campaignable' mix.