Saturday 25 September 2021

A Stream Runs Through It. A solo game using TtS. Battle Report.

This is the battle report of a solo game. The simple scenario notes can be found here. But, in short, The Franks are raiding two prosperous Saracen villages. The Saracens have got wind of the plan and are set to oppose them. The village boxes are worth 3 victory medals each (they are camps), so if the Franks can carry them they will almost assuredly win the game: if they hang about, they'll probably get shot to pieces.

It will be fought using To the Strongest with a few period specific add on rules of my own. I have decided to do the report, as I have once before for a TtS game, as a detailed blow by blow account with words, photos and positional diagrams to help you follow the action. I'll also detail some of my amendments where I can.

This report might go some way to convince the sceptics that grid based miniatures games are proper wargames, worthy of the same respect as any other - if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, etc. Far less people are sceptical these days, especially amongst those who have put their prejudice aside and given them a go but, I guess that some people will never be happy without a tape measure in hand and the possibility of wangling an angle (often deeming the latter the height of good generalship).

My terrain has very obviously been designed to embrace the grid but, don't be fooled into thinking that all TtS games must look like this because they don't. Terrain doesn't need to be 'squared off at the edges', or precisely fit into the grid squares to be used: Providing the limits of terrain pieces (what boxes contain what) is defined at the start of the game any shape of terrain can be used. I have chosen to go the 'squared off' route because I wanted something with as much style as substance: Absolute clarity, rather than realism, was my aim. It also aids drawing stuff in MS paint!

The Set Up

Initial Dispositions

Turn 1.
The Franks were the first to move and began a steady measured advance towards their goal, intending that no command should overstretch and find itself out on a limb and vulnerable to the attentions of the numerous Saracen horse archers.

However, the order was not fully understood by all and Hubert failed to advance (aced his first group move - note the red 1 activation chit), forcing Gilbert on his right (last command to move) to advance even more carefully than originally intended.

It is also worth noting that 75% of the Franks' light cavalry failed to activate as well, bloody natives!
The slow advance of the Franks suited the Saracens somewhat. 

Whilst Nezzah advanced his whole command to put himself somewhat on the flank of Gilbert, and Tarrifa advanced his body of Turcomans out onto the more open flank of Geoffrey, Cortaz aggressively moved into a central position and began to loose arrows into the oncoming Hospitallers (with an impressive series of activation chits - units can have multiple activations a turn in TtS) but without any visible result (he missed).

Note: The double sized Turcoman unit in the foreground (with the two rear outer stands facing backwards) are in my special Whirling Mass formation, specifically designed to represent the massed horse archer tactics of these particular troops, as described by David Nicholle in his second volume of Crusader Warfare. See Syrian QRS in the previous post for my special rules.

Positions at the end of turn 1.

Turn 2.
The Franks make a general advance to the stream. Geoffrey is the first to cross.

Note: I'm using activation chits rather than playing cards. They are smaller, less visually obtrusive, and easier to use because you don't have to shuffle two decks of cards together at the start of every player's turn - you simply drop them back into a draw string bag and give it a shake. Recommended. (At some point I'll upgrade to the ones in colour - they look fantastic and wish I'd had some for this report so you could see them better).

On the right, Gilbert advances his Turcopoles onto the scrubby knoll and turns them to protect his flank and snipe at the encircling Turcoman horse archers but without causing casualties worth noting.

In the centre more ineffective skirmishing takes place and the Hospitaller's Turcopoles advance to a position where they can charge into the flank of the Saracens shooting at The Master. Unfortunately, their movement chit is a 10 and (failing their next activation) they don't have time to charge.

At the start of the game I decided to declare all Turcomans, as was their want, to be 'Impetuous'. 

Note: Impetuous is one of my special rules that comes in handy for the Crusades period. It temporarily causes units to become battle mad, and it is a particularly useful for representing the volatile nature of certain troop types (Turcomans, 1st Crusade knights, Pilgrims, etc.). In short, if a troop type is designated as impetuous and it draws a 10 to activate, and it has a target within reach, it will become impetuous and charge it. It will hit on a 6 plus in the first round of combat (1st round only) regardless of troop type or condition; impetuous troops save at -1 whilst  impetuous. After charging, a unit remains impetuous until the start of the player's next turn (turn, not activation); whilst impetuous it cannot evade and it saves at -1. 

Allukoblin's Turcoman cavalry both draw a 10 chit to activate this turn and the Turcomans in whirling mass (automatically changing formation to tribal mass but which I forgot to do before the picture was taken) charge across the stream and rout the Turcopoles which had moved up to the opposite bank of the stream. The other unit of Torcomans, which would dearly like to charge into the flank of The Master, fails to become impetuous because the stream limits their movement to one box, which is insufficient to carry them in: So they carry out their intended order to shoot instead, and miss.

On the Saracen left, Cortaz is happy to hold position and Nezzah fails to activate, drawing a 1 first up, for a Turcoman unit to shoot at the Turcopoles on the knoll (in TtS, if a unit fails to activate, that's it for its whole command group for that turn).

First blood to the Saracens and things are hotting up.

Positions at the end of turn 2.

Turn 3
Although the diagrams accurately show the game position of the units, I don't want you to lose out on what I'm seeing, so three shots of the real action at the start of turn 3 - looking toward the Saracen left, centre, right. To my mind, even with the squared off terrain, this doesn't look very much different to most miniatures wargames.

The movements of the enemy, combined with the measured movements of the Franks up to now, dictate what the Franks do next.

The Master orders his contingent to turn to face Allukoblin so he can protect the right flank of Geoffrey as he attacks the village. In this he succeeds (on an 8 chit) before he attempts to cross the stream diagonally (for which he requires nothing short of a 10) and he succeeds again but, even having replaced his activation chit (with a 6), fails to charge home (with a 5). Still, well done The Master; by force of will he has brought his troops into a good position: Geoffrey can proceed.

Geoffrey, with his right protected by The Master, orders his men to attack with all haste. 

First his infantry advance to clear room for his cavalry to come out from behind them (on the diagonal) and charge Tarriffa and his Ghulam bodyguards in true knightly fashion. 

Geoffrey's charge clatters home; he spends a hero (loses his shield marker) to change a 6+ miss into a 6+ hit, for two lance hits in total. The Ghulams make the first save, fail the second and are disordered (tuft marker). The save is made for Tarriffa who is heroic and saves on a 3+: Oh no, a 1; Tarriffa draws for wound effect and is killed outright; the head of the snake is lopped off (the yellow bead for general and red bead for his heroism are removed from his bodyguard unit)

Note: I don't feel a need to do special general figures or heroes but they must be marked somehow. I use beads to mark generals, heroic status and upgrades, counters to mark heroes (with Roman scutum shields until I find something more appropriate), disorder, impetuous, out of ammunition and broken lances.

Note: I will still refer to this command group as 'Tarriffa' for narrative purposes.

The Ghulams fight back requiring 8+ and get it. The knights fail to save and are disordered; Geoffrey saves. They activate to rally and succeed but fail their rally save; the activation chit chit is terribly high (9). Geoffrey uses his generalship to change the (9) chit for something lower, then succeeds in activating and rallying on the second attempt.  

Worried about his flank, Geoffrey orders his Armenians to cover it, which they can only partially succeed in doing, whilst his foot sergeants unsuccessfully try to break into the village before his turn is ended by a bad activation chit. 

As is so often the case in TtS, successful chits are followed by bad ones; partially of course, because if you've had a lot of good chits there tend to be less of them left in your bag.

This is exactly what happens for the rest of the activations for the Franks. 

On the other side of the field, plans go astray as a couple of '1' activation chits (auto-fail) soon breaks up what was an organised attack into something looking awfully piecemeal and half hearted. The turn is soon over.

However, overall the Franks are happy with their turn. They have brought one of the villages under direct attack and killed its defending general, which will make that particular command group harder to activate from now on.

Positions at the end of the Frank's move, turn 3.
Note: Units marked yellow have been disordered by combat.

Saracen action starts on the right as the troops of Tarriffa's command seek revenge for his death. 

After the leaderless Turkish Ghulams successfully withdraw into a position from which they might find it easier to rally, the Syrian cavalry on the right flank turns inward and charges into the flank of Geoffrey's knights, disordering them but breaking their lances (on a 10 'to hit' chit, indicated by a broken wheel marker) in the process. Attempting to finish the job, the Syrians fail to activate for a third time. Small revenge, perhaps.

In the centre things might go better as Allukoblin's bodyguard veteran Kurdish cavalry activate to charge the Brother Knights of The Master twice (see the photo of the positions above, it's the same). However, the Brothers are saving on a 5+ and all the Kurds manage to do is break their lances on the shields of the warrior monks and expend their hero token. Fortunately for the Kurds, the Brothers fail to retaliate to any effect and receive the usual Saracen jibes of "Yo, Bro. High fives!" (that's a joke for the Crusading TtS 'in crowd'; not a particularly good one, and not for a particularly big crowd). Not a single hit for either side: They are fighting in the valley, close to the stream, so perhaps the ground is boggier than it looks?

The Turcomans also shoot a few times but without effect, as is so often the case. However, the large unit goes partially out of ammunition by drawing a 10 to hit chit. I don't use ammunition chits for this period because there are just too many of them to cart about the place, and they look awful. See QRS for my rules on this.

On the Saracen left, little is achieved except for some positional moves to counter any threat against the larger of the two villages. 

However, as Baden Powell was oft to say, "softly, softly catchee monkey", and if the Franks are not careful they could find any advance under threat of being swamped by Saracen flanking movements.

The pictures shows the heavy cavalry under Nezzah's command. Veteran lance bow armed Ghulams backed by lance armed Syrian cavalry (great figures by Perry). 

In the background, his Turcoman horse archers are moving up into flanking positions. Directly to their front, on the knoll, stand Gilbert's guarding Turcopoles.

Note: I think, being a solo game, this affair might be a little cagier than some TtS battles I've played against live opponents. TtS is quite well suited to solo play because game plans are subject to successful activations being made. With TtS it's never a simple case of I-Go-I-Know-I-Go: In short, all solo games benefit from mechanisms that allow the wheels to suddenly fall off, and TtS provides the mechanism nicely.

The positions at the end of turn 3.

Turn 4
The Franks again start with Geoffrey who, if you remember, we left having been flanked by Syrian cavalry.

First, to cover himself from possible attack by the Ghulams which have temporarily retreated, he advances a unit of foot sergeants. Then he turns to face the threat from the Syrian cavalry and successfully rallies from disorder. 

Seeking a conclusion on this flank his Armenians charge the massed Turcomans who choose not to evade versus a small unit of light cavalry, lance armed or not. This decision isn't the best because they inflict casualties and disorder the Turcomans, breaking their lances in the charge.

Meanwhile, the sergeants at the village at last make some progress and disorder the defending Adhath unit.

As his final act, Geoffrey replaces his high activation chit with a 3 before drawing a 1 to end his activation - nothing new there then, eh lads.

Down in the boggy valley the Brothers charge three times and three times, even expending a hero and using the Master's heroic status, their attacks are almost completely repelled. At the end of the attack, one glorious save after another, the Kurdish cavalry have only suffered a disorder. 

However, this will be hard to rally because later in the turn Hubert and his knights will move to within striking distance in the Kurds rear. Hubert's Turcopoles will not be as lucky. They launch a fruitless charge against the large body of Turcomans on the other side of the river and are destroyed when the Turcomans hit back.

Seeing this, Hubert's light infantry (armoured crossbowmen) use their only activation (a 10) to turn to face a possible attack by the rampaging Turcomen.

Meanwhile Hubert's and Gilbert's foot sergeants, supported by Gilbert's knights gamble on surviving a possible flank attack and make a dash for the village.

It's Gilbert's Turcopoles who have the strangest time. They charge the Turcomens facing them three times only to see them evade away until finally they are chased off table.

Positions at the end of the Frank's move, turn 4.

Before I report on the movements and actions of the Saracens this turn, let me just say they are shocking. I can only suspect that news of Tarriffa's fall have spread.

Tarriffa's men are losing heart. The Syrian cavalry again charges Geoffrey but only succeed in disordering themselves in the process, in a very short move.

Allukoblin achieves absolutely nothing except the resupply his large unit of Turcomans with new arrows.

Cortaz launches an attack against the foot sergeants moving against 'his' village and disorders them but fails to do anything else except shift the position of his Syrrian cavalry into the rough ground to their left so they have a chance to advance at some point in the future. [Pictured]

Nezzah advances his units a box or two before drawing a 1 chit trying to activate his Turcomans to shoot.

The Saracens are in trouble an I suspect they are about to get kicked in the teeth!

Positions at the end of turn 4.

Turn 5
Geoffrey acts first, charging the Syrian cavalry before him, only routing them with difficulty and a protracted fight. [Note something is also happening in the village whilst I relate this].

Then, on a whim, he ordered his Armenians to see off the Turcoman horde that still threatened this flank. They threw javelins to no effect, charged and Turcomans evaded, then charged again and the turcomans were caught, hit, failed to save and were gone.

But the plaudits go to Geoffrey's foot sereants who have battled their way into the village evicting a unit of light infantry archers and the unit of disordered Adhath, which sacrificed the archers before falling in its turn. The sergeants earned 6 victory medals for this feat of arms and the Saracens are rocking.
The next Saracen unit to go down, Allukoblin's small Turcoman unit, goes down with a whimper. Surrounded on all sides it cannot escape [evade] and throws down its arms on the arrival of Hubert's knights.

The Saracens are down to one victory medal. The end is nigh!

But, the Franks have run out of steam and fear an immanent crisis about to erupt on their right flank. To buy time for victory to be achieved they reposition to hold against the onslaught that may be about to engulf them.

The positions after the Frank's move, turn 5

At the large village the onslaught is fierce. 

Nezzah's and his bodyguard crash into the flank of the foot sergeants at the outskirts of the village, scattering two units one after the other before miraculously turning (on a 10 chit) to face Gilbert's knights. 

This inspires the town's defenders to send volley after volley of arrows into the last remaining unit of foot sergeants making their way through the farmland at the edge of the edge, disordering them.

Elsewhere, the unit of Turcomans that evaded off table has returned, and Tarriffa's bodyguard has rallied.

The Saracens are hanging on by their fingernails. It's only by holding the villages, which supplied an extra victory medal per section, that has kept the Saracen's in the fight this long. I doubt they can win but, you never know.

The Franks will dictate what will happen next. There is a chance by throwing all caution to the wind that they can win in the next turn but nothing looks nailed on for it to happen: probably multiple combat activations, some of which are doubly difficult, and in one case triply so. But, they only have 4 victory medals left themselves. If they don't pull it off, could the Saracens snatch a victory from a position where all seemed lost at the start of their last turn. Tense stuff.

Hmmm. A break and time to think. Cheers.

The positions at the end of turn 5.

Turn 6

Attack! Attack! Attack!

After some positional moves by Geoffrey and Hubert, including a parting hit on Allukoblin's Turcomans by the light infantry crossbowmen on the grassy knoll, The Master and Gilbert settle the matter by routing Nezzah's Ghulams. 

After moving into a position from which they could deliver a charge, the Brothers hit the Ghulams in the flank and disordered them, being disordered themselves in the process, then Gilbert's charge finished them off. 

Gilbert's charge was the last possible attack that could have been made, and a 7 activation chit to do it made a possible second attack much less likely. The gamble paid off, just: Victory to the Franks.

So there you go, a fairly typical TtS battle. In more open terrain the Saracens tend to do better so for this battle I think I probably got the terrain just about right. It was all going well for the Franks until the Saracens hit home.

Note: One adjustment to my lists that I might make, is to allow Turcoman horse archers to be upgraded to melee / missilery light cavalry. The upgrade will read something like "Upgrade to light cavalry, javelin, composite bow: save on 7+; +1 point. I'm beginning to think this might be a generally more suitable class for them because they were known to have a penchant for getting stuck in when the opportunity arose. At the moment they are particularly vulnerable to light lance armed light cavalry such as Turcopoles, Armenians and even Bedouin because of the two attack lance rule and their better save: To mis-quote Chris Sutton "Come on Turcomans, you're better than that".

Sunday 19 September 2021

Stoney banked stream, step by step.


This stream was made for grid based games using To the Strongest rules so the shape and size of things was determined by the grid in this case. However, basic principles apply, etc.

Marking out the sections is very important and I used several pieces of kit to accomplish this.

The ruler and pencil are the only essential tools required but, everything else makes the job easier. The set square speeds up the process and obviously allows true right angles to be marked. The compasses are all pre-set at the three radius required to mark out the turn sections, again I'm using three to speed up the process. I tend to use a lot of coloured pens to mark things out so that when I'm cutting I cut along the right lines - I've made mistakes often enough to know that this is worth while.
This is a two foot by three foot piece of MDF, 2mm thick. 

It's been marked out with all of the sections I think I might need. Twenty two straights; ten 90 degree bends; three half length ends; two stream sources; one T junction for doing a fork / tributary.

The important measurement for the bends was the centre line because each bend precisely covers the corner and half a side's length of a square - being a bear of little brain I even marked this out once to make sure (bend section top right). The straight sections are 200mm long - a square's side.

Red lines are the straight cuts which I'll make with a Stanley knife and a steel rule. Short of buying a laser cutter, I think this is the best way to cut straight lines through 2mm MDF. A couple of gentle guiding strokes to start, followed by three or four heavy strokes is usually enough to get through it.

The black lines are where I'll cut with a coping or fret saw. Note that I have drawn the wavy black lines so that one cut makes two wavy banks. For cutting wavy lines, a coping saw is an essential tool; the fret saw is a nice to have for particularly 'deep into the sheet' cuts, and it rarely sees the light of day.

The light blue line is a guide line for the rivers surface, and in this case was probably superfluous.

After cutting everything out, I chamfered the bank edges with a Stanley knife and then gave everything a good sanding with 180 grade glass paper.

The turns are set at 90 degrees because I'm primarily making the streams for To the Strongest games, where the streams run down the lines of the grid squares - i.e. between the squares.

Immediately after this was done I undercoated both sides of the sections with two coats of water based primer undercoat. Again, I'm not sure this was entirely necessary but it would be a shame if the sections ever got wet at some point in the future and warped. It's worth noting that the light blue pen line came through the undercoat.

Next thing was to create the water's surface.

I made this simple tool to do this out of old paint brushes, a piece of card (to keep them flat) and masking tape. I used paint brushes because of the nicely rounded, hard, smooth handle ends. 

This will be used to make lots of ripples, set at 90 degrees to the 'flow'. This is something that is counter intuitive but, when you look at the ripples in fast shallow streams this is the way the ripples run. So often I see wargame streams with ripples running with the current; I made them that way myself before taking time to look at ripples properly.

This picture shows why I made the new streams now. Whilst clearing out some cupboards and drawers a couple of weeks ago I came across two match pots (blue and grey) of paint that had become almost too thick to use. I mixed them together and got this very gooey mess. It's so thick it retains the shape you leave it in after mixing.
I put the paint onto the sections with the hog hair brush you can see in the previous shot. It wasn't put on that thick, certainly less than 1mm thick overall, then I textured the surface with the 'paint brush tool', washing the end of the tool (after doing each section) by dipping it into a jam jar of water and rubbing it with a big paint brush (that's why the lower masking tape has a blue hue).

I added model railway 'cork boulders' to half of the straight sections and to a few of the turns.
This shot shows how I did the surface more clearly. You can see I used short strokes rather than simply pulling the tool all the way across the stream. After doing the ripples I broke them up further with a stabbing motion, with the tool set at the direction of the ripples.

This shot also shows the base emulsion paint colour (left over from painting my teenage sons bedroom walls) that I used to paint the rivers - in reality it's even darker than it looks in this shot. 

This was then dry brushed with various shades of blue. In fact they looked very blue at this point - I know what I'm doing, I have a trick up my sleeve.

After dry brushing, I added the banks. This was simply done by sticking cork boulders, cat litter and sand to the edges of the river with PVA. 

Note that I glued the boulders on first, then when dry, I painted a good thickness of PVA along the whole bank onto which I sprinkled cat litter, immediately followed by sand, followed by sand again a few minutes later.

Two things about the cat litter. Firstly this is the man made dust free pink stuff sold by Tesco. It doesn't disintegrate, or go mushy when wet. Secondly, I sprinkled it on holding the section at an angle so that a good pebbly bank was created at the water's edge.

When it was dry I painted the banks with Dulux Wholemeal Honey 1. This was then ink washed with diluted (4:1) burnt umber acrylic ink. When dry the banks and river rocks were dry brushed with sandier colours, then I did a final whip round picking out the edges of the big rocks and bigger stones - painting them properly. This final step might sound like overkill for terrain but it makes a big difference, and it's not like painting eyes; rough and ready highlighting is all that is required, 30 seconds a section tops.

Trick time. After the banks were painted it was time to tone down the blue into the green spectrum (I think) by making the blue more of a dark aquamarine. This is done by mixing medium oak wood stain with yacht varnish. I mixed mine in a jam jar, about 20mm in the bottom of the jar with a tea spoon of stain. I actually put a label on the jam jar with the varnish level drawn on so I can repeat the mix in the future.

This was painted on quite thickly. You'll note it slightly, and nicely, darkened the bottom of the bank too. When this was dry I dotted some flecks of white 'foam' here and there with white enamel paint.

Last job, once the varnish was fully dry, was to add a small amount of green flock.

A shot of the stream taken from an angle that catches and reflects the light. 

I'm pleased with how this came out: So pleased I'm planning on adding some less angular bends so that I can use it for games not based on a grid - like Peninsular and Italian Wars games where a stony banked stream might work quite well.

EDIT: I've done the extra bits of stream now too: Three more 10cm (half sections) sections, four 5cm (quarter) sections, eight 45 degree bends and four 22.5 degree bends. The bends are just simple short arcs. So now I can use this stream for just about everything. 

One thing that often happens with light pieces of terrain is that they 'slip about' on the table when jogged whilst moving troops about. I've cured this by joining the sections together with a short piece of masking tape on the underside of each section's ends: Invisible, and works a treat.

A Stream Runs Through It. A Raid Scenario for the Crusades using TtS.

The Scenario

This is a straightforward To the Strongest scenario for the Crusades period. It was devised to be played by four players, though a two or three player game is entirely possible; in the event of a three player game I suggest that the Franks are played by one player (the Franks have less units).

The scenario is based on the premise that the Franks are launching a large scale raid into Saracen territory with the object of pillaging two large and prosperous villages. Unfortunately for the Franks, their plan has become known to the Saracens and their ambition will be forcefully opposed.

Each of the forces (x4) comprises 90 points worth of troops - it's a raid not a full sized battle. However, the Saracens have had to pay 10 points (2 for each village section) for five camps and these form the basis of the scenario - hopefully they will be too tempting for the Franks to resist. Each camp adds a victory medal to the Saracens VM pool, so the points have not been wasted but, they have been double costed to reflect the semi-fortified nature of the 'camps' being sited in buildings. If lost, each camp will cause the loss of 3 VM - very tempting for the Franks!

The Battlefield has been laid out on a twelve by six table. The box size is 200mm x 200mm: 18 by 9 boxes overall. 

The new stylised terrain, including some virgin stream sections, looks very angular but works a treat in game terms.

The Franks (right) will deploy one command first, anywhere up to two boxes in; then the Saracens (left) can deploy a command anywhere up to three boxes in; and so on until all four commands have been deployed.

The Franks will move first.

The terrain definition sheet, just so everyone knows what is what. The biggest changes to the basic rule definitions are that light cavalry struggle in difficult terrain (because horses don't really like rough ground), and I treat 'town' boxes differently. Oh, BLOS stands for Blocks Line Of Sight [beyond box], and high means hills or town boxes.

Franks. Player1.

Command 1. Heroic General: Brother knights; foot sergeants; Turcopoles.

Command 2. Heroic General: Knights; 2 foot sergeants; Armenian light cavalry.

1 munitions chit.

5 points of discretionary spend.

Franks. Player 2.

Command 1. Heroic General: Knights; foot sergeants; crossbowmen (light infantry); turcopoles.

Command 2. Heroic General: Knights; 2 foot sergeants; turcopoles.

5 points of discretionary spend.

Saracens. Player1.

Command 1. Heroic General: Ghulam cavalry (upgraded); Syrian cavalry; 2 Turcoman horse archers.

Command 2. General: 2 Syrian cavalry; 2 Adhath; 3 archers (light infantry).

4 munitions chits.

4 points of discretionary spend.

Note how I'm choosing to mark commands, upgrades and generals. Units have the usual number bead to indicate which command units belong to; blue beads indicate an upgrade is in effect; yellow beads indicate a general, red beads indicate him being heroic. I've stopped using more colours than than this - see more about this later in this post.

Saracens. Player 2.

Command 1. Heroic General: Ghulam cavalry (upgraded); Syrian cavalry; 2 Turcoman horse archers; Adhath; 2 archers (light infantry).

Command 2. General: 1 Syrian cavalry; 2 Turcoman horse archers.

4 munitions chits.

4 points of discretionary spend.

Each player will get to choose how to use a small amount of discretionary spend (4 or 5 points). This can be used to upgrade units, or buy heroes or munition chits.
I have recently changed the way units are marked. In our last game I used beads of various colours to denote troop types. However, I thought this was cumbersome and decided to only use one blue bead in this game to mark units that have been upgraded. If a unit has a blue bead it is easy to see what the upgrade means by simply referring to the blue highlighted upgrade in the army lists.

All other upgrades (highlighted pink) are merely stated as being in effect and generally effect a whole troop type: For instance, all knights can be stated to be impetuous or ferocious. No troops in this game have a stated upgrade but might have at the players choice - upgrading to Impetuous is a freebie, guys!
The Syrian army list sheet is laid out in exactly the same way.

You will also notice that each list comes with period specific notes and rule amendments for the army.
My quick reference sheet is also a little different to the one that comes with the rules.

I have made several small changes here, most notably to some saving throws and to ammunition chits - the latter having been entirely removed from the game and replaced by a simple rule mechanism. I removed ammunition chits because they look rubbish on the table and because, for this period, there are simply too many units that need to carry them around: things still go out of ammo, just in a different way. For other games, like the Punic Wars, I'll stick to ammunition chits, mostly because of the javelin armed troops, and the fact that there are far fewer shooters.

Anyway, there it is, a very simple scenario for Wednesday night.