Monday, 16 January 2017

Blood in the Sand : 350 BC Campaign

I have been thinking about setting up and running a narrative based ancient campaign for a while. Mainly to provide a background and framework for my Greek/ancients to get more time on the table and to allow a wider range of scenarios to be played without any strict historical constraints. This will also allow me to collect pretty much any ancient forces, troops and characters I like and feed them into battles as I wish. Like all good ideas  I don't know where this will take me, how complex it will become or how long it will last. But nothing ventured nothing gained. Countries and regions will initially be based on some historical context as outlined on the following two maps. Whilst the rest may have some vague association with historical events this is likely to be pure chance, after all the historical sources of this period are pretty thin in reality.
I am not sure yet how I will record the campaign or how it will progress....only the inevitable passing of time will tell. As a time period it will be based loosely around 350 BC, a time when almost any ancient forces could appear on the battlefield, from spearmen and hoplites to chariots and elephants. A time when Kings and ancient rulers would send out expeditionary forces to conquer neighbouring lands. To enslave populations or to redress some previous slight. A time when alliances were made only to be broken and when the favour of the gods or a bad omen could cause a conflict to be started or stopped. A time when famine and food were important triggers for conflict but when treasure, wealth and reputation were often more so. There is little peace at this time but much BLOOD IN THE SAND as individual Countries and States seek to build their own future and history.........and so the story begins.............

Sunday, 15 January 2017

The Kingdom of Men : Kings of War

We haven't had a large fantasy game in the dungeon for a while, partly I suspect as I don't have a 'campaign framework' in which to play them. However, it is nice to get them out occasionally, the Kings of War Rules allow you to do this whilst the WHFB are just too complex for occasional pick up battles.

So without more ado, we played a Kingdom of Men vs Abyssal Dwarves/evil creature things. KoW is not for the feint hearted as a bad roll can see whole regiments disappear in an instance. We fielded 2200 point armies.......which is quite a lot for your 'money' 🙂
The Kingdom of Men marching out to battle !

Using the random scenarios in the rule book our first battle was an attempt to capture loot or treasure and get it back to our own base line.

Lots of solid infantry types, lined up and ready for battle
They have also got some hard hitting knights, cannons and a fair bit of ranged weaponry.
Up against them are stone troll thingies, abyssal dwarves, dragon ogre thingies, beasts, harpies and loads of other evil looking stuff
Undecided what to do and on the basis that attack is as good as defence the knights charge headlong into the enemy/objective if they bounce off we're going to be in trouble.
However, it was just one of those games where the first charge was completely devastating, and in a couple of turns with a couple of failed nerve tests the evil boys were done for all their big hitting units had fled !........the Kingdom of Men had hardly broken sweat. Yes the abyssal dwarf lord is riding a very large monster, with an even bigger base ! But he had lost his army pretty much in three turns.
So we had time to reset and played a second game with domination of the central part of the battlefield being the objective, having learnt their lesson everybody was more careful and this proved a very close battle, unfortunately my iPad battery died so I didn't get many pictures 😩
This is the start of the second battle but after a very close contest almost every thing was dead.....
Some of my knights being pulverised....literally by stone troll thingies.....

When we totalled up the victory points it turned out to be a very close draw, the evil boys slightly ahead but nowhere near the 10% they needed for a win. Fun games, nice to get my empire army on the table and I'm going to try an ogre based army next time we play.....😀

Saturday, 14 January 2017

WIP Ruined Buildings and the Lead Mountain grows

Been busy at work so not enough painting, but I have had these Warlord ruined buildings for ages sat in a box unmade. Finally got them stuck together....just need some more rubble on the bases and then painting, they are slightly smaller than some of my other buildings but that should not be a problem when they are spread out on the battlefield.
 The postman also added to my Lead mountain this morning. Black tree were doing one of their half price sales on ancient infantry so I couldn't resist. Some immoral type persian infantry, and some more generic Persian/Eastern European spearmen.

Thursday, 12 January 2017

The Second Battle for New Inn Green : Operation Sealion

Before Christmas the German Fallschirmjagers had failed in the early hours of S day to take New Inn Green. A dispersed parachute drop in the darkness had prevented them from adequately concentrating their forces quickly enough and the British had been able to hold the strategic cross roads. German orders have been passed up the line however that the cross roads must be taken by the end of day one to secure the bridgehead and prevent further allied reinforcements being brought into the Hythe and Folkestone Areas.

To this end troops from the 21st Infantry Regiment who landed at dawn near Hythe have been pushed forward up the A20 to support a second attack, the local German command are hoping that the now reinforced Fallschirmjagers will push through the British defence. Of course during the lull in fighting the British have been reinforcing their position and have called up reserves. Rather than hold the cross roads itself the allies have pulled back to a defensive hedge line just to the north of the A20.

We played a fairly straight forward envelopment scenario from the bolt action rule book, giving the Germans 6 or 7 turns to break through. The pressure was on as fresh troops continue to land on the Hythe beaches ........they need this cross roads secured !
The British defensive positions around 12:30am on S day, they have cleared away the debris from the first battle and have dug in along the hedge rows to the north of the village. Allied reserves will be entering from the north mainly down the B2068 from Canterbury.
The Germans have managed to bring significant additional troops up from the beaches. Including the first Panzer IV to rumble across Kent!
Despite an initial bombing run by the Luftwaffe the troops advance cautiously using what cover they can from their own tanks. 
The allies are at this stage still dug in with hidden deployment.
Further west the Fallschirmjager have regrouped, but they are also reluctant to push ahead in the open, whilst they haven't yet seen the allies they know they are there, instead they choose to advance through the buildings and back gardens using cover where they can. A Pak 36 has been set up on the road to cover any advance.
The first allied reinforcements arrive.......two Bren Gun carriers (of course😀) these charge down the road looking for targets, not realising that the British are dug in at the hedge they head for the cross roads ! The third carrier is delayed and doesn't turn up for several hours.
As the Carriers head south towards the cross roads they can see the advancing Germans in the distance, they pause to decide their options
They immediately come under fire down the street but luckily the incoming fire is poorly aimed and only whistles past harmlessly. German infantry are now in the main street pushing forward.
German PzIVD advances slowly and cautiously forward, perhaps they have already realised that the allies have no weapons on hand that can penetrate the Panzer armour.
In the trees a Vickers looks on slightly forlornly, firing its,machine gun at the following infantry hoping the Panzer doesnt see it, luckily the Panzer is more intent on breaking through the British defence line and recognising the British tank is no threat ignores it.
The heavily armoured Panzer breaks out into the open ground north of the A20' German infantry are still advancing using the tank as cover, the battle at the far side of the village is less dramatic with only sporadic engagements.
The thin line of British infantry supported by machine guns dug in along the hedge open fire, but their only hope is to slow the advance as they have no weapons capable of impacting the Panzer.
We use a random event generator and at this critical moment the British orders were intercepted...........and the Vickers Tank was ordered to head west along the A20 towards Folkestone ! The cow simply can't believe it is being left undefended !
The British infantry are beginning to feel the ground shake..........
.....and as soon as the German infantry is in a position to assault the British defence line the breakthrough is achieved.
The remaining British infantry and Carriers are brought over to attempt to close the gap but despite them pouring fire across the hedge it has little impact on the veteran german Fallschirmjager who are in the second wave of the German advance. In the distance the Pak36 can be seen burning having been hit by a lucky mortar round earlier in the battle.
Major Matt Johnson looks on at the remnants of the British line and calls a general retreat, recognising that the Germans have broken through and can't now be held at this line. Jumping into the nearest Carrier he pulls his forces back towards Canterbury to regroup.

Another excellent hard fought battle, the Germans gained a minor victory but it was clear they had broken through. The Germans had concentrated almost all their forces in one sector which was appropriately schwerpunkt. The British had no answer to the Pz IV something the Major needs to feed back up the line quickly. Next scheduled Sealion battle is an all day affair at the end of January 😀

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Age of the Wolf : Saga Campaign

To kick the year off and to encourage some more Dark Age gaming in the dungeon we have started an Age of the Wolf campaign. I bought the book sometime last year but hadn't really gone through it in detail.
 Without going into every detail the campaign system provides a fairly open structure to allow standard SAGA battles to be played and the result of these to develop your Warband as appropriate. Like some other campaign systems you start off with a standard Warband and warlord which is then modified with a range of randomly generated traits and motivation. The system then has a fairly neat way of setting the Warband against each other to generate the battles as each Warband chooses to Raid, Campaign or Defend in a particular campaign season.

To give some variety we created 4 Warbands, Anglo-Danes, Normans, Saxons and Vikings, each with their own Warlord. We then set up the first campaign season and our first battle was a Raid between the Normans and the Anglo-Danes. As both warbands were 'raiding' the battle randomly generated was a scouting encounter. This allowed both warbands to have a single unit on the battlefield and other units would only enter gradually over the next few turns.
The Normans in their usual style charged ahead with heavily armoured knights.....ordered forward by their leader Duke Baldwin de Mesniel. As they scout around the wood in the centre of the battlefield all they can see is a small group of bowmen, hugely over enthusiastic they charge forward but some well aimed arrows bring three of them is possible Baldwin had forgotten the difference between Lion Rampant and SAGA !
Duke Baldwin then enters the battlefield with more knights and brings forward his warriors, one units of which is armed with cross bows.
On the other side of the battlefield Aelfrick the Anglo-danish Warband takes a more careful approach keeping his Warband together. He is accompanied by his personal priest (a special rule allowing the removal of some fatigue if needed). By this stage in the battle the bowmen have been whittled down.
Duke Baldwin is determined to get his armoured knights into the battle but can't quite make up his mind which side of the wood to charge. The delays allow the Anglo-Danes to build up the fatigue on the Norman cavalry which gradually starts to limit their mobility.
Eventually, almost exhausted with horses blown Baldwin has worked his way around the rear of the enemy but just as he is about to order his knights into the charge his horse stumbles exhausted, and Aelfrick notices the danger, turning around he charges in with his Hearthguard. Despite his armour Baldwin is taken down, in the end his seriously wounded body is carried off the battlefield.

A good win for the Anglo-Danes....we then rolled up some new troops and the usual end of turn campaign type actions. Our next battle in a couple of weeks.......😀 for those who are interested here is a copy of the roster sheet which is available free from Gripping Beast, I am keeping these electronically so we can update them.

Saturday, 7 January 2017

Bren Gun Carrier Section : Operation Sealion

After the festivities of Christmas and New Year it has taken a bit of time to settle back into things. These Carriers were a present  from Father Christmas easy to make and paint. Each is fitted with two light machine guns but they can also carry Boyes anti tank guns and mortars.
I got a bit bored trying to find the right markings so went with what looked right ? These have so many uses I expect they will be on the table quite a bit towing guns, transporting small infantry units to the action or acting as fire support. The are Warlord, picked up at a discount of £8.50 each. If you look carefully I have swopped a few arms and heads, and scrapped off the netting/camo off the helmets which didn't look right for my 1940 battles.
Here they are in action with Vickers Tanks 😀

Saturday, 31 December 2016

Christmas Vikings : Lion Ramapant

We managed to get one game in the Dungeon over Christmas.....and as my son is currently catching up on the Amazon Vikings series he asked if we could play a raid. We had a simple set up, raid scenario........
Ragnar jumps off the longboat and heads his force into the village 
Berserkers charge ahead , fuel by mushrooms and excess christmas pudding !
The Vikings have a solid core of warriors 
The Saxon villages have come out on mass to send the norsemen home
Saxon leader getting a bit too close to the front line
The last berserkers are cut down by the Lords bodyguard
We had to have a challenge as the Vikings were running out of troops
Oh no Ragnar is knocked to the ground....he can't be dead with three more series to run !
The final combat.......

A fun game and my last post for 2016.... to my loyal followers have a great new year and hope for more fun and many more battles in the new year 😀😀😀