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 πŸ˜€πŸ˜€πŸ˜€

Two down and still lots to go : Persian Spearmen

Being slightly tired of festive fun I have been spending slightly longer in the dungeon painting up the second unit of Wargames Factory Persians. These are once again fairly generic Iranian/Persian Spearmen. It's fun being able to make up the colours pretty much how you want !
Not sure what they are doing wandering around what looks like the Lake District ? But this is my new photo background.......I do need a desert version. We have had at least one game in the dungeon over Christmas so will blog this soon.

Monday 26 December 2016

One down lots more to do : Persians that is πŸ˜€

So between turkey, walking dogs, presents and family stuff I have had plenty of time to get on and complete my first unit of Persians. I have started with some generic spearmen types in fairly plain colours who could easily find themselves as mercenaries in one or other armies. They are Wargames Factory persians with different shields and Aventine spears/Javelins. The colour scheme came straight from an illustration on the web.....but having looked about and checked out lots of sources it is pretty clear there are few limitations on what Persian troops and allies could/would look like. For the shields I have also kept them generic, I plan to add some more characteristic Kardakes later with Hoplites shields etc.
Next I will probably tackle the larger Spabara/archer unit ? Depending on how I feel I might add a bit more detail on these guys at a later date .......πŸ˜€

Saturday 24 December 2016

Mantinea 418 BC : Kings of War Historical

The final battle in the Dungeon before Christmas as nothing planned today, and I was keen to get the newly painted Spartan unit on the battlefield. I have just enough (yes you can always have more) Greeks to stage the battle. My main source for the battle is Fred Eugene's 5th Century Land Battles book which is a great start point for all the Peloponnesian Wars. Ps I apologise for the spellchecker which keeps changing words 😑

Anyway a bit of background.....Agis the Spartan king had set forth in August 418 B.C. with one of the largest Spartan armies ever. His intention to link up with Corinthian allies at Mantinea. Recognising the potential overwhelming threat the Argives sought to intercept the force before it linked up. After an initial false start where both armies faced off but pulled back, as history would have it almost at spear point! The Spartans moved into Tegea and sought to mess about with the countries water and drainage system (not sure this bit would be much fun to do on the tabletop ?) the Argives seeing the risk this would pose in the winter moved rapidly to attack the Spartan force. According to the sources Agis was caught slightly by surprise as they moved out of wooded foothills onto the plain where they were faced by the Argive and Allied army.

I have roughly labelled the forces as they are set out in the picture above. The key bits to note are the Athenian cavalry all on one flank, the gap left between the main Spartan force and their left wing, who are in danger of being isolated. Agis is in a central position and has his own elite troops and the King's bodyguard in the line. The Argive force is predominately Hoplites.

Agis the Spartan king surveys his battleline ordering a general advance.
Mantinea 418 BC Spartans on the left, Argive army on the right.
To the sound of Spartan flute music Agis moves his entire force forward. The gap left by the hurried deployment is an immediate issue forcing his left wing to turn inwards dangerously exposing its left. The usual skirmish exchange takes place with stones and short range arrow fire, but this has limited impact on the advancing hoplites.
The two battle lines clash with the Argives getting the charge in first. This shouldn't be an issue for the Spartan forces surely 😬
In the foreground the Athenian light cavalry attempts to disturb the Spartan right wing and although this holds the lighter peltast troops back the elites ignore the javelins and push through the line rarrrrrrr.... or some such Spartan exclaim ! In the distance though the Sciritae are unnerved by the opening gap (as I understand it these are periocoecian troops from northern Sparta) they take a massive hit from the Tegean Hoplite phalanx and flee the battlefield. Suddenly the Spartan left flank looks dangerously weak ☹️️
Worse is to come for the Spartans as the elite troops protecting the king have wildly thrown themselves in the fray. They have been charged by some of the best Argive Hoplites and despite the close proximity of their king they rout (I like to think they were cut down to a man protecting Agis himself...they can't have routed! ). This leaves a huge gap in the Spartan centre with the King himself exposed. Luckily in this rule set the Spartan king is in effect a mini unit on its own so he can take a few knocks.
Agis the king in the middle of the hottest part of the battle rarrrrrrrr.......cheer the Spartans again !
The centre is now clearly the crux of the battle and who wind here will take the field. After several rounds of combat the Spartan unit closest to the king is dangerous weakened..........
But just in time the second unit of Argive Hoplites fails its nerve and runs from the battle, this leaves the the other Spartan phalanx to move to attack from the flank. This was the turning point and you can see the Spartans are wavering, only maintaining their nerve with the close support of the king.
In the foreground the Spartan light troops have finally got the better of the Athenian light cavalry and chased it off.
Agis in true Spartan king style still close to the action urges the remaining Hoplites to push forward.
The central battle seen from the right flank (ignore the troops on the far hill...they are dead or fleeing back home)
Finally the last Argive phalanx in the centre was forced to withdraw, allowing the King to turn all his remaining troops, some very weakened form the battle towards the far left this point the Argive General knew the game was up.

A really fun game, with no intention our game reflected the historical events where the Spartan battle line turned to the left to come to the aid of the left wing of the army. This was our first run out with the official KoW historical rules, they are easy to pick up and give a reasonable battle.......but they do lack something for me. I'll use then again when introducing other players to ancients, but we have decided to use WAB for our next game. It was great after lots of skirmish type games to get a 'bigger' battle in the dungeon and we will hopefully see a few more of these in the new year.

Friday 23 December 2016

Happy Christmas : Father Stonewall

Me and Father Stonewall would like to wish all our loyal followers a very Merry Christmas.

We do hope santa brings the toys you were hoping for and that packet under the tree doesn't turn out to be another shaving kit when what you really wanted was Carthagian war's hoping πŸ˜€

Thursday 22 December 2016

Battle for New Inn Green : Operation Sealion

Getting closer to Christmas but I managed to get another Operation Sealion Battle played. The German Fallschirmjager have dropped inland of the main landing beaches between Folkestone and Dymchurch. The German Invasion planners have identified key day one objectives, these include a number of crossroads to protect the developing bridgehead and to prevent the British bringing reserves into the area.

One of these crossroads is at New Inn Green. The Germans have attempted to drop troops by parachute and glider to the north on the open ground of Westernhanger Racecourse and to the south in open ground close to Folks Wood. Intelligence indicates the area is being held by troops from the 2nd London Brigade.  The strong platoon of Fallschirmjager has been given a clear objective to remove any resistance at the cross roads and hold it until the main troops can reach them from the beach, but as the first troops on the ground they only have limited anti tank support.

Reinforcements from the 2nd London have been held back to counterattack and are expected to arrive from either the north B2068 from Canterbury or west down the A20 from Ashford.

But the predawn drop has not gone quite as planned, with transport planes being forced off course by coastal anti-aircraft guns, the paratroopers have been scattered, this means the German commander will have to choose between early but random deployment or a delayed but more organised assault ! Fallschirmjager will enter from the orange markers, the British reinforcements have a similar choice to enter from the blue markers, early but randomly or wait to enter from turn two in a more organised counter attack.
An early morning shot of the village around the crossroads, the New Inn is on the right. The British contingent to hold the objective consists of a heavy machine gun in the newly built pill box and an infantry squad who are currently in the pub ! During the last few days the defenders have put in place road blocks but these are more check points rather than a barrier to an invasion force.
Let's hope the guys in the pill box are awake....the unsuspecting cows graze as normal
The German commander immediately chose to bring on all his forces in the first turn, this meant they would be dispersed but would potentially have more turns to get to the objective. The British split their force with their armoured vehicles in turn one with infantry then following up from turn two.
Oberleutnant Schmidt surveys the objective, whilst he has a good map it is immediately obvious that his main challenge will be the dispersal of his forces which come on from almost all different directions. Perhaps the biggest problem being the bulk of his infantry having to enter from the opposite direction to himself. Luckily the pre drop briefings have been thorough and the veteran paratroopers immediately get on with the task in hand.
One unit of Fallschirmjager having landed on the racecourse, make their way towards the village centre through a corn field, currently all seems quiet !
But the invasion church bells have been rung and all nearby British units are being ordered to the location, first on the scene are a Vickers tank, an armoured CS9 car and a Matilda Mk 1. Although lightly armoured and arriving in an uncoordinated way, they are each packing automatic weapons. Also arriving on the scene are some reinforcements who have cycled down the road from Stanford.
The Fallschirmjager have started to edge forward but immediately come under fire and they are caught between pushing on and going down to avoid unnecessary casualties. The solid stone walls of the nearby farm house provide valuable cover.
From the SW of the village the bulk of the Fallschirmjager have made it to the edge of the village, but they seem less than keen to rush forward in the open and look to use the cover of the nearby village buildings.
After considerable effort the first Germans have broken through the Silver Moon Cafe onto the main high street.
The British on the road are spreading out, but they are not getting it all their own way, the reserve cyclists foolishly ride out from their cover only to be hit full on by medium machine gun fire and wiped out ! And out of shot they are coming under intense medium mortar fire.
To the North the Germans are still pinned down they have managed to drag their Pak36 through the field hoping to knock out the British armoured vehicles, but they take a direct hit from a light British mortar killing the crew.
The Vickers tank has moved forward to protect the crossroads, whilst in the background you can see the infantry squad from the pub have finally woken up and have charged out to finish off the remainder of the paratroopers who had entered from the cornfield.
Finally the advanced Fallschirmjager unit have nearly made it to the crossroads, armed with grenades they hope to take out the Vickers.
This was the high point for the Germans as they failed to knock out the Vickers and at this point although the Oberleutnant has made it into the building on the left he decided to pull back from the objective.
An atmospheric shot of the German highpoint in New Inn Green

So at this point is was clear that although the crossroads was contested, the Germans weren't going to secure the objective and they would have to pull back and await additional heavy support from forces currently landing on the beaches near Hythe.

Always hard to get scenarios just right and balanced, and in this case we didn't get it quite right. It was a little too tough for the Germans, I think I needed to hold the British reserves for another turn. Although during our post-battle analysis we couldn't decide if the Germans would have been better holding off one turn so they could choose their entry point but allow a more concentrated attack. The benefit is we have automatically generated the next scenario, as the Brits dig in and the Germans bring up more heavy reserves to take the crossroads.

Santa is bringing some Sealion reserves so watch this space πŸ˜€

An extra photo.......strictly not sure the FJ did carry antitank guns but is was obviously possible if not common......think this photo is from Crete 41

Monday 19 December 2016

NOT the Analogue Painting Challenge

That's right I'm not in the challenge.....I just don't need to put myself under that sort of pressure. I know a few people who are so will watch with interest. However, I have been prepping Persians ! I have had two boxes of the Wargames Factory plastic Persians for ages and wanted something different to work on. After spending many hours working out what combination of options I could make I got to sticking, this was a bigger job than I had expected but these guys are now off to be sprayed in the garage. I am really looking forward to painting them and have been checking and sourcing colour schemes.
Clearly you have to be slightly mad to start a persian army...but if you don't start you won't finish. The first couple of units are likely to play as mercenaries for one or other Greek city states. There are actually 4 units above which will hopefully become clearer when they have some paint.

Tuesday 13 December 2016

Battle for the Bridge : LOTR Dragon Rampant

Regular readers may spot a similarity in the terrain for this one ? I don't always get to tidy up before the next game. Anyway I have discovered a potential new gamer at work and encouraged them round to the dungeon a couple of times. This weekend we stepped up his education to a slightly larger game of Dragon Rampant using my Lord of The Rings figures.

A simple set up with the Witch King and Boromir facing up to capture a river crossing. With 34 points each it made a reasonable sized battle with enough scale, but we managed to get through in a couple of hours. Once again I didn't take enough photos near the end......will try harder next timeπŸ˜₯
After a couple of turns both armies have made it to the bridge, but the two units, Uruk hai and Gondor spearmen don't want to rush in, we had declared the open water as impassible so the troll....more thoughtful than normal can't decide whether to make for the bridge or cross further upstream ? The witch king has Fast moving Warg riders on both flanks but they have the wild charge rule.
The Gondorian cavalry is on the right flank but is holding back in case they are pulled into a wild charger as well
A test shot for a new bit of scenic background from the railway shop, if you get the light right it will look ok.
The wargs have charged across the river only to be stopped and then beaten back......
The troll and the Uruk's with swords have also rushed the river. Gondors' finest charge in to push them back. This they do after a couple of turns but they have paid the price....
And the Witch King destroys the final two, the troll has limped back across the river heavily wounded and when he does get back into combat he is easily killed.
Not sure why I stopped photos here ? Some Rohirrim light cavalry archers have been holding the left flank and they manage to see off the remaining wargs..............from here the Gondorian spearmen rushed the bridge and looked to outflank the orcs, in the end almost nothing was left but despite being heavily wounded Boromir on his own held the bridge. The Witch King had been killed in a puff of black mist !

It was a very fun game which really swung backwards and forwards several new gamer may now be hooked 😈 and thinking of what they could collect.