Society Meeting 11/06/2022

A bit later than planned, but here’s a brief photo roundup of the games staged at our meeting on June 11th.

Field of Glory, 6mm Ancients.

Sword & Spear (15mm) – Wars of the Roses

Star Wars Armada

Work in Progress Wednesday

Jeremey has briefly been sidelined, so Tony F takes over the WIP Wednesday reins this week.

The club’s gone relatively quiet lately – obviously everyone’s efforts went into the jubilee ! However, there has still been some progress – Mark J has employed his magnifying glass for his 6mm Saxons (above), then broke out the electron microscope for some 2mm Antonine for Strength and Honour, which are based on perspex.

Warbases’ 2mm Roman Legion (Mark J)

Marcus meanwhile has been working on some 28mm Spy-fi and 15mm Sci-fi miniatures.

The initial stages of some 28mm Spy-fi from Marcus (who, like Bond, seems to have an eye for the ladies !).
15mm Sci-fi from Marcus – mostly Brigade Models but with the odd interloper.

Jeremey has been converting a Copplestone figure to act as his Stargrave crew’s first mate.

Jeremey has named this image ‘Avon’ – a nod to the Blake’s 7 character perhaps ?

And finally, something from me – these were missed from the last WIP Wednesday post (about which I’m not bitter at all…) but since I’m in charge this week, I’m putting them in. First, it’s more additions to my Middle Earth armies – half-a-dozen elf spearmen to accompany the cavalry I painted a few weeks ago.

Six Rivendell elf spearmen

Next is my take on Radagast the Brown – it’s not either of the official GW figures which are rather expensive, but a Conquest Miniatures hedge witch. I added a bird from an OOP Celtos figure which is positioned as if the wizard is talking to it, painted up as a falcon.

Talking to the birds…

And to round things off, another small piece of 6mm desert terrain, an oasis made from 3mm Foamex, a sand/paint/PVA texture, cheap palm trees from eBay and clear PVA for the water.

Water, water everywhere.

Society Meeting 14/05/2022

In addition to the Stargrave game previously reported, there were two other games run at this meeting, both using rulesets new to the Society from from Two Fat Lardies .

First up the 6mm Ancients players tried out the Strength and Honour rules with a couple of games involving Roman and Pontic armies.

Our members collections are primarily based for Field of Glory / DBM, so for this trial game Perspex bases were used to reflect the bases sizes in Strength & Honour.

The left of the Roman Battle Line
Pontics on the left, Romans on the right
Roman Legions form up
Pontic pike phalanxes
Pontic scythed chariot supported by cavalry and clibanarii
View from the Roman lines
Pontic phalanxes with skirmisher supports
Clash of cavalry, Pontic Clibanarii against lighter Roman cavalry
Infantry lines get into the fray

The first game was a narrow Pontic victory, the second was a Roman walkover.

Some members are also building some armies in 2mm for these rules on the regulation bases, here’s a Roman legion arrayed in the triplex acies:

Trial basing for 2mm figures.

The second game to feature a new ruleset was an early WW2 game using “O” Group rules. This featured a British advance on German positions, and ended in a German victory as the British failed to inflict enough damage on the Germans.

The battlefield in the lull before the storm
German officer giving orders
Two Matilda II tanks advance
German Pak 36
German Pak 36
British infantry advance
Matilda IIs with infantry support
Germans take cover behind the hedge.
British infantry also take cover
German heavy weapons, le.IG 18 75mm Infantry Support Gun in the forground. Pak 36 in the background

Finally, a few pictures from the Stargrave game that didn’t make the game report.

Tony’s crew advance
A cyber enhanced critter, the bane of Andy’s crew
Andy’s sniper takes position to cover the flank

Work In Progress Wednesday

A tad late today, sorry folks, but here’s the latest update on member’s painting.

First off, Stephen is painting up some sample packs to test the waters on a couple of projects he’s been umming and ahhing about for the last year or so.

Above you can see some 15mm ECW Scots from Peter Pig.

He’s also trying to find his WW2 mojo, he’s undecided on figure size, but wants to focus on infantry actions rather than tanks.

First off we have some Warlord Games 28mm Late war British infantry, a recent free sprue from one of the wargames magazines.

WW2 British

And changing size, some Russians based up for Crossfire, also from Peter Pig.

WW2 Russians, for Crossfire

Eric continues to work on some Games Workshop figures, a chaos marauder and cultist:

Chaos Marauder & Cultist.
Chaos Marauder & Cultist

Mark has been working on his 6mm Saxon 1809 army, Ist Corp division Generallieutenant Polentz, brigade Generalmajor Lecog, Prinze Celement, von Low and von Cerrini regiments. Basic uniform colour and regimental facings done, flesh, weapon, knapsack and bases to do, you can see the rest of the division in the background including some cuirassiers

Saxon 1st Corp, division Generallieutenant Polentz

That’s all folks, we’ll be back next week.

Are These The Droids You’re Looking For?

Over the last 12 months or so Phil and I have been assembling a variety of figures and vehicles – mostly repurposed toys – aimed at playing Star Wars games in 15mm (many of them have turned up in WIP Wednesday posts).

The Christmas meeting seemed like the ideal time to give them their debut, so I put together a simple scenario. I’d been unsure about what rules to use – I had a copy of the classic West End Games Star Wars miniatures rules as one option and another idea was to modify Games Workshop’s Middle Earth rules since they deal with heroes very effectively (using the magic rules to represent The Force). But I had an idea when I lined up some figures during painting – all of the figures were in squads of ten, which happens to be the same size as a crew in Stargrave. We’ve played a number of games since those were released, including during lockdowns when the club was unable to meet, so everyone was familiar with them which made them the ideal choice.

Figures
All of the figures in this game were from Highlander Studios in the US. For the five players we had two squads of Rebel troopers, two of Imperial stormtroopers and one of Jawas. There were also a few figures from the hero packs, including the droids and a couple of smugglers. The Jawas’ Ronto beast was a Galoob action fleet toy.

Buildings and Scenery
All of the buildings were put together by Phil from the Brigade Models 15mm Desert and Advanced Buildings ranges. The various walls and clutter around the buildings were also by Brigade. Some of the scatter terrain came from Debris of War. The desert mat came from Tiny Wargames.

Vehicles
The vehicles are sourced from a variety of toys and model kits. The Imperial stormtroopers flew in on a Galoob shuttle while the Rebels used a Revell U-Wing. The droids’ escape pod was also from Galoob, along with the skiff. The Falcon was another toy, it’s actually the wrong version (it’s from Solo and has the square radar) but I wasn’t too fussed about that, after all it looks like what it’s supposed to be, besides being much cheaper than any alternative I could find ! Luke’s landspeeder was a diecast model sourced from eBay, unfortunately I can’t remember the brand name. All of them came pre-painted, so were just given a wash of thinned black-brown acrylic mixed with Johnson’s floor polish, followed by a coat of Army Painter spray varnish – it’s amazing how this simple technique turns a toy into a scale model.

Scenario

Click for a larger version

The game is set at the start of the original Star Wars:A New Hope movie. R2-D2 and C-3PO have been ejected in an escape pod over Tatooine to keep them out of Imperial clutches, but here the story changes slightly. The Tantive IV has somehow evaded capture and has now despatched a shuttle full of Rebel troopers in a desperate bid to recover them. The Imperial Star Destroyer also spotted the pod, and sent down their own landing party to investigate. Both craft came down a short distance apart on the outskirts of Mos Eisley.

The game was intended for five players – two Rebels, two Imperials and myself playing the Jawas while also acting as a vaguely impartial umpire.

The players needed to search the buildings to find the droids – but there were other things in the buildings besides Artoo and Threepio. Each building had a random set of inhabitants, including Rebel sympathisers, Imperial loyalists and a pair of smugglers – plus the droids of course. Although I randomly rolled each time one of the buildings was searched, things were ‘fixed’ so that the droids would be in the last building to be searched.

The Rebels came out of the traps much more quickly than the stormtroopers – their lightly armoured figures moved slightly faster – and began searching the first buildings straightaway. They uncovered a pair of Imperial loyalists in the first building but made short work of them. However, nearby firing upset the Ronto which stampeded, and one Rebel squad ended up in a firefight with some Jawas (which inevitably ended badly for the locals).

The Imperials slow-but-steady approach saw them unearthing some Rebel sympathisers, whose appearance was brief as they disappeared under a hail of fire. The two forces were by now engaging each other, and the slightly better armour and longer-ranged weapons of the Stormtroopers began to be significant. They unearthed a pair of Sabacc-playing smugglers – Han and Chewie made a dash for the Falcon (obviously wishing to avoid any ‘Imperial entanglements’) but Han was immediately gunned down as they tried to cross the square. Chewie’s bowcaster dealt out some measure of revenge, but eventually the Wookie went down too.

By now the Rebels were searching the last building, and found the two droids. All they had to do was return them to their U-Wing and get off planet. However, they had taken more losses than the Imperials in getting to this point and numbers began to tell. One by one the Rebels were picked off by the steadily advancing line of Stormtroopers, until there was one Rebel trooper left. He got the droids virtually to the U-Wing’s ramp but fell at the final hurdle, allowing the Empire to snatch victory at the last.

Wars of the Roses – 1st Battle of St Albans – Battle Report

This is the first battle report in what will be a long standing campaign to re-fight the Wars of the Roses. Details can be found on the campaign page. Stephen takes us through the first battle (with commentary from Jeremey)

First Battle of St Albans
Well, our first Wars of the Roses battle in a campaign to re-fight all of the major battles – First St Albans.
Jeremey’s plan is that we set up the historical battlefield, but after that it’s up to each commander. So not a true re-fight so much as just sharing the same battlefield, so keep that in mind. There’s positives and negatives to that approach, like there is to any other way of re-fighting a battle, but that is the approach we agreed on so that’s what we are going with.
(Jeremey – using a standard ruleset to refight an historic battle is almost impossible. I set the campaign up to just give the flavour of each of the major battles. Hence the only significance of the First battle of St Albans being that one players deployment was a defensive one on the edge of the town).

I had the Duke of Somerset in charge of my army. Since it was going to essentially be an attack and defend scenario (with me defending St Albans) I decided to use my army points prudently and spent a bit on militia archers (as well as retinue troops) to make the points go further. I decided I would keep them static, behind stakes for a bit of extra protection, and use retinue troops for any aggressive tactics. I also gave myself a Scottish contingent (yes, we know there were none present at the actual battle – read above for our take on this) of a pike block (protecting the central road into the town) and some light cavalry lancers who I put on the left flank to annoy Jeremey. Experience of using both troop types in previous games meant I wasn’t expecting much out of them. I had the men at arms in the middle, with Somerset, and on the right and left flanks, on the edges of the town, were the billmen and archers. I had quite a long frontage to my battleline thanks to bringing some cheaper troop types (the local militia archers) to bulk the army out.

In contrast, Jeremey had a smaller army that he deployed in two lines, meaning that he would struggle against my flanks. He also had lots of commanders! He obviously had low expectations of his army to follow orders. It looked like he had the whole of Burke’s Peerage on the table.
(Jeremey – In my defence we were expecting to be joined in this battle by other players so I went with more commanders than usual thinking the army would be split into two battles. In the end I spent 210 points out of a 700 point army on commanders!)

For so many commanders he made a slow and ponderous approach. The front line seemed to consist mainly of his archers. Out on my left flank I sent the Scots lancers charging forward. I still wasn’t sure what I was going to do with them. My initial tactic was just to put them somewhere it would annoy Jeremey and he would have to turn troops to face them just in case.
(Jeremey – I must admit I didn’t bother with cavalry thinking Stephen wouldn’t bother either and just pick units to sit and defend the town. They did disrupt my movements towards the town, but then I was making a pigs ear of that anyway!).

But it turned out I had them in quite an advantageous position, looking straight on to the flank of some of his archers. I rolled a couple of 6s so made the choice to send them in.
This set the ball rolling. First blood went to Somerset’s army – the Scots routed a unit of archers! At that point I decided they’d already paid for themselves. Mind you, not too far away were a unit of his armoured men at arms and it was obvious what was going to happen. In they went and off the table went some lancers.
(Jeremey – the loss of the archers and disruption to my line made me think this battle was already over. Given I was already attacking a defensive army with less units, I’d also failed at the simple tactic of using overwhelming force.)

Like I say, this set the tone. Because what happened is that Jeremey was having trouble keeping his two battle lines going. In the middle he moved his crossbows forward, looking straight at the pike block. I knew what would happen if I stayed there – a steady rain of missile fire and the pikes gone for nothing. So I decided to push them forward as fast as I could, plonking a 6 activation dice on them whenever I could to give them an extra move unit to get in quickly.
(Jeremey – I’d finally got the main line of my archers into firing position, but didn’t realise you could not give crossbows a bonus dice or 6 to increase their range. I was hoping to get at least two volley’s off against the enemy before they closed the distance).

I advanced the retinue archers on my extreme left and right flanks to over lap his army, create some oblique fire lanes to keep him in arc as he approached, and see what casualties I could cause before he got to the town.
(Jeremey – this move was what I expected and once the cavalry were dealt with I turned my archers and gave them 6’s or bonus dice and started the archery duel).

Jeremey’s lines got more and more separated. Due to both the Scots lancers, the Scots pike block, and the flanking archers, he was taking casualties and his line was breaking up. He was having to use his best activation dice to keep his line in order, turning this way and that to see off a threat as it came. And all this meant his men at arms and billmen at the back just got left behind.
(Jeremey – In the end I only got one volley off from the crossbows before the pikes got into contact. The missile fire did no damage and the pikes destroyed the crossbow unit. But I was doing better on the flanks with the enemy taking greater loses).

At this point the only troops I had committed to melee were the lancers and pikes, which I ultimately lost, but it also meant I had not sustained any other casualties. By the end of it I had more or less routed all his archers (I think he had one or two units left, but that was about it), one of his commanders was dead (might have been two?), and many other of his units had taken hits. Apart from the pikes and lancers my army was still intact. The two armies had taken similar number of routed units but Jeremey had many more that had taken casualties and were looking weak.
(Jeremey – Although my plan was not going well, I did actually win the archery duel on my left flank. I did have to face the rampaging pike block with some ineffecual missile fire but the casualties suffered by both sides was actually quite even at this point).

(Jeremey – Strangely Stephen’s account seems to be light on details on what happened next. As I mentioned the Yorkist forces had won the archery battle on the left flank and once the pike block had broken through the archers they were headed for my billmen. I still had some badly mauled archery units on the right flank but they were able to get off a few shots).

(Jeremey – I can only assume Stephen missed this bit out of his account because I finally managed to organise my Billmen and charged in against the pikes with an additional unit providing support).

(Jeremey – The resulting fight saw a rare bit of luck for the Yorkist forces in this battle with some appalling dice rolling from Stephen. This saw the pikes destroyed and a chance to redress the Yorkist line).

There then followed a lull in the battle. I moved my flanks a bit further forward, sent some billmen to the right flank to give it a bit of backbone against some advancing men at arms, and moved my men at arms units into the centre where the pikes had been. Meanwhile, Jeremey was ‘re-dressing’ his ranks (moving them to the rear is what he was doing!), sorting out his lines, and getting that rear rank forward.
The final stage of the battle then got underway.

(Jeremey – At this point Stephen had no archers on the left flank and so I took the opportunity to gather my Men at arms and Billmen units into a cohesive force. Casualties at this point were even for both sides with Stephen having a slight advantage due to the number of units he started the battle with).

(Jeremey – With the archers Stephen claims to have destroyed I once again put pressure on the units sitting in the town. This time it was the Men at arms, who getting the hint marched out. Once again I failed to judge their speed and they soon caught up with and destroyed the archers).

(Jeremey – In a reversal of the luck I manged a dreadful roll when trying to stop the advancing Men at arms!).

Jeremey, with army now sorted out, continued his advance on St Albans. There was a push on my right flank as his billmen and men at arms came into conflict with my archers. It went his way. Out on the left things were a bit more static – it seems he still hadn’t fully recovered from the lancers. I moved my archers on the left into arrow range and let rip. He then double timed his infantry to close them into combat as soon as he could. There then followed a surprising victory for my archers.
(Jeremey – It’s funny how sides remember a battle, no melee combat took place on the Lancastrian right for the whole battle. All that took place was an archery duel that the Yorkists won. However on the Lancastrian left I finally got my Billmen and Men at arms into melee against Stephens remaining retinue archers).

They were charged by his plate-armoured men at arms, they drew their hatchets and blades and prepared for the inevitable. However, against the odds (and thanks to some demon dice rolling) the archers prevailed and routed the men at arms (who had been weakened due to bow fire).
(Jeremey – Again as we can see my Men at arms were still standing and with the help of some Billmen punched a hole in the Lancastrian archers. The subsequent round of melee saw all of Stephen’s archers destroyed).

In the middle Somerset ordered his men at arms forward, down the road, to meet the enemy in combat. That was very much the endgame. My men at arms, fresh and ready for battle, charged into what remained of Jeremey’s archers and billmen, taking them out of the game.

With that, it was the end – Jeremey’s army had reached its rout morale level and it was game over. A victory for Somerset!
(Jeremey – I’m calling this a close defeat for me, given my poor deployment and smaller army the final casualties give a different picture to that portrayed by Stephen).

Yorkist Loses
6 Units of Longbows (18 points)
1 Unit of Crossbows (3 points)
1 Unit of Welsh Spearmen (3 points)
2 Units of Billmen (3 points)
Total loses 30 points (Army morale 30 points)

Lancastrian Loses
6 Units of Longbows (18 points)
2 Units of Northern Boarder House (6 points)
1 Unit of Scottish Pikemen (6 points)
Total loses 30 points (Army morale 37 points)

Lancastrian Victory

“Upping The Ante” – A Hammers Slammers Battle Report

Peter dives into the si-fi universe of David Drake.

“…And so, Major Kovacs, PRA Intelligence has confirmed that the rebel fanatics have used their mineral wealth to hire what looks like the whole Ariete Division (some 15,000 men) to back their ludicrous independence claims and rescue their faltering defence. It seems likely that they will try to strike at some of the outlying abandoned mine-workings before heading to the coastal plains, in part to get some more income but also to give our troops a ‘bloody nose’ in the hope that it’ll make the govt sue for peace. It is your mission, therefore, to buy some time whilst we organise a major push – and to show those ‘Arietes’ that Paley is not such an easy proposition!”

Saturday 12th March saw another game set in the SF universe of ‘Hammers Slammers’. The scenario this time was taken from the ‘Paley Campaign’, with rebel forces aided later on by the Mercenary ‘Ariete’ Division to try and turn the civil war in their favour.

The game represented a reinforced probe as ‘Ariete’ began their drive in a pincer aimed at the mining settlement of Smiricky VII, defended by elements of the PRA 7th Armoured Regt. Only short-range recce was available, as the PRA had not inconsiderable AA assets… The forces used were as follows:

Ariete Division, ‘Trieste’ Armoured Regt

2x ‘veteran’ armoured detachments, each of 10x TUs (Tactical Units)

  • Tank platoon = 2x ‘Cougar’ heavy MBTs, +1x ‘King Cougar’ super-heavy MBT
  • Mech infantry platoon = 3x ‘Lynx’ heavy APCs (one with large-calibre ‘close-support’ HE cannon), carrying 1x TU of heavy infantry
  • 1x medium ‘Puma’ tank (with upgraded main weapon and light ATGM)

Commanders

  • Captain Christopher Sime
  • Lt ‘Juan Cornetto’ Treadaway

PRA 7th Cavalry Regiment – ‘The Iron Fist in the Iron Glove’

2x ‘trained’ detachments, each of 15x TUs

  • Tank platoon = 4x F6 ‘Hellcat’ medium MBTs
  • Mechanised infantry platoon = 4x light F20 ‘Tigercat’ APCs, each with 1x TU of assault infantry
  • Support platoon with 2x F4 ‘Wildcat’ (AAA version), and 1x new F35 ‘Sabrecat’ mounting a large ex-naval cone-bore weapon as enhanced anti-tank
  • All vehicles, whilst lighter than their opponents, had decent frontal armour and plenty of anti-tank light ATGMs….

1‘Company HQ’ F100 ‘Top-cat’ which allowed for the redistribution of ‘action points’ between the two sub-commands (the other ‘guard’ vehicles and bridgelayer were just for show – this time).

Neither side had any off-table artillery assets (the PRA has an abundance of multiple-launch semi-guided rocket artillery, like WW2 ‘Katyushas’ or MLRS)

The ‘company HQ’, whilst certainly handy, was also an excuse to put some more nice models out. All of the vehicles were (sort-of) scratch built from other ranges – more of which anon. Meanwhile, what happened….?

Unfortunately, the main PRA player (your erstwhile webmaster, as it happens…) had caught COVID just before the game, and so yours truly had to sub. As the task was a fairly static one, however, with a purely reactive defence, it was not too bad. So, after initial briefings and extremely useful reminders of the key rules by JT, the PRA were deployed in hasty defensive positions across a wide general arc covering the four main roads in to the site. The undoubted qualitative advantage of the Mercenary Arietes – command/control as well as equipment – was offset to an extent by the close terrain and the PRA being in defence.

Captain Sime got off to a good start with his tank platoon crashing through the woods astride the NE track, whilst the armoured infantry skirted to come in from the north. Certainly his three tanks had a good view of the defenders – it’s just that it also worked the other way, as he found to his cost when one of the new self-propelled AT guns sent a (very lucky) round crashing through the side of the lead giant ‘King Cougar’, which promptly exploded!

Whilst this unfortunate set-back had more effect on the player’s morale than overall result, it did lead to a more cautious probing and longer-range ‘softening-up’ of defending infantry bunkers, other PRA vehicles etc (especially the SP/AT!), which in the end was more to the Ariete’s advantage. The PRA main weapons only had a decent chance if they could get some side-armour shots, and so were hoping to ‘mix-it’ when the enemy got closer.

As the Ariete gradually eroded the PRA armour, a late probe by the Heavy APCs almost came to grief when they were caught in a close-range cross-fire from one of the multi-barrelled SP/AAA and hidden PRA tank-hunter infantry in the mine buildings. Sadly by this time the PRA was running short of command points due to earlier losses, so could not afford the luxury of using said CP to enhance shooting, aiming etc, and the ambush came to naught. Well, other than generating lots of – fortunately small calibre – return fire from Chris into the buildings, until ‘Ariete HQ’ tactfully reminded him that they were supposed to not blow the bloody doors off the valuable mine workings……

On the NE flank, again the Ariete got off to a less than sparkling start when Lt Treadaway used a fistful of his command points in an attempt to execute a massed ‘Follow me!’ option, which would have seen half his force roll together as one in an unstoppable steel tide….. However, seems the tide was out that day as John failed the key roll and no-one else followed his lead! Not only that, but a probe down the road by a scout vehicle with an APC as backup came to grief when, having blown up some armoured trucks near the mine workings, they were ‘set-upon’ by another crossfire from the PRA tanks and SPs, from which only the infantry inside the APC survived.

As with the other flank, however, gradually the Ariete worked their way forward through the wooded terrain, taking out first the truly terrifying F35 SP/AT, then each of the PRA heavy armour in turn. There were some close shaves during return fire, and the sky was full of – fortunately – light ATGMs, for a while. In the end, the Ariete was simply too powerful and commanders good for the PRA engaged, and as they loss level tipped over the key 50% level, the PRA decided that their delaying mission had been achieved. It must also be said that the Ariete had gained a new respect as well as insight into the mettle of their PRA opponents, and much thought would need to go in to the next encounters.

Part 2 of this article will outline more about the terrain and especially vehicle models, together with all the scratch-building mania which went into this project. Until then, it’s a case of a geeky ‘spot the bits’ competition. Oh, and very big plus points for anyone who IDs the dark brown roads…

My thanks to my fellow MWS members for hosting the game, and both Chris and John for playing.

LINKS:
Hammers Slammers official website: http://www.hammers-slammers.com/

The Bloody Field – Wars of the Roses Battle Report

After the disasterous dice rolling displayed in the previous battle Jeremey offers Tony the chance to get even.

A victory entirely down to how bad your opponent rolled isn’t much to celebrate and so I offered Tony the chance of a rematch to banished those dice rolling demons. This was a smaller battle, mainly because I had to provide both armies. I made the sides identical with 12 units in each army. As before I took charge of the Yorkists and Tony the Lancastrians.

Tony deployed his forces in the traditional way of archers out front with billmen and men at arms behind. He also positioned all of his cavalry on the Lancastrian left flank. Although Tony’s set up was more in keeping with the period, I decided to deploy in a single line with my archers interspersed between my other infantry. I did this because we were using the Sword and Spear rules which do not allow general infantry units to move through each other. Tony scores a point for taking the historical high ground and I lose points for playing the rules not the period. I also split my cavalry up with a unit on each flank.

Much to my surprise given the last battle we fought Tony advanced with his cavalry straight at my archers despite them having a number of billmen units in support.

Meanwhile both sides advanced their frontlines to begin the archery duel. Initially this looked like it was going to favour Tony’s deployment because more of his archers were lined up against my billmen and men at arms, giving the chance to cause the Yorkists some damage before the infantry came to blows.

At this point Tony’s cavalry crashed into my archers but did not do enough damage and so the melee continued. Despite not getting the result Tony expected from the charge (partly because of the billmen support of the archers) they would end up locked in combat for quite a while.

As with the previous battle the Yorkists won the archery duel but this time the Lancastrian archers did at least cause some damage on a number of Yorkist units.

With the archers once again wiped out Tony began moving up his infantry units to get to grips with their Yorkist counterparts.

On the Lancastrian left flank the mounted men at arms finally managed to destroy the Yorkist archers but were locked in melee with the Yorkist billmen. I was surprised to find the cavalry still intact after this combat, I was hoping to have destroyed the cavalry who are tough when charging but not for prolonged combat.

With the destruction of their archers and the loss of some other units the Lancastrians were on the brink of breaking after just three turns. It was at this point that Tony’s now legendary bad dice rolling returned. A bold charge across the road with enough dice to provide a bonus produced nothing higher than a 3! This saw the destruction of the billmen and the breaking of the Lancastrian army.

We didn’t have enough time to refight the battle on the day, so instead Tony and I decided to ignore the army break point and continue the battle to the death.

Clearly that’s all Tony’s Lancastrians needed to suddenly start rolling dice like they meant it. A ferocious clash took place on the Yorkist left flank  as their billmen and men at arms charged across the road.

On the Yorkist left flank the cavalry were maneuvering into position to prevent either side from outflanking the other. In the background you can see the Lancastrian cavalry still trading blows with the Yorkist infantry.

With the Lancastrians new found successes punching holes in the Yorkist front line, drastic measures were needed to stop the advance. This ended up with the generals of each side supporting their men at arms.

The fight continued and despite the Yorkists getting more men at arms into the fight the Lancastrians overwhelmed the Yorkist men at arms but failed to kill the Yorkist general in the fight.

Realising the danger the Yorkist general moved to reinforce the other men at arms unit. But this move also abandoned the hard set Yorkist billmen on the Yorkist left who were quickly destroyed, leading to the collaspe of that flank.

With the Yorkist Archers now in danger of being overrun, the Yorkists had some good news with the cavalry duel out on the Lancastrian left. This allowed the Yorkist mounted men at arms to rush to the aid of their general.

Despite this last minute charge and the final defeat of the Lancastrian men at arms by the cavalry, the Lancastrians still had enough men under arms on the battlefield to declare victory.

This was an interesting battle. By continuing to fight on after the standard victory conditions were met (rather quickly I might add) the battle flowed back and forth. The Yorkist cavalry proved superior on the day (with credit given to the Lancastrian mounted men at arms that lasted three round of melee against some billmen). And the initial archery duel clearly went to the Yorkists. But the Lancastrian infantry proved unstoppable on the day.
This battle did make me question the Sword and Spear break point rules. Maybe there should be a sliding scale to represent historical battles where armies break early on to those where armies fought to the bitter end.

Yorkist Rampant! – Wars of the Roses Battle Report

After a gap of 17 months (for the obvious reasons)  Jeremey and Stephen finally got to field their Wars of the Roses armies again. Here Jeremey takes us through what happened.

Both Stephen and I agreed on making this a 700 points per side battle using the Sword and Spear rules. We invited other members to take part and ended up with the Lancastrian forces commanded by Stephen and Tony, with the Yorkist side commanded by myself and Andy.

Here we have the main bulk of the Yorkist forces, with the usual number of archers and billmen. The Yorkists didn’t bother to bring any unusual units like artilery, but did have welsh spearmen and archers to swell the ranks. I took the Yorkist Left flank facing the Lancastrians commanded by Tony, which left Andy facing Stephen’s lancastrians on the right.

The Lancastrian forces had a similar make up but went for some artillery and handgunners. Both sides drew up their forces in typical formations. Tony on the Lancastrian right had command of all the Lancastrian cavalry units.

To add a bit of flavour to the game I created a number of event cards, these were sort of successful but on drawing the cards the lancastrians came off worse with both the artillery and handgunner units being forced to join the battle after a set number of turns. This was due to having event cards designed to show the chaotic nature of forces during this time getting lost on the way or being hesitant to join the battle.

The initial activation of the armies saw both sides move up to longbow range and engage in an archery duel. It was at this point that a general theme of the Lancastrians (specifically Tony) having the most appalling dice rolls ever  began.

The archery duel didn’t last long and saw the majority of the Lancastrian archers wiped out for no loses on the Yorkist side.

Faced with the archery disaster the Lancastrians under Tony started an outflanking move with their cavalry, a mixture of mounted men at arms and currours.

This caused a bit of panic in the Yorkist ranks (well me really) who quickly brought up more of their billmen and cavalry to counter the move.

Having riden within range the Yorkist horse charged against the lancastrians attempting the outflanking move, the first charge nearly destroyed the Lancastrian cavalry. They were soon dispatched in the following turn.

However this didn’t discourage the Lancastrian who then charged with their mounted men at arms straight at a unit of billmen. Again Tony’s dice rolling saw the Lancastrian cavalry completely destroyed for just a single point of damage to the billmen.

Meanwhile on the Yorkist right flank the Lancastrians commanded by Stephen managed to buck the trend and shot Andy’s welsh spearmen to pieces. This put the right flank in danger as the Yorkists had fewer archers to try and even the score.

The alarming gap in the Yorkist forces where the welsh spearmen used to be. Facing the potential of another arrow storm Andy decided drastic measures were needed.

Much to my surprise this saw Andy charge the archers with his Northern Boarder horse. It didn’t go well with the cavalry being wiped out.

Having so far suffered only two points of damage to my units I felt emboldened and charged my billmen into the remnants of Tony’s archers scoring a number of hits and pushing the Lancastrian loses towards breaking point.

With the Lancastrians on the brink of breaking I charged the final unit of Lancastrian currours with my mounted men at arms. As was typical for the game so far the Lancastrian cavalry were wipped out handing victory to the Yorkists.

It’s always nice to win a battle but this game was one of the most one sided I’ve ever played. My Yorkist forces on the left flank had managed to almost wipe out the Lancastrians for the loss of no units and only suffering two points of damage. I must say the victory felt somewhat hollow and we were all left amazed at just how badly the dice can sometime go against a player.

I promised Tony a rematch just to throw off the dice rolling curse he was clearly suffering from.

Society Meeting 08/01/2022

A tad delayed, but here’s a photo round up of our first meeting of 2022. In addition to our AGM, we had a SAGA battle day, involving 8 players, a FOG Renaissance ECW game, a Lords of the Rings Game and some Spy-Fi action.

First up a SAGA-fest with Scots, Bretons, Welsh, Vikings and Anglo-Danes. In addition to some experienced SAGA players we had a couple of prospective members join in for their first games.

Andy’s Anglo Danish face off against Stephen’s Welsh
James’ Vikings vs Jeremey’s Anglo Danes
Tony’s Bretons vs John’s Scots
James’ Vikings vs Jeremey’s Anglo Danes
James’ Vikings vs Jeremey’s Anglo Danes
Close up of John’s Scots
Tony’s Bretons

Moving on the the English Civil War, 15mm figures using Field of Gory rules.

ECW Armies line up
Cuirassiers charge
Colonel John Lamplugh’s Regiment of Foot
Royalist Regiments

Moving from history to fiction, Marcus had a try out of his underwater Spy-Fi rules.

Marcus’ seascape
Divers and mini-sub
More divers hiding behind a shoal of fish
The two sides fight over the lost missile.

And finally to Fantasy, a Lord of the Rings Strategy Battle Game.

The scene is set.
Dwarves advance across the bridge
Uruk Hai advance with a Troll in support
Dwarf Heavy Metal
Dwarves holding the Bridge against the Uruk Hai
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