Thursday, June 20, 2019

Nikephorian Byzantine verus Early Imperial Romans

Today my Byzantines took on Richard's Romans in what was his first game of Impetus Second Edition.  It was a quick game.

 Deployment.
The Romans deployed first which gave me a chance to position my forces to advantage.

 Oh no!
My CinC is downgraded on the first roll.

 End of Turn One.
My massed cavalry are raining down a storm of arrows 
on the exposed Roman cavalry on their right wing.

 By the end of Turn Two, 
the Roman right wing cavalry had been routed,
but their remaining troops are advancing fast.
My cavalry has made a bit of a dent.

 Not again!
My sub-commander gets downgraded.
At least my generals remain reliable.

But by the end of Turn Three it is all over.
My cavalry command was one off from breaking,
but they had done their job.

I'm still learning these rules.  Lesson for today was that cavalry fighting heavy foot is a bit risky, even when delivering a flank attack.  This is because of how the factors affect the Cohesion Test for melee.

I am sure my generals will roll better once I get some proper Byzantine command figures on the table.  


Friday, June 14, 2019

A Walk in the Dead Woods - Third Time Luckyish

The goblins set out to scout the Dead Woods for the third time, but now they have hired Berkley a Q3 C4 Leader (the C4 value because she is armed with a chainsaw).

Mark B took the Goblins, Stephen the Skellies, while I umpired and attempted to control the dog.

The goblins have hired Berkley to lead them in the Dead Woods.  
She seems to be doing a good job at keeping them in line, 
I suppose it is easy when you have a chainsaw to back you up.  
Even the dog is well behaved.

Whoops, perhaps the dog was not so well behaved.  
It soiled the environment angering the local Dryad.

Berkley pushes the Goblins on, quickly scouting the second patch of trees.
The Dryad is out of range at this stage.

Berkley keeps the Goblins moving,
the dog doesn't seem so keen.

The Goblins don't seem so keen either...
However, the third patch of trees is scouted.

Berkley sends them on to the fourth patch of trees...

The dog goes there too, and guess what?  
He digs up some old bones that turn into a Skellie!

The Goblins gang up on the skellie and reduce it to dust,
but the dog has dug up another one.

The goblins battle the new skellie.

Oh no!
More skellies appear and attack Berkley.

The dog is a blur rushing about digging up old bones.
Sadly Berkley is down.

Berkley is dead :-(
Worse, her chainsaw has angered the dryad.

A goblin is transfixed by the dryad and then slaughtered.
But at least the fifth patch of trees has been scouted.

The remaining goblins have defeated the immediate skellies,
but they are deep in the woods...

And that dog keeps digging up bones, 
and dem bones, dem dry bones keeping attacking!

The four Goblins left think it is probably time to go home.
Especially as the Goblin with the red cape is about to meet a gruesome death.

And then there were three.
Flee!

However the sensible Goblin with the club took time out to check the last patch of trees.

The Skellies give chase.

That dog is still digging up bones...

The Goblin fights!

And fights some more...

But dies.
However two Goblins escaped to tell the tale.

I think the days of walking the dog in the Dead Woods are over.

It took awhile for the Skellies to appear and I feared the game was going to be a bit of a fizzer, but at the halfway mark things really started to happen.  Rather than put the minis on their sides, I used markers to show they were knocked down.

What follows are my notes for the scenario.  The table set up was six patches of trees, numbered one to six clockwise.

Dead Woods


The aim is to keep it simple, but provide context.  As such the Goblins are all Q4 C3 and the Skellies Q3 C2.  My justification for the difference in ratings is that the Goblins were carefully scouting the area, but better armed against the more ravenous Skellies and their improvised rusty weapons.

The Goblins, under the ruse of walking their dog, are attempting to scout the wood.  It has six locations and they need to visit each one and then return to complete the mission.

The dog was on random control.  First throw a dice, halve and round up.  That gives the number of dice to throw for activations for the dog.  The dog is Q3, well motivated to sniff out bones...

After throwing the number of generated activation dice and seeing how many pass the Q test, the dog is then moved that many times (which will be between zero and three) in the direction of one patch of trees, based on a dice roll (each location is numbered 1 to 6).  It moves Long.

If the dog comes into contact with a location it will have a sniff to see if it finds any bones.  One dice is thrown and the resultant value used to throw further dice.  For each of these subsequent dice that are equal to or more than the Q value of a Skellie, a Skellie pops up (so zero to six Skellies may appear each time the dog visits a location).

If on its activation roll the dog throws straight 1s, it is considered to have soiled the environment, angering the local Dryad.  A dice is then thrown and the Dryad placed (or moved if already on the table) to the associated location.   The Dryad is a static creature otherwise and is Q3.  She will attempt to Transfix any Goblins within Long to her.  Throw three dice per Goblin in range.  For each success that Goblin has to pass a Q test to avoid being transfixed. Any attack against a transfixed Goblin receives a plus 2 combat modifier and any successful attack is lethal.  A Goblin needs two successes to break free.

Leader (p32).  


The leader hired by the Goblins is Berkley, Q3 C4.  She increases all Quality rolls by one for Goblins within one Long.  For the cost of one action she can perform a Group move (p40) for Goblins that are adjacent to each other or a regroup to move all Goblins within one Long back together. If Berkley rolls only one successful action, she cannot use it to perform a group move.

Whenever Berkley is used in Combat she will anger the Dryad (who doesn’t care for chainsaws).  Berkley is immune to the Dryad.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Nikephorian Byzantines versus Classical Indians

Yesterday it was the turn of Mark Woods' Classical Indians to feel the wrath of my Byzantines.  Sadly it appears my Byzantines are all wrathed out.

 Even though the Indians had to deploy first, 
I decided to deploy in a double line 
so I could shift my cavalry to where they would do most good,
having learnt from my previous game.

 But things got off to a bad start when my CinC was downgraded on his first initiative roll.
After this I never got the initiative :-(

 The Indian chariots pull back, 
my cavalry goes to my right 
and I throw my skirmishers out to cover my left.
Who says my general is not an expert?

 End of the second turn and one of my skirmisher units has been blown away.  
Damn!

 By the end of the third turn both sides are busy shooting at each other, 
but with little effect.

 My light cavalry successfully takes out the enemy cavalry.
I got two hits and Mark threw a 6 for cohesion.
Poof!

 The end of the fourth turn and the losses are about equal.
I just need to get the initiative to capitalise on an advantage...

 But it was not to be.
End of the fifth turn and the elephants had made a mess of my left flank.

 On the sixth turn the enemy chariots arrived.
My cavalry were in action, but it was all too late.
Victory to the Indians.

What follows are some close ups from the final turn, showing key engagements from both sides' perspectives (as I am so used to looking at the back of my units I thought it would be nice to capture a few images from front on).





Sunday, June 9, 2019

At War On The Gothic Line

I picked this up second hand from the Guildford Book Exchange.



The book by Christian Jennings covers the fighting in Italy 1944 to 1945.  Sadly he is no Beevor, although he tries.  A few obvious mistakes (the book's previous owner had started to correct them in red pen) cast doubt on the accuracy of the content, but there was a bit too much repetition, not enough detail (although that would have required a much longer book) and the personal narratives (something that Beevor excels in) too limited.

All that said, it did bring into focus the multicultural makeup of the Allied forces, the horror of the Nazi occupation and the fascinating end game, Operation Unthinkable.

Certainly a readable book, but the maps didn't really help (they seemed to be too small a segment of the battlefields) and the time jumped around a little bit.  The mentioning of what was helping elsewhere in the world was interesting, but not really relevant.

A little bit of inspiration for wargames, but not really enough to build any scenarios on.


Thursday, June 6, 2019

Nikephorian Byzantine verus Jin Chinese

Only a 100 years apart plus a few kilometres...

From his never ending hoard of armies, Dave ran Chinese.  I stuck with my Byzantines.  Which way would the Fortune Cookie crumble?

 Dave got to deploy the terrain, but then I had to deploy first.

 Turn one and I'm trying to move my cavalry command from the right to my left.

 Turn two sees lots of bow fire, but with little result.

 And then the Chinese commander gets rated Genius!

 While my dude gets downgraded!
Grrr.
I hadn't been winning the initiatives and this just made it harder.

 Turn three and my cavalry have just about finished their shuffle.

 Turn four and there has been contact in the centre 
(I fared badly when I forced to reroll a cohesion test).
At least I was inflicting casualties on his heavy cavalry.

Turn five and my foot command will break and take my army with it.
My cavalry just couldn't manage the one extra casualty 
on that enemy light cavalry unit on the far left, 
that would have produced a draw.

I guess the Chinese get lamb for dinner.