Thursday, 31 October 2019

Clash of Spears ancient skirmish game

This is a play test of a new rule set due out in December written by Alvaro Erize from the US.
We have had a couple of games previously but this one had a greater familiarity with the rules after re watching a video of the game here.

This game pitches a Roman supply convoy against marauding Gauls trying to intercept it. The Romans have a coupe of units of Gallic allies hanging around.

The first part involves scouting until all of the scouts are locked. Light units send out 2 scouts, one of which is a dummy. Those familiar with Chain of Command will be familiar with this mechanism. This picture shows all of the scouts locked. The dice record the number of movement action each scout has made. This can affect the starting fatigue number when units are placed on the table so take care how far they move.

Units are then placed on the table alternatively depending on where the scouts are.

The final units are placed on the table.

First blood to the Gallic raiders who have targeted the Gauls allied to the Romans.

In this game the active player gets 3 actions including the usual move, fire, melee, rest etc. Some of these generate fatigue others don't. After the players first action he must say if he intends doing another. If he does his opponent gets the chance to react with one action.

This unit of archers supporting  their Roman allies has, for example, five fatigues already having performed 2 actions. They have been fired at which also generates fatigue. As fatigue increases effectiveness reduces accordingly.

These are the lads attacking the archers. 

Unit of 8 legionaries takes its first casualty having formed close order and advanced to the cover of the hedge.

At the end of each turn all of the action dice are removed but any units that have not used all of their actions automatically rest removing the fatigue accordingly. For example a unit with 4 fatigue that has only used one action will drop to 2 fatigue.

The convoy advances as archers come out to meet them in support.

A Roman unit also heads out to support the convoys approach

The archers fire.

Behind the main building the Gallic allies are attacked by archers with devastating results, 4 casualties.

Another volley finishes them off as there is only one figure left the fatigue being double or higher the unit is removed.

The convoy makes its way towards safety.

The screen of archers takes more casualties.

The Gauls fail to dislodge the Romans from behind the hedge.

The Romans win initiative and switch to open order allowing them to move faster and gain the safety of the large house with the suppies

The Roman/Gallic casualties.

The Gauls only lose 5 figures!

Despite the disparity in casualties the Romans succeeded in saving their supplies so a victory to them.

We will be checking how we used the rules and apply any mistakes when we play another game next week. 

These seem to be a very nice set of rules and i can see this system being developed into other periods in the future.



Saturday, 26 October 2019

Tha Batte of Gaugamela

Gaugamela 331BC

Today one of the games at the club was a 15mm hex based game using rules written by club member Mick Nichol. These rules have their origins in DBA but have evolved into a system in their own right.

As the game progresses you will notice the use of white and red markers to identify the condition of the units. Basically if you lose a combat you get a red marker and if you win or draw, a white marker. Three white markers are swapped for a red. Once the red equals the number of figures on the base the base is removed. If a modified dice throw of the loser is doubled by the victor then the unit is usually removed, although there are exceptions to this rule.

The figures are all from the collection of Mick (which apparently numbers 40,000 15/28mm figures!!!!!)

The Macedonians were, of course, massively outnumbered particularly in cavalry. This was balanced by the Superior quality of the Macedonians. 

Macedonian left

the centre and right.

The Macedonians advance.

On the left the cavalry attempt to stretch the Persian line.

The cavalry advance on the right with Hypaspists supporting to their left. Persian scythed chariots position themselves looking for an opportunity to charge. 

The first combat results in 1 loss to the Persians and 2 to the Macedonians.

In the centre the lines advance with the Persian spears echeloned back to their left and elephants to the front. The Psiloi to the Macedonian front will try and ware down the Persians before the phalanx goes in.

The Persian left is stretched but their numbers render the ploy less effective than desired 

On the right the cavalry combat continues with Persian cavalry sweeping around the flank.

The Companions and their cavalry supports look like being overwhelmed.

The Macedonians, concerned about the cavalry threat developing on each flank, manoeuvre to defend against it.

On the left flank the Macedonian cavalry attack

a couple of Persian units are destroyed with 2-1 victories to the Macedonians in other combats.

The Persians regroup.

The first infantry combats with with Macedonian light infantry defeated.

With their cavalry to their right gradually being overwhelmed the infantry on the Macedonian centre right must resist the urge to advance.

The confused cavalry fight continues with red markers mounting. Alexander is with his Companions.

The Elephants enter the fray defeating the infantry to their front.

Alexander and a unit of Companions are surrounded!

On the left the cavalry battle resumes with the Macedonians attempting to turn the Persian flank. This would be a theme for the remainder of the battle.

Some of the Persian cavalry have been sent to attach the Macedonian infantry

as the infantry battle in the centre develops.

Will Alexander survive?

his unit of Companions is destroyed but he himself survives.

The single figure with the red marker is Alexander, another red and he will be killed with disastrous consequences for the army.

Combat continues on the left centre with the attritional nature of these rules becoming more evident, an unit of Elephants has been destroyed.

The Macedonian right centre advances to support the main phalanx.

Alexander, the lone figure at the top has escaped death and prepares to attempt to rejoin his army. The Macedonian cavalry on this flank have been annihilated. The chariots await an opportunity to charge.

Two units of psiloi having been pushed back in a previous combat turn their attention to the chariots in an attempt to stop them charging the flank of the infantry.

Once again the Macedonian cavalry attempt to outflank the Persians to prevent them reinforcing the cavalry attacking the centre.

The Persians withdraw to reform their lines.

The Macedonian right flank is exposed to the cavalry.

Persian cavalry reinforce the attack on the infantry leaving enough to guard their flank against the Macedonian cavalry attempting to outflank.

Surprisingly the infantry survive the cavalry attack.

The phalanx advances once more

Isolated units out of command find it difficult to rejoin the combat.

The remnants of the Macedonian cavalry out on the left flank make a further attempt to turn the Persian right and draw them away from the infantry.

The Macedonian right begins to prepare for a cavalry assault by the victorious Persian cavalry.

The Macedonian attempt to turn the Persian right appears to have been thwarted.

In the centre the relatively fresh Macedonians prepare a renewed assault on the exhausted Persian infantry

while to their right a defensive line has been successfully established to protect the flank against the cavalry threat. 

At this point we called it a day and the victory points were totalled up. The value of all destroyed units were added together and the number of red markers added to this to give and overall figure of 143 to the Macedonians and 105 to the Persians. A significant victory for the Macedonians if not quite the slaughter meted out by the real Alexander.

More importantly, however, were the rule amendments identified. These will be added to the rules and implemented in the next game.

Thanks to Mick for putting this on with his usual enthusiasm.