Thursday, 28 June 2012

Hispilis 211 BC part 2

The Romans pile on the pressure with an almighty right hook. The Carthaginians, having bought some time skirmishing, are forced to attack Scipio's veteran infantry with frontal elephant charges.......


........whilst, in the centre, the Roman infantry begin to throw back Hasdrubal's Spanish foot; more of which are coming up in support. The battle is turning nasty.

To relieve pressure on the left, the Carthaginians force an assault across the fast flowing river. Initially this is successful and temporarily throws the Roman line into confusion.
On the Roman right, and in the centre, the action becomes general. The action goes one way then the other ...........

......until, finally, the Romans come out on top. The Carthaginians let their troops run - they are Spanish, they are expendable.

At the end of turn 3, the situation is looking bad for both sides.

The Romans have almost succeeded in crushing the last resistance on their right wing and have stabilised the situation at the river. However, they have almost exhausted themselves doing so (they have only 11 morale chips left).

The Carthaginians have almost lost their left and are faced with the costly option of a full scale river assualt on their right / centre. They have held, through circumstance rather than design, much of their force in reserve and have let, unlike the Romans, a good number of their defeated troops leave the field rather than expend effort in rallying them (consequently, their morale chip count is much better at 34).

The following pictures show the relative positions at the end of turn 3.

Racked up like lamb chops: African infantry await the order to assault across the raging river.
On the opposite bank: Grimly determined veteran Romans await the seemingly inevitable assault. 
Balearic slingers trying to force the Romans back from the river bank in support of the African infantry. 
The last Carthaginian infantry established on the Roman side of the river. Too few in number to launch an attack of their own they can be seen here skulking in the woods awaiting events elsewhere.

The game turn clock - There are only two more turns to go.

To be continued.....

BTW: This is a MDF 'casualty' clock by Warbases, painted and 'terrained'. The little handle (at 2 o'clock) turns the number dial.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Hispilis 211 BC - Scipio and Hasdrubal fight it out for Spain

Last night Peter and I only managed to get turn 1 finished. It was a long turn with lots of mmanoeuvring and skirmishing by the light troops of both sides. As the turn closed, the close order troops of both armies began to clash. Here are some shots of what has become the most confused action of the campaign. The thickly wooded, hilly terrain has created defiles, disorder and delay.

On the Carthaginian left the Numidians skirmish with the advancing Romans......
....but they are pushed back as the steamroller comes on..... 
Whilst  the skirmishing heats up on the Carthaginian left, the Carthaginian right begins its long march from the far hill to the battle area.
The advance of the Carthaginian right is disrupted by the terrain: Units start to pile up. 

The Romans meanwhile are establishing a strong battle line that threatens to roll up the Carthaginian line.

The Carthaginians withdraw their left to form a new line, trading ground for time. But reserves are coming.

Not all of the Carthaginians make it.....

.........A unit of Numidian cavalry finds itself surrounded and is charged in the rear by Roman cavalry and routed. First blood to Scipio.

On arrival of Spanish reserves the Carthaginians counter -attack on the left. They are outnumbered in infantry by a considerable margin.

Do the Carthaginians now intend to trade cheap Spanish lives for time?
Carthaginians piling up on the right as they advance to the battle zone......
Peter and I can see a blood bath coming, a battle of annihilation.

During the turn Rome spent 14 morale chips (mainly due to Numidians javelins and subsequent rallies), the Carthaginians spent 7.

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Punic War Campaign - The Battle of Hispalis 211 BC

Carthage: Assert political control: Lucania goes over to Carthage. The 'allies' count is now 12 to 5 in favour of Carthage.

Rome: Assert political control by converting two spaces under CUs. Spain and Sicily are slowly falling under Roman sway. 

Carthage: Recruit in Spain.

Rome: Major Campaign. Scipio to Hispilis. Marcellus to Bilbilis. Nero to Agrigentum.

Carthage: Hasdrubal force marches to Hispilis (southwest Spain). An encounter battle!

The campaign situation is shown below.

The Battle of Hispilis - Initial Deployment.

Scipio has 10 CU, Hasdrubal has 10 CU plus 4 allied CU for provinces in Spain. We decided to give Scipio a force something like his historical army. We decided he should have 5 'legions'. This totalled 97 Unit Integrity points. Hasdrubals force consequently totalled 136 Unit Integrity.

For a change, and as the two armies had moved on the last card played, we decided to call this an encounter battle. A simple way to create this as a tactical situation is to allow free deployment anywhere along the table length / side of table. So that is what we did.

After the armies had deployed we carried out the characterisation card draw, Rome 8 cards, Carthage 10 (they lost 1 for the difference in command quality). The Romans drew 68 morale chips plus a Deft Cavalry card. The Carthaginians drew 78 morale chips, an Aggressive Melee Up 1 card, a Wild card, and a Stratagem - which drew a 7 to define it as 'Thickets in Woods'.

Although Rome is outnumbered, they are led by Scipio (later Africanus). This gives them a very tough veteran army. The morale chip count is similar. We expect this battle to be very hard fought.

Here are some deployment shots, with Rome tucked up in the corner; hmmmm, no flanks!:

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Seven Years War upgrade update - The Russians

Following the decision to upgrade 16 man units up to 24, my Seven Years War collection is moving on quite nicely. Furthest ahead are the Russians; all existing units have been upgraded and rebased. Cavalry have remained the same strength, at 8 figures per unit.

Line infantry. 11 units, plus 3 (not pictured) grenadier regiments. 
Command stands. 
Cossacks: 5 units 
Line cavalry: 4 units.
Artillery: 3 batteries.
Grenadiers: 3 units

I've decided to go on with the Russians for a while. I have 2 units of line infantry, 4 x units of Observation Corps infantry (36 figs per), 2 units of grenadiers, 2 units of Hussars, and a battery of guns in stock. I'll purchase the missing cavalry (3 units) and crew for the 5th gun battery shortly.

Thankfully, Foundry Russians are VERY easy to paint.

Monday, 11 June 2012

New Italian Wars buildings made up

I've just knocked up two more buildings for my Italian Wars battles using building blanks from Warbases, Modular Buildings Range (28mm).

They can be found at:

I picked these up at Sheffield Triples this year. Among the new additions to the range  is a very useful pack of balconies (thanks guys). These take away a lot of balsa work, and they look great.

Chimneys and bits are balsa, Tiled roofs are by Will's Building Materials

So first up is this 'double tower' with central gate and connecting balcony.  I thought it was a good way of getting two tall towers into a single town section in a interesting way.

Although Warbases actually make a stable block, I decided to do my own using blanks I had in stock. The stable block has been half-built for months, but I wasn't sure how to finish it. In the end I decided to use a small blank with an extra half floor (balsa) - somewhere for grain storage and for the grooms to sleep. This completes it nicely as a stand alone town block.

As a final touch, I added two big piles of stable sweepings. I might add a trough, hmmm.

This gives me 7 buildings including the Church. That is plenty for now.

Thursday, 7 June 2012

The Battle of Panormus - or - Gisgo gets an enormous panning

Before I start the report, I have to tell you that I forgot to change my camera settings after some shots for ebay. Consequently, all but the last few shots are smaller than usual.

Balearic slingers quickly decide that velites are too much for them (they are forced to retreat with UI loss) as the Romans advance swiftly on their left and refuse their right; where.....
...we find the Numidians swooping in and out against the Roman Allied cavalry,pelting them expertly with javelins (the Romans will spend a lot of morale chips here trying to keep their allied cavalry in the field - Peter HATES Numidian cavalry).
A shot (from the Carthaginian right) of the Romans advancing 'en echelon'. 
A shot (from the Carthaginian left) of the Romans advancing 'en echelon', and the Carthaginians trying to force a cavalry envelopment with elephants in support.


Roman cavalry crests the hill -

Soldier: "Sir they're behind us!" 

Gisgo: "Bugger. That's where the elephants should have been."

The Romans come to grips, and......
....their cavalry charge downhill into the shocked Carthaginians.

Only the use of a Tactical Advantage card, by Gisgo, holds this position. 
On Rome's right it is chaos with both sides thoroughly intermingled. 

Nero has spent a fortune in morale chips but his cavalry are still there.

Gisgo: "Bugger."
The Roman force from Messana, comprising Greek hoplites, cavalry and archers supported by a contingent of Roman marines, enters stage right.

The Roman Stratagem card, followed by a March card, was drawn before Gisgo could react to the dust on the horizon.

Gisgo: "Bugger."
Rome presses an all out attack. 
The Carthaginian left, mainly made up of light troops, begins to scatter in the face of the 'off table' flanking attack.

Gisgo: "Bugger."
The Messanians are quickly into the fight. Can gisgo pull a maneouvre card out of the bag before he is hit! 

Nope, just afterwards......

Gisgo: "Oi, you sir, got any Hemlock? Bugger"
 .....when the situation is dire......

......and getting worse. Gisgo is surrounded and destroyed. His army ceases to exist and Rome lose 1 CU. The reconquest of Sicily has begun - or has it?

The troops can rest in barracks until next week. Here are the barracks. It is amazing just how many figures you can get into these IKEA cabinets. This one, granted it has four extra shelves than it came with, is holding well over 3000 figures. I'm glad I still have an empty one!