Tuesday, 19 September 2017

The Children of Neptune

My latest warband for my Weird War Rome project is a departure from the authorised bands as found in Broken Legions. This is where the Song of Blades and Heroes system comes in very handy, in that I can construct groups from scratch and let my imagination run free.

The Children of Neptune are a cult established around the Mediterranean, using dark magic to summon the demons of the deep to do their bidding. In Sicily, Sextus Pompey has come to the Children of Neptune for help in his efforts against the Second Triumvirate. Agrippa will need to assign his top men to the job of stopping this cult from giving Pompey the supernatural help that might tip the scales against Octavian Caesar.

The warband in full

The Priest of the Cult about to sacrifice a victim. These are Black Tree Designs figures

Blood sacrifice will bring forth the terrors of the deep.

Cult members of the Children of Neptune in their blue cloaks. These are Wargames Factory Numidian skirmishers with green stuffed cloaks.

The first of the sea-demons. A Reaper Bones Tiik Baron.

Two Reaper Bones Tiik Warriors.

A Reaper Bones Tiik Champion 

Reaper Bones Eldritch Demon. The big daddy of the sea demons.

The terrors of the deep, brought forth by the Children of Neptune.
Hopefully we'll get them into a game soon.


Friday, 15 September 2017

PWJ Giveaway

Jonathan over at the Palouse Wargaming Journal is having a giveaway draw. There haven't been too many of these for a while, after a spate of them a couple of years back, so I'm happy to be part of the celebration and publicisation of his largesse. Of course this also gets me another 5 entires in the draw, so it isn't all altruism!
Five years of blogging for the Palouse Wargaming Journal
Along with the chance to win something, cruising over to his blog will also give you a host of great battle reports and updates of his excellent painting (which happens at a very quick pace!), as well as getting to know a thoroughly nice bloke.
Head on over and enjoy.


Monday, 11 September 2017

6 x 6 - Tomb Raider

Sorry, no Angelina Jolie or even the video game version of Lara Croft. This is my latest game of Song of Broken Legions, featuring the fearless men of the Republic up against the villainous undead of Ptolemaic Egypt.
The year is 33BC and relations between Marc Antony and Octavian are not at their best. The former has been bewitched by the Eastern Queen Cleopatra (true story - read the Roman propaganda errr... histories). Deep in Egypt a tomb of some long sleeping greater demon is guarded by Cultists of Set and a Liche Lord. Should the demon be awakened Octavian fears that he may not have the power to defeat Antony in any future civil war. A party of intrepid and loyal Caesarians are dispatched to find the tomb and destroy the sleeping enemy before it can be awakened.

The Romans arrive near the tomb.
Bird's eye view of the table and the labyrinth of jungle the Romans had to navigate

One group heads right and activates 3 Cultists.

For very failed activation dice the Romans rolled, a die was rolled for the Egyptians. On a 4+ d3 Cultists would appear within 1 medium of the Roman that rolled the failure.

On the left only 2 Cultists were activated.

The Romans on the right struggle against their adversaries.

And the same issue plagues the Sons of the Eagle on the left.

Hidden in the bushes an Egyptian archer misses every shot...

... but the Roman response is far more effective.

The Roman legionaries start to get the upper hand on the right.

While a long drawn out hand to hand fight ensues on the left.

The Frumentarius takes the opportunity to slip away and head towards the tomb.

Having dealt with their enemy the Centurion and his trusty guard chase the last of the Egyptians back to the tomb.

Followed by the missile support.

After far too long the Praetorian takes down the last of his opponents.

The rest of the Egyptian crew comes spilling out of the tomb to face the Centurion and his men. Note the Frumentarius stealthily making his way around the side to the front entrance.

Battle is joined and the Romans find themselves outnumbered but holding a limited frontage to avoid being encircled.

And knock down more of the enemy than they lose themselves.

The Praetorian and the last Cretan Archer start heading towards the tomb.

Ad arrive to help their comrades. The Frumentarius takes the opening and heads into the tomb.

Surprise, the Egyptians left a guard!

The Romans start to get the upper hand in the battle with the eternal warriors.

And it is only the Liche Lord left now.

The Frumentarius kills his opponent and manages to set fire to the tomb.
The Roman expeditionary force won this scenario. Song of Blades and Heroes proved to once again be an excellent system to use. The only downside was that I began to forget which figures had been knocked down and which had been killed. Usually you just remove the casualties, but as I had a necromancer, you are meant to leave the dead on so that they can be brought back by a spell. I think in future when I play with the Cult of Set, I'll use red counters to mark where people have been killed.

I've rejigged some of the stats now, powering up the Romans to account for their mail, tower shields and their skill with the gladius. This will mean less troops to provide missile support, but to be honest, that was pretty useless in the last couple of games anyway.

Next up, Antony will try and unleash the Argonauts on a mission to reach a sacred relic and get it away before Octavian's men take it for themselves.


Sunday, 3 September 2017

6 x 6 - time to get moving

After a roaring start to the 6 x 6 challenge, I have fallen well behind in getting my games played. So this month my aim is to play out all of my DBA and Song of Broken Legions games.

Having just finished marking a whole pile of essays on the Aeneid and Roman art, all of rather variable quality,  I felt like I needed a break. I was inspired to head back to ancient Rome for another crack at the Gallic Wars. The first game was over rather quickly, so I was able to get in two battles.

GAME 1 (or 2 if we count the first encounter from a while back)

The Romans and Gauls face each other again. What would the outcome of this engagement be? The Gauls were at 1 nil before this fight.

The deployment. The Gauls went for subtlety with their patented 'Gallic steamroller'.  The Romans matched them in the centre with their infantry including a second reserve line for any breakthroughs.

Within 2 turns the lines were at each others' throats.

In the first turn of combat the Romans pushed the Gauls back all along the line.

But then it turned to custard. Roman legionaries began to get bowled by the Celtic comeback.

The Gallic Chieftain ploughed his way through the Romans (no pun intended)

The end of the game and the Romans have lost 5 elements to 1.
 GAME 2 (or 3)
Two games in a row had been won by the Gallic steamroller. This time I was determined to see if I could come up with better tactics for the Romans.
Deployment, and the Roman lines look a little different.

As the steamroller moves forward the Romans deploy their flank columns to allow an overlap. They also send the Light Horse forward to seize control of the flank.

Battle is joined and immediately the overlap yields results, while the Roman cavalry in the centre falls back in front of the chieftain, rather than being auto-killed as a blades element would have been.

The door is closed on the Gallic left and the Psiloi deliver a lesson to the Gallic warbands before it. In the centre the legionaries outfight the warband element before them.

The battle is won by the Romans 4 nil. The Roman general didn't even get into combat. 
This was a great game because I worked out how to take down the Gallic steamroller, and it was very simple really. The Romans were also helped by the terrain, most of which was 'good going'. All of the terrain in these games was chosen at random by dice rolling. Next game I will look at trying to choose terrain specifically as if I was playing the Gauls as 'my' army. This way I aim to develop the tactics to play to the strengths of both sides.

In other news, with the release of Star Wars Legion next year, I'm going to take Star Wars off my 6 x 6 list, and replace it with Pikeman's Lament. My Marlburian armies for Spain are almost complete and I already have one game completed. I figure this will spur me on to paint the last half dozen units I need, as well as being a dedicated set of rules as opposed to Star Wars where I was going to need to adapt rules or write my own stats etc.


Saturday, 2 September 2017

You may be cool...

...but you'll never be Napoleon conquering Egypt on the back of a camel cool!
'Avance, mes enfants!'
In between setting exams and marking assessments this week I sneaked a couple of hours with the paintbrush to paint some of Lancashire Games' Napoleon in Egypt range.
In my last order I picked up the pack of French generals and the French archaeologists vignette pack. When they arrived I just couldn't wait to get paint on them, and stopped doing my job, and also interrupted painting Craig's German grenadiers, to get them done.

Napoleon on said camel, led by a local entrepreneur.

A better view of the camel guide

'Dig there, my good man.'

'Why don't you try picking up a shovel?'

'I just dug this up. Want to make a sketch?'

'Why not? I have no idea what it means though.'

Not hot enough to put up the parasol yet.

The archaeologist pack. Missing is a French Grenadier that acts as a guard, but I just wanted the archaeologist bases for my plans.
I loved these figures, and they were very easy to paint and are full of life. My decision as to whether to invest in the Italian campaign or Egyptian campaign has been finally sealed. I just have to save up the $200 to get the figures that I need for the project!