Tally Ho!

Sunday, 5 December 2021

Saga in the Age of Hannibal - Treasured Possessions

Having sneakily purloined some of the Roman's supplies in the last battle the Gauls decided to head for their village with the aim of stashing their booty. As they moved towards home they found Phonious Balonious blocking their way.

In this scenario the Gauls  had three wagons to escort across the table - they are hard to shoot (defence 6) but fairly easy pray in combat if not protected. We played with Roy and Mike controlling warbands from home via Zoom. 

The Celts deployed with Getafix (Nigel) on the east guarding two wagons and Cacofanix (Roy) on the west with one. The Spanish were in the west and  Romans the east.

The early moves were pretty cagey with the Celts hanging back to protect the wagons. This suited the Romans / Spanish as they each had long-range warriors shooting. After about an hour of gradual erosion the Gauls finally lost their cool and surged forward.   

The weakened Gauls ran straight into the waiting Romans and were quickly sent reeling backwards. the Romans followed-up and were able to seize one of the wagons for a handsome win.   

The Cretan Archers did plenty of good work in this battle, proving a constant threat and removing a uit plus weakening another.  


Sunday, 21 November 2021

Saga in the age of Hannibal - Claiming Territory

After the successful Roman raid both sides set about establishing the front-line between their forces. In this scenario you have to try and hold several strategic points in greater strength than the enemy to claim conquest points.

The Gauls were joined this week by Getafix (Nigel) boosting their forces to 12 points with his Gaesatae. Cacofanix and  Panoramix held back  defence while  Getafix looked to attack. 

Getafix and the Gaesatae



The Romans were also expanded with Phonious Balonis holding the centre / left while Spurious attacked with his Spanish against Cacofanix. It was also the first outing the Cretan Archers.  

The Celts attacked straight up the middle with the Gaesatae supported by some noble cavalry, heading straight into the Roman centre. Some deadly shooting and the intervention of the Triarii was successful in blunting the attack and pushing them back with heavy losses. 

 res ad triarios venit, 'it comes down to the triarii',

The Spanish were unable to exploit this success though with their medium cavalry again proving unable to really damage the Celts. Phonious did launch a probe of his own but was pushed back by Panoramix who was able to wipe-out a cohort of hastati in a fierce charge. 

A draw looked certain when the sole surviving Gallic noble cavalryman was able sneak across the board (moving last) and steal a point to make it measly 73-72 conquest points to the Gauls.     

Saturday, 13 November 2021

Saga in the age of Hannibal - village pillage

While we build or forces for Napoleonic's we're playing the Punic version of Saga. The campaign will be a linked series of scenarios somewhat styled along Asterix lines. We're using suitably silly names for to keep in the spirit of things.

Rome: Phonius Bolonius (me) & Spuriosa Pansa (Mike - Spanish allies)

Gaul: Panoramix (John), Cacofanix (Roy), Getafix (Nigel) 

Game 1 - Village Pillage

The Romans have pitched camp a small distance from a Gallic farmstead. The aim of this scenario is to destroy as much of the enemy as possible, with bonus points for raiding the enemies buildings.

The Gauls deployed with both warband's noble cavalry centrally. Panoramix set-up to attack the Roman camp while Cacofanix was defending the farm. The Romans mirrored this with Spuriosa attacking the farm through some rough terrain and Phonius defending the camp.   

The Romans pushed forward a little to clear some Gallic skirmishers on their left  whole the Spanish infantry advanced through the scrub towards the farm. The Gauls made their move in the centre pushing up some archers covered by the horse. The Gallic shooting proved highly effective as emptied several Spanish  saddles and damaged a few of the troops hiding in the scrub.

The Gauls unleashed a fierce attack against the Romans who withstood the initial attack and then began to grind-down the tiring Celts, slowly pushing them back. The Spanish assaulted from the cover and although they took heavy casualties they were able to just gain the upper hand and capture the farm.

The result was pretty close though: 24-21 for Rome. The big difference was the Celts losing two complete units of  noble cavalry to the Triarii.  


Wednesday, 10 November 2021

The Mahdi and supporters in 28mm

A long running project of mine has been painting some 28mm Sudan units for an eventual future game. I've completed another unit of Mahdist and the great man himself - looking rather like Laurence Olivier


The Mahdi

I also have Osman Digna - one of the Madi's most notable commanders 

Osman Digna

And finally some Beja cavalry mounted on camels. One more unit of Beja foot and I can begin on the British. 
Beja cavalry

Sunday, 7 November 2021

Shadow of the Eagles - 20mm

 Yesterday I popped around to Roy's and we broke out the 20mm figures for a game. Despite being mentioned in the rules for his various inputs during development this was only his second game. We pitted the Austrians (me) vs the Bavarians in a very straight-forward head-to-head.

The Bavarians went straight on the offensive, attacking all across the line. This suited the Austrians who were  happy to set back and let their guns do some of the early work. 

As the German infantry toiled-up in the centre they came came under stiff fire and so shook out of column into  line so they could lessen the casualties. This worked pretty well but most units were worn, or close to it, by the time they approached the  Austrian lines. 

On the flanks the Bavarians fared much better. On their right they charged and caught the waiting Austrians slightly on the hop, breaking them after about three turns. On their left a stalemate occurred as neither side wanted to crest the rise between them and risk giving the other a free charge. In the end Bavarians had to make the move as they needed to support their advancing infantry. They need not have worried though  as they too made quick work of their Austrian opponent's, but too late to change the game.  

Centrally the Bavarian infantry were almost all routed by Austrian counter attacks or heavy fire. The Bavarians managed to get onto the Austrian left flank but a Grenadier battalion in square hung on long enough to stop them really exploiting that. The Bavarians high point was a bold charge against the Austrian guns but sadly they stopped short due to some smart cannister fire.    

So an Austrian win in about 2.5 hours play. Hopefully Roy will also post some thoughts. 


Saturday, 30 October 2021

Shadow of the Eagles - Russians vs Austrians

 A little more of an imagi-nations game this week as we pitted Austrians vs Russians. The Hapsburgs had a slightly larger infantry force, but with 25% inferior. They had a smaller cavalry brigade  but 2/3 were superior.

Both sides were charged with capturing a road junction and so the small hamlet guarding it counted as 2 kills. We split the cavalry between the two flanks and again adopted 160mm frontage for the line infantry.

Both sides pushed forward in the centre and on their left flanks, leading to an early cavalry clash  which the Russians shaded due to having 3 units vs 2.

As the centres collided the resilient Russians  proved more than a match for the Austrians, pushing them back across the line and capturing the hamlet. 

The Austrians mounted a number of attacks but were easily beaten back, hitting their 50% break point with the Russians having only suffered about 20%.  

The Russians were a tough opponent for the Austrians despite their better shooting due to the higher morale and chance to rally wounds that superior motivation brings for the Tsar's men. This felt a less even contest than the French who benefit from new regime flexibility and higher initiative. 

So this concludes our round of trial games - now to write a campaign. We're  still torn between imagi-nations and doing 1812'ish. 


Saturday, 23 October 2021

Shadow of the Eagles - week 2, full fat play

This week for our second game of Shadow of the Eagles we used all the available rules; general quality, more detailed unit quality and permitted formations. We fought attack vs defence with a 25% larger Russian force vs the French.

The French had 25% of the infantry as Inferior and all cavalry as Regular.  They got +1 initiative giving them a bigger chance to determine activation order.  

The Russians had an Inept brigadier meaning those troops may be out-of-command and needing to each roll to advance. The line infantry counted superior for motivation (morale / combat) and inferior for training (shooting / ability roles in activation). So the Russians would be tough in melee but less good in a shoot-out.  

The Russians were the attackers with a mixture of columns, or lines preceded by skirmishers, and a reinforced cavalry brigade on their left. As the scenario demanded they pushed ahead with an attack across the whole front but with stronger flanks bulls-horns style. 

Although notionally weaker on paper, the Russian approach shooting proved effective due to a succession of 6's, meaning the more than matched the French fire as they plodded forward towards the defensive line. 

It was not all joy for the Tsar's men though as they lost the cavalry clash on their left despite having greater numbers. Some unlucky rolls a failure to counter-charge put them on the backfoot and they never really recovered. This meant the French could focus on the infantry attacks. 

As the lines clashed the French finally found their range and were able to push back the Russians across most of the front. The exception was the extreme right where the French were forced to deploy their inferior units in the front line and they were quickly blown away by the Russians in melee.  

I think this week's learning would be

  • Skirmish screens continue to be effective for both attackers and defenders - extending the separation allowed to 9" meaning they are relevant for more of the game.
  • Russians might be slow but they are tough nuts and rally wounds quite quickly. They feel the equal of Regular French with their split profile.  
  • Cavalry combats are a bit of a crap shoot and its tough to avoid additional casualties from recoiling units. 
  • Inept generals are nt too bad  - I think we only had 1 turn of total inactivity from his brigade
  • Inferior units are pretty weak, especially if you get them into melee
The final change we made this week was to narrow the frontage of the units to 160mm (120mm for mounted) to give more space on the board. This worked well so I suspect we'll stick with this.