Tally Ho!

Wednesday 28 October 2020

20mm Punic Wars

Inspired by our recent DBA adventures Nigel has been busty with some 20mm Punic Wars armies based for DBM. Its a classic Rome vs Carthage setup. All figures are Zvezda.  

Saturday 24 October 2020

28mm Ottoman Janissaries - the end is in sight

 I've been a bit distracted by side projects recently so progress has slowed on the renaissance front, but I've finally managed to complete the last of the Janissary units for the army. I've gone for a nice colourful red this time. The figures are Warlord Games.


This leaves just one unit of Azabs and the army is done.  We've yet to settle on a set of rules but I'm leaning towards Liber Militum: Tercio as we played a game of these earlier in the year and had a fun game. 

One of the distractions has been doing some more fantasy stuff for games during lockdown. This Earth Elemental was in my goodie bag from the Mantic Games open day way back in November 2019. Its finally made it to the top of the pile.     

Monday 19 October 2020

Roman empires online - year 1 / season 1

We've completed our first round of battles for the online DBA campaign we're trialling during Tier-1 lockdown.

The first campaign season saw the Romans successful in all their battles with incursions into Gaul (John), Carthage (Mike), Spain (Nigel), Numidia (Stu) and Seleucia (Roy). The Syracusans escaped attack this round as Richard spent further time in training. So most players therefore advance to Quaestor.

For round 2 we're making a couple of refinements. We're introducing "aggression" rolls from DBM so the Romans might not always attack. We're also allowing allies for every game to introduce more players to each battle and mix things up. The barbarian allies will always be reliable (nothing to lose) but the Romans may not be. 

Wednesday 14 October 2020

What have the Romans ever done for us

 As we move online for a while we've been experimenting with DBA as a game that works well on a grid. The initial idea was to play with my standard 40mm square elements but they are hard to make out from above. So we've settled on 40mm square counters which are easy to make out on a small screen. 

So with a viable method in place we're now starting a simple campaign.


Sunday 11 October 2020

You may pound away sir - Ottoman artillery in 28mm

Painting has slowed a little in recent weeks with some busy weekends but I've completed my final batch of the Ottoman artillery. Three more pieces have been added to the artillery park.

The first is medium piece, hence the slightly reduced crew of three.  

Second is the final of the three heavy artillery with a 4 man crew 

Finally a volley gun with a two man crew. This is partly scratch-built using a spare barrel that came with a Scots volley gun I bought a couple of years ago.  I'm thinking this could be a light gun. 

Finally the whole battery - 2 * super heavy, 3 * heavy, 1 * medium, and 1 * light.  

 So we're in the home-stretch now with just two more units of infantry to complete and the army is done.

Saturday 3 October 2020

Clash of Spears

Its been a little while since I posted - online DBA is not the most photogenic of games so there has nt been too much to put up.   This weekend though I had a game of Clash of Spears which my brother has been busy painting for over lockdown.   I believe they are Spanish rules translated into English. Its a mass skirmish game currently aimed at the Punic Wars.

The rules contain lots of very familiar elements

  • Leaders have command points they allocate to activate units, who can perform unto 3 actions.
  • Its IGO-UGO with players alternating units. You can save part of your move to react to enemy attacks. 
  • There are skill based attacks and then saving throws for wounds.
  • Troops have abilities which can enhance their moving, shooting, or fighting.
  • There is command friction through dicing to Active 
  • You accumulate fatigue as you move and fight    
We played a simple game with 4 units and 2 officers each with 3 CPs, meaning everyone could Activate every turn unless we did something funky. The units are 6 - 10 figures so a whole army is about 50 models usually. I commanded the forces of Rome vs the Pontics. 

The game begins with moving counters (units or bluffs) before deployment is revealed. Like in Chain of Command this means you can lock the enemy down or grab some vital terrain. In our game we stacked the east side of the table with skirmishers on our right and medium troops in the scrub.  

The Romans did most of the advancing as they looked to close on the Carthaginians right and close the door,   

Early shooting proved family ineffective until volley of pilums from the Hastati wiped a unit of Spanish from the board in a single bound as the Principes also mauled the Libyan javelin men.   

This was pretty deceive as it left the Carthagian heavy foot under attack from two sides with casualties mounting and the army break-point passed. So a win for Rome.


The Verdict

Its a nice looking game and it plays pretty smoothly as its many mechanics you will be familiar with from other games. The key complexity is managing and tracking Fatigue as there are lots of things which affect it and it impacts most areas of the game. 

Typically you are rolling small numbers of dice for things so you can get some swings but in larger games I guess this would be reduced as a factor. We only played a very basic scenario so it would be good to see some of the more complex ones as Activation order may be more critical then.