Sunday, September 28, 2008

The Battle of Narona

Panic now swept through the entire Alanican line as one Cohort after another tried to turn and flee. The 2nd and last Cohort of the Macedonica stopped in its tracks as it saw its sister Cohorts anillilated. A cry of alarm went up from it's front ranks which soon turned to panic as the Warbands of the Marcomanni rushed towards it's wavering shield wall. Pleaderdocarex at the head of his Warband smashed into the Cohort which turned and ran for it's life. The Marcomanni weren't going to miss out on their promised plunder and gave chase, catching and surrounding it within minutes. A stunned Terentius ignored pleas to launch a counter attack and could only watch as the best Legion in the East was cut to pieces.

The battle line of Terentius was destroyed within minutes, the entire Legion was gone, replaced by screaming hordes of Marcomanni and vengeful, blood thirsty slaves.

The Battle of Narona

The slaves fight on to Pulex's left taking many casualties but holding their ground. Then to their surprise, panic rips through their Macedonican opponents. The destruction of their 1st Cohort has left the Macedonicans exposed and vulnerable, they try to fall back again.
As they start to fall back they are over taken themselves by the hordes of slaves and cut down. They fight on bravely but by sheer weight of numbers, the slaves break their shield wall and butcher them.

The Battle of Narona

The 2nd Cohort of the Apollinaris although facing a Cohort themselves, leave the road to aid the stricken Cohort of Pulex. They can now see the huge masses of German warriors heading straight for the Macedonicans and know they will soon be more than occupied..Pushing his men to their limits, Pulex again enters the front rank and shouts support to his wavering forces. He is found in turn by Centurion Turrinus the giant Centurion of the 1st Cohort Macedonica and challenged to single combat. Not waiting for second invite, Pulex races up to Turrinus and kills him instantly with a thrust through the mouth and neck. Both sides freeze as the great body of Turrenus slumps to the ground, with a cheer the 1st Cohort Apollinaris charge forward. The Macedonicans are taken by the surprise and the shock of the assault sends them reeling. Taking full advantage of the situation, Pulex leads one more charge and pushes the Macedonicans back.

Above, Pulex leads the last charge that shatters the 1st Cohort of the Macedonca. As they panic and run they are overrun by Pulex's crazed Cohort and cut down to a man.

The Battle of Narona

Now it is the turn of the freed slaves to enter the battle. Determined to earn their freedom they slam into the weakened 3rd Cohort of the Macedonica. Weakened the unit may have been, but they were still in fine fighting shape and killed huge numbers of unarmoured slaves within minutes. Against all the odds, the slaves hold their ground and fight on.
Pleaderdocarex can now see the dust clouds to his left and leads his Warbands into them, bypassing the fortified farm all together. Terentius can do nothing but watch from behind his walls of stone as the Marcomanni tear off towards his exposed Legionary Cohorts.

The Battle of Narona

Pleaderdocarex at the head of the Macromanni Warbands emerges from the woods and sees that the Roman right has started to entrench itself within a small farm. As the warbands surge forward with deafening roars, Pleaderdocarex slows them up. As a young man, Pleaderdocarex accompanied his tribe on many raids against the Romans and his adventures taught him many things, one of them, was never attack Romans in a defended position. Pleaderdocarex scours the terrain for an easier target.
General Terentius mean while orders his men to heighten the stone wall to their front to slow the German charge. The sheer size and noise of the warbands is terrifying to the Marines to his right who are more at home at sea. They quickly obay his orders and hastily improve their defences.
Terentius stands with the Eagle party of the V and a Cohort of Gallic Auxiliaries to his right. Trained to throw javelins in two ranks, the Marines stand ready to his left. "let them come" Terentius is heard to shout, his cries do little to strengthen his mens' morale in the face of the Marcomanni storm clouds.

The Battle of Narona

As the defeated 3rd Cohort of the Macedonica fall back, the 1st Cohort lead by Centurion Turrinus, is ordered to plug the gap. Turrinus, a man of great physical strength rushes his Cohort forward. Pulex and the men of the XV have hardly enough time to catch their breath before they find themselves hard pressed again by the fresh Cohort. Tired and suffering from wounds the 1st Cohort of the XV start to give ground.
It isn't long before Pulex's weakened Cohort is being out flanked and pushed back. Pulex knows he will have to work another miracle to stop them from collapsing.The 1st Cohort of the Apollinaris starts to be butchered as it is pushed back on itself.

Friday, September 26, 2008

The Battle of Narona

The 1st Cohort of the XV Apollinaris meet the 3rd Cohort of the V Macedonica head on. Centurion Pulex of the XV orders his men to open ranks to allow more room for better swordsmanship and leads the assault. Much to his surprise, the Macedonican Cohort present a wall of shields as they close. The fight is brutal but both sides keep their ground. Pulex, being the veteran he is, realises the Macedonicans are fighting a holding action to buy their 1st Cohort enough time to preform a flanking attack.
Pulex decides he has to act quickly and pushes his way through the front rank to find their leading Centurion. He finds Centurion Albinus amid the slaughter and closes in for the kill. The men of both sides back away from the two as they square up, cheering for their respective champion. Albinus and Pulex fight it out one on one, each side holds its breath as the two rain down sword blows on each other. A stumble by Albinus gives Pulex the chance he has been waiting for and he quickly dispatches Albinus with a sword thrust to the throat. The shock of the defeat ripples through the Macedonicans' lines and they break from combat in an ordered withdraw. Pulex holds his unit together and keeps his ground.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

The Battle of Narona

The war cry given off by the Marcomanni war bands startles even Flaccus' battle line. Beating swords and axes on shields and screaming at the top of their voices they start to serge forward slowly. As they approach a small wood, Pleaderadocarex rides forward to view the field beyond.

On the far Left of the field the freed slaves start their advance. Being lightly armoured and carrying only light weapons, they cross the marshy ground quickly and with little difficulty.
The slaves work themselves up ready for battle. Many are old warriors, who are willing to risk their lives in order to live what they have left in freedom.

The Battle of Narona

The 3rd Cohort of the V Macedonica jogs forward to fill the gap left by the fleeing cavalry. These tough professional soldiers, equipped with the latest weapons and armour are a sight to behold in the early morning sun. Their pace slows as they near their chosen target, the 1st Cohort of the XV Apollinaris.
The XV Apollinaris is an old Legion that has been stuck on the frontier in Pannonia for many years. As a result it's equipment has fallen behind spec compared to the other Legions stationed closer to Rome. Although they still wear the out dated Lorica Hamata, the Legionaries are tough veterans of the volatile border and are no strangers to battle. Still in their warm woollen cloaks, they await the V in grim silence.
The other Cohort of the XV Apollinaris is stationed on the Narona road and faces the elite 1st Cohort of the V Macedonica which trudges down the muddy track to meet them.

The Battle of Narona

Terentius' 1st Moesian horse ride forward to slow the advance of the Secundian cohorts with showers of javelins. Their quick ponies speed them up to the lines of Flaccus within minutes, however before they can launch their assault, Stuba Bowmonica's Sarmation horse slam into them.
Stuba's heavy armoured Sarmations power through the cloud of missiles and smash the Moesian formation to pieces. The Moesians turn and try to regroup but the momentum is with the Sarmations and they are quickly over run and destroyed. As the Cohorts of the V Macedonica tramp forward, elements of their shattered cavalry retreat back through their lines.The Legionaries jeer and call after them but to no availStuba was wounded in the leg with a javelin but still managed to carry the day and push his men on. Retiring from the field soon after, he knew his name had been cleared from the disgrace at Valentia.

Flaccus saw everything from the far right of the field, as Stuba retired he knew he had done his job, the Terentian cavalry were gone and Flaccus still had his Pannonian cavalry behind him. As he watched the Sarmations regroup behind the lines, he cursed the lose of its veterans at Valentia, the unit was now a shadow of it's former self.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

The Battle of Narona begins

Flaccus orders the attack on the Alanician battle line. lovingly known as the 'messenger' to his men, because of his tearing around on horseback in mud stained clothes; Flaccus rides to the right of his battle line. He hopes his presence there will steady the wayward war bands of Marcomanni. He leaves the left to the Panonnian hero, Stuba Bowmonica and his heavy Sarmation horse. The cornucens of Flaccus blast the signal to advance.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

The Army of Thrace arrives (Campaign 105)

Concealed within a huge cloud of dust, the Army of Thrace trudges onto the Alluvial planes outside Narona and takes up it's position. Expecting a tiny vexillation of tired Legionaries, Terentius is amazed at the size of Flaccus's force. He soon regains his composure after his scouts report on the formations that lay ahead on the plane. "He has an army of slaves!!" laughs Terentius. His army of elite Roman Legionaries will be able to cut this rabble to pieces within an hour.
Just to be on the safe side and to calm his Tribunes, Terentius orders a Cohort of marines from the supporting fleet to re-enforce him at once. Victory is now guarantied.

Above, Terentius prepares for battle.

Flaccus frees the slaves (Campaign 104)

General Flaccus prepares to meet the Alanician army outside the small town of Norona. Knowing that the elite Army of Thrace is only a days march away, he sees a way to enlarge his army. The large stone quarry outside Narona offers him the perfect opportunity. Flaccus offers the quarry's slaves a chance of freedom by taking up weapons and fighting for Secundus.

After a very short discussion the slaves agree and are equipped with basic armour and weapons from the baggage train. His Generals complain about the arming of such people and Flaccus knows that they are signing up to their death. However, they might just tie down enough of Terentius's forces for Flaccus to gain an advantage with his cavalry. Flaccus hopes they will buy their freedom dearly with Alanician blood.

Plastic Celt Review

Here is another look at those plastic Celts from Warlord Games. With 'horde' armies requiring hundreds of figures, I think these guys are the way to go in making vast armies achievable again.
I also think with these figures hitting the market and their quality, the Wargames Industry will never be the same again. I think it's only a matter of time until we see all companies jumping onto the plastic band waggon.

Review Time

After spending a week at work being brain washed by an advert, curiosity finally got the better of me and I ordered a tin of Quick shade.

Quickshade is a new product which claims to be a way of painting armies in record time. Simply by painting just the flat colours on to the figures then dipping them into the Quickshade, armies can be painted in days rather than months. I had to give it a try.

I found the results a little disappointing, yes the stain shaded light areas very well but dried into a glossy varnish. Even after a couple of coats of Matt spray Varnish, they still had a glossy look. For me, being a painter foremost and finding that part of the gaming hobby the most enjoyable, the product didn't really catch on.
However, the dip was tested on the new Plastic Celts from Warlord Games and they really did impress me. I bought them just to see what all the fuss was about and was very surprised. £17 buys you thirty figures which is unbeatable in the present market. Making them up was also great fun and reminded me of my first box of Space Marines many years ago. With amazing detail and good poses I recommend these boxes to any one collecting a Celtic Army. Also Warlord Games have already hinted at more releases covering Dacians and I take it as read, that Germans would be not far behind.
I have given my plastic Celts small shields from my bit box, as with their running poses they will make great skirmishers.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

The Moaning Marcomamanni (Campaign 103)

Within days of Flaccus's army digging in, Pleaderdocarex and his chieftains start to complain. The great war chief starts to demand more money for his services and threatens to withdraw his War bands unless his demands are met. Flaccus has a problem, with no gold coin to spare he must come up with a way to appease the wayward chieftain.
Knowing that the Army of Thrace carries with it an almighty baggage train, Flaccus offers it to Pleaderdocarex as an added bonus . Pleaderdocarex's chieftains still grumble and are only silenced when they receive the honoured place in the right of the battle line as well as the baggage train. Flaccus has been bent over a barrel but he knows to lose the German's help at this late stage would mean total defeat.

Flaccus marches to meet Terentius (Campaign 102)

Flaccus marches further south until he reaches the Neretva valley. On hearing of Terentius's advance, Flaccus decides to hold his ground and meet him here, just out side the town of Narona.

Flaccus's Roman force is small and marches along side two huge German formations. However, Flaccus knows what he faces and still worries it won't be enough.

Terentius Enters Dalmatia (Campaign 101)

General L.Terentius enters Dalmatia at the head of one of the finest armies in the Roman world, the Army of Thrace. Made from tough professional soldiers, this army would be unstoppable in the field.

Just across the border Terentius halted his huge force to discuss a plan of action with his generals, after two hours, a plan was decided upon. The army would head up the coast where it could be supplied by sea and use the well established trade roads. This army of full time soldiers could cover great distances in no time and Terentius knew that with it, he could go on to take Rome itself.

Above, Terentius glowers at his generals over a map of the province. Behind him stand his personal assistants, all young boys. This group of young boys and men follow Terentius every where, even on to the battlefield at times. He lovingly refers to them as 'his little bodyguards'. For this reason he has been frowned upon in Rome, but Alanicus knows he is a good general despite his vices and over looks them.