Tuesday, August 18, 2009

I'm off to conquer Crete for two weeks!

I thought It was high time I got back in the saddle and took the fight to the enemy, I chose Crete to invade for no better reason than the weather is nice and hot. I'm a bit like that, see you all soon, Secundus.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Rebasing the French horde

Today I have pulled out two units of French from my cabinet and have set about rebasing them for the game 'Napoleon'. My original units were 36 man strong and so by down sizing them to 24 man units, I have more than a few Fusiliers spare. These will be drummed into extra units and I've had to order more Flank companies to complete them. Also I'll need a few more command to make up the new units, I'm quite looking forward to getting back to painting the French. That's the good thing about painting uniforms...once you've learnt the tricky colour schemes you can just steam through them.
I cringe when I think back to when I first started painting Napoleonics. All those different names and classes of soldier, the Grenadiers, Voltigeurs, and Fusiliers and what the hell is a Tirailleur? As for Chasseurs and the Carbineers well I give up, what's all this about the Leger troops I've just learnt the troops of the line, what does Leger mean? Thankfully after many years of painting and learning along the way (slowly) they no longer keep me awake at night. This is just two regiments from the cabinet...I have a long to go.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Foundry 'Napoleon' Rules

Keir has pointed out a good site to go to if you are interested in the new rule set by Foundry, www.befreiungskriege.wordpress.com . I am new to the period in gaming terms, so the game is quite exiting for me and my friend. There are a few things we have agreed to change but it seems to be the terminology of 'units' more than anything else so far. We like the idea of four 'units' being called a Brigade rather than a Division. The units of 24 men seem more like Battalions to us.

I'm just glad I have a rule set to work too after waiting for years for the fabled 'Warhammer' edition to arrive. I think Foundry have stolen a march there, pun intended. As always, I will handle the painting side of things and let Alanicus bash out the rule mechanics, both of us playing to our strengths and saving a lot of time

The Curse of the Gamer/Painter

It seems every time I pick up a copy of War games Illustrated, I am bedazzled by a new range of figures which plays havoc with my painting production line. Having set my sights on finishing a range, I am left confused and find myself wandering off the path into a mine field of other periods. I know this is the curse of every Painter/collector/gamer and they'll be many who read this that will find themselves tormented also on a monthly basis besides myself.

I have recently ordered a copy of Foundry's new rule book, Napoleon, after seeing It in the magazine. It looks very nice indeed and has got some good reviews. Having painted up a French army four years ago I am tempted to rebase them for the game. I painted up my army in the hope that by the time I had finished it, there would be a good 28mm Napoleonic game produced and It looks like my long wait is over. Originally, I thought It would come from Warhammer but Foundry have stepped into the void It would seem.
I rather like the idea of rebasing for It gives me an chance to touch up some of my old paint work and get things properly organized for once. I must say after having an army sitting around for so long, It's nice to think I might actually get inspired to finish them and use them. I'm hoping It might even shift me out of English Civil war mode and onto British redcoats. Now I have actual unit sizes to work too, the painting should be a lot easier too. I do enjoy knowing what I'm meant to be doing and now I can work towards an Army list. I'm also looking forward to getting back to speed painting large units again rather than my detailed WWII Platoons. However Father Time may have the last word on all my plans as usual...Oh well lets just see what happens. Next week I may see something else...!
If anyone has played the game I would be Interested to hear your views on the matter.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Battle of Senones ( 19 )

Although Secundus had lost to Tullus at Velentia, this crushing defeat of Tullican forces more than made up for it and Secundus made preparations to sacrifice a thousand bulls in thanks to the Gods. Secundus knew with Narona and now Senones now under his belt, he was well on his way to being the sole Emperor, he was getting used to the taste of success...

Battle of Senones ( 18 )

Dewolfus was triumphant and Plinius lay dead, a Gladiators knife still in his back. The loyal Dewolfus had not let his Emperor down, although he secretly wished his victory had been as complete as Flaccus's at Narona. Still, although three large powerful units had retired from the field in good order, at least he had been the first general to present Secundus with an enemy Eagle. Something Flaccus had failed to do, Dewolfus was happy enough.

Battle of Senones ( 17 )

For the Army of the Rhine the pickings were great.

Battle of Senones ( 16 )

The news of Plinius's death spread through the Gallic army like wild fire and as It did, units lost heart and started to fall back. The Cohort of the 8TH Augusta now broke from Dewolfus's VI Victrix and was destroyed as It attempted to flee the valley. In the forest the Greeks saw the fleeing masses streaming back up the hill slopes and ran for their lives. It was now that the Light Legionaries showed their skill in hunting and slew many of them before they could reach the open ground. Over to the far Left, Aurelius watched in amazement as a sure victory turned into a rout. Alongside him the Italian cavalry stood dumb struck, then without a word of command all three units turned and fled the field. They were the only units to survive the battle from the Army of Gaul.

Battle of Senones ( 15 )

As his world collapsed around him, Plinius called in vain for his men to rally. Only his loyal body guard and the Eagle party stayed at his side...it was their undoing. The Gladiators cut down all but one of Plinius's guards and as he tried to rally them, Plinius too was hacked down. The Eagle party fared better, forming a tight knot it cut its way out of the fleeing Gladiators only to be surrounded by the incensed XXI Rapax. The Eagle bearer fought like a lion but stood no chance, he was cut down and the Eagle seized in the name of Secundus. It was the first Eagle taken in battle since the Campaign had begun and it heralded the death of the 8Th Augusta.

The Turning Point! ( 14 )

As the Gallic army closed in from all sides on the grizzly Army of the Rhine, the master stroke of the battle fell down to one man, Centurion Paullus of the 2ND Cohort XXI Rapax. Seeing his fellow legionaries cut down by ex slaves he called upon his tired, bloodied Cohort to charge one more time. The charging Cohort hit like a thunder clap and shattered the lose ranks of the Gladiators and the whole unit broke apart. The 3RD Cohort and the 2ND now turned the tables on the Gladiators and there was little mercy in the slaughter.
For the Gladiators may have been skilled with the sword, but they lacked the unity and training of the Legionaries. Without the iron discipline of the legion the Gladiators turned and ran, cutting down friends and foes alike in order to escape. No Roman oath could hold them and they fled the field in disarray.

Battle of Senones ( 13 )

Back in the centre of Dewolfus's line, the Gladiators slam into their second enemy cohort. The legionaries of the 3RD Cohort XXI Rapax are pushed back almost straight away and start to give ground like their brother Cohort before them. Plinius exalts his men on to victory and dismounts to join the Eagle party in their cheers.
Unbeknown to Plinius, the 2ND Cohort of the XXI Rapax that fell back earlier has now regrouped and prepare to advance back into the melee.

Battle of Senones ( 12 )

Meanwhile on the left of the battle field the main battle group within the Army of Gaul tramps across the plain. At the head of this double sized Cohort is Centurion Aurelius. Aurelius is another veteran of extreme experience and now takes it upon himself to change direction and march towards the enemy centre. Following orders he has followed up the massed cavalry attack, but now finds himself too far away to assist in the close combat raging in the middle of the valley. Checking his equipment one last time he now orders the huge Cohort to march at double time to help in the slaughter of the German army. The regrouped Tungrians fall back at the approach of the Cohort and Aurelius sends runners to the two cavalry squadrons so they can coordinate their attacks.

Battle of Senones ( 11 )

A fierce fight now rages in the wood to the far right, javelins fill the air as the two groups of skirmishers Jockey back and forth under the trees. After twenty minutes of fighting the Greeks finally break and fall back hotly pursued by the now crazed light Legionaries. Even now though the Greeks turn and make a last stand atop a small hillock, Dewolfus's wolfs have failed to force the enemy from the wood. Dewolfus looks for them time and time again, hoping to add their number to the attack and shift the ball back into his court, but they do not appear.

Battle of Senones ( 10 )

The battle was not going in Dewolfus's favour and all he can do is to look to his own Cohort as it struggles against the 8Th Augusta. On the far left, the III Brittonum reaches the safety of the German line and tries to regroup, before they can form up though, the Italian cavalry catch them and sweep them away in a desperate charge. Dewolfus has now lost his cavalry arm and has nothing to counter the huge body of men and horse that now wheel inwards.

Battle of the Senones ( 9 )

Dewolfus moved into the town with the VI Vitrix and turned towards the his flagging centre but he was meet by the 2ND Cohort 8TH Augusta which halted him in his tracks.

Battle of Senones ( 8 )

As Dewolfus's left flank started to fold up, Plinius decided to deliver the hammer blow to his centre by the way of his heavy Gladiators. This large Cohort of trained fighters slammed into the 2ND Cohort XXI Rapax. Much to the surprise of the hardened Legionaries the Gladiators started to gain ground, pushing them back. The legionaries tightened their formation but the heavy armour of the Gladiators started to tell. Before long the 2ND Cohort began to be out flanked by the crazed swordsman and the order was given to fall back. Plinius with his Eagle party urged them on to victory from within the ranks.
Dewolfus was not their to see it but he had taken precautions to strengthen his line. As the 2ND Cohort fell back in good order, the 3RD Cohort, which had been placed close in reserve, quickly rushed forward to fill the gap. Dewolfus's generalship had saved his line from total collapse.

Battle of Senones ( 7 )

As the British cavalry raced back towards safety, their panic became infectious and started to ripple through the surrounding Cohorts. The 1st Cohort of Tungrians halted their advance and started to fall back. The threat of having two enemy squadrons on their flank was too much for them to stomach.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Battle of Senones ( 6 )

Now It was the turn of the Plinius's heavy horse to carry the day and win Tullus a second victory. The sky turned to thick dust as the two Ala's thundered towards the German lines. The III Ala Brittonum sprang forward to meet them and the two units crashed through each other to the sound of frightened horses.
The British horseman, clad in their wolf skins were good fighters and had beaten off worst odds than this before many times. However, the I Italica's weight in numbers began to show as the second Ala closed in behind the Wolf heads cutting them off from retreat. Panic set into the British horseman as they tried to cut themselves free from the trap. The few that made it out now galloped for their lives back towards the German line. The I Italica regrouped, then chased after them. The biggest cavalry battle in the war so so far had gone to the Plinius and his Italian horse in the name of Tullus.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Plinius and the Gladiators (5)

Plinius Fulius was a young man untested in battle but his father was highly placed amongst Tullus's supporters. Tullus being hard pressed for Men of high rank decided to give the charismatic man a chance to prove himself on the field. Tullus would have thought twice if he had known the Gods would pit him against Dewolfus. However, the young man had charm and Tullus knew that that meant luck when it came to the Gods. He was to need a lot of luck Tullus thought when he heard reports of the coming battle in the Senones valley.

Plinius was no fool though and had taken great care in preparing for a heavy battle of Roman armour. He had the largest formations of horse yet seen in the Campaign and to back these he had enlarged his heavy Infantry by enlisting Gladiators. These tough fighters had been stripped of most of their heavy Gladiatorial armour and had been reequipped from the army stores. Those individuals with names for themselves decided to keep their heavy 'show' armour for recognition. As a result the unit entered the field in heavy armour and made for a very impressive sight as it marched down the hill and across the plain. Plinius knew these trained fighters lacked the iron discipline of the Legions, so he joined them with a small bodyguard and the Eagle party. If they did start to fall back he would be on hand to stop them.

Battle of Senones ( 4 )

One Ace that Dewolfus does have up his sleeve however, is his highly trained Light Legionaries, these specialized warriors are adapted to fighting in the close woodland confines of the Rhine and Dewolfus now releases them to secure his right flank which is heavily forested.
These special light troops clad themselves in wolf skins to break up their silhouette which helps blend them into their wooded surroundings. They are the best trained troops in the Army of the Rhine and Dewlofus puts his full trust into them winning his right flank.
On the opposite side of the valley, Plinius has ordered a small unit of Greek skirmishers to advance and scout out the wood. They are ordered to look out for any weak spots appearing in the German line and attack, causing as much confusion as they can. Unknown to the Greeks, the woods are already thick with hunting wolves...

Battle of Senones ( 3 )

General Dewolfus leads a Cohort of the VI Victrix into the settlement of Senones, to the right of him, his wolf-clad skirmishers are given orders to advance. With a blast from the Cornucen, the whole army shudders forward with the sound of clanking armour and heavy saddled feet. To his far Left, Dewolfus orders the III Brittonum Ala, a British cavalry unit, to hold up the enemy horse on the flank as long as possible. Dewolfus has already guessed Plinius's plan but must trust to his veterans to hold firm in the face of so many horse.

Members of the I Italica horse prepare to advance after receiving Plinius's orders. The orders are straight forward, advance to destroy the cavalry of the Rhine, then sweep left and roll up the entire army. The Italian horseman are confident in their numbers and the morale is high amongst the squadrons.

The Battle of Senones ( 2 )

The two armies face each other across the valley of Senones. On one side, charismatic leader Plinius Fulvius leads the cavalry strong Army of Gaul and on the other, General Dewolfus leads his grizzled Army of the Rhine. Two very different armies with two very different fighting styles. As the two sides form up, Dewolfus is surprised to see the amount of heavy horse within Plinius's army and for the first time he begins to doubt a victory. Also huge amounts of heavy Infantry start to descend into the valley, another shock for Dewolfus.
Plinius on the other hand is aware of Dewolfus's record as a General and has a bitter respect for it. However, his army is not looking in top form and has grown fat with all that easy garrison duty up North. He sends his orders to his Cavalry squadrons to prepare and places himself at the front of a tough unit of freed Gladiators to bolster their morale, turning them into an unstoppable killing machine.

Setting the scene (Campaign Battle 1)

This is the peaceful town of Senones in Gaul, normally a quiet little place but this was about to change as two huge Roman armies descended on the tiny settlement.