Monday, 28 January 2019

AAR: Persian v Indian (S&S) 27Jan19

Ian has been away ‘down-under’ over the festive period and this was our first opportunity to play a game of Sword and Spear. Ian provided the armies, both beautifully painted, and I simply had to turn up. We diced to see who played what; I got the Late Achaemenid Persians whilst Ian had the Classical Indians. The terrain was open, but Ian reduced the potential frontage by choosing a river on one flank.

I deployed my mercenary Hoplites near the river and thought these would vanquish the opposing large body of Indian foot, maybe suffering damage from the bow fire on the way in. On the other flank I was convinced my better cavalry would prevail against the supposed poorer Indian mounted troops. My major concern was in the centre where the enemy Elephants and chariots were located. I was unclear about how to counter this threat, so I planned for my lighter Persian troops to slow the Indians and avoid direct conflict.
View from the Persian side of the table

In many ways my hopes for the Hoplite flank were proved correct; they cut through the Indians like a ‘hot knife-though-butter’ with little damage, but it took so long to get them into action that they could not exploit their success fully. On the other flank my plans went astray and essentially lost me the battle. I’m not entirely sure why my cavalry failed. I think I could have strengthen the flank with another unit; I feel I made one poor decision by opting for a tempting flank attack rather than engaging another unit; and I had not accounted for the intervention of an Indian light chariot unit. Whatever the reason, the losses on this flank mounted at a rapid rate. In the centre my plans to counter the Elephants went well for most of the game, but I finally made a simple error and they got me!
Indian elephants keep trundling forward!

So, victory went to Ian in a close fought battle. This was a game I really enjoyed and it reminded me of how good Sword and Spear is. The rules keep both players constantly engaged, and tough decisions need to be made when allocating dice. The luck element is not overpowering but you can never take things for granted. I think Sword and Spear is my favourite Ancient rule set for club games that are time-limited. Impetus is a close second (plan to get v2 soon), and To the Strongest in third place. I look forward to many more games in the future.

Tuesday, 22 January 2019

Off the Painting Table (Jan 2019) part 2

Well, the second Roman legion did not take long to paint, I think the uniform character helped the production line. This time I went for a simple blue shield colour, and I plan to leave the more ornate designs for use by the Italian allied forces.

There is now light at the end of the tunnel in relation to my Punic War armies. Next up is the Italian foot, followed by Roman cavalry, then a horde of Gallic types. Finally, I plan to paint the elephants and general figures. I hope to get the painting finished by the end of February, and the basing done in March.

Friday, 11 January 2019

Off the Painting Table; Jan 2019

Over the festive period I have continued painting units for my Punic Wars armies. I have completed the Spanish contingent made up of Lancashire Games figures. I have 4 units each of Scutarii and Caetrati, plus 2 units of cavalry. The figures wear white tunics with a purple border and the shield designs are fairly Gallic in appearance (I took my inspiration and ideas from looking at 28mm decal designs on the Victorix website.).

It should be noted I have also finished the Numidian forces, but I have not photographed these because they are dull and boring.

I have a horde of Gallic figures to paint, but I don’t think I can face them immediately. Instead I think I will focus on my next Roman legion using Xyston figures. The better sculpts make these a pleasure to work on.

Wednesday, 2 January 2019

Review of the painting year; 2018

The year of 2018 has come to an end and I can look back on what I have managed to paint. I am a ‘sad’ gamer who logs all the items painted, generally in chronological order, so here is my 2018 list:

WW1 French
Lancashire Games
WW2 French S-35 tanks
ACW Naval
Peter Pig
Plus Medium fort
Col. Bills
Town Militia
Farmyard animals
Warlord Games
Black Tree
Spanish Guerrillas
Eagle Figures
WW2 building
Medieval Levy Archers
Gripping Beast
Lancashire Games
Lancashire Games
Republic Romans
Xyston Figures


Actually, 2018 was a quiet year in terms of painting. The only major projects completed were my WW1 French army, and my ACW riverine fleets for use with RFCM Hammerin’ Iron rules. Otherwise it has been a bit ‘bitty’ and lacking focus. I’m currently in the middle of my 15mm Punic Wars forces, which should be completed in early 2019. I’m really searching for inspiration at the moment but have enough to keep me occupied until Salute in Spring.