Prufrock's Wargaming Blog

Prufrock's Wargaming Blog

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Crimisus video report

Well, after several attempts - including a turn by turn report which I was forced to discard when I realised I had inadvertently cut my head out of the picture for the last six turns! - I've posted a video report of the battle mentioned in my previous post. It's not perfect by any means (no one should have to hear as many 'ums' in their entire lifetime as they are going to hear in this video!) but I'll take away a few points I can work on for next time (if indeed there is a next time).

I would normally post a few photos at this point for the people (and I number myself amongst them) who as a rule hate watching video of twits waffling about wargames, but the memory card was full, so the video is all there is, sorry.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Crimissos underway

It's the Obon holiday here in Japan, so with a few days off I've set up a classroom for the Lost Battles version of Crimissos (Crimissus, Crimisos, Crimisus, or however else you want to spell it!) to follow on from the Commands and Colors: Ancients game last week.

It takes quite a different approach, with the river here positioned along the Carthaginian baseline (and tributaries flowing across the field) rather than being on one flank as in the CCA scenario.

Am looking forward to it, and may even do a little video report if the stars align.

From behind the Syracusan lines. The Carthagians have been surprised and most of their troops start off-table, behind the river. 

The centre of the field.

From the Carthaginian left.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Commands and Colors action

I don't know how long it's been between drinks (I could check, but can't be bothered), but we finally got a miniatures game in at house Prufrock. Old friend Commands and Colors: Ancients was pulled out - even if in much reduced state, since almost all of its component parts currently reside in New Zealand - and the Crimissos River scenario  set up.

Timoleon and his Syracusans had a nasty hand first up. Of the five cards, two were for cavalry only, and given that they only had one cavalry unit on the board, these would be of limited use. The other cards were order two right and a pair of coordinated attacks.

The formidable Syracusan centre: two leaders and four units of heavy infantry.

Timoleon's plan would be to harrass the Carthaginians with missiles where possible, consolidate the line and wait for cards to show up that would allow him to get his powerful centre into battle.

The battlefield from behind the Syracusan left.

Hasdrubal had different concerns. With more than half of his army sitting useless behind the Crimissos, he would use his hand (a few order x centre and right, a line command and a very useful leadership +3 card) to shuffle as many troops across the river as possible before the main clash began.

The river would be a problem throughout: units stop upon entering, and are especially vulnerable while in the river. They must be activated at least twice to get over said watery barrier and into the battle proper. With units especially vulnerable while in a river hex, the Syracusans would have a good opportunity to block the Carthaginian advance and force Hasdrubal to waste cards on moving when he would rather be attacking.

The battle began as the commanders planned: the Syracusans advanced their light infantry to take pot-shots at their opponents and the Carthaginians tried to get people into and then across the water.

Early happenings.

Both sides when possible pulled their troops in closer so as to take advantage of any leadership cards that came up. Hasdrubal used order light troops to bring his Iberian infantry in to support the Sacred Band; Timoleon - to his great delight - drew a double time card which would allow him to move all four of his heavy infantry two hexes into contact at a time of his choosing.

Both lines consolidate. And hatch plans...

Hasdrubal, for his big push, had that leadership +3 card (leader's unit plus three others) and an order heavy troops (the Sacred Band and the chariots), which would allow two turns of strong attacks against Timoleon's line. But complicating matters was the fact that Timoleon had two leaders, so all defensive dice rolls would, in effect, be at plus one no matter where he directed his attacks.

The tension builds...
After a little more to-ing and fro-ing, Timoleon felt the moment had come and played his double time card. His heavies advanced, not against the Sacred Band of might and fame, but against the unfortunate Iberians who had just struggled across the river.

The battle proper commences.

Unprepared for what hit them, one unit of Iberians was destroyed, another was driven off, and Hasdrubal's guard unit suffered one hit. In return, Timoleon's heavies took four hits of their own, so despite the rude shock, honours ended up being fairly even.

After the first attack.

Several turns of attack and counter-attack now followed as both sides strove to inflict five kills on the enemy and claim the victory.

Once the lines are in contact in CnC:A, the battles are rapid and bloody...

Unfortunately for him, when Hasdrubal did use his Leadership card to bring the heavies into the action, the defensive qualities of the Syracusans proved equal to the task. The peltasts, rather than being destroyed, were merely driven off, and only one unit of heavy infantry was lost.

Casualties mount, but the peltasts (phew!) are fortunate to escape with a retreat result. 

With the scores now 3-2 in favour of the Syracusans and the centres of both sides in a fragile state, Timoleon plays an order two centre card to bring Timoleon into action against Hasdrubal and the cavalry in against the heavy chariots.

Order two centre...

It's a move attended by some risk. Timoleon needs only one hit to destroy Hasdrubal's unit, but the cavalry attacking the chariots is a gamble. In the cavalry's favour is the fact that the chariots are not adjacent to Hasdrubal, and so do not get his leadership bonus; against that is the fact that chariots are, well, chariots.

There is some tension as the dice rolls come in... but the cavalry clean the chariots up with two good hits.

The cavalry saves the day!

Then, being medium cavalry, they are allowed to add insult to injury and charge Hasdrubal himself. They score the required hit and the day is Timoleon's. Yay for the Greeks.

The final result is 5 banners to 2, but it was not quite as comfortable a victory as it sounds. The main difference was the fact that the Syracusans had two leaders, allowing them to a) concentrate force more effectively on attack and b) 'battle back' more effectively on defence.

So, a good fun solo game to get back into this wargaming caper with again, and it was nice to be able to use the man cave in righteous fashion, with beer to hand, a bit of music on, and figures on the table!

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