All now up … with the Chariots clarifications
Tonight we saw some armies brought out of retirement. With the release of the MeG biblical supplements Pete and I tried and old classic – New Kingdom Egypt vs Nubians. As first the classifications do a appear ungenerous, and the NKE certainly is not as ‘functionally rich’ as the early release play-test version that I have used at Oxford. The Nubians were as you expected – a lot of bowmen, however they can be backed up with some stodgy infantry and is as good as its peers.
15mm Picts – ADLG 200
15mm Free Company #1 – ADLG 200
15mm Free Company #2 – ADLG 200
Lists are here
A supplement to start the army lists of the east is now uploaded to the site
a might like nice new range of 15mm Han to accompany these 🙂
In case you missed it , here are the first two Dark Age lists for sanctioned play
For our finale game in our 1066 series of game, we saw the victorious (from Stamford Bridge) Harald confronted by William. As this was divergence from the historic events, we had no pre planned events to follow and just let the standard game dictate the events.
The Vikings won the initial roll off and chose to defend the north. They tried to secure their armies flank against a river. The Normans were happy to let them do that – saving a fortuitous draw of cards for the outscouting phase. This resulted in the Vikings being 70% outscouted. The terrain while being ‘dense’, saw 2 large scrubby hills failing to place. So in the end the battlefield was open in the centre and secured by a river on one flank and a couple of field on the other.
While the Vikings were outscouted it largely didn’t alter the army disposition, with 5’ of shieldwall. The Huscarls were spread out across the line, rather than in one particular area.
William didn’t have much in the way of options and really had to destroy the Viking army to keep his grip on England. So, he lined up his numerous Milites and hoped to smash the centre while the Bretons harried the flanks. The Norman left saw the infantry contingent refuse the line. The Norman infantry was at best equal to the Vikings, so it was down to the mounted wing to win the day.
The strategy that both armies deployed was not subtle. The Normans just trying to cave the centre of the line, while the Viking foot resisted in shield wall. In game terms the Hird are average light spear , close order infantry (with shieldwall). The Milites are average , charging lance, devastating chargers… so in the charge they are up 2. But the bit thing was that shieldwall negates any ‘s’s , and only a ‘skull’ gives a shatter. The Hird in 9’s are really resilient, and while the initial charge might have looked good, they can afford a few bases here and there if they can inflict and casualties. As is panned out the Normans charged, had some success, but lost a few bases. The subsequent melee was even more even. The Huscarls are savage in the melee, being 2 up n the fight, and their presence started to take a toll. The Normans had to spend their better cards to break off and re-charge (where they had more advantage) , but this was costing them a lot in card management. The Vikings could sit back to rally off wounds where they could. The Milites in 6’s , were starting to look thinned out. One unit broke and the Vikings had a breakthrough. This had the effect of splitting the line and some isolated Huscarls that dashed out were cut down by the Norman horseman – this seemed all very ‘in keeping’
However, the chances of getting the major breakthrough the Normans required started to dwindle. The Bretons were making little headway on the flanks. There were just a few too many Viking troops, and the gap in which to manoeuvre too small. Having javelins didn’t really help them and the Vikings were in big stodgy blocks. The Viking berserks had not been put in the front line and were acting as a fire brigade looked like a target and some initial success with missile fire looked like they might be seen off, but the more numerous Viking squeezed the Bretons into skirmishing away and their impact was negated.
As the game came to an end the result started to look as a bloody draw. A lot of Norman horsemen had been cut down, with just the Noman infantry intact. In conclusion it looked like Williams invasion would fail. His inability to destroy the incumbent armies would mean that his wish to control the whole of England would be inconclusive. At best we might end up with a toe hold in the south, with Godwinson defeated. Victorious Haldraada , however, might have plans to extend the Danelaw !
Fighting these battles in MeG, is quite tough , there are no quick wins, and most combats have to be ground out. The subtle nuances of the interactions actually give you some tough decisions to make. For instance the Normal quandary about martialling their cards to either ‘feign flight’ or ‘rally up’, gave the more static Vikings an edge. Also the fact that average infantry are so numerous (cheap) make any cavalry breakthrough really hard.
Made for a flavourful game, and did seem to feel right. Surprisingly more decisions to make than in other ‘Dark Ages rule sets ©’ , where they tend to run themselves.. line up.. fight
The next installment of our 1066 anniversary battle is the Battle of Stamford bridge. This time round Harold Godwinson was to take the field against Harald Haldraada. The armies lists were –
The Campaign game replaces the ‘5 days before battle’ section with its own map. The Saxons are always attacking , and the Pre Battle cards indicate whether the battle took place at its original spot (where the Vikings are surprised and the army split) or whether the Vikings are more ‘canny’ and force a more conventional pitched battle. Both sided had 9 cards, so it wasn’t a guarantee that it would take place as historically.
The preamble began slowly with the Saxons winning or drawing the early hands and thus the battle being held in the spot advantageous for them. The penultimate hands saw the Vikings make a break out away from the river and to an open plain for battle. However, a last red Saxons card in the last round saw the Vikings pushed back to the river, and the battle would be fought as per the special rules.
The battlefield was split with a traverse river, which while fordable was difficult going. The Viking army was split in two , each half being deployed on each side of the river. In the first turn the Viking would be dealt cards ‘face up’ – using the allies rules – to represent their lack of preparedness for the battle.
The scouting phase was not particularily exciting , with 100% heavy infantry armies there is not much in the way of scouting cards. The Saxons did outscout , but only by 20% (which was 2 TuGs)
The blasted north, looking a bit more like Mordor than Yorkshire. The coloured sticks a necessary evil to denote troop quality and command. As they are all my figures and are the same it could get a bit mixed up
So there were 5 Vikings battlegroups on each side of the river. The Saxons had 11. The victory conditions were that the Saxons must break the Vikings (destroy 5 TuGs) while if the Vikings held on (for 3 hours) then it would be a Dane victory. So if Harold could crush the 5 battle groups on the near side of the river, before the others ‘woke up’ then that would be the game.
The cards were dealt.
Luckily the Vikings did have a good hand of cards and not one of their commands was ‘asleep’ – the Saxons has obviously trod on a few too many twigs en route to the battlefield.
Harold and his Hearthguard had made the unusual decision to go right at the end of the line to try and act as a hammer while the anvil of the Select Fyrd held the surprised Vikings in place.
Battle was joined. The Viking on the far bank of the river formed up and advanced (as quick as their cards would allow) , but the river was slow going.
The Vikings facing the onslaught of the Saxon army fought valiantly. The first casualty of the game being one of Harold’s elite Hearthguard. The shieldwalls ground into each other, but they were evenly matched and the Vikings broken the deadlock when one of the Saxon Huscarl catastrophically units broke on the centre of the line. The Vikings started spewing though the gap and rolling up the line
Things were looking close. Harold broke his opposition on the end of the line and tried desperately to turn the line there and capitalise on that advantage. However disaster struck and the huscarls next to Harold were attritted away and broke. They was a sizeable hole in the Saxon line now. The was a slim chance now, as the Saxon training was marginally better and the ‘tribal’ Hird would find it difficult to redeploy in a different facing.
As an indicator of quality green = average, yellow = superior and red = exceptional
At this point the remainder of the Viking force crossed the river. This equalised the numbers and the Saxons would just have to be lucky. This was not the case. The Saxons ended up having to commit elements of the lesser Fyrd, and it was getting desparate. As we approached the end game (3 hour time limit for Viking victory) Tostig and his men destroyed another Saxon Huscarl unit. The only positive being that it cost the treacherous brother his life as he fought in the front rank! The Saxon army teetered on breaking, the coup de grace being when the flanked Saxons had a disastrous set of dice and a unit of Viking Huscarls – who had been 1 hit from breaking for most of the game – hit the end of the lined diced well and broke the unit they hit in the flank for no loses… Harold Godwinsons army broke.
Harold and his men by virtue of being at the end of the line could only be spectators as the Saxons army crumbled and fled. That did save him from being part of the destruction.
As our Battle of Stamford bridge concluded we rationalised that Harold with his army now defeated would not be in any position to stop Willliam in the south, and would flee to the continent. For our next instalment we decided to break from history try and see what would happen with the North still under Viking rule and the South now controlled by the unopposed Normans. Stay tuned for the next instalment …
As the 950th Anniversary of the battles for England in 1066, I set up a game of the first of the three battles – The battle of Fulford
The Battle of Fulford was fought on the outskirts of the village of Fulford near York in England, on 20 September 1066, when King Harald III of Norway, also known as Harald Hardrada, and Tostig Godwinson, his English ally, fought and defeated the Northern Earls Edwin and Morcar.
Tostig was Harold Godwinson’s banished brother. He had allied with King Harald of Norway and possibly Duke William of Normandy but there is no record of the reasoning behind his invasions. The battle was a decisive victory for the Viking army. The earls of York could have hidden behind the walls of their city but instead they met the Viking army across a river. All day the English desperately tried to break the Viking shield wall but to no avail.
Tostig was opposed by Earl Morcar who had displaced him as Earl of Northumbria.
The battle started with the English spreading their forces out to secure their flanks. On their right flank was the River Ouse, and on the left was the Fordland, a swampy area. The disadvantage to the position was that it gave Harald higher ground, which was perfect for seeing the battle from a distance. Another disadvantage was that if one flank were to give way, the other one would be in trouble. If the Anglo-Saxon army had to retreat, it would not be able to because of the marshlands. They would have to hold off the Norwegians as long as possible. Harald’s army approached from three routes to the south. Harald lined his army up to oppose the Anglo-Saxons, but he knew it would take hours for all of his troops to arrive. His least experienced troops were sent to the right and his best troops on the riverbank.
The English struck first, advancing on the Norwegian army before it could fully deploy. Morcar’s troops pushed Harald’s back into the marshlands, making progress against the weaker section of the Norwegian line. However, this initial success proved insufficient for victory to the English army, as the Norwegians brought their better troops to bear upon them, still fresh against the weakened Anglo-Saxons.
Harald brought more of his troops from the right flank to attack the centre, and sent more men to the river. The invaders were outnumbered, but they kept pushing and shoving the defenders back. The Anglo-Saxons were forced to give ground. Edwin’s soldiers who were defending the bank now were cut off from the rest of the army by the marsh, so they headed back to the city to make a final stand. Within another hour, the men on the beck were forced off by the Norwegians. Other invading Norwegians, who were still arriving, found a way to get around the thick fighting and opened a third front against the Anglo-Saxons. Outnumbered and outmanoeuvred, the defenders were defeated. Edwin and Morcar however, managed to survive the fight.
The game used the “1066 and all that” MeG Supplement
You can read the supplement here
In the scenario game the Saxons were always the ‘attacker’.This gave the Viking choice of the ground on the pre battle map. It was the Saxons task to manoeuvre the Vikings on the map. Ideally to get the river to the Vikings rear. This failed spectacularly and the Viking hand of cards pushed them further and further away from the river.
Being 100% close infantry neither side wanted much in the way of terrain and a couple of pieces of fought going were dotted around the edge, with a secure flank of steep hills.
The armies were
The game was played by
All, bar Bob, were relative neophytes … and this game was a challenge.
There was – as Barker intended – very little in the way of manoeuvre tactically with both sides lining up. The Saxons has a larger army, but were lead by lesser generals. The scenario rules were that the Saxons got an additional red card during scouting (which made little odds) , also for the first turn the Vikings were all treated as allies. As such their initial hand was played face up. If they got no coloured cards they would be unreliable, simulating the surprise that the Vikings suffered.
Here is the first Viking ‘hand’. You can just see at the bottom the last card of Harald was green to prevent him getting caught with his trousers down
Again the cards dictated that none of the Vikings were unreliable. So, with all their advantage the Saxons gained nothing, and it would be decided by sword and spear.
The army closed with an almighty clash.
I don’t like the coloured chits to denote unit – but as all the figures are mine identification of who is who was a real problem. So this was a necessary evil, to help those that hadn’t played much !
The ensuing melee was challenging as the big dark age armies who were all subtly different calculated all their factors to try and understand where all the advantages were to be gained. We laid out all the dice for the whole line to illustrate this.
The Viking has 3 bases of berserks and had integrated them in the Hird. So as exceptional devastating chargers they went in first , trying to get the shatter and force their way in the lines and give their lesser comrades more of an advantage. The Huscarls (on both sides) fought to try and push back their enemies The Huscarls were not facing one another as the Viking had placed theirs on the ends of the line to try and hold on to prevent the larger Saxons flanking them. Most troops had shieldwall – so ’S” results would not count. However, ‘Skulls’ would ‘shove’ so the where the troops were better advantaged gave more opportunities for than and therefore aid the supporting files.
At the begining the battle seemed largely bloodless (just on the dice) , but the game progressed both armies ground into each other. The granularity of the troop types did give a choice of on determining the order of the combat, compared to ALDG which would have been a largely droll experience. That said it was tough, and the large number of combatants and different file types was tricky to manager. However, it did feel like a dark age battle decided with a scrum of fighting, with local advantage escalating into a larger one.
The Vikings did win ultimately, while the Huscarls held on the weaker Fyrd collapsed on the wings and when the pub beckoned Saxons had lost 4 of their 5 TuGs before collapse to the Vikings 1 out of 4. That said a couple of Viking Tugs were teetering and their smaller army could have easily have had a reverse – should the dice gods desert.
A hard fought game, which required quite a bit of concentration. Probably not best for beginners!
15MM ANCIENT/MEDIEVAL/RENAISSANCE DOUBLES COMPETITIONS
28TH & 29TH JANUARY 2017
Firestorm Games (Cardiff) (Tel: 02920 227117)
Mortem et Gloriam
Any published army
The list submitted must not exceed 12000 points.
Umpire and list checker: Alasdair Harley
Field of Glory: Ancient/Medieval
THE MEDIEVAL WORLD
Any army from 600 AD.
The list submitted must not exceed 900 points.
Umpire and list checker: Richard Bodley Scott.
Rules: See below
Field of Glory: Renaissance
Any European army 1618-1648 (including Russia and Turkey).
The following list modifications and additional restrictions will apply:
To represent usual historical proportions in European armies of this period, ignoring artillery, the army cannot include more than 1 battle foot unit more than it has battle mounted units. (e.g. If you have 5 BGs of mounted battle troops, you can have up to 6 BGs of foot battle troops).
No more than half of all mounted battle troops can be Superior or Elite. Armies with insufficient Superior mounted battle troops in their army list to achieve this limit can upgrade whichever type of Average mounted troops in their list is most expensive in points to Superior to achieve the above limit.
No more than half of all foot battle troops can be Superior or Elite.
The army must have at least 6 bases of foot battle troops per heavy or medium artillery base.
The list submitted must not exceed 900 points.
Umpire and list checker: Richard Bodley Scott. email@example.com
Rules: See below
Any army. List not to exceed 500 points.
Umpire and list checker: John Graham-Leigh
L’Art de la Guerre
400 points doubles, made up of 2 x 200 point armies (each army must be no more than 210 points with a total combined army size of maximum 400 points). The armies chosen must be listed as potential allies in either army list.
Armies drawn from Ancient Period, Classical Period and Roman Period lists (1-124 inclusive)
4 Games, same games times as the other periods
Umpire and list checker: Mike Baldwin
Cost: £ 25.00 per team of 2.
(Food will be available on site, but is not included in the entry price).
Tickets are available from Firestorm’s web site: http://www.firestormgames.co.uk/events
CONTACT: RICHARD BODLEY SCOTT, 28 PRIORY GARDENS, USK, MONMOUTHSHIRE, NP5 1AJ (RBS@BYZANT.DEMON.CO.UK)
Firestorm Games (Cardiff)
Tel: +44 (0) 2920 227117
TIME: 8.30 – 9.00 – Registration time on Saturday
Games will be:
Saturday: 9.30 – 1.00 and 2.00 – 5.30
Sunday: 9.00 – 12.30 and 1.30 – 5.00
ENTRANCE: £ 25.00 per team of 2. (Food will be available on site, but is not included in the entry price). Tickets are available from Firestorm’s web site:
If you are able to make a long weekend of it, there are numerous local historical attractions relevant to our period. These include the Roman Legionary Fortress and Museum at Caerleon and the Roman walled city of Caerwent. Among the many local castles, the best are Chepstow, Raglan, White Castle (at Llantilio Croesenny) and Caerphilly. Caerphilly castle has a permanent exhibition of full size working medieval siege engines including ballista, mangonel, trebuchet and perrier. The Welsh Folk Museum at St. Fagans is worth a visit. The Brecon Beacons National Park and the picturesque Wye Valley are also nearby.
QUERIES: Richard Bodley Scott, 28, Priory Gardens, Usk, Gwent, NP5 1AJ. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
FOGAM/FOGR TOURNAMENT RULES
1) Godendag is a Doubles competition. Each army is to be commanded by 2 players. Consideration will be given, however, to entries with only one player or three players if there are special circumstances.
2) The rules to be used are the current Field of Glory rules, together with the latest errata and FAQ posted on the official Field of Glory web site.
3) The competition will use the full rules including the terrain and set-up appendices. There will be no formal division of the battle groups comprising each army between the members of a team. It is usual, however, for each player to take control of the troops on about half of the battlefield.
4) The scoring system will be the standard FOG tournament scoring system, where 25 points are up for grabs each game.
5) Army lists must specify the number and size of battle groups and their order of march for deployment, and the number and type of commanders chosen. They should also include the total pre-battle initiative modifier and the territories list for the army. If the detached shot option is to be used, a second list differing only in this regard must be submitted. Once an army list has been submitted it may not be changed or altered other than to correct any errors. Players may only correct their errors by making reasonable changes to their list. It is not allowed to completely re-write the list, and the list checkers decision on this is final.
6) Please note that the Godendag 2017 Field of Glory event is a single list format. Any incorrect list discovered after a game has commenced (after set up dice have been rolled) must be corrected prior to deployment if spotted in time, and fully corrected in any case before the next match.
7) Army lists must be submitted for checking in advance and must be received by the Tournament Organiser by 14th JANUARY 2017.
8) The Tournament Organiser and List Checker is Richard Bodley Scott (email@example.com) 28 Priory Gardens, Usk, Monmouthshire, NP5 1AJ.
9) Players must fully define their troops as they are placed on table. Figures must provide a reasonably accurate representation of the troops they are trying to represent – they must not look deliberately misleading.
10) Table size is 6′ x 4′ and players must supply their own terrain pieces. These must be to an acceptable standard, and umpires will have the discretion to remove unsightly items. In addition all figures must be representative and painted and based to an acceptable standard.
11) Players must be present and ready to start the match at the appointed time. Where a player has a reasonable excuse for arriving late the match start will be delayed by up to 30 minutes. After which time the affected player will be awarded a bye. No player will be awarded more than one bye for any reason.
12) If a player resigns from a game at any stage after the first set up dice have been rolled their opponents will be awarded maximum points, and they will be awarded 0 points.
13) Time will be called after 3 hours 20 minutes plus up to 10 minutes. Play will stop at the end of the current phase. Players may always commence games earlier than the stated time by mutual consent, in which case their game continues until time is officially called as normal.
14) Admission to the tournament is at the sole discretion of the organisers and their decision on all matters is final. CONTACT: Richard Bodley Scott, 28 Priory Gardens, Usk, Monmouthshire, NP5 1AJ
Tonights MeG game pitted the Huns versus the Lombards in Italy… Dino had not used the Huns before so was trial for him. It didn’t start well with the Lombards outscouting the Huns with some rather fortuitous cards in the scouting phase. The Huns deployed rather neutrally in the centre – which rather played in the hands of the Lombards. With a bold block moved the majority of the ‘devastating charger’ Lombard cavalry was across the table pinning the Huns to the back edge. The shooting was largely ineffectual , and the Huns were crushed – with no room to manoeuvre 🙂
Lombards on the left Huns on the right
The Huns were average flexible 4’s , unprotected with no M/E. This was great news the the Lombards and there was a lot of up 2 or 3 dice offs.
50 bases of Dark Ages chargers lined up
The Lombard army was large – with over 50 bases of cavalry, in chunky 6s, this rather left then in the precarious situation of only needing 4 TuGs to break, compared to the Hunnic 8… However, today was on the side of the big battalions
Last night we played a game that was a combination of introduction and campaign game. Dino, Paul and Peter played for the first time. I picked a game from the 3rd Servile war – Spartacus campaign. To make it a closer run thing , I picked the Romans to be led by Crassus – where the Slaves finally get beaten.
One way to play this campaign is a single game pickup. You can select lists from the campaign pack, select a date. Substitute the campaign maps for the one in the rules and away you go.
Just to talk about the lists for a moment (they are a bit fast and loose, close to 12K points).
The Spartacus list is
There are couple of campaign rules in play.
- Spartacus gets a 40% bonus to scouting is he chooses to ‘invade’ (Night Attack)
- The Slaves can also substitute the Apennine backdrop as their secure flank option ( Impassable mountain range)
The Roman list is
There are couple of campaign rules in play for Crassus
- Homeland Muster, not allies allowed
- Garrison troops, at least 25% of TuGs must be poor
- Seasons tactician, the C-in-C must be at least talented.
During the PBS stage, Spartacus and his slaves dominated. As a legendary leader they beat Crassus (red vs yellow – close thing though). They picked to defend selecting the most central location in Italy. Peter as the Roman had some decent cards, but it seemed that neither side was worried about moving from this location. The Slaves has 9 cards (3 scouting) to the Romans 7 (4 Scouting). The Slaves held on to their best 3 cards for scouting, and the Romans 2. The desultory movement was back and forth to the adjacent square, ending up with initial location
The terrain was dense with secure flank. The slaves picked the Apennine mountain, alongside some large compulsory rough hills. At this point they didn’t realise that the Romans were flexible so could switch between close and loose order. However, it was probably a good plan to at least avoid the potential ‘shove’ that close vs loose would get in the open.
A few more optional, smaller hills were placed and that concluded the battlefield. The hills were scattered evenly across the table, but it did give the slaves a good defensive position
Both sides had held onto their best scouting cards, from the prior stage – But they neutralised each other both sides having 1 red, 2 yellows. The Romans had an extra green, but not enough to give them a discernible advantage.
The armies deployed 4 groups at a time. The slaves just having a slab of ‘imitation’ legionaries, sandwiched between the ‘mob’. Crassus’s army seemed small by comparison, with just 8 TuG of Legionaries (2 of which were poor)
The plan was simple, as a test of the rule mechanisms and introduction to the game, both armies would butt each other, neither side demonstrating any tactical finesse.
The Roman army chose to float Crassus and let his subordinates take the strain. With hindsight Pete thought that this was not such a good idea, but I’m not so sure. Certainly it demonstrated the difference in the command structure.
In the fighting the Slaves held their own. The Roman equipped slaves being average impact weapon matching the Roman. The legionaries has a bit of bad luch by losing a couple of bases to skirmishing shephards ( 2 wounds on 3 black dice!) , but as the fight settled down the Roman quality started to show. Being melee expert, and average gave them a 2 dice colour advantage against the regular slaves. Combined with the ability to shove loose order (vs close) the poor slaves started to take a lot of damage. However, this was mitigated by the fact that the slaves had cunningly arranges that each legion was fighting at least 2 TuGs. So from an attrition perspective a legion could only take 3 losses, vs the Slave 4.5 per tug ( so actually against 2 TuG, the romans need to inflict 9 kills). As long as they kept throwing a white dice the Slaves can attrit their way to victory.
When we called time , the Romans looks shakey, most legions had taken a couple of casualties and were looking like they would be swamped by Spartacus and his followers.
just when I hung onto goof cards thinking – this time I would outscout my opponent – no, Brian matches me card for card and has the temerity to trump me with the final green!
line ’em up – as Barker intended
Huns Skirmish while Sarmatians charge in