Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Steve the Hun takes on the Romans - TTS latest!

Roman Auxilia prepare to take the high ground - yes the camp engineers are too early but that's for another post!

The NWS is was abuzz with ancient wargames of varying rule types last night.  There certainly seems to be a bit of a resurgence in the ancients at present, no small part being due to the adoption of two excellent sets of rules - "Impetus" and "To The Strongest"

The games we have played so far with the very clever Simon Millers "To The Strongest" have been enormously enjoyed by both Steve and myself.  The game mechanisms are simple to learn without being "simple" if that makes sense.  Their are many subtle and wonderful elements to the play which make for a very fast moving and enjoyable game with all the aspects of ancient warfare I have consistently placed with gaming in this period.

Steve setting up his "Scourge of God" dream team - Huns hordes with Frankish allies

We went once again with a 150 point a side battle with my Late Romans taking on the menace of Steve's Huns with some Gepid and Frankish allies.  Lots of deep warrior units and excellent cavalry with bow as far as the eye could see.

We also decided to use stratagems and a bit of terrain this time as we are starting to become far more familiar with the rules.  They certainly once again added a few lovely twists into the game.

I spent a bit of time making up some camps for both armies - Franks and Huns seem to be common
bedfellows so I put a few lovely Foundry figures on both bases. 

Not a great picture.  I will take a few more aesthetically pleasing ones next time.

The Huns deployment - three commands including two heroic attached Generals.

First Roman command - entirely foot and anchoring on some rough ground where legio supporting lights lay waiting 

Second Roman Command - nervous and out-numbered cavalry 

Another view of the Roman foot

All the figures on the left of this shot are from the excellent Gripping Beast range of Romans - lovely sculpts

The view from across the table.  In the background Peter and Martin play a lovely looking
Pictish  v Late Roman battle on the wonderful sagebrush mat from Big Red Bat Ventures. 

This cavalry wing looks like it may cause me a bit of bother this evening!

"Head for the high ground lads!"

Victory medals are safely ensconced in camp along with  a camp guard...a first for me!

The Huns quickly advance on the Roman right wing.

As well as across the centre with the deep warrior units moving with some alarming speed in march mode.

Those Roman light troops on the flank look like they could think of a few better places to be.

Sensing the danger the Romans Illyricani and Sagitarii move over to the right behind the steep hill 

March moves are a great aspect of the rules and enable battle to be entered into quickly and in good
numbers long as you can keep activating.

Steve's lovely Hunnic nobles doing their best to form wedge.  We have some basing plans for this formation
which should work well.

The light infantry look on at the rushing masses - ammunition chits on the bases.  Great idea.

A bit of action has happened on this flank with some toing and throwing that my camera missed.  Suffice to say that Steve had a wonderful chance to cut through me with his nobles but the dreaded "1" popped out.  He had already used his Generals ability to redraw a chit earlier in the turn...thank goodness!

Not quite as many as there was a while ago.

Action in the centre heats up as infantry and mounted clash

An opportunity for some Roman Equites to distinguish themselves

The skirmishing action continues on the far right Roman flank

The Roman auxilia make use of the uphill save advantage

As do these lads as they face the onslaught of Frankish veterans.  These Franks saved wonderfully well all night and
 took a fair amount of hits without suffering to much for a good deal of the battle

Roman lance armed Equites try to stem the flow. 

Whilst the Gratianenses Luniores look to make a distinct difference to the situation in the centre

I do love this unit!

The Hun Nobles have destroyed their opponent however now find one of their Gepid allied units flanked by
Roman Catafractari - surely nothing can save them!

Maybe a "1" followed by another "1" might give them some respite.  At the far left you can now see that the Romans
have managed to destroy a Frankish foot unit are now turning to try and roll over the flank in the centre.

The fight for the hill intensifies

On the Roman left that Auxilia zone of control coupled with some constant high activation chits for Steve
is allowing the Romans time to plug some holes.  Deployment in depth was a key tonight! 

The "Luniories" have dispatched another Warrior unit and set their sights on some Frankish bowmen.

With the Hun flanking move stymied by more poorly time "10" and "9" chits the Roman auxilia
turn to add some pressure.

Not quite as bad as it looks at first glance

The end.  Catafracari finish the Gepid cavalry whilst the stubborn Frankish unit at the top takes all it can and is also destroyed.  Deep unit, three victory medals, thanks for coming.

It was a great game and once again Steve and I had a ball playing it.

As I mentioned at the start of the post, Martin and Peter "Guido" G were playing a game of TSS as well.  I took a few quick photographs to show how wonderful a game it looked from our table.  Peter has 200mm square grids which I personally think are a bit large however it allows him not to rebase to many of his figures and that's a good enough reason in anyone's language.

Larger grids and a wonderful looking mat

Beautifully painted Picts from Guidos collection - all Wargames Foundry.

Martin has a wonderful Roman army which has lain dormant for years - great to see them on the table.

They did very well on their first outing and I think Martin enjoyed his first taste of TTS

That's a very big unit of warriors making its way down the centre.

We all enjoyed the games so much its a 200 point a side Roman Civil War next week with all four of us.

Should be great.

Sunday, 11 September 2016

Romans take on the Franks in "To The Strongest"

The Roman Senior General looks on as the action unfolds upon his left
Steve's wonderful Franks prepare to take on my Romans.  One of the great aspects of TSS is the adaptability of various
basing styles that can still play within the grid system of the games.

As the crowd at the club builds up the Roman legios get ready for some "angon" dodging practise!

Overview of the armies deployments - Roman cavalry mainly centred to the right flank with one Equites unit
already making a mad dash on the bottom of the photograph.  Frankish deep units at the ready.

Off we go to the races - this units intent was purely to harass the enemy lights and distract them as much as possible.

Roman archers at the ready in support of the Veteran legio to its right.

I love Steven's Foundry Franks and have an army waiting to be based myself.

The Roman heavy cavalry start to make their way forward.

The unit of Catafractarii hits the deep Frankish unit which fails to disorder it with its shock missile.

Whilst in the centre more Franks make their way forward.

With a hero in tow the Clibanarii advance past the Warriors and prepare to flank if possible.

On the right the Roman Equites Illyricani are doing a good job countering the Frankish cavalry

Back on the left the Romans have been hampered by a few "1's" being drawn and are slowing down their advance.

The action starts to hot up in the middle.

The Frankish unit on the right is in some deep trouble despite holdings its own against the Roman
heavy cavalry to its front..

The gridded mat system makes measuring movement and shooting ranges so much easier.

The Roman cavalry now start to gain the upper hand.  Victory is mine!