Wednesday, 18 July 2018

TtS - Feudal Spanish versus Almoravid

Caballeros Hidalgos and Vilanos set off for battle

What a fantastic game last night was!
We had a wonderful opportunity to play To the Strongest at the NWS and at the same time blood a new player into the game as well as prick the interest of two other old friends in attendance.

El Presidente (Viva El Presidente!!!) Simon dusted off his Gripping Beast Almoravids, set them on some sabot bases and prepared to battle the Feudal Spanish and El Cid for control of Spain.

The initial set-up on the 8' x 4' table

A few raw javelin men think to themselves that being out in the open is not what their Lord promised them before
joining his retinue on campaign.

As you can see the basing on my Feudal Spanish is far from complete.  These lads had not been out since the old
WAB days so a quick slicing off their old MDF bases and some white glue, sand and talus later here they are.
I will add the appropriate paints, flock and tufts in coming weeks.

You will also notice the Spanish have a few weapons missing and the old style white metal spears and javelins
which are quite bendy.  All will be upgraded once the pained bases are complete.

Simons lovely cavalry take the flank position supported by javelin units, not light infantry, as I found
out to my initial surprise.  Need a few more figures on those bases big fella!

At this stage  we had also had Jonesy, Paul, Big Chris and Guido join the gallery.  Jeff Champion and I took control of the Spanish and Steve was going to be the senior mentor to Simon in the intricacies of To The Strongest battles.

African Spearmen all supported by extra bowmen

Lovely job on these Simon.

Andalusian mercenary cavalry in Jeff's command

Jeff's heavy cavalry in the form of Veteran Hidalgos and a single Vilanos and javelin unit.  Jeff did an outstanding job
in delaying the Almoravid attacks as I finally managed to get my mojo together in the centre and on the right.

Citizen Spear units supported by extra bow

See what I mean by missing weapons?

Great to finally get these lads out again after so long in the box

A view down the Spanish lines

Simon had also printed off some statistics to make it a bit easier for him to remember his units stats in
the heat of battle which was a very good idea considering this was his initial play of TtS

A nice view of some Citizen Spear being supported by bowmen

The Cid gallops past an old Ian Weekley Models Crusader church I picked up at Sheffield Triples when I was in the
UK over 15 years ago.

The single figures represent heroes to be used at an opportune time

That fine gentlemen James Morris sent me a spare El Cid figure which leads this particular formation of
caballeros.  It was a special edition figure issued to help launch his MAGNIFICENT WAB supplement "El Cid" back
in the 1990's.  Here it is in all its painted glory!

The King looks on as losses mount.  A gap on the spearmen base on the left as I paint up its commander at home

The opportunity marker is actually representing a wound or disorder.  An old Impetus marker being recycled

The Almoravid advance is relentless

However the Great Cid himself has routed the African cavalry and prepares to raid the rear formations for the
glory and greatness of King Alphonso and Spain!

Taking heart the Citizen Peones advance as well

The King once again rallies the lads

The semi-circle base works well and will now be my base of choice for all Generals

A magnificently painted Almoravid heavy cavalry unit

The battle rages on in the centre

Whilst Jeff finds he has quite a deal of space and open ground to defend with very few troops remaining

A nice shot of a unit of Hidalgos with knights, sergeants and Andalusian princes in the ranks!

In the end it was a victory to El Cid and his freedom loving Spanish gents though we are sure that by the tie the dispatches reached Castille, King Alphonso would have claimed all of the credit!

So with another two converts to Simon Millers excellent "To the Strongest" won over we prepare for a 2-00 points a side game at the club on Saturday morning with my Sassanid Persians taking on Steve's Late Romans.  Should be great fun.

Thursday, 12 July 2018

To The Strongest - Sweet Victory at Last!

The Great King looks on and declares that we will not move to our rear in this battle.

We have thrown ourselves back into the wonderful Simon Miller reules "To The Strongrest" in recent months and Wedensday night was another occasion for a great un battle against Steve and his wionrful Alexandrian Macedonian army with my Persians.

Deployment can always be a tricky thing in least for me.  Here my Persians look for some flank
protection from a difficult going hill

This was also the perfect opportunity for me to bring out some of the terrain pieces that I had specifically made for the games using the TtS gridded mat system.  These included some purely aesthetic scrubs etc. which helped break up the cloth.

What I had deemed would act as my Royal Reserve here.  Guard Cavalry and Apple Bearers with extra bow.

These Greek and Egyptian Hoplites were purchased as raw deep formations.  Good value for money and sturdy.

Steve and Phil deploy.  This wonderful Lammings army was painted by Stevo almost 40 years ago and still
 looks sensational.  He has added a few lovely modern Foundry pieces to the formation as well.

Lovely Tin Soldier Saka painted by friend Nathan acting the part of my bow armed light cavalry.

The right flank General and his command had most of my cavalry

Takabara in the rough - Vendel Persians.

Mardian bow ready to rain a cloud of arrows upon the enemy

Slingers and Kardakes in the central command

All the Hoplite and deep infantry units except the Apple Bearers are raw against sturdy, possibly veteran pike.

Those hills came out ok and fit into Simons sage brush mat very well in my opinion

Now these look sensational.  Gorgeous figures with a hurtful intent!

Companions in wedge and Prodromoi on the left

Not quite the same quality on my side...Colonist raw cavalry and slingers

I need to build another camp as the generic ancient wagons in the middle there are getting a flogging
 in every three command army I use lately.

However they still do suitable as a non-decorative stand-in.

Vendel Egyptian Hoplites with an encouraging hero to the rear

Apple Bearers - Veteran Hoplite formation with a here, extra bow and attitude 

The Mardians have already dispatched the Macedonian peltasts which were to the right of the rocky outcrop

Quickly the Macedonian centre advances in order to feast upon their Persian foes.
The Colonist cavalry are no more, beaten by Companions however my scythed chariot gets lucky and hits a flank

Another view down the table

And an overview of the action including the Persian left.  The Prodromoi are threatening the flanks on a wide
enveloping move

Those Companions certainly managed to save those chariot hits very well indeed

At this stage the battle was incredibly evenly poised.  The run of low and high chits in the complete wrong order had visited both the Macedonians and the Persians and now the battle was starting to reach a critical stage.

After some intense fighting each side loses a unit and the gaps start to emerge

In the centre left the Apple Bearers are drawing 1 after 1 and are static whilst the enemy manoeuvres around them

The Mardians are now almost out of ammunition but command failures are restricting their usefulness

The Companions turn but the chariot miraculously manages to survive

Can this General save the day?

The Apple Bearers are destroyed and the King, true to his word, does not retreat, though he is now pointing in
the direction of a bloody big threat!

In the centre two more Macedonian Veteran pike units are destroyed.  These raw hoplite units have earned their salt
today one must say. They have fought gallantly, saved miraculously and advanced upon the superior foe and bested
 them in battle.  Well done lads.

The companions manage to evade my light cavalry charge which also got them away from the scythed chariot so
foolish on my part...however the battle is won and the Persians are victorious as the last victory medallion is handed
 over from the enemy camp.

What a wonderful game.

Steve, myself and Phil all had  a sensational time playing the game and once again it highlighted the playability and subtly of Simons wonderful rule set.

Almoravid v Feudal Spanish and the Cid next week.  Should be great fun!