Friday, 22 October 2021

October Almost Gone Already..?

Time Flies...

The weeks have fled past since the last post.

I've managed a couple more Celt on Celt games (with some Roman involvement) on the same table set-up and a little planning/painting and figure buying, but not much else on the gaming front.




One reason: I am repainting and reorganising the "back room" (aka "spare room/guest room/junk room") so as to put in more bookshelves (the piles of tomes scattered around Denyer Towers look as if they're getting to "self-combusting" levels) plus make a "study/work-room" for She Who Must Be etc.

In theory this means She can decant her PC and other gear to the new study - and out of "MY" playroom; thus giving me my room back and space to set up a "map table" for campaigns/board games* when the Wargame Table is up and occupied..  In theory...

(*I have a hankering to play Panzer Armee Afrika, due to re-reading "War Without Hate" between other activities. Plus I want to use 1776 as a basis for "battle creation" for my 6mms.... Plus a home-bashed "Russians in Turkestan" Campaign.. Plus a "Year of the French" ditto... Oh dear....).



Time was also eaten up In a nicer way) at the end of September when we managed to get a quick ten days tour in Croatia with the Archaeological Society (originally scheduled for March 2020).

Loads to see, interesting, varied terrain, some lovely Roman sites and terrific museums, a couple with some very nice Roman grave stelae and other military-related finds as well as some nice local Bronze-Iron Age items.




Also some Alan weaponry - some of the latter items looking straight out of the Anglo-Saxon armoury..

A nice break, but the Covid pre-and-after shenanigans (tests and paperwork) added to the stress levels.. 



Also my Back-up external Seagate drive "broke" with no notice recently. Not a lot of data lost (only a month or so's downloads) as I tend to back-up my back-up every month or so, but still a pain and I lost a couple of days trying to get it working/finding out what was wrong..... Hey,ho.

On top of all this our reenactment group got to do The Battle of Hastings reenactment at Battle Abbey the other week (something NOT to be missed...).

We were on the Saxon side again - thank goodness... I've been on the Norman side before (once was enough) and dragging oneself up that hill three times a day to throw yourself against a shield wall is a chore.

We had some nice fights against a very young, inexperienced but good humoured group; gentler than we're used to, and there were a few nervous faces here and there when they saw what grizzled veterans they were up against, so we had to "play nice" in return, but it was fun.


As has happened before we were on a part of the field where there is a small sunken road coming up the slope at right angles, which is always "interesting" as a reminder that a terrain feature doesn't have to be large to totally change the local - and personal - aspects of a battle...

Once again the planning, preparation and organisation of the site by English Heritage made the (potentially muddy) get-out swift and painless (other event organisers take note).

Oh, and I got cut down by a VERY game cavalryman on the first day - always a delight - and my brand new kite shield took a good old bashing (it's what they're there for)...

OK.. Enough of the excuses and blather; what HAVE I done gaming-wise that might be of interest...? Well, I've been playing with my "melee combat" rules...

For quite some time now I've been mulling over a lot of accounts* (particularly contemporary accounts) about the whole "hand to hand combat" thang...

("Stumbling across some very interesting Blogs en-route, eg.
http://napoleonistyka.atspace.com/infantry_tactics_2.htm )



Now, here I'm not talking individual "motivated guy v motivated guy" single combat or brawls, or modern, section-level action or where firearm discharges are involved, but how bodies of chaps behave when one charges another (or offers to charge another or both charge each other) with melee weapons and what happens if (and "IF" seems to be the key issue) they actually come to blows..

I've looked at Sabin and others re. ancient casualty rates and 18th-19th "causes of casualties" studies.

I've read through contemporary accounts (esp. AWI, 7YW & Napoleonic) and theories re. bayonet charges and the use of "cold steel" (including the whole "fixing bayonets alone can be enough to see 'em off" concept).



I've taken the "actual bayonet clashes never or rarely happened" school of thought into consideration, studied the "flight or fight" concepts, watched a range of videos of "live action" in the form of riots and "primitive" warfare and read into the "Big man" theories.

Nothing new in all this of course. This is a well-worn path for both historians and gamers and a much argued-over subject. Bears of far bigger brain than I have looked into (and had spats over) this issue. What I am seeking - for my own purposes - is a "simple simulation" which fits" for my (current) assessment... Tinkering yet again...  Watch this space..

Hopefully I'll get down to some experiments (and playing) shortly. As always, thoughts and comments invited......





Thursday, 16 September 2021

Woad on Woad...

 Some Celtic Shenanigans...

Before re-jigging the table completely, a little Celtic Playtime...

A couple of years ago I downloaded the (free) "Valiant Britons" rules by Jim Wallman (link http://jimwallman.org.uk/wargame/valiant%20britons.pdf ).

These are rules more akin to a simple RPG (or some of the campaign rules in TFLs' Dux Brit.) based on Tribal Chieftainship and one-upmanship; that is they  are more about gaining Kudos vis a vis rival chiefs than simple war - though that is the final test. 

However, as per usual I was looking at the rules to see if they could be tweaked and cannibalised - in this case to add a bit more colour, chrome and personality to my solo Celtic Campaigns.


So, without further ado: 

Backstory:

The Uphincurhardui have arranged to meet a rival tribe the Damdenemi in the Vale of Apples in a fight for the possession of the valley, and its two important Druidical sites. Neither side is out to wipe out the enemy - just establish dominance; so this is an almost ritualised meeting. In theory...

Normally the Uphincurhardui would expect to have the advantage of numbers, but this time the Damdenemi have brought along some German Mercenaries to boost their side. 

I'll "fight" the Us. The AI will play the Ds.; ordering 
is lads about based on Dice-led Decisions and IMP. I will set out both sides (positions diced for. My guys in red, the enemy in green). There is a thin skirmish line in front of each army, but these are really just decorative/there to run interference to over-bold chariot chiefs. They will have no effect on actual combat.

Prep. Rules & General Stuff:

In theory all chiefs should already have Valiant Britons Kudos Levels. I will decide the Starting Kudos levels for my chiefs with a dice throw.

I will use the Valiant Britons rules re. chieftain "showing-off to gain more Kudos" rules before the violent action starts.

Basically, in this preliminary phase each chief can attempt to carry out certain acts (chariot tricks, approaching and taunting the enemy etc. etc.). Success gains him/her Kudos (If used as part of a campaign - as the original rule set intends - this, and success in battle, also has long term benefits).

More Kudos Points can then give him more influence in the coming battle; basically by impressing his own side by his antics he will get more "Psycho Points" (aka Command Points/PIPS) at a ratio of 1PP per 5 Kudos.

For most battles i would have Activation procedures for my Chiefs. However, for this exercise I am using alternate "I Go U Go" turns, with all chiefs potentially Activated. However, see below.... 

I have solo-ised (as usual) and added some other random factors below as per my usual messing about....

Command points and Orders:

At the beginning of each move The High Chief for each side makes a throw for any additional Command Points/PPs/PIPS available to him for that move over and above his Normal rating  -  Minus 1CP/PP/PIP (hereafter CPs) per Wound he has received, per Challenge he has refused or Retreat/Recoil he has made.

He can then move/act/give orders to any Warbands within his Command Radius at a cost of 1CP per move/act or command passed to a Chief/Unit within 10" of his position or 2CP per command over 10" away. He can also apply spare CPs to inspire troops in combat - with extra bonuses if he joins in too....  

HOWEVER, this is a tribal force. If the Warband concerned is over eight inches from his actual figure a further test is required ("Will the Warband Chief Obey?").  This is a simple Dx6 test.  1-2 Order Ignored. 2-5 Order Complied with.

Any Warband Chief outside the High Chief's command radius tests individually each move to determine individual initiative/attitude (1x6D). 


 Independent Chief test (1x6D): 

Result of1-2: He holds position - UNLESS flanked or has falling back/routing friendlies on flank, in which case he and his command withdraws. He may turn to meet any incoming threat. 

Result of 3-4: He may adjust position to meet any threat (forward or back, whichever gives an advantage).  If a 4 he may advance towards any enemy withdrawing within 2ft of his position. Ad Hoc decision test based on IMP.

Result of 5:  He may advance towards any enemy within 2ft of his position. Ad Hoc decision test based on IMP where ness.

Result of 6:  He may advance towards any enemy within 2ft of his position or charge any within charge move. Ad Hoc decision test based on IMP where ness.


Challenges:
 

Any Chiefs (friendly or enemy) who approach within 6" of another enemy chief's command must make a 1x6D "Challenge Test" to engage in (or continue) individual combat.

Result of 1-2: He takes position behind his own command and shouts, but does nothing Bold.

Result of 3-4: He takes position to the flank of his own command and struts. 

Result of 5:  He takes position to the front of his own command and taunts. 

Result of 6: He issues a challenge to single combat to the enemy commander.

If a challenge has been issued to a Chief he must test (ax6D) for his own resolve. 

Result of 1-5: He refuses the challenge. His command must withdraw 2" next move.

Result of 4-6: He engages in single combat with the enemy commander.

Both of the above Tests are modified by:

-1 per existing Wound (of any type)

-1 each time his command has been pushed back in the last 8 moves

+1 each time in the last 8 moves his command has pushed back an enemy unit

+2 each enemy unit his command has routed previously

+ 1 per Wound he has inflicted on an enemy Chief this move

+1 if he has refused a challenge before

+2 if he is within 10" of his High Chief 

+3 if the enemy Chief has collapsed


Individual, Chief on Chief Combat:

Really basic. Each Chief throws a 1x6 dice and looks at the score, modifying if there are any Special Factors and with minus 1 per existing wound (of any type). There are up to three rounds of combat per move.

Result: Draw or difference of 1: Combat continues.

Result: Difference of 2: Loser steps back 1". Winner tests to continue combat as Challenge Procedure as above but adds 1 to his test throw. If he continues combat then fight again. If not they both just snarl at each other till next move.

Result: Difference of 3: Loser steps back 1" and receives a Combat Wound. Winner tests to continue combat as Challenge Procedure as above but adds 2 to his test throw. If he continues combat then fight again. If not they both just snarl at each other till next move.

While Chiefs are fighting their commands stand and watch.

Each Chief can take 2 Combat Wounds. A third kills him. A Chief who collapses can be killed IF the Winner follows up the Combat.  

(Note Combat Wounds are not the same as "crash wounds". It takes 5 Wounds of all types/any combination to Collapse a Chief and 6 to kill. Thus a Chief can take two Combat Wounds on top of two Crash Wound and still fight. Another Combat Wound and he dies. Another Crash Wound and he collapses.)

If a Chief kills another Chief he may take a Head. If he subsequently manages to get this head to one of the Altars at the side of the field he may obtain a Druidical Blessing.

Special Factors: 

High Chiefs and German Chiefs* add 1 to their Challenge Test and Combat throw.

Chiefs who have taken a Head add 1 to each Test and Combat throw. 

Druidical Blessing adds another plus 1 to each Test and Combat throw.  If an ordinary Chief kills a High Chief or a German Chief these benefits are doubled. 

All benefits (and negatives for Wounds) are cumulative.

(*High Chiefs and German Chiefs: as well as being wily survivors and canny fighters these Chiefs exude an element of charisma and are regarded with a degree of superstitious awe. This is enough to unsettle all but the boldest of warriors. They also have top of the range gear.....).


  Unit Combat:

In Valiant Britons the combat is simple. I didn't fancy my usual Dice-Fest and head-counting, so I also went Simple..

When two or more opposing bodies meet in combat there a Fight. There is NO head count. Instead both sides throw a dice for each of the the units making direct, base to base contact and count ranks. The result for each side is then modified (cumulatively) with:

+1 Testing Unit is Fanatic Crazee Guys

+1 Testing Unit are Scary Foreigners

-1 Testing Unit is being attacked on flank or rear 

-1 per occasion Testing Unit has been pushed back this Fight

+ 1 per two friendly supporting ranks in excess of the first two ranks (both sides)

+ 1 per PP being applied by a nearby Chieftain (both sides)

+1 if Testing Unit is higher Social Class than enemy unit being fought

+1 if Testing Unit is mailed, helmeted and shielded

-1 if Testing Unit Chief is skulking at the rear or has just refused a Challenge

+1 if Testing Unit Chief has just won a Challenge Fight and pushed back rival

+2 if Testing Unit Chief has just won a Challenge Fight and wounded rival

+3 if Testing Unit Chief has just won a Challenge Fight and killed rival/rival has collapsed

+1 if Testing Unit up-slope of enemy

Combat Results: 

If the scores are equal or the difference is less than 3 and this is the first or second round in this combat the fight continues into next move.

If the scores are equal or the difference is less than 3 and this is the third round in this combat BOTH parties withdraw 1". 

If the one side scores more than 3 higher than the other that side wins. The other side must withdraw at least 6" but can withdraw 8" if desired by the LOSER.

Pursuit:

When a loser withdraws the winner can chose to pursue if it throws a 5 or 6 on a 1x6D test.

If it pursues it causes casualties. Throw two dice per full rank in the leading unit. This is the number of potential casualties. Throw another die per individual possible casualty.  On a throw of 4-6 the potential casualty has indeed been hit. Each potential casualty then makes a Saving Throw to see if he has "Fallen".

Figure has Maille, Shield and Helm: 4-6 saves.

 Figure has Helm & shield: 5-6 saves.

All other 6 saves. 

IF the number of fallen exceeds 3 and IF the losing Chief has been adding his PPs to the fight he is deemed to have been leading from the front and may have been hit. Throw a 1x6D. If the result is less than the number of fallen the losing Chief has been killed.  

Unit Types:

In this game Unit Types are (in descending hierarchical order):

1) Chief's Companions.

2) Knightly Class 1 (helm, maille, shield, sword-bearing/sword & spear bearing)

3) Warrior Class 2 (helm, shield, sword-bearing/sword & spear bearing)

4) Mercenaries and Fanatic Crazee Guys (shield, sword/spear, nude)

5) Warrior Class 3 (shield, sword, clothed/half-clothed) 

6) Warrior Class 4 (shield, spear, clothed/half-clothed) 

7) Warrior Class 5 (shield/no shield, half-clothed, improvised weapons) 

8) Skirmishers

So much for the rules. Now for the game played....

The Game:

For the first couple of moves the enemy just sit there... So do we.... No doubt there is a lot of shouting going on, but no action on either side...

I try to prompt something - and inspire my lads to action - I decide to do something reckless; riding my chariot straight at the enemy, get into their missile range, then swiftly away - as kind of "counting coup" to gain Kudos..

But disaster...! The chariot rolls and I fall.... Not only this but I come under fire from the enemy skirmish line, am wounded, then wounded again as I re mount the chariot... I ride back - red-faced in more ways than one... As I am the first to try this particular trick I don't lose any actual Kudos, but it looks as if it wasn't for want of trying.


 

Next move I use one of my PPs to move a warrior unit up to the battle line.

But my action in playing the fool has prompted something; both my own and the enemy's sub-commanders bring up their chariots to join the game.. It's "Showing Off Time"...

For a couple of moves chariots with some of the sub-chieftains of both sides (Dice tests) go racing round the field while the chaps try stunts (again, dice decided based on the rules tables; a simple solo-isation) - some more successfully than others.




The High Chiefs of both armies stay out of this, but by the third move three chiefs (one of mine and two of the enemy) have gained enough cheers and Kudos to inspire their boys forward. The battle begins...

On my right there is a clash, with both armies' "Crazy Guys" advancing; the enemy's Crazys hitting my second helm/sword group, while my own skyclad bods have nobody to fight.. Yet.... 



On my left a large body of poorly-protected lesser warrior spears charge my helmeted, sword-bearing warriors, pushing them back.

The enemy Crazys over on my right are suddenly reinforced by a unit of lighter swordsmen, and my guys are slowly forced back.

My line has still not formed - but with some shouting (CP/PP expenditure) I stiffen my lads' resolve.

Meanwhile a whole bunch of enemy spears also races across on my left to charhe my swordsmen there. 


Things aren't looking too good for my side. My Centre Right sword guys hold, but my far Right Crazy guys still have nobody to fight (they do not go into the flank of the enemy Crazys because of an uncommitted enemy warrior unit to their front which would likely take advantage).

My swords are slowly pushed back by the reinforced enemy Crazys. 

Then, suddenly, the enemy general wakes up, and leads their mercenary group forward. At the same time their swords over on my right engage my Crazys...



The enemy mercenaries push forward, and drive back my centre left. Things are looking dicey...

My left is driven back slightly - the Damdenemi spears may be low class, but there are a lot of them and they are in deep formation...

Over on my right the combat is inconclusive. My swords are being pushed back, but then both groups separate, snarling at each other.

But then there is a change - my chieftain in charge of my right-hand swords issues a challenge. It is accepted by the chief of the enemy Crazys. There is a brief bout of swordplay as the lines watch... 




Meanwhile, using the slope to their advantage, my centre charges the mercenaries. 

My chief loses his single combat over on the right. My swords withdraw, chastened, but the enemy are failing to press home here, giving me a breather; but I'm not confident.


The mercenaries attack up the slope - but are held back!

The nemy spears on my left have also come to a standstill. 


I move some of my reserve up to plug my centre, then take the unit that has seen off the mercenaries and, leading from the front, charge into the flank of the enemy spears on my left. 

They are discomforted, and slowly withdraw.

In my centre my massed troops are upsetting the mercenaries. They falter - their commander losing resolve - and pull back. My men do not pursue, but then the enemy here pull back further.

On my right centre there are some more individual combats between chiefs, then one of my warrior bands is driven back in disarray, taking casualties, then breaks as it's Chief panics. But my Crazy Guys engage a group of enemy swords and push them back; evening-up the score..



I stabilise my line, shifting units about, but in the space of two moves everything has altered. The enemy commander seems to lose his bottle - he has hung about at the back for much of the game - and although his reserves move forward, his front has stalled.

Suddenly the unit on his far left/my right break; charged by my Crazy Guys..

My reserve, in the centre, presses forward - and the mercenaries give up, and head homewards. This is NOT expected. The enemy reserve moves forward, but, seeing this, halts, then likewise turns to head off, and over on my left the enemy spears withdraw, wavering but snarling.

Although the enemy's Crazy Bods and one of their sword units hold their centre, the rest of the Damdenemi army is pulling back..

The day is ours !!! Though nobody is more surprised than I.......


Conclusion:

That was great fun - and I'm going to have another play or two. No heads taken, but it was fun, fast and furious - all over in a couple of hours (unusual for one of my games).

I think the Valiant Britons is would be a fun set of rules and an interesting concept for a group of club to mess about with (that seems to be its intention), but the rules could also easily be played as a board game. Extra "chrome" in the form of pre-made characters/character cards could add colour if live opponents were lacking or for use in a solo campaign.

I solo-ised the Kudos-grabbing Stunts tables by the addition of simple dice tests to decide what stunts would be attempted by individual Chiefs (except for my figure. I had a choice there) and this worked.

The single combats felt right for the "flavour", and worked.

The simple combat mechanics likewise worked.

All in all, this had a nice feeling of being a ritualistic process - like a lot of so called "primitive warfare", rather than a knock-em down fight; which felt about right for this kind of low-level tribal clash....

I maybe need to think about applying some of my other "Tribal Army" 
conventions, but all in all I was happy with the feel of things. As I say, the Valiant Britons rule set is out there for free - and I had a lot of fun with them.. 

I have a set of the "Tribal" rules by Mana Press which I mean to try sometime, so, as always: watch this space - and any comments, thoughts or queries welcome. 


 


Saturday, 21 August 2021

Planning....

...and update..

Some new arrivals (below) await painting, as do some AWI and "Year of the French" 6mm bods.


Some comments on Bennos' Forum re the last post (the Romans in the woods) have got me thinking about expanding on a long- forgotten project (pic below..). Hmmm.....



Meanwhile, I was pipped at the post re. some painted E-Bay 1/72s for Napoleonic skirmishes, so more painting to be done there.

I want to get some experiments with sci-fi and Pratchett stuff underway too...

Never enough time.. PLUS some reenactment events have started up this month - so time "lost" from gaming to sewing, repairing and polishing my armour. 

Hey, ho...  Onwards & upwards...


Monday, 16 August 2021

In Country With The IttiBritti

Another Woodland adventure (part 2).


And so we begin.

The  native guide ("They call me Mungo the Procrastinator". Marcus : Why is that? Mungo : I'll tell you tomorrow...") is full of chat. He knows the way, and "For a bag of coin, Legate, I'm your man.." Hmm....



Only a scatter of civilians have joined the party (thank goodness) but the maniple has its compliment of servants, mule etc. (Remember those... 80 soldiers in a century.. And the OTHER 20...) in tow. So enough are enough..


Things start off reasonably: there is a clearing, six persons wide to start with, then a narrow stretch, then things open out. But by move four the column is getting strung out.  

[I dice (1x6D) for each 300mm on the table for width of the track taken. That width will be "one person wide for a throw of 1" etc.]




Then - an Event. The Guide tries to escape !! This is NOT a good start.

 A quick bit of RPG style testing; although the guide has a head start Marcus is too quick, grabbing him and getting ahead of him. The guide doesn't have the bottle for a fight, and gives up. They now have a Hostile Guide... Great.


With a gladius at his neck Mungo takes them further into the wood.  The second century, under Junior Centurion Quintus, hasn't even moved yet because traffic is backed up all the way to the entrance to the wood. 


I KNEW moving a column through the trees would be difficult, but this is ridiculous.



Splitting my force into penny packets to escort stretches of the column - which I'm tempted to do - would mean making us more vulnerable to a mass attack AND restricts the amount of baggage that can actually pass a given point at any one time, thus making the column longer and thus even more vulnerable... 






We plod on. By move six the whole party is now in the woodland. Suddenly (an Event Test) Quintus's maniple is hit with slingshot. Only four bullets incoming from persons unseen, but two men are killed. 


I have no control over Quintus's maniple (I am too far away - I don't even "know" this has happened). Trouble is, neither does Quintus (his guys are too strung out). Local control falls to his Optio: who stops his guys from loosing and losing pilae in the woods, but hunkers them down in case of more shooting. Meanwhile: the column moves on.



I estimate that the head of the column, barring accidents, is about two moves from the forest edge now. 

Marcus decides to halt - to allow the column to close up and, since the leading unit has just passed though a clearing, to leave his Optio and three squads to wait there, in the relatively open space, with orders to wait there until Quintus's maniple is in sight (just in case the civilian part of the column comes under attack). To do this, however, his figure (representing me) has to leave the head of the column and make his way back to my Optio; this is something that needs to be explained in person. Which, of course, means the head of the column now halts....




While to column closes up (good) we continue to test for possible events (potentially bad). 

Actually potentially VERY bad: of Quintus's century an Event: an ambush.... And the card says 100 assailants... OH DEAR..... The enemy rush from the trees and engage the leading elements of Quintus's century. 



There is a vicious tussle; with Roman and Celt going down in numbers. Quintus takes two minor wounds but his command holds the first assault and neither side gains an advantage. There is a second, inconclusive round of combat - and the Celts step back; snarling. 


Meanwhile, uncommitted elements of the Celts hack into the civilian train.


Next move the head of column had stayed still. But then moves off. Nobody has thought to tell Marcus what is going on at the back. 

Quintus makes a decision: the wrong one in my book. He clusters his men around him in a defensive mode. There is more snarling match between his guys and the Celts, but nothing else that move..

Meanwhile, at the rear of the column, Quintus's Optio pulls his men into a defensive cluster as, once again, they are peppered by hidden slingers. Two men are wounded, one killed - and the Optio is also hit and injured. He tests, and has had enough.

His men have been shot at twice without even seeing the enemy. He has dead. He has wounded. He is separated from the rest of the command. Elsewhere in the forest he can hear the triumphant yells of wild Celts and no other Romans can be seen.



He leads his remaining twelve men out of the woods without incident and halts. He can hold here. of reform and go back into the woods. Neither are ideal. His only other option is to head back towards Regulus's Ford.

Marcus pushes on, but at end move he is told of the attack on the second maniple. He has almost reached the other side of the wood. He has choices:

Simply push on, and reassess on the other side or h
alt his troops where they are, and allow the civilian and servant traffic through. 

Send part - or all - of his century back to see what's occurring at the back.  

He decides to halt and allow the servants, civilians and baggage to pass, send his Option with a third of the century with them, and take the rest of his command back to see what has happened to Quintus. That's the plan... But.....


....there is a Event... Marcus is told that outside the woods an enemy force is waiting for them. About sixty of the blighters...

Meanwhile, Quintus's band is attacked by the hovering Celts. But his men hold - then actually push back their assailants, allowing the legionaries to push along the track.  The Celts are still up for fighting, but have had their enthusiasm blunted.

    

The next two moves are Event-less. the Celts in the wood don't regain their bottle, and Quintus, along with eleven of his men, manages to catch up with the main column. 

I spend two moves organising my lads. The Celts in the forest seem happy with their loot (all the wagons, the armour and weapons of my fallen guys, five mules and and whatever was on the slaughtered civilians). This only leaves the "welcoming committee"  beyond the forest edge. We will have to drive these off before the game can end. 

A quick rearrangement of the table, and.......




Marcus's century double-time out of the woods and forms up. In front of them are about sixty Celts. There is no indication of pursuit from the guys in the wood, but (callously perhaps) Marcus leaves the servants and remaining civilians as a "buffer"  on the trackway behind his fighting force. If the enemy in the woods do press on they will hit the civilians first.  The remains of Quintus's century forms to Marcus's right.



Numbers are currently about even outside the wood. Acting aggressively would seem the best option: Marcus decides to charge the enemy and quickly break them in a Flying Wedge with the first four ranks. The last two ranks, under the Optio. Will advance, to support if necessary.  Quintus will hold where he is. It takes a full move to arrange the formation and another to pass the orders but to be frank we are not worried. THIS is our kind of fight. 


However, once the Romans are formed the main body of the enemy rushes forwards - so much for plans. Marcus just has time to order eight men of the rear four files to move to face the flanking enemy force (who seem to be the higher status guys), then order a volley of pilae from his first two ranks.



The missiles slice into the Celts, bringing down three of their command figures and a whole slew of warriors. So far so brilliant...

Quintus's men chuck their last pilae too.

Marcus's Optio is activated, stiffening the flank guard.

Next move the optio activates first. His flankers throw their pilae - and two more command figures and several warriors fall. Quintus is activated, but has no orders to charge, and no more pilae, so holds. 




The Celts slam home onto Marcus's century. There is a brief melee to the century's front - then the Celts there scatter. Almost all the Celtic command figures are down and over half the force are casualties. 



The better armed warriors who attacked the flank carry on fighting into the next move, but recoil, holding their line as they withdraw. Quintus sweeps round the enemy left flank, picking off a few stragglers. Job done.
 

Despite a couple of scares the Celts in the wood don't make an appearance. 

Marcus gathers his guys together, checks his wounded (5 serious wounds, four light), quickly buries his three dead and sweeps the field to kill off any enemy fallen (while the enemy "elite" dragged their hurt ones with them as they pulled back,the main force of the enemy broke, leaving their wounded, and it was a very short fight with time for only the lightly hurt to hobble away. Over thirty Celt enemy dead all told). 

He then summons the baggage, and off they march.  



Conclusion:

That was an interesting exercise - but really not "enjoyable" from the point of the management aspect; the game was tense and fun, but "Phew". The "sniping" and sallies from the trees were a constant worry - even when they didn't happen.

Loses were bad - a good proportion of the civilian/servant train (maybe a third) lost, Quintus's century reduced considerable and terribly shaken - in all the excitement they left their wounded in the wood when they broke out and Marcus was too busy to ask about them. NOT good....

Once we got into open ground and to "our type of fight" it was a walkover. But will the Celts see it like that...? They lost a lot of guys, but gave us a bloody nose, took a lot of loot and gear - and did whatever they did to our abandoned wounded.... Hmm.... No laurels for this one....

Moral of the story; don't go in the woods. You're sure of a big surprise.....


October Almost Gone Already..?

Time Flies... The weeks have fled past since the last post. I've managed a couple more Celt on Celt games (with some Roman involvement) ...