Wednesday, 10 April 2019

Twixt Scenario Thoughts.....


Musings on Whither next...

My experimental "Scenario Generator" for my Judean war project having proved less inspiring than I had thought (though the scenarios - I have more already up my sleeve - and games have been brilliant) and more trouble (space issues for the board, and doing it digitally seems less fun) than anticipated, I have pondered other ideas...



However, regular readers of my maunderings will be aware that I make no real claim to originality (standing on the shoulders of giants, as one does) so that it will come to no one's surprise that I occasionally trawl through my "Why don't you throw those comics out, dear? They're ancient, and you hardly ever look at them..." modelling n' wargames magazines for ideas and inspiration...

This week I came across a long-ago tagged article from Miniature Wargames Dec. 1987 by a William J. Philpott (a younger version of THE William J. Philpott, military historian and professor of the History of Warfare of today I wondered.....?) entitled "The Peasants Are Revolting"..



The article sets out a solo campaign scenario, based in mid 17thC France (the L'Éminence rouge and all that) and all about quelling the ructious jacquerie, BUT, as the author notes, thoroughly customisable to a range of periods...

With a new map and little tweaking this would fit the Judean War very nicely...




Hmmm... Looks VERY promising.... Watch this space.....

Saturday, 6 April 2019

"Oh Little Town" Part Two.....

All set up for the next phase....
The Romans sent an auxiliary punitive vexillation to deal with the naughty townsfolk (we all know how superpowers, used to bullying their own way through things, get vindictive when some small fry gives 'em a bloody nose...).

However; the residents, who could see what was likely to happen, had torn down the fort, cannibalised some buildings and the graveyard and put up some (albeit ad hoc) walls.... The Roman force (no ladders or siege engines) withdrew (MORE red Roman faces).




The Tiber Boys are now en-route for a second try; mob-handed and tooled-up.

Technical:

Simple mechanics: I play the defenders. Friendly units within my "Command Radius" (12" in the town) are automatically activated. Other friendly units activate on a 1x6D throw of 5 or 6.
Roman moves and events are dictated by The Table (below).
Non-activated units may shoot/throw stones at move end.

Non-activated command groups can remove shock at move end (2SPs for complete Roman command group, 1SP for my sub-commanders).. Throw/Test on The Table at the beginning of each move. Romans move first..



 The Game:

The Romans started arriving in the first few moves as per above... Cavalry (which will prove totally useless) and archer units, plus some Legion artillery support.. Once the enemy establish the range my walls start getting bashed and my lads picked off by the ballista. One archer unit will creep forwards and engage in a long-range exchange of fire with those few of my lads on the walls with slings and bows. 


 

(Technical: Artillery -
First couple of shots are (estimated) ranging shots. Once I get the range then throw 1x6d per hit on the wall. This is the damage caused that move.  Total wall strength 36. On reaching this a practical breach appears....)



Then; "Oh dear"...  My Divinity of choice is NOT being kind...

The odds are (see The Table) that my opponents would most likely be Auxilia... But no. The dice hate me.... Three legionary units appear..... Seriously this is NOT good news....





The legionaries advance swiftly.... Again, someone up there doesn't like me...



In what seems like next to no time the Romans are approaching my walls... Meanwhile the artillery have opened a workable breach and the archers cleared a goodly number of my rooftops - to the degree that the unit manning my right wall pull back....



There is a pause, as the Romans nearest the wall (and suffering from some of my own artillery and arrows), snug in their tesudo, remove some of the accumulated Shock..



But not for long.... Suddenly they are against my walls on both sides of the table. On the left using the breach.... 



  On the right, chucking their grapnels....


My lads at the left wall pull back, and the enemy are through - only to meet a barrage of stones, tiles and general debris from the rooftops...



On my left the Romans will press their advantage over the next few moves; only being stalled by the ad-hoc barricades my lads push into place in the narrow streets. 



On my right the Romans hesitate, allowing me to pull my boys back unmolested, and giving me the chance to open up on them with the artillery on my HQ.



Where the enemy have broken through the fighting in the alleyways is intense, with the hail of missiles from the rooftops seeming not to worry the legionaries (dash those dice...)... 



Thanks to the courage of the enemy centurions my troops are slowly forced back toward the main square (the enemy objective; possession of this wins them the game).





Things are looking pretty dicey....

Over the next couple of moves the Romans press their advantage.. The good news is they do NOT seem to be reinforced, while I (thanks to The Table) do get another unit come on to help me out.



But against the legions my boys do not have the experience and kit to stand up to a straight fight, and while their artillery pounds any high rooftops with my lads on them, I am backed into the square, preparing my barricades for a final showdown.....



Bad luck continues as the enemy overrun my HQ, turning my own artillery on my tile-lobbing minions...


Slowly, I am hemmed in. Archers take over my HQ and the enemy take a breather to reduce Shock.



Suddenly the enemy lead unit rushes the barricades, throwing back the defenders...




...just as an attempt on my part to disrupt their plan (throwing my new unit and a unit in the square to attack a Roman unit from two sides) fails...



I am pushed back, with little room to manoeuvrer, and with the enemy bowmen taking down my lads packed in the square - including taking out one of my commanders - my attempts to steady my boys are failing....




The leading enemy unit, again, pauses to dress their lines, but then I am hit from the side by the unit that has made its way from the dye-works on my right.



As I stagger from this, the lead unit charges too...



My lads recoil again; even my reserve of better armed troops do not seem to be able to cope with the legionaries man for man...



The Romans again reform, while their bowmen continue to pour in volleys from the HQ roof, then pile in....



My troops simply cant take it, and they recoil off the table... The Eagles have won....


Summary:
That was fun. The table added imponderables, but nothing out of place or extreme. Bad luck mean I was facing legionaries, but on the other hand the Romans did not outnumber me and I suffered no desertions or attacks from behind. All in all the mechanics worked...
Activation, events & enemy "decisions" by The Table worked. When alternatives (direction of travel, actions etc.) were presented to the Romans then probabilities were assessed then diced for (ditto isolated friendly units).

"House Rules" for movement distances and shock/fighting/shooting for units based on adaptions of the Lardies SP/Dux Brit. systems Nothing fancy here at all. Any rules could be applied for the basic actions of moving and fighting...

At certain points when there were calls for additional, special moral checks (due to The Table or events/odd/risky situations which merited) I used an adapted Don Featherstone morale table, but deducting for shock markers.

When individual Roman troops had a real obstacle/risky job to undertake (e.g. who is going to jump down off a barricade into an awaiting mob) I did an individual figure morale check (with extra plusses for centurions, due to their culture of leading from the front) to see who (if anyone) had the guts to be a hero....

Also, in those cases where an individual or handful of chaps were the only ones fighting in an isolated position (e.g. first to jump down from a barricade, first to clamber through a roof-hatch etc.) I did away with unit "fisticuffs" type SP combat and fell back on a single combat system.. Sometimes there is a place for heroes (mural crowns don't just win themselves..).

A successful experiment... Watch this space for the next outing...

As always comments & queries welcome.



Run For Your Life...

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