Monday, 5 March 2018

Lost Battles: Ilipa

I had a chance to set up another solo game of Lost Battles and after finishing the latest batch of Iberian Scutarii I went for Ilipa as planned. Being my first play through of this battle I followed the historical set up provided in the book which sees the Carthaginian army larger than the Roman though completely out generated and a sneaky ploy by Scipio has the Punic army fatigued. Also Scipio being a brilliant commander has the ability to flipflop the turn order which compounds the pressure on the Punic forces. Things are not looking promising for the Carthaginian enterprise in Hispania! 

The Battle of Ilipa

Hasdrubal falling for Scipio's ploy had formed his troops and without food and waiting for a long while in the Spanish sun were becoming weary. He had deployed forward his light troops and elephants, his Libyan phalanx in the centre to shadow the expected legions and his Iberian allies flanked the phalanx. The Numidian horse screened his left flank and his Spanish horsemen sallied from his right flank. However Scipio having made Hasdrubal accustomed to the legions deploying in the centre on the day placed them opposing Hasdrubal's Iberian foot and Scipio's own Spanish allies marched forwards to contest the centre. Scipio sent his veteran Equites to challenge the Spanish horse and his other cavalry to drive away the Numidians. 

Hasdrubal himself, was succumbing to the pressures of the day, was not his usual self and it was felt through the whole of the Punic army. His lack of vigor was in stark contrast with Scipio's well drilled and well lead troops which stormed towards the Punic army which watched in awe. Hasdrubal had been wrong footed. This rapid advance took its toll on the Punic avant garde and the cavalry fight began also with ferocity. 

Soon the main lines closed and again fierce melee ensued with both the Romans and Carthaginians pushing themselves beyond endurance in what was almost a Heraklean labour. Both lines began to suffer but the earlier suffering of the Punic army was beginning to take a telling toll upon the men. 

The Numidians managed to somehow break the will of the Roman cavalry but the veterans at the other end of the field although suffering themselves sent the Spanish horsemen off the field scattered. The remaining horsemen then went on to harass and threaten their opponents. Despite the initial ferocity of the battle exhaustion had brought stalemate in the centre. However the Roman legions began to break their Spanish adversaries and with the victorious cavalry now threatening their rear they fled the Punic right. The Punic left had began a similar decline as a shocking attack upon the Spanish Scutarii had led to the elephants becoming embroiled and they shattered fleeing the field. The legionaries inspired and extolled by Scipio continued to grind the Spanish tribesmen eventually pressing forward to threaten the African Phalanx. Silanus mirrored Scipio and threatened the other flank of the phalanx shortly followed by the Equites. 

A valiant last effort from the victorious units caused a unit of legionaries to panic but Scipio by his personal example inspired the men to stay in line and a last ditch push from Hasdrubal's faithful Africans broke a Spanish warband but it was not enough he was surrounded his men exhausted and the Romans closed from all sides to finish Carthaginian aspirations. Scipio now ruled Hispania in the name of Rome!

Battle Results

A black day indeed for Carthage! With Rome having both a brilliant and an average one to Carthage's single uninspired general made a massive difference. The command and attack exemptions generated freed a lot of commands for the sectors that lacked a generals direct influence. The flip flop to reverse the turn order from turn 2 allowing Scipio to deploy second with quite a few commands then attack first really hit the Carthaginians hard who then struggled to muster effective attacks. 

I used both armies aggressively any unit that was eligible for an all  out attack was taken. For the Romans they wanted to take advantage of the Carthaginian fatigue which penalises attacks by spent units, and for the Carthaginians, they wanted to inflict as much damage as possible before the Roman onslaught took its toll.   

The scenario is a good scenario to explore what ifs and tweaks, such as if Hasdrubal had not been so rash and had been more on the ball giving Carthage more commands and not suffering fatigue for example. Maybe the next battle will be an alternate Ilipa but I also have Trebia in mind once I get some more Numidian horse finished.

I would also like to create a solo campaign system to give context to some battles in which the outcome would affect control of regions and such depending on the level of victory etc. something I am mulling over. Still the game was under 3 hours which would have went quicker without taking pics and if I played the rules more frequently (amongst other distractions). I wouldn't mind finding a ruleset that could be set up a played quicker for when I don't have time for a Lost Battle, I have enough rules to test out so I'm sure one will do  or I could make my own up, yet another project to think about. So just to finish off the scores firstly showing the turn order of the losses then a working out of the victory points:

Carthage's Losses

Shattered(Turn): 1 x AHC(4), 1 x AEL(4), 1 x AHI(4), 3 x AHI(5), 1 x AHI(7).
Routed(Turn): 4 x AHI(5), 3 x ALI(5), 5 x AHI(7), ALC(7), 1 x UC(7).

Shattered (double the FV): 1AHC (6), 1AEL (6), 5AHI (30) = 42
Routed (FV + 1): 3ALI (12), 9AHI (36) ALC (4), = 52

Withdrawn (FV): UC (3) = 3

This gives Rome 97 VP.
Rome's Losses

Shattered(Turn): 1 x AHC(3), 1 x AHI(6)
Spent: 1 x VHC, 3 x AHI, 3 x ALI, 3 x VLE, 2 x ALE

Shattered (FV x2): 1AHC (6), 1AHI (6) = 12
Spent (FV): 3VLE (12), 2ALE (6), 3AHI (9), 3ALI (9), 1VHC (4) = 40
Fatigued = 20
Handicap = 26

This gives Carthage 98 VP.

A narrow game victory for Carthage, but without the handicaps a clear Roman victory. Many thanks to Aaron Bell for helping me with the VP score, I had misread the victory point calculation rules in my haste to post and missed some other things also. 

Thursday, 1 March 2018

Cloaked Iberians, for Carthage or Rome?

After being so sanguine about getting a few units of Austrian and Hungarian Napoleonic infantry I opted to return to ancients. I had a good session spray painting both the Napoleonics (white) and these Iberians (flesh). As ever they are Newline Designs 20mm from their ancient Spanish line (ANS01 Scutarii). All of the miniatures featured are the same pose, I stockpiled quite a lot of the ancient Spanish infantry and have used one pose for each unit... I am not quite sure why I did this,  there would be a great amount of variety if I had just kept them mixed, but I did.  

I gave a couple of them some accessories from Hat's 1/72 Carthaginian Command set to give the unit a standard and a leader with a sword. I think I had put off painting these because of the shield designs are fiddly and time consuming and I have already painted 8 bases of Iberians. However for the Punic wars you need quite a few of them especially for battles in Iberia such as Ilipa which had Iberian tribesmen fight for both Carthage and Rome. It is for that battle I painted up this batch for and I hope that sooner rather I will get to re-fight the scenario with Lost Battles. With ancients back at the forefront I think I will crack on with a few Numidian horsemen.

Newline Designs 20mm Ancients

Tuesday, 30 January 2018

British Regulars AWI

After a long while I have had another look at 6mm scale. However instead of returning to Cold War era Red Army I began yet another new project. The idea here being if I started a new era I should do it in 6mm so it is easier to store and hopefully quicker to paint up. Really, I just liked the look of Baccus' AWI range and with rumblings from Hat about producing an AWI range in my preferred 1/72 scale (I won't be able to resist!) makes the argument about space moot. I am a serial collector there's no point denying it. 

I have started with some British line in round hat and campaign uniforms. Once I figured out the best way to paint them I found them quick enough to paint but still a challenge to paint the detail. There is plenty of detail to pick out too, they are lovely miniatures, impressive despite their size. It will look great to have a table full of these! 

I still need to get some flags, Baccus seem to sell some but I need to do a bit of research into this. They are based on 20mm square bases with flexibility in mind, I don't have a set of rules chosen either but I have come across some interesting free sets. When I return to this project I will have to do a few Continentals.

In the mean time I have a few Napoleonic Austrian units on the table waiting to be prepped as well as some Numidian cavalry and Spanish Scutarii which I had planned to do month ago for some Punic Wars Lost Battles scenarios. You've just got to paint what you fancy sometimes!  

American Revolution War of Independence

Sunday, 21 January 2018

Austrian Landwehr

Over the Christmas and New Year I was slowly but surely working on these 20mm Austrian Landwehr from Newline Designs. It took a lot longer than I hoped but that is always the case with painting in general. It was a bright day so I took advantage of it and got the snaps. I again used my phone which is quicker and more convenient but I don't think the pics are as good as what the Nikon can take.

The colour scheme is from a plate in an Osprey on Austrian Infantry of the Napoleonic wars which identifies these as Styrian Landwehr in emergency uniforms. All based on 40mm square bases and the flag is from an ebay store 'Flags and Patches'. I am not sure if it is the correct flag but I am happy with the result.

I have also been working on some 6mm British for the American Revolutionary War and flitting between the two its dragged each one out. So probably those next but I am probably going to work on some more Austrian and Hungarian Line Infantry. Of course that's not set in stone!