Wednesday, November 25, 2015

21st November, Tarrington

OK ... off to deepest Herefordshire for another round of the Society of Ancients UK DBA League - now in the 2015/16 season.

Actually, Tarrington is really quite accessible, being some 12 miles or so from the motorway (so just about dual carriageway/motorway all the way from my door) - so don't imagine it is the middle of nowhere when you see this event advertised next time: it is easy to get to and a great format.  Highly recommended - don't miss it.

The format is an open 'scramble' - you donate an army (any) to the pool.   You get to play against it in round 1 and with it in the final round.  In between, you play with and against a random army supplied by one of the other players.

I took Slave Revolt/Spartacus ...

(DBA Slave Revolt/Spartacus ... 15mm figures/mixed manufacturers)

Followers of this blog might recall I took a Marian Roman army to the English Open a few weeks back - with the back story that it was half of a pair that I had built for the Alton Pairs but then not been able to attend.

This is the other half of the pair ... the revolting slaves.   Bottled up in southern Italy with their camp in the fastness of Mount Vesuvius ...

... with Jean Simmons skinny dipping in a secluded pool ... (or so Stanley Kubrick would imagine it) ..

The army has 4 (fast) hordes, and I was interested to see how they would do over a sequence of games.

There were plenty of hordes in the army mix - and 2 cases (Aztec and Early Libyan) where they made up half the army ...

So ... The mix:  I/7a Early Libyan;  I/60b Early Achaemenid Persian (Cyrus);  I/60c Early Achaemenid Persian;  II/7 Later Achaemenid Persian;  II/40 Numidian;  II/45c Slave Revolt (Spartacus);  II/79 Early Russian;  II/34b Andalusian;  IV/55 Ottoman;  IV/63 Aztec;  IV/62 Northern Sung;  IV/80 Hussite  ...

My games ...

(Ottoman vs Slave Revolt)

(Andalusian vs Early Libyan)

(Later Achaemenid Persian vs Early Russian)

(Aztec vs Numidian)

(Early Libyan vs Early Achaemenid Persian)

(Slave Revolt vs Northern Sung)

A lot of generic/what ifs there ... not really hisotrical (nearest was probably Libyans vs Persians although wrong sort of Libyans perhaps .. ) but all of them intriguing challenges and plenty of opportunities for me to learn more about hordes!!!

Players supplied the terrain with the armies (and players drawing the army had to use the terrain - only and all - as provided) ... there was an option to provide larger boards but all I saw were standard 24" battlefields.

I quite liked ...

(those Aztecs and their pyramid ... ) ...

(the later Persians mostly made with the recently issued Westwind figures)

(didn't get to use these Hussites but thought they looked very good)

Well, I really enjoyed such a diverse series of games and with all that experience of hordes it was very pleasing to win my final game using my own army (and mostly employing the offensive power of the revolting slaves whilst the gladiators covered their flanks) ...

(victory to Spartacus and the revolting slaves)

Well done to the top three ... a good test and an enjoyable day ...

I won 2 of my 6 games and I think got one draw  ... so finished lower middle (slightly less successful than my army) ...  Then again, I did use both of the horde armies and the Aztecs, indeed, won the most challenging award (for the lowest scores) ... and I think I want one!

Thanks to Martin Myers for organising the event and thanks to all the players for a splendid set of nicely presented and interesting armies.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

14th and 15th November, Reading


For Warfare this year I booked in with John Curry to do a History of Wargaming Project recreation of  a Tony Bath wargame from the 1960s ... it is the 50th anniversary of his founding of the Society of Ancients, so it seemed appropriate ...

However I appreciate that Phil Sabin usually does a lost battle on the Saturday of this show and that visitors like it (so I booked my game in as an extra on its own merit)

As it happened, the Society was unable to get a team out for the Sunday so we were asked to rejig ourselves as part of the Society of Ancients pitch for the Sunday.  Plus ca change, you might wryly observe.

(so here we are on the Saturday doing our own thing)

(meanwhile here is the Society of Ancients lost battle)

... and here are some pictures of our 50th anniversary game ...

(John Curry engagingly explains the origins of the ancient wargame to a happy crowd)

We were fully occupied all morning explaining the game, the flat figures, the history of wargaming etc. so it wasn't until the afternoon that we got to play properly ...

(the Tony Bath wargame ... figures by Phil Barker and Tony Bath, boards and staging by Phil Steele)

(the original ancients game with the original figures: the battle lines close, John redeploys his cavalry)

(a Roman battle line: figures by Phil Barker)

(wargaming with flats: Roman commanders)

Meanwhile, back at the Society stand, Cunaxa was refought 3 times ...

(the lost battle of Cunaxa ... Phil Sabin notes down the scores)

(Cunaxa: local light horse cover the Greek flank)

Courtesy of subbing in the Society zone, we had a little more space for our flats display on Sunday ...

(Saturday's display)

(Sunday's display)

But lets have a look round the rest of the show ...

There were a number of eye-catching ancient and medieval games:

(Staines were there with there excellent Agincourt participation game)

(and this Dark Age gridded wargame was busy all day) 

(Wars of the Roses from the Lance & Longbow Society)

... and in other periods and genres ...

(excellent and eccentric participation game from the RAF club about making the Sharp TV series)

(splendid Fornovo game by Malvern using Advanced Armati Renaissance rules)

(Fornovo: worth a closer look)

Plus something more modern and something not too serious ..

All in all a very good mix ...

Elsewhere there was plenty of trade and lots of competitions.  Something for everyone at warfare 2015 ...

I will make some observations on the Tony Bath wargame and our miniature battle with flats in a subsequent blog.