Title

Title
Tally Ho!

Sunday, 22 April 2018

Lizardmen / Salamander reinforcements for Kings of War

I've had a little rash of basing / finishing off this week so have produced a few more units for my Lizardmen (Salamander) army. All three are hard-hitting units that should chew through their prospective opponents, which looks increasingly likely to be The Herd.

The first are hard-hitting cavalry from Game Workshop. I originally bought these to be a unit of lancer cavalry but the models are so large they have been upgrade to Ancients on Rhinosaurs



The second unit is a Battle Platform, a tough blocking unit, able to withstand considerable punishment from the enemy.  This is a plastic model from Schleich with a homemade howdah decorated with items from the cavalry sprue. At £11 its a bargain.


The final units are two Tyrants hordes - one of the better melee units available in the army.  They are fairly slow but a high defence and Fury special rule means they should get a counter-charge in with any luck. These are also Schleich, this time from the "mini" range. At £2 - £2.50 each they are great value and pretty decent models too.  




I think my favourite so far is the Ancients on Rhinosaurs - its my first batch of new Games Workshop lizardmen and I think the Aztec styling on them works well.

Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Pyrrhic Wars Armati - Week 1

Our newest campaign is to refight the major battles of the Pyrrhic Wars using Armati. The war pitted Pyrrhus, King of Epirus, against both the Romans and Carthaginians between 280 and 275 BC.

To familiarise ourselves with the rules / armies we began with a practise game between Roman Republic and the Successor forces. Both sides have similar command abilities but different strengths. The smaller Successors have  hard hitting heavy cavalry, elephants, and the tough pike phalanx. The larger Roman force has greater manoeuvrability through the Triarri and Spanish LHI.

Pyrrhus deployed the massed phalanx centrally with Companion cavalry on the right and elephants supported by lights on the left. A strong advance on the right and in the centre looked likely.

Pyrrhus phalanx

The Companions

War elephants

The Romans deployed their own horse on the left, with skirmishers support, placing them opposite the Companions. The centre was occupied by heavy infantry with the Triarri and Spanish LHI on the right. The plan was to hold whilst the Triarri flanked the phalanx and the Spanish destroyed the elephants.

Roman horse and supports

Roman / Latin heavies

The flexible flankers

Close-up of the Warlord Games elephants

As the battle opened, the Roman centre began a gentle wheel while the skirmishers advanced on the left to harass the successor infantry. Unfortunately they got too far ahead of their support and were stomped by the advancing Companions.  

Left wheel chaps!

Skirmishers advance - this would end baldy!

Centrally the heavy infantry lines drew close together, but with the Triarri moving into a flanking position the phalanx was forced to slow and partially refuse its flank. At the same time the Spanish pressed forward to attack the elephants.    

Lines clash with the flanking Romans at the top



Spanish try to reach the elephants


The Romans looked good on the right, but on the left the tables were turned. The Successor Companions ploughed into the Roman horse and rapidly cut through them to threaten the Roman left.

Roman horse crumbles

There was then a key moment in the game. The Successors had an overlap on the left of the Roman line but were unable to exploit this as they lacked the "breaks" needed to split-up their formation. So the Companions would need to move across to attack the Romans.

The aborted flank attack 

Triarri rough-up some Greeks

As the battle raged in the centre it was a race between the Companions and the Triarri to destroy the ene3my before their own lines collapsed. In the end it was the Romans who were able to act quickest and so win the game 5-3.

Romans roll-up the flank

The phalanx succumbs 
        

Monday, 16 April 2018

Kings of War - the campaign climax

This weekend saw the final battle in our Kings of War campaign over at Fishponds. The scenario for this 7th battle involved both sides trying to carry their magic artefacts to the portals so they could be empowered - the winner being the one to activate the most.

The star gate portal 

I entered battle at a disadvantage as I only controlled one of the three artefacts, having lost one in the last game, so a cunning plan would be needed. So I deployed my strongest units opposite the centre and right-hand portals (kings guard and elephant hordes), with archers between and Sergeants as fast-moving blockers in front. Against the left-hand portal I deployed chariots, my flying carpets and a further unit of kings guard with my artefact. Between sat my knights ready to support my artefact unit or try to flank the centre portal.

My plan was to attempt to use my flyers and sergeants to lock-down the enemy moves whilst placing two tough hordes on the portals, hoping to steal one artefact whilst being left unmolested with my own. Moving first would be a key advantage to get my blockers in place before the elves could move.    
The elves plan seemed to similar but very focused on the centre and right-hand portals, with a flank  attack against my right lead by several powerful combat units. This flank attack forced me to make a comprise and deploy by Djinn to oppose the fast-moving units there.

Elves troops focused on the centre / right portals

Persians

Fast-moving elves chaff

Elephant and kings guard hordes ready to grab the portals

Luckily the gods smiled on the Persians and I won the imitative, allowing me the first move. So I pushed forward with my blocking units, quickly overrunning the centre portal and contesting the right-hand one. The elves responded by pushing forward their heavy infantry in the centre and beginning the enveloping move on my right  

Blocking units in place

All very messy in the centre

Seeing the threat to the centre the elves were forced to divert their cold-one knights towards the right-hand portal where my elephant horde lay in wait. Meanwhile on the left my chariots (2-man flying carpets)  began chewing through the artillery deployed on a hill - these pesky sods had hurt my knights badly in the last game so I was keen to take them out before there was no repeat.

Cold-one riders move into position

My carpets brave the flak

An intense fight developed around the right-hand portal, as my elephant horde clashed with the cold-one riders. At 400 points its a mighty unit and  duly crunched through the knights with support from my Djinn.

Crunch - only one winner here!

In the centre though things looked shaky - my kings guard horde holding the centre portal attacked and badly damaged by a unit of elf spearmen. Only a very poor nerve role saved them from defeat.

Their blood-up, the elephants now crunched into an artefact carrying spear unit, once again supported by a flank charge from the Djinn. The elves were quickly dispatched leaving me in possession of a second artefact.    

Persians holding on in the centre

Nellie eyes up another victim

Back in the centre the final action saw the knights charge into the flank of the final artefact carrying unit, beating them back and capturing the final artefact.

End-game

So after 5 turns the elves were routed, leaving the Persians holding all three artefacts and able to claim a hard-fought victory. The game was very close until the 4th turn when a sudden collapse in the elfish formation left them vulnerable to devastating flank attacks.  Moving first has been a major advantage as it enabled me to limit the elves ability to manoeuvre  and force them to respond to my plan.

The elephant horde has impressive stats, but at 400 points its a major gamble to take it. In this scenario the Djinn (greater air elemental) proved the star unit as it launched a series devastating flank attacks and routed 3 units as well as holding off a powerful hero who could have flanked my elephant horde .

 

Nlow the man down


Saturday, 14 April 2018

Aramti - Dacian Wars

This week we had been due to start our refight of the Pyrrhic Wars, but the Successor general was still mustering his forces so we settled on a war-up game to refresh the rules. As the Dacians rarely get an outing we pitched them against the forces of Imperial Rome.

The Romans settled on a simple plan - a solid line of infantry flanked by a unit of heavy cavalry and skirmishers on each flank.  The unusual feature was the mixing of legionaries and auxilia in the main battle line, but the high number of commands available to them allowed this.

Roman lines from the Dacian right

A reverse angle

L'order mixed - Roman style
Having fewer commands available the Dacians compromised. A single large command of Sarmatian cataphracts, with supporting light troops deployed on the right. Three commands of heavy warbands occupied the centre and Falxmen with additional skirmishers the right.  

Long view from the Roman right

Falxmen on the Dacians right

Heavy metal - the Sarmatian cataphracts

Dacians - 1000's of um

The battle began with both sides advancing rapidly on their lefts with their cavalry. This quickly forced back the Dacian skirmishers and led to the Roman horse routing one unit of Falxmen. At this point the Dacian right looked in severe danger!  


Falxmen slice and dice the Roman horse

On the Dacians left they pushed forward the Sarmatian's against the outnumbered Romans, but were forced to bring forward a command of warbands to protect the flank. This led to them having to assault the advancing Romans as they lost their cool and charged uncontrollably.

Praetorians are engaged

Meanwhile their Sarmatian comrades crashed headlong into the Roman horse, with the supporting skirmishers adding their weight to the fight.

Romans somewhat outnumbered

Over on the Dacian right the gods favoured the Falxmen and despite being outclassed they were able to vanquish the Roman horse and rescue the flank. as relatively mobile light-heavy infantry they would even be able to threaten the Roman main line.

As the main lines clashed the Romans began the bloody butchers work they specialise in, of slowly beating back the enemy. Head-on the Dacians could barely dent them but did punch holes in the line where the weaker auxilia were positioned.  

Legions get stuck-in

With the main lines engaged it was now a race between the grinding match and the flanks. The Dacians managed to isolate and flank attack the Pretorian Guards whilst the Sarmatian cataphracts wrapped-up the last to the Roman horse.

Praetorians succumb

Pick on someone your own size

At this point it was 3 losses a piece but with the Roman break-point at 4 and the Dacians at 7 it was looking dicey for Rome. The next turn brought an additional casualty each , and so a rare win for Dacia.

The final moments
 
Our post match analysis was that the unusual Roman infantry deployment probably caused them issues in the battle, by allowing gaps to form in the line. A stronger deployment would likely have been all Roman horse on one flank, the non-key auxilia on the other, and a solid mass of legionaries focusing on one end of the long Dacian line.

Better luck next time Tribune!