Copyright © 2011-2024, Paul Scrivens-Smith

Copyright © 2011-2024, Paul Scrivens-Smith

All rights reserved. This work may not be reproduced, in whole or in part, without the prior written permission of the creator.

Thursday 28 June 2012

El Cid BattleRep - More Almohavids

Tonight I managed to get another wargame in, yes, that is three in three days!

In preparation for Hot Lead at Gripping Beast this weekend I wanted to get another game of WAB in with the Christian Spanish, so James Morris - author of the El Cid supplement - agreed to bring a force to the White Hart and give me a game.

Top fella that he is James also bought some lovely terrain with him, so my new Spanish fellas would be playing against some lovely troops featured in the book on the terrain featured in the book - bonus!

After a bite to eat in the bar, we set up the table, having decided to play the River Crossing scenario from the rules pack. We rolled off and I would be the defender, my force was:

Infante in a unit of 11 Caballeros Hildagos
9 Jinettes
21 Peones
9 Peones Light Infantry
9 Aqueros
6 Skirmishers with Slings

Spanish prepare to defend the fords and river banks

James had:
Almohavid General and Army Standard in with 10 Guard Cavalry
9 Andalusian Nobles
Imam in with 26 Berber Spears
27 Berber Spears and 9 Berber Bow
9 Skirmishers
8 Camel Riders

The Almohavid center
There were three fords on the river and the ground rose slightly towards the Spanish side. Each sides right flank rested on a wood.

The battle lines are drawn, behind the Berber Spears are the Guard Cavalry
James started the game by advancing his camel riders up to the ford on his right and the Andalusians to the ford on the left, the Berber Spears backed up by the Guard Cavalry went for the center ford. I countered by advancing the Peones up to defend the center ford, the Jinettes and Light Infantry countered the Camel Riders and the Caballeros Hildagos moved against the right ford.

I'm not going to give a blow by blow account of the entire proceedings, but the Camel Riders were broken on my left flank allowing my Jinettes and Peones lights to cross the river and harrass the Berber Spear and Bow bock. In the center it did not fare so well for me, the Berber Spear led by the Imam broke straight through my Peones and finished the game atop the hill allowing the Guard Cavalry to also cross the river. The Guard Cavalry were badly shot up but crossed without needing to stike a blow. On my right the Caballeros Hildagos got their blood up, crossed the ford and swept left destroying the Berber Spear/Bow block.

By the end of the game I had lost the Peones and the Skirmishers, James had lost the Berber Spear/Bow block, the Camel Riders and half of his Guard Cavalry, but had crossed the river with three expensive units and all his characters so adding up it was about 1050pts to James and 800pts to me.

Here are some pictures from the game:

Spanish Jinettes

Berber Camel Riders

Andalusian Nobles

The Spanish left flank

The Spanish center

Hold fast my brave Peons

Things go well for the Spanish

The Berbers prepare to cross the centre ford while my Caballeros Hildagos prepare to take the fight to the Almohavids

Things do not go well in the Spanish centre

Caballeros Hildagos on the Almohavid side of the table taking lots of javelins on board

Berbers break through the center

Things go less well on the Almohavid right flank

Spanish Jinettes try to clear the Berbers off my side of the river

Berbers are King of the Castle on my side of the river

Andalusian Nobles move to screen the Guard Cavalry from the Spanish Jinettes

Things about to go badly for the Berber spears

Quite a lot of Almohavids crossed the river.

Flames of War: a trio of firsts.

I don’t play much Flames of War these days, I’ve become rather jaded with the system . Actually, I’m not jaded with the system, rather the stupid army lists, it’s pitched as a company level game, but the lists allow players to take stupid amounts of divisional and corps level support with an understrength company, so players being players that is what they do. Another gripe is artillery being deployed on the table, silly idea except in exceptional circumstances.

Enough about my ranting, I’ve been working in Yeovil this week so took the opportunity to hook up with Steve Bowman for a game of Flames of War, I’ve not played the new third edition yet so it gave me the opportunity to try it out.

When I arrived, Steve had laid out a table ready for us, we had a chat and had our first cup of tea of the evening. Steve has a massive collection of Flames of War troops, it puts even my huge collection in the shadows, so he asked if I wanted to play Early, Mid or Late War, I’d not previously done any Early War so too the opportunity to have a try at that.

A rather splendid table of terrain awaited

Two lists were duly picked

German Panzer Kompanie:

  • Company HQ: 2 Pz38(t)
  • 1 Platoon: 4 Pz38(t)
  • 1 Platoon: 5 Pz38(t)
  • 1 Platoon: 5 PzIIC
  • 1 Platoon: 2 SdKfz222
  • Priority Stukas

A French Tank Squadron:

  • Squadron HQ: 1 Renault R35
  • 2 Platoon: 4 Renault R35
  • 1 Platoon: 3 Souma S35
  • 1 Platoon: 4 Souma S35
  • 1 Platoon: Recce Tanks (forgotten the name)
  • 1 Battery: 4 105mm

We rolled a dice to see who got which set of troops; I would be playing with the Panzer Kompanie and Steve with the French. We then rolled up the scenario, I would be defending in the Counter Attack scenario. Obviously then I was Rommel’s 7th Panzer and the French were trying to throw me back over the Meuse.
We had a great game, I found out that the Souma S35 are the early war equivalent of a Tiger tank and Steve learned to hate the Luftwaffe.

Realising that I would not be able to do much against the S35 I played a fighting withdrawal strategy against them keeping them at range and allowing the Stukas to do the donkey work against them. My reserves were severely delayed and Steve managed to get his R35 onto the ‘free’ objective, but I managed to move up the armoured cars and keep the game going by contesting it until I eventually broke his army. At the end of the game, Steve had lost his four tank platoons and I had lost the armoured cars that had to be sacrificed to keep the objective covered.

I really enjoyed the game, it was too well balanced forces with realistic levels of higher echelon support and Steve is a great bloke all round. I did drink far too much tea though, my back teeth were floating by the time I arrived home.

Here are some shots from the game.

Rather a lot of French on the way, call up the Luftwaffe

After the sirens had died down and the smoke cleared the S35 were untouched

The French retaliate and I suffer the first casualties.

The Luftwaffe have more success over the next couple of turns 

Eventually no French tanks remain on that flank - well apart from a couple of recce hiding in a copse

On the other flank there is a hard fought scrap around the objective

In the end the Hun are victorious

Tuesday 26 June 2012

El Cid: The opening moves

This is a blogging race to get my version of events up before Tom does.

Tonight my Christian Spanish for the Age of El Cid had their first outing. Tom and I are going to Hot Lead at Gripping Beast this weekend and I wanted to have at least one game under my belt.

As Tom did not plan to arrive until 7:30 I thought I would lay out the troops and take a few images:

Here they all are

And again

Close up with banners flying

And from the other side
 Of course Tom arrived much earlier than I expected so it was onto the game. We randomized the scenario and are going to play the Miraculous Shrine. Another dice roll and I am the attacker.

My 1500pt list comprises Infante General and Arminger ASB in a unit of 10 Caballeros Hildagos, a Infante in a unit of 11 Caballeros, a unit of 8 Jinettes, a unit of 21 Peones and 7 Aqueros, a unit of 9 Peones Light Infantry with throwing spears, a unit of 9 Aqueros and a unit of 8 Skirmishers.

I deployed from left to right: Skirmishers, Jinettes, Hildagos, Peones, Aqueros, Peones Light Infantry, Caballeros.

The Glory of Espana
 Tom was using his 1000pt Almohavid list and had two units of spear one with Sayyd and ASB and one with an Imam, a unit of bows a unit of Berber cavalry and a unit of skirmishers. The spear unit with the general and ASB would be the temple guard.

Tom deploys his North African scoundrels
 I took the first turn and sounded a general advance towards the Almohavids

Sound the advance

Disaster strikes the Berber Cavalry and skirmishers counter  my Caballeros, three are shot down, a panic test is failed and they head back towards Castille.

Run away!
 In the same turn I also lose a couple of Hildagos to stray arrows, it does not bode well, paper armour and all that.
Some Berber Spear dudes
 My Caballeros rally and face off against the Berber Cavalry who account for another with javelins
Hold fast lads
My Peon light troops soon clear away the Berber Javelinmen and the Caballeros charge into those pesky Berber Cavalry.
Clear those dogs from the woods 
The Berber cavalry elect to feigned flight but are still caught by the Caballeros. In a brilliant display of martial incompetence my Caballeros manage to draw the combat for two rounds in succession and lose the momentum roll off - donkeys

 In the center we pepper each other with Javelins and bows.

I am not moving if you aren't
 The Hildagos clear out the Berber bowmen on the hill then turn around to take the spearmen in the flank.
That is the archers cleared.
 I charge into the Berber spearmen and they fall back in good order from the charge
Add caption
 The Imam gets into a challenge with the Infante

Not a fair fight, I also have a horse, a dead Arab and a bloke with a trumpet on my side. 
In another display of martial incompetence in the Hildagos kill the Imam and four Berber spearmen but take four wounds themselves. What can go wrong on a 3+ save, oh dear, four failed saves lost combat, under 5 models and they are off taking the Infante and Arminger with them.

In the center it's a land grab with both players vying to get as many troops around the shrine as they can. The Berber spear try to push away my Caballeros but fluff the combat.
This one went better than expected. 
Rally round the sacred column thing.
At the end of the game, I had lost about 900pts of troops to Toms 500pts, however I did have more troops within 6" of the shrine than Tom so it made the final score 987 to 1007, a small 20pt win to me.

A top game, and checking Toms blog I won the race :)

Wednesday 20 June 2012

El Cid - Slow progress for this update

What with eye surgery and then a stinking cold combined with the football being on I have not made as much progress on the El Cid Christian Spanish as I had hoped this last couple of weeks. But today I have put the finishing touches on another character figure, this one will most likely be used to represent my Rey and another 7 Caballeros.

First up the Rey, his presence is announced with a fanfare and a dead Andalusian lies at the feet of his grey.




I've also done another 7 Caballeros, although four of this batch are un-armoured so are equally suitable as Caballeros Villanos or as Jinettes. Along with the Reys mount you'll notice a couple of greys in this lot too.




I had originally intended for this army to be finished by the end of June so that I could start on the War of Spanish Succession French in July. I only have a few bits left to paint, but 11 days may be a bit of an ask.

3 Caballeros, 23 Mercenary Spearmen, 4 Casualty Markers