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.

Sunday 30 November 2014

Punic Wars - To The Strongest

On Tuesday evening Martin and I had another great game of To The Strongest.

Martin has already written up an excellent report on Tabletop Mog so I will just add a little of my perspective.

Unaware that Simon had already done a list for the Carthaginians I picked something of my own, 
  • Carthaginian command: General (Mounted, Detached, Senior, Brilliant), Stratagem, Spearmen  (Veteran), two Spearmen
  • Gallic command: General (Heroic), two Warriors (Hero), two Cavalry, Light Infantry (Slings)
  • Spanish command: General, two Javelinmen , Light Infantry (Javelins)
  • Numidian command: General (Mounted), three Light Cavalry (Javelins)
Taking a look at Simons actual list, I was not too far off the mark apart from he classes the African Spearmen as a Hoplite type rather than Spearmen.

Martin used a force of two Alae of Romans plus an Alae of Roman allies. Having small units and only three commanders he has far more troops on the table than me.

We initially set up the terrain and this is how it looked before we applied any random effects.

We then randomised the terrain and deployed the armies. On my right the Numidian and Gallic cavalry faced off against one Alae, in the foot from right to left I deployed the Gallic foot, African foot and then the Spanish. I was certainly looking outnumbered.

With just a screen of cavalry I was concerned that my right flank would soon be rolled up. However, the Numidians performed far better than expected. Soon, three units of Italian allies had succumbed to the javelins of the Numidians, although the Gallic cavalry were suffering to the return missle fire and spent most of the game in a state of disorder.

Things were not going so well in the centre though. The Velites were stubborn buggers, not only were they refusing to flee the charges of my Gallic foot, my own poor attacks combined with Martins excellent saves meant they stayed in the game far longer than I had hoped.

The Spanish on my left fared well, ranged against an entire Alae they held there own and polished off a couple of units of Hastatii with help from the African Spearmen.

Things were looking up, I had lost only a couple of Victory Medals and Martin was left with only a pair of his own. Then the Romans decided that they knew how to fight after all. A unit of African Spearmen were polished off and Hannibal fell dead!, a unit of Gallic Warriors were wiped out and then a unit of Spanish. My African foot command was also demoralised!

I had three Victory Medals left and Martin had two, also, having brushed aside the Spanish my left flank was now in danger of being turned.

However, my Gallic slingers, who had been ineffective so far, shot at the Italian allied cavalry. They made their save, but the accompanying General did not, Martin lost his final two Victory Medals and the game was mine.

Another great game that despite my dominance in the early stages of the battle went right down to the wire in the end.

All the figures are from the collections of Martin and myself and were painted by their respective owners.

Manufacturers are mainly; Gripping Beast, Warlord Games, Aventine, Victrix and Agema, with maybe a few other oddments thrown in.

Monday 24 November 2014

Another couple of Maniples for the Republican Romans

Over the weekend I made better progress than I had hoped with those Victrix Republican Romans.

Another unit each of Hastatii and Principes have been finished and based.

There is starting to be quite a collection now, another Velite and a Triarius and that will be my first Alae.

I also managed to re-base another unit of Numidian light horse plus two more of Spanish warriors. Hopefully, these will get a run out tomorrow against Martin in a Game of To The Strongest.

Poor photos again though, this time I used a daylight bulb and then auto-adjusted in Irfanview, still not very good.

Long overdue reinforcements

These six Desert Rats have been on the window sill in my studio since January. They were base-coated, a wash had been applied and about half the highlights had been done.

Then they were sadly neglected, I think having painted over 180 of the buggers had put me off for a bit.

However, over the weekend I finished off the last few highlights, did a bit of brown-lining and then did the bases, less than an hours work and these six can now join the rest of the collection.

Photos are a bit rubbish, after trying natural light yesterday, today I used a daylight bulb and 'enhanced' them in Irfanview.

Still a bit yucky!

Sunday 23 November 2014

Painting Again - Victrix Republican Romans

After quite a period where I have been avoiding picking up the paint brushes I have finally got some of the stuff I have been working on finished. Unfortunately, this time of year the natural light is rubbish for taking photos.

I've gone for a limited pallet and am doing the troops a mix of white, black and red.

Firstly I did five Velites to get me warmed up.

Followed by eight Hastati,

And finally eight Principes.

On the painting table at the moment are another eight Hastati painted and ready for basing and another eight Principes with a base-coat and wash.

At the same time I am also slowly re-basing my other Punic Wars troops. Recently I have done some Numidians, a General, two bases of light horse and a unit of javelinmen.

Plus a unit of Spanish Scutarii and some Caetarii.

Friday 21 November 2014

X-Wing: Asteroid Run

Yesterday evening I met up with Greg and Ben at the club for some X-Wing action.

After my game with Martin on Tuesday I popped out one lunchtime to Dunelm and picked up a vinyl mat of my own, it seems a lot better to play on than my current felt mat.

Greg opted to play the rebels and spent his 100 points on:

  • X-Wing; Luke Skywalker, R2D2
  • X-wing; Rookie pilot
  • A-Wing; Green Sqdn pilot
  • Y-Wing; Horton Salm, R5D8

Ben and I picked 50pts each of Imperium. I picked:

  • Lambda Class; Omnicon Group pilot, DarthVader
  • Two Tie Fighters, Obsidian Sqdn pilot

Ben spent his 50pts on

  • Tie Bomber; Major Rhymer
  • Tie Interceptor; Feels Wrath

We randomised a mission and would be playing Asteroid Run. Ben elected to have the Rookie Pilot to be his Disabled Ship, probably a mistake. Ben attacked from one end and myself from the other.

Ben was a bit of a Rookie Pilot himself, but it worked out ok in the end. Having lined both of his ships up for shots at our mission target and possible shots at Luke Skywalker, Ben elected to give Luke the beans!

After four shots at close range from the Tie Interceptor Luke had his shields stripped and one hull remaining. Three further shots from the Tie Bomber and Luke was out of the game!

"So this Skywalker, is he any good?", "Err, no!"
After this though, Ben had a few issues, including running the Tie Interceptor into an asteroid!

Things were now quite difficult for the Rebels, the Rookie pilot was soon in range of the Lambda Shuttle which packs quite a punch. The Other A-Wing and Y-Wing came into the game and soon despatched a Tie Fighter.

However, the end was near, rather than running for a board edge with the Rookie pilot, he turned towards combat and ended up in the sights of both the Lambda and the Tie Bomber - Kaboom!

As this game was over quite quickly we lined up another game with the big guys.

Hans Solo in the Millennium Falcon teamed up with Luke Skywalker in an X-Wing to take on Boba Fett in his Firespray paired with Captain Yorr flying a Lambda Shuttle containing Darth Vader.

Ben had Boba Fett while I had the Lambda Shuttle, With the slow shuttle my start was sluggish and Ben was too soon in action and quickly racking up the damage by the time that I arrived. Luke shot down the Firespray but was badly damaged by my Heavy Cannon fire.

Alone against both Luke and Han, Darth Vader made his decision, inflicting a Critical on the X-Wing also destroyed the Lambda!

Wednesday 19 November 2014

X-Wing: Den of Thieves

It was another game of X-Wing at the club yesterday evening. Following on from last weeks game Martin would use the Empire and I would remain the Rebels.

As we had not played for months last week we were quite conservative with our forces picking little in the way of upgrades to our ships. Not so this time, as well as each of us rolling out the Big Guns we also purchased quite a few upgrades.

I chose to use a YT-1300 upgraded to the Millennium Falcon flown by Chewbacca with a Navigator and Mercenary Co-pilot. This was escorted by a  Red Squadron X-Wing with the R2-D2 upgrade and a Grey Squadron Y-Wing with the Ion Cannon upgrade.

Martin used a Lambda class flown by Captain Yorr with a Mercenary Co-pilot, two Gamma Squadron Tie-Bombers each with Proton Torpedoes and two Black Squadron Tie Fighters each with the Veteran Instincts pilot upgrade.

We would be playing the Den of Thieves mission. Martin set up his two Tie Bombers as the escorts to herd the cargo pods, each supported by a Tie Fighter, the Lambda provided a base of fire in the centre.

I made the Millennium Falcon the Smuggler and deployed that, with the Y-Wing on the Rebel edge, while the lone X-Wing attacked from the flank.

The X-Wing was soon engaged with both Tie Fighters but R2-D2 put in a sterling performance and kept the shields up. The Millennium Falcon went straight for the closest cargo pod and fluked the first die roll capturing it immediately.

We soon ended up with quite a log jam centred on the large models of the Lambda and the Millennium Falcon. This meant that there was a couple of turns of inactivity in that quadrant as we repeatedly bumped each other.

It was at this stage that the shields were stripped from the Y-Wing and it was ripe for a smack of Proton Torpedoes from the Tie Bomber, after the explosions had cleared there was one hull point remaining, the Ion Cannon was gone and sharp turns now counted as a 'red' manoeuvre!

The Imperial were not faring much better though and the damage was racking up on both sides. The Wookie was certainly worth his points though, shrugging off two critical hits on the Millennium Falcon.

By this time one of the Tie Bombers had ushered its charge off the Rebel board edge.

My Y-Wing limped out of the combat, but the X-Wing and Millennium Falcon kept up pursuit of the remaining cargo pod. But, like a doofus I had forgotten to switch the Smuggler token from the Millennium Falcon to the X-Wing so left myself a very narrow window of opportunity for bagging the last cargo pod.

Rather than two changes to score a un-saved critical I only made one and the cargo pod drifted off the Rebel edge of it's own volition. Bugger!

Just like last time a great game that went down to the wire, but again Martin was the victor. Another game of X-Wing on Thursday with Greg and Ben, hopefully Quinton will make that too.

Next Tuesday it's back to "To The Strongest!" for Martin and I. In more good news I have got the mojo back and started painting again, hopefully pictures at the weekend.

Wednesday 12 November 2014

Mog embraces the Dark Side

When arranging our game for yesterday evening Martin and I decided that we wanted something quite low impact that did not take too much preparation.

Having not played it X-Wing Miniatures Game seemed to fit the bill, it's been ages since we made Pew...Pew...Pew noises.

Selecting sides Martin chose to be the Empire while I would be the Rebel Alliance. I've got quite a few ships I have not used previously so my force was based on using them.

I used a pretty vanilla force with now special rules apart from the Ion Turrets:

  • Y-Wing - Grey Squadron Pilot - Ion Turret: 23pts
  • Y-Wing - Grey Squadron Pilot - Ion Turret: 23pts
  • Hwk-290 - Rebel Operative: 16pts
  • A-Wing - Green Squadron Pilot: 19pts
  • A-Wing - Green Squadron Pilot: 19pts

Martin used an Imperial squadron comprising:
  • Tie Bomber - Major Rhymer: 26pts
  • Tie Bomber - Gamma Squadron Pilot: 18pts
  • Tie Fighter - Mauler Mithel: 17pts
  • Tie Fighter - Obsidian Squadron Pilot: 13pts
  • Tie Fighter - Obsidian Squadron Pilot: 13pts
  • Tie Fighter - Obsidian Squadron Pilot: 13pts
We would play the Dark Whispers mission.

Martin deployed L-R Gamma Squadron, Mauler Mithel, Obsidian Squadron then Major Rhymer. I deployed the satellite tokens in a wide U-shape and L-R Green Squadron, Grey Squadron, Rebel Operative.

The Imperial forces came on fast while my chaps held back on the throttle and tried to stifle the faster Tie Fighters. Soon though the Imperium had scanned three of the satellites. However, Mauler Mithel was nailed by combined fire of the Hwk-290 and a Y-Wing.

It's really easy for the Tie Fighters and Tie Bombers to get close to the satellite token and then use their Barrel-roll ability to drop onto it.

However, I did have a plan, the Empire has to scan every one of the tokens and escape with one ship that scanned a token.

The final token on my right was stubbornly defended, the HWK-290 and the two Y-Wing put up a great defence. The Ion cannon really came into their own; whenever a Tie looked like bagging the token it would be zapped and in the next turn could only do a '1' straight forwards and was easy to shoot up.

However, casualties soon mounted. One of the Y-Wing was pretty badly shot up and the pilot stunned and blinded and a Tie Fighter was poised to bag the token.

On the other flank a Tie Fighter was making a run for it being chased by the A-Wings

Just as the last token was about to be scanned I lost a Y-Wing and the HWK-290 prompting the arrival of two X-Wing flown by Rookie Pilots.

The Tie Fighter barrel rolled onto the token only to be blown away by concentrated fire from the two X-Wings, however as the Imperials had the initiative it was scanned first.

However on the other flank, the Tie Fighter tailed by an A-Wing was able to exit the table with the booty having suffered two points of damage.

A great close game that went to the wire.

Martin did the excellent graphic at the top of the page.

Friday 7 November 2014

James and Mark try To The Strongest

Yesterday evening I had one of my far to infrequent visits to The White Hart in Lenton to give James his first try of To The Strongest.

After our continental exploits of the weekend with the Keren game it was time to dig out the ancients again. James used his Caesarian Romans supported by Spanish:

  • Detached General, three Legion, one Light Infantry javelins
  • Detached General, three Legion, one Light Infantry javelins
  • Heroic General, two Warriors, two Cavalry, one Light Infantry with slings

I used my Gauls:

  • Heroic General, four Warriors, one Light Infantry 
  • Heroic General, four Warriors, one Light Infantry
  • Heroic General, two Cavalry, one Light Chariots, one Light Infantry with slings

We laid out the cloth and started deploying terrain, on each flank was a large mass of rough terrain, "Don't worry," I explained, "most of it will be moved or removed shortly" Well, that was not the case and we fought in a narrow defile.

Mark arrived at the club and took over one flank of the Gauls with me.

With neither side able to manoeuvre on the flanks it came down to a proper slog in the middle. The first casualties, some Gallic javelinmen falling to their Roman counterparts. In the centre a huge slog continued, two Gallic generals fell as casualties but a Roman general also joined them.

One of the Spanish Warrior units broke the like, as did a Roman legion, however it was soon engaged in the flank by Gallic Warriors who reacted well to it.

By the end of the evening we wrapped up, the Gauls were getting very close to their Victory Medals tally, but the Romans had hardly emerged unscathed.

The game ran a little slow, mainly I think to my terrible cold - I was sneezing at quite a rate - and the layout of the terrain forcing a proper slog in the centre.

It was good to meet some old friends at the White Hart that I've not seen for a good few months. The images were captured on my camera phone and have not come out too badly despite the low light in the White Hart. The Gauls are all from my own collection while the Romans and Spanish are those of James.