Saturday, February 28, 2015

Saga: Saracens vs Milites Christi

So I had my first battle with my Saracens today facing Mike's Milites Christi

Right after setting up we realized that Mike was playing with a 6 point warband and I was playing with a 4 point warband. I then grabbed the Daylami and Naffata dogs of war units that we nearly painted and added those to my force. I just used the Daylami as a regular warband but I fielded the Naffata as a dogs of war unit and split the 4 figures evenly between the two foot warrior units. It is a very interesting unit and, I think, could be quite effective. (The Daylami are also interesting but you are only allowed one dogs of war unit and I didn't want to deal with any more special rules anyway)

We were playing a mission Mike found on the web where there are 3 treasure tokens in the centre of the table and the objective is to get as many off the table as possible. We both moved forward on the first turn and I positioned my non-bow hearthguard to distract the knights (not sure why I thought this was a useful thing to do).

The knights along with the bishop (like some strange game of chess!) charged into my hearthguard wiping them out.
On the other side of the table my hearthguard with bows were picking away at the foot knights.
After a few turns the foot warrior unit with the Naffatum and some support from the horse archer warrior had dealt with almost all the mounted knights and the bishops.

We were both able to take one treasure but neither of us could move it off the table. I think I won a marginal victory on kill points (or maybe I lost but it was fairly close).

For the second game we just played the simple Kill the Warlord mission.
We both kept the same force (I was tempted to drop the Naffatum and try Saladin but I think his special abilities are a bit tricky to use since the help the opponent as well). Showing a complete lack of common sense I moved the warlord forward with my horse archers. Mike's crossbowmen made short work of the horse archers and he moved his warlord so that I would have to charge his warlord if I wanted to move mine.

I had no luck with the archers on the left this time. Once the units around the warlord were wiped out the enemy warlord charged him with a unit of knights in support and killed him.

Overall I like this list and its battleboard. I am not sure of the best way to use the horse archers. The Naffatum are good and I think it is worth figuring them out -- they do need at least 2 foot units to be allowed. Next time I think I will use the Daylami as a dog of war unit and have another mounted unit (taken from the Mutatawwia warband).

Now I have to change gears and make lists for the Fate of a Nation tank aces game at the Ottawa Miniatures Gamers tomorrow.

Saracen Warband and some Roman miscellany

Here are some photos of the Saracen warband as they prepare for battle this afternoon

I still have to trim the banner (it got glued on this morning) and I decided to order more decals for the shields rather than trying to paint them. I would also like to do more detail work but, to be honest,  I am not sure that will ever happen.

I am very interested in seeing how all the horse archers will work out in Saga, it certainly seems like it will be fun but it might take a while for it to be effective.

I will probably post some pictures of today's battles in the near future


Warlord games has had dice with Roman Numerals for a while and I finally gave into temptation and ordered some when I was ordering some Bolt Action dice.

It is too bad the font doesn't look ancient but I think they are fun and not too confusing to read


Ed has painted up the Caesar and Vercingetorix command stand for me and sent me some pictures

I feel that the shackles should have been emphasized more but I think it will look really good in person.

For the Cangames game, if the Roman player defeats a British leader they will be able to replace one of their leader stands with this. I would like to do an Alesia game at some point (though to be fair, I guess I would need a stand that shows Vercingetorix as the victor as well)

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Saracen foot Warriors

Here is the first of my Saracens, a unit of foot warriors. I am reasonably pleased with how they turned out, I still need to practice 28mm faces (I painted over my attempt at eyes on these guys as they looked far too zombieish)

The decals on their shields went on really easily but then the ones for the cavalry were a huge pain, I just couldn't get the plastic coating off them. I managed to get one on and ruin 3 others. I am not sure if I should just paint the shields or order some more transfers.

As well as using these for Saga, I am planning to build up a Hail Caesar army that will manage for most Arab forces from the conquest into the crusades. Once I finish off the Saracens (who are mostly finished, I want to do some work on the hair of the guys without helmets -- and decide what to do about the shields), this project will take a back seat to my WWII 28mm stuff and the Romans I need for Cangames (and a few 15mm items I want to get done for the FOW Lorraine campaign at the club). I hope by the end of the year to have painted the 3 Islamic factions from Crescent and Cross (I have the Mutatawwi`a assembled as I had hoped to paint them over Christmas but got sick instead) and 1 box of Gripping Beast plastic and that should give a good base for the Hail Caesar army.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

The Dyke Defense takes shape

After spending some time convincing myself that I don't need to buy Imperial Assualt, I spent a few hours setting up a rough version of the Cangames Scenario:

Seen from the Roman point of view there are rough hills on the left, a river on the right and the dyke running diagonally across the table close the the British end. The river bank will be considered soft ground with some cover and the hills will be impassable to formed troops (though they will be able to attack in if the go into open order and the proximity rule will extend into it -- maybe, I haven't quite decided)

From the British side.

The basic premise is that the British are falling back to the dyke in the face of the Roman attack. There are 3 non-combat units that have to escape, cattle, a wagon and some mules so the British can't just fall back right away.

In addition to the tiny units that are on the dyke at the start of the game the British have one division of cavalry and chariots and two divisions of medium infantry and slingers forward of the dyke (there are also 2 units of fanatical warband -- one from each of the infantry divisions -- behind the dyke). Not 100% certain that rating the British as medium infantry rather than warband is the correct thing to do but playtesting will give me a better idea

The Romans will have 3 divisions of  heavy legion infantry each with around 4 units of heavy or medium infantry. In those division will also be 2 small units of Numidian Light Horse, 2 small engineer units, an engineering wagon, 2 units of Scorpions and 1 unit of archers (or maybe 2 small units of archers or maybe no archers at all)

There is actually less painting required for the Romans than I feared, I have a Roman Marine and an Archer unit almost painted but not based and I have another Legion unit assembled and primed so I if I just finish those off I should be good to go.

The British could do with some more Cavalry and light troops (to sneak through the hills) but I think that what I have (plus some more that Ed is painting up or has already painted) should be enough.

Hopefully I will be able to get in at least two test plays before Cangames.

I few things I have noticed just setting it up -- Commanders really should go on round bases so they are obvious, movement trays are a must and I think I will change from using the litko wooden bases to using the plastic Renedra ones.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Romans at the Dyke

Welcome to the first post of my intermittent wargaming blog! My first few posts will deal with the projects I am working on starting with this, my preparations for my Romans vs British game at Cangames.

When I say my preparations, I am perhaps using the term loosely as all the actual work so far has been done by my friend Ed. I was assembling Bolt Action Germans (more about which in a later post) while he was building the dyke.

My original plan was to have a game of Romans vs Ancient Germans at a dyke based on a battle that took place about a year after the ambush in Teutoburg Forest but decided to keep the battle similar but move it to Britain since that matches the figures I have better. The premise is that the Romans are trying to capture the dyke before the onset of winter so that it will be harder for the British to conduct raids during the winter and so they will be positioned for a final assault in the spring.

The dyke turned out a bit more imposing than I first expected but given the fact that the ditch is much shallower than it really would be the height of the scarp is actually probably quite close to reality (though it was probably a little less vertical).

My next steps are to set up the table with the dike and my (Ed's) British forces and figure out how many of my (really mine this time) Romans will be needed to make a good game. I am expecting I will have to paint at least 2 more units of Legion since I want the Romans to be mostly Heavy and Medium infantry with only a few light units.

My next post will likely be about my Saga Saracens but maybe I will get carried away and do the setup for this first