Saka Light Cavalry

Saka Light Cavalry

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

BatRep of Roman V Dacian Basic Impetus

Keen to play with these rules for a second time, we stayed with period for out next game. That's three games played two weeks between each, HOORAY.

Well that's something to cheer about, what is not is the epic fail of downloading the photo's from my camera, managed to delete them so no pics so you will just have to take my word for it.

Again we went with the Impetuous Light Rules but this time instead of the Gauls we played the Dacian force against the Romans. These are the free to download rules and armies from the Internet and are designed to act as an hook for the full rules. Well it looks like it is working as Barry is hoping Santa or the Birthday Fairy brings them for him. Well we certainly got a good game out of them. I had failed to get round to re-reading the rules but they are so basic it's not difficult to pick them up after just two weeks. We set up the terrain then diced for table sides and then diced for forces. I was keen to get the Romans again and was lucky enough to get them. Once we were set up and I looked opposite at the massed forces I was not so sure. A quick count of units and it was confirmed, Barry had 3 more units than me and as one of my units was ART B I felt he had 4 more! But three of mine are rather tough Legion guys and regards Cav mine again was of better quality. I set up with a double Legion (large unit - two made into one) centre right with the Art B and Archers centre left with the other Legion and my unit of Cav on my far left. My right itself was the two Axillia one behind the other. Three hills dominated my side of the field, two out front (one each flank) whilst the main one was angled through the middle with the crest forward of my start position. I planned to hold the left hill with my Cav and send my double Legion beyond the crest of the main hill. To make sure this happened I needed the Initiative in the first turn. I did not get it but Barry just sent skirmish units forward and so I was able to get the ground I wanted.

Both of us stood off each other with his skirmish line happy to send arrows at my unit whilst my archers and Art B fired on targets, neither really doing much. Barry wanted to get his Javalin armed skirmish unit into range and temped me to charge in with my Auxilia which rolled very well routing the skirmishers and clearing the way to push on the right. The stand off on my left continued for a while but with it becoming obvious I was not going to come off the hill Barry sent in some of his best troops, with support from behind. Now Barry was rolling something like 13 dice to my 7 so it did not look like I would hold for long but again I rolled well whilst Barry just got the one result so I knocked him back off the hill with loss. This was the story of the fight for these units all day until near the end after losing no casualties my Medium Cav destroyed the front unit of heavy infantry. Meanwhile in the centre I charged the bow armed skirmishers with the second auxillia but these evaded leaving me close to the Dacian main line. The medium unit facing me charged in with support but again the dice were kind and I survived the initial charge just disordered. My double Legion was making steady progress to support him whilst the Art B continued to keep the unit on my Auxillia's flank disordered and started to reduce it's strength. A archer unit had positioned itself so as to temp (I think force) me to charge it with the other auillia which again went well for me as I drove it over the right flank hill in some disorder. But in doing so it allowed a medium unit to get behind him. Fast forward two turns and he was the meat in a Dacian sandwich!

Over on the left the Med Cav was keeping the Heavy foot entertained so I moved the spare Legion forward to clear the medium foot and light horse away from my Cav. The medium foot was punished but in shear desperation to buy time to reorganise the foot Barry charged the lights into my Legion and the unthinkable happened. Yes I dropped it two levels with the Pilum but still they charged in and disordered me! From this point onwards the combination of medium foot crashing into my Legion only to be thrown back followed by his Light Cav rescuing the situation for yet another turn. It should not have happened once but it happened time and again. Sure I was wearing them down and it was really just a repeating freak of the dice but still it was interesting to watch it play out.

In the centre no such suttle action was in play. My Auxillia after standing against a supported attack was now driving the Dacians back mainly due to their reduced support as my Legions smashed into the best supporting unit and was to keep on driving until the unit was destroyed. The whole centre started to melt away and whilst my unfortunate Auxillia was being whittled down it was not being destroyed fast enough. This allowed the victorious Legions to turn about and join the rear of the melee and smash the medium unit. Meanwhile the Axillia in the centre turned to menace the Light Cav/Medium Infantry Combo. Quickly from here I managed to get the required points to break Barry's Army. I had suffered less than I deserved and in fairness Barry was diced rotten and not once did he moan. Though I think one die of his will be held in high esteem being about the only thing that kept him in the game, this being the roll a 1 die that was the start of the save roll.

It was great to get a game played to a conclusion and it's a real shame I have no pics as Barry had in the last two weeks flocked his bases and this really finished off the units.

Having played further into a game and being more astute to what was going on we started to pick holes in the rules. These holes will of course be filled by the full rule set but for the most part we were able to work out something reasonable and now plan to work a few of these observations into the rules we are using at the moment. Obviously a lot depends on when we get the full rules and if we like what it brings. For me when you play with so few units I don't want to get too bogged down and think we could make the basic version work well for us. Next up for me will be some sample playing of the Field Of Glory rules. First on my own to get a feel for them and reduce the page turning in a face to face game and then probably with Lee over the Festive Period. Matt also wants to try them so again plenty of opportunity to test drive them.

Next up for Barry and me will be a small 6mm Naps Battle with his newly painted Brits that look just right for the scale. When he told me he painted them all in just 4 mornings my jaw dropped. No way could I have painted so much in so little time and made them look half as good. My only conciliation is that today I finished six French Dragoon Regiments, the subject of the next post.

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Down On The Farm

Had these sheep, goat and dogs for a very long time (as well as the cows and pigs still waiting) and after painting shall we say more challenging projects I decided to take it easy with these guys. Finished them about a week or so ago. They are for my ECW project, I thought at the time it would be funny to have them dotted around in the background, way back before it was the norm to have diorama style battlefields. The pic is not a great one (yes I have done the last lot can you tell?) but the sheep have more than a hint of yellow to their wool whilst the lamb's are a nice white.

Whilst on the subject of ECW, I am hopeful of getting a game using Forlorn Hope 2 in the coming month or two. Hope these are the answer to the rules search. I have a New Model Army fully done (though old and really needs fresh blood) and a Royalist Army still mustering. Matt has Parliament which I used to battle under Tercio Rules (5th edition?). I recently painted up a Regiment of Dragoons (see early post) and have one regiment of foot waiting painting, maybe get that on the table soon.

Talking of painting table. For a bit of a mix I have 12 Companions about a third of the way through being painted in 15mm and to keep with the cavalry theme have 8 regiments of 6mm French Napoleon's on the go. Six are Baccus and the other two are left over Irregular. Two of the Baccus are Hussar's whilst the rest are Dragoons. I still have four Irregular regiments of Cuirassiers waiting to paint with about the same of Baccus. No question that the Baccus have the better detail and look forward to posting pictures of the final comparison but at this point only the horses are painted so you will have to wait.

Waiting, that's a good one. Bought something else off e-bay the other day, but in this case it was for me. Two Heroic's and Ross wagons that I thought would add a little colour to the battlefield. Arrived two days ago and are sitting on the side of the painting table, these will fit into the que somewhere. As will the Reading haul. Lee is planning on dropping them off mid-next week so will wait happily for the chance to paw at this lot. Triples seems so far away.

Also waiting for Tuesday to turn up, I have a game planned with Barry, this time it's Romans V Dacian but we will be starting nice and early so will get the full game in. Well I say that but Monday I have my first Vivisection, supposed to be rather unpleasant which I do not understand as it's just Blood Donating without the biscuit.

But what I'm really waiting for (and very impatiently) is a trip to London on Saturday to meet up with a couple of ASL buddies, one I have met many many times but it's always a pleasure as he just radiates good will and fun, yep that's Dave. The other guy just happens to be an Australian not even visiting the UK, rather he is at a conference in Paris and is stopping buy for a chat!!! Never met the guy before but we have crossed swords on the battlefield so many times. Rob is an incredible bloke who I have EVER yet to hear moan about his dice, yep unbelievable!

And to think this post started with sheep.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Sassanid Persian Slingers 25mm

Picked up these figures on e-bay two weeks ago. The idea is to paint them and sell them on via e-bay and hope to make some on the deal to spend on figures I want. Since first losing my job and then finding out I have a long term illness I decided I did not want to spend money on the hobby unless I have generated it through painting or selling gear. I have a couple of guys who want me to paint for them but neither is quite ready (one will supply ASL kit and the other will supply extra figures of my choice, no money changes hands and all will be happy) so whilst waiting for other commissions to come through and these two I have decided to invest a little and try and get ahead, not that I am short of things to paint but I don't want to run low.

So I bought these guys but to be honest the castings are not the best in the world so I settled for a quick paint job, and hope to make a little on the original cost to buy more paint and brushes, at this point my wargames neutral is in the red.

They are based to Field of Glory, 14 figures over 7 bases. One slinger has a missing sling but can be made good. Vallego paint used for the most part and mat varnished (again Vallego). I offer it here first, £20 plus cost of postage, if no takers then it's off to E-Bay.

I also bought some 25mm Nap's which after doing some of my own figures I will make a start on them. On the painting table at the moment is 6mm Baccus and Irregular Cav (mostly Baccus) and the first of my Companions.

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Hypaspists ready to go.

Originally I bought enough Hypaspists for a different set of rules but under FoG I am at least one base short (well technically I am 2 figures short). Fortunately Reading is this weekend and I have the figures ordered through a mate who will be there. Other than the shield I have used base colours so it will not be difficult to get the same results on the rest of the unit. I had enough figures for 5 bases of 3, this will go up to 12 bases of 3 figures. I had the choice of Heavy or Medium (3 or 4 figures a base) I went with three as I have plenty of Heavy options and felt the extra movement gained by being Medium was well worth the trade off. If I am wrong I will convert to Heavy.

Figures are Magister Militum (ALM7) 15mm and are the first figures I have had from these guys that I am not 100% happy with. A fairly heavy mold line runs down the face, from a distance this is OK but a lot of Macro shots could not be used as the faces of all the figures are disfigured. Worse though is the shields they have what can only be called a rough patch that makes painting an emblem on them a little tricky and whilst I hope it was just this batch I expect to find the next lot looking the same. Other than that they are very nice figures and once I have full battle groups I think they will be a presence on the battlefield.

A little thin on the table right now but it's another unit off the list. Till next week I now just have 12 Companion Cav and 24 Thracian Peltasts to paint. Still I need to get some kind of command figures for my Macedonian army, any suggestions?

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Egyptian Hoplites Rebased.

One of three command bases of this group of warbands.

Continuing with the project of changing over from WRG 6th to Field of Glory I de-based not only my Egyptian Hoplites but also the rest of my Persian Heavy Cav as well as the Saka Horse Archers. However running out of heavy duty glue as I finished off the Hops meant that further rebasing will have to wait till after getting more glue tomorrow. However I of course could finish off the basing of the Hops as the flock and basing compound use watered down PVA. As per other re-basing efforts it was linked with having other figures to base but more on them in the next post. FoG allow me just 6 bases of these guys so once I am set for rules I can see the rest being up for sale. I remember them being a joy to paint but then again it was not that long after I had painted up plenty of Greek Hops so maybe that was an influence.

Two more stands had been re-based to stand in for Greek Hop's under this list. I will need about double the number I own of Greeks to make max out on FoG. Under 6th these would either fight as two or three units, of course I could use them as a base for yet another army but I think not.

Same unit but from behind, I really like the skin tone and will look out for the paint colour at Tripples next year as it was one of the paints that did not survive the hiatus. I am fairly sure these figures are Chariot Miniatures, long time has passed so not 100% sure. Colour Party was the paints of choice for me way back then and I still have a few left in good enough order to still use.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

AAR Battle of Annes Table

OK so this was not based on any real action as sooooooo many games are not, but it was on Anne's table so thanks MUM. 44 years old and still nips over to Mum's to game, bless. Well given Barry lives across the road and we were using his figures it seemed the easiest option. Not sure the manufactures but these are all 1/72 (20mm) plastics (though the cart mounted Art was metal and for a guess Irregular Miniature). We diced for sides and I got the Romans which was interesting as I have never ever ever played with Romans before. The game just like the one two weeks before was just to try out the rules. This being Basic Impetus which Barry is keen on given that they suit small numbers of units and given the scale we will only use small numbers on such a table, though we could nip to the local games store and play on a huge table if wished as we will possibly do with the 15mm.

I personally had grave doubts about the rules though they read fairly well I know chunks of the good stuff were missing. Just like the game before we set at the same time paying no attention to the other players positions etc. Under the assumption that we would be over in a couple of hours we started later than normal but with about 3 hours play time, plenty.

Barry set up his Gallic force up on the left my Romans on the right. More or less a straight up set up, Barry had Cav on both flanks whilst I only had the one Cav unit but I set up archers in front of a legion and ART on the hill. The warbands kept behind the crest fearing my mighty ART. As we were both more interested in trying the rules than winning the game we both were keen to come to grips in ways that under other circumstances we would not even think of. That said Barry managed to tempt my Cav out wide on my flank by offering a target that I had every right to expect a quick conclusion. This move indeed worked and sprung his three chariots to drive towards the infantry flank. I sent one of the two Auxilia to face these, OK they won't stand for ever but they should cause some damage, meanwhile I sent a Legion to play with a unit of skirmishers not even bothering to use the Pilum in first contact. The only other action at this stage was the other wing of Cav charging my other unit of Auxilia on my extreme left flank.

The only action that was conclusive first off was my Legion against the skirmish troops. I rolled oh so high and killed them all giving me first blood. This just exposed a war band with support which I received a charge from but this time I did use the Pilum and to some effect. This was an interesting combat as it swung back and forwards till...........

Not the way you want to roll, especially when they were rolling five dice to your seven! I passed the Cohesion test and as such managed to soldier on. At that point I had still to loose any loss whilst both warbands were down two levels. This scrap went on to the end with first one winning then the other, dice were fairly even once the disorders started to kick in but Barry struggled to do much in the way of casualties to me and they have lots of levels to resist damage.

This was the story through out the game, one side then the other seemed to get the upper hand. On my left the Auxilia had been disordered by the Cav but thanks in part to being uphill I continued to stave off being beaten and slowly the casualties rose. Barry decided after being pushed back twice for one last charge and the rolls went all my way and another unit routed from the field. This would allow this unit that was still in good condition to remove it's disorder then attack the flank of the double warband approaching my two Legion units still unblooded in the centre. The bow troops really to this point had done little as they could not fire into melee and I was not about to charge into a fight. The last skirmish unit approached them and I let them have a fairly unimpressive volley of arrows before they crashed into me guys. Well I won and caused a casualty forcing them to break off. Now I had a double warband to face. OK stand, fire and die or run away? Hell it's only plastic, fire away and ooch two damage, both are handed on to the back unit so no disorder or problems for the front guys, still every little helps for the Legions awaiting the main event.

Oh the joy, these two warbands crash into my poor bow troops and what happens? just a disorder thanks to some epic die rolling by me and average by Barry. Now my boys would stand for another turn allowing my flank troops to recover and make preparations to go in on the flank.

On their right I was still fighting off the `yes we can roll four sixes' and in fairness this was still any ones game. Both had survived another round of combat and both sides were becoming brittle, one more push could well have seen the winner though with the Chariot battle raging to the end how I would have reacted if I had won was up in the air but only bad things would have come from a Gallic win of this mini-fight.

Those damned Chariots!!, they seem to me at least far far too powerful on paper. In the game they just could not get the job done. One unit of Auxilia held all three off for the whole game but only by dicing Barry turn after turn after... you get the idea. The only bonus I had was that after a couple of rounds I was never facing more than two a turn and towards the end his strength was falling and losing these Chariots would have been high point values and a major blow but I was not in best of shape.

Well what should have been the easy battle (two or three dice advantage throughout) was at the start just a case of no result and then slowly gong my way before swinging to Barry right up to being down to one level left at game end. Still I had managed to halt, loose my disorder and was ready for that last charge, good rolls would win me the action but Barry pipping me with just a one 6 more than I had would kill my unit unless I rolled a 1 on the cohesion test. I would probably need two rounds to finish him off so odds were in favour of Barry in this one.

Well the kids needed collecting from school so we needed to call it at that point but it had been lots of fun and I can see that these rules work well for the limited number of units in play. The acid test was that I wanted to play to the end and I wanted to play another game soon. So we will try these rules again in the near future, however they are not without warts.

You don't shoot as your opponent charges in which is a big deal if they had the 2nd initiative in the last turn and first in the next. It seems not to pay any attention to armour or if you have shields or not. I don't like the idea of passing a cohesion test and because your disordered you lose a casualty anyway, why bother with the test for single casualties. It seems to be that if a unit lost three CP's if like I did it passes the CT then only a disorder happens? OK I had -3 o the test but the unit had 6 levels so still 50% chance to pass. Just quick fire problems that we can work out/through with more in depth play and maybe a house rule or two. Of course the real objective of these rules is to hook you to the main rules and get you to buy them. Barry is hooked but I already have the hook from Field of Glory and will be trying these out with the 15mm. Not sure I want to play both full sets for the two scales though taking a few bits from full Impetus and installing in the basic rules appeals. Once FoG has had a few games and we are happy (unhappy) with the rule set then I want to try out Impetus, that is unless FoG rocks, but does any rule set really tick all the boxes?

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Oh Mr Postman, have you a parcel for me?

Well in fact he had two. In an attempt to work some magic on my version of wargame neutral I had the idea that if I bought unpainted figures, painted them and then sold them on, the profit I made would allow me to buy yet more figures or other wargaming related merch and not count against my spend limit. At the moment I am waiting for Lee to order the mini's for our Ancients and whilst I have a few units left to paint already waiting and lets not mention the whole 6mm Baccus starter army (with extras) that I want to flesh out my French Naps with etc etc. I really felt the need to move into this idea. I really wanted something within my comfort zone (15mm) but the price on some 25mm slingers and a rather large Nap infantry pile just got me going. I got them for a low price and the slingers once painted I hope to get back what I paid for both sets so long term I should come out on a profit but still I am looking forward to painting the lot. The slingers arrived first so they are next on my table. Given the current unit just requires helmets finishing then it's onto basing and varnishing this will not be far off. As for the Napoleonic's well that all depends on a few other projects I have possibly in the wings for other people.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Persian Starter Army

I have a few hundred Persians to re-base and decided to start off with the Starter Army from Field of Glory army list. I gave myself 10 days to do this but managed to get it done in under 7. I will crack on with the rest but will have plenty of other projects to do in between. These figures are a mix of Chariot, Museum, Essex and possibly a couple of others, it's been a long time. All 15mm and until recently based for 6th Edition. My first look at the starter army led me to think this is NOT playing to the Persian strengths and I still feel that way, though maybe the rules will prove otherwise. Not enough bow armed troops and given it will be fighting a Macedonian army too many Hoplites when these are outmatched by the Pike. But on looking at the Macedonian starter army I'm not so sure it's doomed, still it feels wrong to have so little bow and I hate the decision to remove the bow from the Kardrakes and make them Hoplites. Time will tell if I try and get that reversed in our group. If not then I have 100 Kardrakes for sale!

Backbone of any Persian Army is it's Heavy Cavalry. This is one of two Battle groups of 4 bases that the starter army (SA) has and I have plenty more to base up. Originally in units of 10 single colour they are now in units of 12 figures and mixed. Originally of single colour to help work out which unit was which for keeping track of casualties. To the left is one of the three commander bases which long term I will be replacing with a better mix and more of a diorama than just a figure base.

First of two very different Cavalry units, this one is supposed to have bow and does not so will be replaced next year. I would have done it sooner but it is easy to remember they should have bow. The photo shows them in column and nerves gets the better of the lead troops as two horses fall and the other rears. Not sure what the fate of this unit is, possibly e-bay.

The other 12 figure Cav unit, these at least do have bow and whilst right by 6th edition list I feel these are over armoured for FoG, may well change these at the same time as the other unit but I like them so may well keep them.

I had these guys at light infantry under 6th but here they are medium and really I need to get more of them next year as I can have plenty more and this will allow me to swap out the back rank that has some fill in figures. The mixed poses really worked for lights and works for undisciplined mediums though I plan to add other manufacturers figures in as well to make it even more varied.

Both the bow (pictured) and the slingers are facing replacement next year as I am not happy with how I painted them at the time. I will see this as a back end project as they will do but I know long term it will irritate. The SA just has 12 mounted Cav with bow x2, 12 slingers and 12 bow. Really not enough to weaken the enemy before going in for the kill.

The only Light Cav I get is one unit of these guys. Fortunately the army list has plenty more spear armed LC as well as bow armed so not only will all my other figures have an option but my army will have lots of flexibility.

One of the two units of Hoplites. It was a shock that I needed so many under the list but given that the Kardrakes are now seen as Hoplites it should not surprise. I think the mix of other options will mean that the further increasing of the Hoplites will wait some time and will only happen if I find through play that I need more.

Close up of the same block, guy on the left just could not take the pace of rebasing.

I had to laugh when I painted this guy, been years since I did it and he still makes me smile.

Lots more to do but at least now I have what it takes to try out the rules. I hope they will work out fine as I want to go forward and the idea of keeping track of single casualties etc. really no longer appeals.

Monday, 7 November 2011

Diplomacy and having the last stab (I mean word)

It's been so very long since I last played a game of Diplomacy but when I received Issue 3 of Fury of the Northmen as a sample issue about 6 weeks ago I was tempted to put my name down for the next game. Well a few e-mails later and there I am on the back cover of issue 4 with two other guys waiting for another 4 to sign up. This is a postal game in a real postal zine and we should have a turnround of 5-6 weeks or so. I will report on the game as it goes along right here but if anyone else is tempted to play drop me a line and I will supply the contact details of the editor Colin.

The zine itself is picking up momentum with more games now in play. We have the interesting looking Britannia which I am following from the point of view of seeing how it holds up as the game progresses. The first Diplomacy game is now just underway and the first two moves will be in the next issue. Being a double move you have to wonder how much the temptation to stab another player at the get go is? Chess is also played which will be fun to watch crawl along and again how well will this hold up?

Three games are listed waiting for players, these being Chess (needs 2) Diplomacy (needs 4 more) and Risk (needing 5 more to fill it up).

Anyone who has fond memories of the old Dip zines and wants to rekindle that era just needs to tag along for the ride.

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Good Job They Are Immortal

I bought these Immortals when I first started to build my Persian Army 25 years ago but never got round to painting them as I knew I would not use them. Unfortunately I could have just ten figures (they also come in packs of 8!) and whilst they were fairly good the cost of the troops, the command points and the low number you could have always meant better options were available. So I always had something better to paint. That is till recently, still not sure I will get to use them but at least I had the time to paint them.

I can't be 100% sure but I think they are Chariot Miniatures. Fairly nice detailed 15mm figures that look to stay at the bottom of my storage as the Field of Glory army list does not give Immortals to the Late Achaemenid only the early and at this point I do not see myself doing this army. If anyone out there wants them you can have them for a couple of unpainted Magister packs for the Late period or any that will go with any Macedonian based list. Or drop me an offer for other figures you don't want.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Polemos General de Division out for a test drive.

Having bought the rules and painted up enough French units to give my Prussians a game all progress with the Naps seemed to grind to a halt as I shifted focus to painting the 15mm. But with Barry building his Brits up it gave us enough of a push to get round to getting a game in. In fairness both of us have wanted to play but with both of us busy this last three weeks we have not had the chance.

At last we now had time, figures and rules, so what about venue? As we were both free in the day we decided to use one of the tables at a local shop. More on this in a future post once I get their permission to advertise the fact. What I will say though is that the tables are all set up and you have free use of any terrain you could wish for (though they have little in the way of 6mm they have plenty for 15+mm) this was not a problem as I had took plenty with me. All this for no charge, what a great service.

I had already had a short few turn primer play with both forces and this put me at a rather large advantage for the day. I had set the minimum number of units at 24 which I hit on the nail for the French and went over by about 6 for the Prussians. This just tells part of the story though as troop type, quality and number of formations can make the smaller force more powerful. I as the French had just three commands to the Prussian 4 which in real terms means the Prussian has a 1 pip advantage pre-roll (1D6) each Tempo round. Something that came into play later. Rather than plan out battle lines we each just placed as we felt fit and then looked at what the other guy was doing. After all this is supposed to be all about learning the rules as both of us had reservations regarding parts of the rules and another rather more experienced Naps player had played them once and threw his copy away, though he is prepared to try again.

Ready to go, Prussians to the left are spread in an almost single line along the whole frontage whilst I was using the two woods at each end of the battlefield as flank protection and had units in reserve to counter any move around them. The rules will reward a reserve as they should and Barry did start to generate one as the game progressed.

The tricky bit (and bit I liked before the game and loved after) is the Tempo Points. Nothing moves without Tempo and you get a single point per sub-general + 1D6. Given that I had three and Barry four sub-generals this meant that D6 could really swing it and indeed it did. But it is how you deal with the swing that makes the difference. Once you have your Tempo you then bid some of them for the honour of moving first. Early rounds mean nothing but later on you may really want to go first, especially if you went last on the previous turn. Who ever had the first move the previous turn wins a tie so once Barry had the initiative he sat effectively on a two point cushion. But on the other hand Barry had spread so wide that he was forced to pay double Tempo to order his flanks. Not an issue early on but as the battle developed he had to choose which flank to leave hanging. The great thing is early on you seem to have plenty to go round but once the battle fragments suddenly you just never have enough. This will reward the player who keeps a reserve of fully formed units and the player who will take the time to re-form groups of units back into linked units (groups of three are most economical). So with all set up in we dived.

Due to setting up to far apart the early turns zipped by in a series of moves, this was good for two reasons, first it got us used to Tempo and the bidding (not to mention how each of us bid) but also allowed for us to make changes to plans etc. I was expecting the Prussians to come out and fight to use their greater numbers and when they were slow to do this I moved my left flank infantry off the hill to try and temp the Prussians down off theirs whilst moving my 4 regiments of Hussars from my right, across the front of my whole army to join the forces on my left. Meanwhile the extreme flank force was moved behind the wood to attack the Prussian right flank which was now using the same woods as myself to pin a flank.
The idea really was just to get Barry to weaken his forward force by forcing him to react to this force as all I had up front was a couple of raw Battalions. Due to the slow running of the game to this point though I decided it was worth closing especially as I had two more fresh units to take over once the fight had started and Barry just had these two units in position. On the other flank I had offered up a lone Battalion to the Prussian Ulans but Barry was at first refusing to engage then as the opposite flank was under attack he just did not have the Tempo to react.
Mixed results on the first engagement. Barry closed to firing range as the second player then won Tempo and blastered off with his muskets. I had really made a mess trying to get Tempo and did not have the two required to attack anyway (I was out of command radius) so not only was I shaken by his first volley but unable to fire back!! Barry gets Initiative again and blasts away again but by now he no longer has the first shot bonus but scrapes a second shaken. I drop back and have his commander join them to steady them. Meanwhile I had failed to have any effect with musket fire back and so threw in a charge at my next opportunity routing his raw regiment and setting off in hot pursuit which had the effect of getting a very lonely Batt behind the Prussian line but not half as lonely as the now surrounded French Batt that had been successful to this point, now Barry was falling back with these guys as fast as possible, his flank was now turned.

The price of failure, a Prussian Batt is routing away, routers never come back in these rules and with only two levels of shaken you need to consider pulling back units with one level if it's likely they will receive more levels in the coming rounds.
By this point I had by Cav in the middle and charged just one regiment, the idea being once it had been repulsed I could charge the same Batt with a fresh regiment breaking the first line up and follow up with the Infantry and by then recovered Cav. Well it did not go that way, the Infantry rolled badly in reaction to the charge becoming shaken. The shaken level made their fire ineffective (by the one pip for being shaken!!) allowing the charge to go in. The Inf Batt broke, routing through another Regiment causing this to become shaken but somehow my Cav did not pursue (rolled a 1). I still lost Inactive the following turn but with nothing but the shaken infantry able to fire Barry was not able to harm my Cav who then charged the shaken Inf Batt.

The Inf on the left turned to be able to fire on my Cav but my charge went home before they could fire hitting the shaken Batt and putting this unit to rout. I caught up with them and dispersed them on the field. The centre right of the Prussians was now looking a little ragered as I was still poised for more attacks.

By no means was the game over, Barry had plenty of troops to plug the gap but he was outflanked on his right and his lack of a real reserve would effectively have caused him a few problems which was compounded by my being behind his right flank and able to reduce his ability for that wind to withdraw. In the picture above the one Regiment behind the long line is French, as is the units in small clusters. The long line is Prussian and is likely to be very badly mauled. We called it at that point as we had got what we needed from the game.

The rules seem to work right and gave a flavour of the game. I would say 24 units is about right for this part of the rule book but jumping to the larger battle rules seems to triple the required figures which is a big jump. I still have issues with the fact that units are on the rectangular strips and long to see French columns and would be happy to rebase all to the larger square bases and just allow lines on some columns on others, but that is for another day I guess. The rule concerns were for the most part smoothed out with play and we will certainly give them more goes and I think stick with them unless someone shows us something better. On the flip side of the coin the figures I have yet to paint most of the infantry will go on double bases as I feel I have enough infantry to fight under these rules but given Lee has a massive Allied Army I can see the need for some double bases added to the collection.

Next up Barry and I plan to try out his 20mm Roman V Dacian or Gaul using Impetus Light, stay tuned.