Thursday 28 February 2019

The New Old Game back on the Block: Impetus (2)

Well, apparently these were five years in the making. I really enjoyed Impetus (1) but I have to confess that I did not follow in earnest (there were five extra supplements each of which tinkered with the rule system in small ways) but this dissonance may come in useful as major revisions have brought it to market as a new product (see below, no army lists but plenty of rules - its generating some excitement in my local clubs already -

Therefore: It's time to bring out my 28mm Italian Wars Army for some TLC and new additions (courtesy of plenty of Perry 28mm plastic), base up my 28mm Imperial Roman Army, crack out the 28mm WOTR potential from the various Perry boxes and re-use my DBA+ collections of 15mm Greeks, Macedonians and Persians.

Reference: Impetus Forum

Wednesday 27 February 2019

Work Starts on the New Kingdom Egyptian (I/22) 6mm DBA Army

For the Hittites (and there loose formation) I just plonked them on the base and painted around them. The close ranked Egyptian infantry are another matter, hence a factory production system approach is required methinks, painting the figures required for a base then basing them (see below, yet another use for coffee "stirring sticks"):

The plan is simple, a dab of PVA glue on the base to stick it to the stick, let it dry then paint it was Airfix Grey Primer (01) and then "wash it" in Vallejo Brown Wash. The Chariots however will be done the Hittite way (see below, cheap "Pound Store" [yes, contrary to an early alarmist post they are still trading] superglue all over my hands - the Egyptian two man Chariots are much easier than teh three man Hittite Chariots I had to put together!):

Despite their small 6mm size the New Kingdom Egyptians still have a considerable number of infantry to paint - especially when I insanely multiplied the number of figures on a base (see below, the New Kingdom Egyptian infantry mass - their Chariots can be seen in the background):

As these two DBA armies (Hittite and New Kingdom Egyptian) are progressing well I am already paying consideration to "what next". I have my eye on the "Sea Peoples" I/28 as they fought both.

Tuesday 26 February 2019

DBA Version 3.0: You Tube Video of DBA Battles - Alexander v Persia (Later Achaemenid Persians)

Another good Tony Aguliar DBA Version 3.0 Rules run through:

Note: Not sure I like this tactic of pulling defenders "out of cover" by using a column or making a single element conform to the group, it does not sense "historical" or "based in what can happen in a historical reality".

Also the same propensity for longer armies to envelope smaller armies means that Alexander and his "pike" are going to have quite a hard time in DBA 3 (again).

The good news is that this is another DBA match-up I could immediately play!

How to improve your DBA game:

Monday 25 February 2019

DBA Version 3.0: You Tube Video of DBA Battles - Athens v Persia (Early Achaemenid Persians)

Another good Tony Aguliar DBA Version 3.0 Rules run through:

I have these armies ready to go, so I have no excuses bar a little bit of terrain and some decent camps!

The "Hoard" 2 Pip rule was interesting and noticing which troops followed up.
The "Bow" shooting was interesting (you cannot ignore troops in your "Threat Zone".

The one comment that seems to come through with DBA is that it still fights as 12 elements rather than an army fighting as it did historically. The DBA rules from Version 1 through to 3 seem a volatile "cook-book".

I am just wondering how popular DBA 3 is over DBA 2 (if it is)?

Sunday 24 February 2019

DBA Version 3.0: You Tube Video of DBA Battles - Carthage v Rome

Nice run through of the rules DBA V3.0 rules!

Tony Aguliar's II/33 v II/32 DBA match-up:

One I want to do!
I have an army of 15mm Carthaginians painted up but I need to paint my Polybian Romans.

Saturday 23 February 2019

20mm BTR-80 Repair Job

"I tried not to scream" but this thing (BTR-80) fell from a very great height. I was getting from my the loft space a BTR-80 for a RPG session that 'my eldest son and friends were playing'. This in itself caused a lot of excitement for me, as it had started out as a Dungeons and Dragons session but then I was told it was really a "modern day RPG" session that needed tanks and stuff. I had already given them orcs, snotlings and wizards but as soon as they said they needed tanks I thought "that's my boy" and was up in the loft rummaging in my "20mm moderns". Sadly the hand-off between GM and myself, me in the loft and him on on the ladder, went awry and the BTR-80 fell (tumbling) down two flights of stairs - shattering and coming apart in a myriad of pieces on teh hard flooring. Externally I did not swear - internally is another matter. Thankfully "keen young eyes" managed pretty much to spy all the little pieces and I let them play on with a T-80 instead - much to the groans of the players and GM's delight (see below, these Del Prado die cast kits are cool as "instant" models but do suffer from sensitive wheel parts/suspension breaking. Two of the wheels had to get "milliput support"):

I thought .. "In for a penny, in for a pound" (see below, this should 99% be hidden in normal play so rather than having another wheel drop off, it seemed sensible that all eight got the 'milliput treatment'):

The final restoration job complete. As an extra touch I might "black/brown wash" the underside when the milliput sets (see below, lookout kids that T-80 tank now has some Mechanised Infantry in an APC as support):

It might be time to paint up some WARSAW PACT 20mm plastic troops as they happily "made-do" with my Platoon 20, WWII British Infantry and WWII German Revell Panzer Grenadiers! Perhaps the Terminator "resistance rebels" from the Warlord Games 28mm Terminator Game might be better for them!

Friday 22 February 2019

Interesting DBA Version 3.0 battle: New Kingdom Egyptians v Sea Peoples

Video of Battle:

Notes: Not sure if the "battle around the Sea Peoples Camp was done with correct 'tactical movement'. Although it is more probable that these guys did it right and I am still getting to grips with DBA again - particularly version 3.0. Did that Sea People's Chariot go through a ZoC (aka Threat Area)?

Still a really good one to watch!

Tony Aguilar:

DBA Terrain:

DBA Fanaticus (Version 3) Forum:

Thursday 21 February 2019

New Project 6mm DBA (Version 3) Biblical Armies for Kadesh

First yea seek inspiration (see below, Osprey Kadesh [Qadesh] Campaign book and The Penguin Atlas of Ancient History - Hittite v Egyptian):

Find yea a source of synergy, the 'new' DBA Version 3.0 rule-set (see below, something I have already played with - following the lineage of Version 1 [a great new idea in wargaming], Version 2 [expansion and the increasing sad rules lawyer interpretation of cheesy whims and wins (competition wargamers)] to Version 3 [which seems to be a strong shot of antibiotics killing most of the "cheese culture" that formed around DBA] IMHO - and I can be as wrong as much as the next man):

Use the unintentionally(?) acquired 'new' [for me at least] 6mm Ancient Biblical [again a new buzz] armies. These were sensibly bought as a 'pair' of antagonists from Rapier Miniatures. These small 'army pack' were densely packed into a (re-utilised) Business Card container fot for a small Warmaster OoB which is more than adequate for the required DBA armies (see below, historical "pairs" come highly recommended in the preface and notes in the body of the rules):

In addition, seeing as this was my second "comprehensive read" through of the rules I tried a first stab at XCON'ing (aka .. expert content - Att/Def v Foot/Mounted, Move Good=Rough/Bad and 'Specials' such as any 'quick kill' situations) for each troop's characteristics on its base. This is the basis for a specific Hittite QRS [Quick Reference Sheet] (see below, note I used the larger 60mm base width usually associated with 25/28mm figures so I could put more representative quantity on each base, Psiloi will look thin while 'solid' bodies of troops had more depth to them):

The secret key to success is to keep doing a little bit at a time and before you know it your first 6mm DBA Army has been painted (see below, in haste I chose to glue the small figures to a base and paint around them. The up side of this it made the terrain basing easier [PVA-Glue, Sand, base wash in Anita's Acrylic Artist paint watered down then highlighted using Games Workshop's special gel dry-brushing (white) paint]):

I seemed to get away with this as the Hittite army (apart from one base of Hoard [7Hd] is a "fast" army in that the Pike [3Pk] and Auxilia [3Ax] are 'gappy'. In short I got away with it, the New Kingdom Egyptian on the other hand are more "dense" (in the formation sense of the word - aka in DBA 3 language are "solid"). Basing wise I decided to (roughly) use the following formula: 15mm or 28mm number of figures [as per the rulebook] "times by four" (barring the Chariots where "what would fit on the base" dictated the number). For the Imperial Hittites this gave me:

  • 2Ps: Psiloi = 8 Figures
  • 3Ax: Fast Auxilia = 12 Figures
  • 3Pk: Fast Pike = 12 Figures
  • 7Hd: Solid Hoard = 28 Figures
  • LCh: Light Chariot = 2 Chariots [2 Men in Each]
  • HCh: Heavy Chariot = 3 Chariots [3 Men in Each] 
  • Cmp: Camp = 8 Figures
  • Gar: Garrison = 8 Figures

The hope was to be much more suggestive of what the troops were capable of. It therefore comes as no surprise that Psiloi "look weak" and would be likely to run away from the likes of 'Spear' and 'Pike' - who in turn would could not catch them, being slower moving all their "mass". The plan is to keep this consistent with the New Kingdom Egyptians barring a few officers marshalling their serried ranks if "bows".

Notes: Interesting Links -

Wednesday 20 February 2019

Cluedo - The Classic Game with a Big Bang Twist

My youngest loves Cluedo and he loves The Big Bang Theory too so this was a natural match. It makes a change from hunting a murderer (or WMD Terrorist if you go to CoW). Sheldon is upset. A crime has been committed. Was it "the dog-eared comic", "the stain on the sofa cushion", "the wiped equation board", "a broken Shelbot", "the toothbrush" or "wiped hard=dribe of the laptop"? (see below, the classic board game with a new twist):

As ever, I still remain to win a game of Cluedo, the wife beating me this time (despite her efforts at re-writing the rules) but happy to play again, anytime and anywhere! A five star family classic!

Tuesday 19 February 2019

(Big Game) Ramillies "Oh Fortuna" [Game 11] Post #13

The mass of Allied infantry is making its presence felt, trading heavy volleys and taking the French artillery with stoic fortitude. They advance three ranks to the defending French's two (see below, again as a cavalry commander I hope the infantry are not sucked into a disadvantageous combat, but appreciate the need to wear down the French first line):

The Bavarians were wanting a single crushing blow, but they got two rounds of sucking melee instead. The first round saw the Allied cavalry reduced to 50% but in turn they made two hits on the Bavarian Cuirassier. The Allied Cavalry additionally passed its morale and traded another hit before being defeated (see below):

The Bavarian victory could now well be fleeting as they are disorganised and vulnerable to counter charge (see below, off camera are the line of now reordered Allied cavalry [the originals as they call themselves]): 

Meanwhile French disorganised French cavalry cavalry seem to be slipping away despite the protestations of their Generals (see below, this is a heartening sight to the Allied cause):

Alas the French cavalry feel they have been bettered and wish "to live to fight another day" (see below, the key thing is for the Allied cavalry to bring pressure on the "last Bavarian/French cavalry" and then make the French Infantry feel "uncomfortable"):

Whereas by start contrast the Allied Dragoons stop their rout in the presence of formed friends and Generals (see below, a rout stops and the Allied reforming cavalry gain a little more depth):

Disordered troops can be formed back quickly (see below, more mounted Dragoons to worry a retreating enemies flank):

Again by contrast, the French Line cavalry seem to have a far harder time of trying to recover from routing. With no friends and Generals and under 50% the unit inevitably keeps running (see below, the French baseline is also to close for comfort): 

Once gone, these units cannot take any further part in the battle. Their use would have been very valuable to offset the formed Allied stragglers (see below, the Allies will happily advance against "empty space"):

As the battle stands on the 'Allied left flank'. The Allied troops from the hamlet disgorge to try and "make time" and  be of use of some sort in the final battle for Ramillies. There are but two "stands" of French cavalry on their flank, one of which is a perfect "charge" target, the other may try to cause mischief but is good but for one combat. The Bavarian force looks strong but will be cancelled out versus British/Allied reserve in future combat (see below, the French hand looks very weak and the Bavarian looks eventually forlorn):

The British Infantry in their three deep lines look very imposing, though personally I have little faith in the 'fascines' bridging the marsh. It looks like a bloody volley of musketry will carry the day (see below, I still think nought but a bloody draw can be effected here and wonder if Marlborough would have "made the call to attack or braver still hang back"): 

Holes are being torn in the ranks of the defender. A crossing may be effected but I see no merit in assaulting a heavily defended town or hamlet that has not been first reduced by long and heavy bombardment (see below, my hope is that the British clear the French away from the banks of the marshy river and pin the French Infantry in their "18th Century Maginot Line"):

The Allied far right has prospered relatively by "out fire-fighting" their French Dragoon counterparts opposite them (three brigades have been removed which is no mean achievement). However any crossing of the river here is fraught with danger. The small bridge (off camera to the right) is passable only in column and the French have cavalry waiting for any foolish souls to attempt that. Likewise a disorganised infantry crossing would fall foul of the same French cavalry (see below, here seems a place where men could be "thrown away for nought to be gained"): 

I sense that there is a turn or two more of interest in the cavalry action on the Allied left near Ramillies. Then Ramillies itself will become the "eye of the storm" to decide matters.

Monday 18 February 2019

(Big Game) Ramillies "The First Blooding of the Reserve Cavalry" [Game 10] Post #12

The Allied infantry are pulled as if by a magnetic force to the river to engage with the more advanced elements of the French "defending" (and beware they do get a defensive fire bonus for that. As an Allied cavalry commander I do hope this is advance to contact and pinning of the French infantry as opposed to a full-blooded assault as the unhistorical dispositions of the French make the likelihood of success unfavourable IMHO (see below, a good point to note is that the Allied infantry seemed to have at least gained a local superiority):

Ramillies is now finally reduced to rubble (albeit still classed as hard cover) and despite the infantry saving throws the defending Irish are taking casualties (see below, foreign mercenaries in French service seem to be put in situations where they seem to attract cannon and musket balls):

Meanwhile the satisfying feeling of cold vengeance is being served to those French Hussars as their disorganised mass feel the cold steel of the Dutch Mounted Dragoons (see below, they had watched the spectacle of the opportunistic Hussar charge at their artillery [which was rebuffed by skilful and courageous gunnery] and their counter-charge, pursuit and slaughter of the noble Dutch Guard Cavalry and their blood runs cold with no mercy): 

The slaughter is complete in a single round of combat, no need even for the danger of a disorganised pursuit exposing themselves as every other brigade of cavalry seems to do (see below, the French Hussars learning the true meaning of a 'dispersed formation' - that still has "the ability to charged unformed or disorganised formations" - [not bitter but suspicious that the true meaning of the rule is being somewhat misinterpreted - moving on]):

Another (but harder to win) mounted Allied Dragoon combat takes place (see below, with its last strength this French Line Cavalry ends up sacrificing itself):

A mutual rout occurs (see below, though the French have much less space to play with and hence fewer rally attempts):

Towards where "the Line cavalry fought Line" on the Cavalry Wing, what was the last "full unit" combat of the originals comes to and end as the brave French are overcome (see below, with dignity they fought and with haste they broke and ran - in the process they took the Elite Cavalry Line below the important 50% strength threshold, therefore in one sense 'job done'):

Their rout distance was too short and they are caught (see below, the green marker n the Allied cavalry denotes that they are 'pistol' armed):

And destroyed (see below, although I fear the victorious Allied Cavalry are now "too near" the new Bavarian formed enemy, while themselves disorganised - ho hum):

The French have a problem of having to try and stop routing 50% and below units, without formed friends nearby and without the presence of their General and Cavalry C-in-C within Command Radius (see below, a router that is destined to keep running):

Off table (see below, the 'French casualty table' now has more cavalry on it than they still have over the whole of the remaining battlefield):

The victorious French Line Cavalry from last turn becomes a victim of this turn, caught disorganised it tried to charge into something less viscous than the Allied Cavalry Reserve coming up but alas this was not to be (see below, caught in the pursuit, no mercy is shown - "First New Blood" is spilt):

Yet here again we see the "New Blood" is in an isolated advanced position (see below, and there are always eyes looking for a counter charge opportunity):

Drawing back a little and the danger of the advanced position can be seen (middle right) as the leas Bavarian unit may fancy a charge. On the middle left the remains of the first and second wave of Allied cavalry is being reorganised (see below, I predict the Bavarians will trigger the seemingly endless cycle of charge/counter-charge combat to start again):

The situation on the far left of the Allied line looks clear of troops as the French have but  a routing half strength Line Cavalry brigade (outside stand, top left), a disorganised half strength Dragoon Brigade (middle) and a half strength Dragoon brigade (inside stand, top left). That is three physical stands. The Allies have a very strong full brigade of mounted Dragoons (bottom) and another in the hamlet (off camera to the left) as well as battered Line Infantry (see below, the French cause is seemingly 'lost' here):

So much so that the Allied commander orders that the troops under his command are no longer to defend the village. They will be of more use chasing the French and pressurising what will become an obvious vulnerable "L" in the French Line near Ramillies (see below, the second unit of Dutch Dragoons exit the town to mount up for pursuit):

Between the extreme Allied left and the centre of the Allied "Cavalry Wing" battlefield there seem to be a vacuum where there are more French Generals than stands of cavalry facing the Allies (see below, testimony to the breaking point of French Cavalry being reached, three Generals [top left], a French Line Cavalry 'Stand' [top middle] and the start of the Bavarian Cavalry formation]):

As predicted the Bavarian Cuirassier's "charge" and the disorganised Allied (British) Line Cavalry counter-charge (see below, the odds are in the Bavarian's favour but again they will find themselves most probably exposed in disordered pursuit):

Standing back, the Bavarian/British combat (middle) is seen in the context of the Allied formations reordering (bottom), Bavarian reserve (top) and British Reserve (off camera to the right). The third cycle of cavalry combat has started (see below, the only difference being that this is the "last committed" cavalry that can be sent in time to make an outcome on this wing):

An artistic shot. In the background the four uncommitted brigades of the Bavarian Curassier Reserve (one unit being already drawn into the combat), in the foreground the last remaining French Cavalry Brigade (down to 50% strength) of the original "French Cavalry Wing" in total (see below, I can proudly attest that this 'base' is one I have painted - and my mission for next turn is to try and destroy it):

The destruction of complete formations from the French Order of battle should start to have an effect on their Command and Control dice roll and the formations being activated!

Sunday 17 February 2019

(Big Game) Ramillies "Spilling more Cavalry Blood at Ramillies" [Game 9] Post #11

On the other (Allied Right) wing the Allied Dragoons continue an impatient skirmish, culling a significant number (three brigades) who sought protective cover in the marshes. Nevertheless they were wrinkled out by their opposite number and artillery used to good effect (see below, note a significant mass of cavalry still exists on both sides in this sector):

The Allied infantry are making their first tentative steps towards the river line. The French infantry are intent on making effective use of the "Defend" order to improve their firepower attack (see below, the "brush" markers represent 'fascines' that could aid the crossing of the marshy river):

However the practical use of 'fascines' requires a selfless sacrifice [aka not firing] from the unit deploying them for three turns - survival from which seems a rather unlikely event with the French defending (unhistorical) at the river banks (see below, a musketry duel is the more likely outcome):

Back to the cavalry action. Again, a recurring cavalry theme, a valiant charge and victory leads to an overenthusiastic pursuit anb being subjected to an opportunistic counter attack while disorganised (see below, the final act of the last unit of brace Allied Dutch Line Cavalry):

Alas the valiant Dutch Guardsmen are too tired after their heroic efforts to evade the marauding French Hussars (see below, 15 inches move plus an additional 1d6 inches gives this silly unit wings - not that I am bitter about it - I merely have put a bounty on their heads):

The dread French Hussars run down the last valiant Dutch Guardsmen (see below, the Allied Cavalry commanders are already plotting these accursed fellows downfall):

The blade cuts both ways, French Line cavalry are once again routed by a spirited charge of Allied Dragoons (see below, the French are highly unlikely from stopping and rallying these agitated remnants before they 'leave the table'):

But the biter is in turn bitten (see below, a French Line Cavalry formation deems to recover its lost honour, being already at 50% casualties it is destined to face a severe morale test whatever the outcome, hopes to attack the Allied Dragoons while they are still disorganised - the outcome of this combat is unclear, the original French Line cavalry can be seen routing away behind this new combat):

Showing similar symmetry another 50% French Line Cavalry Brigade is thrown at a fresh unit of Allied Dragoons (see below, again the outcome from this battle is uncertain or in the Allies favour):

As the French Line cavalry discover to their horror, dying to a man at the hands of the Allied Dragoons (see below, 'all' the stands between the French baseline and the Allied Cavalry is the newly committed Bavarian Cavalry Reserve):

All does not go to the Allied cause for the brave Dutch fellows that rallied and turned to face the enemy are charged by their disorganised foes. Indeed their bravery in rallying has caused the French to be desperate in a disorganised attack (see below, the combat is destined to be a bloody one):

All that remains in the end is a disorganised French Line cavalry stand in close proximity to the Allied cavalry reserve about to charge it down (see below - the Allied Cavalry Reserve is off to the right f the photograph):

Meanwhile some disorganised and routing French Dragoons quit the field (see below, a fierce firefight with regular Allied Line Infantry followed by charging Allied Dragoons and Line Cavalry is all too much for this unit):

The fluid and unkempt nature of the battle on the Allied left. Missing units of half strength units are just waiting to be swept away (see below, in particular a fresh unit of mounted Allied Dragoons eyeing the 'hated' French Hussar unit laying disorganised in front of it):

The Allied Dragoons charge (see below, this combat has become very personal to the Allied commanders - the French Hussars have had too many lives and too much 'unjustified ability' to be like - dreams of snapping the figures come shamefully into the Allied commanders mind):

Seen here these two combats will be critical in deciding the fate of the extreme right of the Allied Left (see below, Allied Dragoons v French Hussars in the Allies favour, the Allied Dragoons v French Line 50-50):

Elsewhere of the cavalry wing, the Bavarian Cavalry Reserve jostle into position (top middle) while last French Line Cavalry formation that has more than half strength eyes up its "two" antagonists (middle of the photograph). These in effect are the surviving brigades of the original forces (see below, at the start of the battle the very table seemed to "sag" under their weight):

It seems inevitable that they charge one another (see below, the French commander noted that he remembered these fellows as they were "oddly based", whereas the Allied commander although "pistol armed" his fine fellows are Elite):

Three more cavalry combats now need to be resolved before the fresh cavalry reserves come into play.