Thursday, 28 July 2016

Something Old Something New - Whats Next

Project Lead Mountain

PLM is finally winding down after what seems like forever. When I started it at the beginning of 2013 I thought I would only take a couple of years to get it done.

With July 2016 nearly over I did an audit of the last remaining things I had left to do.

Apart from a box file full of Book 2 DBM scrap bit, odd castings that are of no use to any current of future projects, I have a bag of LH F to expand my Armenians into Parthians, some Ps O for my Polybian Roman Spanish ally contingent option and yet more auxilia that could add to my Polybian Romans. I dont have anything left for Book 2 left to do.

My Book 3 pile consists of just a few kite shields swordsmen and some Milites left over from my East Franks and Normans army. I had toyed with buying more sword holding Milites to model my Swabians but I cannot see me needing them any time soon.

Book 4 is more of a problem, impulse purchases over the years which resulted me in far too many archers that I could ever use despite creating a Welsh army to soak them up, another 50 Feudal knights that I dont need because I have enough already painted and lots of medieval longbowmen that were going to be part of a Burgundian army that I decide I didn't want after buying the figures over 25 years ago. I also purchased a large number of Tin Soldier Ancient Indians as part of a project to morph my Arab army a bit further and then promptly found a bargain too cheap to miss on EBay that allowed me to run my Arab-Indian army without too much need to further painting of said Indians. Finally theres the Swiss, I decided that I would make up a Later Swiss army about the same time as I bought the Burgundians and have enough figures to make up 14 pike blocks, complete with matching harberdiers, crossbowmen and hand gunners, one for each Canton. I have completed 9 Cantons so far and am part way through another. This army also has the option to use mercenary troops so I also have enough halberdiers to create another 10 elements. The army list has potentially a lot more than 56 elements of reg Pk S in it to choose from so I will use the generic pikemen I recently completed from PLM to make up any shortages.

This means that I do not really have anymore new army projects left to do that can be completed. I have spent the last six months looking for a suitable project after I built my Later Hungarian army in January taking advantage of the annual sale with 25% off from Museum Miniatures. I have never liked Book 1 so despite looking through it for what like seems over 20 times I discarded this book as an option. Likewise I did the same with Book 2. Book 3 was more problematic as I could quickly complete the Eastern Franks but buying 99 knights just to paint up for the rare chance they might get used didnt seem worth it. I also looked at the Sui-Early Tang army which is way out of my comfort zone. This army came into my knowledge after I ended up facing it at Iceni 2015 but it performed so badly I thought that it was a purchase too far for an army I might neve use again.

So I moved onto Book 4 read it a few times and then noticed that the Later Muslim Indian army could be made up quite easily from the core of my Arab-Indian army. So now this is my new project for next year. I have ordered the missing bits from ERM, Essex Miniatures, Khurosan Miniatures and lastly Irregular Miniatures. I spent £180 in all for the bare metal and will have some bits left over as usual because the planned purchase never pans out as you want especially if you decide that the figures you spent good money on are not exactly what you wanted. If I threw caution to the wind I could probably complete it within a month of the figures arriving but this means I wont be working on the remaining castings in PLM. 

Monday, 25 July 2016

Parthian's v Italo-Ostrogoths DBM 15mm v3.2 Game

Parthia Invades And Runs Away

Yesterday I put together a Parthian army list. 400 AP using the DBM v2 list as amended as Peter K from the club wanted another practice game using his tournament army as he is almost certain to fight Richard’s Parthian’s with the honour of avoiding the Wooden Spoon.

Greek Town Dwellers taken from my Attalid Pergamene Army

I have not used Parthian’s before and as tournament list checker I knew Richards list and although Peter had seen the army in action I felt that it would be unfair to use Richards list, plus, although I did advise Richard on its composition I didn’t like his list and felt that it wasn’t well balanced. Whilst not giving too much away Richards’s list has a Hatrene ally with some Irr Cm S troops. Whilst I knew I would be fighting Italo-Ostrogoths and as list checker knew Peter’s army composition I had already fought it in the 1st round so felt I didn’t have too much of an advantage so designed a list that I felt I would be happy to try and take on any army in a tournament setting and would also give Peter a hard game.

My army consisted of four commands including the now ubiquitous Later Pre-Islamic Ally.
C1 – CinC 25 E/20 EE/7 D [25% = 5 EE]
C2 – Sub 25 E/20 EE/7 D [25% = 5 EE]
C3 – Sub 25 E/20.5 EE/7 D [25% = 5.5 EE]
C4 – Ally 7 E/7 EE/3 D [25% = 2 EE]
Army 82 E/ 67.5 EE/34 B

I ended up invading and elected to wait and see what terrain Peter chose and where it fell before trying to place some terrain. On reflection I should have gone for the Rd and 3 FE of entirely steep hills available to me. All of the terrain fell around the edge of the table and to once side which made for an open table.

Peter deployed his commands Sub, Sub and CinC [his L-R] and I deployed mine as Ally, CinC, Sub and Sub [my L-R]

Peter deployed in echelon which I felt wasn’t the best of deployments because it allowed me to attempt to pick off his commands using a concentrated attack and overlapping his ends of commands. Well that was the plan.

I closed to attack his CinC’s command on his right flank using my own CinC’s command along with my Bedouin ally. The Camels just seemed to sweep all before them with Ostrogoth knights dropping like flies. My CinC’s cataphracts were busily dispatching more knights from the same command to bring them close to breaking point and widely broken up and out of control.

It was at this time I attacked his mitigated Irr Sp I with my cataphracts from my second command and quickly took off two columns of adjacent spearmen opening a huge gap in his command. Unfortunately I had now exposed them because his placing of a block of Irr Bw I had caused my covering Horse Archers to flee away. Peter then used a lone Irr Bw I to turn the flank of the now exposed cataphracts and of course then rolled 6-1 to take out both of them, one of which being this commands general. I did feel a little unlucky with this combat roll as the cataphracts count as S v Bw and I only needed to roll equal to Peter to survive and if I had rolled one higher would have dispatched the lone Bw. I needed to roll higher than 3 to survive and of course rolled 1 to lose this command. This marked the transition from winning to losing. I then managed to get the last elements required to break his CinC’s command to go back to winning the game. My now broken command was causing all manner of command and control problems for Peter in the centre as he attempted to stop his troops chasing after me.

I now got the last two elements from Peter’s CinC command to break that and leave my path open to try and turn his open flank and take out his central command and his baggage using my Bedouin ally.

Sadly it was not to be as Peter used his third commands Bw I to break up my Horse Archers and his superior numbers knights to break up by cataphracts and whilst I tried to keep my general out of trouble long enough to allow me to get into his baggage he finally used his superior numbers to take out the general which was the sixth element from that command meaning that I could not save it in my next turn so the command and along with it the whole army then broke.

Peter had lost his CinC’s command which made the final DBM Score 7 - 3 to Peter. Which converted to a BHGS Score of 23 – 9 because Peter had lost 40% of his army. I was very close to winning and would have got into his baggage the next turn which meant that I would almost have certainly broke his army had I lasted a bit longer.

The game lasted just over 4 hours and 30 minutes and went from my viewpoint, Winning to Losing to Winning to Lost and was a hard fought battle from a gaming point. Peter fought a very good battle and I can see improvements in his method of play every time we play. During the middle of the game Peter ended up rolling a 2 on his central command and lost sight of his aim and could not make a decision as what he should do. I tried to answer his questions fairly and give him options when he asked about what would happen if I did this or that. After about 15 minutes of him thinking Tim came over and made a noise and I then said that this is a practice game and explained to Tim what Peter’s dilemma was and said I was more than happy for him to give some advice to Peter on how to get out of this particular situation. It would have otherwise involved him losing control of his Irr Kn F in the centre and possibly exposing them to destruction in detail in the following bound. Likewise there was a later situation when I suggested that Peter might consider just forming column to maintain some sort of control whilst keeping his Kn safe at the same time.

Below are some pictures from the game which show the initial deployments and progress up until just after I had broken his CinC’s command.

Friday, 22 July 2016

Project Lead Mountain Update 22/07/16

Project Lead Mountain

Despite the extreme heat over the last two weeks I have managed to finally complete some more of Project Lead Mountain. Most of the figures are new painting but a few are rebasing due to changing needs in my collection and my deciding that the casting mix on some of my elements just didnt look nice or work. One thing that did result from this post I ended up having to move round lots of figures to create additional storage in my four Feudal European boxes. So now my Swiss and Landsknechts have now got the company of all my Low Country Pikemen in a different box!

9 x Irr Bd O dismounted Dark Age knights for Eastern Franks inc the Holy Roman Emperor CinC

Donningtons MF03 & MF34 plus unknown very old command figures 

Roundway RKG04 Mounted Crossbowmen Reg LH I for my Italian Condotts

Minifigs Mounted Crossbowmen for my Later Medieval army Reg Cv O

Roundway RKS03 Mounted Crossbowmen for my Later Swiss army Reg Cv O 

Rebased Muslim Archers Reg Bw O

Left over Muslim Archers Reg/Irr Ps O

Roundway RKS14 Armoured Pikemen Reg Pk O 24 elements in all 

Monday, 18 July 2016

DBM 2015-2016 UK Player Rankings

2015-2016 DBM UK Player Rankings

This years player rankings have just been published. I must say I am surprised to have remained so high up considering I missed Roll Call this year because it didnt take place and I finished last at Caesaromagus using my Papal Italians. So I only made 19th taking place playing in 3 tournaments which isnt too bad. The full table and rankings is listed on John Graham-Leigh's website.

Sunday, 3 July 2016

My Challenge Hungarians v Hussites

Hungarians v Hussites Or History Repeating itself?

Following on from my weekend away at The Challenge Bob at the club asked for a game. I offered to give him a chance to take on my Later Hungarians, using the list I used at the Challenge. He suggested Hussites so we ended up playing a 400 AP game lasting over five and a half hours before we agreed to call time.

Bob hadn’t used the army much before having purchased it from another club member. He organised the army into three commands:
CinC 8 E/8 EE/3 D
Sub 16 E/16 EE/6 D
Sub 16 E/16 EE/6 D
Army 40 E/40 EE 20 B

My army structure is as listed on the Challenge16 report blog entry.

This meant the Hussites were a very small yet tough and fairly slowly moving army.

We dice to see who invaded, we both chose the Summer my Hungarians Ag2+5 v Hussites Ag1+4 meaning Bob defended. He placed a 1 FE BUA on a 1 FE Hill [S]+RGo on his base line near to the central sector. I decided not to place any terrain. I did this to make use of my superior mobility and to try and not give Bob anywhere to anchor his army on.

Given my army was 22 elements larger than Bob’s it was still surprising to see that his army was much wider frontally than mine. This was because a lot of my troops were mitigating Ps that supported from the second or third rank.

My deployment and battle plan involved using my superior mobility to sweep round the open flank of his army and take it in the rear whilst my infantry closed frontally.

Once I moved forward Bob immediately withdraw his mounted troops towards his central rear to protect the rear of his wagon line whilst he moved over his other mounted line from his right flank to try and use his superior numbers and quality against my numerous light horse.

Frontally in his centre he deployed three Bombards supported by three warwagons a lone blade and his Kn CinC to ensure they could always move on a 1 if necessary.

The game moved at a fast pace with little actual effect except for Bob taking out my left flank warwagon on a 6-1 using his warwagons allowing him to slowly advance on his right flank and get around my open flank. Back on the other side my LH charged him and failed to make any effect against his outnumbers knights facing his rear. Using the usual time format in a tournament I notified Bob that after 3 and a half hours with only my 2 elements lost it would have been a 16-16 draw. We then carried on playing to try and get a result. More bad combat dice meant I was slowly losing elements from my infantry commands but my LH were beginning to make a dent in his knights protecting the rear of his battleline.

We each had a warwagon facing each other on my far right flank and after what seemed like six bounds of shooting yet again he 6-1 my other warwagon to take this down and exposing the other far end of my own battleline. I finally managed to throw in my infantry against his line and there was much pushing and shoving as the blades fought each other to a standstill. Another lucky 6-1 took at a pair of my spears but I had a spare Ps element to protect the gap in the line.

On my left flank Bob was slowly pressing forward his warwagons and I was PIP starved and he eventually shot down the Kn sub general from that command meaning I had to roll higher than 4 on three dice to survive, luckily this time I roiled two 5’s allowing me to save the command but meaning I was restricted in what I could do movement wise.

At just after the five and a half hour mark my LH finally got the last knight and Inferior LH element necessary to break the sub generals commands protecting his left flank and we ended the game after his turn when he threw everything in to see what happened.

The final DBM score was 6-4 Win to me which converted to a BHGS 20-12 Win.

It was a long and very tough game for me and I enjoyed facing a very unusual enemy army that isn’t seen that often on the tournament circuit due to its perceived probable inability to get any sort of chance of a win within 3.5 hours.

Below are a series of pictures showing how the game progressed up until the point the two infantry lines started pushing and shoving each other. On the left of the last picture you can see the sub general and CinC of the Hussites just before I managed to overlap them which resulted in a drawn combat. I was pushing my CinC and Royal Banderium behind his open flank and had planned to use the three Kn S to batter his line from the rear but time ran out and I was unable to get close enough to his CinC's command to affect the game. Given that his left flank command had broken I felt confident enough that I would be able to swing into his CinC's command and eventually take it out as I only needed to get three elements to break this command and with it the entire army. 

I have had a look at the Hussite list and suggested to Bob he might find the MM version more flexible as it has far fewer compulsory warwagons and different ratios of compulsory blades but there is an issue about the potentially large number of compulsory FO [TF in DBM] required in the DBMM list. This may change with v2 of those lists but these are as yet unpublished.