Sunday, 9 March 2014

A fine afternoon's gaming.

I enjoyed another fine afternoon of wargaming today with a game of 6mm Hail Caesar chased down by a great playtest of the 2nd edition of Irregular Wars: Conflict at the World's End.

In the first game I took an overwhelmingly superior Seleukid army (superior in both numbers and, for the most part, quality) against some Hellenistic Spartans. The Spartans were tasked with defending a fordable river while my boys were required to force a crossing.

We were playing on a very narrow front so my numbers were somewhat obsolete. In the shot above you can see Conor's Spartans moving up to defend the river. 

He made a bit of a gaff by sending his lighter thureophoroi to take control of the hill and left some of his heavy ex-helot and Periokoi pike units to hold the wood on his right.

I pushed a light division of infantry towards the  wood and some light cavalry towards  my extreme right, to head around the hill.

Sending my light infantry across the river to secure a beachhead in the woods, and my light cavalry across the river on the far right, I hit the thureophoroi with my trio of scythed chariot goodness. Their pointy wrath was enough to weaken the Spartan's mercenaries before I sent my heavy cavalry across the extinguish their pitiful existence.

With the Spartan left wing completely destroyed the Seleukid cavalry surged down on the Spartan centre. In a desperate and misguided dash, the Spartan centre tried to take the offensive and plunged into the river - going into open order to try to get across.

As the light infantry held on doggedly in the woods, the open order Spartan phalangites in the river proved to be easy pickings for the Seleukid heavy horse and the battle was more or less over. The river could have proved a real obstacle to my lads, but in the end it caused the destruction of the Spartan centre. 

The second game, playtesting Irregular Wars (2nd ed.) saw Conor take the Colonial Spanish against my Miskito Indians. As Conor hadn't played the game before, I was at a distinct advantage and I suspect that my narrow victory might have been much narrower had he been more familiar with the rules.

Without giving too much away - hence the sneaky shot through the palm grove - the new phase sequence  of shot, 'action' and melee certainly streamlined the game. The revised version of the core mechanics are working well and shooting now has the potential to be much nastier and the lord has more decision to make regarding his own role during the action phase. Companies outside of the lord's command radius are still troublesome but much less likely to go running off like bad 90s computer game AI. 

My thank's to Conor and his gracious acceptance of a double defeat.


  1. Excellent report, pictures are beautiful and the mass effect is great!

  2. Very pretty 6mm game. Small figures on big bases is definitely the way to go. So much more convincing than the "2 guys lost on a football pitch" appearance of most big scale games these days. I am totally won over and all my games are in 10mm or less and use 28mm size bases or bigger. Nice AAR too.

  3. Really nice AAR, how do you handle formation changes and the like with the HC rules? All my armies are based up for Impetus on big unit bases but I'd like to play HC with them too.


    1. Cheers gents.

      Yorkie, we base out standard sized units on an 80mm frontage made up of two 40mm stands/bases. You only really need to be able to change between column, battle line and open formation in most games and being able to split the unit in two works fine. For small units (based 40mm wide) we just state what formation they are in.

  4. Thanks for sharing for a lovely battle report, great miniature armies and I like how you guys played on a 2 x 2 playing area... I read a lot about Hail Caesar, a little pricey to buy but one day I will! :o)


    1. Cheers Phil. The game is a good one. I was a little skeptical considering the author's background and my personal dislike for GW-style games, but this rule set was not developed with the same mentality. Sure the rule book could be a third the size and half the size if it wasn't filled with glorious full colour wargaming porn, but I think it is worth it considering I only tried the rules a little before Christmas and have had about eight or nine games since.

      It's true beauty is the army list ethos which says "these army lists were put together as an idea of how you can create your period armies. Now, go out and do a little research and make it better." They clearly state that the lists should be altered, added to or ignored if there is historical justification to do so. Hence, I have an Arab warband, Arab camelry and Iranian archers to fill out my Seleukid ranks. Conor and I sat down and created a specific Hellenistic Spartan list from scratch.

      Playing in 6mm also allows you to use less space than the rules would originally suggest. This game was played on a 3'x3' matt. It worked fine for Conor's three divisions of Spartans but as I had twice as many Seleukid units, I was feeling a bit cramped. We commonly (and happily) field about seven or eight divisions a side (four units plus skirmishers per division) on a 6'x3' table.

  5. Really nice stuff, like the "big unit" effect you've got with the pike blocks. Great paint job too. Havent played Hail Salad for a while might have to blow the dust off them.