Friday 26 June 2015

Irregular Wars AAR - Spanish Conquistadors vs Mapuche

Over at The Recoiling Knight and the Surrounded Spear blog, Franko has just posted a great after action report of a recent game of Irregular Wars. Franko has a great blog and I urge you to check it out. In the mean time, he's been gracious enough to allow me to repost his AAR below. Happy reading!


It has been some time but my friend Josh and I had another go at Irregular Wars. This time we played the Second Edition and I must say a great game just got a little cleaner and we were blessed with even more army lists!

At top, Josh and his gold seeking Colonial Spanish. I hope he remembers the shellacking he received the last time he faced my Mapuche (bottom). This photo is actually after pre-game rolls and a turn of movement. My warriors armed with loncoquillquill (halberds) and bow enter the rough going on the left. My 2 pike units and my lancer cavalry with a Lord unit are on their right. 2 archer units sneak up the right flank woods.

We rolled and I was the attacker. Josh put out minimal terrain to favor his army. The Mapuche suffer no penalties in rough terrain so Josh put little out there. The fun of Irregular Wars is neither side really knows how large your forces will be. You start with your core troops then decide on how many units each side is allowed to roll for on their optional companies list. These vary from a fixed number to d2, d3, d4, etc. I was fortunate in that my army swelled in the face of these land grabbers. That was the only fortune the Mapuche would receive tonight!

A closer look at the Spanish. From left to right in the photo - a unit of shot, a pike unit, the Lord unit of Conquistadors with another Conquistador unit. Finally, 2 rodellero units flank a unit of crossbowmen.

Besides rolling up for your army, the pre-game allows you to draw three cards from the deck. These all have some sort of effect on your army or battlefield events during the game. I drew a physician card which allows me a +1 on the Disease and Mishap Table which will be the next phase of pre-game. Then it happens. I drew an Inexperienced Lord card which lowered my initiative rating by 1. Not hateful but important none-the-less. And my third card was one I have drawn 3 games in a row. Cowardly Lord reduces the resolve of the unit by -1 instead of adding the default +2 to a Lord's Unit resolve. Not good at all!

The Disease and Mishap Table didn't treat the Mapuche any better. While Spanish forces suffered no ill effects, 2 Mapuche units lost a resolve; 1 advanced without orders while another decided to be late to the field and started d6 movement units to the rear. When will the omens start to favor the Mapuche?

That Lord lancer unit in the lower left would normally be a 6 resolve. Coward!!!

I learned early on what one of Josh's cards would do to me. I forgot the title of the card but the result was each of my units would not take a normal movement turn. Instead, each would roll separately on the Impetuous Movement Table and apply the results. As you can see, mass confusion filled the Mapuche formation as some units went headlong toward the enemy while others withdrew or stayed in place. Not good as now the Spanish could have position, local superiority and first charge front and flank.

The cagey Spanish commander took advantage of his inexperienced foe and overwhelmed the impetuous Mapuche van. One by one Mapuche resolve was crumbling. In Irregular Wars, as each unit reaches 0 resolve, all friendly units within 2 movement units (30mm base) and LOS lose 1 resolve. The rout will happen quickly!

The Mapuche Lord does his best to reinforce the fight catching a few Spanish with charges.

But it is too little and too late. The inexperienced Mapuche Lord was unable to control all his units so some were subject to involuntary movement and either withdrew or stayed in place. In either case they were units needed at the front. Mapuche resolve was crumbling. I reached across the table and extended my hand congratulating the victorious Spanish commander. (Imperialist dog)

Another fun and exciting game of Irregular Wars. Second Edition does not change what worked in the initial version, it cleared up some muddy waters and streamlined the sequence of play and added much anticipated new armies to collect and paint up! Love this game!!!!

Until next we meet...

...Happy Gaming!!!


Saturday 20 June 2015

New stockist for Ganesha titles

Ganesha Games and have jointly announced that, as of today, hard copies of all Ganesha rule sets will be available from, and Ganesha will start selling stock at shows. This means that there is one more place for you to pick up Song of Shadows and Dust and, shortly, Galleys & Galleons!

Friday 12 June 2015

Hail Pyrrhos - Samnites and Hoplites (and bears, oh my!)

Ok, so first up, there are no bears. But there are Samnites, and there are hoplites.

Being off work with the pox and having a lot of down time (child at school, wife at work), I've managed to get an awful lot (for me) painted recently. I didn't realise until this weekend when, with some good weather, I marshaled my freshly painted stuff together for varnishing. It turns out that I am now the proud general of ten more Hail Caesar units than I was a couple of weeks ago. Considering my initial plan was to collect an army of 12 units, this has been quite a good run (the total is now 40 units and eight commanders...).

Among the new units have been Thracian mercenaries, more Taurus highlanders, more Arab light cavalry and the like, for the Seleukid army. I may also have ordered another unit of elephants and two more units of heavy cavalry from Baccus.... but these have not arrived yet so wont get done before I return to work next week.

However, a few of the new units have been bought and painted with the principal aim of being able to convert my Seleukids into the army of Pyrrhos of Epeiros during his sojourn in Magna Graecia (280-275 BC). As most of my opponents are Romans and Carthaginians, this will make for a nice little historical match up against both.

The first crossover unit is a third phalanx of phalangites. I painted these as Leukaspides (white-shields). Leukaspides appear in Antigonid Macedonian armies but are not specifically mentioned for the Seleukids. That said, it is not beyond the bounds of possibility that one of the Seleukid phalanxes were equipped with white shields. There is also a reference to the Tarantine phalanx trained by Pyrrhos as having white shields, so the unit will double as a Tarantine levy phalanx. I also painted up a second unit of Tarantine light horse. Again, these can serve with Pyrrhos in the West, or my brave Seleukids out East.

The real surprise for me was the joy that I got out of the Baccus Samnites. I bought one pack so that I would be able to field some Oscan light infantry in the Pyrrhic army. I ended up forming these into four regular sized units and, to date, these are the only lads who wont really be able to find service in the East with my Seleukids.

I went with simple two colour paint schemes with these units, keeping dark red as the central colour for all. Together with the bronze helmets, armour and shield fittings, I think the simple colour scheme worked a treat. After the Baccus Mahdists (I use them as Hellenistic Arabs), I think the Baccus Samnites are my favourite 6mm sculpts! There are six different poses/armour combinations including a standard bearer and leader-type. They are really dynamic and take the paint very well (although one of the advancing sculpts does suffer from weak ankles). 

At present I can field a tidy little 500 point, four division, Pyrrhic army which I don't think anyone could  complain about. The only thing I'm not super keen on is that a number of banners in the army have Seleukid anchors painted on them, but I'm certainly not about the change that now.

Pyrrhos and the main cavalry, companions, Thessalians, and two units of Tarantine lights.

The other flanking division, Oscan horse, elephants and hillmen.

The Oscan infantry.

The heavy infantry, Cretan archers and slingers out front, phalanxes in the main line including Tarantine Leukaspides and allied/subject Greek hoplites.

Saturday 6 June 2015

Galleys & Galleons cover art

I'm delighted to be able to show off the front cover for Galleys & Galleons. The rules will be produced in 6x9 inch format and will probably come in at around 80 pages. The 6x9 format makes for a tidy book, but also works well as a pdf to be read off tablets etc. The rules will include eight scenarios, a campaign system and at least 40 profiles for assorted vessels and the like. The most likely release date still seems to be September.

Thursday 4 June 2015

Poxy gaming

Pox-ridden though I may be (chickenpox that is), there was nothing that was going to stop my oldest friend visiting us during a trip up from the Antipodes. I have been in no fit state to go anywhere with him, but handily enough, he was something of a wargamer himself during his teens and twenties, so over the course of a couple of days, we player multitudionous games. Below are only a couple of photos from some of our games of Song of Shadows and Dust and Galleys & Galleons.

Josh was one of the proof readers of SSD, but had never played it, so it was a delight to see how much he enjoyed the narrative feel of the games we had.  In this shot, my Antiochene militia had been caught spread out around the town. Here you can see the grizzled Captain Pyrrhos trying to get his squad to form up again.

During a later game, Pyhrros and the lads from the militia had to fight off an attack from the zealous gang known as the "Thunder of Ba'al" who set the militia drinking hole alight. It was a close run game, but luckily, the enemy faction was driven off and the fire extinguished before too much permanent damage was done.

 These shots are from the tongue-in-cheek "Treasure Islands" scenario in G&G. Opposing fleets (written fro two-four players) race to explore three islands, looking for treasure. All my fleet found was hungry natives, while Josh managed both treasure and a rum-stash. In the end, although running a greatly reduced fleet, he managed to scraped a victory on points out of that game. Above, my VOC sloop is boarded by his pirate cutters. Below are my VOC Indiaman and VOC cromster.