Monday, 30 September 2013

Another farewell

My mother died on Saturday afternoon, less than three months after my father's passing. She had been in a lot of discomfort and pain. The last few months have been very difficult. She went into care in February and did not take to it at all well. She wanted other options which we were unable to arrange and argued with us constantly. My relationship, and that of my wife, with her has been very strained although I think we were back on good terms at the end.

Unlike with my father most of the family, including two grandchildren, were able to get to the hospital to say goodbye. She was in a lot of pain and quite confused, so it was a difficult few hours until the pain killers took effect and she was able to drift away. I hope no one will think I am a bad person when I say that in the end it has been a relief for all of us, my mother included.

My mother was 87. She was the youngest of five, and the last to die. Her early life wasn't easy. Before she was born her family were comfortably off and made their money through the licensing trade. Due to a combination of ill health and ill luck  - the introduction of opening hours during the Great War and the founding of a Methodist Chapel just down the road from their pub in Harrow impacted their business badly. Her father died when she was quite young (he had poor health and was not fit enough to be conscripted in the Great War), and even before he diead they were struggling to make rent payments. The concept of new clothes was alien to her her at that time and she did not go to school on a several occasions because she had no shoes. Her older brother and sister had to club together to ensure that was enough for her and that she did not go completely presentless on birthdays and at Christmas. With no money in the family she had to leave school and get work as soon as she could. These days she would have gone through to university and joined a profession. Whilst the War blighted my father's university career, poverty and a lack of academic expectation for women meant my mother never had one.

Although the picture shows her in uniform she didn't serve in the armed forces during the last war as she was too young. She did do war work, however, making soldiers' underwear and then assembling earpieces for submarine intercoms. She was quite petite and her fingers were nimble enough to do the intricate work.

After the war she worked in Dolcis in Regent Street, where she made up for her earlier clothing disappointments by shopping at lunchtime. She had to put a padlock on her wardrobe to stop her sisters borrowing them. Then one lunch time, fed up with it all, she went down the street and volunteered for the WAAFs. Her family were horrified. Her initial experience in the training camp made her feel she may have made a mistake, but she did enjoy her time and trained as a teleprinter operator. After she left the forces this training enabled her to get a job in the forex department of Barclays, passing trade details and news back and forth with counterparts and Reuters. It was while she worked here she was introduced to my father by a mutual acquaintance. She was always pleased to tell us that she earned much more money than he did when they met.

My strongest early memories of her are of walks by the river, -we lived in Windsor - and illness. In those days you were guaranteed to get measles and the only treatment was to be given pain relief ("Alupent" if I recall correctly) and to have your mother sit and hold your hand. Then I fell down stairs and split my head open. I needed a lot of stitches. It was the only time I ever saw my mother lose it, there was so much blood. Otherwise she was always the most self possessed but loving person.

Her influence on me is more difficult to quantify than that of my father's. She loved words and puzzles. She did the big Daily Mail crossword every week until she could no longer see well enough to do so. She was a superb Scrabble player, regularly beating my father, much to his frustration.

She loved games, - dominoes, Whot, cribbage, Newmarket, anything else we could teach her (although she always had a flexible attitude to board game rules). She loved them not just for the fun of playing them, but because they bring people together. Christmas, with a glass of port/brandy/whatever, the family round the table, playing Newmarket was her idea of a perfect evening. Family and games, - I get that from her more than from my father whose family enjoyed themselves, but were much more proper. Christmas with my parents and one or more of my mother's siblings and children could be overwhelming. They gave Mrs T's father a migraine the one time he joined us. Yes, she liked a drink as well. If we were ever going over to see her she always seemed to check her drinks cabinet first and let us know what she needed to top it up. Always the good stuff too.

And she was a fighter. Not just to overcome her initial difficulties, but generally. She could complain, - not like my father, but just as effectively. In her late 30s before I even went to school she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She survived a mastectomy and radiotherapy and whatever passed for drug treatment in the early 1960s and fought back. She used to complain she never had enough clothes, but she always looked stylish, whatever she had on.

Her other main interest (apart from "Bargain Hunt", which I believe is compulsory once you are over 70) was bird watching. I never did get that as an idea, but luckily my brother did.

To say I will miss her is obviously inadequate.

So I will just say goodbye, and thank you.

Friday, 27 September 2013

Some Sumerian Thoughts

The point of the Sumerian armies project was to combine the Hat boxes with the AMW rules get a nice looking quick hit for a new period. I wanted something self contained that I could just do without too much fuss.

Fat chance.

After a couple of games it was clear to me that I really needed a few more units give the armies more flexibility in their usage. I was also not happy with the way the figure mix had ended up. I was happy to go with Neil Thomas & AMW at first, but after a bit of digging (and getting my hands on Stillman & Tallis) things didn't look right. Ian RL mentioned he thought the armies were light on archers, - NT only allows them as massed archery units in the Akkadian armies, and no skirmishers. This just doesn't feel right & doesn't match thinking elsewhere and what little we seem to know.

Most of what I know is taken from secondary sources, and although we have some graphical evidence and archaeological findings it is quite clear everyone is guessing. Poking round in army lists for other rule sets there's not too much of a consensus, except on those lovely boys with the big shields (except for some bloke who has posted pictures of his 28mm guys using the big, 9 boss, shields as light troops or similar). I mean, we're not even sure if the chariot is fore and aft with the crew or side by side, and we have pictures of them.

It might be an unworthy thought but it looks to me as if army lists have had unit types added to ensure the armies are viable when played on the table top. Are the archers skirmishers, light infantry, "auxilia" or some kind of heavy infantry? We don't know for certain. Perhaps they're both.

So, very rarely for me, some of my finished figures have been rebased. Twice. Lucky for me I'm using my minimalist technique, and not the full-on polyfilla version. I'm also fortunate as I'm playing in my own little world and don't have to conform with anyone else's figures.

Plus I'm painting 20mm plastic figures. Not really compatible with what proper wargamers use anyway.

I've also started doing a few conversions. The packets are woefully short on bowmen, - a mere 8 in each - but fruitful in the area of javelin men. Consequently some of those Gutian Warriors are acquiring quivers and finding their javelins now look a little bit like bows.

The quivers are made from cutting up sprue, the cross belts are paper.The project has dsort of groun to a halt or now as I've run out of bases. I originally bought 60mm x 20mm for my archers. Changing to 60mm x 30mm and reducing figure ensity mans I need to restock on the larger size.

This is turning out to be more involved than I thought initially.

Final comment - I shall be at the Derby show this weekend on the Society of Ancients stand with Phil. I'll be doing "Call it Qids" (probably) and he'll be doing DBA Bosworth in 54mm. Be good to see some of you there.

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Square Bashing - Amiens Scenario

I did some playtesting for Square Bashing mk 1 many years ago when Martin Goddard still went to CoW, and have long found the Great War fascinating. It is the period I have studied the most and wargamed the least. I have some largish Western Front armies and have pushed quite a few ideas around but never quite got it right for me.

Any how, MNG newcomer Harvey has just bought Square Bashing mk 2 and ahead of painting up his toys wanted to give it a go, so off we went, using the scenario from the back of the bookand my vast hordes of Minifigs.

With the centenary coming up the Great War is going to get a lot of coverage and there's going to be a lot of rubbish written about it over the next 5 years, so I thought why not get in early with a blog post?

We had a good turn out, with Phil & Will making up the numbers. Phil & I took the Brits, Will took the Huns as we played the Amiens 1918 scenario from the rules book.

SBMk2 is classic Peter Pig/RFCM rule set, with a pregame sequence and lots of other bits and pieces going on and loads of dice being rolled. The Scenario in the book mercifully saves us from a lot of the pregame nonsense whilst preserving the asset/high command bits and pieces that seem to work quite well. However, even for a defined scenario there's still lots of stuff about moving terrain about and so on. Once we'd done all of the the board looked like this:

This picture is posted post deployment but pre-depletion (ie before the effects of the pre-attack bombardment are determined on the Germans. Once that's done there's a lot less of them left, although most end up as reserves.)

Phil had the two tanks on the left with their supporting infantry, I was to the right, straddling the road.

First up I have to say I am uncomfortable with the field guns being on the table. They make sense in earlier 1914 battles and maybe in other theatres, but not here, I feel. The other criticism is that the square stacking limit is 3 units, and that includes MG companies. That didn't put me in a good frame of mind at the beginning of the game. On the other hand it's one of my favourite armies and it gets rarely used, so that offset the initial irritation.

At the start of move 1 we called for air observation (I have model planes) but it didn't turn up. Nothing for it but to roll forward.

Our standard tactic is to keep pace with the tanks, although Phil felt comfortable with rushing forwards to seize the objective on the left.

On the right the barrage depletion on the Germans left one objective unprotected (it's behind the defence line on the right, - which shouldn't be there). I therefore seized the moment and threw my flank guard forwards at full speed in the hope I might overrun it before Will woke up fully.

Will wasn't able to do much in his first turn, although he did hit my MG companies either side of the road with his artillery. At the start of our next move things started to go off with a bang. We called in a point barrage and were able to pick out the central strong position.

The shells also fell on Will's HQ unit, which took a heavy battering and was forced to retire off the board. This, together with Will's inability to get any MG companies on the board, worked considerably in our favour.

On the left Phil stormed along the "rough hill", out pacing his tank support but enabling him to launch a flank attack on the German position.

He chose not to throw in the units from the front. On balance I think this was a mistake as Will threw some good dice, achieved a draw and so bounced Phil back to his start line.

Meanwhile my tank rolled forward through the rough ground:

Undaunted by the minor set back the previous turn, and shrugging off Will's defensive fire orders were issued to renew the attack on the left, and both Phil & I went in hard:

With our various bonuses we were feeling confident.

Phil stormed into the position from the front, supported on all sides. The Germans were thrown back into the wood in complete disarray. I, in my attack, out scored Will by 4 hits to 1 and so was feeling good about it all. Then Will saved all of his hits and my brave lads were left stalled in front of them.

In the right middle I had succeeded in throwing Will's Boche off objective 2 and so was sitting pretty. The action round objective 1 seems not to have been photographed, but my brave lads were holding on well and giving the Beastly Hun what for.

I was a bit nervous that I had a tank slap bang in front of a field gun at this point.....

On the left my lads had re-grouped and aided by Phil's armour went in again, whilst our second point barrage went in.

This time round Will's saving rolls let him down and he was thoroughly thrashed and driven off the hill. Meanwhile Phil's infantry on the left launched a joint assault onto the Germans skulking in the wood and gave them a jolly-good seeing to. The rest of the chaps were forming up again to drive on over the remaining Germans.

At which point Harvey said it's quarter to eleven, and I think we should stop. We'd been playing for 2 hours and been fully engrossed all of the time. Something in these rules is working right.

So, perhaps I'll get myself a copy. I have my usual concerns about RFCM's recent products, - too many moving parts, not simple or logical regardless of what Martin says, and sometimes innovation for the sake of it. There's also just a tendency to get players to roll dice as the answer to every game problem. However they seem to work and give a good game, - which was what attracted me to AK47 Republic all those years ago.

As part of the post-game chat we ruminated upon the coming centenary. Phil brought my attention to this article written by Jeremy Paxman in the Daily Mail: Paxman on Great War . This is the opening salvo in the war for the history of the Great War, so to speak. The next four or five years will see what actually happened as we now understand it under continued assault by the "everything was awful & we were rubbish" school of thought that has held sway in popular culture since the late 1920s. Hopefully Paxman has shifted the grund rules for the debate, but it is a shame if he gets all the credit fo the work done by Gary Sheffield, Paddy G et al.

I may return to this subject in the future.

Now, back to painting those Sumerians.

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Raphia Write Up

Raphia is described by Phil Sabin as one of the largest ancient battles ever fought. The challenges for this game, then, were to get a lot of figures on the table so that it looked like a very big battle and then fight it to a conclusion in afternoon.

The armies were probably the biggest ancient armies I've ever put together on a table top, including my refights of Guagamela. In summary they were:


6 units Heavy Cavalry - 72 figures
2 units Heavy Infantry - 32 figures
8 units Phalangites - 128 figures
5 units Light Infantry - 40 figures
3 elephants

3 units Heavy Cavalry - 36 figures
1 unit Heavy Infantry - 16 figures
14 units Phalangites - 224 figures
2 units Light Infantry - 16 figures
2 units Light Cavalry - 16 figures
2 elephants

So, in total 124 cavalry, 456 infantry and 5 elephants in 48 units. Not bad at all.

For the game Will took on the role of Ptolemy and Chris took Antiochus. The Successor generals were very considerate when deciding where to fight their battles for those of us who come after them, as the action took place on a flat, featureless plain.

So, nearly 600 25mm figures, an 11' x 5' table, two players and one afternoon. Can it be done?

Ptolemy's army is on the left, Antiochus' on the right. Both armies have their camp on the table. The only remark I'd make on the set up is that I should have deployed the armies closer together, as it is a long walk for the infantry especially if one side decides not to move. You know who you are. (NB The counters mark unit quality, -green is good, red is poor)

Ptolemaic left and Antiochan right went at one another pretty much at full speed. Ptolemy's centre started the advance to contact, but his right was strangley passive. Will remarked later on "I didn't realise they were light horse", a slightly enigmatic comment.

The first clash occured on the Ptolemaic left, where both generals were present. It was overall a bit of a chaotic mess as too much cavalry got in each others' way with elephants and light infantry also in the mix.

Chris as Antiochus had the slightly better cavalry, and his support was a bit stronger too. That enabled him to work out a bit wider and try to turn the flank. He also tried to use his light infantry to take out Will's elephant.

This didn't work, and Will's attempt to use his slingers as a bit more than a speed bump to stop Chris's inner cavalry had more success.

On the other wing the choreography was a bit more careful, with Will's light cavalry being quite effective with their javelins. Both sides' elephants held back, preferring to be a threat in being rather than committing themselves.

I thought at this point I'd throw in a photo of Will's phalanx advancing. I was advised by Chris that it "looks a bit scary".

Back on the far wing it was getting a bit desperate as both Ptolemy and Antiochus got involved with the melee between the two Companion units.

The commander dice re-rolling rule works really well. Effectively it enables a general to intervene once per turn. By the way, the two command figures were painted by Phil, who couldn't joiun us on the day. Any how, if you enlarge the pucture you'll see they look a bit good.

Next to this combat the two elephants on this flank finally got stuck into one another. We are still not sure if they get saving rolls when fighting each other. Or how many dice they now roll if they go berserk.

Meanwhile, in the middle the infatry closed....

In retrospect standing still and letting Will come at him was a bit of a gamble for Chris as it meant fighting close to his camp. If his centre broke at all (and Will had more and better infantry) then his camp would have been sacked. In this game the camps were used as a proxy for the table edge for exiting troops as under the standard AMW rules.

Will's elephant was having the worst of it, and the Companions were fighting each other to a standstill.

Things were also hotting up on the other flank:

Javelins had started to reduce Chris' heavy cavalry, but actually he had done well enough. He had delayed Will's flanking manouevre for most of the game.

The other end of the table was hotting up to a climax.

The phalanx at this point was one move away from contact, when to everyone's surprise Chris charged.

This should have been the pivotal moment for Will, but things, as usual, didn't turn out as he expected. At first it seemed to be going well for him, as Chris' front line seemed to be crumbling.

In fact it seemed like a big hole had opened up for Will.

Alas the ends of the line were both exposed. By using his light troops Chris had succeeded in inflicting some hits of the end of the line before it engaged, whilst at the other end he freed his cavalry to turn on the flank as well. Add to this Chris' levy troops holding on and passing every morale test inflicted on them and it look like the writing was on the wall.

In an attempt to shore up his left flank Ptolemy got stuck into an infantry battle.

This proved to be a desperate move. Aniochus likewise got stuck in, and it was all one way. When the Ptolemaic infatry unit collapsed, there was no friendly unit within a single move so Ptolemy was surrounded and captured.

And that was nearly it. After another move we did a quick count up and Will was down to 6 units, - a quarter of his army, and the break point. It was all over.

Will startes defeat in the face.
It was actuallt quite close. Chris could have easily lost a couple of units in the next couple of turns, and so come out on the wrong end. Doubly so as Will had two heavy infantry units bearing down on the camp and all Chris had to defend it were some light javelins. An incredibly attritional battle. Which might be why Chris looks so exhausted in this last picture.

We started at 1pm and took a break for tea & cake at 3pm for about half an hour. The game finally concluded by 5:30. So, all over in four and a half hours, or four hours of playing time. With only two players and no corners cut I think that was quite impressive.

AMW continues to surprise me at how well it works, especially for these large battles. As long as the two sides have a similar number of units they give a quick, plausible outcome and provide a lot of tense action.

I think I need to look at elephants again. I've improved them but they still don't work quite right. Having them in a much bigger game makes them work better as well.

So, everyone pronounced themselves satisfied, and I cleared the table for next Tuesday's "Square Bashing".

Friday, 20 September 2013

Some Grown Up Stuff

The original point of this blog was to highlight when being a grown up makes life easier as a wargamer. For example like when you have access to power tools to do stuff like make scenery.

Today I received some birthday presents. These were they:

Yes. Lots of plastic toy soldiers. I think there's 26 boxes there, some of which are double size.

Obviously before painting them you have to wash them thoroughly in detergent. I considered sticking them in the washing machine then tumble drying them, but in the end it was just as easy to process them through the sink in the utility room. Then I had to dry them.

Well, as a grown up I have access to a garden and the usual facilities contained therein.

I don't know what the neighbours think.

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Raphia Work

This weekend almost coincides with the regular anniversary of my arrival on Planet Earth. So, as is traditional at this time of year: "Greetings Earthlings".

More seriously that means the annual birthday wargame. A tradition going back at least to this year. Due to prior commitments the turn out from the Monday Night crew on Saturday afternoon will be about two, one of whom is me. No matter, we are not to be daunted by such trifling matters.

Following the success of Gabiene we have decided to go for a re-fight of Raphia, the last showdown between the Ptolemaic and Seleucid dynasties. According to some this is the largest battle fought in antiquity with possibly 56,000 phalangites in Ptolemy's army alone.

Following the path of least resistance the forces and layout will be taken directly from Sabin's "Lost Battles" substituting AMW units on a one for one basis with LB units. What this means is that one veteran unit is the equivalent of four levy units. It seems to work.

The vast numbers concerned has taxed my toy soldier boxes considerably. I have enough phalangites for about 2/3rds of the requirements. The rest are made up of hoplites with a stray unit of Carthaginian spearsmen for good measure.

I fared a bit better with the cavalry, but I've still got Romans and Gauls in there and a couple of Persian units to bulk out the Seleucids.

I have enough elephants, but they're all African (and will be until my next project gets underway, - watch this space), and I also have enough light infantry.

I shall be playing with the modifications from the last game (reducing elephant dice, allowing commander re-rolls) but I'm wondering about differentiating between African and Indian Elephants. Sabin thinks the difference is important, even in a game like his which is high level and a bit abstract. My mind is open on the subject.

The Successors aren't a subject I've ever read much about. I sort of skipped from Alexander to Hannibal, so to speak, so I know more about the Punic Wars than the internecine strife at the other end of the Mediterranean. It is strange to think that whilst the heirs of Alexander were thumping each other into the ground out East not too far to the West Hannibal was starting out on his series of stunning victories in Italy. You almost feel like telling them to wake up and go and help stomp on the Romans before it's all up for them.

Anyway, Staturday it is. Raphia and cake in Shedquarters. Full report to follow.

Friday, 13 September 2013

War Games Exhibition - Bethnal Green

As a lad who lives "up-country" I'm often a bit behind those Big City types. Anyhow, this week I had to be in London for a job interview and as I had some time on my hands I went out to the Bethnal Green Museum of Childhood to see their exhibition of war toys, which currently is running until March next year. I know the Londan lads have done a bit of blogging about this already, but this is what I think.

It's a very thoughtful piece of work and is definitely in the "explaining" as opposed to "it's all wrong" school of thought. It places war toys in their historical context, and explains as well how the "opposition movement" so to speak came into being.

I took some pictures.

Everyone takes a picture of this at the entrance, and why not? It is brilliant. It's big, - that's a door way to the left.

Sorry for the glare on the next one. That's a first edition Little Wars, with "L'Attaque" in the background.

Next up the toy gun cabinet.

Bottom right is the "Johnny-7 One Man Army". How I lusted after one of those when I was 4 or 5. No one I knew could afford one, however. If you have no idea what one was, here's the original TV add on Youtube: Johnny 7 - OMA advert.

This is the first proper toy soldier display in the exhibition. It's a "tie-in" set, released to cash in on the British victory at El-Teb. Not a great picture, but I only had my compact camera with me.

There's a fair few basic board games on display. This one is "Hunt the Submarine". You could probably blow this picture up and play the game if you felt so inclined.

 Gotta love this picture of a "salle Boche" doing for a Frenchie:

With the tin flat being a Teutonic speciality there's quite a bit of this stuff:

If I was going to criticise the exhibition I'd say there's a lot of German flats, but not much in the Airfix / Timpo / Britains area, which I think is a shame. There's a lot of German Nazi influenced stuff which does seem, subconsciously, link the war toy with militaristic regimes, which doesn't strike me as right.

Of course, whilst the Germans were churning out tin stormtroopers, were designing games to help you survive the blitz.

This one has received some coverage in the press, but shows how your focus varies when you're not being bombed everyday.

And I guess everyone wants a 54mm scale 88mm & half track

There's a load more stuff and you're not meant to take pictures, so that's your lot.

It let me pass an enjoyable 40 minutes, but no more. As mentioned above I felt there were a few missed opportunities. I'm glad I've been to see it, but pleased that I hadn't gone out of my way to do so. It isn't, in my view, worth a day trip out to see it.

However, on the way out in the main hall I saw one of these:

It may not look much to you lot, but I had one of these, the highlight of my Christmas gifts one year. The walls are kept in place by pins and are taken off and stored in the base. It was guarded by Timpo Guardsmen in bearskins. My favourite toy for years.

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Shed loads of Successors

This Tuesday's game was an exercise in putting as many plastic figures on the table as I could in a plausible set up.

As I have done before I did a cross between AMW & Phil Sabin's "Lost Battles". On this occasion I just replaced Phil's set up with AMW units on a one to one basis until I ran out of figures for the Battle of Gabiene, 316BC. Luckily the unit count ended up even, with 20 units a side.

As it turned out I didn't get all of my phalangites on, and hardly any hoplites. And I ran out of Greek/Macedonian cavalry as well, so if you look closely at the pictures you'll see some Romans, Gauls & Numidians hiding in there somewhere.

Gabiene is the last battle between Eumenes and Antigonus and is the last hurrah for the hypaspists, or "Silver Shields" as they had become. For this clash of the Titans, Monday Night regulars Phil & Will took Antigonus & Eumenes respectively.

I made some slight changes to the rules:

1) Heavy Cavalry roll 2 dice per base when fighting other Heavy Cavalry
2) I reduced elephant hit dice in proportion as they took hits (ie an elephant base with two hits rolled half its normal dice)
3) Light infantry roll double dice against elephants.
4) Any unit with a general can re-roll fails once per turn (ie either re-roll misses, failed saves or failed morale rolls)

I felt the elephants would be too powerful and distort the game, especially as Eumenes had twice as many.

Eumenes to the right, Antigonus to the left
This was a fairly hectic bash as we tried to reduce both sides to a breakpoint of 7 units out of 20 in two and an half hours. The photo record is therefore not totally complete. Well, honestly it's really patchy.

The action started near the camera, where both commanders were leading their veteran Companion units.

Eumenes and his companions. The green counter means elite/veteran.

This cavalry action pretty much determined the game in the end, mostly  because:

a) Phil knew what he was doing
b) Will rolled the absolutely worst dice he could.

Actually, Phil had slightly more and better cavalry as well. Will's ace in the hole was a spare elephant, but it got a bit stranded at the back of the board.

Everyone gets stuck in to make the biggest cavalry melee ever
In the centre Will had the slight advantage of quality in infantry, although both sides had an elephant. The key combat was probably what happened in the elephant v elephant fight.

This is about the first time this has ever happened in a game, so the outcome was eagerly awaited.

Meanwhile on the other flank Phil was trying one of his usual outflanking things using light cavalry. Will was having to shore this flank up with some pikemen.

Luckily for Will in the centre his elephant prevailed, having taken two hits. This meant he'd be able to do some fairly significant damage to Phil's pikes before the two sides' phalanxes got locked together.

In the interim Will's left flank had fallen apart completely. His only hope on that side of the table was his elephant, but alas it was unable to get a target as the cavalry danced rings round it. Phil's elephant, meanwhile, found a juicy target in some of Will's Silver Shields.

Eumenes, as you can see on the middle left, was reduced to dodging Phil's cavalry as it jointly tried to hunt him down and ransack his camp.

In the centre Will finally managed to lock on to Phil's infantry.

As historically happened the Silver Shields walked about seemingly impervious to all that their opponents could throw at them. Alas the army's left and right flanks had both gone and the commander was in flight, so we called it a day. Win to Antigonus.

I think it was a gripping encounter that could have gone either way. That's saying something seeing as how I just threw the troops on the table without any consideration, with AMW in one hand and Lost Battles in the other. Not literally of course, as that would mean I wouldn't have a hand left to put figures out. I think it showed that AMW can handle big battles well in a reasonable space of time. The larger the number of units used, the less the luck factor in the system counts (as you might expect). The rule changes also played their part, so I'm pleased with them as well.