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.


  1. That is a bunch of figures on the table. impressive.

    1. Thanks. And there's another couple of units of phalangites n the box, and 8 or 10 units of hoplites as well that didn't get used. And a big pile of thracians.

      Lucky they're all plastic, - I think the table might struggle with the weight if they were metal!

  2. It looks like you have converted some Zvezda Greek cavalry from swordsmen to carring spears. Also are you pikemen converstions of Hatt Carthaginians?

    1. Yes, I have replaced the Zvezda shielded cavalry's swords with pins.

      The pikemen are all Hat Macedonian Phalangites (Box 8043). The only thing I have done is mount the figures carrying the sarissa across their chest sideways on so the pikes all point the same direction.

      I do have the Carthaginian pikemen, but they retain their original spears.

  3. I used the Greek sword-armed cav as Carthaginians but I think I'll do a similar conversion woth spears. After having two weeks putting together two boxes of Zvezda pikemen I think I'll switch to Hat for the rest.

    1. My first thught when I saw the shielded Zvezda cavalry was to use them as Phyrric, but they fit for genral later Successor use.

      The zvezda pikemen are lovely, but much too fiddly. Their moulding to get the plastic pike in is admirable, but really I prefer to use wire. The Hat figures are a bit cruder but they are learly designed to give a wargamer figures to turn into a phalanx.