Saturday, 8 October 2016

Another day's wargaming

Being at Derby all weekend clearly wasn't enough, so I spent the following Monday wargaming all day with Richard L, Phil & Chris A.

This day has been on and off for over six months so it was good finally to get it going.

We usually start with a big ancient refight using the AMW/Lost Battles combo. This time round was Gaugamela, which I was surprised to find I'd never done full scale like this. I did it as a matrix game for the SOA Battle Day many years ago and also worked out an 8 unit AMW set up that was printed in Slingshot.

As you can see it needs a lot of toys. In particular it needs lots and lots of cavalry.

Pretty much everything I own was pressed into service. There are some Gauls amongst Alexander's men, and Darius is making use of Indians and Neo-Assyrians.

Richard and Phil took Alexander, with Richard as Alex and Phil as Parmenio. Chris was Darius (looking very relaxed) and I was a lackey. Either Bessos or Mazeus.

Like most refights of this battle the Macedonians didn't follow Alex's plan completely. Partly because the hole to attack into never really opens up, and partly because the phalangites are usually too effective to hold back.

Parmenio's problem is avoiding being enveloped by the masses of cavalry out on the Persian right flank. Alexander's problem is that he appears to have dropped the dice on the floor.

Alexander got stuck straight in, and in common with a lot of rule sets and games the elite cavalry started on a succession of rolling 1s & 2s, especially against levy. The white Persian labels denote levy units; the white Macedonian ones Elite. Everything else is average.

The light infantry are involved in a desperate tussle to allow/prevent the scythe chariots getting at the phalanx.

As you can see my cavalry has been pushed out quite wide to the right in order to get round Parmenio's left. This will cost me later on as it'll take me too long to get them back into the fray. On the right Alexander is making headway at last. Alex's selective re-rolls can make a real difference in combat.

Can't help him with the death roll, however, and Alexander goes down under the hooves of a dying Persian unit. Not even proper Persians, either. Them's is Indians.

Darius threw caution to the winds and closed down the phalanx with his cavalry. I was down the other end of the table with my own problems.

I've got half my cavalry struggling to get to grips with some Thracians. It's taking longer than I'd hoped.

Alexander's wing is slowing down badly. The Companions have failed to make a breakthrough, although the superior Macedonian/Greek foot is making a difference now.

The scythe chariots shrugged off the hail of javelins and closed in on the phalanx. They did a bit of damage, IIRC, but they're then taken off, so you lose a unit by attacking with them.

Alex's wing is looking a bit more open now the chariots and light infantry is mostly out of the way.

The centre starts to become the meat grinder you get when a phalanx gets stuck in.

Parmenio has succeeded in creating an internal flank and throws in all he's got spare. A brilliant move not backed up by brilliant dice rolling.

And then his personal unit takes a lot of hits and Darius goes the way of Alexander.

The Persians have a few complete units in being, but their centre is shot through and the spare units I've got are being shepherded wide.

Parmenio is looking like King of the Battlefield now, causing mayhem in the centre.

We didn't break all the required number of units, but it was clear that the Persians were going to go down. Rather than play out another hour's end game attrition we called it a day and stopped for lunch.

Whilst we'd been hard at it in Shedquarters, Mrs Trebian had made us some ham/cheese/salad wholemeal rolls for lunch. Very handy as it meant I had time to clear the table for the afternoon's games. Have I ever mentioned that Mrs T's wonderful? Well, now I have.

On to the afternoon session.

Richard has never played AK47 Republic in any version, so we dragged out our copies of first edition, divided the table into two and set to it.

I drew Chris, who took a Colonial Settlers army out of those on offer. Richard is a Dictatorship, I think, based on the hat. I've got a Religious Army and I'm wearing a blue beret. Phil's another Colonial, but Chris has my only pith helmet.

This is a type 1 "very open indeed" terrain. The brown wiggly line is a dried up river bed. I had a poor political phase, not getting much in the way of benefit. Didn't get the unit quality upgrades in the last box, which is always a bad sign.

Phil didn't choose a type for his terrain board, just put out lots of cool stuff. He's posted a full account over on his blog.

I don't have a coherent narrative for my game. I attacked. At some point Chris got an air strike and I lost a tank. Rats. That's an Me109 pretending to be a ground attack Cessna.

I did manage to seize one objective, but I had to hide behind it as Chris had professional tanks and armoured cars.

At one point I reckoned I had him, as I got a unit of reinforcements on in the corner near an objective. But then Chris got a unit on and shot at me a lot and I had to run away.

I did have an early close assault on my main objective, but my militia suffered several 1s on the morale rolls and fled, leaving only bodies behind. Chris' units resolutely refused to roll rubbish dice for morale, even the professional ones. Which is just plain unfair.

This is the table at the end of the game. A last desperate attempt to storm the main village objective is just about to end in tears, and Chris has retreated everything away from the edges so I can't shoot at him.

I took a 70 point pasting, which isn't as bad as it seems.

Phil lost by more than 90.

And then it was time to go out for dinner.

We had some PBI planned for the evening, but Richard is an important executive and got summoned away for an early start the following day. So when we got back we drank some coffee and agreed we'd had a really good day.


  1. A really good day and a fistful of really good BatReps. Thanks!

    1. Not quite a fistful as we missed one, but it was a really good day.

  2. What a good day that must have been!

    1. It's as much about the company as the games.

  3. Nice to see PANTO and the Army of Dog on the table again, Treb. History may have been a little different if Alexander and Darius both met their ends at Gaugamela.

    Regards, Chris.

    1. Yes. The Dogians failed me again.

      And it's "Alexander the who?" now.