Sunday, September 18, 2016

Thanks to my loving wife!

Well I have recently celebrated my 65th birthday. My dear wife Helen, who has not only tolerated my obsession with little toy soldiers but has also encouraged it, purchased a most wonderful gift.
She has given me a very large statue of one of my favorite Hollywood heroes, John Wayne.

We will be celebrating our 43rd wedding anniversary soon and I can honestly say I have enjoyed every year! Thank you dear, love Greg.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Carthage invades Sicily

Welcome to another report on the campaign season at Mike's house.
Yesterday we gathered to have Carthage face off against a Syracuse army in defense of Sicily.
The gamers were - Mike our host, Bill, Ken, Jake (Bill's son), myself and special guest Mike Cosentino.
Carthage was commanded by Bill, Mike C. and Ken while Syracuse was commanded by Mike A., Jake and myself.
After a bit of our usual banter and patting ourselves on the back we set up our troops into their starting positions. For Carthage Bill commanded their right flank, Mike C. their center and Ken their left flank. For Syracuse Jake commanded the left flank opposite hid Dad, Mike A. had our center and I had the right flank. So we had Bill facing off against his son Jake, both Mikes facing off in the center and Ken and I having at it on our end.
Here is how we looked at the start.
Carthage below.
 Syracuse below.
We had Jake roll our initiative dice throughout the game for as we all know the youngsters roll much better than their elders. Must be because they have not used u all their luck yet!
So we won the initiative and started to put our strategy into play.
Overall we were planning to sweep the Carthaginian left flank and the roll up their battle line. To do this takes a bit of time as we need to completely defeat their cavalry defense in that area thus allowing us to swing to our left and flank their troops.Our center made a modest advance and our left flank was intending to use our light troops to sting the heavy infantry facing them. Carthage had other plans as can be seen below.
It seems that Carthage was desperate to close with their heavy infantry and begin slugging it out. This tactic denies us the time required to defeat their cavalry  and sweep their battle line.
So turn 2 sees us winning the initiative again (go Jake) and we continue to develop our attack.
Jake deploys his archers as best he can to maximize the number of dice he can roll.More dice means more chances to hit.

 Carthage continues their rapid advance.
And Ken and I engage our cavalry in what would be costly to Carthage but time consuming to Syracuse.
We lost our third initiative roll but the odds of keeping the initiative rapidly declines as each turn goes by. Spoiler alert - Jake had a 3 to 1 success rate on gaining the initiative! Woo Hoo!!
Turns 3 and 4 find the light troops on our left flank gone but having inflicted a fair amount of damage before being driven off the field. Also the Carthaginians have charged into the waiting Syracuse line. Now the fight is on and a desperate one it became.
Above we can see Jake and his dad Bill going to it. Seems that Jake had the drop on his father and was rolling more dice per turn thus averaging more hits.
 In the center Mike and Mike were toe to toe and exchanging hits left and right.

And darn if I wasn't still trying to defeat Ken on my right! A tremendous defense was fought by Ken tying up my troops all game!
So turns 5 and 6 find everything depending on the fight in the middle. As both Mikes duke it out the tension kept rising but to no avail for Carthage. Mike A. made 2 critical saves and kept units on the table while Mike C. was having trouble convincing his troops to stay.
Hooray for Mike A. our gracious and high rolling host!
All in all another great game at Mikes. Sadly our last game for this season will be next month. Maybe we can get a few in at my place over the Winter.
Special thanks to Mike Cosentino for gaming with us and all of our regular participants. And a hearty welcome to Jake who we hope can attend many more games in the future.
So thanks to all who make this possible and especially Mike Adams our gracious host. As always here we have some Mike eye candy!

Thanks for reading and good gaming!

Saturday, August 20, 2016

The anger of Rome

Welcome all to another adventure in Mike's basement during the Summer campaigns.
The last time we gathered Mike hosted a game where the Greeks under Pyrhus ( Mike is this correct) and supported by Latin allies did battle with the cohorts of Rome. Rome won.
But Rome being a pompous and egotistical culture were not about to let the transgressions of the Latins go unpunished. So we now have the subject of our latest game. Rome vs. the Latins.
Gamers in attendance were, our host Mike, Wendel, Bill, Ken, Jamie and myself. Mike, Ken and I were the Latins and Bill Wendel and Jamie were the Romans.

Here is a look at the troops at our disposal.
 Above the Latins.
Above the Romans.
Yes about 6.5 feet of troops on each side. The above pictures are of the table before we rearranged everything to fit our tactics.

Below is the battlefield as we started turn one.
The Latins won the initiative and opted to move first. I was commanding the right flank, Mike the center and Ken the left flank. Our strategy was to advance the flanks and hold back the center where we thought Rome was stronger. Delaying the fight for a turn or two can make a tremendous difference in the outcome of a game.
Below we have Romes reaction to the Latin first move.
Advance and kill those ungrateful bastards!
Now knowing that Rome would not stand idly by while we maneuvered to our hearts content was disturbing at the least.
So we decided to carry on with our original plan and pray for a bit of luck.
 Above we clashed with the Roman heavy cavalry that was supported by light troops. We would be at a disadvantage but we have overcome situations like this in the past.
And advanced our light cavalry to engage theirs.
On our left flank Ken was fighting a similar battle. Go Ken!

Overall, though fought valiantly and with great courage, the right flank perished to Wendel's courageous troops while Ken was fought to a standstill by Bill. Thus having foiled our plans the Romans continued with theirs. Their strength was in breaking our center and then rolling up our troops toward each flank. Below we see the climactic battle where the finest of Rome went toe to toe with the Latin allies who were trying to win their freedom. Jamie was leading the best that Rome had against Mikes brave and rebelling Latins. They went at it like two prize fighters trading blows but for a second time in a row Jamie's dice foo was stronger and Rome carried the day.

Alas, you can see the gaping holes in the line of battle showing where Rome broke through our line and began the inevitable destruction of our army. Another loss!

But in spite of the crushing defeat everyone had a great time! Mike as always was the gracious host and our senseless banter was non stop. Well we were entertained!
Thanks to Mike and all the players for making this another great get together. Looking forward to our next game Mike!
Here are the obligatory pictures of Mikes eye candy.

How does he collect so many wonderful toys?

Monday, May 30, 2016

Pyrrhus angers Rome - Asculum 279 B.C.

We greetings and good wishes to all who visit. After a long Winters pause we are back for a new campaign season in Mike's basement. Mike thanks for having us over and providing wonderful figures and an interesting game for us. As most should know by now Mike has a huge collection of ancient figures covering the era of about 300 B.C. to about 300 A.D. in 25/28mm. Beautifully painted and lots of them.
So we gathered for the first of what we always hope to be many games. In attendance were, Mike, Wendel, Bill, Jamie and myself. The battle was Asculum which saw Rome vs. the general Pyrrhus and his army of Greeks supported by Etruscan and Samanite cavalry.
Bill. Jamie and I were the Romans while Mike and Wendel were the forces of evil, no I mean Pyrrhus. As always with us we were using our old but trusty Tactica rules. As for Tactica II we are firmly convinced that we will not see or play these rules until we travel either to Hades or sit with the Gods. But I digress.
So Rome was fielding a traditional Republican army and arrayed themselves accordingly. Pyrrhus had his trusty Pike men supported by those traitorous neighbors of Rome those Etruscan devils.

The above picture is actually from turn 2. You can see the strategy of each side here. Rome intends to break the Greek left while delaying the Greek cavalry on Romes left. The Greeks on the other hand are out to use their large massed pike unites to chew through the Romans to victory.

Here you can see the strategy of each side in action. The Romans deployed in depth knowing that the attrition of battle would wear away their small unit long before they could break the massive Greek units.

Above is a panoramic view of the field of battle. Rome is on the left. Wendel, the great cavalry master he is, has engaged both Roman flanks and is in the process of trying to destroy the Roman flanks. He did a fair job of it on our right (this is me by the way) but was having difficulty on his right where he faced Bill of the mighty dice. In the middle Jamie commanded a large number of the mighty Roman legions. The only problem with this is Jamie's historic tendency to roll a great number of dice with the opposite numbers to what he needs!

Above we see the mighty class of Bill and Wendel on Romes left flank. Fortunately for Rome Bill drove off the Italian allies but it took a long time to accomplish.

At the same time Wendel completely destroyed the Roman cavalry on Romes right and began swinging his troops to swoop down on the Roman rear and flank.

In the hotly contested center Jamie is holding his own rolling massive amounts of 5's and 6's. All the right numbers! Yea Jamie! But those massive numbers of Greeks lead by the brave and determined Mike were not to be denied. In Tactica the skill is in the setup but all can turn on the luck of a die.
Both sides made critical morale checks and succeeded a number of times. But today fortune favored Pyrrhus and failed for Rome.
Licking their wounds Rome fled from the field vowing to return for revenge another day.

Again a wonderful time was had by all. It is always a good time when friends can gather to enjoy each others company and play with wonderful and amazing toys at the same time. Thanks again to Mike for hosting the game and thanks to all our other friends who each added another layer of enjoyment to our gathering. Looking forward to our next game, the revenge of Rome!

And now we have the traditional eye candy!

The sheer numbers and quality of Mikes collection is staggering.
Thanks again for all who played and all who visit.
Good gaming,

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Crusades update

Hi all,
Here is the first update of my Crusades project. Below are pictures of my first Muslim heavy cavalry.
All figures are 25mm Perry Miniatures from 3 separate code numbers. I will be mixing the different poses to get 3 units of 5 figures each.
Well I will let the pictures do the talking. All comments are welcome.

Good Gaming to all.