Monday, November 14, 2016

The passing of a friend and fellow gamer

Mike Adams passed away this morning from complications of a surgery he recently underwent.
Mike was a great friend to many, myself included. His passion was 25/28mm Ancients. Specifically early to middle Roman armies and Greek and Macedonian armies.
Mike was always ready with a joke or quick comeback and had a heart that was larger than life for his friends. We have gamed in Mikes basement every summer for the past few years and have enjoyed every game.
Mike is survived by his wife who has wholeheartedly supported his hobby and passion. He also leaves behind a group of gaming friends and acquaintances far too large to name. He will be missed by many, especially by our little band of dice rollers who will never find another like Mike.
Mike, I hope that you are rolling 6's in Heaven and if you think about it, send a few our way.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Juba I vs. The Legions of Rome

My honored followers we had a very special game day at Mike's house yesterday. Mike and his wife Mary served us cake to celebrate Mike's birthday and the announcement of his well deserved retirement from the railroad. Mike has had a life long involvement with trains starting with building them and lately, repairing them. On top of all of this it was the last game our this years campaign season.

Our cast of characters was, Mike, Wendel, Ken, Bill, Phil and myself. Unfortunately Phil was called away and could not participate. So we had Wendel, Bill and Ken as the Generals of Rome and Mike and I commanded Juba's warriors of North Africa.

So here are some pictures of our initial set up.
Below we have the army of Juba I.
 And below we have the army of Rome.

The Africans gained the initiative and decided to move first.
 Where they promptly received some casualties from a Roman balista and a unit of archers.
The second turn saw the initiative move to Rome but they allowed Juba's army to move first. So we advanced again taking still more annoying missile hits.

Finally we get to close for some good old hack and slash! and a mighty blood bath it was.

Juba's troops moved steadily towards the Roman main line while the Romans were using a wait and see tactic. This allowed the Romans to inflict as many casualties as possible with their formidable missile units before closing into melee. In addition, this also cuts down the amount of room on the table preventing any troops that would be able to flank their line from having much space to work in while also buying more time to inflict casualties.
Way up at the top of the above picture you can see Mike and Ken having at it with Mike trying to thrash Ken's cavalry so as to obtain a clear shot at the Roman left flank. Meanwhile Wendel and I are having at it on the Roman right flank as  Iattempt do gain an advantage also.
The picture below shows Mikes success at crushing Ken's cavalry wetting up the chance to move on the Roman flank. Go Mike!!
 Below on my flank I was having less success against Wendel and he was able to get some light cavalry and infantry past me. All this time Bill was directing traffic and annoying us with those damned missiles.
 Another shot of Mike's advantage on this flank.
 Finally the battle line collide and the butchering begins.
 For four turns we traded blows but the Romans had the upper hand having bloodied us with the missile attacks while we were advancing.
 And eventually Bill's tactic won the day for Rome.
I have to say that Bill has used this ploy on many occasions and has won a number of games with it. Very clever Bill.
So Rome has won another battle and has added North Africa to the Empire. 
Congratulations to Bill, Ken and Wendel!
Even though we took it on the chin Mike and I had a great time also.
Here again are some pictures of Mike's toys. I apologize for the quality of the pictures as my camera fu was off.

The figure below was painted by the very talented Paul Innes. Unfortunately my picture does this no justice. This figure is stunning in the flesh so to say.

 So thanks s always for stopping by and I hope to have more in the near future. Good gaming,

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?