Earlier this year I dipped my toe into the Napoleonics period. Inspired by the anniversary of WateNapoleonicsrloo I started to build up a small French and British force for 1815. Along with a number of friends at the Harrogate Wargame Club we managed to pull together enough painted 28mm models for a scaled down battle of Waterloo (with 1 unit representing a brigade). Now any refight of Waterloo has to have a model of Napoleon himself and I managed to dig out the Wargames Foundry model that I had squirrelled away many, many moons ago.
It's a lovely model with so much character. The expression on Napoleon's face is just priceless and along with his whole posture just seems to capture the moment when he realises the battle is all going wrong!
Well I have managed to introduce To The Strongest to the Club and I must say it has gone down very well. We've had a number of games over the past couple of weeks including Normans against Byzantines in Italy and the classic match up of Early Imperial Romans against Ancient Britons.
It was the later match up we played last Thursday. Rather than a simple pitched battle I went with a bit more of a scenario. The Romans were escorting a baggage train through contested territory and were ambushed by a British force.
The Romans had to deploy in one quarter (with the 2 baggage elements no more than 2 squares in and had to escort the baggage off the opposite short table edge. The Britons had to stop them.
The Roman deployment with the baggage escorted by legionaries in the rear.
The Britons deploy from their villages.
You'll see we've invested in a couple of the Deep Cut mats sold by Simon Millar and very nice they are too.
I won't give you a blow by blow account but just some highlights. First blood went to the Britons who charged a Roman cavalry unit that had rather rashly pushed up the centre on its own and then saw off a light cavalry unit with javelins.
A melee developed in the centre between the tribesmen and the auxiliaries.
Newly painted auxiliaries based on Impetus style bases. I like these bases so much I'm planning to rebate my whole army in this style. Somewhat against form the auxiliaries did rather well (normally newly painted troops can be expected to flee at the first sign of any trouble). These guys held firm despite being outnumbered.
The Roman juggernaut advances with the Auxiliaries covering the flanks.
Early moves. The Roman cavalry has moved up aggressively in the centre to try and counter the British chariots. As mentioned above the cavalry was seen off and the British moved to cut off the Roman advance.
With the 2 main forces heavily engaged in the centre the Roman player attempted to move outflank the Britons with the baggage to the far left. In a lightning move the chariots were able to swoop on the unprotected baggage and capture them. The chariots had a great run of cards drawing about 3 10s in succession which completely wrong footed the Romans.
We'd ruled the baggage counted effectively as mobile camps and as such this cost the Roman player 6 victory medals. He was down to a single victory medal! It looked like the game was all over.
As the chariots retreated with the captured baggage a legionary unit set off in pursuit while the rest of the Britons concentrated on the Auxiliary units and a single unit of archers who were attacked on both flanks.
Despite overwhelming pressure the cards swung firmly in favour of the Romans and the small auxiliary archer unit shrugged off hit after hit. The Britons only had to kill this one unit to win, but just couldn't manage an unsaved hit. Slowed down by the baggage the chariots were caught by the legionaries who easily recaptured the wagons as the chariots evaded abandoning the slow moving ox-carts.
The Romans recovered their 6 victory medals and the chance of victory had slipped through the hands of the Britons. The wagons were escorted off the table and the victory went to the Romans.
Man of the match goes to the auxiliary archers who held on against overwhelming odds.
A great game with a real roller coaster feel. The Romans were certainly up against it early doors and the run of cards that allowed the chariots to swoop down on the baggage had the Britons whooping with joy. But this was the high water mark. After this the fates swung firmly behind rather Romans who pulled victory from the brink of defeat.
A great game and showed the rules can equally support scenario games as well as straight up pitched battles. They also support multi-player very well with each army being made up of 3-4 commands which can be taken by a separate player. Ideal for a Club game.