Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Carry on up the Rhine

Sunday night evening saw the first game using Games Workshops 'Lord of the Rings' strategy battle game with some amendments as found on the LOTR Variants Yahoo group. I have been collecting Romans for a few years, playing WAB either with German allies or smaller games against the Germans themselves.

The game gave me the opportunity to paint up a number of bits and pieces that had been lurking around the garage for a few years, these were the then limited Roman Engineers (courtesy Dave Thomas) and some camp bits and pieces courtesy of Dave Bodley from Grand Manner and Shaun Bryant (then of 1st Corps).

I do have some more bits and pieces hidden away including a reasonable number of numidians. I did originally have 4 players but with one leave pass rescinded we were down to 3 and I had to lend a hand. Dane and Mark played the Romans whilst I assisted Stu with the Germans.

The basic premise of the game was that continued pressure on the Germans from fiercer tribes was causing them to again gaze on the rich lands on the other side of the Rhine. Unfortunately since the time of Caesar the Romans had guarded against Germanic expansion into Gaul, here we had a watchtower and small encampment.

Dane had a force of an Optio and 10 legionaries. The tower, palisade and tents are from Grand Manner.

Mark with his force of an Optio and 10 auxila are leading pack horses and a supply wagon to the camp. Without supplies the Romans might have to give up the watch tower leading to the consequences of a possible German incursion.

Here Dane surveys the route of the supply convoy from his chair, unfortunately he is unable to race out of the camp until he sees the invaders.

The Auxila appear to have collected themselves to the front of the convoy.

Ah, this is the reason a warband has appeared in front of the convoy, yet cunningly out of sight of the watch tower.

A second warband appears of the right hand side and begins to move in, supported by wailing women and a horse's head on a pole.

Seeing the second threat Mark splits the Auxila to cover both flanks. He has already had casualties from German archery whilst the meagre Roman return fire was negligible.

Here they come, supported by their archers.

The Auxila are bracing themselves for combat whilst wishing they had that cushy billet in Judea.

Finally the Legionaries assemble to march out of camp.

A random event brought a small patrol of Auxiliary cavalry to lend a hand.

The Auxila come to blows with the Germans, who's greater number give them the advantage.

Another random event brought a Roman dignitary to the table with his servants and trumpet players, luckily for Mark he brought some more Legionaries with him.

The thin blue line is thinning out after taking casualties, courage rolls will be needed to avoid retreat.

The Germans get to the horses and the wagons.

And steal two of the pack horses. The Auxila below half strength.

The Legionaries throw themselves in to the battle against the Germans, because of the high defence value they are hard to kill, unless of course the Roman players mention this. I then roll the jammiest set of 6's in ages.

Romans flee as the Germans race off to the nearest branch of Cash Converters with their stolen booty.

Here come the rescue party.

These geese look pretty angry, the Romans will regret not having the trousers now!

The numbers of Germans overcome the Romans, the survivors begin to break.

The VIP uses the opportunity to break for the safety of the tower.

The close in for the rescue, the game doesn't seem quite so like Custer's last stand now.

As the last of the Legionaries fall to my Germans the Archers advance.

The fresh legionaries manage to form up in between the VIP party and a fresh German warband which has just come on table.

The Auxila rally as the Cavalry charge in.

Prepare pila ...........and release.

Oddly the archers beat of the Cavalry.

These cavalry definitely had a death wish!

The Roman heavy infantry do what they do best.

The Cavalry is surrounded but after a round of combat most get away to fight another day.

We called it a night shortly after that, the fresh Legionaries tore a nasty whole in the fresh Germans whilst the remaining pack horses and wagon carried on moving and couldn't be caught by the Germans.

An excellent game, most enjoyable. Figures are painted by me and are Wargames Foundry and 1st Corps. Inspiration is from the excellent Macro and Cato 'Eagle' series by Simon Scarrow.


Stuarts said...

Paul great game and your report really captured the nights action, I look forward to getting my revenge on the Roamns.

Little Odo said...

Excellent write up - it has prompted me to hurry up with my Warlord Games Romans and Celts so I can run a similar scenario.