Sunday, 20 May 2018

Campaign of the Ancients, Part One initial thoughts

I am currently working on a project to upgrade my copy of Conquest of the Empire from Eagle Games. I am in the process of changing out many of the pieces that came with the game, replacing them with 6mm Baccus miniatures. The siege engines, cities and galleys that came with the game are a hard plastic and so were suitable for painting up.

Having lots of time to think whilst painting the aforementioned items, my mind wandered to creating an ancients campaign using the beautiful map board that comes with the game. It is about four feet by three feet, and would make an excellent map for such a campaign.

I have numerous coloured wooden blocks from my copies of Command and Colors Napoleonics and it supplements, They could be pressed into service to represent the different nations, with maybe a letter or number attached to each block, which would represent an army, the makeup of which, would be noted elsewhere. Some other markers could be used to show supply bases, which would need to be established by any army on the march. They would also serve to show lines of communication.

The painted up city tiles, they can be placed with walls around them too, could be utilized in the game.

A full set of siege engines are also ready to go, though important for the board game, would probably not be used in the campaign game, but who knows? maybe they will.

I also have eight galleys for each of the six nations, a total of 48, so transport by sea and of course naval battles could, and probably would, come into play.

I am looking at using 15mm DBA armies to fight the actual battles. Magister Militum do a huge range of DBA armies of which I have tentatively chosen six, the chosen armies are not set in stone and in actual fact will not be ordered until October this year. I wanted early Classical armies and so here is my current list. The pre-packed armies come with all the variations for that particular army as well as their respective MDF bases.

II/11 Gallic DBA

1 x 1 Light chariot
1 x 4 Warband General
1 x 3 Warband General
2 x 3 Cavalry
2 x 1 Light chariot
8 x 3 Warband
1 x 2 Psiloi

II/12 Alexandrian Macedonian DBA

1 x 3 Knights General
1 x 3 Cavalry
1 x 2 Light Horse
6 x 4 Pike
1 x 4 Spear
2 x 4 Auxillia
2 x 2 Psiloi
1 x 1 Artillery

I/22 New Kingdom Egypt DBA

1 x 1 Light chariot General
3 x 1 Light chariot
3 x 4 Blade
3 x 3 Blade
4 x 4 Bow
1 x 2 Psiloi
1 x 3 Warband

I/61 Early Carthaginian DBA

1 x 1 Heavy chariot General
1 x 3 Cavalry General
1 x 1 Heavy chariot
1 x 3 Cavalry
1 x 2 Light horse
6 x 4 Spear
1 x 4 Warband
2 x 3 Auxillia
2 x 2 Psiloi

I/60 Early Achaemid Persian

1 x 3 Cavalry General
1 x 3 Cavalry
1 x 2 Light horse
2 x 4 Bow
2 x 8 Bow
1 x 3 Bow
3 x 3 Auxillia
2 x 2 Psiloi
1 x 7 Horde
2 x 4 Auxillia

II/64 Middle Imperial Roman

1 x 3 Cavalry General
1 x 4 Knight
1 x 3 Cavalry
2 x 2 Light horse
3 x 4 Blade
4 x 4 Auxillia
1 x 4 Bow
1 x 3 Blade
1 x 2 Psiloi
1 x 1 Artillery

I have never played DBA before, and may well move onto L'Art de la Guerre or Mortem et Gloriam for larger scale engagements when I have added more figures to the basic DBA armies. Though I do want to keep the battles to a small size table 2 x 2 or 3 x 3 feet.

So that is my initial thoughts, lots of planning and other things to work out yet of course, but that is all part of the fun when creating something like this.

Monday, 2 April 2018

Battle Cry with 6mm on table.

Scenario is Gettysburg, second day. Devil's Den, Wheat Field, Peach Orchard and Little Round Top.

Board laid out and units in place.

Anderson's Division nearest the camera will have to pass through the woods to attack Humphrey's Division.

20th Maine sit atop Little Round Top.

Hood's Division, lower left, prepare to assault the Union left flank, with just the small problem of Devil's Den and Little Round Top ahead of them.

I will make a record of the battle which I intended to start today, but the weather has been dark clouds and heavy rain all day, not ideal for video or photography. However, tomorrow is forecast to be much better, so I will start then.
I will use dice to record casualties to each unit, and I am also adopting the C&C Napoleonic system in as much as a unit will only throw the number of dice equal to the strength it has remaining, not four dice (for infantry) even when reduced to strength one.

Wednesday, 28 March 2018

More boardgames for the collection

Some new additions to the collection. Terraforming Mars and the Venus Next expansion.

A very deep, planning ahead game with a limited time to achieve the goal. Card driven with lots of options to succeed or fail. Excellent for solo play too which is a bonus.

The expansion just makes it even more difficult, as now you also have Venus to worry about too.

This is one I would normally have walked right by, the goofy box artwork enough to put me off. However, I saw a review on YT, and it is actually very good. A tile laying game with worker placement, exploration and of course combat.

They are still in shrink but I shall be bringing them to the table soon.

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

A couple of new board games.

I have just added another couple of board games to my collection. Both obtained from my local gaming store with a total of 15% discount.

The first is my first foray into the Second World War, the Axis and Allies title really needs no introduction.

A truly global size game, with grand strategy as the focus rather than all the nuances of tactical combat. One of the reasons I chose this game is the fact it has playing pieces, rather than cardboard chits, and that it is a classic.

Moving on to post 1945 and we enter into the Cold War. This game is into its sixth printing and is incredibly popular. I have watched a number of play through tutorials and the game play is absorbing.

The two super powers attempting to increase their influence around the post war globe, but at the same time not wanting to trigger a nuclear war.

Not really an ideal solo game, but there are always ways around that problem.

A very deep game with lots of potential strategies to develop. You can't do everything you want to do, so must constantly make decisions and to maintain strength in one region, possibly becoming weaker in another.

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

Creating my own block wargame. First mock ups.

The Marshmallow armies receive their first units. The coloured spots on the top denotes which force they are from. I should have enough blocks to create a small allied force with a different coloured spots as well as mercenary units with yet another colour.

Not the prettiest playing pieces you are ever going to see, but as this is not a commercial project and just for my own enjoyment, the aesthetics are not too important.
Here we have the red force with an elephant, heavy cavalry, medium cavalry, heavy infantry, medium infantry and heavy chariot.

The blue force also has an elephant, heavy cavalry, light cavalry with missiles (javelins, bows etc.), heavy and medium infantry and finally a light chariot.

I still need to make up light infantry with missile, as well as one or two other pieces to represent battlefield artillery, scorpions through to cannon.
The pieces would conform to an army list for the period being played, so the light cavalry block with missile could be any of, Mongol archers, Persian mounted archers or Arab mounted archers to name just three.

Work will continue...

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Creating my own block war game, more thoughts.

Following on from my last post of yesterday, I managed to pick up some coloured adhesive spots and stars today, along with some self adhesive labels to place on the blocks.

As I want the game to be playable from the Greek City State wars right through to the Wars of the Roses, I have decided to make the units very generic. As you see below I have gone with a basic idea. Standard symbols for infantry and cavalry, a circle for chariots and a large capital letter E for, yes you guessed it, elephants.

There are a total of 148 blocks in the case, which equates to 74 per side, or even less if I add allies and mercenary units. The idea of downloading and printing out images of hoplites, legionaries etc. was just not going to work with the small number of blocks I have if I wish to represent all eras.
My current thinking is, each block will have either a red or blue spot on top, to denote which side it is. Then if an infantry symbol is applied, a red dot placed on the symbol will signify that it is heavy infantry, anything from a Phalanx to dismounted knights. A blue dot will be medium infantry, yellow dot will be light infantry. Missile troops be they mounted or infantry, will also have an orange spot, that will signify javelins, slings or bows etc. The same principal will work for heavy, medium and light cavalry. Elite units could also possibly have a star.

Leaders/generals blocks will stand in portrait fashion, again with either a red or blue dot on top, with two stars for the army commander and one star for a sub commander. All the other blocks will stand in landscape fashion.

I should get two symbols from each sticker.

The whole army will stay in the original box it came in, so no other blocks could really be added, even if I had any.

The pink and white colour of the blocks reminds me so much of those soft marshmallow sweets I used to love as a child, so the Marshmallow Army is born.

The next job is to draw the military symbols onto the labels, cut them out and apply them to the blocks. Add the coloured dots and I should be good to go. I am looking down the route of DBA style or L'Art de la Guerre, played on a small board, or possibly even C&C style on a hex board. We shall have to see how it goes.

Monday, 5 February 2018

Creating my own block wargame?

Dug this long forgotten, and very dusty, case of Mah Jong out of a cupboard. I bought it in Hong Kong in 1972, so it is certainly vintage.

All the tiles are there, 148 of them, the space is for some dice and scoring sticks, that also came with the game.

They are made of a very heavy and solid plastic or resin material.

They are almost as thick as they are wide. All the tiles are in this dual colour of pink and white.

A clear pink reverse face, the same on all of the tiles.

My notion is to re use these blocks to make my own C&C Ancients. Early stages of course, I doubt the blocks would readily take primer or paint, and to be honest, I don't really want to destroy the Mah Jong element. I was thinking along the line of those little coloured self adhesive dots, stars etc, to stick on the top to denote nationality, and maybe a generic, downloadable image to print onto stickers to cover the Mah Jong face. Psoli, hoplites, cavalry and such.

Any thoughts or suggestions welcome.