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Thursday, 8 September 2011

Warhammer Ancients Axes and Axis 2011

With Warhammer Ancient Battles (WAB) hard to find these days it was nice to see the Phoenix Gaming club running a combined Flames of War and WAB event on Saturday the 20th August. That meant I could go down to Cambridge pick up my mate Steve Riley and head off for a days gaming in Rushden not far away. Steve seems to live in a wargaming desert near Cambridge, so if you know of any gaming going on round there please let me know and I will pass on the details to Steve. As it turned out I ended up being the sponsor for the event, so took down prizes as well as stuff to sell.
I decided to take Carthaginians the first chance to use the new Carthaginian spearmen I had worked on earlier – you should be able to spot them in the photos.
We were using 1500 point armies to give fast games and my army consisted of
General and Army Standard bearer, both mounted
20 trained African spearmen
32 Gallic warriors
22 Oscan hoplites – the cutting edge of the army
14 Oscan warriors – light infantry, to be used as a formed unit or as skirmishers depending on the game
12 Gallic cavalry
1 elephant
9 skirmishers with javelins
The day consisted of 3 battles using a scenario pack, shown here for info. So on to the games
First game, with defenders in the middle trying to cross the table with the attackers closing in from both sides. I was up against Imperial Romans
the brown felt represented an area of difficult ground. My opponents deployment was 2 units of legionaries on the left of the picture with mainly missile troops on the right. The cavalry played no part in the battle and marched off (to gain victory points) as soon as they could.
on the right I deployed my skirmishers, elephant, hoplites and Gallic warband. The idea was to advance quickly to prevent the Romans from marching off the table (to victory). The Gauls were my fast attack force to be supported by the hoplites if serious fighting was involved.
and here you can see the whole table with my cavalry, Oscan warriors and African spearmen ready to roll in from the other side.
The Gallic cavalry hit the Roman artillery from behind and destroyed them, the Gallic infantry took heavy losses from artillery and bow fire as they advanced but charged and over-ran the Roman archers. But I was unable to break the legionaries and the game ended as a draw. Lesson learned from this game, warband cavalry are too unmanoeuvrable, so don’t use them in your army. Cavalry are there to exploit enemy flanks and rear and these guys failed to do it (the rule, warband only move at half speed unless they go directly ahead unless charging).
A look around at some of the other games going on
Paul Scrivens-Smith the eventual WAB winner with another Carthaginian army
my friend Steve (on left) with his Franks, against an all cavalry Scythian army. The Scythians got first turn and simply rode off the table and to victory. Silly scenario!
this chap has obviously decided to stand his ground, form a semi-circle and fight it out.
Second game, a head to head battle up against a late Persian army
close up on my Gallic infantry
against the might of the Persian army
The game was a fairly simple affair, both sides advanced. I cleared the enemy skirmishers out of the way but was then charged by the Persians. It came down to a combat grind with in the end the better armour and fighting skill of the Carthaginians winning the day. A massive victory for me.
Sorry no pictures of the last game – it was too hectic – Paul and I fought in the floor of a valley, the battle swayed backward and forward, I thought I had him but like in the previous game, his troops were better than mine. Both units of Gauls charged in when they should not have (failed the test for warband charging nearest enemy), the elephants crew were all shot dead and it stampeded back into my own army. A dismal defeat was my fate.
But a great day out, well organised by the Phoenix club who are a great bunch of gamers. Paul got first prize for the WAB side of the event and since he did not want to take two prizes I won the goblet of blood for the most troops killed (I think that includes your own!) on the day.

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