Sunday, September 14, 2014

Bolt Action Recap

Today was another game of Bolt Action.  This was the first 500 point game I've played in the current escalation league.  I ran three rifle squads, a sniper team, heavy machine gun, and medium mortar. We played the demolition scenario.  I had a day of horrendous dice rolling, managing to fail numerous order tests and score very few hits throughout the game.  Amazingly, I was able to hold on for a draw.

The good news is that I was the highest points scorer in the league for the month of August and won a prize.  Warlord Games has provided some items as prize support for folks who play in the league.  I got this

which will fit in perfectly with the Soviet army I'm planning for this system.  I've got all the figures I need (I think).  Just need to decide on guns, vehicles, etc.  I've painted up just a few figures just to get an idea of how to paint them.  I've also got a 15mm Soviet army to build and I'm not sure which I'll concentrate on first.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Hail Caesar

Today I had a Labor Day treat.  I was invited to play in a 300 point game of Hail Caesar with Tim,
Al, and Joe.  Al and I ran his Dacians against the Romans of Joe and Tim.  This was the first time I'd played and was grateful to be given a division consisting of 3 warbands (2 armed with falx) and 1 small unit of skirmishing cavalry.  My division was on the left flank facing Joe's legionnaires.  Fortunately the Romans were mostly raw with only one trained unit.

Looking down the Dacian line after setup.  This cardboard barrier was used so each team's disposition would be hidden from the other side.

Looking across the field from the Dacian left.

The Roman lines.

Skirmishing cavalry goes into open order to move through woods.  They are able to quickly get into a good position to harass the massed ranks of the Romans.

Looking down the Roman line from their right flank.

Almost in javelin range.

Wild Dacians taunting the disciplined Romans.

Both lines advance.

The Romans advance at a more measured pace than the wild barbarians.

Skirmishers clash on the Roman left.

The Roman center forms testudo as they prepare to charge.

Romans charge the Dalcian center.

Dalcians are pushed back.

The Roman momentum drives the barbarians further back.

The Dalcian center is in complete disarray.

The Dalcian left charges.

The Romans are driven back, suffering heavily.

The barbarian center ceases to exist.

Despite localized success, the remaining warbands are unable to break the Roman right before they are caught by legionnaires reforming from the center.

Complete Roman domination of the field.

It was a stunning Roman victory.  Two of three of the Dacian divisions were broken.  The Romans lost two skirmisher units and one unit of legionnaires.  It was good fun and I hope to get in some more games of Hail Caesar.  All of my ancients miniatures are 15mm, so it'll be a while before I can think about fielding my own force.  Having a whopping one game to base my opinions on, I can say Hail Caesar seems like a fast, friendly ruleset.  I'm not sure I like the orders mechanism.  It adds a high degree of randomization as to whether your troops do what you want - or anything at all.  I certainly get the idea of "Fog of War", but when 2 units of Roman legionnaires do nothing for 4 turns with their commander standing right by them seems a bit much to me.  What happened in my case I can swallow a bit easier.  My cavalry initially advanced way towards the enemy line in an attempt to get behind the line to harass with javelins and/or charge a unit's rear if the opportunity presented itself.  They got to within 1 move of being able to shoot beautifully, but then failed the next 3 command roles and just stayed in place for 3 turns.  I can sort of see that scenario as they were far away from command.  But, Joe's woes seemed unfair.  Well, like I said, I've played one game.  Maybe it was a fluke, maybe there's more to it.  Regardless, it was fun.

Alea jactum est.