Sunday, 24 September 2023

Battle of Himera (480 BC) in 54mm Carthage against the Greeks in Sicily- played on17 september 2023

Arround 750 BC the first Greek colonies were founded in Sicily, where already the Carthaginians had already trading post since 900 BC. As Sicilian trade flourished, the Greeks and the Phoenicians and the Sicilian Greeks colonies became prosperous. This prosperity enabled some of the Greek cities to start to expand their territories, at expense of the indigenous communities.  
Also, Carthage expended the Phoenicians influence on the island. A cultural and economical conflict was inevitable.

Terillus, the tyrant of Himera was deposed by Theron, tyrant of Agrigentum, one of the dominant Greek city of Sicily. Terillus  requested aid from Carthage.

In 480BC Hamilcar, the Cartagenian leader  went to Sicily with an army of Carthaginian heavy infantry, light Libyan infantry and cavalry, Iberian medium infantry  and cavalry and Gaul infantry and cavalry.

The Greeks, leaded by Gelon, King of Syracuse, and Theron, tyrant of Agrigentum, assembled a well trained and battle tested army, reinforced with mercenary hoplites, peltasts, archers, slingers and cavalry coming from other Sicilian and Italian Greek cities, as well from local and mainland communities.  

The Cartagenian army besieged Himera, and the Greeks came to rescue the city. Hamilcars camp was on a hillside and they drew up their battleline there.

Carthaginians left to right: Peter with Iberian and Libyan cavalry and part of the veteran Iberian infantry.
Centre Steven : Part of the Iberian veteran infantry and the Heavy Carthaginian infantry, and Libyan light infantry
Right: Willie with medium Carthaginian infantry Libyan light cavalry and aul infantry and cavalry

Greeks: left : Thomas with the Greek medium and light cavalry and the light infantry.
Centre : Kristof 10 units of heavy veteran infantry hoplites.
Right : Alberik, also with with Greek medium and light cavalry and the light infantry.

Kristof dispatched 3 units towards Thomas to reinforce his lines against the Gaul impact troops.
On both wings, the cavalry opened the battle. 
Thomas started to harass the Gauls with his light infantry.
In the centre, the hoplites pushed away the light infantry but took some losses,  and was charged on several places by the Iberians and Carthaginian heavy infantry.

On both wings, on both sides, cavalry units were lost.  The Greek left was charged by the Gaul infantry, with a light unit destroyed, but the Hoplites stopping the breakthrough.

By now, the Carthaginian right and the Greek left were on breaking point (another unit lost would bring their number of units below 50%). In one  ongoing cavalry melee, on both sides the unit was almost broken… Willie added has general to the melee to boost the number of dice and to even the odds. And indeed both units were removed from play, both wings had broken. 

To the relief of Kristof, who could now call his despatched units back to the centre which had come under pressure due to superior numbers of the Carthaginian Iberian forces. 
But on the Carthaginian right, Peter also came under pressure and nearing breking point. 
Alberik kept on pushing and some desperate charges of Peter with his light cavalry and almost destroyed medium cavalry did not turn the odds, his wing was also broken resulting in a Greek victory.

Historically, the battle was also a Greek victory, with Himilcar death.
In the aftermath, Carthage even feared a Greek attack on the city, but both sides came to terms, with a status quo in the region. Carthage would turn its focus for the next 70 years on Noth Africa. Greek Culture and trade flourished.


Saturday, 9 September 2023

The Colonel's Got to Know - 54mm Gunga Din Game

 I believe that watching the 1939 movie Gunga Din on TV when I was young greatly influenced my fascination with the Victorian colonial period, even before I saw Zulu on the big screen, which sealed the deal. I ran this scenario called The Colonel's Got to Know back in 2015 or 2016 as a Larry Brom, author of The Sword and the Flame (TSATF), memorial game. This is the first time I have run the game in 54mm. I used The Men Who Would Be Kings (TMWWBK) rules. If you recall the final battle in the movie, a British column matches into a Thuggee ambush on their way to rescue 3 sergeants, taken prisoner. They are only saved by the timely bugle call from Gunga Din, who, severely wounded, climbs the spire of the temple to sound the alarm. In my game, the British player rolls a D6 and moves the column 6 inches per dice roll until the rolls total 15. In this game that came after 4 rolls, so 24 inches into the canyon of death. The Thuggees immediately decided to attack the column rather than wait and shoot at it from long range. This proved to be a mistake, since British firepower was much stronger. The poor Highland unit that was out in front of the column suffered the worst damage from Thuggee fire, including an old cannon and when down from 12 to 2 men over the course of the game. The heroes on the British side were the Bengal Lancers who manged to rout 4 Thuggee units, including the gun crew before they too were destroyed. As it happened, I made the British too strong so future games will have to be more balanced. All in all it was a fun play test.


Wednesday, 19 July 2023

Introduction game: fictional Peninsular campaign battle in 54mm, July 2nd 2023

 Steven and I (Dirk) mounted a fictive Peninsular campaign battle as introduction for novice players Peter and Bruce, to lurn the About Bonaparte rules.

A British force was waiting for the attack of a French allied force (Frach/ Polish/ Bavarian/ Württenberger)  army.

The Brits had a lot of riflemen , part veteran, part elite.. The Franch had the W^rttenberger jâger as elite units. and one regiment of French was veteran.

On all flanks  th French allied force was able ot get a footold on the hilside, but lacked the reserves to follow up and defeat the British. While the Brits had still reseerves to plug the gaps. 

A British victory and fun game!