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Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Warmaster Ancients Campaign - Battle Report 1: Greeks vs Rome!

The build-up:

The Greek General issues a Conquest order to his first army, the target - Rome!
Roman Response - immediate mobilization of the first Legion, and a counter Conquest order (*) against the Greeks.

Battle is met on barren ground (**), somewhere inland of the Adriatic.
The field has one small hill (10VPs), one small patch of woods (10VPs) and a large patch of broken ground.

(*) - Why counter Conquest order? In order to move an army, a Conquest or Campaign order (and a target) must be given. A Conquest order is a challenge to battle. An army can only move once per period, so to show the Roman army has having moved, it is given a Conquest order.

(**) - When battles are fought and the hex type is not known, a random roll is made. Each type has a different chart for terrain. In this case the hex type was 'Wastes', so very little terrain would feature for this battle. In addition any terrain that was randomly generated would not be worth much in terms of Victory points. There is not much worth in a patch of rocks in a relatively barren landscape

The two armies meet across a largely barren wasteland. The only features of note are a small section of woodland and a small hill, each barely worth anything in VPs.

View from the Roman side.

The Greek view of the field.

The Greeks take to the battle in an extended order unsure as to where the Romans would deploy, given a large piece of dense terrain almost Roman centre.
A large cavalry contingent form the Greek middle.

The Romans choose to deploy completely on the left flank. The Legions take centre, with cavalry on the far wing and skirmishers centre.

The initial turns of the battle see very little action. Each commander unable to spur their force into taking the initiative. Eventually a battalion of Hoplites with Peltast support edge forward.

The Roman Light Cavalry move quickly to engage the unsupported Greek battalion. A hail of javelins and arrows forces the Peltasts to flee which in turn causes disruption to the Hoplites behind them.
Roman Heavy Cavalry and the Triari begin their flank push.

With the battle now underway, the Greek General orders his line forward. The Roman Light Cavalry sensing the danger withdraw.
The Roman Legions deploy into line while a unit of Roman Heavy Cavalry, seeing a full battalion of Greek Hoplites move out of position due to a misunderstood order, thunders down the left flank to attack!

The Roman Heavy Cavalry hits into the Hoplites flank. The fighting is fierce but despite the superior numbers of the Greeks, the positioning makes it difficult for the Hoplites to bring their full weight to the combat.

The Greek advance takes it to the middle of the table while the Romans try to reform from the effects of shooting and fall-back orders.
One block of cavalry moves a little ahead of the infantry. The Romans see an opportunity to bring an end to the battle...

Soon after this photo, the 3 units of Roman Light Cavalry charged the front and flank of the Greek Cavalry and won the combat that followed. Rather than risking further loses, the Greeks withdrew.
Roman Victory!

Warmaster Ancients 5-Player Campaign!

Howdy folks,

My little gaming group has decided to play a rather large campaign game, and I thought it would be nice to cover it here on my blog and share it with the gaming community worldwide.

The setting - rough 'Ancients' period
The players - Rome Republic, Greek, Carthage, Celtiberian, Seleucid
The rules - for table-top battles: Warmaster Ancients, for the campaign: based on basic campaign in Ancient Armies expansion
The map - from the old board game 'Imperial Governor'

The map at the start of the Campaign -

Each player begins with a Home Region (darkest hex), and 10 supporting regions.

The supporting regions provide the players with a choice of either Gold or Troops. Each region (and new regions as they are added), are rolled from a random chart and include areas like Rivers, Cities, Hills, Mountains, Pastures, Wastes, Deserts and so on. The different type of regions provide a different level of Gold income, or a different troop type.

Towns for instance can produce either 70 gold, or 2x cheapest Infantry from the players lists.
While Forests can produce either 40 gold, or a unit of Archers.

Each player also begins the game with 3x 1000point armies chosen from their respective Warmaster Ancient lists. They can then add to these lists any troops they generate from their controlled regions, so armies are never the predictable set 1000pts, and opponents are never completely sure of what they will be facing in battle.

Gold is used to raise new armies and pay for existing troops.

Players have two weeks to issue orders to their armies, with one extra week reserved to handle any outstanding games. No orders can be made in the third week to avoid last minute abuse. Players are also granted a 'Defender' bonus if they get their armies into position and have no response from their opponent within 7 days. The system is designed to encourage early orders and a quick response to keep the action flowing.

Orders take two forms - a 'Conquest' order, which is a direct challenge to a specific player and involves one players army marching out to capture land between the two players, or, a 'Campaign' order which involves a players army marching into enemy controlled lands and causing havoc.
Table top battles are played when armies meet in response to an order.

Conquest orders gain the winner a new region to add to their existing area.
Campaign orders steal gold from an area and half from surrounding areas.

Gold goes firstly to the Armies baggage area (the baggage also used to restore points of troops after each battle), which is a table top feature like a terrain piece, fully capturable and fully lootable!
This makes Campaigning armies very rich if they can make it home.

Once we are a few months into the game and have ironed out all the creases, flaws, and mistakes, if there is any interest in the rules we are using I will gladly upload them here as pdf for others to try.

Battle reports to follow soon as games are played!