David Bickley's Wargames Blog

The occassional ramblings of an average gamer, journeyman painter, indifferent modeller, games designer, sometime writer for Wargames Illustrated and host of games in GHQ.

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Baldinus vicit Imperatoris

Or more properly The Glorious Death of Pompus Maximus, late Emperor. This week’s game here in GHQ saw a Late Roman game in our ongoing tale of Pompus Maximus and Baldinus and their struggle for the Imperial throne sometime in the late C4th. As usual we played out the game using our in house version of Neil Thomas’s Ancient and Medieval rules. The game swung this way and that, as they generally do with these rules we find, before a decisive moment ended the contest. A few pictures to convey the sense of the game. Next week, hopefully, a SYW game using Black Powder ~

The army of Pompus Maximus was cavalry centred, Heavy and Cataphract on
the left wing, Light cavalry and Horse Archers on the right. Two units of 
Dark Age infantry, supported by a unit of Heavy Arches, a unit of Light
Infantry and a bolt thrower held the cente.

The army of the rebel Baldinus was infantry heavy, with Dark Age Infantry,
Warbands, Heavy Archers and.a Bolt Thrower. His cavalry, all Heavy, was
concentrated on his right. You will note above the heroic Pompus right in the
action! Bit of an error of judgement on my part that!

I took my eye of the game as I concentrated on the cavalry action on my left.
Suddenly I found my infantry had fled and Pompus Maximus was fighting for
his life! Although he fought valiantly no units could come to his aid. Despite
reducing the enemy to half strength Pompus eventually succumbed and with
his untimely death the army fled. "Hail Baldinus!" Perhaps not...

Monday, 4 June 2018

Crossing the Po

For the second week on the trot Phil kindly agreed to come over to GHQ so we could have a game as I continue my rehabilitation by getting back into normal activities as much as I can. I suggested combining our completed Italian Wars bases and trying out Neil Thomas’s Renaissance rules to see what changes we might like to make. We managed to make armies of thirteen units a side by combining our bases. Each side had an objective to seize in addition to trying to destroy the enemy army. The Florentines had to seize the farm in the Papal deployment area, while the Papal army had to seize the bridge over the Po in the Florentine deployment zone. The pictures will I hope capture the colour and drama of the unfolding action in a battle which went right down to the wire ~
The Florentine army deploys mostly to the right of the Po river bridge. The
bridge is defended by a unit of mounted crossbows and a (very) large gun!

The Elmetti of the Papal army, supported by a unit of Halberdiers and another
of swordsmen, seize the high ground on the left. The artillery covers the 
approach to the farm. On the army's right the main force is focused on the 
objective of the bridge over the Po.

The Elmetti dominate the Florentine's right flank, supported by the swordsmen
and Halberdiers. The right flank advances with determination to seize the

The Florentine Gendarmes are strangely inactive as the rest of their army
advances steadily against the Borgia foe.

Screened from the enemy by units of crossbows and handguns the pike and
spearmen advance steadily towards the enemy.

With the Florentine Gendarmes still inactive, the swordsmen and the
Halberdiers close on the Florentine shot.

In the distance the Papal army moves against the bridge,while in the
foreground the battle rages for the centre.

Having seen off the Florentine shot, the swordsmen rashly engage the still
stationary Gendarmes, supported by a unit of Elmetti!

The Florentine and Landsknecht pike finally get to grips with the enemy,
while in the distance a unit of Borgia handgunners advances on the bridge.

The push of pike takes centre stage now, but the Halberdiers take the 
Florentines in the flank to swing the outcome. More Borgia units move on the
bridge on the right.

At last the Florentine Gendarmes engage the Elmetti! The outcome was
largely underwhelming for Phil's cause I have to say.

In the final moments of the battle the Florentine pike and their Landsknecht
allies are destroyed and the Florentine army is broken. The bridge is firmly
in the hands of the Papal army, resulting in a victory for the Borgia cause!

The game lasted about three hours, punctuated by lunch, and demonstrated to our satisfaction that Neil Thomas's Renaissance rules would suit us well, although we already have made the first adjustments and additions to the basics. The colour and spectacle of the armies on the tabletop battlefield have inspired us to press on with the project. Next week though we plan a return to the C5th struggle for the Roman Empire between Pompus Maximus and Baldinus.

Landsknecht Command Element

As my army of the Papal States will have a number of mercenary Landsknecht elements I thought I ought to include a Command Element for them. In addition, these are the first figures I’ve completed since my hip replacement operation last month. There are six figures on the base: two Steel Fist Late Medieval Foot Knights and four Warlord/ProGloria Landsknecht figures, including an odd looter picked up with the light gun set at Januarys Table Top Sale in Penkridge.

I’m taking a break now from the Italian Wars project and have located two small pieces for other projects: a 4.5” Howitzer and crew which will do for both the Great War and the VBCW; four Hussars by Matt for Trent Miniatures, the Salm-Kirkerg Hussars. That should take about two weeks at my current pace.