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, 20 August 2014

Those whom the gods love...

Recently Phil and I managed to fit in a game, despite a number of real life interventions which had disrupted both of our families in one way or another. As we had a limited time window available we opted for a further run out with Neil Thomas's Ancient and Medieval rules, to which we have been steadily adding developments to suit our own views of the period and the nature of the game we like to play. Once more it was a Late Roman Civil War game: Pompus Maximus, complacent after recent victories {see earlier posts} finds himself forced to fend off the superior numbers of the usurper, Huttus Baldinus. Pompus draws up his forces around the ruins of an earlier civilization, his right resting on thick woods and his left on marshy ground ~

Pompus has fewer troops at his disposal, so his right is held by the newly raised heavy cavalry unit, the Equites Pendorus ~

On the left flank, Pompus finds his heavy cavalry harassed by Huns armed with bows and light spears. They need to be dealt with before the cavalry can turn on the usurper's main line ~

With the Huns largely dealt with the infantry moves into contact with the enemy's line, while Heavy Cavalry begins to move around their flank ~

On the right flank meanwhile, the enemy's cataphract unit ponderously moves forward against the nervous new unit and their archer support ~

Things are going well on Pompus' left flank. The Huns are driven off in disorder, while the infantry are also vanquished. Things are looking very serious for Baldinus' Saxon mercenaries ~

Meanwhile, back on the right flank of the army, the cataphracts finally engage the heavy cavalry. This proved to be a long and ultimately futile struggle for Baldinus' men as they failed to break their opponents and threaten Pompus' flank ~

In the centre the main lines now clash, while Baldinus' remaining Heavy Cavalry make a brave show of halting the enemy's attempt to roll up the line ~

As the fighting intensifies, Baldinus' infantry are having the worse of it, while Pompus' Heavy Cavalry continues to frustrate the cataphracts ~

With Pompus' right holding on and the enemy infantry destroyed, things look on the up for the rightful Emperor ~

However, things are not always what they seem in real life or on the tabletop battlefield. While destroying a large part of Baldinus' army, Pompus' men are themselves badly mauled and unable to press the advantage. After 12 turns we decided that the battle had ended in a draw. Both Pompus and Baldinus live to fight another day!
The figures from my Late Roman collection are all from Wargames Foundry, while the trees are from The Last Valley. I have been painting more figures up lately: the already mentioned Heavy cavalry and several Generals' bases are finished, while I'm working on two bases of Horse Archers at present. In addition the Lead Pimple features two units of infantry. Speaking of bases, as I was a moment ago, you may have noticed that I've rebased the whole force on Impetus sized MDF bases, from Warbases of course. We plan to try those rules out over the winter too, although we both think that Neil Thomas' rules produce an excellent game in their own way and are easily modified to suit our tastes even as I type...


  1. Splendid summary of an excellent game, a grand slogging match indeed, just as one would expect from two Roman armies of any epoch. Great rules as you say and so versatile, cogitating on some fate cards right now

    1. Thanks, Phil. Fate? Well, can't be worse than the dice... can it?

    2. "Well, can't be worse than the dice... can it?"

      I'm working on it :-)

  2. Lovely table and figures, David. A real treat to look at them.
    Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thanks for the encouragement, Michael. Its much appreciated.