Saturday, March 23, 2019

Outpost #3_The Men Who Would Be Kings

We recently were messing around with using the point system for a The Men Who Would Be King scenario. My son Justin commanded the Imperial forces while my friends Jim and Mike commanded the Fuzzies. I was the fame master but also commanded the bonus gunboat.

Here's the list for the Imperials:

3 Irregular Infantry (fellahin), modern rifles, poor shots at 4 points each = 12 points
1 Regular Infantry, modern rifles, (Turk or Sudanese) at 6 points
1 Regular Infantry (British, RM), sharpshooters at 7 points
1 Gardner or Gatling (British RN), well drilled at 6 points.

31 points

I do not have the detailed list my friend Jim put together. The army consisted of fierce Hadendowa Beja and numerous Ansar units. The army totaled 48 points and neither side had any mounted units.

The idea was to test play balance with the points.

The game was third in a trilogy I had planned. The Fuzzies under Osman Digna won the first two against Egyptian forces and pushed on to the canal (hypothetical) where they ran into an outpost garrisoned by the above Egyptian\Anglo force. The gunboat was supposed to be insurance that the post would not be overrun. It did not count in points.

As you can see from the pictures the outpost consisted an outer defense of zereba (a type of thorny hedge hard to penetrate). That line would be held by the Egyptian companies who had orders to fall back into the second line if things got too hot.

The second line consisted of earthworks held by a company of RMLI, the Turkish company and a Gardner gun.

A small redoubt was on the edge of the water should anyone survive long enough to take final refuge there under the guns of the gunboat.

I'll make some comments in the caption sections in the pics below.

Homemade gunboat by my friend Jim.

Just thought I'd try a few black and white pics for period atmosphere.

It's a neat little model!

The defenses

Ansar on the move!

Lots of Ansar on the move with a unit of Fuzzies in support

Osman's forces used cover when they could.

The Egyptians stand ready. They were a mixed bag but as a whole did as well as could be expected. The arena certainly helped!

The RMLI and the Gardner. A Turkish unit is adjacent. 

The Turks are a bit tougher than the standard Egyptian Fellahin.


Getting Closer!

You do not want these fellows to close with your line!

Egyptians are starting to back away from the Zareba.

The breakthrough! The first line is collapsing but it cost Osman quite a few casualties. 

The flanking force hits the Gardner and RMLI. The RMLI would destroy three units before dying to a man. Had anyone lived a VC or two would be in order.

The remaining Egyptians, Turks and gunboat were enough to achieve a victory but it was a near run thing as Wellington once said.

Saturday, February 23, 2019

New Miniature Wargames Group on MeWe

Now that Google + is going away I decided to start a group on MeWe. It seems quite a few gamers and interested parties are migrating there.

The group is called Miniature Historical Wargames. The group description says 6mm-28mm but I'm not adverse to anything relating to painting historical miniatures, gaming, including naval, uniform prints, historical rule systems. Please consider joining and contributing.

Last Man Club-there are three of us from the old days plus my son.
This looks like my dad as a kid.  My family (great uncles) were reluctant to serve in WW1 because they didn't want to fight their cousins. 

Friday, February 22, 2019

Cornering Caratacus

The pictures are from our most recent game with DBA_BR. DBA_BR is my modification of a solo game version of DBA that my friend Jim came up with. I've tweaked the system to include some basic morale rules and national modifiers. Most scenarios are grabbed from the Command and Colors Ancients website. The counters for CCA are converted to DBA elements. Most of the time the number of elements in any given scenario vary between 16-24 per side.

The number of generals per side is taken from the CCA scenario.   Depending on how many elements are under a general's command a variable number of pips can be had. For example, a general with less than 6 elements under his command gets 1\2 die roll for his number of pips. The net effect of this system is that a person is forced to make quite a few decisions. I'm fond of Fog of War type rules and this system represents well the chaos that can occur when the force commander cannot always do what he wants.

I modeled this scenario on the scenarios I use from CCA but it is not one of theirs. The game was somewhat impromptu and I didn't have the right troop types for one of the CCA scenarios that deal with the the Roman conquest of Britain. Instead, I made up a composite scenario featuring the Briton hero Caratacus versus the future emperor Vespasian. Historically, Vespasian was the Legate for the 20th Legion while in Britain.

The order of battle and game modifications below give an idea what I was after.

There are three morale classifications with the vast majority of elements being average. Morale works with a recoil system. As a element accumulates recoils its morale becomes shaky and minuses to its CF accrue. Depending on the elements class it can only accrue "x" amount of recoils before it is destroyed (breaks). This eliminates the endless recoils that can happen in the original rules and it gives the game system some basic morale classes..

You will also notice that in order to achieve a win a certain number of core units must be destroyed. Core units are the "guts" of every army and I define per scenario what they are. It doesn't mean that non-core units are not important and can be thrown away; it simply means that of the total destroyed "x" number must be "core guts" elements. General (leader) elements are extra and function as they are portrayed on the table top. Generals are always core.

In this particular scenario we had enough figures to use double depth elements for looks. Double depth elements do not affect game play and simply add to the visual. Single depth element games do not look terrible on my 4' by 4' but the doubles look much better. (In some cases the double depth elements do affect game play like for Sp troop types or Pk, but bother players recognize these exceptions.)

5 Ch (4 avg, 1 Superior) (core)
1 Lh (avg)
7 Wb (2 superior Bd, rest avg) (core)
3 Ax (avg)
6 Ps (avg)
22 elements (lose when 11 elements are destroyed, 6 must be core or leaders)

Three battle groups. Each group must have a minimum of 4 elements Battle groups of less than 6 or less elements 1\2 die roll for pips. Center, right and left. 3 Generals as the element portrayed. 

3 Cv (Batavians are superior, other is avg) (core)
8 Bd (2 elements are superior, the rest average) (core)
2 Ax (avg)
2 Ax Bw (avg)
1 Art (avg) (core)
2 Ps (avg)
18 elements (Lose when 10 elements are destroyed, 6 must be core or leaders)

Three battle groups. Each group must have a minimum of 4 elements Battle groups of less than 6 or less elements 1\2 die roll for pips. Center, right and left. 3 Generals as the element portrayed. 

Game national modifiers.


1.    The three elements of Briton Ax are fast and not hindered by terrain.
2.    Briton WB get a +1 for melee they initiate.
3.    Generals in melee are eliminated on a roll of 1 in a melee they win; a roll of 2 on a ten sided if they lose. If eliminated the elements under there direct command pick up another push back. If Caratacus is eliminated all elements pick up one extra push back.


1.    The Roman Ax with bows are Bw.
2.    Other Roman Ax are LSP.
3.    Batavian Cavalry get a +1 in melee they initiate. (Ignore water obstacle)
4.    Generals in melee are eliminated on a roll of 1 in a melee they win; a roll of 2 on a ten sided if they lose. If eliminated the elements under there direct command pick up another push back. If Vespasian is eliminated all elements pick up one extra push back.


1.    The water obstacle is a stream. Stop at edge, cross next turn. Roman and Briton Ax ignore.

2.    Woods is rough going (move 1\2) for all except Ax and Ps. Ax and Ps +1 versus all except other Ps and Ax in rough going.
Overview of the 4' by 4' battlefield. It gives you the idea of what the double depth elements look like. 

Briton Lh-Italeri figs.

I wanted to use the Roman Ax archers as Bw in this game simply because I think they would be a "tad" better than standard Ps. In retrospect two elements of Bw might be a bit too much in the theater of operations. They were quite powerful. The archers are old Airfix figs.

ESCI Romans, now Italeri since Italeri has reissued. Mine are 30 years old.

Airfix Britons. The whole Briton army except for the Lh is classic Airfix. They were painted quite a few years ago by my friend Jim. Z.

Jim tried to disrupt the main Roman line with Ps as they were trying to cross the stream. The idea was delay the Roman center while the Britons worked the Roman flanks. 

Strelets Batavian cavalry in Roman service. It's a unique set. I used them poorly in this game. 

Part of the Roman left flank. Ax, Ps and a ballista, plus a General. I came very close to losing everything on this flank.

Batavian Cv versus two Briton Wb supported by Ps on the flank. It did not go well for the Batavians.

Classic Airfix chariots from the Briton set. Beautiful!! 

This is a nice shot of the colorful Britons. They chopped the Batavians.

Briton Ps contesting the stream in a delaying action.

The Roman right flank turned out to be the game winner as the Bw forced the Britons from the stream edge.

The dice showing 2 means that unit has suffered two recoils and has received a -1 to the CF. One more recoil and it's detroyed.

This Roman Bd element has one recoil. Yeah, the Ps did that!

The Romans are forcing the Briton Wb in the center. It doesn't look good for the Britons.

The ballista was a game saver on the Roman right. After the destruction of most of the Roman right the ballista held off the Briton right from capitalizing-that and some unfortunate dice throwing on the part of the Briton player. Whew, close one. (I do not remember who made the ballista model. It's at least 25 years old.)

Lchar vs Bd means advantage to the Lchar. I totally missed that and nearly lost the Roman center. As it was the game went down to the wire with the Romans just barely pulling it out. Note to self: Beware of LChar when you have a lot of Bds.

Briton nobility await their turn to enter the fray. They made an impact but it was not quite enough.

The Roman center taking a pounding. Two reserve Roman elements would be needed to hold the stream.

The victorious Roman left. Both Briton elements are in serious trouble.