Friday, 16 September 2016

Pteria 547BC

On Wednesday I ran another display of pointy sticks.  This particular battle saw King Croesus of Lydia (he who was not short of a few bob) invading the territory of upstart rival Persia under Cyrus II.
Prior to making war on Persia Croesus had invested heavily in a prophecy from the Oracle at Delphi.  But more of that later.
Before the game I looked up the battle in my 1930 edition of Heredotus and was entertained to see that Croesus was warned by a wise Lydian by the name of Sandanis about attacking the Persians:  "Thou art about oh! king, to make war against men who wear leathern trousers, and have all their other garments of leather..."  Not the image of Persians that I had!
 The man himself at the head of the Lydian army.  Though they may look a bit like Assyrians.
 The field of battle.  John and Martin commanded the Persians while Tim C, Tom and Graham led the Lydians.
The Lydian right - with actual heavy cavalry!
 Cyrus II.  Listen carefully and you can hear the squeak of those leather trousers...
 The Persian left fielded a cheeky chariot - so surely a breakthrough was guaranteed?
 Opening moves.  The Lydian cavalry advanced and made a nice line.
 After initial Lydian success the Persian left got stuck in and drove off the heavy cavalry, killing the Lydian assistant commander.
 The victorious Persian cavalry doing some synchronized pointy stick waving.
 In the centre things were getting interesting.  Croesus had led the centre in an attack...
 ...but it was driven off with losses all round.  Even Croesus's bodyguard unit was eliminated.
 By now the Persians were well in the lead and needed only one more banner to secure a victory... they surrounded an isolated Lydian unit and attacked it with four of their own!
 The Lydian unit fought bravely and forced a couple of the Persian units to run away...
...but by now the end was never in doubt.  A 6-2 victory for the Persians and Cryus - now know as Cyrus the Great.

Back in 547BC the battle was bloody but indecisive so Croesus marched off back to Sardis, his capital and there paid off his army all the time thinking "I'll have another go next year."  What he hadn't reckoned with was that Cyrus would follow him home.  The rotter.

And the Delphic prophecy? "If King Croesus should cross the Halys River, a great empire will fall."  One did.  Sadly his own.

Thursday, 15 September 2016

More MUTTs

I  have now not only built and painted the Academy MUTT I was building back here: link, and the Tamiya TOW mount link, but even found the time to photograph them in the garden.  This particular battlefield was a hole, no make that crater dug by the dog.
Paintwork is my usual simplified attempt at MERDC  camo.

Friday, 9 September 2016

Partizan - August 2016

 A few weeks ago I attended the Partizan show at Newark.  I was there with Wargame Developments' Cursus Honorum II participation game and in between running the game and chatting to old friends I managed to suffer a 'retail incident' (of which more in a future post) and take a few photos of other games.
This noteworthy tabletop was a Punic Wars game in 1/32 scale - hurrah for big toys!  The elephants were quite something.
I also played Graham Evans's very splendid Battle of Northampton game.  This is appearing at several shows and I urge you to have a go. It features no toy soldiers whatsoever - the large blocks represent 'battles' and banners are removed to reflect casualties.  I managed to suffer a sound defeat but I feel that my pre-battle burning of Northampton was at least a moral victory!

Friday, 26 August 2016

Somme enchanted evening

A couple of weeks after the Somme game reported here earlier I ran a cut-down version at the Sheffield club.  Why cut-down?  Two reasons:
1. pressure of time - I wanted it to be playable in an evening
2. I had to provide almost 100% of the kit!
Among the news items I had prepared for this game was the German battery above.  An Emhar model and figures.  The dog came with a toy wagon.
With my own bodged tranches and bunkers and the help of Martin's trenches we constructed a German front line over 20 feet across!
John entered into the spirit of things with his (plastic) helmet.  Martin and new chap Tom also joined the Brits.  The Jerries were led by er, Jerry.

Fokkers balloon busting.  Or trying to.
Looking across the playing area - with the players trying to look as if they're not involved...

 British recce gets hit by 'party popper' flak.
The British artillery fire concentrated on a few targets.  And even hit some of them.
Martin (in a hessian covered repro helmet) and John looking like a pair of dodgy Airfix re-casts.
My Hannover got into action.  Well for photographs anyway.

 When the troops went 'over the top' the result was all too predictible.

The wicked Germans skulking in their fortifications.

Once again most of the harvest of death was gathered by the German machine guns.  These are plastic recasts of old Charbens Russians with Armies in Plastic heads.

Casualty rates were similar to the original game.  And indeed the original battle.