Wednesday, May 23, 2018

The Battle of Omdurman

This past Saturday, Manny hosted the battle of Omdurman at his home.   The rules used were Reckless Daring written by Manny and published by Hoplite Research.  I was Kitchner and commanded the mounted troops on the right flank.   Gill commanded the British infantry in the center, while Nick and Alan commanded the Egyptian and Sudanese infantry on the left flank.   Mahdi Manny commanded our opponents with Richard in charge of the right flank, John leading the center and Jim arriving from off table on my right.   We also had a large artillery park consisting of two medium gun batteries, one howitzer battery, and four machine gun batteries.  The original plan for the game was to require the British forces to advance up the river and take the city, but due to space limitations this was not included.

I assigned the howitzers and one machine gun battery to Nick and Alan.   Except for two artillery sections and one machinegun section the rest of our guns were under Gill's command and interspersed amongst the infantry battalions.   Since our European troops would have suffered from heat and dehydration if they advanced too far from the river our plan was to hold our positions and let the Mahdists break themselves on our defenses.

The battle began with an aggressive advance by Richard against Alan and Nick and a cautious advance by John in the center.   Richard attempted to charge into Nick and Alan's infantry, but his charges were either halted by gunfire or driven back with heavy casualties.   John held back and only advanced to just over halfway across the table.  Gill was able to inflict some long range casualties with his artillery and caused one of John's infantry units to break.  Gill had the Guards battalion and one of the Highlander battalions in reserve.  The snipers on the hill never had an effect on the battle as they were our of range of our defenses.

I had most of the camel corps and mounted infantry dismount and occupy the buildings on my flank with a couple of squadrons mounted in reserve.   For the first two turns I had been waiting for the enemy to attack on my flank, but had not seen anyone in front of me.  Manny and JIm then announced that a large dust cloud was approaching from my right.  This was followed by the arrival of about half of Jim's command.  The next turn I charged the 21st Lancers into the two units on his left next to the river.   The Lancers quickly drove them from the field.  The left two squadrons continued their charge into the next group of infantry to their left and drove them from the field also.   I had been able to halt the two squadrons on the right and had them reform, but the left two squadrons continued their pursuit off the table.   They were to return later.   I had to recall the right two squadrons towards the buildings before they could finish reforming to avoid flanking artillery fire from Jim.   Jim quickly advanced the rest of his command towards the buildings as more of his infantry arrived.   His advance came under fire from my guns and the two reserve camel units that I had moved up and dismounted to support the guns.   The 21st recovered and with the rest of the squadrons arriving drove more of Jim's infantry from the field triggering a morale check for his command.   The morale test failed and Jim's troops fled the field. 

At one point our gunboat came under attack when it was boarded by enemy troops on boats in the river.   The better quality naval crew was able to drive off the two waves of attacks, but suffered heavy casualties.

At this point our opponents conceded the battle.   Nick and Alan had suffered some casualties, but had done an excellent job of holding off Richard's attacks.   Gill had held his position and his artillery fire and his strong position had kept John at bay.   Manny had some additional troops in reserve on the far side of the table from me.   While the 21st was a bit worn from combat the other 10 squadrons of mounted infantry that I had would have been able to advance and start rolling up the enemy's left flank even with Manny's reserve command  to oppose them.
Overall view of the battlefield with Egyptian and Sudanese infantry in foreground.
 Artillery and machineguns
 The gunboat.
 The mounted command
 Enemy snipers on the hill
 Enemy right flank (at bottom) and center commands
 Mounted infantry deployed in buildings with part in reserve.  21st Lancers at bottom right outside built up area.  
 British infantry and guns defending works
 Our left flank.  Nick's command at far left.  Alan's command at buildings
 Jim's command arrives on my right flank and the 21st Lancers charge into action.
 John's command arrives on far edge of table
 Near the end of the battle just before Jim's command broke.   
 John slowly advances towards Gill and gets to about the middle of the table.
Richard's attack on our left flank is halted by gunfire.

Alan was kind enough to send the pictures he took of the game.   The following were all taken by him.  Thanks to Alan for allowing me to post them.
 Part of Alan's command in front of buildings.  Highlanders in building.
 View of front of British infantry behind works
 our gunners prepare their weapons.
 21st Lancers
 Richard's command advancing
 Awaiting the onslaught

 Mahdists form up
 Nick's command   mahdist infantry has been disorganized by fire
 Mahdist casualties mount.
 Gill in red John towards the back and me wearing the mandatory helmet provided by Manny. .  Nick and Alan's  forces are almost untouched
 21st Lancers attack the second group of infantry.  They would chase them off the field.
 Mahdist infantry make contact with Nicks command 
Mahdist infantry about to be thrown back 
 John's command advancing
The 21st strikes again routing this unit would cause the morale test for Jim's command.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Industrial Park

Finished assembling a set of industrial buildings and a factory from IliadaGameStudio    Most paper buildings are usually residential structures or churches.  Modern industrial buildings are rare.   I added a residential house from one of the other sets to the factory to make an office annex. 

The industrial set includes a page of pavement.   I printed that on paper and cut sections from it for parking areas and driveways.   Thanks to the texturing of the pavement the seams where the sections are joined on the modular sections are almost invisible.  I used white glue to adhere the pavement to the mat board and glue the buildings in place.  In a couple of places this caused a few stains that added  the effect of oil stains from vehicles.

In addition to the three round tanks, three rectangular buildings, and two Quonset huts the industrial set also includes nine 40 foot containers one of which is the red one at the center right.  There are two additional structures that can be added as desired on the building at the top right.

The buildings are on modular sections that can be arranged in various ways.


Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Eumenes 2 vs Antigonas 0 part 2

The second game was played on Sunday at the Miniature Wargaming Society of Sacramento.   The first game can be viewed at http://18clovehamhock.blogspot.com/2018/04/eumenes-2-vs-antigonas-0-part-one.html   Gary and Dave commanded Antigonos' army while John and John commanded Eumene's troops.

The armies for both games were as follows.   Where two numbers are shown for number of units this indicates left and right flanks respectively.  Troop numbers and types are based on the discussion on the Society of Ancients forum from the past year.  In Scutarii ach unit represents 500 infantry, 300 cavalry or four elephants.  Infantry and cavalry units have two bases each and elephants have one base.

Antigonos
UNIT
ATTACK
DEFENSE
MISSILE
MOVE
MORALE
POINTS
UNITS
POINTS
ANTIGONOS
ADD 1
X
X
14"
+/- 1 OR 0
free
1
0
Generals
ADD 1
X
X
14"
+/- 1 OR 0
free
9
0
Bodyguard
5
5
X
12"
11
12
0,1
12
Companion
4
5
X
12"
11
11
7,3
110
Heavy Cav.
3
5
(2")
12", 14"
10
8
5,3
64
Thracian horse
3
4
(2")
12", 14"
11
8
0,3
24
Horse Archers
2
4
4"
12", 14"
11
9
3,0
27
Mercenary horse
3
5
(2")
12", 14"
11
9
0.2
18
Tarantine cavalry
3
5
(2")
12", 14"
11
10
1,0
10
Macedonian phalanx
3
6
X
6"
11
9
16
144
Pantipodoi
3
6
X
6"
10
8
16
128
Mercenary Peltast
3
5
(2")
6", 8"
11
8
12
96
Lycians etc
3
5
(2")
6", 8"
11
7
6
42
Elephamt and Lt Inf escort
4
6
4"
8"
10
13
16
208
883
Eumenes
UNIT
ATTACK
DEFENSE
MISSILE
MOVE
MORALE
POINTS
UNITS
POINTS
EUMENES
ADD 1
X
X
14"
+/- 1 OR 0
free
1
0
Generals
ADD 1
X
X
14"
+/- 1 OR 0
free
9
0
Bodyguard
5
5
X
12"
11
12
0,1
12
Companion
4
5
X
12"
11
11
6,4
99
Heavy Cav.
3
5
(2")
12", 14"
10
8
1,2
24
Light Cav
3
4
(2")
12", 14"
10
7
2.2
28
Thracian horse
3
4
(2")
12", 14"
11
8
2,0
16
HYP and Silver Shield pike
4
6
X
6"
11
10
12
120
Mercenary Phalanx
3
6
X
6"
11
9
12
108
Pantipodoi
3
6
X
6"
10
8
10
80
Light Infantry
2
4
6"
6", 8"
10
6
24
144
Elephamt and Lt Inf escort
4
6
4"
8"
10
13
31
403
1034

This time the Antigonid left flank cavalry was not as aggressive.  The horse archers did move out to the flank and skirmished with opposing cavalry, but the other cavalry remained where it was in the battle line.   The elephants of both armies engaged each other.  On the other flank Antigonos' cavalry was gaining the upper hand and had driven off some of the opposing cavalry.   The opposing phalanxes eventually made contact and after a drawn out fight lasting much longer than the previous game the Silver Shields again routed their opponents.   The rout of the Antigonid center ended the battle with Gary and Dave conceding the game.   Losses for Eumenes were about 1000 with over 15,000 of Antigonos' men routing.   Pictures below.

 Initial dispositions viewed from the hills.
 Antigonos advances with the horse archers at the far end moving to the Eumenid flank.
 Euminid commanders John and John
 Antigonid commanders Gary on left and Dave on the right with an observer.
 The armies advance.
 View from the open flank as mercenaries and elephants make contact.
 View from the hills as the opposing elephants collide and the Antigonid phalanx attacks some of them.
 overview of the battlefield.
 A gap opens in the Antigonid line as some of the mercenaries flee from the elephants.
 The phalanxes clash.
 view from the other side
 Both sides start to take casualties
 view of the battlefield from the hills
 inconclusive fighting on the open flank
 view from behind the elephants and light infantry.  unengaged Antigonid heavy cavalry in right rear of picture.
 Chris joined the game later on the Antigonid side taking over the phalanx.
 Antigonid phalanx in trouble as most of the units become shaken
 another view of the fighting as the left flank of the Euminid phalanx advances to take the place of the elephants that were driven off.  Based on discussions on the Society of Ancients forum where it was noted that other than Magnesia and Zama it appeared to be that elephants would leave usually leave the battle instead of routing, we had them depart if they became shaken during a morale test.
Final view of the battlefield.  Chris had just tested the morale of the phalanx units as once again the Silver Shields routed their opponents..  One unit of the Euminid pantipodoi is routing near the center of the picture, but had no effect on the other units.