Saturday, 11 July 2015

The last of the Numidians, plus a bonus

Well, the last of the Numidians for a while:
Two command stands for all those light horse. Figs by Crusader Miniatures.
Standards taken from the Wargames Factory Numidian light infantry box.
These guys will soon be stepping out against the Romans in the campaign.
Here's hoping this is not the result! Wargames Factory plastics as casualties.
Plus an extra for a change. Quite a few years ago now I happened to be painting a Xyston 15mm Macedonian force for Mike at the Phoenix Club. I noticed that Xyston had just produced a very few 25mm personality figures, one of them being Alexander the Great. I finally got round to painting him after he languished in a box.
Nice to paint something slightly different for a change. I may give him away to some deserving participant at Hydaspes at Claymore in Edinburgh. We shall see.

I finally did a tally of my painting so far this year: 255 foot; 37 cavalry; 12 Battle Camels; and two Indian elephants with crew. Next up: more Romans, plus some bits and pieces for Willie.

Welcoming a Couple of New Names

William, and Ariel the Dark Viking (sort of!) - thanks to both for joining. I only saw your thumbnails once I got over all the Sertorian excitement...

Thursday, 9 July 2015

Sertorius and Pompey: the Conclusion

A view from Sertorius' centre as his legions push forward against their wavering Pompeian foes.
On Sertorius' right, my victorious Spanish continue to press forward. The Roman cavalry reserve falls back in the face of superior numbers. However, their continued presence will stop me swinging into the centre.
Patchy fighting continues on the other wing. Most attention is now concentrated on the final act of the legionary combat in the centre of the field.
Taken from the left rear of the Sertorians, the photo above shows one of the main decision points: the leftmost of his three legions is being put under extra pressure by Pompeians who have been able to swing in this direction after seeing off the Celtiberians who were supposed to keep them occupied. The Helmet of Ares, also known as cheap Greek tourist tat, looks on impassively. We use it as an initiative marker.
The centre.
Another view of the centre. Pompey's legions are really starting to crack.
And the rout begins. The Pompeian legion facing a combination of Sertorians and Spanish finally breaks.
It's not all bad news for Pompey, though, as his Italian auxiliaries destroy a unit of Spanish foot and break through towards the ridge line facing them - you can see them advancing at the top of the photo above. A second unit of Spanish fails its morale on seeing its friends rout.
Unfortunately for Pompey, though, the victorious Spanish towards the centre are able to exploit and put even more pressure on the next legion in the line.
Pompey throws in almost all of his remaining third line reserves.
It's looking grim for the Pompeian centre...
A low level shot shows the mounting casualties.
This is the only point of true hope for Pompey - a couple of cohorts from his rightmost legion are able to help out their compatriots. But they just can't do the damage needed.
Pompey's lines are becoming ragged as exhaustion sets in.

Two more of Pompey's legions reach the critical point and run for it, and the rest of the army retires. The leftmost Sertorian legion could only have taken two more hits, and one of the others only had eight left, so it was all very close indeed. However, Sertorian quality told in the end, as was indeed Sertorius' (Larry's) intention from the outset. It can be a bit of a grind this legion on legion thing, but it sure is brutal!

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Sertorius against Pompey: the heat is on

The heat is turning up right across the field. More photos supplied by Colin, from Pompey's perspective:
At the far right of the field, the Gallic contingent of Pompey's forces is having a really bad time against the masses of Spanish Caetrati - hence the ominous gap in the photo above. The cavalry will have to attack to try to stem the white tide.
Meanwhile, back on our flank, a civilised little war is taking place. My Spanish have broken through, only for the foot to be faced with Pompey's reserve of Roman heavy cavalry.
The struggle in the centre between the legions intensifies. Several of Pompey's legions are feeling the pressure from Sertorius' veterans.
However, the demise of the Celtiberians has provided the rightmost Pompeian legion with an opportunity to lap round onto the now open flank of Sertorius' legions. The terrain will, however, slow this down. The question is can the Pompeians here relieve the pressure on their comrades in the middle, or will Sertorius break through first?
The photo above shows the same gap from the flank view: Pompeians to the left of the picture as you look at it.
Back on our own flank at the other end of the battle, my Spanish cavalry mop up the remaining Numidian light infantry.
How it is beginning to look from Colin's side at this point: the Spanish are threatening to break through.
My foot have advance on the Roman heavies, while at the top of the photo you can see Colin's Italian auxiliary infantry having a good time against one of the other Spanish infantry blocks.
The cunning Romans pull back one of the cavalry units to buy more time: a low level shot of how it all looks to them.
Another low level shot, this time of the struggle more into the centre: Pompeian Romans against the rest of the Spanish infantry. This Roman legion is beginning to show worrying signs of exhaustion, since they are also fighting part of a Sectarian legion.
At the far side, though, the Pompeians who saw off the Celtiberians have arrived to add their weight against the endmost of the Sertorians - but will it be too late?
Further off to the right, the Gallic auxiliaries are bogged down against more of Sertorius' allies.
More of the same. You can tell these are Gauls and not legionaries because although they have the same equipment as the Romans, they have kept their cloaks.
A higher level shot shows the whole situation at the right of Pompey's line. Just off to the right of the photo, the Caetrati are on the rampage. Looks like Pompey has lost that bit of the battle.
And this part: my Spanish cavalry are having fun.
In the centre, the final lines have gone in as Pompey tries to shore up the line.
Here, though, Pompey is having some local success: more of the Celtiberians have run away, this time from the Gallic auxiliaries. At the top of this photo you can see some legionaries piling in against the flank of Sertorius' legions.

More to come in another post as the fighting reaches its climax: will the pressure on the flank of the Sartorial legions become too much, or will they hold their nerve and crack Pompey's centre?

Monday, 6 July 2015

Sertorius and Pompey: The Reckoning.

Colin sent loads of photos of the game, so here we go:
His photos seem to be of a different resolution to me, but I hope you can make them out okay. The good thing about someone else taking pictures is that they have a different perspective to mine, and since he was my opposite number on the field, many of these are taken from the Roman side. First up is a nice shot of some of his Numidian command, above.
This one shows his guys being threatened by my Spanish Heavy Cavalry. This is where the narrative left off in my previous post of the battle.
A nice one of my Spanish commander. Colin took quit a few close-ups, which is nice because it means we get to see more of the figures in detail.
His Roman cavalry hold in reserve.
How my large blocks of Spanish foot look from the Pompeian perspective. The Italian auxiliaries are waiting for them at the right of the photo as you look at it.
Roman versus Roman - so everyone else wins! I used my earlier Republican figures to proxy for Sertorius' lads, because I don't yet have enough of the later guys painted. It does make for a nice visual differentiation between the sides, though.
Another one of Roman on Roman action, as seen from behind Pompey's lines.
A close-up shows more detail.
A bit of a conversation provides some relief from all the mincing going on in the middle of the field. Colin was part of the crew that recently put on an enormous Waterloo game in 20mm, including large numbers of plastic casualty figs. He quite liked the 'clock' markers I have, so he took some time out to have a look. Above is a dead Numidian infantryman.
The reverse side of the figure base can be seen at the bottom of the photo above: a bit of self-adhesive magnetic flexi-stuff. At the top of the photo is one side of the 'clock', showing its self-adhesive steel paper. There's a bit of this on both sides, making the marker reversible, and giving casualty numbers from 1-12 and then 13-24. I also have 25-36 for those times when low numbers just aren't enough.
Billy on the left, Colin on the right as you look at it; aka Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus and Maharbal or something. Billy insisted that I take one of himself with Colin because that's one he doesn't have!
Moving back to the battle. Here we see my Spanish munching their way through Colin's Numidians a bite at a time, with his Roman heavy horse remaining in reserve - no point in committing everything at once. Pompey is basically sacrificing the Numidians on this wing to keep the Spanish heavy cavalry away from the flanks of the infantry off to the right of the photo.
I like this one: the massed struggle in the centre. Sertorius' volley of pila is more effective than that of the Pompeians, and the gladius work begins.
Off to the right of the main legionary battle lines, the Gallic auxiliaries fighting for Pompey have lined up against the Celtiberians. Terrain is rather broken in this part of the field. The guys at the bottom of the photo are my Roman-armed Gauls.
A nice close-up of Pompey's legionaries mixing it with wild Celtiberians coming from a wood - the cloud of dust denotes a mad charge.
More nastiness in the centre of the field. Legion against legion is a real grudge match.
Back on our flank, the Spanish cavalry charges home against the thin brownish line of Numidian foot.
The Roman heavy cavalry faces off against my advancing Spanish foot. Don't worry, though, these Romans have a cunning plan. At the top right of the photo you can see Pompey's North Italian clients hacking their way merrily into another unit of Spaniards.
The carnage continues in the centre of the field, hence all the casualty markers. Pompey's third line patiently awaits its turn.
There's good news for Pompey from the right of the field, though - the Gallic auxiliaries have handily seen off the Celtiberians. It all happened rather suddenly with a bit of a morale collapse. The puffs of dust now denote routing tribesmen.

Phew! There's plenty more to come, but I think this is enough for now...

Quick edit: it turns out that these photos aren't clickable, but if you zoom in using your browser you should be okay. Thanks to Colin for providing the pictures!