Friday 26 August 2011

Claudian Hail Caesar Campaign - New Map

Boudica - Queen of the Iceni

She was "possessed of greater intelligence than often belongs to women ... tall, had hair described as reddish-brown or tawny hanging below her waist, a harsh voice and a piercing glare, and habitually wore a large golden necklace (perhaps a torc), a many-coloured tunic, and a thick cloak fastened by a brooch."

Model by Warlord Games

Tuesday 23 August 2011

Trench Foot

I bought some Amera trenches for my Siege of Vraks Army and have ony just got around to painting them. The set above was painted in various sprays from Tamira, Army Painter and Humbrol to give a churned ground appearance and then finished with Citadel matt varnish. The later is vicious so is useful for blurring in paint graduations. There is also a potential problem with thin plastic of paint flake so I am hoping that the varnish will stiffen it up a bit.

Another set of trenches with some ruined buildings. I coated these in B&Q stained wood varnish, recoated with Citadel matt to take off the shine. This gives a more muddy appearance. I added a few chipped stone decorations to represent broken up masonry.

On a piece not shown here I painted on a veneer of white glue. This worked well at rigidising the plastic. Add rigidising to refudiate and misunderestimate in the dictionary of dog-English. Dog-English is like dog-Latin only without the class.

We will have to see how durable these paint jobs are.

Amera are very good value for money and offer a reliable service. The advantage of polystyrene plastic over resin is cost and ease of storage (lightness). Disadvantage is that the paint can be subject to flaking off.

The trenches are nicely wide so suitable for 28mm models. The daisy gives an idea of scaleThere are additional pieces avalable such as 'T' pieces and bunkers.


Sunday 21 August 2011

Shaw's Corner

A front view of George Bernard Shaw's House at Shaw's Corner in Ayot St Lawrence. Not a bad pad for a revolutionary socialist. It is now managed by the National Trust, recently called a left wing organisation by one of our loonier right wing MPs for opposing changing the law to allow his speculator mates to concrete over Southern England. When Shaw moved in Ayot St Lawrence was not attached to public utilities so the house had its own well and pump.

 A rear view of the house.

Shaw's writing shed. It was rotatable to track the sun. It is now deep in shadow from trees but I suspect it had an open vista in Shaw's time.


Another view of the rear of the house.

The view from the back garden: I suspect the trees would have been lower.

I am no botanist but I suspect this is a wild English rose.

Thursday 18 August 2011

Saturday 13 August 2011

Roman Invasion of Britain AD 43 - Hail Caesar Campaign

Roman Invasion of Britain AD43 - Campaign Map

These campain rules are only in note form for playtesting so far. They are designed for Hail Caesar but could be adapted for any system, or war come to that. Imperials (Rome) versus Orks (Celts) anyone?

Key: The numbers represent locations where battles are fought and British armies raised. They are named after the British living in the region. Most of the southern and eastern tribes were Belgae. The lines indicate permitted movements from one location to another. The arrow indicates the first Roman move which must be an invasion of Kent, the Cantiaci.

1. Cantiaci, Resist on 6+, Revolt on 9+, Roman Invasion starts here
2. Regni, Resist on 9+, Revolt on 10+
3. Atrebartes, Resist on 7+, Revolt on 9+
4. Belgae, Resist on 5+, Revolt on 8+
5. Durotriges, Resist on 9+, Revolt on 10+
6. Dumnomii, Resist on 8+, Revolt on 10+
7. Trinovantes, Resist on 9+, Revolt on 8+
8. Iceni, Resist on 10+, Revolt on 7+
9. Dobunii, Resist on 9+, Revolt on 10+
10. Cornovii, Resist on 9+, Revolt on 10+
11. Corieltavi, Resist on 9+, Revolt on 10+
12. Catuvellauni, Resist on 6+, Revolt on 8+
13. Deceangli, Resist on 9+, Revolt on 10+
14. Ordovices, Resist on 9+, Revolt on 10+
15. Mona, Resist on 2+
16. Silures, Resist on 2+
17. Demetae, Resist on 9+, Revolt on 10+

Battle Terrain Notes.
Any battle may take place in open gaps between forests, except at Mona
1. Battles at locations 1 & 2 tend to take place at river fords
2. Battles at locations 7 & 8 tend to take place amid swamps, lakes, streams etc.
3. Battles at locations 3, 4, 5, 6 tend to occur at hill forts
4. Battles at locations 14, 16 & 17 ten to occur in mountainous terrain
5. A battle at location 15, Mona, is an opposed landing

Army list deviations from Hail Caesar.
1. South Eastern tribes may be cavalry and chariot heavy.
2. Welsh tribes are infantry only with limited light cavalry
3. A Mona army is fanatic heavy

Troop Scale

The Roman army in this period was organised in legionairy cohorts of around 500 men (at full strength, which they were not) and non-Roman auxiliary battalions of 500 (or sometimes 1000). One point of troops in the campaign game equals around 1,500 men (three cohorts or auxiliary units).

The Romans started with Four Legions, the 2nd Augusta, 9th Hispana, 14th Gemina and 20th Valeria Victrix. They would have been accompanied by an equivalent number of auxiliary alae (cavalry) and infantry units of various typess.

The Roman player can break up or recombine his army to garrison different locations as he sees fit. Keep track of how many points of troops are in which location and where Vespasion is located (unless he is killed).

Roman generals are rated as 8, except for Vespasian who is a 9.

Exactly how many troops is represented by a stand on the table is up to the players: however...

I use a stand of ten Roman infantry models with a 10cm frontage to represent 3 cohorts or auxilliary units, i.e.  one point. The Roman player may take a single scorpion model for free for every three legionaire stands in his army. An auxillary medium cavalry stand has six models on a 75mm frontage and is also worth one point. For every two light cavalry unit chosen the player may take a small light cavalry unit for free.

A legion would normally three legionaire stands and three auxilliary stands and is worth six points. The  Roman force starts at 24 points.

The Roman player must keep track of troop losses due to the total destruction of units in battles. Roman losses are a military and political issue for the Roman player and cannot easily be replaced.

A Celtic warband stand on a 10cm frontage (10-12 models) and is woth one point. The Celtic player may choose a free small skirmisher unit for every three warbands in his army. An medium cavalry stand has six models on a 75mm frontage and is also worth one point. For every two light cavalry or chariot units chosen, at one point each, the player may take a small light cavalry or charot unit for free.

The British had no standing armies so every time a Celtic army is raised roll a dice and consult the table below for the number of points of troops available.

Die Roll   Troop Points
1            2
2            4
3            5
4            6
5            8
6            12

An army can only be raised from each location once, so if a location resists then in cannot ever revolt, and it can only revolt once.

All locations start as British. They immediately become Roman once a Roman Force is the only army at the location. Similarly a Roman controlled location reverts to Celtic control immediately if a Celtic army is the only army at the location.

There has to be a battle when Celtic and Roman army occupy the same location.

A player only has twelve points available no matter  how many points of troops he has avaiable at the location. The player who loses the battle must retreat to a friendly location along a line. His whole army (including unengaged troops) is destroyed if no friendly location is available to retreat into.

Game Sequence.
Roman player moves a single Roman force along a line to a location. If the location contains a Celtic army then there is a battle If the location is Celtic controlled and has not yet raised an army then the Celtic player rolls two dice and compares the sum to the Resist Number for the tribe at that location. If the tribe resists then roll a die to see how many warriors turn out and fight the resulting battle.

The Roman player gets a second turn as above.

If the Celtic has an army (ar armies) on the table he may select one to move along a line to a new location fighting a battle or taking control of a location as necessary.

The second turn of the Celtic player is slightly different. The player may select a single region under Roman control that has not yet raised an army and try to persuade it to revolt. He rolls two dice and cosults the revolt number for the tribe. If successful roll one die to see how many warriors turn out.

Celtic generals are rated at seven except for  Caratacus of the Catuvellauni, and Boudicca of the Iceni, whoare rated as 9. Unless Caratacus is killed in battle he is moved to any available Celtic controlled location by the Celtic player if his army is destroyed. Boudicca is destroyed with her army, as is Vespasian.

Play for ten turns and then count who has the most locations to assess victory, one point per location. Mona is worth three points.

Wednesday 10 August 2011

New British APCs

Pursuant to the Military Spending review the Challengers and Warrior armoured fighting vehicles are to be replaced by a new cheaper lightweight vehicle known as the Boudicca.

The MoD has high hopes of its utility in dealing with urban rioters, whose heads will be hung on the battle standards as momentos.

The Mk2 version will have scythes.

Trelissick Gardens

The south coast of Cornwall is the mildest climate in mainland Britain. Here are some photos I took on my recent trip to Cornwall when we popped into Trelissick Gardens for lunch. The National Trust do a great soup lunch.

I was amused to hear a government minister describe the National Trust as a radical left organisation, the National Trust???, because they oppose his plans to allow the Corps to concrete over places like this.

Tuesday 9 August 2011

Vespasian in the Westcountry

In 44 AD, the Legate of the Legion 2nd Augusta, the future Emperor Vespasian, left Noviomagus in the territory of the Atrebates to subdue the Westcountry which was guarded by many impressive hill forts that are still visible today. He marched through Hampshire, Wiltshire, Dorset, Somerset and Devon following the line more or less of the A303 until he reached the land of the Cornovi - the Cornish. The only two Roman tin mines known in Britain are in North Cornwall - one at Treloy Farm which is farmed by the Paul family. I went to school with one of the Pauls and used to help with the harvest.

Cornwall is almost an island, seperated from the rest of England by the River Tamar. Shaun and I decided to refight Vespasian's forcing of the upper Tamar on his way to Bodmin. The most western Roman fort is near Bodmin at Nanstallon.

The pic shows the Tamar from a northern viewpoint. There are three fords. The Cornovi have warbands and slingers guarding the southerly fords and cavalry and chariots up at the northern. The 2nd Augusta have set up an artillery battery to give cover as they storm the southern fords. Vespasian has sent a single auxilliary cavaly unit to the northern ford to guard it.

Viewpoint from the east. The five cohorts in the first wave have crossed the fords in two groups with the  right flank alae (cavalry) in support. Three warbands charge in association with the chariots who sweep in from the north, wiping out two cohorts. The other three cohorts take a defensive position on a hill and wait for reinforcement.

The left alae cross the northern ford but are driven off by twice their number of British cavalry. The second line of five cohorts cross the river.

The chariots and two warbands break under the pressure of the Roman second line despite a ferocious fight. The remaining warbands put up an incredible show, refusing to break despite being compresseded into a disorganised mass and pushed backwards (I kept throwing 11s and 12s on the morale dice). The Cornovi have nowhere to run. Beyond Cornwall is only the World Ocean.

The Romans destroy the last of the Cornovi, but the 2nd Agusta has been badly mauled losing a quarter of its legionnaires and half the auxilliary cavalry. Britain is not going to be a pushover. After the battle, the 2nd Augusta moved into legionary barracks in Exeter in Devonshire.

 Shaun took the part of Vespacian and, as a trueborn son of Cornwall, I played the unknown Cornovi chieftan. We used Priestly's Hail Caesar Rules and 200 point armies. Congrats to Shaun for a well deserved victory.

Good Game, Good Game.

I am seriously thinking of producing a campaign game for The Invasion of Britain to use with Hail Caesar.

Saturday 6 August 2011

The Fal

I had to make a fast trip down to Cornwall, land of my fathers, to see an unwell relative in the Royal at Truro. While there a took some pics of The Fal, the largest ria on the South Coast of Cornwall that has Truro and Falmouth on its banks. This was a mainly agricultural region when I was a child. My Scout Troop used to camp here. Now it is a sort of dispersed upmarket retirement suburb. The original Treasure Island was filmed here. South Cornwall is almost subtropical. Pineapples can be grown outdoors. The pic shows the Fal at Malpas, Truro.

The King Harry Ferry. This is a chain ferry, also known as a moving bridge.

Looking down the Fal.

Another view of the King Harry.

Restronguet Creek where my father moored his motor cruiser. There is a strong French influence on S, Cornwall. Frenchman's Creek is nearby.

Restronguet. We used to lunch on Cornish scrumpy and pasties bought from the Pandora Inn which was Medieval. Unfortunately, it burnt down recently - thatched roofs do that.

The Fal at Trelissic.

The Fal is used top 'park' resting ships as it is very deep. As the recession bites oil tankers will end up here.

Wednesday 3 August 2011

The Wild Side Published

The Wild Side is now available at Amazon.UK for UK Readers.

In the USA is is available from Amazon.Com or the usual Baen Book outlets.