Heretical Gaming is my blog about my gaming life, featuring small skirmishes and big battles from many historical periods (and some in the mythic past or the far future too). The focus is on battle reports using a wide variety of rules, with the occasional rules review, book review and odd musing about the gaming and history. Most of the battles use 6mm-sized figures and vehicles, but occasionally 15mm and 28mm figures appear too.

Monday 16 November 2020

Hobby Update 16th November 2020

 I haven't managed to get as many games in as I might have liked recently, although I have made some steady progress on my Gallic War campaign.  58BC and 57BC have passed, and I am well into 56BC now, so perhaps I am just past a quarter of the way through the campaign now.  I haven't done lots of painting either, a combination of work, education, family and illness.  The education bit should ease off however - I got my Masters degree at the end of October, and although I have another exam on a different subject in December, the slackening off of those pressures should lead to a little more time for games.

What I have managed to finish is a platoon of Soviet WW2 infantry, along with a couple of T-34s to support them:

These were from the Plastic Soldier Company, and they were pretty nice.  I did one T-34/76 and one T-34/85, which more or less suit for the entire war.  I will get some more vehicles to support them in due course, naturally.  I would like a few soldiers with the SVT-40  Along with the 6mm Soviets I got from 2d6 Wargaming, that puts me in a position to do any Platoon-size scenario on the Eastern Front.

Otherwise, I recently celebrated my birthday and got a few gaming-related items, all of them suggested/recommended by people on The Wargames Website:

Firstly, there was Lipscombe's recent Atlas of the War of the Three Kingdoms:

I haven't read it in detail yet, but I have spent a couple of hours browsing and it looks really nice.  It is fairly comprehensive, if not totally so (no map of Tippermuir, for example) but it has most of the actions you would expect in there, and some of the smaller ones.  The campaign movements, accompanying narrative and orders of battle aren't neglected either.  Just like his earlier Peninsular War Atlas, it is a really lovely-looking thing.

I played a game with 'Fire Fight' a few months back, which led to some comparisons and confusion with the contemporaneous boardgame 'Firepower'; I remember wishing I had this in the mid-eighties, and now I have managed to get a copy.  It looks of its time, but still very interesting and I am looking forward to getting this onto the table soon.

I try to think about my next campaigns a year or two in advance of playing them, and I was recommended 'Britannia' as a possible engine for campaigns in Britain set between the last days of the Roman Empire and the Norman Conquest.  This is more of a 'slow burn' project, but I will try to have a proper look over Christmas and see what changes I need to make to convert it into a solo campaign engine.  I believe that a new edition has just come out too.

Tuesday 10 November 2020

The Gallic War: 57BC

57BC began with Ariovistus planning a combined attack on the Treveri.  Unfortunately, his attack badly miscarried, when his flanking attack failed to materialize at The Battle of the Five Hills.  Ariovistus led the majority of his Germans back into the lands of the Leuci, although his cavalry were forced to retreat across the Rhine instead.

Caesar used the opportunity presented by this rather fortunate victory to re-organize his forces: the XIII & XIV Legions forced march to bolster the Aedui; X, XI, XII Legions and the cavalry moveed to support the Boii; and VII & VIII Legions move to Narbo.

His attempt to win on the battlefield foiled, Ariovistus resorted to diplomacy and skulduggery...which worked fine, inducing the Treveri to revolt against their Roman allies!  Yet again however, Roman pugilism remedied what Roman strategy had lost, beating off the Treveri turncoats. XIII & XIV Legions then force marched to support IX Legion in Treveri territory; meanwhile the Aedui marched to join the Mandubii.  

Realizing his position had become very exposed, Ariovistus called  further reinforcements across the Rhine to join him.  Caesar meanwhile moved his armies further forwards, the X Legion & Roman Cavalry force marching to support the Mandubii; XI Legion, XII Legion & the Boii moving to Aedui territory

Again turning to the pen (and the coin), Ariovistus used diplomacy to bring the Arverni to the Germanic side.  Not to be dissuaded, Caesar attacked Ariovistus in the land of the Leuci, hoping to destroy the revolt at source.  However, Caesar's use of Gallic allies rather than Roman legionaries, as well as Ariovistus use of a strong defensive position, meant that Caesar's attack miscarried with very heavy losses amongst the Gauls.

Despite his victory, Ariovistus army was not really in any position to take the military offensive, so he resumed his diplomatic offensive and recruited the Veneti to his cause; Caesar's military might was temporarily dissipated too however, and he instead used his powers of persuasion to end the revolt of the Averni.


 Game Notes: It was all going so well for Caesar until Ariovistus somewhat unlikely victory.  This has gained the German leader some respite to rebuild his forces, although it is very likely that Caesar will next look to seal off the Rhine frontier and make any further attacks by Ariovistus risky in the extreme.  Ariovistus had some diplomatic successes, although not perhaps large enough to counteract the Romans's military advances.