Advisory Note

Please Note: This blog contains poorly painted toy soldiers that may offend those of an aesthetically sensitive disposition.

Monday, 10 April 2023

An Age Undreamed of (Part the Second)


The slaying of a Priest of Mitra, one Sopious, by Stygian Assassins from the priesthood of Set, led to the raising of an army from amongst the loose affiliation of City States that makes up Corinthia. Once again it was that old warrior General Ilossmykies commanding the host that made the long march South. With orders to avenge the Church of Mitra, the Corinthian force aimed to destroy a Stygian Seminary just South of the River Styx' near to the City of Luxur.

Crossing war-torn Koth without incident, the Corinthians entered the rolling grassland of Shem.

Having received urgent dispatches from their spies in Corinthia, the Theocrats of Stygia sent a force into Shem to attack and delay their enemy, commanded by Bishop-General Pheerles.

Ilossmykies and the advance guard were probably half a day ahead of the main bulk of the Corinthian Army, moving as it was at the speed of the baggage train. Arriving at a deserted Manor house, the General determined to await the arrival of the rest of his men. It was at this point that the Stygian force appeared over the horizon. Both sides quickly took positions, cavalry and skirmishing archers leading the infantry. The Stygians had a slight numerical advantage but were mostly light troops. The Corinthians were all heavy types. 

A few scenes from the battle follow. It was a fairly standard affair with both sides bashing away at each other, falling back, advancing again etc (apologies for the blurry pics)

The Stygians, although half being lightly armed and unarmoured, made a good account of themselves pushing the Corinthians to Exhaustion Point (set at 50%) first.

As the Great Beetle maneuvered the Golden Orb of the Sun behind the hills, the two sides withdrew. The Stygians had succeeded in delaying the Corinthian advance, as Ilossmykies now had to patch up his Advance Guard and possibly rethink his strategy while awaiting the rest of the Army, who were approaching judging by the dust cloud to the North.

Friday, 7 April 2023

Another return to Hyboria?


Having discovered yesterday that there is going to be a specific Hyborian variant of the Portable War Game (PW), to be published in the Second PW Compendium (Ed. Bob Cordery), I've pulled out the boxfile of 20mm figures labelled "Hyboria" that I was preparing in 2020 (see Here). Mark Cordone is the author, and I'm really looking forward to trying the game.

I had forgotten that along with painting the Army of Corinthia, I'd also got some way with my Army of Stygia (the country South of the River Styx, full of sinister Set Worshipers). A few pictures follow for anyone who is interested in this sort of thing. The figures are from various manufacturers, some plastic and some metal.

Army of Corinthia - this was in 2020. Another 3 units of foot have been added

Army of Stygia - auxiliaries made of tribesmen from client states to the South of Stygia (Kush, Punt, Darfar etc)

 Stygian Heavy Infantry - the backbone of the Army

A Stygian Necromancer and "friends" - Robert Howard's Conan stories included a bit of magic though they are more Swords than Sorcery.

Looks like I've got enough for a game!

Thursday, 6 April 2023

Mini Campaign using OHW Scenarios Part 2

 Retreating back to the border after their raid into Red territory, Army Green find their way blocked; they must fight their way home. The successful counterattack by Army Red necessitated the playing of OHW Scenario 13 "Escape". Green must exit at least 3 units by the road to succeed.

Battle 3

At first glance it appears that a single battalion of infantry stand in the way of Army Green.

More units appear on the hill as the Green column advances.

And more...

Green's Commander, leading his cavalry, clears the last of Red's infantry from the road. The way is clear. Or is it? A further Red unit appears to replace it.

Despite being shot at from their rear, Green's infantry concentrate their fire forward before their cavalry charge in again to finish off the survivors 

Once again the road is clear and an orderly retreat resumed, giving and receiving fire

Green's escape ended the War. Red was hampered by a lack of cavalry and some terrible dice throwing.

Thanks to Martin Smith for sharing his Mini Campaign matrix which is shown with the permission of its author but remains Copyright M.Smith.

Monday, 3 April 2023

Mini Campaign using OHW scenarios Part 1

 A few days ago Martin Smith kindly sent me the plan of a Mini Campaign he has prepared using Scenarios from Neil Thomas's One Hour Wargames. The following summarizes the first two games with the concluding game to follow soon (I hope).

The Campaign is map-less, so naturally I thought I'd add a map; for colour.

   There has been a diplomatic incident involving the Kingdom of Azez (Red) and the Republic of Ora (Green); both sides have sent troops to the border but in their haste the forces are arriving piecemeal. ( I rolled for a choice of Game 1 from 3 scenarios offered and landed No.17 "Encounter"). For rules I'm using a house version of the Portable Wargame prepared for OHW (there's no Exhaustion Point, to reflect the zero morale rules in Thomas's book).

Battle 1

The sun was barely up over One Tree Hill when the two forces began arriving. Red was the first to get boots (or hooves anyway) on the objective.

Red's troops began appearing each turn and they quickly dominated the hill though the slower arriving Greens persistently attacked.

As evening fell it looked like Red would hold the hill, but as the sun slipped below the horizon, a gallant counter attack from Green stormed the objective. Red was reduced to such a small force that their commander was forced to slip away under cover of darkness or face annihilation. 

Green's victory led them to take a border town near a strategic bridge; controlling both is the key to Scenario 18 "Counter-Attack".

Battle 2A

Red had one unit holding the bridge (the rest of his force would arrive on turn 3). Green held the town and advanced towards the bridge. Due to poor reconnaissance, Green was unaware of the two fords (marked by patches of sand).

 As the main Red Army arrived Green held both of the objectives; the counter attack had to begin at once.

Whilst attacking the bridge, Red made use of the Fords which the Green Commander stubbornly refused to notice, even when he was being fired on by Irregulars crossing the river on one of them.

In a daring move, Red's Commander out flanked Green and personally led an attack, firstly destroying Green's artillery and then attacking the Town Garrison.

Late in the day, both sides had lost their Commanders and casualties were mounting. 

Red held the bridge and the town was surrounded on three sides. This time it was Army Green who were forced to withdraw from the field...

Saturday, 13 August 2022

Battle for the Green Hills

A blisteringly hot day outside so I thought I'd indulge in an indoor activity, and what better than a game using some Portable Wargame variant rules of my own; to wit Swords, Sorcery and Squares (published in Bob Cordery's PW Compendium).

A simple pitched battle was set up with an army of men commanded by Count Enarriere faced by an invading army of Darkness led by Lord Nul (a Lord of Chaos).

Army of Count Enarriere

General/Hero The Count 6SP
His Wizard, Fiddlestix, 2SP 
Knights of the Green Shield 4SP
3 units of Men at Arms 4SP each
Archers 3SP
Levy 3SP
Total 30SP Exhaustion Point 15SP

Army of Lord Nul

General/Hero Lord Nul 6SP
His Wizard, Gargolous 2SP
Wolf Riders 3SP
Troll 5SP
Orc Archers 3SP
Dead Warriors 4SP
Orcs 4SP
Goblins 3SP
Total 30SP Exhaustion Point 15SP

Both Wizards had the potential use of 3 spells. Fiddlestix armed with Lightning Strike, Shield and Banish Undead; Gargolous with Fire Ball, Fear and Raise the Dead.

The two forces advance both opting to put their Wizards uphill for extra range

The battle begins

Intense fighting on the left flank involving the cavalry and in the centre saw the Army of Darkness suffering the heaviest losses, however they were yet to commit either the Troll or Lord Nul and his Dead Warriors.

Fiddlestix gets close and banishes some of the Dead Warriors 

The battle rages on

The two opposing Wizards blast each other over the heads of the fighting troops

The Army of Darkness reaches Exhaustion Point

On the flank, and unrecorded, the Knights of the Green Shield have defeated the Wolf Riders and attack the Troll.

The Troll falls back

The Wizard Fiddlestix banishes the remaining Dead Warriors. Lord Nul fights on alone. 

Night falls and the battle ends - Victory to Count Enarriere

At the start of Turn 15 (last permitted turn) the two Wizards simultaneously blasted each other with Lightning and Fire; both perished!! 
For today at least, Lord Nul has been defeated and retreats to his realm on one of the Planes of Chaos. The remaining Orcs and the Troll lumber off into the night.
The magic use was undertaken with varying success. Fortunately it doesn't always work as the spells can be quite damaging!

Monday, 1 August 2022

The War of the Aragon Succession - a mini-campaign

 Very keen to try out Bob Cordery's Napoleonic Campaign rules (see HERE), I set up a quick mini-campaign using part of the Waddington's Campaign Map Bob has re-drawn.

The setting is as follows - The King of Aragon has died leaving two potential candidates for his throne. The preferred candidate for the nobility of Aragon is the dashing Prince Carlos, soldier, duelist and all round good huevo. The other candidate, Prince Alfonso, is related to the King of Francia, and is definitely from the very shallow end of the gene pool (almost the foot bath). Tensions between the two Kingdoms rise and both mobilize their forces.

Armies of Aragon (left) and Francia (right) encamped

Francian forces cross the border and war is declared

The first clash of armies - Aragon army 4 v Francia army 2

Battles were fought using 3x3 PW rules. General's on both sides were instructed to watch attrition rates and withdraw where deemed prudent.

Battle 1
In the first battle, Francia's Army 2 (blue) quickly sent Aragon's Army 4 (yellow) into retreat. They holed up in the nearest town whilst the Francian's camped outside.

Further map moves led to a clash between the two Army Threes

Battle 2 

In the second battle casualties on both sides were a little higher but again the force from Aragon backed out first. Once the Francian Army had patched up the wounded and collected the troops who had wandered off, the General ordered a pursuit of the enemy!

Army Threes clash again!

Battle 3

Despite their reduced size, the two armies fought hard, but once again Francia prevailed. Aragon now had two armies licking their wounds inside city walls. Francia's Army Two was pinning down one of these, whilst their Army Three had withdrawn. This left Army Four fresh and heading for the Capital.

Aragon's Army Two rushed off to stop Francia's Army Four heading for the capital

Battle 4

The fourth battle saw Aragon desperate for a victory and fighting with little regard for loss. As the attacking side I deemed it necessary for Yellow to push Blue off his baseline at some point. With the woods on their left flank however Blue stoically held their ground despite great loss. At the end of the day Yellow withdrew his remaining troops. He had damaged the Francian force sufficiently to slow down their march on the Capital, however with 4 straight defeats the War was lost and the Nobles of Aragon sued for peace.

Please note I played a fast campaign with the minimum of record keeping and didn't worry about recording the days / months. 
The rules worked well and I can imagine a more structured approach to the system with more time given to battles and records creating a really enjoyable campaign. 
I note that since I started typing this Bob has posted changes to the rules!! C'est la guerre.