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Sunday, 27 November 2011

Relief of a Frontier Fort - Trajan's Dacian Wars

View of the table with Roman fort on the left

Roman fort with the valiant auxilia

This afternoon Craig, Bern, Garry, Ian, Greg and I had another Hail Caesar game in our series of games fighting Trajan's Dacian Wars. There were three division a side with the scenario being the relief of a hard pressed Roman fort, held by small units of valiant auxilia against the Dacians. Bern provided the lovely Roman fort made by PMC Games. The Roman relief force comprised a cavalry division and infantry division, both with increased chances of arriving as the game wore on. The fort managed to hold out for a few turns before being swamped by the Dacians.

The Roman cavalry division arrived on turn two but then promptly blundered and were fortunate not to leave the table. The legions were taking the scenic route on their way to the relief of the fort. After looting the fort the two victorious Dacian divisions joined the third Dacian division, guarding the flank. The Roman infantry division under Greg's command eventually arrived and managed to destroy two warbands that had been softened up by the cavalry before the game ended. It was an interesting scenario but the Romans had a real shocker that was only partially salvaged by Greg's efforts at the end. The remaining forces on both sides will be those used for the next game in campaign style.Thanks to all for another fun game.

Dacian warbands surge towards the Roman fort

The Roman cavalry division arrives on the table in turn two!

Dacian warbands wheel to protect their flank

The Roman cavalry division promptly blunders but doesn't leave the table

Things are looking ugly from inside the Roman fort

The Dacian warbands hurl themselves at the fort

It's not a pretty sight from up on the ramparts...

The auxilia on the left are forced to give ground, shaken and disordered

Can the auxilia hold out? No chance.

The fort has fallen but the legions have finally arrived!

The legions destroy two Dacian warbands before making a tactical withdrawal

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Hittite chariots and Hatussa

Here are some photos of my Hittite chariots and photos of ancient Hatussa, the Hittite capital, which we visited on our recent trip to Turkey. My Hittite army just gets larger and larger - I recently added some of the gorgeous Cutting Edge Miniatures  chariots and also have some Newline chariots in the collection. These chariots are a nice mix of figures – Foundry, Old Glory, and Ral Partha/Iron Wind. The Hittites are one of my favourite biblical armies and I’ll post more photos of figures, sites and artifacts, at some stage.

When we were in Turkey we visited Hittite sites at Boğazkale or Boğazköy (Hatussa), Yazilikaya (nearby rock sanctuary), Alca Höyük and Ortaköy- Şapinuva. We also visited some great museums with amazing Hittite collections including the Istanbul archaeological museums, Boğazköy Museum (Boğazkale ),  Çorum Museum and the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations in Ankara. Boğazkale like Mycenae, is in a really impressive and dramatic location, surrounded by sheer cliffs and a gorge.  

Reconstructed tower and walls at Hatussa

Excavations in the Great Temple
Storage jars in the Great Temple

The Green Stone

The Lion Basin

Excavations below Sarikale (Yellow Fortress)

The Lion Gate

Postern of Yerkapi

Staircase to the top of Yerkapi rampart

The King's Gate

The Great King Shupiluliuma II - Chamber 2, the Hieroglyph Chamber

Luvian Hieroglyphs at Nisantas

Yazilikaya - sequence of Godesses on the right side of Chamber A

Yazilikaya - inner part of Chamber A

The Twelve Gods of the Underworld in Chamber B

The Great King Tudhaliya IV, embraced by his protective god Sarrumma

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Mithridatic Pontics versus Marian Romans - Hail Caesar game report

Pontic Guard cavalry

Initial deployment on the table

The release of the Hail Caesar Army Lists: Biblical and Classical has inspired me to revisit a number of my painted biblical and classical armies in the lead mountain and try out some games with the new lists. Yesterday afternoon Garry (Mithridates) and I had a two division, three hundred point, Hail Caesar game with Mithridatic Pontics versus Marian Romans. It turn out to be a hard fought affair with Pontics driving back the Romans early in the game and eventually breaking the Roman right flank division with Pontic Guard cavalry and Sarmatian cataphracts. 

The Romans were able to break a couple of the Pontic units in response and in one of the final melees of the game the Pontic general was killed. Units on both sides in the remaining divisions were disordered and shaken.The pike vs legions melees were fairly protracted but once again supporting units seem to tip the balance in these. The lists worked well and gave a balanced and historical game in three hours. Thanks to Garry for a fun game and looking forward to the next encounter - Rome will return!

Side view of the Romans

Legionaries, Galatians and Cretan archers

Legionaries in the centre

Thracians, Syrian horse archers and Numidian light cavalry

Pontics and Romans close on the left flank

Bastarnae and legionaries fight it out

Pontic guard cavalry drive back the Galatian allies

Action in the centre

Pontic pike and imitation legionaries get stuck into the Romans

Fighting on the left flank

Another view of the left flank

Pike and legionaries slog it out

The Roman general joins the fray