Wednesday, 13 October 2021

ADLG Carthaginian v Republican Roman

 Another 25mm historical match up with my Carthaginians taking on Gordon's Republican Romans. As with the last couple of games (and inspired by winning last time!) I put a bit of thought into the list again and went for a fairly large army, one command of mainly Spanish troops plus an elephant, one of Libyan Spearmen and Balearic Slingers and one of cavalry and Numidian skirmish infantry.  Most of the mounted and skirmishers were elite as well. 

The idea was to surprise Gordon by wanting to put down a lot of difficult terrain and hopefully use the armies speed and manoeuvrability to outwit the more plodding Romans. As usual the plan didn't last long as Gordon won the initiative and decided to attack in the plains so no difficult terrain for me!

The Romans deployed a considerable number of Legionaries supported by medium swordsmen and a few javelin skirmishers plus an elephant of their own. Somewhat bafflingly for me I'd not realised the previously set-in-stone Republican list no longer had a compulsory fortified camp, cavalry and Triarii none of which Gordon had:

Having won the initiative the Romans immediately commenced a complex looking redeployment with pretty much the entire army:

Libyan Spearmen watch on as the Romans display their impressive drill:

The Carthaginians respond by advancing on their left, redeploying their own Libyan Spearmen while sending the slingers forward to harass the Romans and making a rather more cautious advance on their right:

The Romans complete the redeployment of the Legions but their Italian allies and the elephant fail to make much progress:

One Roman Velite charges a slinger. Being elite and having an overlap the slingers stand:

Of course the Velite kills the slingers and the slinger on the other end takes a hit from shooting!:

Deciding not at accept this affront the next slinger moves over to take on the Velite supported by a Numidian javelin man this time:

The slingers take their revenge and defeat the Velite. On the left both sides are sidling over to try to get a good match up, in the centre the other slingers have been driven back by a rather exposed Roman javelin man and on the right the Numidian infantry start to pepper the Legions with javelins:

The Italian allies are moving up to fill the gap between the two Legions. The Carthaginians are developing an advantage on their left and are threatening the (unfortified!) Roman camp:

Hannibal looks on as the Romans loom in the distance:

The Carthaginians attempt to exploit their superior speed and numbers:

On the right the Legions charge the Numidian skirmishers. They should almost certainly get away. they fail to and one gets killed! Hannibal does not approve:

In the centre the Libyans contact the Roman javelin man while some Carthaginian Nobler Cavalry threaten the Italian allies:

The Carthaginian attack on their left is progressing well, the large block of red-uniformed elite Legionaries is being held up while gaps are appearing in the Roman lines:

The Carthaginian centre and right are holding back but sense an opportunity against the Roman's Italian allies and the elephant:

On the left one lot of Spanish infantry are left to hold off the Legions while the elephant and the other Spanish infantry are charged by the sole average Legionary unit:

Neither combat goes well though and the Romans win them:

Near the camp the elite Spanish cavalry have finally managed to charge an injured Numidian defending the Roman camp. Depressingly the Spanish manage to lose!:

More Spanish cavalry charge into the rear of the Legion fighting the elephant turning the fortunes of the fight. Less positively the Spanish infantry defending the elephant's flank are dispersed but they have bought some time:

The full battle line!:

The centre is becoming very messy, Italian allied infantry have charged the Carthaginian nobles while the Roman elephant has attacked the remaining slinger in the front rank:

Just in time the Carthaginian elephant finishes off the Roman facing it. Cunning placement (or luck) means that the other Romans can't yet get into contact though:

The first combat between the Roman elephant and the slingers resulted in the slingers taking a hit. To finish them off the Roman general decides to join in the fight!:

In a remarkable turn-around the Balearic slingers not only hold on against the Roman elephant but even manage to inflict a hit on it! As the Roman general was fighting a roll of "1" will see him killed. A slinger takes aim and *SPLAT* his shot hits the Roman right between the eyes killing him!:

The Carthaginian elephant and his supporting cavalry move onto the next Legionary, putting a couple of hits on him:

Finally the elite Spanish cavalry manage to finish off the Numidian light horse and the Roman camp falls. Roman morale is now getting dangerously low and, while they have taken some losses, the much larger Carthaginian army is more resilient:

The battle rages on in the centre with many blows being traded. Without a general the Italian allies can't do much more than stand and hope for the best:

Libyans are taking losses but fight on. the slingers put another hit on the Roman elephant which is almost down:

Being rather more cautious than his Roman counterpart the Carthaginian general rallies the injured slingers who promptly cut down the Roman elephant:

On the left the Carthaginian elephant (now heading back to his own base edge!) has two hits while the Legion it is fighting has three so both are one from dying. The Legion wins! The elephant is down! It stampedes forwards taking out the Legion that just made it rout!:

With just one Legionary left in the area and being heavy infantry against medium plus armour and elite advantages the Romans charge. In a remarkable display of fighting prowess the Spanish inflict two hits on the Romans:

In the centre the Libyans are really battered but holding on. The Roman army is approaching defeat:

On the right nothing much has happened with the Carthaginian cavalry keeping the Legionaries occupied:

The Carthaginian Nobles finish off the Italian allied infantry they have been fighting for a while. A count-up reveals that the Romans have reached their break point and victory goes to the Carthaginians!:

A hard fought game that didn't really go according to my plan though to some extent it did work in that I managed to exploit several gaps in the Roman's line and avoid fighting the dangerous Legionaries for a long time. Gordon was unlucky I think, especially with his general dying (personally I wouldn't have put my general into that combat!) and we both had a few turns when we could have done with more command points for an area. 

After not winning for many, many ADLG games I've now managed two in a row and must admit I'm enjoying using the old 25mm armies!

Tuesday, 12 October 2021

Cruel Sea's Imperial Japanese Navy v British

The first outing for the newly finished IJN fleet saw them take on Mike's British. We used the same scenario cards as in the last game with my objective being to sink 400 points of Mike's fleet and his (unknown to me) to be to collect an agent from one of the islands. 

My fleet, largely based on wanting to use the new toys, consisted of the huge Hei Minesweeper (veteran) and a No. 13 Sub Chaser (experienced) plus three T-14 MTBS (inexperienced) and a Large Sampan (inexperienced). Mikes had a couple of Fairmile's, an RAF rescue launch, three Vosper's and a couple of Landing Craft.

The initial set-up:

Both sides advance towards each other:

A Vosper launches a torpedo at the Sub Chaser:

One Japanese T-14 is sunk quickly while the Sub Chaser catches fire!:

The mighty Hei Minesweeper presses on:

The fleets manoeuvre for an advantage. The Hei Minesweeper sinks the RAF rescue launch:

The crew of the Sub Chaser are unable to put out the fire and she takes further damage from the Vosper's:

The Vosper's close in for the kill:

The Hei Minesweeper intervenes and sinks one of the Vosper's attacking the Sub Chaser:

Torpedoes head towards the Hei though and she won't be able to avoid both of them:

The Hei blasts one of the Fairmile's out of the water next but has more torpedoes to deal with:

One of the torpedoes hits the Hei! It survives the impact though is now badly damaged:

The Sub Chaser is still on fire and almost down. The Vosper darts in to finish it off while the Sampan tries to help out but is too slow to get anywhere:

The Sub Chaser is sunk leaving the poor Sampan to face the victorious Vosper:

In the meantime the remaining Fairmile has done enough damage to sink the Hei Minesweeper and another T-14 MTB:

At this stage we called the game as the Japanese had very little left and we had probably played the eight turns of the scenario. The Japanese had succeeded in sinking 400 points worth of British but lost considerably more than 400 points themselves while the British had not managed to collect the agent (distracted I think by attempting to sink the Japanese!) so we felt the overall outcome was an honourable draw! 

I'm continuing to enjoy my Cruel Seas games and using the Japanese was certainly different. 

The Hei Minesweeper with veteran crew is certainly deadly, towards the end of the game but for some abysmal shooting it would easily have dealt with the remaining Fairmile and Vosper but it is vulnerable to being torpedoed. The sub Chaser would also have done better if it had not caught fire, being unable to put the fire out gave it a lot more damage (but then it isn't that likely that an experienced crew will put a fire out). 

As for the T-14's with nothing to shoot their torpedoes at and only 15 hull points they are almost useless from a fighting point of view though, of course, if the mission had been different, they would have had a role to play.

Having played a few games now in our post game chat we felt that the 'veteran' upgrade for large ships like the Hei was very powerful at a mere 20 points over experienced, the amount of firepower it throws combined with the +2 to hit for veteran and (for the large guns) +1 for fire direction gives it an excellent chance of hitting and if it does, it does a lot of damage.

The other thing we considered was if it should be possible to torpedo a medium sized vessel. This is unclear in the rules (it says you can't then has factors for hitting them on the torpedo table!) and we both felt it might add a bit more to the game to allow this, the torpedoes are good fun and it would make them much more use as, often, neither side will have any large vessels at all. Apparently the rules FAQ (I'd found an errata sheet but not an FAQ) leaves this up to the players so we will probably allow this next time.