Saturday, July 31, 2010

Battle of Heraclea Revisted - Metro Seattle Gamers Summer Skirmish

My buddy Adrian and I ran our Heraclea game again today up in Seattle. Scott M. and Gene A. ran the Epirotes and Chris P. and James R. ran the Romans. Although played on a 6 feet wide table instead of the usual 8 feet, the set up was essentially the same. Adrian did rebase his Roman maniples into two-ranks with wider frontages, and the river bend was switched to the opposite end (Epirotes' left).
The Epirote right and center was played very conservatively by Scott - at least initially. However, this later changed after he lost both his Hypaspists and Companion Heavy Cav Wedge in the same turn. The Companions were lost after choosing to flee out of enemy territory - he had to do this as he was about to be flank attacked by Roman infantry. This was after having to follow the Roman Cav unit which was defeated in combat, but chose to Give Ground. I don't particularly like this rule - as I've stated before; and this game confirmed it. The Companions rolled an ultra low 4 (using 3D6!) and the Roman infantry easily caught and destroyed them. The Hypaspists were killed off in similar fashion. They chose to fire and flee, but again a low die roll allowed them to be caught and destroyed by an inferior unit.
Luckily the two elephants held in reserve got into the fray and took up the slack and did very well on the Epirote right flank. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to take any clear pictures of the action.
Gene did very well on the Epirote left - aggressive tactics and not too shabby dice rolling.

We called the game at the end of Turn 5. The Romans narrowly won by the total number of points of units killed. The Epirotes probably had the advantage prior to losing their two best units - the Companion Cav and Hypaspists; although the elephants did surprisingly (for me) well. I had envisioned them stampeding into their own ranks after pin prick missile wounds. They ended up showering the enemy with their missile weapons, as well as causing fear and panic into the Romans.


Here are some photos I lifted off of Chris Pramas' Facebook - he took them with his cellphone, but just as good as the ones I took with my camera - the area we were in wasn't that well lit.

Close up of the Companion wedge; followed by them charging - actually counter-charging - into Roman cavalry (played by Chris). I need a nice figure to represent Cineas - the character leading the wedge;. The standard was moved to the center, third row - easier to spot as the actual center of the wedge for turning/wheeling.
Close up of some of the Epirote phalanx battle line. Romans don't like them much.
Yay, some pictures of elephants - thanks, Chris!

Kevin Smyth brought up the Langton 1/1200th Ancient Ships, which he offered to sell to me and Adrian.  They were a bit smaller than we had imagined, but the detail is as good as we had hoped; we will now be ordering more for our Roman Seas game. These are the ones I bought - Adrian got four (all painted very nicely by Kevin years ago - he even painted the eyes on the bows of the ships!).


  1. Hello

    The game looks great Dean, those nellies are real show stealers they look better every time you post them, and they give your army a touch of 'jenny says quoits'.

    The Langton ship models do have some lovely detail, do you have any pics of ol' mates painted purchases? For me it is the only time eyes are necessary on a figure/model ;-)
    I've even painted eyes on my real boat. Yes it was necessary *lol* ...crunch!

  2. Dave:

    Thanks for the compliments!

    I'll take some pics of the painted ships the next time I see my buddy. I do want to see those ships' eyes again. They really were well done and if I hadn't seen it myself, wouldn't think it could be done that well. He said he painted them years ago and probably couldn't do it again now - with changes in eyesight. That's cool you painted those eyes on the real thing. Should keep your sailing safe - supposedly worked well enough for the Ancient Greeks. Dean

  3. Great stuff, I think I might start gaming... I have a question.. The figures are based at what size here and where do you get those movement trays that you place the individual figure in?!?!


  4. Aaron:

    The majority of the figures are based on 20x20mm squares (metal from Wargames Accessories) - these are in turn on scratch-built movement trays. These can be made from anything from wood to plasticard (which I used). On the plasticard I added adhesive sided magnetic sheet from Joann's. The edges of the trays are strips of plastic - you can get these from most hobby stores. The actual size of the trays depends on how I want to build the unit strength. Of course, I'm talking about WAB, other rules may use different basing systems. I think Crusader has multi-figure bases (permanently on the bases). I also have some skirmishers on 20mm (3/4") metal fender washers. You can get these at hardware stores or online. Hope this helps. Feel free to ask more questions if you're interested. Regards, Dean

  5. great write up there, I do think your army looks the dogs danglys. I bought some of those shipa ages ago with a view to gaming with my Dad got them painted but never got round to a game :)

  6. That's what I base all my figs at (20x20) and if I ever do want to game do you think you can do a post on making them? I really like the look of them.. Also would my litko magnetic bases work? Thanks


  7. James:

    If you still have those ships and ever get the urge to game them - I would suggest Roman Seas; it's a very good rule set; fast playing, not overly complicated, but still interesting - the PDF version of the rules are inexpensive too.


    I've used Litko in the past - very good quality product. For a Mycenaean army I used Litko's thin wooden bases (20X20mm) with magnetic bottoms. Only thing is they are on sheet metal movement trays - kind of heavy. You could get a set of GW movement trays and if you follow their basic patterns, it should get you started. Regards, Dean

  8. Amazing content!
    Thank you for this share!