At the beginning of lockdown, I built myself a lightweight and foldable table; four foot by three foot. This not only proved more than adequate for a number of games but was all that I could comfortably fit in the back room. While this was great, after a while, I began to miss some of my favourite games so I built a second table, that added to the first, gave me the potential of a 6 by 4 foot table. This, plus the purchase of a couple of really nice 'Geek Villain' game mats meant that I had the basic playing surface sorted.
I still need to amass some terrain but my scratch built Spanish style buildings allow me to play 28mm 'Blood and Plunder' or 'Sharp Practice games'. Now I want to look at the possibility of playing 15mm games; I have 'Infamy Infamy' in mind here. Hence, I decided to test the idea with a game pitting Caesar's legions against the Gauls.
For the troops, my 15mm 'Lost Battles' collection seem to work fine. These are based in multiples of eight (for the legionaries) but to keep a similar frontage to the 28mm equivalent I decided to use 2 bases for a unit. Hence, a group of legionaries would be 16 figures - I just give each base 4 lives or hits, to reflect the 8 figure units in the rules. The only thing I am short of is leader figures - I have some Roman centurions but no Gallic leaders.
Terrain wise I will need hills, woods, marsh and areas of habitation. For hills I just placed socks under the game mat (an idea I pinched from YouTube) which worked brilliantly. I do have a collection of small, largely homemade, trees so the woods are sorted. For marshes I had to use pieces of felt so will have to address that in the future. Similarly, I was short of habitation, although I did discover that I have a selection of Roman style buildings that I made sometime in the past - so raiding into the province will be sorted.
All in all, there is a bit of work to do on the terrain side but nothing insurmountable.
For this game, I played the Foraging scenario and assigned the cart to the legionary recruits. My plan being to cover the recruits with the legionaries, whilst the recruits got on with the task of foraging.
As it happens, the recruits card came up first, and thinking they would be safe enough in their own deployment zone, I deployed them onto the table. I really should have waited until the legionaries had deployed. Next card was the Gallic Noble cavalry, and sensing an opportunity, I deployed these to threaten the recruits.
|Two groups of recruits threatened by three groups of Noble cavalry|
Luckily a combined unit of Numidian Foot Cavalry (mounted and foot skirmishers) turned up on the Gauls flank to harass them. This required markers to be added to the on table units to reflect the number of missiles available (the Numidians had unlimited javelins but the Gauls had 3 javelin shots per base and the legionaries two pila per base). I used micro dice for this.
Shortly after, the legion (4 groups) deployed to cover the recruits and the Gallic cavalry were in serious trouble. Javelins from the flank and pila from the front is bad news. More markers required - Shock and kills (being multiple bases, I didn't have the option of removing figures).
Whilst the Romans were preoccupied with dealing with the cavalry threat, the recruits had drawn level with the Gallic deployment zone and I deployed to threaten their flank with two groups of elite warriors. These immediately began to raise fervour (another marker required) but predictably rolled a mere one.
|Elite warriors on the flank|
The Romans, being the war machine that they are, ground forward and the Gallic cavalry were forced to pull back.
Soon the recruits were in position to begin foraging, whilst in the distance the Gallic warriors were harassed by Numidian cavalry.
|Romans approach the habitation|
|Numidians still being annoying|
At this point the Gods intervened, in the form of one of the family cats! A quick leap onto the table and all those carefully placed markers (kills, shock, missiles and fervour) were scattered. Game abandoned!
|A Cat Amongst the Romans|