Friday, 28 April 2017

ADLG New Zealand Nationals with Tamil Indian

Natcon - The New Zealand National Wargaming tournament happened in Christchurch over the long Easter weekend last week, and I entered the ADLG tournament.

The format was 9 games over 3 days, with 200 point armies and 2 hour rounds. 14 people entered the competition, in addition to some others playing casual games because they couldn't attend the full 3 days. DBA and big battle DBA was also being played.

I took my Indians again. Having learned from my first ADLG tournament earlier in the year, I added more light infantry to defend my elephants, and more swordsmen to replace some of my bow. Most of the swordsmen were also impetuous which was a type I hadn't used before, meaning it would be hard to stop them charging once they got close to the enemy. But I wanted them charging so that didn't bother me!

My army setup was essentially a long line of medium swordsmen alternating with elephants. Light infantry guarded each elephant, and some bowmen of mediocre quality guarded the flanks.  The army hits like an out of control train in the first round of combat, but can't survive a battle of attrition, and it manoeuvres like a brick! The idea was to smash as much of it as I could into suitably vulnerable sections of the enemy line (i.e. all of it!) and hope they suffered enough casualties before my flanks collapsed or attrition told on my own troops.

Here's a (very) brief account of the games!

Game 1 vs Cathaginian

A line of solid spearmen presented a formidable opponent here. However, the Carthaginians were light on skirmishers, so my own were able to inflict a few helpful casualties before our lines met, and on my right the Carthaginians attacked in too piecemeal a fashion, with their own impetuous Gauls insisting on attacking at an inopportune time and opening them up to counterattack.

The middle of the line was a hard fight, but the rest of the Carthaginian army collapsed quickly as I exploited the holes opening on the right where the Gauls had vanished under elephants.  Win to me, and I lost about 9/25 elements.

Game 2 vs Nikephorian Byzantine

Forgot to take a photo of this one. A small elite army of Byzantines with a cavalry command, and two mixed spear and bow formations. Shooting from the Byzantines as I advanced led to some anxious moments as my disordered swordsmen and elephants charged, but the impact of elephants and swords in greater numbers gave the game to me. If I recall correctly I lost 15/25 elements.

Game 3 vs Middle Imperial Roman

The Romans tried a refused left flank, and advanced strongly with their medium infantry on my left. I rushed to overwhelm the refused Roman wing. As both our right wings swept onwards to victory it ended up being very close. My mediocre bowmen got lucky and looted the Roman fortified baggage (needing to roll a 5-6 on a D6 to do so), just before the Romans destroyed my own baggage. Win to me and I lost 24/25 elements!

Game 4 vs Medieval Scots

The Scots knew what they were doing, and eliminated 5 of my light infantry (who had run forward too far of my own line) before our main lines met. The Scots should have won with this early advantage, but I rolled very good dice and my elephants and swordsmen blew his mediocre pike apart as they smashed into them. But my army disintegrates at the same time so mutual destruction (and a draw). Shaun folds his arms and contemplates the carnage in disgust... :)

Dead pikemen...

Game 5 vs Medieval Irish

The Irish! Lots of lightly armed javelinmen on the flanks, and the fearsome double handed weapon wielding Galloglaich elites in the centre.

I'm relying on overwhelming the right and refusing my left, and the Irish have a similar plan.

The Galloglaich hold my initial charge and then cuts my line to pieces without loss, while my right has some success it is too little.  I lose and inflict about 12/24 casualties.

Game 6 vs Assyrian

Another game I forgot photos for. The Assyrians dismounted from their chariots, but being a heavily cavalry force otherwise it was always going to be a difficult game for them against all the elephants. They did well to gain some success with their infantry, but eventually casualties against their mounted arm told against them. I won and lost about 14/25 elements I think.

Game 7 vs Hindu Indian

Other Indians! Elite elephants to my ordinary ones, and Rajput cavalry opposing my right wing.



Right, with the Rajput cavalry splitting their line to avoid the elephants as best they can.

The elite elephants beat up my ordinary ones, and the Rajputs splitting their formation lets them inflict significant damage on my infantry before the elephants can chase them away. I lose the war of attrition, and inflict about 14/23 casualties I think. Overconfidence from expecting to just roll over the Rajputs got the better of me here.

Game 8 vs Ptolemaic

An interesting game with the battle occurring in a confined space on the left flank. My right wing swings forward, and I struggle through a plantation (including with an elephant which was stupid of me). Our light troops fight it out and I manage to drive his back. My Swordsmen break some Pike and Thracians, and are then ridden down by Lancers in turn. My bow keep his mounted at bay and shoot down some optimistic camels. I win eventually, having lost about 20/25 elements.

Game 9 vs Samurai

Our two lines smashed into each other without too much manoeuvering beforehand. The Samurai volleys of bow fire inflicted significant disruption though and I just managed to squeeze out the victory due to some luck. Very close I lost 24/25 elements yet again!


6 wins, 1 mutual destruction, 2 losses. A result which secured me third place.

A fun tournament, thanks to Andre for umpiring, and my opponents. I was finished by about 2:30pm each day so very easy on fatigue levels despite being a 3 day competition. The possibility of extending the rounds to 2.5 hours was discussed which might give horse archer and manoeuvre type armies a bit more time to do their thing perhaps. Rules were reported on positively by everyone I spoke to, suitable for competition with fast exciting play and a very wide range of armies having a chance.

Another comment an Australian made was we need to work on getting some better terrain for our Ancients and I agree. As he said it's not of a great standard when you compare it to the Flames of War tables for instance. Local Clinton can hopefully help us out with that problem shortly!

For reference, here's the full results...

Natcon 2017 - New Zealand
Final results (points out of a maximum possible 900)

1/ Shaun Drummond Medieval Scots 749

2/ Richard Stacey Medieval Irish 651

3/ Mark Ottley Tamil Indian 597

4/ Paul Rattray Hindu Indian 547

5/ Aaron Nicoll Assyrian Empire 492

6/ Kerry Docherty Nikephorian Byzantine 472

7/ Josh Gardner Samurai 464

8/ Murray Evans Later Crusader 434

9/ Keith Hewitt Early Successor 396

10/ Stephen Ladanyi Mid Imperial Roman 389

11/ Paul Deacon Ptolemaic 331

12/ Brent Burnett-Jones Han Chinese 252

13/ Ian Doel Later Carthaginian 244

14/ Rex Hurley Late Achaemenid Persian 208

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Epic 4K: Iybraesil Eldar vs Vior'la Tau

Another Epic game. I clicked on the wrong army list by mistake on Armyforge when I went to make my list - getting Iybraesil Eldar, but decided to use it anyway for something different! Iybraesil are a matriarchal Eldar clan, emphasising Howling Banshees and a few associated differences in unit formation. I took a "one of each" approach for the most part.

Iybraesil Craftworld (NetEA Army Compendium v20120208)

8 howling Banshees, 4 Wave Serpent, 2 Exarch

5 Ranger

5 Ranger


Farseer, 5 Guardians, 2 Dire Avenger

Farseer, 5 Guardians, 2 Dire Avenger, 4 Wave Serpent, Exarch

2 Shining Spear, 4 Vyper

Farseer, 3 Guardian units, 4 wraithguards, Hag Seer (Autarch)

Farseer, 3 Guardian units, 4 wraithguards

3 Falcon, 2 Dire Avenger, 2 Fire Storm

4 Night Spinners, 1 Firestorm

3 Nightwing Interceptors

3 Nightwing Interceptors

2 Revenant Titans

Tau list was Vior'la Tau again for Andrew, but with 15 Riptide suits this time!

375 Vior'la FW Cadre, 8 Fire Warriors, Ethereal, 3 Pathfinders
350 Vior'la FW Cadre, 6 Fire Warriors, Cadre Fireblade, 3 Devilfish, Skyray
350 Vior'la FW Cadre, 6 Fire Warriors, Cadre Fireblade, 3 Devilfish, Skyray
350 3 Riptide Suits + Shas'el
350 3 Riptide Suits + Shas'el
350 3 Riptide Suits + Shas'el
350 3 Riptide Suits + Shas'el
350 3 Riptide Suits + Shas'el
200 Pathfinder Group, 4 Pathfinders, 2 Devilfish
225 Pathfinder Group, 6 Pathfinders, 2 Gun Drones
150 Recon Group, 3 Tetras, 2 Piranhas
150 Recon Group, 3 Tetras, 2 Piranhas
150 Vior'la Orca Assault Dropship
150 2 Barracudas
150 2 Barracudas

Turn 1

Here's the setup, with both sides holding back behind cover, playing the "patient hunter" sort of role. I have 3 foot formations off table. Web gate is close to the centre of the table and quite exposed which will make use of it challenging, but also risky for the Tau to try and hold this area.

I win Strategy Roll with Eldar and elect to have the Tau go first. They sustain fire and blow away my Scout screen on both sides of the table, so perhaps not a great move.

Riptides venture forwards on my right, killing a Wave Serpent and two Banshees from that formation which had crept forwards also. The Riptides pay with their lives though, as the Revenants double over and destroy them with pulsar shots.

Formations close in on the ruins in the centre of the table, and I refuse my left, redeploying to my centre and right to leave the Tau forces on my left without good targets.

Turn 2

Eldar win Strategy Roll. My guardians come out of the gate and eliminate a Tau Recon detachment for no losses, and then consolidate into support fire range of the nearby Riptides.

And then in come my Howling Banshees to assault the Riptides.

Riptides are destroyed for loss of two Banshees.

I push up my mounted guardians into the crater field.

Meanwhile my Revenants double forward and rout a mounted Tau formation, ending staring menacingly at more Riptides.

Both sides contest the centre, and after many casualties on both sides, in the end no one really has it this turn.

Some more shots at end of turn 2.

Turn 3

Eldar win Strategy Roll again. My Revenants sustain fire and eliminate the Riptides in front of them.

Nightspinners target a formation at the back of the field with little effect. The Tau then concentrate fire with a coordinated fire mission and break my mounted Guardian formation in the crater field. The Tau advance their recon on my right too.

The Tau try to swamp the Web Gate, but my Falcons kill 3 transports and then my Jetbike formation assaults out the gate, routing the Tau formation.

The Tau are out-activated, and not far forward enough. They try to land their Orca Dropship in my half of the field to deny me "They Shall Not Pass" victory condition, but my Nightwings intercept, damage and break it. My Banshees eliminate the Recon that is over the halfway line on my right.

Eldar win with Defend the Flag and They Shall Not Pass victory conditions, 2-0.


After quite a shaky start where I thought my Eldar would lose the war of attrition and struggle against the Riptides, they came back strongly. Revenants were very helpful in picking on the Riptides, and all other Eldar formations did good work. Tau saves were not great for the Riptides on this occasion, and 10 of them were destroyed.  An interesting setup and list to try and work with for the Eldar. A reminder not to discount my chances after early losses and what looks like an unfavourable situation too!

Friday, 17 February 2017

BBDBA - Successor Battle

Big Battle DBA between Successor armies, with Nick and Dave visiting a few weeks ago. Only just got around to posting some pics.

Game 1

First game between Nick and Dave, which came down to a cavalry battle with the Phalanx sitting back and watching... Dave in the back, Nick in front.

Early on Dave's general smashes his way through the enemy line in advance of his friends, and heading straight for an elephant...

Elephants get into Dave's cavalry which in't so great for the cavalry.

Dave's general is fighting head to head with an elephant with an enemy to each flank. Possibly the worst possible position for him... with his death and further elephant induced casualties against the cavalry the game is lost.

Game 2

Game 2 I take the force Dave used against Nick. I weight the left wing heavily, leaving almost nothing on the right... 'refused flank' is the plan.

The Phalanxes of each side advance on each other, and Nick moves his elephants to counter my left wing.

Phalanxes hit, as do the cavalry on my left.

Nicks phalanx starts to prevail over mine due to some lucky combats, and he wacks into my exposed right flank too. I start moving over some Peltasts and Lancers to try and offer some help.

On the left my superior numbers of cavalry are winning the day, and Nick's elephants haven't arrived yet.

My shaky right flank.

Combat on the left where I have my light horse in two ranks.

My Phalanx is losing in the centre and right, and winning on the left.

Elephants hit my cavalry, but on a 6-1 result one of my knights manages to kill an elephant!

My centre/right collapses and routs, as does Nick's right flank.

It becomes a battle to see who can exploit the breakthrough first.

Both armies just an element or two off breaking.

But my knights prevail (just!)