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Sunday, 10 January 2016

Wargames, Soldiers & Strategy, 80, Jan 2016

Wargames, Soldiers & Strategy, 80, Jan 2016

The First Punic War

Column: Rick Priestley, "This gaming life - if it wasn't for those pesky kids!"

As I write this, we are enduring something of a heatwave. Once upon a time, such unusual weather might have stirred speculation of an impending ice age, possibly triggered by unprecedented sun spot activity. now, however, it is mere orthodoxy to acknowledge that global warming is the culprit that’s eroding the traditional British summer (i.e. wet and miserable, the way we like it).

Feature: Gary Mitchell, "Bitesize battles - The lost patrol"

“I wasn’t really sure what was going on. We controlled the day, they controlled the night. We knew the civilians hated us. We’d make sweeps, get ambushed, kill a few, return to base, maybe camp for the night in the wilds. Day after day, week after week, till your tour of duty was up.”

Feature: Alan Milicheap, "Refighting La Haye Sainte in 15mm - Muskets & Tomahawks Waterloo"

In over 40 years of wargaming, I’ve never done napoleonics, apart from a couple of naval games that confused me, as I have a problem with wind! When the guys at 4Ground asked me to put on a participation game at salute 2015, I thought – seeing as it’s the 200th anniversary of Waterloo, why not use their La Haye Sainte model?

Feature: Warwick Kinrade, "Heroic action on the first day of the Battle of the Bulge - A brave defence of Lanzerath"

The intelligence and Reconnaissance platoon of the 394th infantry Regiment, 99th infantry Division, consisted of some 26 chosen men. At Lanzerath they became the us army’s most decorated platoon in World War II. Their intended role was in patrolling, observation, map-making, and intelligence gathering, often sneaking into German lines at night, not frontline combat.

Feature: Michael Leck and Jan Kärman, "The Victial brothers at Stockholm, 1392 - God's 'friend', the world's enemy"

One night in June 1392, screams from tortured prisoners could be heard across Stockholm. around 70 Swedish burghers had been captured by their German neighbours and their henchmen, the Victual Brothers. They were tied up and taken across to Käpplingeholmen, a small island close to the town. There they were held prisoner in an old wooden building, which was finally set on fire, killing all of them. This was the culmination of a longstanding conflict between the two factions over the control of stockholm.

Assault on the mule compound.

Feature: Craig Harris, Chris Pooch and Colin Phillips, "Fallschirmjäger in Skirmsh Sangin - Nachtjäger"

The Fallschirmjäger (German paratroops) were first formed before the outbreak of World War Two and participated in a range of military operations in the war, notably the glider assault on Eben Emael in 1940 and the bloody assault on the island of Crete in may 1941. They were disbanded at the end of the war, but were re-established in the postwar Bundeswehr in 1956 and were assigned as Reserve forces during the cold War.

Theme: Mark Backhouse, "An introduction to gaming the First Punic War - The longest and most severely contested war in history"

According to the ancient historian Polybius, the clash between carthage and Rome was one of the greatest in the ancient world. Whilst most histories tend to focus on the second Punic War, made famous by Hannibal and his elephants crossing the Alps, the first Punic War has much to offer the prospective gamer, both on land and at sea.

The might of Rome.

Theme: Pat Lowinger and Joe Collins, "The Battle of the Bagradas River, 255 BC - Carthage's desperate defence"

As the conflict between Carthage and Rome entered its eighth long and bloody year, it soon became clear to many Romans that the conquest of Sicily was degenerating into an endless back-and-forth between the two powers. following Rome’s decisive naval victory at the Battle of Cape Ecnomus in the spring of 256 BC, she was determined to gain the strategic initiative and began preparations for the invasion of north Africa.

Near the port of Drepana.

Theme: Mark Backhouse, "Naval battle at Drepana, 249 BC - "If they will not eat, let them drink instead!""

In 249 BC, the Romans opted for a different naval strategy from their earlier raids on the north African coastline. The new plan was to besiege Lilybaeum, the principal Carthaginian port in western Sicily. if the Romans were able to capture this town, the hope was that the Punic forces in Sicily would be starved into submission. But the attempted blockade by the Roman army struggled to prevent daring blockade-runners from breaking through the cordon with much-needed food supplies for the beleaguered port.

Theme: Nathan Ward, "Adapting Lion Rampant for the First Punic War - Eagle rampant in Sicily"

The first Punic War lasted 23 years and saw only four pitched battles on land, two in Africa and two in Sicily. at least part of the reason for this was the Roman distaste for ending up wedged between the toes of Punic pachyderms. another reason is that the Romans were also trying to perfect ways of not having their ships converted into submarines by the Carthaginian navy.

Theme: Eoghan Kelly, "The siege which decided Sicily - Panormus"

The first Punic War was the first of two titanic conflicts (and a minnow-like one) that decided the fate of the western Mediterranean. Rome and Carthage were fundamentally different states. The Romans had the resources and resolve born from their belief in their manifest destiny to rule the world. The Carthaginians felt secure and confident with their navy, the sea, and ultimately their army to defend them against any intrusions into Africa.

Theme: Guy Bowers, "Assembling a Roman Republican army - For the people and Republic of Rome!"

The Roman Republic (res publica Romana, in Latin) grew with stops and starts for over 480 years to a Mediterranean-sized empire. from the overthrow of the tyrant Tarquinius in 509 BC to the establishment of the Roman empire by Octavian in 27 BC, enemy after enemy was engaged and, in the end, always defeated. it could take a long time, but the tenacious Romans never, ever gave up.

Theme: Steve Beckett, "On the cover - Pilum versus tusk!"

“Do you like Romans?” I was asked. “Well, i suppose so. I mean, I’ve got nothing against them or anything”, I replied. “In fact,I’ve got a whole century of the plastic blighters that I’m currently working my way through. They’re Warlord Games early Imperial Romans, in fact.”

“Sorry mate. They’re the wrong kind of Romans! Do you want to paint up some Republican Romans? not those Hollywood types. how about some in the scale of your recent 15mm article? Oh, and they’ll end up as our next front cover, so no pressure!”

Column: Harry Sidebottom, "The irregular - Playing with history"

Fortune has been kind to the Warrior of Rome and the Throne of the Caesars. all the novels in my two series have been Sunday Times top ten bestsellers, and translations have appeared in almost twenty other languages. What might surprise some readers of the books is that, in important ways, these works of historical fiction might owe quite a lot to wargaming.

Modeling: Stephen Tunmore, "Building a canal feature - Covering ground"

Over a year ago, i was contacted by Ian Clunie from Shellhole Scenics, after he saw some of my work on the society of Gentlemen Gamers forum. This contact led to me making some plugs for his ‘vac form’ machine – a canal section, a slight curve, and a bridge section.

Modeling: John Morris, "Painting non-metallic metals - 50 shades of steel"

Some time ago, our beloved editor commissioned me to write a piece on how to paint non-metallic metals. It all seemed straightforward at first – a quick explanation of the terms and techniques, then a bit of a walk-through painting a knight, and a load of pictures of pretty figures. Easy. Done. My name in print. Tea and medals. Or so I thought …

Let's play: Mark Backhouse, "Let's play - To the Strongest!"

If you’ve been to a major show in the UK over the last few years, you would be hard pressed not to have seen Simon Miller’s rather epic Roman battles, with thousands of beautifully painted 28mm miniatures taking centre stage. Simon has been developing a set of rules to cope with such massive demonstration games that are quick and fun to play, can be picked up easily, and capture the feel of some of these epic confrontations. The result of this has been his To The Strongest! rules, which were released a little while back as a downloadable PDF and, since salute, have been available as a printed paper set of rules.

Reviews: Michael Leck, Rossco Watkins and Guy Bowers, "Game reviews"

In this months edition of game reviews, our diligent wargamers take a look at Black Ops: Tactical Espionage Wargaming (a recent effort by our own editor), L’Art de la Guerre (a ruleset for the ancient and medieval period) and The Great War (a recently released boardgame based on Command and Colours).

Column: Richard Clarke, "Up front - I love D6"

It’s not often a chap like me pins his heart on his sleeve and parades his emotions in public, but – damn it! – I’ve got to tell you. I am in love! you, loyal reader, are the first to find out. I’ve not even told the missus yet. But, fear not – the object of my salacious affections is not some dubious wench in a seedy hostelry (God forbid!) but a far finer, ever youthful, eternally pulchritudinous cube. The simple D6.

Wargames, Soldiers & Strategy