Friday, 12 November 2010

The battle of Bagradas, 253BC

Previous 'ancient' period battle reports on this blog have generally used Phil Sabin's excellent Strategos II rules.  While I am still a big fan of the good professor's work I was recently introduced (by John Drewienkiewicz) to GMT's 'Command & Colours' game.  This game used the core mechanisms from such games as Memoir '44 and Battle Cry with which I had a passing acquaintance.

The photo below shows some of the contents of the box - rules, scenario book (15 scenarios), dice and cards.  The game also includes a hex gridded board and hundreds of wooden blocks as playing pieces.  What really appealed to me was that John's game used 15mm toys on Hexon boards.  It looked pretty good.  Regular readers will be aware that I am no stranger to Hexon and that my ancient armies are in 6mm.  Smaller than 15mm so they should fit in the hexes - right?  Some experimenting revealed that it should indeed work and my order for the game was placed.
To give C&C a try out, I prepared the Bagradas scenario.  This was an encounter between a Roman army under Regulus and the Carthaginians led by the Greek Xanthippus.  I had a reasonable representation of the armies available as the result of a series of recent 'accidents' on ebay....  In the game Martin Rapier played the canny Xanthippus (6 order cards) while I took the role of the overconfident and bungling Regulus (only 4).

As usual all photos are taken from my (the Roman) point of view.

Regulus is seen here leading a unit of medium infantry.  More mediums are to the right, heavies behind and elephant fodder in front. Most figures are by Baccus.

The core of the Carthaginian line - heavy infantry (there were 4 such units) and elephants (3).  The red counter was there to mark the line between the central and right (from my point of view) sectors of the table.
The very aggressively handled Carthaginian light horse get stuck into their opposite numbers on my left flank.
The Roman right  - skirmishers exchange volleys of pointy sticks.
More skirmishing, this time on the left.  Note the cheeky Punic cavalry on the left.  Regulus's subordinate is in the centre.
The Roman left continues to disintegrate - the medium cavalry unit at the bottom of the frame already has 2 hits (3 kills it) and is about to run off.
More skirmishing on the right - now minus the Roman light cavalry.
The Roman left surges forward and sees off Martin's skirmish line.
The Roman 2ic seizes his chance for glory.
The elephants rumble forward - sadly the Roman light infantry were unable to stem this tide (that's their job) so Nelly and friends were able to attack one of my medium infantry units.  Not good.  It died horribly.
Endgame - the surviving elephant (centre left) squares up to the Roman 2ic.  In a pretty historical outcome both of my flanks have taken a bashing and the centre is still on the starting blocks.
Quite a jolly evening's entertainment - from start to finish in less than 2 hours - including several instances of looking things up in the main rules.  The next scenario (possibly in 2 weeks) is Ticinus River in 218BC - Scipio versus Hannibal.


Robert (Bob) Cordery said...


I am giving consideration to having a go at using my Hexon II hexes with 'Memoir '44' ... and your blog entry has convinced me that the idea has merit.

All the best,


Tim Gow said...

I'm sure it'll work fine. I find Memoir'44 just a bit too abstract. I daresay C&C is too but I know less about the ancient period!

Geordie an Exiled FoG said...

Those 6mm Armies look fine Tim

It puts my 15mm DBA metal hoard to shame

The do look good en masse and look very paintable!

Any idea how does the lead cost out, any more expensive than a 15mm equivalent army to fight the same battle?

Tim Gow said...

Baccus 6mm army packs cost from £20-£30. 15mm armies from Essex Miniatures seem to be about £50-£60. While the figs used at Bagradas were all bought painted from ebay, I have painted loads of Greeks & Persians (see the relevant posts). If I can paint them anyone can!