Friday, December 30, 2016

Christmas Gaming Part 2

Christmas gaming this year continued on Boxing Day when Jamie and I played a splendid game of X-Wing.  We returned to the scenario from the basic set that involves escorting the senator's shuttle to the opposite side of the board.

The game was wonderfully tense. The shuttle has six "hit points" and took a "console fire" critical hit early in the game.  This meant that I had to roll each turn to see if the fire spread doing more damage.  Normally this result can be undone by spending a Action to put out the fire but the senator's shuttle doesn't get to perform Actions.  In the end the shuttle was just a single point away from destruction when it exited the table giving the Rebels a narrow win. Sadly no photos though so we'll move on the our game on the 27th.

I'd planned a six-player recreation of the Battle of the Catalaunian Fields (aka Chalons), 451CE.  This battle-of-all-the-nations saw a Roman-led alliance under Flavius Aetius take on Atilla's Hunnic-Gepid-Ostrogoth army.

I say "planned" because at the last minute I gained an extra player (having already decided to allocate one player role to Arthur and Leo working together).  We were thus eight:

  • Andy and Gus took on the roles of Aetius and Merovec, king of the Franks, commanding the Roman left
  • Benedict was Sangiban, king of the Alans in the Roman centre,
  • Lewis, new to our games, was Theodoric, king of the Visigoths and commander of the Roman right
  • Leo and Arthur commanded the Gepids on the Hunnic right
  • Jamie took on the Role of Atilla, and 
  • Kevin, as Valamir, king of the Ostrogoths, ran the Hunnic left.
The following photos begin after the battle was underway for a couple of turns.  In the foreground the Visigoths and Ostrogoths contest the long ridge that dominates that part of the field. On the right you can see the edge of the Huns' wagon-protected camp.  I added a couple of Roman buildings to help give period feel but otherwise the field is pretty empty. 

At the far end of the field the Roman left clashes with Gepids
whilst in the foreground Sangiban's Alans advance

Clashes all along the line as the Ostrogoths reach the crest of the ridge

Sangiban's horse (centre) charge the Huns (right) whilst backed
up by Roman auxilia (left)

Ostrogoths lap around the end of the ridge and threaten the Visigoths' right flank

Hun nobles charge Franks of Sangiban's command
(by this stage he's already lost the first unit of the game, a group of
Armorican spearmen)

Heavy fighting where the junction of the Alans and Romans coincides with
that between Gepids and Huns

Kings Theodoric and Sangiban (left) seem to take most seriously Atilla's description of their position 

The Ostrogoths continue to hold the ridge

And now their cavalry have crossed it leaving their bowmen to hold the crest

A unit of Gallic auxilia from Sangiban's command have crossed the far end of the ridge.
They look somewhat cut-off.

In the centre Sangiban makes good progress against the Huns but the Ostrogoths threaten to break the
right of the Roman line line

Confused fighting in he centre of the field

At the far end the Romans are finding it difficult to defeat the deep formations of Gepid warriors.
Roman casualties are mounting.

In the centre Sangiban has broken through to the Hunnic camp

The Visigoths (white unit tags) dispute control of the ridge but Ostrogoth cavalry (peach tags) are in their rear

Sangiban's red-uniformed Gallic auxilia have reached the Hunnic wagon laager and disordered
the defenders
At the far end of the table the Gepids (yellow tags)are almost at the Roman camp.
Either camp could fall any time now but the Romans are low on Victory Medals.

Gepid Cavalry vs Roman Lanciarii light infantry before the Roman camp!

The climax - somewhere on the Roman left a unit breaks and with the surrender of their last
Victory Medal the Roman army begins to disintegrate.  Atilla (Jamie) has reversed history!

The aftermath - Aetius (Gus) bemoans Leo and Arthur's ability to pull a 9 or 10
chit out of the cup whenever a save was needed.

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