Greeks and another Diversion

Back in May 2019 in Moving Right Along – Wargaming Tasks – 2019 update!, back before the plague, I noted that I had received

Heroics and Ros 6mm Greeks for yet another Ancient project. I am still waiting on the delivery from Rapier Miniatures, but I fear these are the first order to the Philippines to go astray as it has been over 6 months now Update (May 1st) – I just received an email from Stefan at Rapier (not bad, about one hour after posting this) to note that the parcel was sent but they will send again. Brilliant service guys – thank you.

The Rapier Greeks duly arrived and the original parcel was received back at Rapier in the UK a few days after a replacement order was sent to me. Ah the vagaries of PhilPost. I digress however.

Last year I had also read a fair bit of Greek history, both land battles and naval, and had decided, with all those 6mm Greeks, along with a couple of fleet packs of Navwar’s 1/1200 ancient ships and a copy of GMT’s Galley, to refight the Peloponnesian War, both on land and sea, as a project.

Reading Battles and Battlefields of Ancient Greece – A Guide to Their History, Topography and Archaeology – Book Review along with Great Battles of the Classical Greek World – Review and it occurred to me that I would have the figures available and the information to pretty much refight all the Greek vs Greek battles of the classical world in 6mm on a 2 foot square board (yes, wargamer’s megalomania at its best).

Enter the plague! Several months of listless inactivity followed by a home move out of Metro Manila to a province and I had achieved absolutely nothing. In my defense, there was a good deal of work pressure at the same time as quarantine lockdowns and what-not (yes, I know, an excuse not a reason).

Tonight, sitting in the new residence (temporary for about 6 months while the final Thomo’s Hole is being constructed) and it occurred to me that to get rolling on this project, I could use my Commands and Colors (C&C) set. I have all six expansions from the Ancient C&C, although I had not placed the Spartan expansion figure stickers on the blocks for that yet. I started that tonight.

I now have a project, doable in short order — refighting the classical Greek world using C&C. I have the blocks, I have the reference material and best of all, I don’t need much space or to paint anything. When I get up to the Peloponnesian War I will probably consider breaking out War Galley as well. However, for the time being, it’s lock shields and advance!

North Cape

 

The box art - image from Boardgame Geek at http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/14678/north-cape
The box art – image from Boardgame Geek at http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/14678/north-cape

CinC are re-releasing North Cape

Boardgame Geek notes:

NORTH CAPE is a simulation of surface naval combat during 1939-43, using C in C’s unique game system combining the visual appeal of naval ship miniatures with the convenience of a boardgame. Two players, representing the respective commanders, maneuver scale warship replicas and engage in combat to achieve victory for their commands. Eight different historical scenarios provide you a chance to try your skill in a wide variety of tactical situations. Two can also be played solitaire. In addition, a campaign game offers wider scope and endless variety.

Based on the General Quarters miniatures rules.

North Cape was originally released in 1978 and for ships relied on the 1/4800 scale vessels produced by CinC and still current in their catalogue. These vessels are well detailed given their diminutive size although they are larger than the 1/6000 vessels you see spread through Thomo’s Hole on various painting exercises.

Image of the Bismark and a scale representation  - image from Boardgame Geek at http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/14678/north-cape
Image of the Bismark and a scale representation – image from Boardgame Geek at http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/14678/north-cape

I am well looking forward to this as CinC are noting that:

We have been looking into doing enough paper tactical boards to release the last 400+ of the games available. Interested in feed back on interest in that. Price would be about $50-$60 (originally $17) with possibly additional ships or what if items (16″ gun Scharnhorst!).

Pre-publication and/or shipping deals for direct purchase.

Please weigh in.

Whilst CinC are inviting comments, I still haven’t found a way to make those comments to them but I for one would certainly buy a copy at this price. There would not be too much painting involved and I think it would make a good set for a Friday night game.

Game Board - image from Boardgame Geek at http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/14678/north-cape
Game Board – image from Boardgame Geek at http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/14678/north-cape

Waiting ……..

Carthage

Chariots of Fire was the first game I had purchased recently from GMT Games. The other game I purchased at that time was Carthage. Carthage is one of the games in the Ancient World Series. The first of that series, Rise of the Roman Republic, is out of print. Carthage being the second and most recent still is in print.

I’ve always (well, for the last 40 years anyway) had an interest in Carthage, the Phoenician colony on the North African coast. Carthage almost bought Rome to her knees before she was an established power. The struggles between Rome and Carthage produced two of the great captains in history – Hannibal and Scipio Africanus.

The game Carthage concentrates on the First Punic War. This was the precursor to the one made famous by Hannibal and Scipio. Indeed, it was in the First Punic War that Hannibal’s father fought and were the oath taken by the father on behalf of Hannibal was made, the oath that the Barcas would fight the Romans until they succeeded in destroying them.

The game components look good with two maps covering the main areas of conflict (Italy, North Africa and Sicily). There are over 1,000 counters in this game as well.

The game itself lists four scenarios. These are:

The Mercenary War, 241 B.C. At the completion of the First Punic War over, the Carthaginian mercenaries in Sicily sought payment. They were sent back to Carthage where they were paid a small amount of what was owed to them and then they sere shipped off to Numidia.

After a while they revolted and massacred a number of officers then laid waste to Carthage. Some Libyans joined in the revolt. In the end Hanno was compelled to assemble an army of veterans and elephants to combat the mercenaries. Hamilcar Barca (Hannibal’s father) returned to Carthage from overseas as well with a mostly mounted second army and Navaras, a Numidian chieftain joined with Hanno to put down the revolt.

Agathocles, 311 B.C. In this scenario the Carthaginians are fighting against Syracuse, led by the ambitious tyrant, Agathocles. This fighting was based around Agrigentum (Acragas).
Hiero, Hero or Gyro? 264–263 B.C. This is an introductory scenario, simplified in its approach and what it involves. Very good for learning the game system.
The First Punic War, 264 to 241 B.C. This is the full war – with the folks at GMT making the assumption that our game war will end at the same completion date of the First Punic War generally.

Board Game Geek has Carthage rated at 7.47/10.

As with Chariots of Fire, I am very much looking forward to getting into this game.

Chariots of Fire

I had been looking for some board wargames to add to my meagre collection of this genre. I particularly was interested in board games because generally they do not require so much space (yes, I know, some of the bigger ones are really big), they are self contained and many have good suitability to solitaire play.

In addition, I was looking for some games that had a ancient feel about them. I had a tax refund cheque coming so this seemed the perfect opportunity to add a game or two to the collection.

The first addition I made was the Salamis add-on to the War Galley Module of the Great Battles of History series. I can’t resist a good naval game.

I was also looking for some ancient based games so the next game I selected was GMT’s Chariots of Fire. This is also part of the Great Battles of History series and covers early warfare, when chariots ran amok on the battlefield.

This game covers warfare in the Bronze Age, from about 2300 to about 1200 BCE. The game itself is well presented and includes everything needed to start to play, including a dice and some nice little plastic bags to make it easier to store the pieces ((I may look at getting some of the counter trays GMT produce in the future)).

The game comes with counters for the following forces:

  1. Egyptian
  2. Hittite
  3. Mitanni
  4. Syria/Canaan (Ugarit)
  5. Assyria
  6. Kassite
  7. Arzawa
  8. Danaans
  9. Trojans

I will frankly admit now that until I saw this game, I had never heard of the Arzawa so from the point of view of stimulating me, the game has been a success already. I shall spend some time finding out more about them in the future ((I now know that Arzawa in the second half of the second millennium BCE was the name of a region and a kingdom in Western Anatolia, likely to have extended along southern Anatolia alongside a belt across the Lakes Region until the Aegean coast. Arzawa’s central area was later to become known as Lydia)).

The game provides maps and scenarios for the following battles:

  1. Sumer (circa 2320 BCE) – using the Hittite and Mitanni counters for the Sumerian and Akkadian respectively
  2. Sekmem (c. 1870 BCE) – Egypt v the Canaanites
  3. Megiddo (c. 1479 BCE) – Egypt v Canaan, Mitanni and Syrian kingdoms – I can’t wait to try this one out
  4. Senzar (c. 1470 BCE) – Egypt v the Mitanni
  5. Astarpa River (c. 1312 BCE) – Hittites v Arzawa (it is suggested that part of the Arzawa later became the Wilusa – the Trojans of Homer’s epic)
  6. Kadesh (c. 1300 BCE) – Egypt v Hittites – and this is another battle I can’t wait to try although it is a big scenario
  7. Nihriya (c. 1230 BCE) – Assyria v Hittites
  8. Babylon (c. 1225 BCE) – Assyria v Kassites
  9. Troy (c 1200 BCE) – Danaan v Trojans – the one the movies get made of and that is famous from Homer’s “The Iliad”.

Many battles to recreate in this board game and it seems the average battle lasts about two hours. I am really looking forward to starting to play some of these.

The game itself rates as 7.94 out of 10 at Board Game Geek.