Thursday 25 January 2024

The Huns

One month ago, I ordered Blue Moon Huns to replace the single command of Old Glory figures. Using the Alans to play a double size command did not seem right, therefore an order was placed for the Blue Moon figures. The four packs ordered filled exactly two commands (one leader, two of horse archers and one with javelins).  

The lower torso of the rider is cast with the horse leaving the upper torso to be fitted in a myriad of combinations. The castings require little cleaning and the pin, under the upper torse needs to be trimmed a bit. You may note a number of Huns twisting in the saddle to shot or throw a javelin to their right. Nice that.

Clothing, breeches, topcoat and caps, were painted in six colours, horses in four, leather equipment in three; which produced a wide variety of colour combinations.

Horse tail standards were made using brass rod (1mm, 0.8mm and 0.5mm) and horsetails were covered with Milliput.


1 x Hun general (Cv), 1 x Hun sub-general (LH), 22 x Hun horse archers (LH).

First command

Second command

Battle array

Tuesday 16 January 2024

Collision Course with double size command

Using a double size command with a single die for movement can prove daunting, more so when using the collision course variant. The following test was to see if two games could be played in an evening. The only change to the rule variant was an increase of the deployment zone. 3BW on either side of the centre line would be adequate for a column two elements wide by four deep.

Test game.

The vanguard of each army and the head of the second column are place (to the right, the French, left, the Feudal Spanish).

The Spanish third column appeared shortly thereafter. Waiting for the arrival of the rearguard, the French sent their cavalry to cover the deployment of the infantry.

Turn eight, a wayward French column arrives, but in that time, the Spanish have formed their battle line with flanks protected by difficult terrain.

Seeing the approach of French cavalry, the Spanish cavalry formed a line behind their skirmishers and crossbowmen. Elsewhere, the French pace their advance to come in lockstep with the cavalry on the left.

Note: three hours have passed (twelve turns) with no melees or shooting.

Both lines clash and fighting erupt across the entire front. On the Spanish right, the skirmishers sprint to the cover of nearby woods, allowing their cavalry to engage the French. The Spanish quickly gain the upper hand in the cavalry fight, pushing back their enemy onto their second line causing a heavy toll of French casualties. Resistance collapsed as the army’s left flank became exposed. The French called for a retreat to save what remained of the army. Feudal Spanish 8, West Franks 5.

Turn sixteen was a turning point for the French, the score an even at 3 – 3, suddenly collapsed as the French lost five elements. Total time from set up to end of game took a little over an hour.

Tuesday 9 January 2024

Rome and the Jewish Revolt

There were a series of large-scale revolts by the Jews of Judaea and the Eastern Mediterranean against the Roman Empire between 66 and 135 CE The First Jewish–Roman War (66–73 CE) and the Bar Kokhba revolt (132–136 CE) are better documented when compared to the campaigns against the barbarians across the Rhine and Danube rivers. With the exception of Beth Haron, the First Jewish War is characterized as a series of sieges, ending with the sacking of Jerusalem. In contrast, the Bar Kokhba rebellion, free of the dissention as experienced during the first revolt, waged a protracted guerilla war against Rome, this serves as the backdrop for the following two battles. 


Jewish forces defend in hilly terrain consisting of three difficult hills, a road and hamlet. 

Game one

The rebels took a position along the heights behind the village and straddling the road Jewish regular troops could be seen. Light armed troops extended the rebel position further to their right.

Setting aside any idea of finesse, Rome would take the village and sweep sweeping the hills clear of any rebel resistance. The cavalry would turn the rebel flank and cut off their avenue of retreat.

Displaying grim determination, the rebels sent light troops to seize the hill which split the Roman deployment.

Confident its auxilia on the left could deal with rebel skirmishers, Rome advanced its legion against the village while auxilia prepared to sweep the hills on their right.

Rebel skirmishers engage the auxilia for possession of the hill and supporting zealots find an opportunity to attack the left flank of the legion.

The rebel skirmishers proved no match against the auxilia and were slowly driven back off the hill. At its base, the zealots begin to experience heavy casualties.

As the legion swept through the village, the rebel leader ordered the regulars to help defend the village. Too little and too late, the high number of casualties prompted the flight of the rebels. Tomorrow would be another day. Rome 8+3Hd – 1

Game two

Positions reversed, Rome deployed its legion outside the village and positioned the auxilia to occupy it and the surrounding hills. The cavalry deployed on the right of the legion.

Unexpectedly, the rebels opened the battle pressing forward to attack the village and contest possession of the hill position to its flank.

Coming under pressure from twice their number, Roman auxilia begin to give ground. Elsewhere, the rebels seemed hesitant to enter the village as the Roman auxilia were supported by archers.

Roman ballistae repositioned itself to better support the defense of the village and as ballistae bolts rained on rebel formations, these withdrew to a safer distance.

Meanwhile on the Roman left, after beating the rebel attack around the hill, the auxilia withdrew to a nearby second hill position.

Roman casualties had been heavy throughout the battle, but the rebel forces suffered twice as many and therefore break off the combat, leaving the field. Rome 8 – 4



Despite the cavalry advantage, Rome fought both engagements with only its infantry, for the most part employing all the auxilia with a few legionnaire cohorts in support. 

While writing the report, I discovered an oversight regarding the restriction of shooting to and from a hamlet. This is treated similarly as shooting to or from difficult hills or woods. No casualties were inflicted, but it did prompt some rebels to recoil. 



Jewish Revolt

2 x generals (3/4Ax), 4 x regulars (4Ax), 4 x masses (5Hd), 4 x masses (3Ax), 4 x zealots (3Wb), 6 x archers/slingers (Ps). 

Early Imperial Roman

2 x General (Cv), 2 x equites (Cv), 8 x legionnaires (4Bd), 6 x auxilia infantry (4Ax), 2 x archers (4Bw), 2 x light horse (LH), 2 x artillery (Art).

Tuesday 2 January 2024

Rome vs. the Batavi

In 12 BC, Drusus launched a major campaign against the Germanic tribes bordering the North Sea, conquering the Batavi, Frisii and the Chauci near the mouth of the Weser. He continued his campaign in 11 BC, to conquer the Usipetes and the Marsi and in the following year, the Chatti and the resurgent Sicambri. Upon reaching the Elbe River however, further campaigns were cut short in the summer of 9 BC by his death resulting from a riding accident.


The Batavi defend their littoral homeland, giving the defender a waterway, two marsh, one wood and a BUA (hamlet).

Game one

Deployed in dense columns, the Batavi army positioned itself on a stretch of ground between marsh and woods. To meet the Batavi, the legion formed the centre and, on its flanks, the auxilia. More auxilia infantry and the cavalry extended the line to overlap the Batavi army.

Approaching in two groups, the Batavi on the left soon came under heavy ballistae fire.

The unrelenting hail of bolts forced the left wing to change its course in an attempt to engage the artillery.

Stripped of their supporting left wing, the main body of Batavi continued their advance, spurred on by the presence of their warlord. Unfortunately, the Batavi could make no impression against the legion and the left wing likewise failed in their assault against the ballistae. Denied any hope of a victory, the Batavi were routed when Roman equites struck the open flank of the main body. Rome 8 – 2

Game two

A subsequent battle found the Batavi deployed in three groups, between the marsh and village. The far-right was personally led by their warlord, giving command of the centre and left flank, to the sub-general.

Rome deployed in its standard tactical formation.

The Batavi right struck first, moving its skirmishers to clear the wood ahead. With their warlord present, the Batavi warriors moved to engage the auxilia positioned on that flank.

The situation on the Roman left reached a critical point when half the auxilia infantry and supporting equites were routed, leaving the ballistae unprotected. To deal first with the threat to his left, the commander halted the advance of the legion to send reserve cohorts to deal with the situation.

Undeterred by the presence of Roman cavalry, the Batavi continued their destruction of the Roman left

The danger to the left contained, the legion resumed its march against the Batavi centre.

However, the Batavi struck first. Moving in two groups, the battle in centre became hotly contested, both sides nearing a breaking point. Standing firm, the legion held its ground to deny the Batavi their chance of a victory. Rome 9 – 6. 


The option for a littoral landing was not employed, Rome could easily counter its use. This left a head on clash with the legion the only option for the Batavi. The dense formation of ‘heroes’, invaluable in melee, unfortunately slowed the tempo of attack. What followed, developed into a Roman killing exercise. 

Game two offered a greater challenge. Under direct control of their warlord, the Batavi right overran the Roman flank, delaying the main assault by the legion. The situation eventually reached a critical point when the Batavi destroyed, auxilia, cavalry and artillery in rapid succession. At this point, things did not move smoothly for Rome, as further casualties in centre gave Rome a narrow advantage of 7 – 6, nearing the end of turn seven. With a pip score of one, Roman equites joined an existing melee to help tip the balance in favour of Rome. 

The Batavi

1 x general (Cv), 1 x sub-general (3Wb), 4 x heroes (4Wb), 14 x warriors (3Wb), 4 x skirmishers (Ps).

Early Imperial Roman

2 x General (Cv), 2 x equites (Cv), 8 x legionnaires (4Bd), 6 x auxilia infantry (4Ax), 2 x archers (4Bw), 2 x light horse (LH), 2 x artillery (Art).