Mate Ian came round last night, bringing his 15mm collection, and helped me play-test the latest version of my "To the Strongest" rules, including the first army lists. I had decided I wanted to explore the Polybian legion, and the Seleucids, as I want to tackle Magnesia next year, or perhaps in 2015. We picked two armies of around 180 points each, and set to!
Ian has an extensive collection of 18mm minis, which we don't use often enough. Above, we used around 300 minis to depict a Roman and an allied legion. The game could have been played with around half of the minis we used, but more looked prettier! The Roman camp is below; I made that.
Ian's Xyston Successors (above and below) are stunningly well painted. Ian's Seleucid army for the games included a couple of units of tough cataphracts, some scythed chariots, escorted elephants and a mass of Galatians.
My favourite shot of the game is the one above. The Hastati and Principes were organised in units of 24, but with the elements staggered to look like maniples (Ian's idea; a good one!). During the game, my legions piled into the phalanx, but weren't able to make much of an impression, although they came very close to breaking through towards the end of the battle.
Some Carthaginian chariots (proxying for scythed) almost saw my flank off. Almost...
Ianichos piles on the pressure! I ran the game from a pdf version of the rules, on the iPad (right). I have come to prefer iPads to paper rules, especially when they have hyperlinks embedded in them.
It was a very enjoyable game, and nail-bitingly close. I was ahead for much of it, but just couldn't kill the final unit I needed to slay, in order to win. Ian eventually caught up and his surviving elephant committed the coup de grace on my cavalry unit, for the win (below).
The rules worked out very well, and very little needs to be tweaked before the next game. The points values, used for the first time last night, seem to be quite well balanced. Hopefully we'll get the next test game in, early in January!
If anyone would like a play-test copy (or a recently updated version if I've already sent you one), please do drop me a line at the address on the front of my blog.