TtS


Battle of the Pellia Valley

One small corner of the Operations RoomIts been a while since my last solo game at home but at long last, my Operations Rooms is up and running! The room isn't completely finished but enough has been done that I could start using the space for some actual gaming rather than just DIY! I'm still waiting for my new storage units to be delivered (hopefully in the next week) and I need to put up some bookshelves today and start to bring my reference book collection out of storage. The room is coming together slowly, but this weekend I just needed to roll some dice and so I quickly threw together a small solo game using the To the Strongest! rules. The SetupHanibal has been defeating the Romans on Italian soil and with each victory, more Gaulish tribes have turned on their former masters. One tribe has decided the time is ripe to raid some of the lowland villas for plunder (and a little payback) but has quickly drawn the attention of a small Roman garrison in the area. This is a fictional encounter b

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Battle of Trebia - 218 BC

On Sunday I introduced Posties Rejects to the excellent To the Strongest rules with a refight of the Battle of Trebia. This was initially intended to be a solo game but the Order of Battle grew and grew until I had to admit this just wasn't possible to play alone. Instead, I decided to run the game at Reject HQ (the shed-o-war) as it would probably take a couple of players per side to manage the 'workload' of such large commands. None of those taking part had played these rules before so I would umpire the game, manage rules questions and keep track of lost units and when commands became demoralised etc. The Battle of the Trebia was the first major battle of the Second Punic War. Having crossed the Alps with his army, Hannibal was eager to strike at the Romans to consolidate he position and help convince local Galic tribes to join him. There had been an earlier, smaller, clash between the two sides over a month earlier when Hannibal had attacked and nearly killed Consul Publius Cornelius Scipio in w

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Battle of Ticinus Refight

So as promised I have replayed last weeks Battle of Ticinus using the To the Strongest! ruleset, but this time gave the Romans more freedom to deploy and fight. I used exactly the same forces as last time but for this game, I was able to twist the arm of the Young Padawan to play Hannibal while I took on the role of Publius Scipio. I started off by explaining to her the historical background for this battle and how the last game unfolded, so she was fully aware of the potential weakness of my small army. The SetupSo as already indicated I set this battle up exactly the same as last time, but with some differences to the Roman deployment. I was convinced that Scipio's deployment of his Velites in front of his own cavalry was a mistake and postulated that the light infantry would have been better deployed on the flanks. My plan was to engage the Numidian Light Cavalry in a Javalin fight but make full use of my greater numbers if at all possible. In the centre, my Cavalry would go toe-to-toe with the P

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The Battle of Ticinus 218BC

The Battle of Ticinus was the first direct clash between the Carthaginian forces of Hannibal and the Romans (under the Consul, Publius Cornelius Scipio) in mainland Italy. It was a small battle between mainly cavalry forces and is often overlooked from a wargaming perspective. However, I think this is is an excellent little battle that offers some interesting challenges to both sides. The encounter was also significant because success was a massive morale boost to Hannibal's weary troops that were still recovering from the crossing of the Alps. It was also significant in another way that Hannibal could never have imagined. The consul's 18-year-old son, the future Scipio Africanus, first distinguished himself by saving his father at the height of the battle. SetupWhen Hannibal crossed the Alps he had effectively outflanked the Romans under Scipio who had been sent to Gaul to stop the Carthaginian advance. Scipio decided to return to northern Italy leaving most of his army behind to make their own way back

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Yet more terrain

I've been working on more terrain elements for my 6mm To the Strongest! games. Having made some smaller items a few weeks ago I wanted to make something a little larger that could be used as a significant terrain feature in a game. These are generic enough to be used in a number of scenarios. I'm probably going to make a lot more in the coming months as I'm hoping to significantly increase my storage and gaming space in the not too distant future (more on that in a couple of months).The Marshy StreamThis is a two-part model that can be combined to form a significant feature. I envisage this being used to branch off from a river and represent a bog draining into the river or a shallow valley filled with rough vegetation. The marsh forms a linear barrier that can't be crossed but the land around it is treated as rough terrain and can be traversed by some troops, albeit as a difficult activation.Large HillWell, it's a large hill...there's not much more that can be said about this. I've made this to sit along a t

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Solo Wargaming - To the Strongest!

Regular readers will be aware that I have been playing more solo games recently and its a trend that will likely continue. I'm still attending games at Posties Shed-o-War but I only average about one game a month, especially during the summer when other events and holidays reduce availability to join the lads for a battle. The young Padawan can occasionally be arm-twisted into joining me for a game of To the Strongest! at home, but if I want to play with my 'little men' more often, solo play is the best way forward. This long overdue article discusses how I achieve realistic games using these wonderful rules. You may have a different approach and as always comments and suggestions are very welcome.I have played quite a few games solo now and have slowly been developing a method for 'automating' one side so I can play against an opponent that still has the ability to surprise me, or at the very least put up a stiff fight. The rules for TtS! already introduce a certain amount of friction and no commander c

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Battle of Asculum 279BC

On Tuesday I had another go at a solo game of To the Strongest. This time I've switched from the Punic war to the earlier Pyrrhic war and the Battle of Asculum. After invading Italy and defeating the Romans at Heraclea, Pyrrhus overwintered his army in the south. In the spring of 279 BC Pyrrhus was finally ready to restart his campaign and invaded the province of Apulia. Eventually, he met the Romans, and an appointment with history, at Asculum. The scene was therefore set for a clash that would go down as a victory so costly that it was a victory in name only.According to ancient sources, the battle of Asculum began when both sides found themselves facing each other across a fast flowing river. The Roman commander offered Pyrrhus an opportunity to cross the river unmolested or vice versa so they could have a true match of strength and honour. Estimates of the number of troops involved vary but the best figures are probably about 40,000 infantry each. Pyrrhus has superiority in cavalry and also had 19 elephan

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More To the Strongest!

I got in another solo game of To the Strongest! yesterday...well almost. I actually spent most of the day working in the garden and consequently didn't get to start my game until later afternoon. The garden did desperately need attention though; it was starting to look like the Velociraptor pen in Jurrasic Park. I wasn't able to complete the game before the family started to come home but I got a few turns into it and was able to correct a few of the rules mistakes I made in my last game. I won't be writing this up as a battle report but I will revisit this scenario and order of battle at a later date. In the meantime here's a couple of pictures from what I am calling a 'test game'. The setup: Romans at the top, Carthaginians at the bottom of this picture. A Roman farmstead can be seen hastily evacuating in the top left. The river has two crossing points and the Roman army has a camp over in the right. The Romans advanced as aggressively as the Carthaginians and battle was joined quickly. I wil

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More terrain for 6mm wargaming

Following on from the Hills I made last week I have been trying to make a selection of different terrain types that can be used in my 6mm games using the To the Strongest! ruleset by Simon Miller. For these small terrain item's I have used 70mm rounded edge bases as these fit just inside the 75mm squares on the game mat I am using.Rocky Outcrop - This is classed as Impassable Terrain and is tall enough to block line of sight for units at ground level. Troops on low hills, however, can see over this type of terrain. Vegetation - Thick ground vegetation such as bushes, briars or heather is counted as broken ground because it impedes movement. This counts as rough terrain to mounted and phalangitae, only and doesn’t block line of sight.Boulder Field - This is Broken Ground which means that only skirmish units can pass through it. While the broken ground may make the movement of formed units impossible it isn't sufficiently elevated to block line of sight. Boulder fields do provide cover. Muddy field -

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Terrain - Hills for 6mm wargaming

I've been working on some more terrain items, this time specifically for playing 6mm wargames using the To the Strongest! rules. My game mat is divided into a 3" grid so when I'm building terrain elements for use with these rules I try to make them fit comfortable inside those dimensions or multiples thereof. My current set of hills is rather limited, especially now that I have expanded my games surface to 3x4', so I have started to build a set of extra hills that allow for a bit more variety.The following pictures illustrate the technique I have used and show some of the variety of hills I have managed to create using it.I cut slices of cork bark with a model saw and lays then along one edge of the base to make a line of cliffs. Then I built up the hill behind the cliffs using layers of corrugated cardboard cut to fit. I filled any gaps with little offcuts of the card until I had the rough shape of the hill. The whole thing was glued together with lashings of PVA glue and then left overnight to dry

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Battle of Secutium River

Tuesday was my day off and I decided to make the most of the free time to play a solo game with my Punic War forces. I have recently been reorganising my Carthaginian army and during the painting challenge, I added several Gaul and Iberian units to the collection so it was high time these were played with. I also recently bought a new gridded game mat from DeepCut Studios and this was an excellent opportunity to christen it in battle.The SetupThis game is a fictional battle set on the banks of the Secutium River somewhere in northern Italy. Both armies came in at 200 points apiece so this was going to be a relatively large game and more importantly it was going to be played solo. To add a certain level of 'automation' to my non-existent opponent controlling the Romans I decided to randomise the deployment of the cavalry command so it could have been on either the left or right flank. I also diced to determine the level of 'aggression' the Roman army would show in their actions. Would they be cautious and stan

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Hannibal's Gallic Allies

After expanding the ranks of my Polybian Roman Army last week now its time to add some extra muscle to my Carthaginian army under Hannibal. The most famous of the Barcids, Hannibal always seemed to be outnumbered but he made up for it by gathering disaffected and outright rebellious roman 'subjects' and turning them against Rome. The march from Spain had severely depleted his army. Some estimates suggest that as much as 75% of his starting strength was 'lost' to battle casualties, garrisoning of parts of Cisalpine Gaul and disease (especially during the harsh Alpine crossing). When he arrived in Northern Italy Hannibal faced a region of Gallic tribes that had been brutally subdued by Rome and were naturally reluctant to turn on their powerful overlords. However after he had routed an army under Publius Scipio at the Battle of Ticinus nearly all the Gallic tribes switched to the Carthaginian cause. I already had three of these units painted but wanted the option to field more (I can take up to six us

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