Saturday, February 2, 2008

WAB Year of the Four Emperors

I advise an historical gaming club at the school I used to teach at. The club is now in its fifth year. During that time, I've probably had fifty kids involved, but only about 20 have actually finished an army. Usually I end up fielding part of the armies myself.

Today we had a club battle at the school. Two of the students are building early imperial Roman armies for Warhammer Ancient Battles. They're close to being done with their armies. This was their first game with their newly painted figures. We played a 2000 point battle from the year of the four emperors.

Here is Matt with his 1000 point Roman army. If he looks proud, he should be. He started painting his first army just two and a half months ago, and he's done. Now he's working on increasing it to 2000 points.
This is Matt's heavy cavalry unit. I taught the students a simple block painting technique, but Matt has already moved on to drybrushing his chain mail. And those are hand painted shields.

Here are Matt's two legions, his army commander, his army standard bearer, and part of his unit of archers.

Matt's Auxilia were decisive in our battle.

Matt commanded one side in the battle. Forrest and Nathan commanded his wings.

The battle opened with the brothers Green moving their skirmishers into contact. Forrest's Romans are painted and based, but they don't have shields yet and aren't flocked.

The brothers Green watch as Imperator Matt and his generals plan their attack.

Matt's cavalry won an early victory over the Greens' cavalry. The legion on the far left of the Greens' line was able to chase them off the table.

The legions clash in the center of the table. Three of these units are mine, and one is Matt's.

Just as you would expect in a Roman civil war, the legions stayed locked in combat until the battle was decided. Both sides' auxilia tried to get flank attacks on the legions' main lines.

The game was a grueling slugfest in the center. Here the legions are pounding each other to dust.

As the battle continued, the casualties mounted.

Here is the table at the end of the game. Most of the units were destroyed. Matt's army won a marginal victory, but his own army was nearly destroyed.

WAB works well as an introduction to wargaming. The students get to build armies of moderate size, and they do like rolling so many dice.

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