I have been wargaming for twenty years but rarely have I been able to play my favorite: Historicals, especially the Black Powder era. Here in the U.S. we always had trouble getting two important things: A solid set of rules and affordable and readily available miniatures. That has changed the last few years and finally there are both and Historicals are now being played up at the Wizard’s Wall. To get our historical games up and running Chris Stratton and I are running Rome vs. the Celts using two different rule sets: War and Conquest, and Fields of Glory. We are playing twice a week so we can master the rules and bring you battle reports. For Miniatures we are going with Wargames Factory and Warlord Games. Both make excellent 28 mm hard plastic models that offer a large amount of models for a low cost.
To get the models assembled and painted I have two projects going: Rome vs. the Celts and an 18th century Black Powder army. For the Celts I opened two boxes of Celtic Warband, 2 boxes of Celt Chariots and two boxes of Celt Cavalry from Wargames Factory. I also picked up two boxes of Celt Warriors from Warlord Games. The total cost came to $152.00 and all the boxes contain a total of 152 models. $1.00 a model; can’t beat that. For the Romans I picked up two boxes of Roman Legions, a box of Numidian Warriors, and a box of Roman Cavalry from Wargames Factory. The cost came to $120.00 for almost 140 models. This will be enough so Chris and I can play 1,000 point game of both systems. I want to get these armies up and running so I will be speed painting both to get them table ready. The Celts are being painted every Saturday during Nerd World Nations painting day. BTW, if your local come by the store every Saturday and join us painting.
For my second project I am building troops for 18th century battles; most specifically 7 Years war and War of Spanish Succession. This is my favorite time in history and I am taking my time painting the models so the army will look fantastic. There are few models available for this time period so again I went to Wargames Factory for models. I picked up two of each of their War of Spanish succession kits: Infantry, Cavalry, and Artillery. This will start me out at 24 cavalry, 4 cannons and 72 infantry for $120.00. This is just the tip of the ice burg; I will need much more. The best thing about this time period is all the different armies. I won’t be just painting red for English and white for French but painting for the Dutch, Prussians, Austrians, etc. as well. See my earlier post for the box opening for War of Spanish succession Infantry.
For rules we are trying two different sets: Fields of Glory and War & Conquest. I thought War and Conquest would be similar to Warhammer Ancient Battles. It is similar but a big improvement. The rules remove many of the cheesy little tricks that are historically inaccurate. What impresses me the most is the ease of play and the how historically accurate the rules are. Some good examples are the special rules for the Greek Phalanx, Vicking Shield Wall, Celt Warband and more. The game is supported on the Scarab website with an excellent forum that supplies army list and gaming aids such as markers and a quick reference sheet. Included in the rules are two things I really like: lots of dice and removing models when they die.
Fields of Glory is more tactical and more in depth rules. The first strength of the game is the fact that you can play 28 or 15 mm models, the size of the base is what is important. To form a unit,or Battle Group a player puts bases together, usually 2 to 6, bigger the the battle Group the better. As a unit takes casualties it goes through a series of Cohesion levels until a Battle Group breaks and runs. You don’t remove individual models but a base as the unit takes damage. The combat phase is the strength of the rules. After a charge the opposing units line up even, not corner to corner, so all models can attack. In subsequent rounds units get more attacks due to ranks. To decide melee and shooting dice there are charts to add up how many dice. The amount of dice is determined by the size and strength of the unit. As with War and Conquest, the game is well supported on their web site.
Historicals is the fastest growing area in wargaming and I am very glad for it. I prefer to put out my troops and cavalry and battle it out. With these battles there are no cheesy tricks or unfair army list; it is all up to the General, and dice rolls of course. You can find Chris, Captain Swing , and me, Skenticus, playing romans and Celts every Wednesday and Saturday. Soon we will be doing battles during the 7 Years War and 16th century Japan. We will be playing both Fields of Glory and War and Conquest. Both are excellent rules systems and most importantly- fun. Though Fields of Glory is more tactical I prefer War and Conquest due to taking figures from units and ease of play. Look for future post on Battle reports on collecting, assembling and painting my armies as they grow. Please add your experiences playing these two fine games.