Monday, January 20, 2014

Peter Laing Battle: A King's Folly

         With my recent purchase of Peter Laing ancients, there were quite a few figures that I wasn't sure exactly what they were. I believe they are Germanic barbarians.  They seem ideal to use right through the Dark Ages.
        Years ago when I was going through a dry spell of wargaming,  I dug out some Airfix indians, divided them in half and quickly painted them two distinctive colors and slapped together some quick rules. On a squared playing board each side could have 4 figures per square. There was no organization to the units.  The enemy closed with each other and fought to the death. They would either be killed or forced to retreat. For each  "retreat" roll, only one figure would retreat, not the whole unit as with "Battlelore".  It turned out to be a fairly fun game; one I still play on occasion.

     While preparing "The Train Ambush" I came across the barbarians and realizing I could get another game in this weekend, divided the figures in half and painted their shields different colors. Each side also got three horsemen, of which one was marked as "King" of their tribe.
Red Army on top of picture, Blue Army on bottom.  Red King spread his horsemen throughout army, Blue King kept his together with him.

The two armies facing off from behind the Blue Army.

Red army pushed it's right flank forward, Blue army tried to advance in line.

First blood to Blue army, who killed 3 out of 4 in one red unit.

The fighting becomes general in the center.

The Red army is pushing hard on the blues left flank;Blue strikes hard at the center.

Blues cavalry strikes at Reds unit guarding the king. Two soldiers are killed and one has to retreat. Red king decides  to retreat (he can be seen galloping towards the rear). The Blue horseman can continue to attack but is held back by one spearman.

Blues attack in the center has almost divided Red army in half.

One red unit kills one of the blues cavalry and forces the other to retreat.  Red king turns to join the battle.

The king charges headlong towards a unit of spearmen, and is quickly cut down.  Usually I always have the leaders join a unit so there is always "fodder" to protect the king.

Even with the loss of their king the Red army breaks Blues center.

Red's forces are closing on Blues king.

The end of the battle. Blue has lost over half their army and the king is threatened. Red has won the victory; the loss of their king was  unnecessary and his charge was pure folly.

Just to show how this kind of game can become confused; the red dice shows where red units ended, the black dice shows were the blue units ended the game.

While the game was fun, I doubt I will use these rules again and I'll stick to the rules I've used for my Hyborian games.


  1. John, I really like these narrative battles of yours. I work silly hours, usually away from home, so I get to do research, write now and again - and sometimes get some figures painted, but I rarely get to play these days - so please, keep them coming!

  2. Thank you for the kind words. It's good to know someone else enjoys them. While self-serving, (I print them out and put them in a notebook), I try to use different figures in the games to showcase different Peter Laing figures. I played a game this weekend based on the Persian War of 1856, which I used some Indian Mutiny figures that haven't been used before.

  3. I would love to see that. I found a link on TMP to some nice pictures of the Persian Army in the first half of the 19th century, I will forward it to you

  4. I checked out the pictures of the Persian Army you forwarded to me. Quite different than the figures I used! I do believe at least the British Mutiny figures were right for the game, though.

  5. The Anglo-Indian would have been exactly the same as for the Mutiny. One thing for you to be aware of is that I think (it will be in that book you bought), the Indian troops may have come from the Madras rather than the Bengal Presidency - it was only the latter that was involved in the mutiny and the uniforms varied between presidencies. I put spme pictures on Dropbox a while back - if I haven't sent you a link already I will do so