Today (Sunday), I finished my academic prep-work early so I decided to set up a Roman vs. Germans skirmish game. My son really likes that era and prefers skirmish games to bigger battle games (so far). So as a side project I (slowly) painted up 11 Romans and 16 Germans (Wargames Factory plastics). I used the Two Hour Wargames Swordplay 3.1 rules. I set it the table, labelled all the figures and rolled reps for all of the figures. The Romans had two leaders with rep 5, seven soldiers with rep 4 and two with rep 3. The Germans had two leaders with rep 5, 10 soldiers with rep 4, and 3 with rep 3. All of the Romans had a weapons that counted as a spear and a one handed sword. Their armor was rated as Armor Class 4 (chainmail) and they had shields. The Germans had either a spear or sword and a shield or two one handed weapons, which I counted as two handed weapon in melee. Two of the Germans (rep 4) had a bow and a sword, but no shield. The Germans were all Armor Class 2 (no or light armor). The table was a 4′ x 4′ table with a few hills and woods.
Sadly, my son is sick today so he could not play. I thought I should play a solo game to make sure I knew the rules so we would not be waiting around as I read the rules each time something came up. So I played a single solo game in about two hours, pretty good as the company that makes the rules is called Two Hour Wargames. The Romans took it hard and left many wounded and dead on the table plus one captured soldier and one who escaped. The Germans suffered about 50% casualties (mostly “out of the fight” and a few dead). All-in-all, for a just “go at it” scenario it was a lot of fun. The two German archers were effective, but the Romans kept out of their line of sight and lost only two figures to bow fire. I did make one sort of mistake. In the earlier versions of these rules, Romans got an extra die in melee for their weapon proficiency and I gave the Germans an extra die in melee as well for their ferocity. I think that was an error, and I won’t give those extra dies when my son and I play the next game. The extra dies seemed to make the combat a bit too lethal as it increased the impact value for the winner of each melee, which increased the casualties. Other than that, the game played very well. Hopefully, my son and I will be able to play in the next few days and he can take some pictures of the game. I also think having about twice as many figures as I have painted now would add more to the game as it can be pretty lethal.
I did notice some changes in the rules from earlier versions of the Two Hour Wargames “Chain Reaction” system. First, the new “In-Sight Checks” really just determine who shoots first if there is someone with a missile weapon rather than not allowing some figures to not be able to shoot. Likewise, everyone gets to charge into melee, the “Wanting to Charge into Melee Check” is now just about can you shoot if you have a missile weapon before the melee. These were important for the Romans as their spear (pilum) were useful for taking out a few Germans before they charged. All-in-all, the new Swordplay 3.1 rules worked well for ancient skirmish battles. I just need to make up some different scenario ideas than “two sides go at it”.
No pictures this time, but hopefully I can get my son to take some when we play in the near future. Well I did get to take a few after the fact photos, and here they are: