Saturday, July 16, 2022

A Surprise for Anton, updated with some results

 Hello All,

Anton and I have been reinvestigating the first major gaming craze of our careers.  WRG 6th Edition.  

More than Four Decades ago when all this madness started Only Anton had the figures and Rules.  He just let a bunch of us High School Age Mutts hang out at his house and play the games with his VAST collection.  While over the decades most of us have all become engaged in the hobby and built up collections of whatever eras interested us, the one era that has remained constant has been Ancients, where for all intents and purposes When we play Ancients, it is with Anton's figures.  

In assessing my own collection and purging out some stuff that never gets played with (probably because I tend toward the strangest collections).  I decided that one area it was time someone branched out into was Ancients.  Completely independently, Anton also decided to dredge up the old figures and start running some games.  

I have been busily painting and scrounging up figures so that I now own two armies (basically) and am working on a third (Babylonians and now Chinese are mostly done, I am still working on the Carthaginians).  All hold two things in common, they have always been armies I was intrigued by and Anton does not have the armies.  Tonight (7-16-22) I challenged Anton to a game where he will get to use his pride and joy the Nikephorean Byzantines and I will be introducing me second army to the table.  We already tried out my Babylonian army and Anton IMMEDIATELY declared the camels to be "broken".  I am setting this posting to open when are game starts and hoping that Anton will not look through the draft file between now and then.  

So, without further ado allow me to introduce to you ... The Sung Chinese (1500 points)

Here we have the army's general riding about in a flashy chariot.  He is escorted by two unshielded Heavy Cavalrymen and is carrying his personal Army Standard, "the red banner of eternal victory". 

Next up is a 12 figure unit of Heavy Cav.  The Heavy Cav unit is Regular (trained troops) "B" ("A" is as good as it gets so they are "really good").  But unfortunately, this era of China had lost control of the regions that provided horsemen and all I can buy is 15 Heavy cavalry maximum (2 must be upgraded to regular "A" hence the body guard with the general), so these 14 are basically all there is.  This will not be a fast moving force.  

Next up comes the Heavy cav's running mates.  A 10 figure unit of Regular C light cavalry archers. The army is allowed to field up to 12 of these guys, but due to point constraints I ended up with a 10 figure unit.  Basically since none of my cavalry has shields (a notable issue with this particular Chinese army) these achers will run interference for the heavies as they approach their target and then cover the heavies as they try and smash an opponent.  

Finally for the Sung mounted troops I have chosen to brak the 10 Light cavalry with spears into two very small units of five each.  These troopers are regular B like the heavies and armed with light spears like the heavies and also lack shields like all the other horse.  My plan is to use them to rout off units that get broken by the more powerful forces thus allowing the more powerful forces to avoid chasing off into the sunset.  Will all three cavalry types the army list forces you to buy some of them, but does not allow you to field enough of them to really be much of a threat.  The cavalry will NOT be the "force majure" of this army.  

Next up are the most powerful formations in the army.  These are two 24 figure units of Guard Infantry.  They are Regular "B" and Heavy Infantry and armed with heavy throwing weapons (think Roman Pilums).  These are the pound for pound toughest troops in the army, but they do have one notable problem, they lack shields just like the cavalry.  Its not like the Sung Chinese did not hace shields, they just chose not to give them to their best troops.  A very odd army, just the type I like.  

With the Infantry we have entered the core of this army.  Here we have the first line infantry formation.  Half of the troops have long spears and shields (see I told you the Sung had them), the other half have crossbows.  The Troops are classified as Medium Infantry (which means no armor and they stand more or less shoulder to shoulder).  Unfortunately, they are classified as Regular "D" which is basically as bad as you can be in these rules.  To put it simply, they do not fight all that well as the randomization system is stacked against them.  In these rules "A" class troops can not roll down.  "B" class troops can only roll down 1 at worst.  "C" class troops role what they roll without limits.  "D" class troops can roll down as far as the dice say, but can only roll up one.  These boys are cheap so I can get a lt of them, but they are not that good on the table.  

Here is the second Line infantry unit.  Once again half long spears and shields, the other half crossbows.  Unfortunately still Regular "D" Medium Infantry.  

And here is the third unit of the same. 

Here is the Fourth Unit.  Did I mention you can get a lot of these guys as they do not cost very many points.  One of these 32 figure units costs 90 points, one of the 24 figure guard infantry units costs 154 for some perspective.  I have enough figures to field a fifth unit, but alas not the points.  

This is a unit of 20 Light Infantry.  Half of them have bows and the other half have crossbows.  While these fellows are only light infantry and Regular "D" troops, they hold an important place in the army as someboby needs to stand in front of the Guard Infantry troops (with their complete lack of shields) in order to act as the "meat shields" to protect the expensive good troops from getting chewed up by enemy missile troops.  Welcome to those "meat shields".  

The final "Combat" troops of the army are these fine fellows.  They are 18 Light Medium Infantry.  While they are once again Regular "D" and armed with light spears and a shield (really in this army ALL of the garbage gets shields, but NONE of the quality troops get them!), they are important for contesting terrain features like woods and steep hills where the rest of my army can not function.   

Now we get to the "Specialists" of this army.  The Artillery.  One of the things I discovered when building this army was that Chinese Artillerists simply are no longer available, the hazzard of trying to build an army whose manufacturer went out of business 40 years ago.  However I noticed that Etruscan Javelinmen look VERY similar to Chinese artillerists, which is a good thing since they do not look ANYTHING like an Etruscan javelinman!  So I obtained some "Etruscans" form Antons pile of shame and after painting them appropriatly, Voila!  Each of the Artillery Units are in their own unit.  Both the Rockets and Heavy artillery have the "option" to explode when fired so by keeping them separate any explosions will only impact part of the artillery. 

The army is allowed up to 4 Light Bolt shooters and here are two of them.  They come witha Regular "C" crew of 2.  I am working on lining up the other two, but this is what I have.  All artillery can shoot across the board and hit reasonably hard, but some artillery is just better than others.  

Here are two Light stone throwers each with a Regular "C" crew of three.  Here I used a couple more of the "Etruscans" but most of the figures are some repurposed Chinese figures from a Skirmish game that I like and no one else wants to play (Jane Austen Zombie Killer).  I have not found any Rocket launchers yet and will be substituting these for the Rockets in tonights game, but I am working on those Rockets.  

Finally, I have two Chinese 30 Mina Rope Catapults.  For this army I also purchased 6 rounds of Naptha bombs to "spice" up their impact!  

Here is to the good old days, let's see how it plays.  

 From Anton:  Rather better than you expected old buddy! Despite being pure rubbish The Housemartin's Chinese shot my Byzantines to bits . My force lacked the firepower and range to stand off and shoot so I had to cross the lengthy and deadly field of fire that the huge number of crossbows  generated. What really did me in was the shooting before contact. The smallish Byzantine cavalry could not endure the constant dribble of casualties and wee unable to generate enough casualties in melee to push back the 48 figure blobs of Reg D troops. In the end most of the army was routing or retiring while the Varangian Guard stomped across the field and beat everything in their path

I tried to narrow the field and limit The Housemartin's shooting by adding woods and a hill in the center, foolishly I placed swamps on my left rather than hills which would have limited the fire of his heavy stone throwers

coming over the hill we find that everything in the Chinese army is shooting at us!

literally every soldier in the front row had a missile weapon

a turn before I conceded; my right is a bout to rout, my left is crumbling and the Varangian Guard in the center is slaughtering everything to it's front, the next two turns saw them beat the light troops and both bodies of Chinese Guards as well as driving his general from the field, but they were now alone

       Right jolly fun, even if I did lose.

My army was;

C in C PA standard SHC L/SH

11 Klibanophoroi  Reg A SHC 6/L/SH/D and 5/L/SH

3 x 12 Tagmatic Reg B EHC e/w 6 EHC/L/SH + 6 EHC B/SH

2 x 12 Akritoi Irg B HC B/SH

2 x 14 Pechnegs Irg C LC B

26 Varangian Guards Reg A EHI THCW/SH


  1. Well I remember John and I casting figures in his basement. Because we could not afford to buy them. WRG rules are a crap shoot. I got several ancient armies based on warhammer historical. Early and late romans, Gauls & Celts, Carthagians and more. All in boxes hidden away. My first game was at Bob Webb's house playing Carthagians. I won my ass against Byzantines. Just printed a roman fort. Plus a large roman villa. You interested in villa. I give you a deal.

    1. And you are both welcome. I am the guy who spent a day wandering around to tire shops and collected that monstrously heavy buck of lead to do all those castings with. I wonder what ever happened to all that lead?

  2. Revisit? I never left them. They have nnen my staple ancients rules since I bought them kn the late '70s. I have tried 'In Death's Ground' a few times with my 6mm but for 25mm it's 6th edition.
    Nice to see another wrg 6th Ed game

    1. Hello. We have tried other rules (W.A.B., Tactica, Hail Caesar to name a few), but nothing ever caught our attention. For me, I am famous for loving playing around with army lists and number crunching to fine tune the army I like. As to the actual games, the dice create such variance that the maxim "No plan survives contact with the enemy" always seems too true. I have always liked that randomizing effect.