Monday 31 August 2020

Clash of Spears: Punic Veterans & Leaders

This weeks painting concluded the Carthaginian Clash of Spears start box with both the veteran Punic infantry and commanders being completed.

The veterans are modelled using some captured Roman equipment with the most obvious piece being the shield but they also wear chain-mail armour instead of the linothorax of the standard Punic infantry.
This counts as full armour so gives them a save of 3+ (D6's are used for all rolls in Clash), they also have a melee & grit of 3+ so form the elite of the Carthaginian infantry. The lists also give you the option of having them fight in the Roman style with throwing spears instead of thrusting spears. 

They compare well to the Principes of the Roman army lacking only the Impulsum special rule which helps you force the enemy units out of close order with shooting.

Completing the army are the commanders which are used to activate units  during the game, the higher level commanders also boast extra attacks so could be useful in a fight if required.

The leaders come in levels 2 - 5 (strangely no level 1) which are increasing powerful as you would expect. You can also add various hangers-on to the leader and in this case I have one musician who can be added. The hangers-on are non-combatant but add an extra perk for a price.

To help keep track of the remaining command points each commander has I have mounted them on some bases with integrated counters from Warbases. This is in an effort to reduce the number of markers that will be trailing around behind units during play.

You need to use command points to activate units either for a normal activation or a reactive activation with it costing 1 CP if the unit is within command range to activate and 2 CP's if the range is outside command range. A musician increases the command range to 18" for normal activation's.
Clash looks to be a game where managing the various resources and knowing when to spend them is going to be key. You will need to balance the effects of fatigue on your troops against the need to get critical actions done. So the heavier armoured your men the more fatigue they take for undertaking actions and this increases if they are doing them in rough or broken terrain.

You also take extra fatigue for fighting, shooting and taking casualties, as fatigue builds up your troops are also less effective at fighting and also more likely to fail grit (morale) tests which in turn leads to them taking more fatigue.

An army of all heavy troops could quickly find themselves worn down trying to close with a lighter opponent and routing without having closed the gap.

With the Punic forces now completed I can get started on the Roman box next which features only one allied/mercenary unit with the rest being Roman's. As you would expect the legionaries feature heavily in the force with the lighter Hastati being the main choice and being supported by Velites and Principes. 

Saturday 22 August 2020

Clash of Spears: Punic Infantry

 After working through the various mercenary troops available to the Carthaginians I've now reached the Punic infantry who will form the solid wall of spears in the battle line. The troops are armed in the hoplite style with large round shield and spear. The armour is the light linothorax linen type which counts as partial armour under the rules.

I went with a simple red and white colour scheme and once again the shield transfers by Little Big Men studios. I did manage to get a few arms which where meant to go on the veteran infantry 'bodged' onto these chaps but that does add some variety without looking too bad. Once again the models are good with enough detail to bring out on the figures but not so much you get bogged down in the painting.

In game you could use these either as the standard Punic Infantry or the cheaper Citizens Levy. Both have a similar preferred mode of operating in close order on the defence with the more expensive Punic Infantry being more mobile whilst in close order and having an effect save of 3+ whilst in close order.

Unless really pushed for points I think you would want to go with the higher quality Punic Infantry though it is hard to know much about the game balance without a good few games played.

That leaves two sets of troops to go, the Veteran Punic Infantry and the Commanders, then on to Rome!

Saturday 15 August 2020

Clash of Spears: Numidian Allies

So whilst battling with the extreme heat meant I didn't get much in the way of painting done this week I have managed to add another unit to the Carthaginian force. This time it's the ever useful Numidian light cavalry.

In Clash you don't tend to field many cavalry as the fighting is mostly infantry based but the starter box includes six of these chaps to add to your force. The Carthaginians also have the option to use Iberian heavy cavalry who pack much more of a punch in melee but also carry javelins for a ranged threat.

Under the rules cavalry are twice as fast as infantry in the open (8" rather than 4") and also are harder to hit with ranged weapons and by troops with short weapons in melee. 
The Numidians are lightly armoured with just a shield so will want to operate on the edge of any battle to avoid being the focus of attention.

The Marauder ability will help with this as they don't need to stay within range of a commander to still operate effectively.

The are the last of the light troops for the Carthaginians with only the heavy Punic infantry and commanders left to paint.

Sunday 9 August 2020

Clash of Spears: Iberian Allies

Some more of the Carthaginian allied light troops this week with the melee orientated Iberian Scutarii. You get six of these in the army box and I plan to buy the Iberian army box as these chaps could easily be used as allies in a Roman army as well.

They come with a nice selection of shields and body types giving the unit a good irregular feel.
The Scutarii are armed with throwing spears which can be used at short range to pepper the enemy before they engage in melee, this can be useful to force enemy units out of close order when combined with the Impulsum special ability.

Also with their high Save and Guerrilla ability they can move swiftly through rough terrain and won't build up much fatigue whilst doing so.

The importance of being in close order to heavy melee troops can be illustrated by looking at the standard Punic Infantry man. Armed with a thrusting spear, large shield and partial armour he is a good example of the standard hoplite. Being in loose order is OK for him whilst moving about and charging but when taking a charge he wants to be in close order.

His three close order abilities mean that not only is he harder to hit but he also gets to attack the enemy before they get to attack him (if he has a longer weapon). So against our Iberian's with the shorter throwing spear they are likely to not only reduce the chance to hit but also the number of enemy alive to hit.
So the Iberian wants to force the spearmen out of close order and this can be done via a flank charge or causing at least 2 fatigue from shooting before they go in.
The interaction between the special rules is going to drive the tactical play in the game with each side being rewarded for using the correct unit in the correct manner.

Saturday 1 August 2020

Clash of Spears: Carthaginians

Having completed (well almost) one historic army, rather unusually for me I'm starting on a second with the first of the forces for Clash of Spears. I've had the Carthaginian box for a little while now so it was nice to crack it open again and start on the goodies inside.

I thought I would break myself in easily with the skirmisher troops so started with the slingers and javelin men. As Clash is a skirmish level game all the models are individually based rather than the multi-base units of KoW and I opted for a nice bright green colour base mix from Geek Gaming
I kept them nice and simple with a couple of different off white washes over a plain white base and then a touch of colour on the shields.

Units in Clash are assigned four stats to define their base abilities which give a target amount to be rolled against on a D6. Those stats are Melee, Shooting, Grit (morale), and Save. As these are lightly armoured troops with small shields/bucklers then their save is not very good. Some abilities also modify the save score so both these units benefit from the ranged save bonus associated with being Skirmisher Specialists.

These stats are from the very useful Clashculator
The other skirmisher unit in the force is Libyan Javelin men and I converted a couple of the elephant crew over with a head swap to bulk them out to eight men.

It seems the Libyans traditionally wore red and had some very punk hair cuts, but given that these are very cheap troops @ 9 points each (compared to 18 for the slingers) I suspect they won't be causing too much anarchy in the Roman provinces.

I also broke out the Numidian elephant which was the first model I painted up for this game for a little photo-op.

It looks like this should be a nice colourful game once all the men are painted up which seems to be a little bit of a continuing theme from the last army.

In other Clash news I also took delivery of the Roman starter box which had been Covid delayed so I now have plenty of painting to do and all the troops for both sides.

Again it comes with a good selection of models to give a nice varied army which hopefully should make for a tactically interesting battle.