Saturday, June 25, 2016

Swamp Gas

It was a warm summer night in West Monroe Louisiana. The Robertson clan was sitting in Patriarch Phil's front yard after enjoying one of Miss Kay's excellent dinners when something large streaked across the sky and crashed into the woods just a few miles away. They weren't sure what it was, but it didn't look like an aircraft, so the 8 men of the family armed themselves and drove off toward the crash site. They pulled off the road near the crash and moved carefully through the woods following a path of downed trees and gouged earth. Entering a clearing they were stunned to see a crashed saucer shaped craft.
The Robertsons enter the clearing....

                            and are stunned to see a crashed flying saucer
As they cautiously made their way forward the Robertsons were shocked to see a group of about 10 small men across the clearing making their way toward the crash. These were the "little green men" they had heard about on the History Channel! 
                             Phil Robertson says "Not in my back yard!"
The men spread out and began moving toward the craft. The two youngest, John Luke and Cole had only their hunting rifles instead of the assault rifles carried by the others, so they were detailed to take cover in the trees and start sniping at the invaders. Cole was wounded almost immediately. John Luke killed one of the little green men and was wounded by return fire soon after.
Cole and John Luke were wounded covering the rest as they advanced
While the men jogged forward to take cove behind the saucer the aliens retrieved a small package from the craft and started withdrawing the way they had come. Phil, enraged by the wounding of the two boys, sprinted ahead of the rest and went full auto on a group of three aliens covering the withdrawal, killing one, wounding a second and suppressing the third.
       The alien commander looks on as Phil takes out three of his crew
The return fire from the alien rearguard caused Phil to hit the dirt shaken but unwounded. He soon recovered and began trading shots with the alien rearguard. Alan ran up to cover him and was killed by the superior laser guns of the aliens. Meanwhile Willie and Jase moved around the other side of the crash site and suppressed one of the withdrawing aliens. Willie then moved up and shot him point blank. The firing tapered off as the aliens faded into the darkness carrying the mysterious package from the crash site that had been their objective.

Three of the aliens had been left dead on the field and two more captured, one of them wounded. The Robertsons had paid a heavy price with John Luke and Cole wounded and Alan dead. The Federal authorities arrived at the scene of the battle before dawn and took possession of the site. Within 12 hours the alien craft, bodies and prisoners had all been removed by the Feds, the Robertsons had been warned not to speak of it and the media had been told the crash had been a light aircraft. Phil tried to get the story out through various channels but found himself blocked at every turn. The alien prisoners were interrogated by their government captors and revealed their mission had been to retrieve a bootleg copy of the complete works of Willie Nelson. As a prank they left several pictures of that guy from the Ancient Aliens show behind in the crashed saucer.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Hoopla on the Hellespont

The battle of Plataea had temporarily postponed the Great King's conquest of Greece but it was thought advisable to maintain a presence on the Greek side of the Hellespont. From this position the Persians could launch the next campaign into the Greek heartland and finish the business once and for all. Toward this end Xerxes brother in law and favorite general, Ardo the Terrible held the land with a potent army of horse and foot. In response, the Greek alliance dispatched an army under the famous General for Hire, Mysoxargon to confront the Persians.

Mysoxargon deploys his flank guards to thwart the enemy horse
In due course the two armies met near the temple of Dionysius. The terrain was a flat plain broken by a few rough hills and a large pond. Mysoxargon placed the main body of his hoplites in the center screened by skirmishers. Smaller bodies of hoplites were told off to protect the flanks of the main phalanx. The center of the Persian army was composed of massed bowmen supported by skirmishers. Their cavalry was deployed on both flanks.

The battle opened with the Greek skirmishers being roughly handled by the massed Persian archers while the Persian cavalry moved to envelop the enemy flanks. Unfazed, Mysoxargon deployed his Hoplite flank guards near the rough hills such that the Persian horse had to face them head on rather than sweeping around. At the same time, as his battered skirmishers streamed to the rear, he drove the main body of hoplites straight forward into the arrow storm.
The hoplites advance on the Persian center
The Persian right broke rather quickly as the hoplites weathered the shower of arrows and drove into and through the Persian foot. On that side the Persian horse never engaged, and fled when the infantry broke. On the Persian left the infantry lines were only partly engaged, but the horse did their best to overcome the hoplite flank guards. However, their repeated charges were driven off by the steady Greek line of spears. In the end the Persian army broke and fled the field.
The last attempt of the Persian horse to turn the Greek right flank
The game was played with Big DBA rules. The problem with DBA is not enough toys, so our version has 6" wide elements of various depths with lots of 28mm figures on them. For example, an element of hoplites has 16 men in 2 ranks, and an element of Persian bows has 6 spearmen and 18 bowmen on a deeper base. Movement, shooting ranges and the table size are in proportion. Overall, it provides a great looking game that can be brought to a decisive conclusion in a reasonable length of time.