Saturday, 21 September 2019

Age of Hannibal (with 20mm Plastics)

A quick battle using 'Age of Hannibal' which has been designed by Greg from Little Wars TV. It is in turn based on some of the Chipco rules from a few years ago (of which 'Day of Knights' also looks very promising and 'Fantasy Rules 2' is also available).

Simple but not simplistic, with a lot of drama, the set has great scope, particularly so if you are not an ancients expert and really just want a game rather than a complete historical re-enactment in this period.

Takeaways are:
  • The Morale Clock is adjusted each 1/2 turn on the basis of which side came off worst in the round. As this goes down, it impacts army morale.  A neat way to make this happen.
  • Unit combats are d10 vs d10 with mods and some flanking actions - which keeps things rapid. Morale chits or complete removal of individual units ensue, but morale can be rallied back.
  • As the army clock grinds down you (1) move less 'independent' units and (2) take more morale hits and (3) armies begin to melt away...
  • The effect is to disperse grandiose linear formations and put holes in all the wrong places, which reminds me of watching battle scenes in Rome or Spartacus. Not being an ancients aficionado, this was exactly what I wanted to see.
  • Swift, powerful and great gaming - always a plus.
  • A turn sequence based on rally/shoot/ move & charge / fight - works very well.
  • A scenario book is available.
I used some of my poorly (rapidly) painted 20mm plastics kit. I now have the excuse to base them all in universal fashion and use them for all sorts of historical and quasi-historical stuff using these rules (and the other Chipco sets quoted above) as a basis. The battle was simply based on what I had available that was painted.

 Nice linear formations (not for long)

Velites await the advance

 Some well defended high ground, which would decide the battle.

Roman Medium cavalry charges the impetuous celts before they get their charge bonus - this fight lasts all game on the Roman left.

A changeable focus on the Roman left, as units go down fighting.

Advancing Carthaginian line.

Some African veterans form the centre, but would not fare well today.

Carthagininas hit the high ground on the Roman right, but this would decide most of teh battle through extreme losses. 

 There are options to attach generals, which would have helped, but we are still learning.

Charges repulsed, most of the Carthaginian army was melting away...

 A very nice set of rules. We didn't have enough units to do it full justice today, but very easy to pick-up with some grander elements to master behind the simple mechanics. I love it...

Today's musical interlude. This was almost a youtube presentation based upon rebel physics and hacking reality, but then i thought ...nahhhh... Do not watch if you are of a nervous disposition . You have been warned!!!


  1. Nice looking set-up! Your comment on the way the battles look is I think a cogent one. When I first started playing DBM (before they started fiddling with the rules all the time) I was impressed by the durability of the battle lines. In one of the the first battles I saw - Macedonians vs Romans I think - the main battle lines stood up to each other for quite a time - a little bit of to-ing and fro-ing, and the odd element departing the scene.

    When the collapse came, it was like watching the floodgates open - sudden and dramatic. What made it fun was that there was little indication of its imminence until it happened. It would be interesting to see if those 'Age of Hannibal' can lead to anything similar.

    1. Thank you sir, and I should also say how much I love your blog. i should comment more there than I do.
      I was never a fan of DBA/DBM, and preferred to do quadratic equations rather than attempt to read the text. As i have got older,I am determined, more and more, to give overly complex rules the heave ho.

      I'm no ancients expert, but always a fan of the plastics available, so just needed a simple ruleset that scratched the itch, seemed vaguely Spartacus like in terms of bloody action, and had some nuance alongside the simplicity.
      This ticks the boxes, plus I really like the Little Wars TV show and guys.

    2. I always enjoyed solving quadratic equations... Mathematics is an easier language to read than Barkerese.

    3. Yes indeed Jonathan, and Barkerese is a sub-dialect of 'High Gygaxian' of course (most effectively transposed in the 1979 'Dungeon Master's Guide' if I recall lol).

  2. Nice to see some plastic ancients doing battle on the tabletop and I enjoyed looking at photos of the game. I am contemplating getting into some Ancients next year so it was interesting reading your thoughts on the rules.

    1. Thanks Peter. They're perfect for me. The guys that wrote them of course are in the same frame of mind ; they're fully aware that there are some fudges for playability. For me, not a problem...and it makes ancient/medieval/fantasy games easier to get into without massive outlay in cash or time. Perfect.

  3. I really enjoyed seeing your 20mm armies arrayed for battle. The long battle lines are things of beauty.

    1. Thanks Jonathan. The painting isn't great, but to be honest, if it looks ok from four feet away, I'm happy these days.

  4. The chipco rules have been nagging away at me recently. The morale clock mechanic is really neat and looks like a fun way to simulate whole army morale, something I need to model more in my own games. I'm currently looking for a simple fantasy system. Maybe I should give them another look.
    Your forces look great BTW.

    1. CHeers mate.
      I was setting up for something with the plastics, and the Punic Wars stuff was all that I had painted. I do still have to use your figures and rules on the other blog but want to base some of the more medieval stuff first.

      I haven't tried FR2 yet, and the magic is not as good as your systems from what I can see, but will still give it a try at some stage.

      ('Plastic fantastic' is yet another segment in the podcast of course...)

    2. One thing about these rules is that the combat is quite a simple mechanic, so you see lines breaking very quickly, and the army morale going down, which naturally makes you want to hold back and rally and things like that. Always good signs in a game.
      You get concerned with the big picture of commanding the army rather than minutiae - which always helps.

  5. Some interesting ideas here Duc and a fine looking battle.

    1. Thank you sir. A very nice set of rules. We probably didn't do it justice though. A few replays in the offing I think.

  6. WOW great to see an AOH post. I bought the rules and they look like alot of fun - I just need to get my d*** Romans and Carthaginians painted up!!! Looking good, Darren.
    The terrain placement rules look like alot of fun in AOH. Almost a pre-game to the game itself.

    1. Thank you sir - we left some stuff out just to get to grips with the rules, but there is a lot of genius here and we must try the terrain placement next time. It would make for some good campaign ideas.

  7. Chipco sets always intrigued but I never tried any might need to give these a blast.