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The Ballad of Bradicles

The Ballad of Bradicles

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Project Blog by blipvertus Cult of Games Member

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About the Project

Our local gaming group is play testing a campaign system for Clash of Spears. Bradicles is one of my starting characters and this is his story.

This Project is Active

800 Point List

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With the next campaign turne bumped up to 200 points and Bradicles being promoted to a Level 4 commander, I have a couple of options. Basically, I can add one unit to the current list. Now, the nice thing is, I can completely re-work my list and don’t actually have to keep the same units. But, I’m pretty happy with the current makeup. I’ll add one Pezhetairoi with javelins to each unit to make those units 7 men each and one more slinger to make that a 10 man unit.

Bradicles got promoted to a Level 4 and Eeyoricles stays at level 2.  I’ll add heavy shields to both because I have the points. It’ll improve their armor saves.

I have enough points to add one more unit. It’s basically a choice between taking an 8 man Pezhetairoi unit with pikes or a six man Heiatori cavalry unit armed with Xystons. Both units are classic Macedonian units and both would give a needed boost to my melee capabilities but both are a bit light on armor. The cavalry unit is probably going to be a glass hammer. I can get one good charge in and then they die to a counter attack.

After much consideration, this is the unit I’m adding. After much consideration, this is the unit I’m adding.

Turn 1 Results

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So, I chose as my Starting asset of Loyalty +1 because I gave Bradicles the Charismatic  trait.

After fighting 3 battles in the first turn of the campaign, I have the following assets:
Starting Assets – Loyalty  +1

1st Battle Result vs Chris – Major Victory
Renown: +3
Assets: Influence +1 (disputed), Wealth  +1 (motivation), Influence +1 (major victory), Wealth +1 (captured treasure)
Experience: Bradicles +2, Eeyoricles +1

2nd Battle Result (Pressed) vs Sean – Draw
Renown: +1
Assets: 0
Experience: 0

3rd Battle Result (Pressed) vs Henry – Major Victory
Renown: +2
Assets: Zeal +1
Experience: Bradicles +1

Participation (battle report, painting, etc.): Inf +1

TOTALS:
Renown: 5 (first battle plus best other battle)
Assets: Influence : 3, Wealth 2, Loyalty  1, Allies: 0, Zeal: 1

Experience: Bradicles 3 (advances to Lvl 4!),

Eeyoricles 1

This means that at the next stage of the campaign I can build my army in accordance to the following table.

Selections available to include in my army list are highlighted in yellow. Selections available to include in my army list are highlighted in yellow.

Silly Shields

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More in the area of whimsy than an actual project, it occurred to me that the old saying “Beware of Greeks bearing Trojans” could be funny.

Inspiration for a shield design. Inspiration for a shield design.

Another source of inspiration is all the purple I’m using on my minis. Well, technically probably lavender, but you get the idea. Grapes are purple and I crush my foes like grapes, so how about calling them the Grape Crushers?  Or in Greek, the Spastíres Stafylión.

Imagine this on a purple background. Imagine this on a purple background.

Alternate History - Game 2

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Somewhat out of order but here’s my opponents version of my Game 2. My opponent was Sean Twiddy and he’s a fantastic painter. Link to his battle report below.
https://stwiddy.wordpress.com/2022/11/25/clash-of-spears-punic-war-in-sicily-campaign-turn-1-battle-1/?fbclid=IwAR1iM910Wwm1Rqzj9K3zu_Om2ftmh6u5iEX7oNAsGyVj5TmXgW4i7pmkqec

General thoughts on Game 3

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I’d rather be lucky than good and I had a few dice rolls break my way.

I do feel like I need more heavy troops. Yes, the slingers are solid and the Pezhetairoi have proven to be fantastic but I faced three units of Hoplites with only one. Those Hoplites definitely under performed against the Numidians. I had two fate dice and could’ve re-rolled the attack. I might’ve put fatigue  on the two commanders and that reduced Hoplite unit if I’d wiped out the Numidians. I could’ve attacked them again or I could’ve gone for the Hoplites. Only one if the commanders was within reach so I could’ve piled on. I think I still would’ve lost my Hoplites as they were clearly overextended but they could’ve had more effect.

The left hand Pezhetairoi unit was going to get mauled but I could’ve played that better. Doing the Defend action, where hits are first cancelled by your Fight skill and then remaining hits are canceled by your armor would’ve been better than a counter attack. Henry’s Hoplites and my Pezhetairoi have the same fight skill and armor save and his unit was bigger so dragging out the fight was probably the better option.

I’m  surprised my slingers survived the Hoplites attack. As it was, I had three break points and Henry had four. But only by 2 models. It was a close game!

Alternate History Game 3

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Alternate History - Game 1

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If I’d thought of it sooner, id have arranged these as point and counterpoint battle reports. But here we are, so these are links to my opponents Battle reports.

The campaign encourages battle reports as publishing them earns you assets that are useable in the campaign

Game 1, the 8 player inaugural event:

https://plasticpirates.blogspot.com/2022/10/clash-of-spears-battle-for-sicily-begins.html?m=1

Game 3 continues- Frying up the bacon!

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The far right Pezhetairoi unit seeks to maneuver around the pigsThe far right Pezhetairoi unit seeks to maneuver around the pigs
The Pezhetairoi are dangerously exposed as the second unit of Hoplites advanced herding the pigs in front of them momentarily distracting the Pezhetairoi. They then rush forward!  The Pezhetairoi decided to counter attack!The Pezhetairoi are dangerously exposed as the second unit of Hoplites advanced herding the pigs in front of them momentarily distracting the Pezhetairoi. They then rush forward! The Pezhetairoi decided to counter attack!
Sadly counter attacking a bigger unit with similar armor to yours is not a good idea. This photo shows where my unit used to be!  And there are those smug Carthaginians trying to decide if they want to bathe first before attacking again.Sadly counter attacking a bigger unit with similar armor to yours is not a good idea. This photo shows where my unit used to be! And there are those smug Carthaginians trying to decide if they want to bathe first before attacking again.
The Hoplites in the center pressed the Numidians hard and pushed them back but with relatively few casualties.  They then decided to attack the reduced Carthaginian Hoplites.  They seriously reduced them but they still stand. Then the Carthaginian commander, unable to budge his exhausted troops,  leaps into the fray and with unparalleled savagery decimated the Macedonian Hoplites. This photo sows the space my unit used to occupy.The Hoplites in the center pressed the Numidians hard and pushed them back but with relatively few casualties. They then decided to attack the reduced Carthaginian Hoplites. They seriously reduced them but they still stand. Then the Carthaginian commander, unable to budge his exhausted troops, leaps into the fray and with unparalleled savagery decimated the Macedonian Hoplites. This photo sows the space my unit used to occupy.
The Carthaginians charge and charge again and again and keep cutting down the slingers. But there are so many! And they cause a few casualties. They hold! Barely.   The Carthaginians charge and charge again and again and keep cutting down the slingers. But there are so many! And they cause a few casualties. They hold! Barely.

Bradicles watches the Pezhetairoi on the far right flank as they first loose their javelins and then charge into the unarmored Carthaginian Hoplites. They savage them causing them to flee the field. The Pezhetairoi then herd the pigs back to camp.

Bradicles has to admire the Carthaginian commander. Such boldness! Such glory! He looks to his slingers as they look up at him, bloodied and exhausted but still standing. He smiles and points to the herd of pigs. “We feast!” The men cheer!

Eeyoricles considers the day. He reflected that on the plus side with so many paying the ferryman this day, there’d be more than enough food tonight. He almost smiled at the thought.

Almost.

Game 3 - Continued- the fighting begins!

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First blood to the slingers and Pezhetairoi!  The near Carthaginian unit loses cohesion as stones and javelins rain down on  them.First blood to the slingers and Pezhetairoi! The near Carthaginian unit loses cohesion as stones and javelins rain down on them.
Seeing an opportunity for glory the Hoplites steadily advance up the middle losing a man to the Numidian javelins.Seeing an opportunity for glory the Hoplites steadily advance up the middle losing a man to the Numidian javelins.
The Pezhetairoi and Hoplites both advance forcing the Carthaginian formation to redeploy with reduced numbers as they continue to take casualties from javelins and stones.The Pezhetairoi and Hoplites both advance forcing the Carthaginian formation to redeploy with reduced numbers as they continue to take casualties from javelins and stones.

Game 3 Who’s got the bacon?

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“Do you like pork?”

“What?”

Bradicles seated his helmet and adjusted the crest to display it in the most magnificent fashion.

“I prefer it roasted but not everyone does.” Bradicles glanced at Eeyoricles and noted the confusion on his younger brothers face.

“We are in need of supplies and there is a pug farm just ahead. Pick some men and form up. I intend to feast tonight.”

Eeyoricles grumbling set off to round up the soldiers.

“Priest?”

TimToo smiled, “My lord?”

“Well?”

“The gods say we’ll have full bellys tonight”.

The priest’s acolyte smacked his lips literally imagining the taste of victory.

Scouting done, both sides got locked down fairly quickly. I had my units arranged left to right as Pezhetairoi, slingers, Hoplites and Pezhetairoi.  The Carthaginian force is scary having more heavy infantry to might lighter skirmish units. Henry arranged his force from left to right as Hoplites, Hoplites, Numidian javelin men and Citizen Hoplites.Scouting done, both sides got locked down fairly quickly. I had my units arranged left to right as Pezhetairoi, slingers, Hoplites and Pezhetairoi. The Carthaginian force is scary having more heavy infantry to might lighter skirmish units. Henry arranged his force from left to right as Hoplites, Hoplites, Numidian javelin men and Citizen Hoplites.
Bradicles in the back urges forward the left flank of Pezhetairoi and Slingers.Bradicles in the back urges forward the left flank of Pezhetairoi and Slingers.
TimToo hangs out in the rear with the gear with Bradicles taking advantage of a tactical ruin. The Hoplites saw no action last game and are determined to earn their share of glory.TimToo hangs out in the rear with the gear with Bradicles taking advantage of a tactical ruin. The Hoplites saw no action last game and are determined to earn their share of glory.
On the far right another unit of Pezhetairoi moves against a larger unit of Carthaginian Citizen Hoplites.On the far right another unit of Pezhetairoi moves against a larger unit of Carthaginian Citizen Hoplites.

Thoughts on Game 2

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The game ended a little early with neither of us having accomplished the scouting mission and both of us having an equal number of break points. I did manage to take out a character model. He survived but will be out of the campaign for awhile.

This was a battle purely of the skirmish troops with neither of us engaging with our Hoplites. The Greeks had two units to my one so I would’ve been hard pressed to come out on top of that fight.

Both units of Pezhetairoi got wiped out. The unit on the left flank literally accomplishing nothing. The one on the right flank did a number on that unit of slingers but got done in by the repeated and reckless charges of that leader model. Even though I killed the leader, they had so much fatigue that when the slingers activated, they barely dinged them and they just melted.

On the plus side, my slingers definitely made a difference. They disrupted the formation of Hoplites for a turn and turned around my left flank preventing those pesky Peltasts from scouting forward and saving Eeyoricles from a fate worse than death.

Game ended in a tie. All in all, could’ve been worse.

Game 2 continued - End game

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The slingers arrive in the nick of time and their stones fly true!  The Peltasts vanish.The slingers arrive in the nick of time and their stones fly true! The Peltasts vanish.
The Greek Hoplites look across at their Macedonian counterparts never having entered the fray. The Greek Hoplites look across at their Macedonian counterparts never having entered the fray.

As the sun goes down, the Hoplites on both sides see that their chance of glory has faded.

But not Bradicles.

He stands on a rock, hair flowing in a gentle breeze when he removes his helmet pleased he has not lost. Eeyoricles glances over at Bradicles and even he has to admit his brother is a beautiful man.

Game 2 continued- fighting all around!

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The slingers disrupt the Hoplites formation! The slingers disrupt the Hoplites formation!
After a rally and a rest, the two survivors push forward determined to learn the enemy dispositions.After a rally and a rest, the two survivors push forward determined to learn the enemy dispositions.
The enemy Lieutenant charged forward into the the tired Pezhetairoi but is pushed back with a wound!The enemy Lieutenant charged forward into the the tired Pezhetairoi but is pushed back with a wound!
An exhausted leader, an exhausted unit of Pezhetairoi and a recovered unit of slingers eye each other warily. An exhausted leader, an exhausted unit of Pezhetairoi and a recovered unit of slingers eye each other warily.

The wounded Lieutenant, and the Pezhetairoi are exhausted. But the slingers spent the previous turn failing to activate and so have recovered. What will they do?

The opposing commander catches his breath and charges into the Pezhetairoi  but dies!

Now the exhausted Pezhetairoi succumb to the Greeks sling stones of outrageous fortune and melt away.

The Greek Peltasts advance. Eeyoricles is alone having watched the men under his command melt away. He dashed toward the slingers in an attempt to shore up the flank.The Greek Peltasts advance. Eeyoricles is alone having watched the men under his command melt away. He dashed toward the slingers in an attempt to shore up the flank.
Flushed with victory the Peltasts advance seeing an opportunity to scout the area and perhaps capture an officer and gain a handsome ransom?Flushed with victory the Peltasts advance seeing an opportunity to scout the area and perhaps capture an officer and gain a handsome ransom?

Game 2 continued - Oh, the fates!

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The Greeks advance through the farmers field seeing an opportunity to pelt the advancing Pezhetairoi with javelins. Three hits!The Greeks advance through the farmers field seeing an opportunity to pelt the advancing Pezhetairoi with javelins. Three hits!
Three failed armor saves! Spend that fate point and re-roll!Three failed armor saves! Spend that fate point and re-roll!
I needed fives. 🤦‍♂️I needed fives. 🤦‍♂️
The Pezhetairoi stagger under the onslaught of the enemy javelins.The Pezhetairoi stagger under the onslaught of the enemy javelins.
Their brothers on the right flank fair somewhat better. Losing only one man they move forward and throw their javelins to little effect. So they charge!Their brothers on the right flank fair somewhat better. Losing only one man they move forward and throw their javelins to little effect. So they charge!

Game 2

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Still the same 600 point list, this game was the pre-battle scouting mission. It was a  1 vs 1 game pitting my Phyrric force against a Greek mercenary force.

TimToo at the altar. TimToo at the altar.

Eeyoricles contemplated the new priest with a sour expression on his face. “All in all, I preferred Tim even with his ridiculous hat.”

“Why brother? TimToo is filled with the fervor of a true believer. And he doesn’t smell nearly as badly”. Bradicles flashed that impossibly beautiful grin.

“Hear now priest! What say the gods?”

“The omens are good. You, boy, take this carcass”.

As the boy approached TimToo leaned in close and whispered, “ Let none see you but pluck this bird, then fry him in my Seven Secret Herbs and Spices.”

The boy nodded and ran off, thinking what a feast the day would bring.

Pre battle deployment saw both sides place their Hoplites in the center with skirmish troops on the flanks.Pre battle deployment saw both sides place their Hoplites in the center with skirmish troops on the flanks.
Pezhetairoi hug the cover of a peasant hovel as they seek to scout the enemy deployment area. Eeyoricles lends moral support from the rear.Pezhetairoi hug the cover of a peasant hovel as they seek to scout the enemy deployment area. Eeyoricles lends moral support from the rear.
TimToo watches the battle from his shrine. Bradicles brushes an imaginary speck of dust off his breastplate. The Hoplites form up and the slingers ready their shots.TimToo watches the battle from his shrine. Bradicles brushes an imaginary speck of dust off his breastplate. The Hoplites form up and the slingers ready their shots.
The Pezhetairoi on the right flank seek to counter the opposing slingers.The Pezhetairoi on the right flank seek to counter the opposing slingers.
The Greek Peltasts on the enemy flank seek to move up.The Greek Peltasts on the enemy flank seek to move up.
The opposing Hoplites are formed into two units. The first urged on by their commander.The opposing Hoplites are formed into two units. The first urged on by their commander.
The second unit of Hoplites form up near their leaders Lieutenant.The second unit of Hoplites form up near their leaders Lieutenant.
The Greek slingers look nervous knowing their lack of armor makes them swift but they see the opposing Pezhetairoi.The Greek slingers look nervous knowing their lack of armor makes them swift but they see the opposing Pezhetairoi.

General Thoughts

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I’ve enjoyed Clash of Spears.  Managing command & control as well as fatigue makes for an interesting game. It’s crunchy enough that units and armies feel different without sacrificing fairly easy rules. The only thing I wish would be for commanders to give bonuses to nearby troops. Don’t get me wrong, characters are critical to managing your army.

In starting this campaign I chose a Phyrric force because the pike formations looked fun and you can have elephants and elephants are always cool. Also, the starting assets of the campaign say that if you start with zero wealth, you have to take armor downgrades if a unit has that option and you are, mostly, limited to civis units. Fortunately, the Phyrric lists don’t have those downgrades and virtually all the units are civis!

I also chose Loyalty as my starting asset because it would allow me to take both a Soothsayer and a Musician in my list. The Musician extends the command range of Bradicles meaning he’s less likely to have to move up within range of enemy units and thus has a better chance of staying alive.

The Soothsayer allows me a chance to get an extra Fate die. At the start of the campaign limits you to one, having two could give me a slight edge and I had some nifty models so I might as well shoehorn them into a list.

If you’ve read this far, you’ve probably realized I have an odd sense of humor. You may have noticed I named the house my characters came from as Spiti.  It’s the Greek word for house. You’re welcome!

These Pezhetairoi with javelins are the first unit I specifically painted up for my Phyrric force. These guys died to a man in the first game but they definitely held their own. I may need more of these. These Pezhetairoi with javelins are the first unit I specifically painted up for my Phyrric force. These guys died to a man in the first game but they definitely held their own. I may need more of these.
These Pezhetairoi with pikes are not in the current list but will be added at the next campaign step when we go to 800 point lists. More expensive than a unit of Hoplites, I’m hoping those pikes will make my opponents nervous. These Pezhetairoi with pikes are not in the current list but will be added at the next campaign step when we go to 800 point lists. More expensive than a unit of Hoplites, I’m hoping those pikes will make my opponents nervous.
A Phyrric specific command element, I may substitute him out for a named character or create a new character. Perhaps Mediocrates? A Phyrric specific command element, I may substitute him out for a named character or create a new character. Perhaps Mediocrates?
TimToo!  I had this guy and figured I might as well paint him up too. He’s the priest of Zeus from the Mythic Gods range by Footsore. He came with that lovely altar that Tim used in the first game. TimToo! I had this guy and figured I might as well paint him up too. He’s the priest of Zeus from the Mythic Gods range by Footsore. He came with that lovely altar that Tim used in the first game.

Meet the Characters

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BradiclesBradicles

This is Bradicles. Bradicles is very pretty. Bradicles wants to be famous. He’s willing to die to be famous. He’ll probably succeed. At both.

Eeyoricles Eeyoricles

This is Eeyoricles. Eeyoricles is Bradicles younger brother. Eeyoricles is convinced Bradicles is going to get him killed. He’s probably right.

TimTim

This is Tim. Tim thinks he’s a wizard. Tim smells. Probably because of all the chicken entrails.  He’s the Soothsayer.

Tim at workTim at work

Tim the enchanter prays for the blessings of the gods.

TesticlesTesticles

This is Testicles. He’s the younger cousin of Bradicles and Eeyoricles. He wants to compete in the Olympics. He’s very gung ho.

First List and starting assets

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Because I’m stupid and have way too many miniatures to paint, I’ve decided to build a new army for this campaign. It’ll be Phyrric force. In order to mitigate the sea of grey, I’ll start out with my standard Greek minis that are already painted and then substitute out the Phyrric specific units as I complete them.

House: Spiti

Aligned with:  Rome

Starting Asset: Loyalty

Initial 600 point list:

https://cilliancleland.github.io/clashculator/?punic=c04-97-68-12o0g68-9b-13~_Phyrric%20Campaign%20Start

How it started

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Someone got a wild hair and wrote up some rules for a Clash of Spears campaign. The parameters are a one game a month campaign over five or six months. The setting is Sicily with only armies from the first Clash of Spears book. No Rise of Eagles or Clash of Katanas.

Players choose to align with either Rome or Carthage but can bring any army and fight any player. The alignment is just for the narrative. Players also choose personal goals and starting assets. The normal army construction rules are replaced with the campaign rules. Link to the draft rules below.
https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/1029355283757150269/1036104839115046953/CLASH_Campaign_Beta_Rules_10-12.pdf

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