Welcome to Marauder Moments - a chronicle of the Mortimer Street Marauders; the games we play, the rules we use, the figures we play with and the scenery they fight over. Hope you enjoy these pages and maybe call back to catch up with our escapades.

Tuesday, 7 September 2021

Spartans on Tour - Manchester 2021

 Old chum Tim staged a one-day Warhammer Ancient Battles event in Manchester last weekend. Since the minor resurgence of this fondly remembered ancient battles system we four have been assembling armies. I managed to attend a similar event in Mansfield in July. I bought & painted a Spartan army from Foundry just in time, post to follow.

Tony's wife's birthday prevented his attendance, Rich's army wasn't finished so Chris & I made the trip from Bath. We turned a three hour trip into more than seven hours on the road! It was worth it.     

Here's a brief intro to my very small 2000 point army. 

Three phalanx of rock hard Spartans flanked by small units of Peltasts. Various skirmishers in front armed with, slings, bows & javelins.  

The main man. Seemingly better at posing in his thong than fighting!

Slingers by Victrix.

Cretan archers.

Farm boys with javelins & my camp with dwarf chef & cuddly mascot.

Game one v Persians commanded by Alex, King of Kings.

My last encounter with Alex was back in the Flames of War days at Preston Toy Soldier also run by Tim. His vast Strelkovi company swept my minuscule Panther Company off the planet in the final.

The armies face off. Off screen left is the Persian heavy cavalry arm.    

Time to attack - my army surges forward eager to close the range & kick some Satrapal bottom.

Here comes the Great King and his heavy cavalry being very brave against my lights!

The Cretans emptied a few saddles but were cut down like so much wheat at harvest.

My centre annihilated the opposing Greek & Thracian centre in a few grueling rounds for Alex.
However, Alex is a canny devil & spent the last few moves staying well away from these well-oiled muscleheads. I won but not by a massive margin. Interesting game with Alex pulling a few initially perplexing moves, the importance of which became clear later. The Great King lived!    

The Persians on parade over lunch.

Armies on Parade

Old school WAB competitions had you set up your army over lunchtime for judging - simply put players wander about with sandwiches & coffee scrutinizing paint jobs before voting for one. This is always an eye-opener. Years ago I did very well on this front with trophies to prove it, not so these days! Here are a few of my favourites.  

Dan's hairy German tribes - here we see the Warlord & his Standard.

Oodles of skirmishers screen a Warband of beastly brutes.
The unit totem is clearly modeled on my Spartans... cock out!

Another Warband with noble cavalry behind. Ransacked temple to the rear.

Warhounds & handler - my favourite unit in Dan's host.

Now, here we have something as unusual as it is excellent. Mario not only designed & sculpted the Seleucid models he also cast or printed them himself - that's unusual! The glittering metal-clad host is superbly painted using the fiendishly difficult Non Metal Metallic technique - that's excellent work!

A pair of hideously dangerous yet beautiful scythed chariots. 

Phalangites - pikes are bristles from a broom!  

Magnificently massive elephant. Remember, no metallic paint used!!!   

More phalangites & a glimpse of Thracians with big choppers!

Barded Companions in wedge formation - outstanding!

Poorly displayed unit of imitation legionaries, still no metallics used!

If I could nick an army... which would I pinch?

Sam's Carthaginians, a massively varied yet both uber pretty & colourful army. 

Loads of lights, caetrati & Numidians I suspect. 

Armoured Gallic nobles I reckon.

Gallic warband get a surge on!

More cavalry. The whole army is Victrix plastics to my knowledge.

Spanish cavalry?

Some kind of Allied light infantry - LBM did very well out of Sam, fiddly but superbly effective.

Spearman. Sam mostly used GW Contrast paints to great effect.

Balearic slingers - as ubiquitous as Cretans!

Game 2 versus Steve with Hairy Germans in ambush!

There aren't more than two pictures of this game. Steve deployed his horde centrally opposite my phalanx which deployed wide to get maximum width. Steve had to take a third to two-thirds of his army and flank march onto either table edge from turn two. I correctly guessed which & deployed to distract & offer speed bumps leaving only a small force the other, wooded flank, instead. Steve played a waiting game so I went for it at full tilt. Somehow I charged his line taking the "stubborn" off all his units. By the time the cavalry arrived, they were provided with only my chaff to kill. Meanwhile my Spartans cut down the Germans on droves. It took time but eventually, they broke, rallied then broke again after a final charge by the oiled up naked Greeks.            
The battlelines square up for a monster mosh pit of a melee!

Steve's flanking force. Heavy barbarian cavalry & supporting light infantry. A big win for me, we made some mistakes but nothing game changing. Steve was relearning WAB & not quite fully familiar with his army or the rules yet. None of us were to honest!  

Game three - The final living nightmare.

I have known of Daz for many years but only first met him on Friday night in the pub & over a subsequent curry. Daz was using just about the scariest army I had envisaged playing. The more I reflect on his army composition the more dangerous is was to mine!

Little did I know he was shit scared of my army too. We played on a shorter 4x4 table due to the coast line, no other scenery. Some were 8x4, most 6x4. 

One elephant, three pike blocks, one with general & battle standard.

Two big heavy cavalry wedges.

Two units of 9 light horse & two of 9 archers, (Cretans & neo-Cretans).

More light horse - nippy little buggers!

The opening moves on the coastal plain. 

Daz fell my lure of some peltasts & chaff to bait his cavalry wedges leaving my infantry heavies to crush his foot. BUT his foot edged away from me all game until they were on the rear line! Eventually the lines met, he held against all the odds just as my Peltasts held against his wedge which broke & fled the field! Our generals dueled, mine finally slaying his just as the elephant crashed into my flank killing the Spartan King. Panic tests ensued as news of the two generals deaths spread. Off ran two of his pike blocks & off ran another hoplite palanx. Daz walked it on points. He later told me he his hands were shaking as he made a few of those vital dice rolls - great stuff in a high stakes high tension game. 
I was straight outplayed!   

The Winners 

Sam took second best painted & the "wooden spoon".

Mario collected best-painted army but no spoon!

Neil took home Bronze. Super chap using the Republican Romans Tony & painted for him nearly twenty years ago!  

Dan swept into Bronze position with his Germans. He's grown up since last time!!! 

Daz took Gold after putting my Spartans to the sword. Chris & I toppled to fifth & sixth so not too shabby - I'll take fifth place.  

Luke is voted "Most sporting player" - the most important award in my book.

Finally a far less warlike image of the ducks & geese on the canal behind the pub!
This was a great weekend away amongst fine people with some very pretty armies on challenging tables & tough scenarios. Big thanks to my three opponents, well done to the winners, thanks for Chris for company & to Tim & Paul for running this event, here's to more very soon. Most thanks though are heaped on Tim again for his kind & welcoming hospitality in taking care of us two strangers in a foreign land - you're a star.

Hope you enjoyed that. Feel free to comment. Best wishes,



  1. It was my first time against the infamous wab spartans, this game showed me never take tims advice - get veteran greeks he said they will be solid he said, I knew I should have taken chaff persions that I know will lose and I can plan for!

    1. Hoefully your last time too Alex. Once my pikey boys arrive & I paint the elephants etc I'll field something a bit more main stream.
      Thanks for commenting, best wishes, JJ

  2. Oh man, your posts are so wonderful Jeremy; such beautiful figures and terrain and brilliant wit!
    I am pleased that I was not a judge as I don't think that I could have chosen between them. Mario's non-metallic bronze is sensational. Presumably using tricksy highlighting?
    Your own figures are a real delight too. I guffawed aloud at the sight of your camp. What a superb piece. Soughta Asterix style?
    Regards, James

    1. Good morning James. Good to hear from you, I've been very remiss of late - no blog updates! We started a small Napoleoinc game last night & we'll keep WABing so maybe something will get posted?
      Take care out there,