Battleday 2019 Report

The 2109 Battle Day took place at its usual venue, Sycamore Hall, Bletchley, on Saturday 30 March. This year we had 16 games – just one off the previous record of 17 – but more to the point we had a lot of big games on big tables. This meant that we were very snug in the main hall, and had to have two games staged in the “small room” and two large table games set up after the initial pre-battle talk had taken place in the “mid-sized room”. Fitting games in is inded a nice problem to have!

The day started with Duncan Head giving a talk on Telamon, the battle and campaign. This was a shorter version of the extensive presentation he had made at the Conference last November, and of course readers of Slingshot will have seen the detailed article on which it was based. Nevertheless Duncan held us entranced as he went through the pre battle manoeuvring and then his analysis of the battle itself. An excellent start to the day.

The games then got underway. We saw a number of different ways to address this battle. Most were set up in a traditional way with the Gauls in the middle and facing them back to back against the two Roman armies. A couple of the games (one of the two “To The Strongest” games, and the “WRG 7th Edition” game) actually had a walking gap between the two halves of the battlefield, effectively making two separate battles. One of the DBMM games did something similar but had a connecting table for the cavalry battle on one flank, so forming a U shape. These designs certainly aided the movement of the figures, though of course lost something in the visual effect of the Gauls fighting back to back. A challenge for those taking the standard single table approach was ensuring there was enough depth for the effective deployment of four armies across that depth, rather than the usual two. There were other variations and ideas: the “Warlord Advance Guard” game lost a player the evening before due to illness, so the two players each took a Gallic and a Roman army each and fought each other that way. Another group chose to focus on the cavalry battle as the key feature, and using the “Lion Rampant” rules with groups of 10mm figures on each base had a very visually striking game of a massed cavalry engagement. Yet another variation: the cavalry engagement was fought out first in the “Piquet: Archon” game, with the resulting victors being able to enter the subsequently fought infantry struggle at a given point later.

As you can see, there were many different ways employed to tackle this battle – as we have come to expect now after many years of Battle Day and a lot of regular groups attending.

For the record, the games that came were:

Armati 15mm
Ancient Batles by Paul Colebrooke 15mm
Command and Colors: Ancients 15mm
Command and Colors: Ancients 28mm
Command and Colors: Ancients 15mm
DBMM 25mm
DBMM 15mm
Impetus 28mm
Lap of the Gods 15mm
Lion Rampant 10mm
Mortem et Gloriam 15mm
Piquet Archon 28mm
To The Strongest 28mm
To The Strongest 28mm
Warlord Advance Guard 28mm
WRG 7th Edition 15mm


The day was attended by 78 people in total. We were glad to see among them Sue Laflin and Phil Barker attend for part of the day – as an aside Sue showed me the final proof of a new edition of Ian Heath’s classic WRG book “Armies and Enemies of the Crusades, 1096-1291”. I am unsure quite what new material has been included, but this is one to look out for in the coming months.

As usual, prizes were awarded. A voting slip system was used for each individual being able to vote for Best Game and Best Terrain. The results were very close, but in the end the winners were:

  • Perry Miniatures Prize for Best Game – won by Andy and Mark Bullock for their epic 28mm game using many beautifully painted 28mm figures and the Impetus rules, all on striking terrain. The prize here was several boxes of plastic Wars of the Roses figures – ideal for next year’s Battle Day Bosworth!
  • Magister Militum Prize for Best Terrain – won by Bob Robertson for the terrain he set up for the 28mm DBMM game. The prize here was a voucher for figures.

Many thanks to both Perry Miniatures and Magister Militum for their support and generous prizes.

The more spurious prizes painted and awarded by myself based on heresay reports of significant events in the games were as follows:

  • Gallic Cavalry of the Day – Jim Howard in the Piquest Archon game, whose Gallic Horse carried all before them
  • Gallic Warriors of the day – Trevor Halsall in the Warlord Advance Guard game for breaking through the Romans
  • Roman Cavalry of the Day – Pete Kershaw in the DBMM 28mm game, for defeating the massed Gallic horse against overwhelming odds
  • Roman Triari of the Day – controversially awarded to…myself! For my triarii killing rampage in the Command & Colors 15mm game run by John Drewienkiewicz and Andrew Brentnall. Well, there didn’t seem to be any other candidates for the prize who stepped forward!

Note the Romans were generously provided by Keith at Aventine Miniatures, a great supporter of  Battle Day so thank you to Aventine. The Gauls came from my own lead mountain, the foot chieftain from Black Tree and the cavalryman from Foundry.

So that’s another successful Battle Day over with for another year. Now it is time to take up your Yorkist or Lancastrian colours and march to Bosworth Field for the 2020 Battle Day…