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Mark Fry’s Thornbury L’art de la Guerre Augustus

The Thornbury 100s1 day – 100pts – 28mm LadG Competition – 4 games – 8 players

                                                                     Beware the McGlynn and his NHS styled chariot!

IPMS Avon Branch Show @ Thornbury is a great show – very different from your standard wargames shows, in that there were 3 massive sports halls crammed with stands displaying beautifully painted models of every size and scale depicting just about every conceivable subject matter. Along with traders with all manner of kits, books, paints, spray guns, modelling materials, reference manuals etc. there are also demo games and participation games and even a Bring & Buy to keep you more than busy. It was a thoroughly enjoyable event, as always.

The competitors and armies were as follows:

1. Andy “couldn’t’ quite make my mind up” Unwin – (Lydian or Assyrian)

2. Keith “organizer, living legend and national treasure” McGlynn – (Early Achaemenid Persian)

2. Andy “well it’s all missile armed” Whitby – (Nikephorian Byzantine)

3. Steve “how many Catapults am I allowed? Price – (Late Roman)

4. Mark Fry – (Middle Imperial Roman)

4. Mike “is that yet another Elephant army?” Sheppard – (Ghanznavid)

5. Mark “what no Elephants this year?” Clarke – (Southern Dynasty Chinese)

5. Phil “this is a much better use for a Conquest army” Mackie – (Republican Roman)

(Competitors above in order of the final results)

My 4 games were:

Game 1 – Lydians (Andy Unwin) – I lost – I played poorly and Andy played well – I let my army get split into 3 penny-packets and Andy picked off my MF infantry with his HF spears, whilst my cavalry were wasted blocking some of his Javelinmen hiding up in a field. I also had one of “those moments” … you know the sort of thing. You charge an enemy unit of HF spear in the rear with some MF Auxilia swordsmen impact (and throw your general into the fighting as it looks like a certain win) and then the HF spear end up inflicting a casualty on your MF & turn around & spank you in the preceding combats … which turned out to be a game winner for Mr Unwin. Hey ho!


Game 2 – Republican Romans (Phil Mackie) – a winning draw to me – a good game but we both agreed we needed to pick up the pace of play for 100pts and remember that Strategist generals add +3 (not +1) to command rolls. As whilst we had inflicted reasonable casualties – I lost all my cavalry and Phil lost all his Velites – had the game gone on just one more turn I think the outcome could have been decisive (either way but probably in Phil’s favour). As always, Phil is a thoroughly pleasant opponent.


Game 3 – Ghaznavids (Mike Sheppard) – a win to me – another good game – Mike got overconfident as his LC impact (Arabs) charged and destroyed my Light Horse Archer but that then drew his Ghulam HC into a complex cavalry melee only be destroyed by a combination of Roman HC and Auxilia Bowmen. Sadly his Elephant declined the opportunity to fight my Legionaries supported by my LF javelins (& who can blame it!).


Game 4 – Nikephorian Byzantines (Andy Whitby) – this was mutually destructive draw (i.e. we both broke in the same round of melee). A close and complex game, I used my Roman foot offensively and turned the axis of the game so that I shortened the frontage and we ended up fighting down the length of the table. Andy’s missile fire was not as effective as he’d hoped (his entire army is missile armed – I’m sure I mentioned that) and my Legionaries got into the right place at the right time and caused the Byzantine Tagmatic Lancers serious problems. Andy played his LF well in taking down a unit of my MF Auxilia and blocking a flank, whilst I lost both my HC units, but my Auxilia Bowmen were heroic in flank attacking HC. We also had possibly the most complex situation I have ever played in LadG – with a mix of 3 HC (2 Byzantine & 1 Roman) & 2 Legionaries, a Roman Auxilia Bow unit and a Byzantine HF Spears & Bows unit, all caught in each other’s Zones of Control. It resolved itself in the end but the outcome was highly destructive for all concerned (see photo below)


LadG 100pts is a fast and furious game. With most armies having c.10 breakpoints and fewer terrain pieces on a 4ft by 3ft table, there is nowhere to hide! Having a single general also means you need to play a tight game and putting your only general into combat seriously limits your options, even if he is a Strategist (& having a high quality general also helps greatly).

However, with just c.10 elements it also gives you an opportunity to build some very different armies. I’m dusting off some old spare Foundry New Kingdom Egyptians I have in a box, and also some Feudal Irish that was an allied contingent for FoG, which I think should do quite well on its own as a LadG 100 force (in theory!).

 Keith is considering theming the event next year possibly to limit armies to Biblical and early Classical periods (no Pikes) or maybe even a Western European Dark Ages event. So watch this space and get scrummaging through your bit box or raiding the Bring & Buys @ shows, to start building those obscure but deadly 100pt LadG armies.


PS: I have not forgotten I ‘owe’ the readership a Day 2 FWC Boot Camp article or a Devizes FoW report, although the latter will be a short & very sad affair !

 Editor; our thanks to Mark as always to his excellent  reportage! If only Mrs Ferres had been so even handed with her recent “General Lee is to be thanked “demonstration in the Tesco carpark last week!

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