Sunday, 28 October 2012

Chariots- Pole to pole

This week I was lucky enough to pick up my first Warlord chariots, and I thought I'd post a couple of shots.  The Warlord is on the right, next to the best chariot I've found, from Relik, on the left. 

The Warlord is noticeably longer in the body, and very much longer in the pole.  A charioteer would get knackered running up and down that!  I'll be cutting mine down to the same length as the Relik model. I like the wicker bodywork of the chariot, the pole is nice and slender, and the yoke has great detail.  The wheels are nicely proportioned- almost as nice as Relik's (just feeling a tiny tad too small, perhaps because the chariot body is larger?).

Like Relik's, the Warlord horses are well proportioned and nicely animated.  As with many chariot horse models, I cannot help but wish that they be a bit more pony-like, but I'll certainly be very pleased to use them.  I've not photographed the crew, but they are well animated, too.

All in all I'm very pleased with my Warlords.  Someone clearly did some research before sculpting them.  They will form a valuable addition to my force; I may even pick up a few more!

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Either with this or on this

We played another Greek on Greek hoplite game this week, using the grid-based rules I'm developing.  My Spartans are on the right, and this time George fielded a Theban force, on the left.

Again the Spartiates were deployed on the extreme right.  That's King Agis and his panel of advisers, in the front.

The Spartans attacked on the right, but one of the Theban units unexpectedly drove forward in the centre, pushing back the opposing unit of Spartan allies.

Above, on their left, the Spartan skirmishers pushed forward, past some Cretans hiding in the vineyard.  Epaminondas failed a lot of activation roles, and the Thebans weren't able to execute their planned flank attack.  In particular, their elite unit, the particularly deep unit in their centre, remained stubbornly stationary.  Bad omens?

King Agis was slain by a lucky javelin throw; there was an animated discussion about reducing the mortality rates amongst generals...  His body was carried away on his shield.

...but the Spartan right smashed the opposing Theban allies and then successfully turned to flank the Thebans.

The Thebans struggled to make activation rolls (partly due to atrocious luck and partly due to out of command distance); I'll be giving some thought to the activation system, prior to the next play test in a few week's time.

Friday, 26 October 2012

Bucolic Interlude

... slaves bring in the grape harvest, during a lull in Civil War campaigning.

('ave a click; Foundry slaves, scratch-built vine stakes.  Now, where can I find Cincinnatus and his plough?)

Monday, 22 October 2012

Revolting Goths

I've just finished painting my first unit of Gothic deserters, please have a click.

In all honesty I hadn't planned to paint a unit of Goths, but I was stripping apart my old Viking army in order to sell it, and discovered 16 bounty Germans hiding in the rear rank.  I couldn't resist adding a couple more elements and some lovely LBMS shield designs to round them off.  Most of the minis are Gripping Beast, with a few Black Trees amongst them.

They are destined to become enemies for my (alas so far largely projected) Late Roman army.  I like them slightly more from this angle, where it's easier to see the new shield designs.

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Chalons, 451 AD

Yesterday I played a fine game using the Comitatus rules, with their author, Simon MacDowell.  We refought the battle of Chalons as a rehearsal for the game that he has planned for the Society of Ancients Battle Day in Bletchley, next April 13th.  Simon was a generous host and I frothed over the miniatures in his display cabinets...

Simon has started to write the battle up here.  Rather than steal his thunder, I'll show some shots of his excellent miniatures.  These were 15's, but have more detail than many of my 28's.  I played the Romans, or rather the side that included a few token Romans amongst a host of Germans!  This unit were some of my Auxilia Palatina. 

Below is Flavius Aetius, last of the great Western Roman generals, and his Comitatus.

...and here is Attila, Scourge of God!

Unfortunately I forgot to take a closeup picture of King Theooric I, the Visigothic leader, who also played a siignificant role in the battle, but here he is, charging at the head of his Comitatus (left, below).  Simon had suggested that I hold him in reserve, but I preferred to use him in the manner of Theoden King, at the Pelennor fields...

The shields of the Visigothic foot, beyond him, are splendid!

EDIT- Simon McD reminded me that there is, indeed, a closeup of the impetuous Theodoric:-

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

One hundred Spartans (and some Greeks)

Last night we had another play test of the ancient rule set I've been working on.  We pitted Wabby George's newly restored Thessalian army, against my own Spartans, generalled by Ian as King Agis.  All the below pictures are clickable.

Above, Wabby George, the Thessalian Hegemon, looks rather nervously across the table towards the elite Spartiates on the right wing of the Spartan host (as well he might!).  Below is the Spartan army, with 3 mora of allies in the foreground and two of Spartans, beyond them.

The Spartans and their allies advanced quickly (above).  The allied hoplites, left foreground, suffered heavy losses from accurate (lucky!) fire from the Thessalian psiloi.  The Spartan hoplites inclined to the right in an attempt to run down the Thessalian cavalry, and a gap opened in the line, between the Spartans and allies, through which a unit of Thessalian psiloi penetrated.  The psiloi outflanked the rightmost mora of allied hoplites, and peppered it from two sides with slingshot and javelins, until it was on the very edge of disintegration (below).

The Spartan situation, above, became desperate as a succession of melees went badly, and all 3 of the allied units were on the verge of flight. 

On the Spartan right, however, things were going better.  Rather than tackle the Spartiates frontally, the Thessalian cavalry fled from the table.  The right hand Spartan unit had a good deal of trouble passing a movement test to turn through 90 degrees...

...but eventually they, and the neighbouring unit, managed to re-align and they were able to start to roll up the enemy line (as in the battle of Coronea), enabling the Spartans to snatch a (rather expensive) victory from the jaws of defeat.

The game was good natured and very enjoyable.  I took away a few actions to adjust the rules, which I've done, and I hope to be able to play another test game in a week or so.  It was great to see George's new troops, and I'm now resisting the impulse to add a bunch of hoplites to the burgeoning painting queue...

Monday, 15 October 2012

Article on "Rome"

No pics to post as my various current projects are all slowly grinding along in parallel, a fair way from completion.

Eldest son sent me this article on the veracity of the military scenes in HBO's Rome.  It has reminded me why I enjoyed the series so much!  Must watch it again... it had me gripped from the very first scene.

Friday, 12 October 2012

Surplus Hoplites

These chaps are Foundry Hoplites (plus 1 Essex miniature) that served as Blue Dragoons in my Hordes of the Things Lunar army.  I'm planning to repaint them, shortly, for use as regular hoplites...

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

A rare night's gaming

Last night a near-full muster of the local Muswell Militiamen gave my draft rules a bit of an outing along with my Celts, who haven't seen daylight since Zama.  The game went pretty well; despite losing their flanking cavalry, the superior discipline of the legions eventually told, and led to them breaking the line of warbands.  I have a handful of revisions to make to the rules, and expect to give them another outing next Tuesday, with Gorgeous George's Greeks.

My painting table is below.  Inexplicably an unexpected Gothic invasion is delaying work on the chariots.  The Goths, who have languished unnoticed in amongst a box of Vikings for 3 or 4 years, charged forth with a shout of "Paint me! Paint me!" and are consequently in the process of being tarted up and expanded to 24.  Worse still, some part-painted Celtic foot have pushed in behind them... and there is a chap carrying a tray of what look to be unripe tomatoes....

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Chariot frames

My chariot project is proceeding slowly.  Above are the primed frames and wheels.  You may just be able to make out that I've added javelin quivers and severed head tropies to some of the frames.

I used an Army Painter primer on these, and it gave a very grainy finish, with the paint adhering particularly poorly to the metal parts, such that I can rub it off with my fingers.  Other minis I primed with Halfords sprays in the same session, were perfect.  This is far from the first time that I have had trouble with AP primers, and, despite the convenience of being able to prime in their useful base colours,  I won't be buying any more.

The horses are also primed, the bases made and the charioteers are off with Nick to be painted, so this project is, gradually, coming together.  I'd have got the chariots assembled if it wasn't for an incursion of Gothic intruders (of which more anon).

Monday, 8 October 2012

Surplus Crusaders

These stalwarts are Gripping Beast Normans or First Crusaders, and I'm parting with them as part of my plan to focus on the armies and enemies of Rome.  

There are based on 60x60mm card, with magnetic sheet underneath.  They could be easily removed (I'd be happy to do this for you) and rebased for Saga, etc.  I'm looking for £30 plus postage at cost.  My other for sale items are here.

Friday, 5 October 2012

Coh. V Dalmatorum

This is the last cohort of Romans I'll produce for a while; they are an auxiliary cohort I started just before Partizan, that I wanted to wrap up.  They are a bog-standard unit of auxiliaries of Dalmatian origin, all Black Tree miniatures, and, for once, almost exclusively* painted by me!  This is one of my favourite LBMS auxiliary shield designs.  As ever, pics are fully clickable.

They are my 15th auxiliary infantry unit and I now, albeit temporarily, have more auxiliaries than legionaries (something that very few wargamers can say!).  Once I have based one final auxiliary cavalry unit, I'll have hit my resolution target of 60 double elements of auxiliaries (414 minis), and I'll be able to move on to expand the legions.  I do prefer to paint auxiliaries to legionaries, though, I find them more varied and interesting.

*Three of Legatus Hedlius command figures crept in

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Surplus Vikings

8 Gripping Beast Vikings, ready for war.  They are magnetically based on card on a 15mm frontage.  Pics are clickable.

I'm looking for £3.50 per mini which comes to £28 plus postage; am also open to swaps.  You can post here in comments, or email me at the address on the front page.

This link is to my other for sale items.

Cheers, Simon

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Ala Gallorum Petriana, and 400K!

This is my second Ala of Auxiliary cavalry; the Petrian Gallic wing.  These were probably raised at the beginning of the first century, and served on the Vitellian side, under Caecina, in the 69AD war. After the war they came to Britain and were stationed in Northumberland and Cumbria for the next hundred years or so.

These were painted for me by Dr. Simon's excellent mystery painter, but I did quite a bit of highlighting on them, too, varnished and based.  Pics are clickable.  All the miniatures are Black Tree.  At 24 men, it is the right size for a Quingenary Ala, but as a wargames unit, it is a little unwieldy, and I shall probably make future units a little smaller at 18 figures, and consider them to be understrength.

In other news, the tracker ticked past 400K visits today!  Thanks very much for all your visits, so far, and onwards and upwards to the half million!

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Some Ancient Vikings for Sale!

I'm making some space in my War Cabinet for new projects by selling a couple of armies I'm less passionate about.  These Vikings are a mixture of the early Wargames Foundry range, with some Citadel and, I believe, a couple of Old Glory.   They were re-painted and based around 5 years ago, to a good tabletop standard. They are magnetically based on card on a 20mm frontage.  Pics are clickable.

I'm looking for around £3 per mini which comes to £72 plus postage; am also open to swaps.  You can post here in comments, or email me at the address on the front page.

This link is to my other for sale items.

Cheers, Simon

Monday, 1 October 2012

Traffic Jam

The painting tray is overflowing with chariots.  My plan is for a first wave of 9, but I want to go to eventually muster 20 or so.  Most of the crews have gone off to Nick to be painted (he'll do a far better job with plaid than could I).

In the foreground are the chariot horses, which I hope will be fairly quick to paint...  and I need to finish basing the cohort of Dalmatians on the front left, to clear a bit of space!