Monday, 30 September 2013

More crewmen and a captain

Nick also painted these archers for me, which I've just finished basing. Please do have a click, they came out very well! They will form the crew of my ships, along with their rather intense captain (below), who was painted some years ago by Andres at Einar Olafson.

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Augustan Marines

These chaps have been recruited from the brush of Nick Speller*, and will be part of the marine contingent for my Roman boats.  They are based on an image in the Osprey Roman Marine book, and may well be Greeks, as the Romans recruited heavily into their navy from Greece and Egypt.

The figures are Foundry Thebans, equipped with Roman auxiliary shields, and with metal armour painted as leather.  Steve from LBMS very kindly resized the transfers for me.

I only rarely base minis singly, but elements just aren't going to work, shipboard.  I am half tempted to work up some sort of Roman naval skirmish game.  Later, I will need to make a sabot for these, in case they get should get their land-legs.

*I applied the shields and an ink wash

Monday, 23 September 2013

Numidian reinforcements

My Roman army has recently expanded rather more quickly than that of its Numidian opponents, so I have decided to add a few more units before the final Thapsus game at SELWG.  Here they are, part based.  A few more cavalry and lights will follow.

I painted somewhat more than half of these, with others from eBay and a few more possibly painted by Redzed.  Tonight I'll get some grout on those bases. I am also delighted to have recently sourced a small but rare unpainted Companion Miniatures Numidian army from mate "Happy", that should add lustre to Juba's hopes of an African Empire.

In other news, Aaron has recently had a crack at the ancient rule-set called "To the Strongest!" that I am developing, and wrote a very enjoyable account of the battle.  If anyone would like to try them, please pop me an email at the addess on the front of my blog.  

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Society of Ancients

At Colours, I ran into the Society of Ancients stand, again.  The SOA (particularly Phil Steele) work tirelessly to publicise the ancient end of the wargames hobby.  Here's a shot of the portable Bosworth demo game they were running at Colours.  I would commend you to join, if not already a member, as there's often something of interest in Slingshot.  Not to mention, on a more mercenary note, the discounts that they have arranged with various figure manufacturers and other organisations... 

Phil showed me some of the lovely old Tony Bath flats that Phil Barker has passed to him, and which he is restoring, but I sadly forgot to photograph them.   He also kindly introduced me to John Curry, who is running The History of Wargaming Project, which is about creating an archive of wargaming records, books and other materials.  Something to think about in the future...

Monday, 16 September 2013

Colours Day 2 - Epiphany

I have seen the light!  On day 2, I managed to steal an hour from my game, to go around the show.  I made a beeline for the Bruce Weigle game I'd heard about on WD3.  This was every bit as good as rumoured...

The rolling hills and valleys were the best I've ever seen, and I can well believe he researches the terrain in a light aircraft!

I loved this village.  The minis are the old Heroics and Ros range, but beautifully painted and on very low profile bases.  Very tasteful.

It all looked very realistic.  The build quality was stunning.  I pestered Bruce for details of construction, and he was very forthcoming.  Such a nice chap.  I shall have a go at making some myself, later this year...

I completely failed to take photos of any of the other games, including the highly photogenic Hammers Slammers game, the excellent Marne game with many yards of hanging basket moss, the impressive yet bonkers Leipzig "skirmish" and an Eastern front game.  So... back to my Thapsus game (below) for games 3 and 4. Gaze upon the majesty of my reed banks...

Of the 4 games, Scipio won two and Caesar two, so I'm happy that the scenario is balanced.  I was also very pleased that three out of the four games came in under two hours, and the fourth just over 2, as 2 hours was my target duration (about as long as I reckon anyone can concentrate, at a show!).  

The most pleasing thing was that my To the Strongest "Lite" rules were easily picked up by the players, who were soon able to run without me, which was just as well as there were lots of visitors for me to chat to.  In particular, we had nine or ten children in total play across the four games, and they seemed to love it, each playing for the full two hours. Very well behaved and articulate kids, too, and all phenomenally lucky!  The nine year old with red hair (below) was amazing.

All in all it was a splendid weekend.  I met tons of people.  I have the worst memory in the world for names and faces, so this list won't be complete, but it was great to meet Raglan, nose-stick Matt, Barry Carter, Mark and (I think) Carlo, Henry Hyde, very nice Wargames Holiday chap, CoC Richard, Trevor Halsall, Phil Steele and John Curry, amongst many others...   Hopefully I'll be sending copies of the rules out to those who asked for a set, tomorrow.

Particular hanks to Ian Notter, Nigel and Jean for all their help in lugging 1000 metal miniatures and the terrain up and down all the steps, and helping to run the game.  Also many thanks to the team at Newbury and Reading for running such a well-organised event and giving me such a nice space for the game.

Does anyone know who makes this resin fort, please?

I bought this off a mate and want to buy some more bits to expand it.  It's 25mm or 28mm scale, I believe; that's a 28mm figure in the gateway.  The sections are 12cm wide, which suggests they are built to take DBx elements...

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Colours day 1

Had a very enjoyable day- met lots of people and lots of friends.  Unfortunately I was insanely busy and took barely any photos at all, only a couple on the phone.  However I will try to remedy this tomorrow. Below is my Thapsus game.

The second shot of the end of the first game, with Mark, Jean and Nigel.  Caesar lost this battle, but won the second of the day.  Both games lasted 2 hours +/- 5 mins.

Off to sleep; early start tomorrow!

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Numidians WIP

A hurried WIP shots of some fresh troops to expand my Roman and Numidian armies, for a later game at SELWG.

Monday, 9 September 2013

Thapsus is going to Colours on Saturday...

...and I'm looking for some players!  Thapsus is a 1000+ mini participation game, set during the Roman Civil Wars, and I'll be running it twice each day, on Saturday and Sunday.  This means I need up to two dozen players over the weekend, and ideally I'd like to get some players booked in up-front.

The rules used will be my own "To the Strongest!" Lite set, and I'll be able to explain the mechanics and get the game underway inside 15 minutes. I intend to run the game each day at 11:00 and 14:30, with an upper limit of 2 hours of play, which will be enough to decide the battle one way or the other.

So... if you are going to Colours and fancy a game, please drop me a line at simonmiller60 AT, and I'll book you in for one of the 4 sessions. I can accommodate up to six players at a time, so please bring your friends!

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Thapsus goes to Partizan!

On Sunday I had a pre-dawn start up to Newark for Partizan.  I had a nice clear drive up the A1 in my new-ish war wagon. As my games get bigger, I find that the task of loading and unloading everything is getting more taxing... and this year it was quite a job!  

I eventually got the boards set up, ate a bacon butty, and John arrived and helped me to set up the troops. The above view (all photos are clickable) is from the salt-lake side, across the isthmus, towards the sea at the rear. The more numerous Pompeians and their Numidian allies are on the left, and Caesar's legions on the right. There is a light scattering of scrub and olive trees, but no terrain that will impact the battle.

Here's the view from the sea wing. I eventually decided to name the ship "Venus", after Caesar's patron goddess (and the scurrilous song!).  Hilariously, Dug kept forgetting to move it, but brought its ballista into use by the end of the game.

Above is Caesar, beautifully painted by Andres of Einar Olafson, and received just before the game. He's a conversion using Foundry, Aventine and Warlord parts, and I'm going to paint a standard bearer to accompany him.

Later Dug, Dr Phil and his son Tim arrived, and we were quorate to kick the game off. A brief run through the rules (the Lite version of my own "To the Strongest!" set), and we were off! The players looked a little slack-jawed when the first unit was destroyed, within 30 seconds of play commencing. Shortly after this, I demonstrated why it is important to remember to move one's elephants... in a blue-on-blue incident, mine rampaged back through two of my units and trampled my general to death.  The 3 Aces are my failed saving cards.

On the other wing, however, Tim's elephants performed prodigies and smashed deep into the enemy lines (below).

This enabled us to turn the flank of Caesar's legions, but unfortunately they had done much the same to us on my other wing.  Below, playing cards are used to activate units and resolve combat.  The first time I've not needed to take dice along to a game!

Below is a shot of the clash of legionaries in the centre. Several cohorts eventually managed to turn onto the flanks of other cohorts.

I estimate that  we managed to only get 2-3 hours or so of play in during the whole day, as we started late, chatted to lots of people, did some shopping, took pictures of other games and so forth, so we didn't quite finish the game.  Caesar was ahead at the end, though, but not by as much as on the day in 46 BC, so, in that sense, it was a moral victory for Scipio.   Below is a shot of the late-game carnage; I was running out of places to put my casualties!

We had a great day, so thanks to Dug, John, Dr. Phil, Tim and Craig, who played, and a big hello to everyone who called by to have a look!  Especial thanks to Dug for his photos, and John for helping me pack up at the end.  Dr Phil and John had some useful suggestions for rules tweaks.  Oh, and huge thanks to the Partizan crowd for being such great hosts!  

Monday, 2 September 2013

A few shots of Partizan...

Yesterday I took my Thapsus game to Partizan.  I had a great time, but not nearly enough spare time to get around all the games.  Below are a few that were near to our table.  Tomorrow, I'll post some shots of our game.

The Bunker's Operation Thunderball (Entebbe raid) game was stunning.  Those aircraft were even bigger than they look here!  There was some lovely craftsmanship in this game.

Below, the Ugandan airforce.

And finally, the terminal building.

I'd love to play this scenario, someday, to see if the rules mechanics are as good as the modelling!

Next, we have David Imrie's Roman game based on "The Eagle of the Ninth", I think.  The minis are terrain were painted to an exceptional standard.

The fort, below, is one of Touching Histories; I have its twin.

And finally a War of the Spanish Succession game that Goat Major and LT from WD3 were running.  Lovely minis...

...and the Belgian town was to die for.  But what's that in the main street?  ;-)

The venue seemed very busy, and the event well run.  It was an enjoyable day and I ran into quite a few people I know, largely from previous trips to Kelham.  Partizan remains quite my favourite show!