Tuesday, 11 December 2018

On the second day of Christmas...

...we have six later knights a lancing. These are Perry plastics painted by chum Lionel in Paris, and highlighted by me. They are great minis and paint jobs; a later photo, once based, will do them more justice. Lionel is painting some more for me; there will be 30 mounted knights in the army.

Above is the progress to date, two units down, ten to go! Then of course grouting, flocking... and a camp.

In broad terms the army is going to consist of five units of later nights, five skirmishing crossbowmen (three mounted, two on foot), and a unit each of formed crossbowmen and spearmen.

Monday, 10 December 2018

On the first day of Christmas...

...my true love sent to me, six crossbowmen skirmishing (pics are clickable). These are part of the Later Italian Condotta army I'm raising for the To the Strongest! Worlds in Chalgrove on February 23rd. I'll try to add a unit every day, or other day, until Christmas, when it will be mostly complete (I have most, but not all, of the required minis).

Here are the bases- I prepared them yesterday, fixing magnets, chamfering and priming.  These are Batbases from my shop. Although originally designed for the ECW, I have realised that they also work really well for both the 15cm and the 20cm grid mats, using them as two-base units on the 15cm mat or three-base on the 20cm. With a bit of careful planning, I will, therefore, be able to use the same minis on both grids (the 15cm for competition and the 20cm for display games at shows). It'll all become clear over the next two weeks.

The first minis are one of two units of Perry Italian skirmishing crossbowmen; they are mandatory in the list which I'll describe more fully, tomorrow. Quite useful troops- cheap, too!

In other news, I've just launched a pre-Christmas sale of some of my Deep-Cut mats, and have a continued an existing promotion on the rules.

Sunday, 18 November 2018

To the Strongest! at Warfare

Simon Purchon and Steve Dover ran a super-looking Roman vs. Sassanid game at Warfare, yesterday, which I was sorry to miss in person. Simon says "We played two games, although neither got the end, and we had novices in both games. In the second game, three out of the four players were new to the rules."

As well as Simon's Sassanids, which I am all-to-used to seeing from the wrong end of a lance, I think I spot some Late Romans that used to be in my collection and which are now in Mark Philips' collection.

The mats are Sahara 15cm grid; they look great with a few palm trees scattered around.

A great looking game!

Tuesday, 6 November 2018

Magnesia phalanx

I realised, today, that I forgot to blog the pictures of my pike phalanx, from Partizan back in August. Here it is; most of my phalangites are drawn up, 32 ranks deep, 1048 strong, with elephants in the intervals, representing a section through the Seleucid phalanx at Magnesia. The full Seleucid phalanx at 1:1 would be 32 feet wide. :)

Thursday, 25 October 2018

Loading for the Wargames Holiday Centre

At dawn I'm off to Basingstoke for a Wargames Holiday Centre weekend at the Holiday Inn! Here are 82 boxes of minis and terrain. I think it will all fit in the car.... it's certainly the most minis I've ever shifted. I'm very much looking forward to some serious gaming... :-)

Monday, 22 October 2018

Soggy Bottom at SELWG

Here are some random pictures from yesterday's game at the excellent SELWG show in Crystal Palace, mostly taken by chum Ian Notter, except for the first and last pictures, which are by the SELWG team. All will expand if clicked! 

The battle is Soggy Bottom 1643; a battle designed to illustrate the TtS! For King and Parliament rules that co-author Andrew Brentnall and I wrote, in quite possibly its last show outing. Above is a shot along the battle lines.  I love the way that the deer appear to be watching from the forest...

Above- grim-faced, hard riding Northern Horse - mostly Catholics from Yorkshire. 

Below, dragoons doing what they do best. At the end of the second game, Oliver Cromwell ordered them to mount and charge over a hedge; in a hilarious run of astonishingly lucky card play, they took out most of the Royalist left wing!

This battery was flanked by the Royalists. We spent a couple of minutes checking whether they could turn their guns, before realising they were out of gunpowder and cannon balls!  :-)  The crews legged it.

Royalist lifeguard of horse. Senior commanders often had a personal bodyguard troop. These particular flags are GMB- very crisp!

The eponymous village of Soggy Bottom. I absolutely love the Hovels buildings, and have bought a small Dutch town from them.

And finally, our efforts were crowned with success- we won Best of Show! I was completely taken aback- hadn't thought we'd win anything as there were some super games on display. Huge thanks to Ian Notter, Shaun McTague and Chris Winter and to everyone else who helped or played in the two games, or who popped by for a chat- I was very hoarse last night. Really enjoyed meeting everyone!

The SELWG team worked really hard and the event was very well organised. They were very friendly, too, and helpful. I blew a lot of money on the Bring and Buy, and with the nice people at 1st Corps. I really enjoyed the show and will certainly be back next year! 

Thursday, 27 September 2018

2019 To the Strongest! Worlds at Chalgrove

The date of the 2019 To the Strongest! World Championship will be 23rd February 2019 and it will, again, be held in Chalgrove Village Hall, Oxfordshire (OX44 7TE). For those who haven't yet been to the Worlds, they are a friendly, one day competition, probably the largest 28mm ancient/ medieval big-battle tournament in the world, with 30 or more players expected to participate.

The rules used will be the v1.1a To the Strongest!, along with the Even Stronger V7 supplement (which be published in early October). The V7 supplement will remain substantially similar to the current V6 version, but will include some changes to mounted evades, for game-balancing purposes, and a small but helpful change for players wishing to field cataphracts.

Battles will be fought on 6' x 4' tables on a 12 x 8  6" grid. Armies will be 130 points and composed of 28mm miniatures; any of the official TtS! army lists are allowed. If you don't have a suitable army, we may be able to lend you one- please ask. Please don't submit your list yet, we'll start taking them from late November, and will need all the lists by the end of January.

There will be four rounds in round robin format, as last year. The first round will feature pre-set terrain and the second, third and fourth rounds will use pre-set terrain if both players are happy, otherwise terrain will be placed as in the rulebook. Please bring terrain pieces, if able, there will be some terrain available to borrow on the day.

The final tournament ranking will be determined by how competitors did in each of the four rounds using the traditional cryptic/unfathomable formula:  Tournament points = (100 x fraction of Victory Medals you have taken from the opponent) + (50 x fraction of VM you have left from your own army) + (50 if you have scored a victory over the opponent).

There will be a £10 entry fee, payable in advance or on the day. Tea, coffee, hot chocolate and biscuits will be provided. Steve will ask the Red Lion pub whether they can supply baguettes again.

Provisional timings are as follows:

Friday evening- The Night Before Chalgrove Dinner, somewhere in the local area- please let Steve know if you are interested. Start the Worlds with a hangover!

  From 08:30 onwards, entry to the hall

  09:00 players to tables

  09:10 battle #1 starts

  10:35 current turn(s) to be completed. (N.B. the non-phasing player gets a final turn if they went second (i.e. lost the scouting), to even out the number of turns played) 

  11:00 battle #2 starts

  12:25 current turn(s) to be completed. 

  13:20 battle #3 starts

  14:45 current turn(s) to be completed.

  15:10 battle #4 starts

  16:35 current turn(s) to be completed. 

  16:50 Declaration of the winner who is then carried aloft around the room accompanied by  triumphant frenzied bellowing, ululation and chest beating, or maybe just a sedate presentation and a group photo.

There will be prizes for the winner, runner ups, good sportsmanship, best army+camp+terrain and other prizes at the whim of the organizers - not to omit the traditional dead elephant award for the player with the lowest score.

To secure a place, please email Steve at  steve.dover@3dsystems.com if you haven't already done so!