Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Roman Consular Army WIP

A very bad photo of some lovely figures...

These are Principes and Triarii figures originally painted by Saxon Dog and Redzed, that I'm currently basing for the Aventine Roman legion for our Pydna game at Partizan.  Better photos to follow in a day or so.

Monday, 21 July 2014

Lago Trasimeno

Six months ago, we booked our holiday in Italy.  The maps just arrived, and I find we are less than 5 miles from the north shore of Lake Trasimene!  What are the odds of that?  Especially with me in the middle of basing a Consular Roman army.  :-)

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Stamping my foot!

Back in 2010, for the Zama game I did (mostly) with Keith and Adam at Aventine, and with Craig Davey, I bought an army of the lovely Aventine Miniatures Republican Romans and Late Etruscans. As it happened, I only painted a few dozen at the time (I worked mainly on the Carthaginian opponents), and have never had enough to play a game by myself.

Now, as part of the Partizan Pydna Project (of which more anon), I am finally going to "stamp my foot" like Pompey did (only hopefully with rather more success), and two new legions are going to spring forth, fully formed, from the fertile soil of Muswell Hill in time for t'other Partizan on 7th September.

How is this possible, I hear you ask, in such a short timescale? Well I have been lucky enough in the intervening period to buy some beautifully painted minis from Shaun (Redzedz), David Imrie and Craig Davey, and supplement them with some eBay purchases. With a little tweaking, and a little painting, these mercenary forces are going to be formed into one Roman and one Latin legion.

And so, here are the first spoils; these are the velites for the Roman legion. They are a mix of David's and Shaun's figures, re-based and looking very fine, if I say so myself!  These (together with my 2010 Late Etruscans) give me six of the required fourteen units, so just the eight to go. Gulp.  

I love the standard bearer; One of Shaun's I believe.

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Return to the Wargames Holiday Centre...

I shall be heading back to Kingsclere on the 30th/31st August for another weekend of gaming at the Wargames Holiday Centre.  


This time I'll be bringing 8 battles, and making the most of Mark's excellent large gaming space by running four at a time, in parallel. Rules will be my "To the Strongest!" set, which are easy to pick up and sufficiently fast that players should get to fight most of the battles. I shall be bringing my Spartans for the first time, as well my Macedonians and three different eras of Romans with their various allies. Do drop Mark a line if you are free...

In other news I have just started work on an entirely new Roman army, of which more, anon!

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

More late late Romans

I couldn't resist working on the painted cavalry Craig sold me with the three infantry units. There were a few tiny chips, and the superglue had degraded so everything needed to be re-glued. They are mostly finished (below), I just want to apply some varnish to the shields and horses tails. I find that tails, in particular, get a great deal of wear and need all the protection they can get. I painted one shield to match Craig's hand painted ones.

Below, I painted 8 infantry shields to match some of Craigs. Craig painted the small shields at the bottom and the ones in the centre of each Jenga piece (and 25 more not shown). Mine aren't quite as good, but when they are on the minis it will be very hard to tell them apart. I really like the subtle variations one gets with hand-painted designs. I've actually found myself thinking about painting a second unit, so I could have a full 1,200 strong Legione; however 5 nights more shield-painting is a somewhat daunting prosepect.

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Late late Romans

My friend Craig Davey very kindly sold me some Late Roman infantry last year, and they have been slowly fighting their way towards the top of the painting queue.  By painting another 7 minis, I worked out that I could make three units out of them.  Craig hand-painted the shields at the Secunda Britannia, and I'm going to need to paint a few more to match.  The detail on his minis it stunning, and I am struggling to match it.  I've had to clean my painting specs and break out the rarely used 000's!

Monday, 30 June 2014

A weekend away at the Wargames Holiday Centre

On Friday I motored over to the Wargames Holiday Centre, with a carload of Really Useful Boxes packed with terrain and miniatures.   

Mark Freeth met me and together we set up three games on his tables. One of the nice things about the WHC's boards is that some feature hills much larger than I have storage for, and so I made full use of these. Also I couldn't resist using some very old Peter Gilder buildings from the WHC's Scarborough days to represent the town of Chaeronea (below).

The players arrived around 9:30 AM on the Saturday, and began playing shortly after 10:00 PM.  I ran around like a blue-bottomed fly, fielding questions and relating historical anecdotes.

Below is the Pontic phalanx, drawn up in front of their camp.

A view over the plain, from the citadel:

Below is a shot of the Boudiccan revolt game, which was called "The Only Way is Eceni". The Romans and Britons won one game each.

One Roman auxiliary cohort was comprehensively surrounded, below, but successfully fought off many charges. 

I didn't take any decent photos of the third game (below), which featured late Romans assaulting a Pictish line up a massive, heather-covered hill.  The hill was a monster!  It was a fast moving game and I have plans to expand it with more units, and even more heather.

Late on Saturday we replaced two of the games with even larger battles, which were gamed on Sunday morning (whilst I struggled with a massive hangover). 

Thapsus (below) is a battle I've fought many times. Both games on Sunday were very close and, unusually, Caesar lost twice.

The final game was a reprise of the Partizan Cremona game. This was a massive slogging match between two evenly matched Early Imperial Roman armies. This time, both games were draws; the Othonians just couldn't break through.

Everyone managed to play each of the five games, once, and I hope everyone had a good time. Mark kept things moving along nicely, and made sandwiches and buckets of tea. 

We ran all the games using my "To the Strongest!" rules, and, by the close of play on Saturday, I felt that everyone had a really good working grasp of these. I think everyone enjoyed the novel playing-card driven nature of the rules. By lunchtime on Sunday, we'd introduced most of the rules in the "advanced" section, and players were using the stratagems and some of the obscure rules, such as "orbis".  A lot of intelligent questions were asked and some good suggestions offered, so I have some work to do in the week ahead.

It was a splendid weekend which I very much hope to repeat, in the early autumn!