Friday, 22 January 2021

Hannibal and Chits

We've just started playing an online To the Strongest! tournament called Hannibal Ad Portas, this week I fought my first battle. That's my vast Italian Tribes army at the bottom; 16 victory medals - that's a whole lot for a 130 point army. I played fellow veteran blogger Monty from the US, who had Spanish. It wasn't a game of any great tactical subtlety; we just had at it!  I narrowly pipped him by one medal, once I eventually remembered how the rules work. Below is an in-game shot.


If you fancy joining the tournament, which is, I suspect, the only ancient big battle tournament running in the world, just now, please email me and I'll put you in touch with Antony, the organiser. Its very good natured and very international in its nature, and a really good way to learn the rules. Or you can just watch us play online, if you like.

In other news I've released some more coloured activation and stratagem chits, this time in red and dark blue. 

The new stratagem tokens are single sided (plain red or dark blue on the reverse).

You can find them, here.

Also I've received a major restock of bases. Pretty much everything that I'd run out of is now back in stock.


That's if for now- I hope to be able to show some more Swiss in a day or so, as that project grinds unremittingly towards completion. 

Wednesday, 13 January 2021

Swiss progress


Over Christmas and New Year, I've been chipping away at the edges of my Swiss project. I prepped 100+ plastic and metal Swiss, and detailed the 84, above, that Shaun McTague mostly painted, the bulk of the next four contingents - Glarus, Schweiz, Schaffhausen and Basel. They will be bulked-out with un-uniformed Switzers. My plan is to get the bulk of the remaining 250-ish Swiss finished, and then base them all at more-or-less the same time.

This is my first post of '21 - let's hope we all have a happier year, with rather more wargaming than the last one! I'm very much hoping to be able to run some big games, once we are let out to play, and join in some competitions, too. In fact there's an online tournament starting on Monday- Hannibal at the Gates- mail me if you would like details.

Hannibal Ante Portas online tournament

Look at those lovely Quincunxes!

Following on the heels of last year's successful TtS! 1066 and Kingmaker tournaments, Hannibal Ante Portas will be the next on-line To the Strongest! tournament, starting next week.

The tournament, organised by chum Antony, is set during the period of the 2nd Punic War 218 BCE. Players will fight with a variety of armies from the period – Gallic, Hellenistic Greek, Imperial Seleucid, Later Carthaginian, Later Macedonian, Numidian, Parthian, Polybian Roman, Southern Italian Tribes and Spanish, over 10 battlefields that take their inspiration from actual battlefields from the classical period – Lake Trasimenus, Metaurus, Cynoscephalae etc.

We'll be playing online using Tabletop Simulator, which is available on Steam.

The tournament will begin with a ‘pool’ stage that will start on Monday 18th January 2021 and finish on Sunday 14th March 2021, during which players may play as many of the other players in the tournament as they choose.

At the end of the pool stage, the top 8 players, based on their six best results, will then go forward to the knock-out stages. It is expected that we will have a number of players with the same points so we will use the following as the ‘tie breaker’ – Number of Decisive Victories in the 6 best results recorded, followed by, if required, the net Number of Medals Captured.

The quarter final battles will be fought between Monday 15th March and Sunday 21st March with the winners of the quarter final battles progressing to the semi-final battles.

The week commencing 22nd March is scheduled for the semi-final, 3rd/4th place battle and the battle for the title of Hannibal. There will be prizes at the whim of Antony and Simon.

How to Enter

Simply message Antony (aka antman1805), either through the TtS! Forum or the TtS! Discord server – ,  giving him your “Discord” handle and name and he will record you as a participant. Alternatively you can email Simon and he will forward it to Antony. Please also let him know which country/time zone you are in to help with arranging games. Antony will need to share names and email addresses in the form “simonmiller60 at gmail dot com” with the other participants so that players can contact each other to arrange games (if this is a problem for you, let him know, there may be a work around). As with previous TtS! tournaments we are looking for players from across the globe, who can't usually make it to the UK-based tournaments or, indeed, any other tournament at the present time.

Even if you are a newbie to the To The Strongest! rules or not even played them before please get involved. We have a great group of players who will be happy you teach you both the game mechanics and how to use Tabletop Simulator- you will be a battle-scarred veteran, by the end! Do please come along - we hope that the card gods will smile kindly upon you.

Thursday, 24 December 2020

A Merry Christmas to All!


Here in the BigRedBatCave we are hunkered down in tier 4, with only a few modest survival rations to see us through the lead-up to Christmas. 

I hope we all get as great break as we can in current the difficult circumstances, and that things get very easier for us all, at some conveniently point early in the New Year! I'm very much hoping to see some of you across a gaming table in the Spring. I have a lot of freshly-painted units that will, no doubt, perform very badly, indeed. ;-)  

Happy Christmas and all the best for the New Year!

Sunday, 20 December 2020

Switzers XI- Schweiz and Glarus

The project has slowed, slightly, in the face of the Tyranny that is Christmas Preparation. I've managed though, to finish 24 minis for a second Schweiz contingent, and 15 for a new Glarus contingent. Both are mainly in red, but Glarus have black and white accents. Many were painted by Shaun, but needed some overpainting as I didn't originally specify the correct colours- I've learned more about the Swiss as I go along with the project. I'm not going to base these, yet, because I want to incorporate some other minis from Shaun that aren't in cantonal colours, to mix things up a bit.

Here's the plan I'm working from. The green-highlighted units are finished, the blue-highlighted are under way. The cantons are arranged very roughly in order of becoming independent, with the original Waldstätte ("forest") cantons in the first keil (1&2).

Thursday, 10 December 2020

New Activation and Stratagem Chits for To the Strongest!

The new activation and stratagem chits are in the shop. They are 20mm diameter and in glorious technicolour- it's easy to make the values out at a distance. I chose TtS! purple, green and burnt orange for the initial colours, because they contrast well with each other, so it is easy to distinguish between them if your opponent is also using chits (just so long as he's using a different colour!). 

The activation chits come in packs of 80. They are two-sided, so play is quicker than with the previous single-sided MDF chits, since you don't need to flip them.

There are also three matching sets of stratagem tokens. These have plain colours on the back. The advantage over the previous version is that it tells you what the stratagem is, rather than there being a symbol you need to look up.

You can find them in the BigRedBatShop

Thursday, 3 December 2020

Switzers X - almost half way!


Terrible photos but I'm overdue posting an update. The new sub-unit is the blue-themed contingent in the above keil, above; 32 Freiburgers. The super flag is from Flags of War. The  minis were mostly painted or heavily overpainted by me (!), but there are a few of David Imrie's in the front rank and some of Shaun McTague's in there, too.

Above is the first keil, and below, the second. I now have eight of the 32-man "strips" based (but not grouted), three more out with painter chums, and one more here, ready to repaint/finish, which I'll probably tackle next. But I will need to prepare another 192 minis, at some stage. Gulp. Still, though, I'm almost half way there with the project.

In other news, I've published new versions of the Ancient and Medieval army list books for To the Strongest! with new lists, edits, and tons more background material- you can find them here.