Tuesday, 14 September 2021

Chalgrove 2021 - The Cheesy Indians in action!


At Chalgrove I completely failed to take any photos of my Indians from the front. Howard Litton has very kindly sent me some images from the game we played. Howard has a lovely Aventine Miniatures Polybian Roman army (once mine, some minis painted by David Imrie IIRC). That's me, by the way.


Here's a side-on view. I massed my elephants mostly in the middle of the line, Howard had to veteran quincunx on the left of his line with veteran velites in support,  and lots of scruffy filler on the right, including an African elephant who (below) looked somewhat lonely as he was facing 8 much superior units of Indian elephants totalling 16 models



Above, Howard had lots of javelinmen- both massed light infantry and formed ones. The Aventine Oscans looked particularly effective. Below, both armies began a steady advance in line. Below, frustratingly, my left stubbornly refused to advance. 


Below, frustratingly, my left stubbornly refused to advance. This was a pity as I'd spotted an opportunity to cut off and potentially kill Howard's Numidians, but they got away. :-(


After this, alas, the photos peter out. What happened in the game was that Howard advanced with the veterans on his left, and fell back with his right, so fast that I couldn't catch up by the end of the game. This did, however, give me an opportunity to get onto the wing of one of his quincunxes with my elephants. Unfortunately time ran out before we could see whether I could kill his quincunx before his other quincunx killed my longbowmen. 


Above- an uncomfortable tactical position for this quincunx. 

Thanks so much to Howard for the game and for the photos!

PS the last photo demonstrates why I developed my wobbly-edged bases- they blend into the cloth rather better than do the straight lines of traditional bases.

Sunday, 5 September 2021

Chalgrove 2021 - Cheesy Indians

Here's a quick pic of the army I took to the To the Strongest! Worlds at Chalgrove, yesterday. It's an Indian army, with most of the minis painted by Dan Toone, Shaun McTague and myself, with basing help from Ian Notter. It's not quite finished but you get the drift- later I'll take some closeups.

It's a most unusual army which I built to maximise the number of elephants I could put on the table (16), just for the fun of seeing what it looked like and experiencing how it might work. To achieve this I represented eight small units of elephants each with two elephant models. I think I probably had more elephant models in this one army than have been used in all of the previous Chalgrove tournaments, added together. Tim described it was a cheesy army, on account of all the one hit elephants, so I've named the senior general King Mutar Paneer and the various princely subordinates after other spicy cheese and vegetable dishes.

Due to nightmare travel problems I missed the first game but arrived shortly after the start of the second, and Steve Dover very kindly agreed to play me. He had a Spartacus army with masses of mobs and skirmishers- it was huge. At the start I shot his army up but I had trouble breaking the three hit units- my elephants "bounced" and then one rampaged, carrying off a second one and a general. It ended in a draw with Steve slightly ahead on points. Alas I took no photos!

My second game was against Howard Litton with his (formerly my) Polybian Romans, it was super to see both him and them again. We just weren't fast enough to reach a conclusion- I squeaked narrowly ahead on points in the final round. 

I had a sense that I might have won in another few turns - but with this army there's no degree of certainty, it's almost as dangerous to itself as it is to the enemy.

My third and final game was against old chum Tony Horobin. He had Pechenegs- they rode up and shot at me, I shot back at them and before the archers duel was complete we ran out of time. This was an odd game as I kept my elephants in reserve because they were vulnerable to shooting and not fast enough to catch his light horse- they barely moved. Tony almost took my camp, though, attacking uphill, over fortifications, from a wood with cavalry! Again, it was a draw but I was a little ahead on points.

I found the Cheesy Indians to be a really interesting army to use- powerful but extremely fragile- a single failed save can lead to a casade of rampaging nellies. I don't think it's a tournament winner but it stood up well enough, and I'll have another outing at the London GT tournament on September 25th- the tickets have sold out but if you email me I might be able to fit you in, especially if we have a cancellation.

Congratulations to Peter Ryding who won with a Marian Roman army. Huge thanks to Steve Dover and the South Oxfordshire Generals for running the event and keeping the teas coming, it was, as ever, a great deal of fun and so good to catch up with so many friends after such a long Covid-related interval. I know Steve's already looking at ideas for 2022...

Thursday, 19 August 2021

Simon's tournament army II


Above are the rump of my new Indian army for Chalgrove/London GT, excluding the elephants, now partially based. Three units of longbows, one of javelins, compulsory rubbish cavalry and golem (actually the camp ;-)  ). Mostly painted by Shaun McTague and Dan Toone, with finishing and basing by me. Some of these are just about to go off to chum Ian for flocking.

Below are the skirmishing archers and the chariots, still lacking crews but otherwise mostly there.


Not shown yet are the (numerous) elephants which are mostly complete, except they need additional crewmen and snagging.

So I'm really pleased with progress- it's looking good to have everything complete in time for the Chalgrove tournament on 4th September (and the second tournament at the London GT on the 26th). If you fancy coming along, we have space in each but we'd need army lists for Chalgrove in the next few days.

Saturday, 14 August 2021

Veteran Goblins

 

My chum Ian has been quietly collecting and painting up an army of old-school goblins, composed of the earliest pre-slotta Nick Lund Chronicle sculpts. They are quite charming, I believe, and so I wanted to post some images of them. They are mounted on bespoke magnetic bases which are thoroughly grass flocked.


Should you have any of these minis (or indeed Nick's later Grenadier sculpts) languishing spare at the bottom of your bits box, please drop me a line at the email address to the left and I'll put you in touch with Ian- I know he'd love to swap for or buy some more.

Friday, 13 August 2021

Ipsus Elephant Screen

As well as yesterday's post I have also been working on the huge Ipsus game for the London GT. Most of the work has gone into this new elephant screen, which will cover the 20' plus frontage of both phalanxes. 

14 of the elephants are finished, and Shaun McT returned four more to me yesterday. I have "pre-based" these latter (they fit on the four elephant-less bases) so it shouldn't take long to detail (dry-brushing and adding skin-pigment issues) to complete them. All of the elephants are Aventines, although the most recent four have Relic heads to introduce a little more variety. When deployed, these will be accompanied by roughly 240 light infantry which are 90% finished and which I'll show later on.

There will also be another 15 elephants on the table, representing Seleucus' herd.

The first outing of the huge Ipsus game will be on 25th September at the London GT in Edmonton. If you fancy taking a turn as Antigonus, Demetrius or Seleucus you can book a ticket here! You'll also get to play chum Tim's Trebia scenario.

Thursday, 12 August 2021

Simon's tournament army

With just over three weeks to Chalgrove I find myself desperately finishing and basing minis for my army. This year I'm bringing Classical Indians; the army of King Matar of Paneer (so-named because Tim, who reviews the army lists, describes my entry as "cheesy"!).

Here are the minis other than the formed archers and elephants (which will feature in future posts).


...and here's a closeup (below) of the as yet partially-based javelinmen.


I'll take proper pics later on; it will be a most unusual force.... Most of these minis are from the Miniature Company and Vendel and were painted by Dan Toone, but Shaun McT is painting reinforcements. I've highlighted all the minis and am painting most of the shields.

The remaining work is mostly in the longbowmen, who are mostly painted but not yet based, and the elephants and chariots who still lack some crewmen, also the camp. Then it'll be a mad rush to base, grout and flock.

To recap, this year's tournaments are:- 

Chalgrove Tournament “The Worlds” Saturday 4th September 2021

The Chalgrove Tournament AKA “the Worlds” is on 4th September at Chalgrove in Oxfordshire. If you come, you’ll get to play four games during the day, using 135 points armies from either of the current releases of the Army List eBooks.  We will be using Even Stronger v9 . Organised by Steve Dover, it is always a great day’s gaming.

It costs £10 to enter- if you think you can join us, email me ASAP at the address to the left and I’ll forward your details on to Steve. 

London GT Tournament “The Nationals” Sunday 26th September 2021

This year's GT has a theme of “Rome and Greece at War." If you don’t have a suitable 135 point army for the GT but want to join us, then please let me know, I’ll lend you one- legionaries or pikes, perhaps.

You can bring any army from the following chapters of the Ancient Army List eBook:

"Frogs around a Pond",
"Kingdoms of the East",
"Rise of Rome”,
“Rome’s Empire”
Any army valid between 300 BCE and 300 CE from “Across the Indus” or “Beyond the First Cataract”
The format is very similar to Chalgrove, four nail-biting games in a day on a Swiss system.

If you’ve not yet booked a ticket for the GT, please get an entry in ASAP, and bring a friend if you can. It is a great venue and we had a super time, two years ago when it last ran- I have never seen so many gamers in one place, gaming! It’s easy to get to, being near the North Circular, M1, M11 etc., good parking, light and airy, and even has a bar!

I hope to see you at one or t'other tournament!

Friday, 25 June 2021

Marlowe to Maidenhythe in print

I launched the digital version of this book, written by Robert Avery for use with the For King and Parliament rules back in March, and it's proved so popular that I've commissioned a physical print run, which is officially launched today. 

The 66 page book contains twelve free-standing fictional scenarios set around in the counties of Buckinghamshire and Berkshire during and shortly after the English Civil War. They tell the story of a series of clashes between Sir John Boulters (for the King) and Sir Christopher Grey (for Parliament). Each scenario contains a background briefing, separate briefings for each of the players, a deployment plan and orders of battle. The scenarios can be played individually or in sequence, as a campaign. Most of the characters and many of the units recur throughout the campaign, and a postscript describes what happens to them after the war. It's a whole lot of fun!

You can  find both the digital and physical version, here.  There are also some page images if you'd like a peek inside.