Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Honest, I have been painting stuff...

I've regrouped after my brief holiday refurbing 1980's D&D Minis, and am back in the saddle with the ancients painting.

Above are the Tegeans, that have long been lurking on the painting table; they are all retouched and ready for varnishing. Unfortunately I have been waiting 2 weeks for the Testors Dullcoat that I need for the next step, so they are in a holding pattern! Grrr.

I'm very excited about these minis; my first unit of the excellent Aventine minis ( http://www.aventineminiatures.co.uk ), and at the same time the first unit I'm specifically painting for the SOA Zama game. They are going to be a long job, but I'll make sure that I work on them every day until they are finished.

They represent the Triarii of an allied legion; this will ultimately include 16 Triarii, 32 Hastati, 32 Principes and 32 Velites. Keith at Aventine is painting a matching allied legion; we'll need 2 Roman legions, later on. There's more information about the Zama project here: http://bigredbat.blogspot.com/search/label/Operation%20Zama

12 comments:

Caliban said...

Hi Simon, good to see you're starting on Zama. Our legion organisation is somewhat different from yours: 12 Velites; 24 Hastati; 48 Principes; 24 Triarii. I've based the proportions on comments made by Adrian Goldsworthy on the Republican legion's composition (I don't have the book at the moment - it's on loan, so I can't give page references). Of course, it's probably all conjectural in relation to Scipio's forces anyway, plus there's the added complication of fitting it into a ruleset!

Good luck with the remainder...

Paul

BigRedBat said...

Hi Caliban, sounds interesting-which Goldsworthy book is that?

For our game the exact proportions don't matter too much. Proportionally we've got too many velites, in part for game balancing purposes, but also for aesthetic reasons (there will be a continuous line of them, 2 metres long).

Caliban said...

That's a lot of velites! The Goldsworthy I'm thinking of is (I think) the Complete Roman Army, although to complicate matters I loaned both that and his book on the Punic Wars to the same guy at the same time, and haven't seen them since. What I do remember, though, is that Goldsworthy's diagram of the classic Republican legion made the main force the Principes, as opposed to the interpretation common in rulesets that the legion had three lines, with the Triarii being half the strength of the other two. Incidentally, I gave each legion 12velites because under the rules we will be using, that should be more than enough to destroy the elephants before they hit the legions, so there's definitely an element of rules calculation involved in the make up of the legions as well. What really matters is how it operates under the rules. But 2 metres of velites will be an awesome sight!

Cheers agin

Paul

BigRedBat said...

I've got that book Caliban; I'll have a look.

Ours are in 4 lines; the continuous line of velites and then 3 of H,P,T, with intervals that the velites can retire down.

In our game the elephants, surprisingly, gave the velites a lot of problems; mostly down to good dice rolling and a decision that the velites would stand and fight the elephants rather than falling back.

Cheers, Simon

Caliban said...

That's interesting; in Tactica II, velites count as skirmishers and so cannot stand and fight as such. But they do fire their javelins at double effect against elephants, and since these are African elephants, they can't take a great deal of damage. In a sense, the rules abstract what happens: removal of a unit doesn't necessarily mean that it's all dead, just dispersed and out of action. So if the velites do enough damage, one could say that the remaining elephants chase after them down the open files of the legionary heavies.

But we haven't had a chance to try it out yet...

BigRedBat said...

Hi Paul,

In C&CA they can fight in close combat, just not particularly effectively. But are OK vs elephants, especially if supported. We’ll be amending the rules for both elephants and velites for this battle, though, to better represent the fragility o the African elephants and the fact we have so many units of velites (16!).

I just had a look in the Complete Roman army; Goldsworthy has equal numbers of Hast and Principes in that one, so you may be thinking of another of his books.

Cheers, Simon

aecurtis said...

Neither does Adrian suggest this in "The Punic Wars".

As far as I know, a proportion of 2:2:2:1 (velites : hastati: principes: triarii) was standard after 211 BCE or thereabouts.

Not that I know anything...

Allen

BigRedBat said...

Hi Allen!

Caliban said...

Hi both, thanks for the discussion. I've asked for my books back so that I can try to track down the reference, which I recall as being a commentary on a diagram. The guy who has them used to go to our club every week, but sightings have become very rare over the last year or so. Just after I loaned my books, of course...

Having said that, we did try out the proportions I mentioned in a game against the Gauls, and it all seemed to work fine.

Now all we need to do is paint more Romans...

Paul

BigRedBat said...

Indeed! Must... paint... more Romans.

At my painting rate, it will take me 3-4 months to paint just one legion, and we are three short! Gulp.

Matt said...

What ... !? You seem to be more prolific than swine flu ;-) You'll have them done in no time. I must ask, how much time each week do you spend painting? Your results are certainly very impressive to look at.

Cheers

Matt

BigRedBat said...

Hi Matt, I spend around 2.5 hours each night, about 5 nights a week. I paint in front of the TV which makes me less productive, though. I reckon to paint (but not base) 7 or 8 minis a week.

The reason I have so many painted minis, is that my mate Nick Speller paints a lot for me, and because I buy and retouch a lot of minis, from eBay.