Tuesday 31 December 2013

Best wishes for a Very Batty New Year!

Mate Ian came around today and fired up his camera.

He knows about "F" numbers, and other magic camera stuff!  This one is really worth a click...

Can I take this opportunity to wish all my fellow bloggers a Very Happy 2014!

Friday 27 December 2013

A belated merry Xmas, and some fine Romans!

Hordes of invading relatives have meant I've been unable to post, so can I belatedly wish all my visitors a very late Merry Xmas and a rather early Happy New Year! May all your dice roll 6's (except when you need a 1!).

I bought these superb miniatures off fellow blogger Saxon Dog.  A huge thank you to David for thinking of me! They are far better than I could ever paint... but I hope I've complimented them with this Impetus basing scheme. The minis are mostly Foundry Perry (but the casualties and standard might be Warlord). All photos are clickable,do please have a look; the details are stunning!

As with the previous units, I have done the first element in combat poses, and the second element advancing slowly, as supports. I'll do this with all the legionary elements, and deploy them in 2 lines on the table. For some reason I think of these bases as centuries rather than the cohorts that my other EIR collection is formed in. I love the grouping above, with the centurion looking over at the wounded legionary. Such a fine casualty figure.

I now have six elements of Perry Romans, and will add a couple more each month.

Impetus basing also works very well with the "To the Strongest" rules I intend to publish next year, and I'll be using these in photos to illustrate aspects of the rules.  I will need some foes for them, too...

Monday 23 December 2013

Legacy of Alexander

WS&S has landed and looks really interesting for an "Ancients" nut, with lots of material from Jeff Jonas.  Relic's Seleucid cataphracts look very good, too, on the cover.  Do please have a gander at my "Last Phalanx" piece on page 42; I'm delighted with how it came out.

It's very nice to see such an ancients focus in a wargames magazine, for a change.

Friday 20 December 2013

Cereal Killer

Deadlines require that I need to assemble and paint my Swan-necked trade ship, the "Ceres", over the Xmas/New Year period, whilst simultaneously writing another article, and stuffing the turkey.  I fear that there won't be much time left over for blogging...

The piece on the left is going to be the stern-castle.  I need to sculpt a swan on the wire frame, and add the characteristic Roman railings around the outside. I have a mate working on making the railings, and a plan "B" in case his technology can't cut them.

Later I will need to assemble the masts, build a deck-cabin with bridge on top, and scratchbuild steering oars.

The expensive but beautiful Grand Manner equivalent resin casting is looking more appealing by the moment!

Thursday 19 December 2013

Away day

Yesterday I traveled to the wilds of Suffolk to play a game with some wily locals and a few others who had journeyed there, from far and wide.  I won't post pics of the minis, because the game is to form the basis of an article that Simon MacDowall is writing, but here is a photo of Simon MacDowall (left) and the opposing generals (Gary, Kevin and Dave) looking contemplative.

Below are my team; John and Adam, with Daniel from Wargames Illustrated in the background. From his body language, you can tell that John wasn't having all that much luck with his dice!

A fine time was had by all, and the hospitality was very generous. I look forward to seeing the piece in the magazine, in due course! 

Monday 16 December 2013

Aventine Allied cavalry

These brave Aventine Italian Allied cavalry form part of my Winter Offensive.  The minis are delightful and were easy to paint.  I bought 6 from Redzed last year (on the left), and they have proved very useful in several games, since, so I decided to paint 3 more to complete the unit (on the right).  I think I managed to catch his style. 

I am falling slightly behind in my play to complete 52 units by the end of the year, but it is still just about achievable.  I have 48 in the bag... and several more photos to post this week!

Friday 13 December 2013

Shipbuilding II

I've decided to revive an unfinished project from back in the summer, which is to convert the above Zvezda "Thomas" kit into a Roman trade ship. The hull is already assembled (and a fine hull it is, too; the quality is excellent), and next I need to start work on "Romanising" the the Medieval Superstructure. Watch this space...

Thursday 12 December 2013

Not Magnesia!

Mate Ian came round last night, bringing his 15mm collection, and helped me play-test the latest version of my "To the Strongest" rules, including the first army lists.  I had decided I wanted to explore the Polybian legion, and the Seleucids, as I want to tackle Magnesia next year, or perhaps in 2015. We picked two armies of around 180 points each, and set to!

Ian has an extensive collection of 18mm minis, which we don't use often enough.  Above, we used around 300 minis to depict a Roman and an allied legion.  The game could have been played with around half of the minis we used, but more looked prettier!  The Roman camp is below; I made that.  

Ian's Xyston Successors (above and below) are stunningly well painted.  Ian's Seleucid army for the games included a couple of units of tough cataphracts, some scythed chariots, escorted elephants and a mass of Galatians.

My favourite shot of the game is the one above.  The Hastati and Principes were organised in units of 24, but with the elements staggered to look like maniples (Ian's idea; a good one!).  During the game, my legions piled into the phalanx, but weren't able to make much of an impression, although they came very close to breaking through towards the end of the battle.

Some Carthaginian chariots (proxying for scythed) almost saw my flank off.  Almost...

Ianichos piles on the pressure! I ran the game from a pdf version of the rules, on the iPad (right). I have come to prefer iPads to paper rules, especially when they have hyperlinks embedded in them.

It was a very enjoyable game, and nail-bitingly close.  I was ahead for much of it, but just couldn't kill the final unit I needed to slay, in order to win. Ian eventually caught up and his surviving elephant committed the coup de grace on my cavalry unit, for the win (below).

The rules worked out very well, and very little needs to be tweaked before the next game. The points values, used for the first time last night, seem to be quite well balanced.  Hopefully we'll get the next test game in, early in January!

If anyone would like a play-test copy (or a recently updated version if I've already sent you one), please do drop me a line at the address on the front of my blog.

Wednesday 11 December 2013


Back in April, I managed to get a much needed wargames storage cupboard, built into an old laundry cupboard.  Today I (finally!) got around to fitting a shelf, and I've started to pack away the gaming boards that have, for several years, stood against the wall of my dining room.

It's rather more than 8' tall and will hold all of my 4' by 2' gaming boards, in 2 stacks, one above the other.  There should also be enough additional space in case I need to add a third set of gaming boards, down the line!

Tuesday 10 December 2013

My painting table overfloweth

On the painting.basing tray, some of Saxon Dog's Foundry Perry EIRs have joined the Foundry Perry LIRs, Numidians and Greek cavalry, and the Aventine Polybians.  3 Roman periods on the go at once!  Now where are my A&A MIRs...

Monday 9 December 2013


I came across an old photo of the eponymous Crimson Bat, that I built in 2004, and couldn't resist posting it!  Batty has a wingspan of around 30", and is a one of a kind.  I really need to get the old Gloranthan toys out, in 2015...

I've also attached some other photos showing how I made her.

I'd should also take some new photos of the finished model, to show her in her full majesty...

Saturday 7 December 2013

The hills are alive, with a charge of static

Last week, I re-flocked my old, balding, terrain boards using my zapper. During this week's game of Longstreet, the new, improved boards made my one colour spring-green hills stick out like a sore thumb, so I have added two different blends of flock on the hills, too. I have found that a 4mm grass in a summer green works particularly well.

In the longer term, I intend to add more colours to the boards, and perhaps even patches of flowers, to break them even less uniform.

Friday 6 December 2013

Forming up

I've been busy painting and basing this week, with nothing complete enough to post, in the last few days. However here are the WIPs, for what they are worth. Clockwise from the top:-

  • An extra base of Aventine Polybian cavalry
  • A Foundry late Imperial Legion, 6 figures completing an eBay purchase
  • A rhomboid formation of later (shielded) Thessalians
  • My twelfth (and final?) unit of Numidian horse
Eclectic, neh? After these are finished, I'll crack on with the Perry EIRs.  My 52 unit target is slipping away from me... :-(

Monday 2 December 2013

Impetus gaining momentum

Some more Romans based for Impetus; again Warlords, from the small but beautifully painted army that I bought from David Imrie.  I went with a 4cm deep base, and a few more minis than others might use.

This is the 4th element, I hope to reach 10  by the early New Year... and I'll need to think about collecting a suitable army for them to fight.