Tuesday 24 November 2015

Pikes, pikes, pikes.

At the Wargames Holiday Centre I was running four games at the same time and briefly ran out of both pikemen and Hellenistic cavalry. I've therefore decided to invest in some more miniatures, below are some Foundry pikemen that I've bought from chum Craig Davey. 

I've removed the previous shields and am going to give them some snazzy new shields that I've bought from Mike at Relik. These have a Medusa head and are perfect for Ptolemaic shields, being identical to the ones in Soldat Lagide. I need to paint twice as many again.

Below are 48 odd pikes; I need to do twice as many again.

Finally I've based up a wedge of companions painted by Nick Speller (left below) and rebased my Thessalians into rhomboid (centre below). These still need to be flocked. I am in the process of recruiting several new regiments to join them; I hope to end up with 8 or 9, enough for 2 cavalry wings each for two large armies.

I shall need them all; I plan to run Raphia again in the spring at the Wargames Holiday centre over the weekend 22nd to 24th April.

Wednesday 18 November 2015

Norfolk bows

Here are the archer counterparts to the earlier billmen, again beautifully painted by Patrick Connor and based by me on one of my new Bat bases. Those Perry plastics are really lovely. :-)

A pleasant surprise is that they are fairly rugged- not at all brittle. Now I just need another 22 elements and I'll have the pair of armies that I need for a game. I had better consult my army list...

Monday 16 November 2015

Norfolk billmen

I mentioned a while back that I have bitten the bullet and started to collect my first medieval army. These stunning minis were painted by Patrick Connor and I've unit based them on one of my new MDF "bat bases", of which more anon.

I really like the Perry plastics (and metals) and I am certainly going to need a lot more of them!

In other news, there are a couple of places left for the second To the Strongest World Championships on Saturday February 13th 2016. If you are available please drop me a line via my email address on the left and I'll put you in touch with the organiser. Loan armies are available.

Lastly, yesterday I posted a new Mongol Conquest list in the Later Medieval booklet, which was written by Peter Ryding with a little assistance from me. Looks like a fast "shooty" army with an interesting twist...

Thursday 12 November 2015

Last weekend at the Wargames Holiday Centre

Last weekend I had a super time running a weekend of To the Strongest! at the Wargames Holiday Centre with Mark Freeth and 14 gamers, many of them veterans of previous events. I'm afraid I was too busy to take very many photos but here are a few that I snapped during brief lulls in the fighting. All photos are clickable.

Above, we ran four games at a time (eight in total). The below game, set in the Peloponnesian War, was one of my personal favourites. The Athenians have the Spartan lights penned into a corner of the table - they chased them off and they returned several times. I believe that Spartan discipline led to them winning most or all of their games. For this game we used a pair of the 20 cm gridded DeepCut mats.

Below is a shot of the action; being flank-charged by Thessalian cavalry whilst double-disordered is no one's idea of fun! That's one of the hills I've re-flocked in the foreground.

Above the three-dimensional nature of the WHC terrain is a nice change from flat boards. Below, a one hit-unit of Roman Principes is flank-charged by Celtic fanatics. Gulp.

This game featured Germans (I used my Celts as proxies) fighting Polybian Romans at Arausio 151 BC. The Germans rather had the better of it, but then they did back in the day, too.

Finally I have a few shots of the Late Roman scenario, which featured Huns and Goths ambushing a Roman baggage train near Chalons in 451 BC.

Above the Martenses are inspired by Bishop Germanus of Auxerre (who died in 448BC, but then, who is counting?). Below is a charge by massed Gothic horse by painter mate Shaun.

Above an ala of light horse lurk improbably in the woods. Below, the Roman baggage train escaped in this game but was "bagged" in the other.

We had a great weekend- I reckon we fought around 2 dozen battles. Even I got to play in a couple of games, notably an epic uphill struggle against Emperor Baz' Spartans, in which he gained a moral victory. There are more pics on his blog.

A fine time was had by all, many thanks to Mark Freeth for hosting. Mark and I have set a date for another TtS! day in the spring, on the weekend 23rd to 24th April. I'll be bringing new scenarios and a lot of new troops, too. We are almost at maximum capacity for the venue so early booking is recommended! Mark can be reached at the Wargames Holiday Centre.

Friday 6 November 2015


53 boxes of minis loaded for a weekend of TtS at the Wargames Holiday Centre, I reckon there are just over 4000 miniatures plus terrain. Should be a riot! I am hoping that I've not forgotten anything... 

Wednesday 4 November 2015

Terrain Boards

A friend is looking to sell these- they are unused and custom made by TSS.  They are 600mm square, 20mm thick and marked with a 20cm grid.  He's looking for £145 including UK P&P.  Please mail me if they are of interest.  Best, Simon

Aventine archers

David Imrie very kindly sold these lovely Aventine Miniatures Hellenistic archers to me last year.

I felt the original 3mm thick bases were a little too thick, so I soaked and trimmed away the MDF, leaving only the grout and minis behind. I then rebased them on a single 18cm-wide card element (for use with a 20cm grid with To the Strongest!) and overflocked with mid green tufts so as to better match my "plains" gaming mat. They will see action in Pyrrhus' army on  Friday at the Wargames Holiday Centre! Doubtless, as a beautifully painted unit in the front rank, they will last for less than a minute.  ;-)

Monday 2 November 2015

Valtierra 1110 AD

Yesterday I drove (through dense fog) up to the Hereward show in Peterborough to help James Morris and Scrivs lay on a fantastic game using parts of their "El Cid" collections as previously seen in the excellent eponymous Warhammer Historical publication. We gamed the battle using my To the Strongest! rules and the newly-written Andalusian and Early Feudal Spanish army lists.

The scenario was written by James and featured an attack upon an Andalusian army led by the Amir of Zaragoza, returning from a raid and encumbered with loot, by the forces of King Alfonso I "the Battler" of Aragon.

Here are some random shots I took of the two games on my phone. All the pics are "clickable".

Above Alfonso leads the charge in the first game. I've rarely seen a game where the cards were so favourable to one side; he broke right through the Andalusian lines and took a camp. Below is the Andalusian Emir, at the head of a stunningly painted bodyguard.

Above are some more Spanish caballeros; all of the units had super hand-painted banners. Below, Scrivs has been on something of a painting spree. I asked about the lettering on the banners; apparently it is genuine Arabic poetry that he has copied by hand. Astonishing!

The Aragonese caballeros, above, with Alphonso leading the charge stormed to a swift victory in the morning, but were repulsed and defeated in the afternoon game. 

The layout included the gateway of the city of Valtierra, modelled by James, shot here from outside:

and below, from within.

And lastly for Valtierra we have a pic of Scrivs, yours truly and James Morris; it was such a pleasure to game with their great collections! I seem to have become an irregular Newark Irregular.

I failed to get pictures of the other games which included Huntingdon's "Stop the pigeon" which was a big hit with the kids, and a very impressive Dambusters game. I did take a picture of a demo game of Dan Mersey's coming "The Men who Would be Kings" rules, which was being run by Guitar Hero Andy on a couple of my wastelands gaming cloths. It looked great and like a lot of fun! Oh, and I had an enjoyable interview with the Meeples lads. 

The Peterborough show was very impressive especially as it was the first show there. There was plenty of room, the ceilings were high, the lighting excellent and the food and drink very satisfactory. The Peterborough Club (especially Mike Whittaker) did a fantastic job and I expect the show to become a regular feature of my wargaming calendar!