Thursday 27 July 2023

Black Shields

Here are a couple of work-in-progress shots of the black shielded-twins of yesterday's yellow shields. again I've extended the transfers (which are designed for the slightly smaller Perry shields) to the edge of the shields. These give a rather more sombre appearance to the unit, by comparison with yesterday's jolly yellow shields. I still need to detail the minis, themselves.

Wednesday 26 July 2023

Yellow legion progress

I'm making some progress with the veteran Saleh minis, which will be part of my 2024 Salute game. Yesterday, now I have my trusty painting light* back, I extended the lovely LBMS shield designs to the edge of the shields. A careful job, but well worth taking care with it as the shields dominate the unit. I need to highlight and ink all the minis, but I think I might ask Shaun McT. to paint 24 more all in red tunics and then mix them together. I prefer red for Romans.

*My painting lamp is a Serious Readers lamp. I can't recommend them too highly, although they aren't cheap. Mine gave up the ghost after 10 years- they repaired and upgraded it to LED, and it's good for another decade or so.

Yesterday I was delighted to read that both To the Strongest! rules and For King and Parliament made it into the group stage of Yarkshire Gamer's World Cup of Historical Wargames Rules- many thanks to anyone who voted for them! It looks like there will be more votes to come in the coming days. Here are all the contenders, some great games there, of which I've only played three, including my own two sets! I'll make a personal resolution to try some of the other systems after the summer.

Tuesday 25 July 2023

Wofun II

Last night we played a very entertaining game at the London Wargaming Guild Guild in Seven Dials. This time we pitted some of my newly-acquired (and very portable) Wofun Caesarians against a Wofun Gallic army. It was a very interesting game because the two armies are quite asymmetric, the Gauls having 3 hits and a hero each, whilst the Romans have pila, a better save and greater manoeuvrability. In the end, it was the latter feature which told; as the lines broke up, numerous warbands were successfully "civilised" by Roman flank attacks. Son'n'heir came as bag carrier and co-general, this photo must be from one of the other players.

There was a cracking Romans vs. Carthaginians game going on the next table; the Carthaginians eventually flanked the quincunxs and prevailed.

In other news, there's an interesting "World Cup" poll of historical wargames rules on Facebook here. It is well worth a look; it's interesting to see how many historical sets there are about- also to encounter some old friends like "Science vs. Pluck or Death to the Mahdi!", still popular after all these years! It has also been very pleasing to see how popular the TtS! games remain (particularly as I'm currently making steady progress on Renaissance, my "difficult third book"). The first round might have ended by the time you read this.

Lastly we popped into the China Missing Century exhibit at the British Museum. This was a nice little show, and worth a visit. There was some material of interest to the wargamer, they had this nice flag, for starters:

Also a matchlock rifle, a super painting of 1820's Manchus fighting insurgents, uniforms and more.

Saturday 22 July 2023

Test Ostrogoth Lancer


Recently I've come to the conclusion that I need some portable armies that I can take to wargames clubs or carry on the train, to tournaments. These will need to be primarily plastics, for reason of weight and toughness. Luckily I've started to find some plastic sets I like.

I've bodged together a test figure from a Gripping Beast Parthian rider (there's one spare per sprue), with a Parthian head on a Wargames Atlantic horse and with the plastic spear replaced with a slimmer metal one. I want to have most of my projected Ostrogoths on unarmoured horses. I think it came out pretty well. Unfortunately, I don't like the WA horses very much. There's something a little "off" about their build and the poses of their legs, so I'll probably use GB Goth horses instead; it's not worth spoiling the ship for a ha'p'orth of tar.

Wednesday 19 July 2023

Very Late Romans

Here are two units of Early Imperial Romans that Shaun painted for me some 4-5 years ago. They've been waiting patiently in a storage box for their transfers and finishing, for far too long. They are mostly the old Foundry Saleh units, including some rare variants and some head swaps. The LBMS transfers are even older than the minis, and some of them have deteriorated- but I'm managing to salvage most of them. The yellow design is really super!

When these are completed and based, they will join the four-cohort vexillation, above. Eventually, I might take them up to a full legion in strength. I also need to do a 5th cohort of I Adiutrix, also shown above (from behind, in the blue gear).

One day I'd love to revisit the old Cremona game from Partizan in the Park and Salute- but rather larger....

Tuesday 18 July 2023

Wofun Fun

Recently I've bought a collection of the Wofun printed miniatures. I wanted them because most of my armies aren't portable in anything less than a large people carrier (!), whereas I can pack two large armies of 15mm Wofun with terrain, rules, chits and cloths in a single holdall.  There are pretty forgiving to damage, too, compared to a lead miniature. Last night son'n'heir and I played a game with a couple of fine chaps from the London Wargaming Guild at Seven Dials (I've "borrowed" a couple of Daniel's photos, below, as I too no closeups).

First thoughts are that some sort of sabot would be quicker to set up and play with than the current individual stands. I think I will print some laminated bases, with unit names, saves, etc, colour-coded for commands and tack the bases onto them. Secondly, we had some issues with the cloth rucking up- I'll pick up a couple of 3' x 4' neoprene mats for use as a playing surface. Thirdly, I need some camp markers.

Had a blast! I'm definitely going to use these for playtesting and when I need a portable game.

Friday 14 July 2023

Some of our cataphracts are missing

I finally managed to get hold of some decent metallic spray primers and seized a narrow window in the weather (between too hot and too wet!) to prime the cataphracts. I went mainly steel and gold, with some grey which I'll paint them in reds depicting lacquered or enamelled horse armour.

Here are some of the humbler horse archers. I bought most of these assembled, on eBay, but they needed a little repair work which I did last night. I am going to need a whole lot more of these- I have a hunch there's a bag of them somewhere in the loft.

I am also searching for some Parthians I was working on earlier this year. I stored them away, for safety, but I cannot for the life of me locate them; they are probably in one of five hundred unlabelled Really Useful Boxes. :-/

Realistically they won't be finished in time for the Britcon tournament next month in Nottingham, so I'm eyeing my collection for other relatively portable armies. Incidentally, if you are free on the weekend of 12th/13th August we are very keen to find another player as we currently have the Dreaded Odd Number of players. It's a relaxed event, not too competitive, pint of beer at the side of the table sort-of-thing. Last year I quite enjoyed seeing the Lardy stuff in the annex, and spent too much on books and the Bring and Buy. If you think you might be interested, please email me.

Friday 7 July 2023

Nine out of forty cats

One of my four major projects for this year is to get a long-projected Parthian army on the table. Phase I includes these forty cataphracts, which is more than enough for a standard To the Strongest! game (the photo is "clickable). So far nine are partially painted. Phase II will provide 24 horse archers, most of which are happily already painted by chum Nick Speller, and phase III will double the numbers of cataphracts and triple the number of horse archers, and add some stalwart Daylamite hillmen and foot archers.

The miniatures are a 50/50 mix of Aventine (back) and plastic Gripping Beast Parthian riders (front), all on Gripping Beast horses, for reasons of portability (it is intended to be a "travel army"). The two types of riders match well stylistically. The Aventines fit neatly onto the GB horses, and provide a variety of poses and the necessary command minis and standards. The only major changes I'm making is to replace the plastic konti with metal ones, because they are slimmer and more pleasing to the eye.

With any luck I'll have them finished for our TtS! tournament at Britcon in August- I hope to see some of you there - please email me if you'd like details.

In other news... I've just updated the Free To the Strongest! Army list eBook, and am in the process of sending a copy out to everyone who has ordered a copy in the past. If you want, you can download it for free from here.  I've also put the Ancient and Medieval Army list books on promotion for a few days, and some of the chits are 25% off.