Saturday, 28 April 2012

Painting Priorities

Amongst the bits and bobs I have collected over the last month one will find an eclectic mix of different figures, rules, wargaming tools and ephemera.
Nevertheless, the thing that should have the highest priority is to finish painting and basing my Imperial Romans so I can do battle with my very own army.  Currently the painting production line is full of the second cohort of legionnaires who must be feeling slightly neglected by now.

In addition to this, I am in the process of cleaning up my newly acquired Donnington Miniatures horse archers which arrived this week.  I need to give a bit of thought on how I'll paint these chaps up. Assuming they originated from an area of Roman's eastern European conquests, possibly present day Hungary or Romania and seem to be quite lightly armoured  I wonder if a brown cream palate would suit them?  

In any case I have plenty of time to think about this while I slog my way through all those legionnaires.

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Saluting Salute

Photocredit: Phil

Well after the slew of blog posts on the subject of Salute I felt it would only be right to jump on the band wagon a write something myself. Albeit if slightly later than most.

On arrival Phil, my companion for the day and I felt a little like royalty, having advance tickets we were whisked past the queues straight in, a benefit of advance booking. I was pleased my moment of organisation in an otherwise chaotic life paid off.

I never fail to be astounded by the huge variety of games on display and the very high standards of painting and building being exhibited. A portion of those that caught my eye can be seen below. 

 It was nice to bump into some CLWC members including Tamsin while I was getting some more dead guys from the Donnington stand to add to the ones that Seb gave me before Easter, thanks Seb. I expect they'll get plenty of use considering the way I am playing currently!

Furthermore, I got myself set of long hankered after Blitzkrieg Commander rules and some more 6mm stuff to inspire me to renovate the bits I found in the back of the cupboard recently. I was impressed by seeing some of the Cold War Commander games that have been going on at CLWC recently to motivate me to get my 6mm stuff painted up and ready for action once I have finished my Imperial Romans of course.

In any case, it was a very enjoyable outing a delight to be able to see so much inspiring stuff. Of course, many thanks to the organisers, exhibitors and traders whose contributions made it a most enjoyable day.  

Monday, 23 April 2012

"Legions Form Up!"

Well this weekend in addition to going to Salute and having a blast with my mate Phil. I finished basing up my first batch of legionnaires. So far I have 11 bases. This provides me with enough for two or possibly three legions at a push.

So far I am pleased with the over all finish. In this instance I took a different approach to the wash. I used two washes. First a sienna pin wash which was restricted to the flesh areas to provide low lights on the face and limbs.

The torsos were given a usual wash of raw umber in an effort to give the Lorica Segmenta a touch of definition. The final step was to give them a wipe with a brush dampened with thinners to tidy them up a bit and make the armour ping out nicely.

As I mentioned in an earlier post I added a signifer and commander to give a touch of extra interest to the battle group.               

The shields were hand painted as promised. However I did not bother with the ivory highlight since after doing a couple I could not see and real difference to the finish. Previously I have been guilty of not knowing when to stop painting to disastrous results, so I am pleased with my self discipline on being able to put the paint brush down and not make a total mess of the shields by adding endless amounts of detail that nobody will be able to see!

Friday, 20 April 2012

The Scrape at the Escape

I passed an enjoyable Thursday evening playing the final group B game of the CLWC B4AD tournament. While the match up between Mid Republican Romans and the Pyrrhics could have gone either way. Last night, it was Simon's night. He out scored me 12.9 points to 7.2.

Deployment positions at the start Romans on the right 

Most of the damage was done in the final couple of turns on the right flank where I got myself tied up in knots with a traffic jam of light foot. As a result my flank screen of medium foot, in retrospect  they were deployed on the wrong flank, were exposed and trampled, chopped and squashed by a combination of elephants and cavalry. One of the medium foot units were Italian Extraordinairii. These chaps which served me well in previous games, however Simon had faced them before in a previous games, when I deployed them he mentioned that he found them a dangerous opponent. My inexperience showed  by allowing to let them get isolated and his elephants and cavalry made them pay dearly. Two bases were killed off and the remaining ones routed when they witnessed the attached troop commander getting flattened by an irritated battle group of elephants.

  Tentitive advances

Up until the penultimate round it was more or less square, with tentative advances by both sides until the Pyrrhic elephants and cavalry struck.

The legions forelorn charge 

In the set up I lost the initiative and every optional piece of terrain I put down was removed by Simon's dice coming up with sixes. This resulted with a feeling of agoraphobia on the part my commander, faced with a large pike contingent with lots of room to manoeuvre and no terrain for me to run and hide in.

On the last turn I had my legions charge Simon's pike after an bit of manoeuvring to nullify the prospect of counter charges. This was in the hope I could cause a bit of disruption and claw back a couple of points for pride.  In the end I did fragment a pike unit to salvage some pride, despite some dismal dice roles on my part.
All in all a highly enjoyable evening playing soldiers!

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

A 6mm Discovery

Look what I found lying in the back of a cupboard. I load of old micro armour.

I can't recall who manucatured the vehicles but the figures are Irregular I think, handily pre-based in groups of four.

I suspect they all might appreciate a bit of a repaint to spruce them up a bit.

I am not sure there is enough here to build anything more than a late war ad-hoc Kampf-Gruppe, but we have something to work with, possibly a copy of the new edition of Blitzkrieg Commander might be on the cards?

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Third Tournamant Game

On Thursday evening my Mid Republic Romans well see action once more. I am playing my final group B game against Simon's Pyrrhic army in the club's B4AD tournament. To make it into the next round I not only need to win, but win big against an established player who is vastly more experienced at Field of Glory than I am. According to the current standings I need a victory of 25 points or over to make it to the knockout stages of the competition. This is a big ask considering my inexperience with the rules. To date I have played five, won one, drawn one, lost three.

So by Friday morning the following questions will be answered:

How will I perform against Simon’s Pyrrhic Army in this last group B game?

Will I do enough to win, and if so by how much?

Are Andy’s purpose built Roman crushing cataphracts safely though to the next round?

Sunday, 15 April 2012


Shields are the best fun to paint in this period. I am looking forward to working my way through this pile:

After a little internet research on the subject I am working on the best way to block out the design on the legionnaires shields. In order to avoid the finish being too dark as with the auxiliaries and the cavalry, I think, I will attempt the shield design in a light yellow backing and an ivory highlight on to the red base.

Some examples of shields done earlier

I guess the key to success in this job is patience combined with consistency. So how patient and consistent can I be?

Saturday, 14 April 2012


Over the last week while on my holidays I’ve been painting up legionnaires. There should be enough figures to make up around twenty-one bases of heavy foot. I have divided the figures into two batches of nine and twelve groupings of four figures.

To add a bit of interest to the battle groups I have included some figures from command packs to act as centurions and signifers on some of the bases.

I believe historically the centurion was positioned on the front right of his century. This will be illustrated by the placement of a centurion figure on the right and a signifer on the left position of a base. Once formed up into a battle group it should appear as if the signifer is in the centre of the rank with the centurion on the front right of a battle group. Hopefully this will add a touch of interest to the massed ranks of legions.

Friday, 6 April 2012

Vicksburg or Bust

On Thursday I had the pleasure of playing Alan at Ironclads in Action a 19th century naval game he designed.

The Arkansas (right) passes the Union Ram Queen of the West in her bid to make it to Vicksburg.

We played a historical scenario of the Confederate ironclad CSS Arkansas running a gauntlet of Union ships. She steamed down the Yazoo and onto Mississippi to reach the safety of the Confederate Garrison at Vicksburg.

The Arkansas (Foreground) escaping the Union Yazoo squadron who are getting themselves in a bit of a pickle.

The Arkansas started on the Yazoo, a tributary of the Mississippi. From the outset of the action I realised the Arkansas had one option open to her. Being out numbered three to one on the Yazoo by Union ships, with a further eight ships moored on the west bank of the Mississippi waiting to join the action as soon as the Arkansas came into sight. The only possible tactic was not to hang around go as hard as I could to get past the Union ships before they could get their stem up and cast off. If I managed to hit anything on the way past it would be a bonus.

The Arkansas sailing past the Union squadron moored on the Mississippi.

The Mississippi squadron of union ships lay in wait thankfully none of them cast off in time to worry the Arkansas. Although most managed to fire off salvos, a number of which hit, disabling all the guns on the starboard side. Nevertheless the Arkansas sailed on safely to Vicksburg, although, the boilers will no doubt need a serious overhaul.

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Fun Shopping

I don’t like shopping and what’s more I am not very good at it. So in preparation for my day out at Salute this year I am attempting to be very organised and putting in some advance orders with traders so I can come back with things I will actually want I want rather than finding I have bags full of impulse buys which seemed like a good idea at the time.

So what's on my shopping list ;
Well more early Imperial Romans
Some mounted commanders
Some more archers
Some slingers
Some principes to start my Mid-Republican Roman army
and maybe some dead guys for cohesion markers

I also need some measuring sticks because I am continually borrowing my opponent’s ones.
While I am on the subject of Salute, last year I was invited to write a guest blog post for the Out of this World exhibition at the British Library. I felt this is an opportune moment to refer to it once more.
As you can imagine the works H. G. Wells were well represented in the exhibition. The blog post highlights a lesser known work of Wells' "Little Wars" considered one of the first set of published wargames rules. It draws connections between the literary connections of the steam/diesel punk genres and the active a vibrant community of sci-fi gamers. Do have a read of Present Wargames.

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Roman Cavalry

Following my auxiliaries the next job was to move on to the Roman cavalry. I had not painted a horse before in any scale.

This possibly shows because I think they are all a bit dark again. However despite this they seem to come together in to a convincing looking battle group. Although they might of benefited from being placed more randomly when I based them up. I must admit. I enjoyed painting up the shield and adding touches of details.

I took the liberty of adding laurels on one set of shields because in a game a while ago my Roman cavalry managed to rout some of Tamsin’s light horse. I was so pleased with this because normally my Roman cavalry die or run around in a pointless manner. Furthermore, it is well worth checking out Tamsin’s blog post on painting horses, impressive…