Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Battle for the Bridge

From an ancient scroll found in the library at Alexandria
I've been promising myself a game for the past couple of weeks to get my head around the rules I intend to use.

What better scenario then than the trusty old battle of Blasthof Heath. I'm thinking Greeks versus Persians, 32 Phalanx and 16 light infantry against 40 Medes and a dozen lights. We'll forget about the artillery for now.

Hm, all I need is a farm-house.

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Minoan Madness

Improbably well-hung Libyan javelineers in man-kinis
Yet more Rose Presitge figures. The shield I gave the leader has a cow-hide pattern to try and tie him in with the Minoans he is nominally supporting.
More or less how I want the Phalanx to look
This is more or less how I'm expecting my Mycenean/Minoan Phalanxes to look. Eureka did a very limited range of four spearmen and a chariot, but i always like a challenge and I'm going to have a go at producing viable and visually fairly unified armied fromthis and a couple of other compatible ranges.

More Eurekas - bits and bobs

Rospak Hoplites

In Reserve

Always ready to do their bit are the Rospak hoplite brigade.

I was very pleased to acquire these; they are simply delightful figures and as far as I am concerned would give any of the modern plastics a good run for their money. I love the paint-jobs Ross gave them and they will always form the core of my Greek forces.

I've done little to these except re-glue the odd shield onto those to whom the postal service was unkind on their long voyage from Canada and add new spears to those in the time-honoured "in reserve" position. A gentle wash in clean water with an old stiff paint brush to take away the dust of ages was followed by a blast of gloss varnish from the spray can after they'd dried off. You'd not believe it, but they were as bright and shiny as you could possibly hope for.

If anyone some more anywhere (no, really, anywhere), my wallet is always open.

Friday, 11 October 2013

A Blast from (my) the Past

Eureka! Phalangites!

Quite some time ago I painted up a mass of Eureka Macedonian Phalangites, all based on the 20mm square GW plastic bases. Then I decided i didn't like them and so they gathered dust for three or four years or even more.

Fast forward to about a year back to when I got interested in ancients again and I got them out, re-based them and thought... you know... they're not so bad after all... They are led by the mighty Diplodocus, resplendent on his half-armoured horse.

I may have to crack the whip and get the rest of 2nd Battalion done.

Medes, Medes, Medes

The Mede Horde

I have in my brief career as an Ancients wargamer done little other than buy up other people's collections of toy soldiers. Apart from knowing exactly how things are going to turn out, you are pretty well ready to go in quite a short space of time, which helps keep the enthusiasm for a project high.

This is I think a good thing, but it has not stopped me from applying paint to toy soldiers here and there. So, here and for your delectation I present a small horde of Medes. Currently forty-strong, I built them when I was expecting to be doing this size of unit for all of my Persians (in contrast to 24-strong Greek units). Now I'm looking more at 24-figures in general, so I've bought another eight so I can split the unit in two.

Twenty-four figures per unit strikes me more and more as the "Goldilocks" size for a unit in the kind of game I am envisioning. Not so big it takes a lifetime to create, not so small on the table as to be derisory.

Besides, I can always build the buggers up to 40 figures each at some time in the future.

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Phrygian Javelins

Which ones did I paint again?
Today's offering are 24 Phrygians. All are 20mm Garrison and they do look a bit "youthful" next to the 25-30mm bretheren. Ok, so I won't be mixing them into any other units...

That said, I painted a dozen myself to beef up the dozen I bought from The Mysterious Canadian Gentleman, trying to match his painting style. How well did I do? Well, lets just say that mine are in the rear ranks.

Another eight are on the go at the moment.

The Scythians*

Fire? No... Shoot..? Loose..?
 So what did they say when it was time for everyone to let go of their bow-strings all at once?

Rose Prestige figures from Garrison. Just for a change, they are elegant, well-proportioned 30mm figures. Who could want for more?

Well, I suppose I ought to base them.

* Oh someone help me - a Russian chap wrote a poem once.

UPDATE - That's the one.

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Rugger Scrum

Zany Medusa Head shield designs by VVV
 More Rose Prestige figures. I was put onto them by a post on Parum Pugna. These are pretty much going to be the mainstay of my phalanx, barring a sudden stash of Rospak becoming available by some minor miracle, that is!
A somewhat anachronistic crane shot
The aim is to get seven to ten of these done in the longer term.

The Immortal Fire

So, first up then we have some Rose Prestige Persian Immortals, fresh from the Osprey (perhaps?) MAA 069, plate A2 or something very like it!

As it stands, this unit is a bit of a work in progress - only six figures so far, although there are another ten waiting to be primed and another eight freshly ordered today. At the moment I'm looking at them being something like a ceremonial guard until the unit is really complete.

Quite a good pension plan, I hear..?
They are lovely figures and very easy to paint. They also come very clean from Garrison's dark and satanic spin-caster. Just a quick few passes of the file and they were ready to go. As you can see they are on my standard 40x40mm Renedra bases which I am going through like a fat man with a bag of chips just now.

Monday, 7 October 2013

In the Beginning

It's been a good few years since I started blogging on about my hobby.

I paint and then play wargames with toy soldiers. Truth be told, I do paint a lot more than I play, but that seems to suit me well enough overall. Now, for the most part my hobby has revolved mostly about the Seven Years' War, the French and Indian War, the various indignities inflicted upon the brown peoples of the world by the pink ones for their own good, but I have always harboured a desire to "do" ancients.

I suppose my first exposure to ancient wargaming came through my local library where I discovered Phil Barkers Airfix Guide to Ancient War Gaming (also known these days as the Purple Primer) and Charles Grant's The Ancient War Game. I read them somewhat incomprehendingly at the time (perhaps somewhat stumped by the idiosyncratic approach each took to the English language - who is to say?), but something must have happened in my little head. Years later and not long after had I joined the Old School Wargaming Yahoo group, I was out and tracking these two down through bookfinder.

I read the books and shelved them. WRG? Heard nothing good about those rules. Oh well. No, I wanted Old School. I wanted simple, elegant mechanisms. I wanted... oh I didn't know what I wanted really. WAB? Maybe. I was there just in time for it to curl up it's official toes.

What did I really want?

Doing ancients has always meant to me something along the lines of the Graeco-Persian Wars, the Peloppenesian War and possibly Alexanders' rampages through the ancient world. I've also always had a fascination with the Sumerian civilisation, that of Minoan Crete and of course of the Trojan Wars.

Then, about a year ago, I stumbled across these quite splendid blogs:

Both are sadly not being updated at the moment, but I do live in hope. Both Ross and Harry have their own delightful rule-sets which they have published through their blogs. Harry's was also published in Battle Games #1. This being said, I lean very much toward Ross's own set and am building armies to play games based around them. Greeks and Persians first. The Greeks can morph into Athenians and Spartans later on and the Persians can mix it up with my part-done Macedonians later on. I aim to buy myself some of the charming Eureka Myceneans for a stab at some part of the Trojan Wars some time.

My next few posts will show off what's been done to date and I do intend a small game to get my head around the rules over the next weekend or two.

That'll be Dahae