Friday, 4 August 2017

On the painting tray: August 2017

More Warband type German nutters:
These are coming along quite nicely. Originally, the intention was to keep the campaign going via email, but the Glasgow group has had a series of unfortunate health issues plus summer holidays, so nothing has been happening there. It's possible I might have enough Germans painted soon to play the next campaign battle myself, since I already have the Romans. Above shows the start I've made on the close formation warbands that make up the bulk of the forces; when these are completed, I'll have five units of 48 figures, and I'll need another three plus some other types.
This one shows the painting queue. From the left as you look at it there are some finished guys ready for basing, and then a production line of figs at various stages of completion. I used to paint in batches of six to eight figures at a time, but I've found that with work being so heavy I'm not able to commit to regular ongoing gaming. In turn, this means that motivation is dipping, not to mention time and available energy. The compromise is to paint three at a time, which produces an illusion of faster progress. It takes longer to get a full unit on the table, but I find that, psychologically, a quick turnaround of a smaller number of completed figures is now working better for me, because I can at least see some results reasonably quickly. Whatever works...

Sunday, 9 July 2017

Elite Scum Completed

Finished some sword-armed Early Germans:
These tend towards the wealthier end of the spectrum.
Shot from above shows the basing.
Here's how they look with some friends.
A slightly closer look at frothing loons. 28mm figures by Old Glory. So far that's 144 painted. Must do more - can't resist!

Saturday, 1 July 2017

On the painting desk: July 2017

More Old Glory Germans:
Two almost completed 24-figure elite war bands that can be combined to make a particularly large one, plus the start of the command stands for two 48-figure war bands. With any luck, I'll find time soon to complete the elites. I really only need to add a figure or two and gunge the bases...

Thursday, 29 June 2017

Great idea for pre-battle manoeuvres

Do have a look at this:

Mark has posted this on his blog, which I am now following. It's a neat way to represent those times, especially in a campaign, where multiple forces need to try to arrive on the field at the same time. It could also be a really good way to simulate things like Mongol envelopments and so on - the possibilities are endless.

Saturday, 3 June 2017

On the painting desk: June 2017

Started two smaller war bands of 24 figures each for the Early Germans.
These are really wealthy, because they all have swords, so that must make them bodyguard/elite units. Most of them even have clothing too. These can also be combined into a large elite 48-figure unit with two command bases. Figures by Old Glory, shields by a variety of manufacturers.

Thursday, 25 May 2017

First two German Warbands

Finished two 48-figure units, the first of the ancient Germans. Figures by Old Glory. These will do for the Cimbric Migrations right through to the Marcomannic Wars, so pretty much three centuries then.
The intention was to make them look appropriately wild, helped by the variety of poses, clothing, shields and weapons.
Shields are a mixture of various types of transfers and basic hand-painted jobs.
For those with clothing (!) the colours are mostly muted, natural ones. Richer folks sometimes have posher dyes and some even have cloaks and/or swords.
This is what they should look like to their own general - moving away towards the opposition as fast as they can.
The last one is a bit blurry, but I hope it shows the basing style.

Saturday, 13 May 2017

Jugurtha versus Marius

Finally played Romans against North Africans. Jugurtha has engaged the services of a bunch of Gaetuli on the promise of looting his own country of Numidia, and also persuaded King Bocchus of Mauretania to lend his aid. The two African princes are hoping that a victory over the forces of Marius, combined with the pressure they know is being exerted on Rome from the north in the form of a huge Germanic migration will combine to drive the Romans out of North Africa for good. The armies meet in a typical area of North African plains with some scrub and rough patches.
First photo shows the right wing of the Roman army, from the African perspective. Marius knows Jugurtha personally quite well, and also has a realistic appraisal of what is needed to win this campaign. Historically, he engaged the services of local Numidians who hated Jugurtha after what he did to his brothers, because he knew that he would need some light troops to help negate the advantages held by the Africans; the legions could of course take care of themselves. I didn't have enough figures to show these, and besides things can be rather confusing when both sides have the same troop types, so I used Iberians to represent the light guys fighting for Rome. This is why the shot above shows Iberian light cavalry. Beside them are massed Roman horsemen, hardened by the campaign. Not only are these all quite tough, they are led by a certain Lucius Cornelius Sulla; it turns out that the degenerate aristocrat has a real flair for the military life.
Legionaries, with some auxiliary skirmishers out front.
Same again. Marius has four of the new-fangled legions drawn from the capite censi. This has made him a hate figure as far as the old nobility is concerned, but needs must during an enormous military crisis. The idea is that Marius will see off all opposition and can then  be disposed of in a good old-fashioned Roman manner. The scrub at the right of the photo is infested with Iberian light infantry, but they won't physically appear until spotted.
Facing the scrub above is the right wing of the African army, a mob of Gaetuli horsemen led in person by Jugurtha. These are very light, but have many javelins. The rough ground has many light infantry hiding in it.
The Gaetuli also have many skirmishers. I ruled that the tribesmen should all deploy together as a coherent force.
Nestling in the centre and deployed as far back as possible from the legions is the mass of Mauretanian foot, commanded by Bocchus. The idea is for the superior numbers of African skirmishers to wipe out their opponents and then pepper the advancing legions with enough missiles to wear them down to the point at which the massed foot might have a chance against them.
Finally, beyond some scrub, we have the Mauretanian nobility: superior light horse led by Prince Volux, son of Bocchus.
Side view of the whole field from Volux's flank: Rome to the left as you look at it.
The view from the other wing.
The action is opened with Volux advancing towards the Iberians fighting for Rome.
Skirmishers advancing in the centre. Marius is playing it a little cagey, waiting for the outcome of the initial moves.
Jugurtha advances his Gaetuli skirmishers along with the first wave of his light horse; he wants to scout out the scrubland opposite, which is partly hidden behind a giant carry-out tub aka dice tray.
The legions start to advance, now that their skirmish screen has been stripped away.
Those legionaries look very menacing indeed.
Jugurtha has found some lurking light infantry (top right of the photo).
A view of the whole field, from Jugurtha's flank.
And another, from the opposite side. Sulla has advanced his heavy horse just enough to force Volux to retire for fear of being hit hard.
Eventually Volux has to turn to face his tormentors; any further movement will result in him retiring off table, which basically means that he would be unable to stop the Romans doing what they want on this flank. In the meantime, both sides are expending many javelins.
The legions grind forward inexorably. Some of their men start to fall to the skirmishers, but not enough...
A more central view.
And the same towards the Mauretanian right centre.
On the right of the African army, the sky is darkened with javelins. The Gaetuli slingers are starting to give the endmost Roman legionaries a hard time.
Obligatory side view from the other end of the field.
Opposite view. The legions are getting a bit ragged under the incessant hail of sharp pointy objects.
Volux's cavalry are now in trouble.
The Roman advance is about to find out if anything is lurking in all that rough. At the top right of the shot you can just about see some of the third line of cohort from the endmost legion peeling off to watch that open flank. This legion is really beginning to suffer from the missiles.
Jugurtha's light horse continues to trade shots with the Iberians in the scrub. The latter are doing slightly better because of the partial cover.
The whole field again, from off to the flank of Volux.
The last photo: the full view from the other flank.

We started to run out of time, so I didn't get the chance to take any more, but basically the Romans dressed their lines grimly, as is their wont, in the face of continued missilery, and then crunched into the massed foot in the African centre. The Gaetuli light infantry appeared from their nice safe bit of rough and added to the discomfiture of the endmost legion, but alas for the brave Africans, it was not to be. Legionary grit did its usual job...

Many thanks to Will and Larry for playing Romans in their first game!