Recent Books, Impetus and update.

Just picked up the following as I delve yet again into the Punic Wars:

Cannae: The Experience of Battle in the Second Punic War, Gregory Daly
Lost Battles: Reconstructing the Great Clashes of the Ancient World, Philip A.G. Sabin
Hannibal’s Last Battle: Zama and the Fall of Carthage, Brian Todd Carey

The Cannae and Zama books are really just knowledge boosters as I read up on the subject again. Still just finishing Goldsworthy’s Fall of Carthage and just starting Durham’s novel, Hannibal – Pride of Carthage. Both good in their own way. The Daly book above looks to have some interesting chapters so that will no doubt be next on the list. The Sabin I bought on an impulse. Saw some interesting comments on it on TMP and although I’m unlikely to use the rules for my own games I wanted to read his analysis and justifications for them.

And finally, my copy of Impetus arrived today. Although a tad pricey it is a vey nicely produced set on good quality paper with excellent photos. I’ve had a quick look through and the tone and spirit of the rules really appeal. Looking forward to trying them.

I’ve been really taken with some of the diorama type bases for the game, especially in 6mm, and am tempted to do a couple of armies for them. I’d thought of maybe doing my Early Byzantines in 6mm but I’m pretty certain they will be 15mm Khurasan. Also considered doing Punic as well as I have some ideas for laying out the Roman bases. But I’m not sure I want to deviate from my 15mm Punic Wars armies as I’m slowly bringing them to completion. Medieval puts me off as I can’t face the shields! Only thing that does appeal is maybe Late Roman and Sassanid Persian, maybe inspired by the Harry Sidebottom books I’ve just read. The decider will probably be made at Derby as Baccus will be there and I’ll no doubt crack!

Been doing a little more on the terrain pieces and should have them done tomorrow. The Purbeck terrain blocks I have I’ve tried sprucing up a bit by sponging patches of brown and highlight to match the bases over them to break up the green. I had thought of PVA, ballast and then the painting but the sponging seems to look OK and is quicker. Also, only need to do one side so if it looks crap can still use them!

Bye for now…

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The past week…

Been a little slow really. Painting on pause as having finished the Spanish I wanted to set up the table and put them all out facing the Romans. That I have done, but have yet to roll some dice and put them in some sort of game like motion! Maybe soon…

Having had to move the paints aside to do this I’ve just been working on another couple of bits of terrain. I wanted to try some marshy watery type ground and as I’d done on some individual bases before I used gloss varnish for the water. However, here it was all a little deeper and the varnish a) took days to dry, and b) dried white! Since it had shrunk as well I will paint over the top and try the liquid water in a bottle I bought from the model shop. Hopefully, will do these tonight and post tomorrow.

The latest WI arrived and to be honest was not too impressed. The chunk of Osprey cut and paste at the beginning wasn’t a good start and the whole ‘theme’ approach to the mags is causing me problems as I have limited and blinkered interests so often most of the mag will not interest me. Still, I’ve subbed to a few more to go and hopefully things will improve.

The latest MW was acquired at Smiths and I read more of that. Liked the Gloucester Point article and that, along with Paul Marsh’s Germantown write up on the British Grenadier forums are making me hanker for the 18th Century again!

Picked up the first of the Osprey WW2 series on Poland and will probably get the next issue/s but not go the whole run.

And finally, I’ve joined the Society of Ancients! Had thought about this for a long time and seeing as they take Paypal and I had £20 sat in my account, I thought, what the hell! Will be interesting to see what Slingshot is like.

Anyway, that’s enough for tonight…

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The rain in Spain…

…falls mainly on the hordes of Spanish warriors charging down from the hills!

Just finished re-basing the Spanish I got off Ian. I’d painted up a few command groups for them, two more stands of light horse, and re-based the first of my Celitiberians to give the army a good solid core!

So this was the start:

Nice neat paint job but no shading and basic bases. The army now looks like this:

Organised towards a FoG Basic Starter Army, all figures (apart from the Celtiberians) had a Klear wash.

The Celtiberians were the Spanish Allies for my old DBM Carthaginian army and needed rebasing as Heavy Foot rather than WB(F). They’re Donnington figures and although a little poor compared to some ranges now, they paint up rather nicely!

The LH on the left I painted to match those on the right…

I’m rather pleased with them really. So abig thanks to Ian for getting this army off the ground from a few allies to a full army!

I had ordered figures from Essex to do more Cavalry, Gauls, the rest of my Carthaginian Veteran Spear, a pack of Spanish Generals and a few other gap fillers. These arrived last week. TODAY… while tidying up I found a box with a pile of packs of figures at the bottom. And there was: Spanish Cavalry, Gauls, the rest of my Carthaginian Veteran Spear, a pack of Spanish Generals and a few other gap fillers and a load more Scutarii! Looks like I can now push the Light Horse up to maximum, more Cavaly so they can still be used with Romans and Carthaginians, and a couple more Scutarii BGs.

So, I still have 16 Celtiberians to give me my 2nd BG to paint. My 16 triarii. And a lot of Spanish! I may well do them in the same style: white undercoat, block and wash. When the wash works well they look fine.

Must update the total to the right now…

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A Little Personal History – Part 2 (not so long post, still no pictures!)

So…where was I. After a few years in IT I decided it was not for me and headed up north to Newcastle to study Linguistics. Chosen languages? German and Sanskrit. The latter because a wanted a ‘dead’ language, both Greek and Latin clashed with other subjects and after one lecture on Classical Hebrew I opted for Sanskrit! Excellent language. Great literature. More anon.

After one year I spend a summer freelancing as a programmer. Happy with the money I took a year out to earn more…and never went back. Stayed in Newcastle though. During this time figure gaming was pretty non-existent. Played quite a few games of ASL with a mate but was generally still distracted by the wine, woman and song triad!

Having acquired some cash I decided yet again that IT was not for me and spent the next couple of years travelling. Very nearly bought a copy of ASL rules and Beyond Valor from a game shop in Melbourne but decided it was a lot to carry around for the next year!

When I finally got back to England I ended up in Birmingham. Most of my RPG friends from Shrewsbury were now there and Billy was an active wargamer – mostly 6th Edition but starting on the new DBM rules. This was 1993 and the beginning of my next foray into figure gaming. I went for DBM. 15mm. Punic Wars. A trip to that years Worlds in Derby saw me pick up a small Republican Roman army on the bring and buy. Museum Miniatures, average paint job but it gave me a core to start my own army and time to paint. Three months later I was booked to play a DBM tournament – somewhere in the Midlands! I submitted my army list and then had three months of frantic painting to get it down. The varnish was still tacky as I packed them in the box to leave on the morning of the tourney! I think I played three, lost three but generally had a good time. Played a few more tourneys over the next few months but started to encounter the ‘tournament players’ and at one stage I just resigned a game as I couldn’t be bothered to argue over some petty twisting of the rules to the other players advantage.

The Roman army, and the corresponding Carthaginians form the basis of my current armies. The original Museum Miniatures figures went to Billy for him to do his Rep. Romans apart from 10 bases which got new shields and a touch up to become Italian Allies.

After a year I moved back up to Newcastle, got involved in various fun but none too life productive activities. Drank and smoked too much and generally went in to dropout mode. I then managed to get on a training scheme for archaeology at Tyne and Wear Museums. Talked my way in to a job with West Yorkshire Archaeology and then returned to TWM, eventually to run the training schemes, do Time Team and generally spend 10 years digging holes in god awful conditions!

Throughtout this time figure gaming didn’t happen. ASL happened briefly but passed again. And then two of the guys I worked with, Gary and Terry, revealed themselves as wargamers/reenactors and so began my American War of Independence project. This progressed slowly. Got a few figures painted, as did Gary and Terry, and even managed a couple of games using our own rules (see the first few posts of this blog). Then things changed as I got married, Gary moved away and gaming took a sideline again.

Still met up with the guys to go to the Stockton shows, bought odds and ends but never really got going properly. I tried though. Bought ACW armies from Bring and Buys etc. but never had time to play. Then, after being chased to try WW2 gaming in 20mm I decided that if I wanted to do WW2 I just had to dig out my ASL again. And after finding a good collection at the Stockton Show one year I began what was to be a very expensive but fun three year obsession with ASL!

That’ll do for now…

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A Little Personal History – Part 1 (long post, no pictures!)

I’ve been meaning to post a little more on my wargaming history for a while. It’s been touched upon in other posts but not in any chronological/structured format. So here goes…

In the beginning…there was Airfix. I had hundreds and hundreds of them. 20mm, 54mm. All periods. I can’t even remember exactly when I started playing with them. Very young anyway. Most ‘battles’ were fought with my cousin Stuart (pretty well grew up together as there was a 16 year gap between myself and my older brother). For a long time we did the usual massed battles on table, floor and in garden with lego fortifications and assorted missiles for combat resolution! We even fought a fictitious campaign as we created a global military power call the Worldist Party who had massive armies and resources secreted throughout the world and would step on to resolve wars and disputes and depose dangerous governments! One of our hardest fought campaigns was the little known Danish Civil War!

Things progressed in like manner for years until I hit secondary school and started my History classes with Mr Smith – or Uncle Derek as we called him. You could not have wished for a better teacher. He had us doing musket drill as part of our look at Wolfe and Quebec and many other things. He really brought things alive. It was through him that I met a couple of older boys – David and Michael Drage – and through them was introduced to Shrewsbury Wargames Society (c.1976/7). Meeting at small hall near the Priory School I began my first forays into metal figures. The model shop in Shrewsbury, on Castle Foregate, stocked Hinchcliffe 25mm figures and I began collecting the first of my Russian Napoleonics at 9p a figure!

Then, as now, I was a low painter and it took me a long time to pull things together but there was always games to be had at the club and figures to loan. Over the years figures and periods came and went. The club moved in to medieval games and I started putting together Hinchcliffe and Lamming armies with my mate Mark. Campaigns were fought using the Lamming rules as the club did battle over a developing landscape. I still have these figures somewhere and one day I’ll post pics. My Russians grew slowly, adding some minifigs, but never really got to full strength. Another shop had opened in Shrewsbury as well. In the back of Chris Foulkes hardware store were a wide range of figures and the new Heritage 15mm Napoleonics which for the time were stunning little figures. I had Peter Laing WW1. Minifigs 15mm Trajanic Romans. All little projects that never got completed. The title of this blog was even more apt then! With two shops in Shrewsbury, a Minifigs shop in Birmingham, a small shop in Wellington, the choices were endless.

Inspiration often came from the pages of Battle for Wargamers. I still have these from 1976 to it’s end and still read them. Charles Grants articles, Hyboria. Lots of excellent stuff.

At age 16 I went to one of the first Wargames Holiday Centre weeks with Peter Guilder near York. I’d been working that summer in a local Oil Works and had some cash so it was my reward before I started A-Levels. Our games were a mix of periods but I can remember a Late Roman game where we playtested the upcoming WRG 5th Edition Ancient Rules! Again, somewhere I have a box of slides and some B/W (don’t ask!) photos to post.

It was around now that wargaming started to take a back seat as I discovered wine, women and song big time! Unfortunately too much of the former and latter and I made the club less and less and painted less and less, eventually moving to Telford with my then fiancee (which didn’t last) and entered the world of work.

Although wargaming was pretty dead for then I had a great group of friends for Role Playing which was continue throughout and beyond this period – the subject of another post, maybe.

That makes a suitable break. Major life upheavals, university, some minor ventures back into figures were to follow. As was the time, wallet and life consuming passion that is Advanced Squad Leader! More on that lot to follow…


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