First Impetus Unit Completed

Here is the first unit of my Early Byzantines for Impetus. This is a unit of Bucellarii of which I’ll have two in my ‘starting’ army of 300 points. The unit uses Baccus Late Heavy Cavalry from the Sassanid range and I’m happy to make do with the ‘Eastern’ influence at this scale.

The second unit will have cloaks added to some and the second rankers may not all be on armoured horses to reflect the more eclectic mix of what were essentially mercenary units acting as bodyguards.

But hopefully I’ll get the archers done first!

I’m up to 18 followers now which I’m rather pleased about and appreciate the show of interest from those concerned. I’ve also looked at the stats for the blog over the last year and the number of unique visits has grown significantly since June when I changed the layout/theme from exclusively AWI peaking at over a thousand in September.

I’ve had some good references to my AWI content over on TMP and having just got hold of the latest AWI themed Wargames Illustrated I shall be returning to the 18th Century in the not too distant!

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6mm Early Byzantines – a start

At Derby a few weeks ago I picked up a wide range of figures from Baccus with a view to putting together an Early Byzantine army for Impetus. As no one does a specific Early range for the Byzantines I was looking at a mix of Late Roman, Sassanid, Goth, Hun types to represent the army. Given the period of transition and the Eastern influences and the ‘mercenary’ nature of the Bucellarii I figured I could get away with this, especially in 6mm!

I’m still waiting for MDF bases to arrives (hopefully before next weeks postal strikes!) but thought I’d post some ‘in progress’ shots. So here are some views of the first Bucellarii based on a Sassanid Late Heavy Cavalry. They have bow, lance and part armoured horse. I would have preferred to have unarmoured horses in the second rank but Baccus are in a transition period with moving to a slightly larger horse and currently the proposed back rank would look like ponies!

The Impetus Justinian list has just been posted in draft and for that I need 4 units of Kavallarioi. These were a bit harder to source. So I’ve taken a Sassanid armoured archer and added a small shield with a bit of green stuff.

And as a lot of the images I’ve seen for Bucellarii have helmets with plumes and with cloaks I thought I ‘d see how easy it was to adapt the Sassanid Heavy Cavalry figure…

Overall I’m rather pleased with them. I think the archer shields may be a tad on the large side but at 6mm I don’t really care and once painted I’m sure they’ll look fine. I will need to do another Bucellarii unit so for that will do a mix with cloak and I’m hoping Peter at Baccus may be able to source me a suitable unarmoured horse type figure.

I’ll post better pictures once they’re all based.

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Society of Ancients

Last month, with exactly £20 burning a hole in my Paypal account, I decided to join the Society of Ancients. I can remember looking at copies of Slingshot many years ago and to be honest not being too impressed. I think then I was less well read on my areas of interest and more into the ‘game’ then (my ‘game’ being DBM) so the historical articles were of little interest. Things have now moved on. I spent 10 years in archaeology and through that formed a deeper interest in my ‘periods’ and slowly pulled together a decent library of both books and journals. And now, as family life takes its toll on my gaming time I find myself doing more reading, some painting and little gaming! So with the current return to Ancients I thought I’d give the Society another chance.

With membership confirmed I awaited the back issues of Slingshot for this year. Now this proved a good time to join for me as this years Society battle was Callinicum 531 AD and my favourite general, Belisarius. When the issues arrived there were a good few background articles for the battle, all of interest, and just to top things nicely, next years battle is Zama! So all in all some good stuff for me there. I have to admit the quality of the journal is excellent. The glossy cover and decent quality paper and binding made a very good impression, such that I ordered the 2008 and 2007 back issues. Now I may go back earlier, either on DVD or paper, but the 2007 cut-off covers what I see as the current resurgence in Ancient Wargaming. The whole Warmaster, WAB thing, the ‘death’ of DBM and the rise of DBMM, FoG and Impetus (and others!) are all covered both in battle reports, rule reviews/comparisons and articles by the authors themselves. Now I’m currently trying FoG for 15mm and will be using Impetus for my 6mm and with my lack of playing time it’s been useful to read informative articles on the rules. I particularly liked one where the author argued that DBMM was more suited to the BIG battle (say 30-40,000 a side) where as the feel of FoG was more akin to c.10,000 a side as reflected by the manoeuvres and control exercised. It almost makes me want to pick up DBMM and give it a try. However, I’ve been monitoring their Yahoo group and there is a LOT of traffic discussing upcoming amendments and I think I may wait until the next version appears!

I’m also intrigued by Neil Thomas’s Ancient and Medieval Wargaming and may pick up the book at the next show. Pete and Craig at Tyneside Wargames, also have their own Great Captain set of rules which are currently being rewritten and popular at the club and I would really like to give these a try in my games. I’ve played a couple of BIG games at the club with them (a couple of years ago) and enjoyed them and I think they deserve a wider audience. I’d quite like to try some comparison games versus DBMM, FoG etc. and write them up for Slingshot but that would probably require more time and effort than I could commit at the moment.

Either way, I’m enjoying reading through my Slingshots and getting a feel for the state of Ancient Wargaming at the moment (albeit a slightly skewed one!) and looking forward to the next years issues and the run up to the Zama battle.

And tonight, in a spare hour, I cleaned up 16 Balearic slingers, 3 spanish cavalry and prepped the first 12 6mm figures I will use for bucellerii. When I get chance to actually apply paint to them is anyones guess!

Oh.. and I’ve finally got round to sorting the skewed header for the blog!

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After Action Report – Saving Private Hannah

On Friday 9th October 2009 Special Forces of the Republic launched a covert mission into the heart of the Empire. The location: Newcastle Metro Radio Arena. The target: Disney on Ice: Princess Wishes. The Mission Report follows:

The incursion into enemy territory was due to commence at 16:30 hours. A full hour in advance the team checked their kit and piled into the APC*. The soldier who was to carry out the most dangerous part of the mission, Private Hannah, was in full camouflage. Admittedly their was more gold and pink in the camo pattern than usual but it was ideal for the mission. Although the lowest ranked in the team it was obvious Pvt. Hannah was really in charge of the mission.

*Armoured Princess Carrier

As we approached the enemy fortress the extent of their forces stunned us. There were reinforcement Princesses pouring in from every direction. Snow White’s, Aurora’s, Cinderella’s. More types than we knew existed. Even rare Ariel’s covering the water approaches making a seaborne assault impossible. Keeping our heads down we pushed our way through with Pvt. Hannah observing the enemy closely and even approaching some to gain intelligence.

The Intelligence Experts at Republican High Command had provided IDs to get us through security and this worked fine, but nothing could compare to the shock once we entered the inner defenses…. Merchandise Squads…everywhere… If you could stick an Imperial logo and a random Princess on something it was there. And the new troops arriving soaked it all up. Their brainwashing had begun and it was hard to resist. Although Pvt. Hannah made a show of interest to distract the guards we knew (hoped) she had the strength to resist. If not, then our backup weapons (the Virtual Incursion Support Arms – VISA for short) might not have the resources to get us out alive!

When we finally entered the inner Citadel, the Empires true strength was turned against us. Combat teams of Prince/Princess skate troops poured out in turn, spewing love, friendship, smiles and song in an almost irresistible torrent. I could see Pvt. Hannah fighting the assault, as did we all, but it seemed she was weakening. The smiles seemed too real. The targeting of key enemy personal was with glee rather than napalm.

And then the combat got to close quarters. We tried to resist but when the knives (and spoons and forks) came out we beat a hasty retreat.

Our secret agent within the Empire, the great Witch, Maleficent, despite launching the great Dragon Attack, was defeated by the Sword of Truth.

Our assault was in tatters. Pvt. Hannah appeared shell shocked, as evidenced by the huge grins on her face. But nothing could prepare us for the final assault of the Imperial Cinderella Death Ball! The massed ranks of dance troops glided effortlessly across the ice and our assault was finally over.

The Empire had won…again. Although we managed to escape via an open flank without facing the Merchandise Squads again, we barely made it back to the APC. Guerrilla Merchandise teams stalked us as we left, not true troops of the Empire but fighting with cheap copies of the Merchandise Squads Weapons of Destruction. But the state of Pvt Hannah was shocking. She had been turned and spoke nothing but good of the Empire. Nothing we could say could change her mind. Another soldier was lost. But I had my suspicions she had been turned all along and was really a double agent, infatuated with the Empire’s doctrines and trying to lure more troops to the Empire in suicide missions like ours.

But the war must go on. We shall never surrender. We shall fight them on the TVs, we shall fight on the play grounds, we shall fight in the schools and in the cinemas, we shall fight in the bookshops; we shall never surrender.

And on a lighter note? It was actually really well done. The skaters were excellent, the production spot on. Despite all the merchandising and schmaltz it really hit the mark for the target audience. And some of those were a bit scary. The girls who are a few years older than the majority who take the Princess look VERY seriously with immaculate dresses and makeup. Very, very scary 🙂

And the highlights for me? Well at one point Jasmine’s trousers started to come down and she had to keep skating off ice for ‘repairs’. And the overall show was hosted by Tinkerbell (despite regular appearances by Micky, Minnie and Goofy) and all I can say is that she’s put on a bit of weight since the last film!

Worth a look if you’re that way inclined. I’ve a feeling this may be an annual mission so Private Hannah and her dad will march again!

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15mm Celtiberians (and a wagon!)

Finally finished my second BG of Celtiberians for Field of Glory. As mentioned elsewhere on the blog, Celtiberians formed the main Allied contingent in my DBM Polybian Roman army many years ago. I had them based as WB(F) so for FoG they needed to be 4 to a base. So I carefully counted the ones I had and ordered the extra from Donnington to make up a full second BG.

Unfortunately I miscounted and when I came to paint the extra found myself five figures short! Now I wanted to keep the whole unit Donnington so a trawl through the leadpile turned up a naked Gaesati, some Caetrati and a Carthiginian spearmen! I figure that as they are a mercenary unit there will be a few ‘hangers on’!

As with the other unit I have used Ligurians for standard bearer and musician although to be honest Gallic ones would have done.

While sorting figures I found the wagons I did years ago. Museum Miniatures, and always nice figures. I’ve bought a few more at Derby and will be painting them and re-basing the others at some point. And making sure the handlers are in period as well. Those supplied seem more medieval peasants than the ‘slaves’ I want for the ancients and the tricorn’d ones for my AWI!


Balearic Slingers I think…

And I’m thinking of taking a day off in November to try and arrange a game at home as I just don’t seem to make it to the club at the moment. This weekend starts with Disney on Ice:Princess Wishes on Friday, We’re going on a Bear Hunt stage version on Saturday, and a(nother!) 4th Birthday on Sunday. My daughter has a far better social life than me!…

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