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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One thought on “Society of Ancients”

  1. Hey Andy … welcome back! (I was already subscribed to this blog, just saw this come through NetNewsWire). Very nicely done site btw.

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