Wednesday, 22 November 2017

New Additions to My Hellenic Phalanx

I've added another couple of units to my Successor army. Two units of thureophoroi. However, I did cheat a bit with these guys,  because they were already 90% done. I both units last year (I think) made up of 10 figures on two large 80mm x 40mm bases. So what I've done now is make their numbers up to 12 and base them on 40mm squares. So the unit foorprint is the same dimensions but they are a bit more flexible and the unit looks fuller.

Saturday, 18 November 2017

Successors ~ My New Project

So I've decided to build a Successor army. In particular I'm making Antigonid Macedonians. The reason I chose this kingdom is because I think the figures will be able to serve as various other lesser Successor states such as Pontus or a Pyrrhic army (or even as Carthaginians at a stretch).

This army will also go along with my tiny fleet, which is about to have larger Hellenic ships added to its numbers. Together the land and sea forces will go together well for a, hoped for, campaign next year.

As it were, I've finished my first two units: A lochi/regiment of Chalkaspides (Bronze Shields) and the Agema of the Peltasts. The Chalkasipdes are pretty much the "regulars" of the standing army and form the bulk of the phalanx. I'll also be adding Leukaspides (White Shields) which are more-or-less reservist phalangites, thureophoroi, Thracians, Thessalonian cavalry and probably some Gaulic warbands.

Quite a mix.

Oh... And elephants!

The Peltasts are not like the skirmishers also called peltasts. These troops are more like the elite or guard troops of the Antigonid Macedonian army and the Agema is the premier regiment. The peltasts are lighter armed than regular phalangites but still considered heavy infantry.

I'm not sure what set of rules I'm basing these guys for. I decided to go for 3 figures to a base to cut down the amount of figures I need to paint and also cut down the cost of figures (because I plan to do quite a few of them).

I wanted to make the footprint of a standard pike unit 80mm x 80mm. This won't fit with many rules and some people wont like the 20mm/40mm depth of the bases. But when it comes down to it: I don't care. Some will also be upset about the 3 figures to a base instead of 4. I don't care about that either. If needed, I'll play Hail Caesar or IMPETVS with them instead of the more pedantic sets of rules.

So here's the small start of, what I'm hoping, will end up being a big little army. The figures are 15mm Xyston.

Saturday, 11 November 2017

My Little Fleet's First Outting

I had a game last evening with Richard at NWA. This was the first time I used my tiny fleet (dubbed the Athenian Fleet for this game). We used the Ad Mere Bellum rules by David Manley.

It was great to see my burgeoning fleet arrayed for battle on Richard's very nice Deep Cut Studio ocean mat. And after this game, I'm quite happy that my second order of 12 quinquremes, 2 Seven's and an Eight have arrived and waiting to get on the paint bench.

For this game it was Greeks v's Romans.

Initially the Richard had 10 quinquremes and a Seven against my 15 triremes (10 cataphract and 5 aphract). This proved to be fairly unbalanced.

So, we had a "half game" which, because of the draw of the activation's, saw my fleet get smashed front on.

From the first "half game."

As I said, this front on ramming smashed my lighter vessels.

The first ever ship of my fleet to be wreaked.

We then decided to restart and add a bit of differentiation. This consisted of my Greeks being assigned the Maneuver aspect and the Romans designated as Boarding. The difference being that I was better at ramming and my opponent better at boarding.The Romans also had siege engines, towers and corvus.

So, arrayed against my 15 triremes were 8 quinquremes and a pair of sixes. So I had the numbers and the maneuverability but the Romans had size and toughness. This really made a quite a big difference.

This time around, I managed to maneuver into position to get some of my ships into the Romans resulting in immobilising one ship and capturing a couple. The Romans drew the card for the next turn and dropped their corvus's (or should that be corvii ?) onto several of my ships and lock them together. This resulted in a couple of my ships being captured and a couple were wreaked.

In the following turn my brave Athenians managed to back-oar a couple of ships and inflict some missile damage on some of the Roman crews. One of my ships also managed to break through the Roman line. As luck would have it I drew the card for the next turn (2 turns in a row!) and drove my ships back into the oar-banks of the Romans. This didn't really do me much good. One of my rams was front on and it was my ship which was wrecked.

In Richard's next turn his Romans managed to board and capture a few more of my ships and I only had two ships remaining without damage. Out of 15, three were wrecked and about 6 were captured. The remaining four were heavily damaged.

So, it seems the trick is to ram and back out fast. Don't get caught and boarded by Romans. But that, I think, is easier said than done and the only way to find out is to have some more games.

Some pictures taken by my opponent, Richard.

Our first clash again, this time from the Roman perspective.

The scene from the second battle. As you can see I tried to avoid 
frontal ramming and aimed for the Roman oars where I could.

One thing became obvious from these two games and that is the need for plenty of counters. Counters are needed to show: Hull Damage, Crew Damage, Immobilised, Wrecks, Fire, Captured... I think that's all. In the pic above we improvised with blast markers for damage, gems for crew damage and small planks for corvus.

My Conclusion:

I can't wait to try this game again. We're already looking at a couple of house rules to add a bit of spice. I have a bunch of larger craft to paint up and Richard has a fleet of triremes on the way. So, in the future we should be quite evenly matched. There are also others at our club who are interested and have started fleets and we're looking to incorporate land and sea battles into a Late Successor / Early Roman campaign some time next year.

Should be interesting times.

Monday, 30 October 2017

My Fleet is Finished

Well for now, that is...

I finished the last squadron of cataphract triremes. This time I did them with the sails set. I'm not so sure, after making these that they really look any better the ones in fighting trim. When I look at them now they all look just as nice as each other.

So for now I have a small fleet of 5 aphracts and 10 catafracts. I have some more in the post which should arrive in about a fortnight - 12 x Quinqueremes, two 7's and an 8 as a flagship, to boost my little Athenian fleet into a good sized Successor Fleet. I ordered Langton's Carthaginian quins because there were no other options (other than Roman).

So, here is my last squadron:

And a final photo of the whole tiny fleet.

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

My Tiny Navy Grows Bigger

Hot on the heels of my previous post...

In a very short time I've added a second squadron to my newly formed tiny navy. This time around they're aphract triremes (the previous ones are cataphracts). And this time around I was brave enough to add their masts & sails.

For those who are curious they ships come from Langton Miniatures who have a whole range of naval stuff.

So here they are. One thing about these models is that they look much better in the flesh because when they are magnified all the tiny mistakes become much more pronounced.

And here's a 28mm Perry grenadier for comparison.

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Little Ships

A quick post before I hit the sack.

I've been tempted into the realm of ancient naval wargaming. Admittedly, it didn't take much luring because I've always been interested in ancient ships. These also compliment my 15mm hoplites (different scale though).

Did I say "different scale"?

These guys a tiny - 1:1200 scale. Each ship is about 30mm long. Tiny!

For me, who has never made anything in this scale before they were definitely a challenge. I was planning to do them with all their sails and stuff but I opted out of that for my first try. But I will be doing the next lot with all their sails and what-have-you.

Anyway, here are my first 5 Greek Triremes. They are based on 45mm x 20 Renedra bases (that came with various plastic figure sets).

Sunday, 22 October 2017

Back to the Stars

I played my third game of Dropfleet Commander on the weekend. This time I used the Shaltari starter set because:
1. I haven't used them since I painted them,
2. They look really nice, and
3. They were really hard to paint and I wanted to use them at least once.

Having made that last comment, I think I'll be using them a more often and they might become the fleet that I decide to expand.

This game played a lot different to the previous games where I used the Scourge starter set. I preferred the Shaltari as they seem to suit my style better. My only reservation is that they are bloody difficult to paint & I don't look forward to painting another thousand little dots.

Anyhow, I'm not going to write up a battle report. I just want to post the photo's I have (mostly stolen from my opponent Peter N.).

Also, I got to use my new orbital battle map. It looked great and that's another reason I want to post the photos.

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

I Love These Figures

I wish that were true.

The fact is: I hate these figures from Ebor. They are sub-par and they are awful to paint. I have another two squadrons of them and I'm not in any hurry to paint them. But I suppose I will and when I have further need for WSS Horse I'll be looking at Front Rank.

These figures took me about two weeks to paint because I just didn't want to do them and I ended up committing to less than one hour per day in getting them done. That's very slow for me and the paint job is sub-par too (just to keep in line with the figures).

Anyway, here they are: 2nd Squadron, Regiment Tarente.

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Two Posts in One Day!

In my last post I told the tale of the beginnings of my new medieval navy thanks to the purchase of a card stock cog from a Russian hobby/toy company. I also ordered a chateau/hunting lodge at the same time.

Like the cog, this model was quite cheap - $12.00 and it's fantastic. It's so beautiful and I'm amazed at the level of detail. All the parts that you can't see are also fully detailed. even the underside of the gate ramp and the interior of the top of the tower (you could actually take the top off and have a great looking battlement). That little out building on the right has a fully detailed interior.

It even has a little shit-house at the back!

I'm thinking that I might have to invest in the rest of their medieval city models. I could have a fully detailed, walled village for under $80. This is certainly something worth looking into.

Also... This is now the ancestral home of Sir Otto von Rickenbacker, lord of the Hemmingseatic League so it's only fitting that it is called Castle Hemmingstein.

"Hello. Who's castle is this?"

 "Go away or I shall taunt you a second time."

"Bugger! How did they get in there?"

"Piss of you varlet. This is our castle now."

"Follow me, Herman. I know a secret entrance."

"Quick, search the place."

"They're not up here."

"Not down here either, Sire."

"Where the blood hell are they?"

"There they are, Sire."

"Ah Ha!!!... Where have they gone?"