Thursday, 2 April 2020

Rumbled!

Yesterday's post was, as most of you guessed, an April Fool post.
And I'm delighted that the fact that you rumbled it straight away showed two things...
1. You, the readers of this blog, are very intelligent and smart.
2. I'm a very bad liar.

Both these are good things.

Have a great day!


Wednesday, 1 April 2020

Back to ... something different?

First introduced to The Hobbit in my final year at junior school (1973 - so aged 10), I was transfixed.

Myself and my brother (4 years younger) quickly began creating paper dwarves, elves, men and goblins, cutting them out and having them mounted on tabs (who'd have thought this would become a wargaming 'thing' all these years later?). We played with them on the rug on our bedroom floor.

Fast forward, through many years of playing with fantasy figures, and then the serious business of roleplay games in the late 70s, early 80s, and so on... Not an unfamiliar story, I'm sure.

Amongst all the current world turmoil and turbulence, I've been feeling a bit disillusioned with historical gaming, for some reason. I've been thinking it's all a bit dark somehow to be playing at war, and having model humans killing each other on our tabletops.

As I completed the unit of successor phalangites shown in my previous post, I just felt washed out with it all.

In an idle moment at the weekend, I opened a box... a box or two in fact... of figures that hadn't seen the light of day for decades.
And somehow my heart leapt.

A big decision is called for.

Perhaps it's the promise that the impending publication of the Oathmark rules brings.

Whatever has got in to me, I've decided...
After decades of involvement in the historical hobby, I have decided to sell it all off, and concentrate on fantasy wargaming, set in my version of Middle Earth. Not the spikey, massive-weaponed fantasy world that many seem to portray, but a sort of magical dark aged world, akin to that spawned in my imagination by The Hobbit.

Here are some of the fantasy figures I discovered as I opened those magical boxes on my coffee table...









Everything else must go.

Every historical figure you see on this blog is now for sale.


It's a new game of toy soldiers, and one with which somehow, morally I feel more comfortable. It's like coming home... full circle.

Monday, 30 March 2020

More Phalangites

Another pike unit to add to the Antithesid phalanx.




And here they are with their 'sister unit'.




One more pike unit and I think I'll be able to have a solo game of WAB 1.5 with this collection, so possibly over Easter.

You'll be the first to know.


Thursday, 26 March 2020

Inspiration and Reference Material

A number of commenters over the past few posts have indicated that, whilst they are definitely primarily Horse and Musket gamers, they might be interested in a slight diversion into the ancient period (I'm looking at you, Stokes, and Jim P!). So, I thought I'd add some encouragement to those who may be considering a venture into the Successor period.

For me, the Successors project has its roots in an article that appeared in the early 1980s in Miniature Wargames (issue 4). The article was called, "Have Pike, Will Travel" and was written by Jim Webster.
In it, Jim described how having a certain number of core troops, in the right ratios, one might be able to represent many armies from the period.
I have scanned in the article for those who may be interested in giving the period a go - something new to get the creative juices flowing whilst we are in this difficult time for the world.

I hope no one minds me scanning and sharing this, from a copyright point of view... it is around 40 years ago, so I'm posting this in the spirit that it may inspire others as it did me all those years ago.




What is interesting is the army proportions, according to the ancient sources ... 4/7 heavy infantry (phalangites); 
2/7 light infantry (peltasts and skirmishers); 
1/7 cavalry.

That might translate, for example, to 
4 x 24 phalangites (total 96)
2 x 12 peltasts, plus 3 x 8 skirmishers (total 48) 
and 3 x 8 cavalry (total 24).

Trading some cavalry for an elephant, and possibly adjusting the number of skirmishers/ peltasts, gives a very neat WAB army.

These are perfect sized forces for a game on a 6x4 table. And the painting total is not too onerous either at around 144 infantry and 24 cavalry (a total of less than 200 'Olley Painting Points'). Now, some people will be able to knock that out in a fortnight, for others it might take longer. But it's still not like trying to produce Napoleonic armies. In reality, a perfectly reasonable game might be had with forces that are even more scaled down... each side with, say, 3 x 24 phalanxes, 2 x 12 peltasts, a small unit of skirmishers, and a couple of cavalry units.

The joy, for me, of the Successor period, is that with the proportions mentioned, the games can be considered fairly representative of the armies and tactics of the period, with the bulk of heavy infantry in the phalanx occupying the centre, protected by peltasts on their flanks, and cavalry acting as a reserve and on the flanks to deliver the killer blow. Certainly, my choice of WAB 1.5 as a ruleset for this will encourage such a set up.

Talking of WAB armies, one of the other sources of information is Jeff Jonas' marvellous website www.ancientbattles.com

Careful though. You might find yourself losing a good self-isolating/ working-from-home half-day here... or even half a week! Jeff has compiled a whole load of great information on the period, along with some lovely pictures of his troops, and some WAB battle reports too. Jeff occasionally pops by here, so if you're reading this Jeff, a public thank you for your efforts over many years in making information for this period accessible.

In terms of troops, there are many ranges now available, including plastic figures these days. I personally like the old Foundry Macedonians, and the range by Aventine. Why not have a surf round the net at other manufacturers. I know that Old Glory, Victrix, Essex, and many more have suitable ranges, for example. Let me know what you turn up. 

Other news:
I note that Partizan in May is cancelled. Well done to Lawrence and Tricks for making all communications throughout very clear, and for doing the right thing in cancelling and offering traders (most of whom are in the small business/ self-employed category) a full refund, or allowing them to hold over their investment for the October show. 


More show news: Keith has announced the Cotswold Wargames Day will take place on 18th October (all being well). See Keefsblog.blogspot.com

When all this is over, I'm sure we will even more realise the value of the shows and conventions, not only for making our purchases, but in seeing games in the flesh, and meeting our fellow hobbyists.
Let's look forward to those days.

All the best for now.

Sunday, 22 March 2020

Skythians

From the 8th century BC to the 3rd century BC, the Skythians were a nomadic people who occupied large areas of the Black Sea and Middle East region.
They were highly accomplished horsemen, and in the Hellenistic period supplied mercenary troops to many of the Successor forces.






Just a small unit, in WAB terms about the minimum size. They can, of course, fight for either side, although, for now, they're firmly with The Antithesids, as long as they get plenty of spoils and pay.

These little cavalry units are all well and good, but I think it's time for another pike unit to add to the Antithesid phalanx. So that's what will be next on the workbench.
I'm also considering what to do about terrain for this project. Might create some boards over the coming weeks. We'll see.

One thought: during these difficult times for all, perhaps we can especially remember to support the many small, self-employed, traders who provide our hobby with so many great products, for those who feel it's possible. In the weeks to come, I'll be putting in as many orders as feasible for the projects I have on the go at the moment. 

Thanks to everyone who has been commenting on the blog recently. it's good to know that we can all stay connected, even if just in this corner of our little world.
Stay well.
Best regards...




Friday, 20 March 2020

Half the Battle

The first of my Successor armies, The Macadamians, is now 'complete' (ish).






I may eventually add another 24 figure pike unit, and possibly another elephant.
But for now, my attention must move to the other side of the table to complete the enemy army, The Antithesids.

More news over the next few days.


Thursday, 19 March 2020

Thessalians

Here is the final unit (for now) of the Macadamian army...
Thessalian cavalry.





They were considered the finest Greek cavalry of the age.

Now shifting my attention to the opposition forces, The Antithesids (a sort of Seleucid-based force). Panic buying phalangites as we speak! Actually, I've just put in a top up order to Foundry to carry me through the next couple of months.
Expect more painting over the coming days... Fun this, isn't it?!