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);
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.
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.