Saka Light Cavalry

Saka Light Cavalry

Thursday, 22 June 2017

15mm Macedonian Phalanx or Two

These are the first figures finished post challenge that was not actually started during the challenge. I don't even know the supplier of the figures as these were given to me by a friend years and years ago now. I ended up just doing a very basic paint job on them but they look OK on the table.

All but sixteen of the figures needed the pikes adding which was OK as I have plenty of wire to snip and glue in place. These continue with the plan of putting all the figures on a single base for use with Hail Caesar which will make it far easier to move them around the table.

The shields have Little Big Man transfers on them costing £3.50 per sheet. I needed two sheets but that leaves me with enough spares to do a third unit which I will do at some point. Very fast service and low cost postage means I will be happy to use again.

The transfers went on with ease though I really need to improve on my placement as you can see from the photo's.

This unit has a mix of different helmets which with the varied positions of the pikes make them look a bit more interesting.

The second block has two different makes of figure and I have put the ones with cast pikes to the front as their shields are domed whilst the rear ranks have flat faced shields. The front rank could possibly be Essex but that is a guess.

With these two blocks I now have about three blocks more than I need. However as I have far more Persians than you would expect to see in a game it's possible for my extra blocks to be used in a monster game sometime. Of course I can always use more pike in a game and cut back on other troops.

With Joy of Six just around the corner I am starting to feel the need to make good progress on our display game for next year. As such I have the Cataphract's  on the painting table at the moment. I plan to get them done before the end of the month and either move onto some SYW or keep on  with the Ancients and get the five phalanx units I have in stock painted. I still need to buy more of these as well as plenty more figures before I have all the units required. With over 4600 unpainted figures in hand I am not exactly short of stock, just seems I have the wrong figures at the moment.

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Han Chinese Persian AAR

Over a month between posts! Well whilst painting has been on an all time low I have been playing games, just not recording them. Hopefully I will get back to normal and get posting again. I have a Saga game this week and a Black Powder game the week after if all goes well. I have even started to paint more regularly again with a couple of 15mm units finished this week just waiting to be photographed.

I have had a few games of Hail Caesar with Matt recently and another with Lee. My Persians have not done too badly so maybe I am starting to use them correctly? Probably the dice have had more to do with it with two games having molten dice. This then is the other game played against Matt.

The thing about the Persians is you get a lot for your money. A lot of low cost units that is. In the distance you can see the Han whilst I have enough troops to wrap round them if the terrain would allow.

On my left flank I send in hoplites and two units of levy bow infantry. These are facing Matts only mounted force so have to be careful, I do have one of three mounted brigades just to the left in the photo that should help some.

Only trouble being that they don't much like moving forward. Matt and his group have developed a few changes to the basic activation rules giving a bonus for units and formations over a certain distance. This usually means whilst at distance you can get a few moves a turn.

On the opposite flank I charge my cavalry into Chinese infantry. In Black Powder crossbows have a few restrictions and other bonus abilities a definite disadvantage is the inability to use closing fire. As such I charged some cavalry units in his infantry on his flank. This is risky as a roll of 6 can cause you a MC that low rolls can cause some nasty effects. Also the cavalry have a 50/50 chance of becoming disordered, in this case I got lucky.

I still had another cavalry division waiting the results of the first attack before being unleashed for a clean up attack. Or they failed to get any moves!!

Back on the other flank I try to bring the Chinese chariots into melee but Matt keeps dropping them back to allow his bow armed crews to cause casualties but I have good save rolls allowing them to continue to march forwards in the hope of finally catching them.

Matt sent his bow armed light cavalry up to my right hand cavalry division in an attempt to get me to charge and in the meantime push up my casualties. This was partially successful but my cavalry are armed with javelins so it's not all one way traffic.

The centre was for the most part rather quite as I struggled to move forward. My right hand cavalry has come back from a bruising round or two of melee and needs time to get sorted out.

Disaster for my hoplites as Matt gets a open flank to charge. He went on to destroy these and move on to the second unit destroying those as well. The first time Matt can remember such good fortune for his cavalry.

However in the middle I had the advantage and was just starting to force the two wings of his army apart.

On my right I had broken some units and now can both more troops most of which were in great shape and the ability to strike from a distance.

One of Matt's brigades on my right was broken and a second flanked and bent back. All the mounted units are mine in the image above with one retreating Chinese unit in the middle. My task here was to get the most forward cavalry behind the Chinese cutting off their retreat whilst bringing the rest around the flank and the infantry to close quarters and simply attack with whichever units are presented the Chinese rear.

We called it at this point, my cavalry had managed to not only charge home against Matt's infantry but won most of the melee rounds causing Matt's position to become impossible to hold.

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Persian Satrap Cavalry Part 2

The second post on my Persians is a little different. These are of course my 6mm Baccus Persians and these give me a total of eight units of Persian cavalry so enough to start thinking about playing games.

I went with mixed colours for these two units rather than mostly singular in colour. The usual 18 figures to a base to give them some mass effect.

Like their bigger brothers these were actually started during the challenge and were left with only the horses finished so it felt a bit of a drag finishing them but I was glad to finally get them finished up.

Die holders built in as I remembered to do it! These will be the last units painted for this army for awhile as I need to concentrate on my Seleucids. However some of the units will actually be used in the Persians as well so it's not all Seleucid. Nor will it all be Ancients as I still plan to blend in a few Napoleonic units from time to time.

I also finished off three command bases for the Persians. I will need more but I will also be using Greek sub-commanders as well.

This leaves me with eight 6mm figures needing finishing at some point started during the challenge. This will happen in the next month or so I guess if only to get them off the table. In the meantime I have started painting up some 15mm figures I had prepped for the painting challenge but did not get further with. A side effect of extra prep is that I have a number of units ready to paint though I will be working on others that still need prepping. Hopefully I will get more into painting again. This mornings painting certainly was enjoyable.

With that I should be back to normal on blogging, I have a few computer games to talk about so it won't just be figures etc.

Sunday, 7 May 2017

Persian Satrap Cavalry Part 1

OK almost a month between posts! Still sluggish from the Painting Challenge but my mojo is returning as I finish off the figures started during the challenge. It is  unusual for me not to paint from start to finish so having unfinished work for any amount of time is not the norm and I think has really hampered me in getting at them again. I just have a few bases of Greek command in 6mm to finish, something that should get done in a single session if I get down to it. However todays post is about some old Chariot Miniatures I bought over a year ago that I needed to buy four more figures to finish off. The next post will be more Persian Satraps but with a difference.

As mentioned I had to buy four more figures from Magister Militum to finish this unit as they hold the licence to make Chariot now. I have bought quite a few minis from MM and always really happy with the service. Anyways this finished unit will give me far more cavalry than I should expect to need for a game but if I ever want a massive game I at least have most of the troops I would need.

I went with a very basic paint job as I wanted to get them off the table so missed a few details I really should have dealt with.  However they will look fine on the table. As I plan to rebase all my old 15mm to the newer basing style these could be needed just to get a game in anyway.

In reality my Persian army should really not want for anything as I have far more units that I could expect to use though it does allow me to go horse heavy or infantry heavy however I decide to build an army for a game.

I have between two and three units of hoplites worth of figures left to paint (from the same Chariot purchase) so will get these done at some point. Meantime I have a couple of phalanxes with my name on and in 15mm too. After that I will get back into doing a couple of SYW units before getting on with the 6mm Seleucids.

Talking of which I was over at Lee's a couple of weeks ago where he pointed out that I had done my maths wrong. I have ordered the required four 96 figure phalanxes but in fact I missed another FIVE off so need to get even more. That will be just under 30 blocks for the game! We will be starting the rule playtests and scenario tests at the same time. Shame most of it will be just bases for the time being.

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Persian Chariots

I have done very little painting since the challenge finished and what I have done is not fully finished. You can blame a couple of new computer games and the kids being off school for the most part. Burnout from the challenge is far less a factor. As I am working the whole of the bank holiday don't expect things to improve by much.

I still have a couple of posts worth of challenge entries to write up so lets start with Darius King of Kings. Actually he will be used as other Persian commanders as Darius was brown bread by the time the Persians took on Alexander.

The model and the casualty are all from Baccus and comes as a three piece kit for the chariot as does the scythed chariots that follow. All were a bit of a pain to glue together.

Being the army C-in-C he gets a larger round base. This is normally done to show it is the overall commander but in this case it should be obvious. I have more Persian command on the table at the moment, just one of the bits started before the challenge finished.

Bought for my Persians these scythed chariots will also see game time with my Seleucids in the display game we will be doing next year. I have copied the crashing chariot I did in 15mm so very long ago.

These gave me the opportunity to use bright colours so I jumped at the chance. Not that my Persians are exactly dull.

I could not resist smashing one of them up. If the figure was removable I would have done something different with him.

My original plan was to have three chariots as a single unit but the width of the chariots made it impossible. I then swung over to each model is a unit but I am rethinking it to two models equal a unit. If I settle on this I will need a further three models. I doubt I will make a final decision until we have playtested a few games. The final choice will probably be down to how they play out and look in those games.

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

The Battle of Magnesia 190BC

As I have mentioned before, Lee and myself are planning on putting an Ancients battle at Joy of Six 2018 and we have finally selected the Battle of Magnesia between the Seleucid and Roman armies. I have used a OOB from the internet . This is a truly massive force so I have cut it down to a third of the size as offered there. This still gives Lee 50 units and 77 units!

Whilst Lee has just about all his units to paint I at least have just 31 Four of these will be phalanx units (yes I know I said 20, turns out I need 22). These are a mix of cavalry, mostly cataphract and light infantry so will not be an issue painting them in time.

Lee's Romans are obviously mostly infantry and the units will be a lot less figure heavy than mine, this is the spectacle I was looking for in a game. My massed phalanx eight deep with 96 figures a base fronting up to about 36 figures a base. With the phalanx making up just over 25% of my force they will be a focal point but not the whole battle.

I have also worked out what figures I still need to buy and it's just under £120 worth of castings. Lee I am assuming will have still more to buy so Baccus will be getting a visit at some point. Most of what I am buying can be used in other armies so will not be one shot wonders though just how much use they will get post game is uncertain.

As for Lee's well I guess it depends on how fast the game will play. If fast enough to get a large game played then they should all get out in future games, that is if we can paint up enough opposition outside the Seleucid armies.

Rather than make up a set of new boards we are thinking about battle mats, the battle took place at the turning of the year (could have been 189BC) so we are looking at semi arid. That will come later as we still need to work out the actual size of the table we will need. It should be smaller than the Waterloo game which ran to 16x6 feet. The only two natural features is the Hermos River that the Romans fixed their flank to and a hill behind the Seleucid positions that was fortified but could be left off the table if desired.

So not a massive amount of work for me to do with plenty of time to get it all done. Lee on the other hand has lots of painting to get done, ideally we will get the figures bought before Salute as that is when Baccus put up their prices. I will await Lee's reckoning before making a move.

We will have to start playtesting the battle at some point as we have to balance the larger Seleucid army against the fact that the Romans actually won the battle. The trick I think will be a few special scenario rules that will have to be used to make this more even. Firstly bow troops will be less effective than usual as the day started with poor visibility and was misty and damp that would have effected the effectiveness of the bows at least until the weather improved later in the day. Reducing the bows effectiveness will harm the Seleucids more than the Romans . Most of the other SSR's will probably be worked in to give the Romans advantages rather than take things from the Seleucids.

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

The Final Pike Down?

OK that was corny and not accurate as I still have a minimum of two more blocks to buy and paint. But during the challenge I painted up a total of eight blocks to give me eighteen in total.

You have seen enough of these to know the drill. However these are a little bit different as all eight ranks have the pikes raised for marching.

Two blocks have the Macedonian star whilst the other two are plain metallic finish on the shields and I have painted up two in blue tunics and two with red,

Long term I expect I will end up painting more of the marching posed blocks beyond the two I need for the original twenty block target. Even the two will probably wait as I turn my attention towards the other elements in the army, that and the Persians of course.

A close up of the backs of the figures, I find the rear detail more interesting than the front but I am a bit weird.

These are the eight blocks painted during the challenge. To put it in context, that's 32 standard Napoleonic bases worth! It would have helped getting down my lead mountain a great deal if I had not bought four of them for the challenge. But still it has brought down the pile to some extent.

That's all eighteen blocks, they look so tiny in this shot, total figures is a little over 1700 figures with 1700 little bristle pikes stuck in there hands. I can now see why you lot think I am mad LOL.

The whole army to this point. I need a fair amount of cavalry to add to ten or so units I already have. I have plenty of light infantry and horse archers but I still have a fair way to go. We are looking at next years Joy of Six to have enough ready for a big game. The battle is picked we just need to get the figures finished, the rules play tested and the scenario balanced enough for a game. See nothing much to do (goes off to cry a little)