Saka Light Cavalry

Saka Light Cavalry

Saturday, 31 December 2011

FoG Test Game

Well I finally got round to trying out the Field of Glory rules in a solo game. I felt that I had the basic combat rules in my head but realised I would have to go stage by sage for a few turns to get all the different sections to fit together. I wanted to have a fair mix and also make it worth my while I used seven Macedonian against 11 Persian and set up with the traditional cavalry on each flank, heavy foot in the centre with skirmish troops to the front. But a couple of points, first up I have yet to paint up any Command for the Macedonian so I used a Persian Command stand and EHC stand from the Persian Cavalry not used. I also have not painted up the one camp I have so I used no camps at all.

Another good point is that the table is not a gaming table so it was rather narrow and not long enough. Good enough to move a few units, no where near what would be required if I was playing a real game.

The pike start on the long hill flanked by the Cretans and the lightspear armed LC. My plan was to move the pike each and every move to try and get into contact. I should have used the double move on these guys but never thought of it during the game! It was great to get freshly painted units on the table.

Facing these I had two units of Hoplites with two skirmish units out front, slingers and Persian bow whilst a medium lightspear unit flanked them. Nothing new for the Persians other than rebasing, the only question was would the more experienced but worn Persians beat out the shinny shinny new guys?

The first physical contact was between my venerable Persian HC and the just painted Prodromoi LC armed with Lance. First they had to pass a complex test just to charge. This they did. I was really looking forward to seeing how these guys could stand against HC. On the plus they had lance but being lights they lost one die in two in the Impact Phase. The + status for Lance was not that great of a bonus when you loose 50% of your dice, especially when they loose that bonus due to having a lower armour class. In the system you have three kinds of combat. Shooting, obviously but also Impact where just the front row gets to fight and only those in direct contact, no overlaps here. Lastly if both units remain in contact then you have melee. Though in reality shooting is normally sandwiched between the two close combat phases.

I found that whilst the rules worked well and as you use the same mechanics for all three combat mechanics were lumped together that whilst learning the rules it meant that much searching was required. The page labels letting you know what rules are covered on that page and indeed in the coming/preceding pages was useful but would be even better if the index and rules were better organised. I would prefer to have 50 more pages and some duplication to the constant dead end reading. Better yet instead of the rather annoying, 'Discussed Later' would have been a page number reference to where you would follow on the rules. After all when you look up shooting and read the section called shooting would it not be normal to expect shooting mechanic's to at least feature in that section of the rules?

In fairness once you get your head around the fact that much of the book really is padding and that the rule mechanic's for all combat is really never in the section labeled as Impact, Shooting or Melee and is in fact in 'The Combat Mechanism' and the results of this are in 'Cohesion Test' life gets a little less cumbersome. The fact they separate these two sections with another chapter speaks volumes of why it would be better to play with an experienced player.

Whilst the Prodromoi was tussling with the HC I also charged in on the opposite (Persian right) flank Eastern LC and against normal play stood the Saka LC against them. Whilst the Prodromoi managed to hold out through good dice and would eventually be defeated by the addition of another HC unit the Saka was fairly quickly put to rout. OK it took a couple of turns but each combat saw them loose a base.

The Persian Crescent Shields faced off against the Thereophoroi whist both units of bow faced off. I was happy to stand back with the bow but as the Cretans were getting the worst of the engagement I sent them into contact as well. Both melee's worked out for the Macedonian force with the quality re-rolls working for the Cretans. It's a mechanic I like.

The view from the Persian hill as the Greek Hoplites await the mass pike phalanx. The slingers were having no effect on the pike whilst the Persian bow was starting to fail.

The Macedonian view of things. No way was the Greeks going to come looking for trouble.

So as to speed up the demise of the Persian bow the phalanx moves to support the Cretans and it was all over for them from there. Both sides had beaten opposing flanks and the Persians were losing the screening forces. I had already started to move the as yet untried Companion Lance armed Cavalry to face off against the two Persian HC units which would be supported by the reduced strength lightspear armed LC. I would possibly be able to throw in the Medium Infantry but this would leave the phalanx facing the two hoplite units with little support.

End of the game. It had taken 4+ hours and to be honest I was happy to finish here. Further reading of the rules will only show up mistakes in the use of the rules and allow for a better understanding of what to do. I have previously stated that I really want to like the rules as I have invested both money (rules and 2 army lists) and time (rebasing one army and building another) but whilst a few rules are not yet sitting right I already prefer them to the Impetus light. However with Barry now owning the full rules and list III I will get a chance to play the full version. Something that I am looking forward too. My gut feeling though is that when I play Barry I will play Impetus, even looking at putting together a army for it! But when I play Lee and Matt we will swop heads and play FoG. Impetus would have to be a marked improvement to FoG to get me to re-base again and at this point it would take a lot of convincing. Still with only one game of FoG and no full Impetus I could have my mind changed fairly quickly.

Now I need to get that 2nd Phalanx finished and onto a few command stands for the new boys.

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Cretan Archers and Prodromoi Are Go.

I have been rather fired up this past week or so with my Macedonian army. What with a possible game on the horizon and the painting competition I really wanted to get going. The rules of the contest were quite clear, to count the figures could not be painted before the 20th but could be cleaned and undercoated. Well I cleaned and sprayed 8 Prodromoi (LC with Lance) and 16 Cretans but I also cleaned up 32 Pike as well. I had already planned to paint the LC next but the ease and speed of the Cretans made me choose them as the second unit. I did feel that would be in with a good chance of leading the way with such a bunch, well dream on Ian as I was quickly enlightened by some truly good and fast painting. I think I am in 7th place and the leaders are so far ahead I don't think they need worry for a few weeks even if they stop painting!

Oh well, good job it still serves as a great vehicle to drive me on, like I really needed it.

I was expecting the Prodromoi to paint really quickly as they only have a helmet and tunics and cloaks are not the slowest items to paint. Well tunics with four colours on the chest and another colour on the sleeves are not the fastest either! I am not sure the final result was worth the effort though as it neither stands out nor really looks that great when you look for it.

What I did like though was the leopard skin on the horse, it was fun and fairly quick to do and for the most part looks effective. The pink helmets and lighter pink cloak and tunic are correct and I await Matt taking revenge on my calling his Companion Phalanx, 'Smurfs' all those years ago. Especially as they are on the painting table right now waiting for Farther Abraham to turn up.

The whole unit ready for action. The unit is a mix of two poses that are almost the same and work well together. I was intrigued by this unit as the idea of mixing LC and Lances was very interesting. It seems to only be used in one of all the Macedonian lists I have so will only get action when playing the Alexandrian Macedonian army. My daughter loves them as they are pink and keeps asking me if I like pink, oh the shame.

I struggled with what colour to paint the tunic's, white seems the new Vogue but I remember Matt's red ones with a very keen memory. I knew the red would stand out so went with the original plan. I painted them scarlet and when I added the wash this really came to light. You get 8 figures per pack and I really only needed 12 figures but painted up the whole lot as other lists may use them all and besides I needed the points.As a unit they look rather pleasing to my eye and I am 100% happy with the colour choice.

I used two different colours for the leather belts but they ended up looking fairly close to each other. If you look close you can tell but rather disappointing. More than making up for that though is the leather hats, these I mixed up the colour and they turned out exactly as I saw in my head, how often can you say that?

Now I have stated work on my second Phalanx which at 32 figures is much smaller than the 48 figure block but I already have the colours fixed in my head and I hope to get it finished in the next two weeks. Within that time frame I want to get the casualty markers I am also working on finished and based as well as the sniper markers for ASL. After that it will be more Sniper Markers, some Macedonian Command bases and more Lance armed Cavalry, this time a little heavier.

Monday, 26 December 2011

Christmas Spirit

Well I hope you all had a great Christmas Day and gave and received presents that went down well. I tend to supply a list of what I want, or as often is the case I order the stuff myself as it's so specialised and as you will know it does matter if it's not quite the right item, be it figures or other games stock.

Well this year it was all about the kids as I lost my job in July then found out two months later it had literally saved my life as I have a genetics issue that was going to kill me and work nicely masked it. The only problem with this is it meant no work for me for 6-12 months due to the advanced state of the ISSUE. This means money is on the tight side so no presents for us. As the big day got closer and we worked out the kids were sorted and we had a little left over we decided to splash each other. Well to late to get my normal candy (ASL stuff) and really not much I needed in the way of hobby stuff this became the first Christmas in years that I did not get anything remotely war related on the day. I did get some rather nice Precision dice for ASL from a good friend Olli who sent them through early in the month which was a real treat. This got me thinking just how great this hobby of ours is. At this point I am talking of the wider hobby, I think when the chips are down for one guy others pick up the slack but when you go deep, in this case Olli and the ASL community which is a sub group it goes even deeper. When I mentioned I could not get to a four day games convention next year (I have gone for the last three years) Olli quickly got enough guys together to pay for the hotel, entry and food for the full weekend and a lift to and from Blackpool (I live in the Midlands), hell he was fairly confident they could have payed for me to get to ASLOK (In the US), very heart warming, though in this case I can't accept as it is doubtful I would be fit to make much of it, but hell that was nice!

So when an old friend contacted me having heard I was ill and we got chatting I mentioned that about the only thing I can do without falling asleep or making myself very tired was painting figures he did no more than search out his old and long given up on project, that is a rather large Seleucid army and brought it over last weekend.

Given that at the rate I have been painting I should run out of figures sometime around March, this is just plain fantastic. Well the main objective is to improve me waking day (painting also makes me more alert and if I feel really busted if I can get myself to paint it brings me back into reasonable shape. My consultant (an ex-roleplayer/painter) recons it's because your brain uses various areas of the brain. If I sit and read I am asleep in 15 minutes and wake up wicked. Anyways I thought great I can paint them for him and he can have them back to sell or whatever.

Well Martin really is not interested, just happy for me to have them and when I have painted them I could sell or keep. Well in all honesty it would allow me a massive force choice. I already have 2/3rd of the pike I needed for the current project. Well I have more than enough but I have 2/3rd's of the MAXIMUM is what I have! But other armies allow even more so now I will have enough Pike to do anything. The extra Companion Cav will bring me up to speed and this box is packed with Cataphracts, a mix of painted and unpainted. In fact most of the stuff is unpainted and some will

need to be cleaned and started again as they are part painted and it would be hard to d in my style. Others just need finishing off or re-basing.
It's a big army, the pics don't really do justice but for instance it has 6 Indian Elephants and 10 camels. I think I counted 96 pike. Looking at the FoG list which are not known for frugal figure counts I would not need to buy many figures to max out this army. I guess when Triples comes round it will be all terrain and 6mm Naps

So a big thank you to Martin and watch this space for seeing these guys started. I don't plan to touch them until I have a playable Macedonian

army done. But the other surprise was another 15mm army in the bottom of the box, this one is a Orc and Goblin army!!! well I counted about 400 15mm Ancients and the Fantasy army must ring in about 300 so that is a lot of lead and enough to keep me going to way past Derby. All in all a good catch. I also have a few other projects I have promised to do so no worries.

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Crash Bang Whallop

I painted these figures over twenty years ago and I am still rather proud of them. (That is apart from the one on the right as this was painted two weeks ago). I wanted to add an extra twist to the bases so did a number of casualties. The left most is starting to fall whilst the guy next to him I simply cut the bow from his hand and bent it up to his head. The third conversion also needed a little more work. Folding the front legs back and leaning the horse forwards made the rider seem to pitch forward so I cut the axe out of his hand and again mover the arm forwards towards the reins s it looks like he is trying to grab for them whilst his axe is hanging in the air behind him in it's fall to the floor. I was very happy with that.

Close up of the action. As I was rebasing I took the opportunity to gather these figures together in two bases and used some of the tuft's again. Now these figures are veterans that have seen many a game. It's been a lot of fun pulling them out, touching them up and rebasing them. I just hope they can be as annoying under FoG as they were under 6th.

Close up final shot. I even remember painting these guys, at the time it seemed like I spent forever on them and as each figure was painted separately it took much longer than a series of the same figures. Been great to share these with you, new stuff will follow just as soon as they are based and the 24 hour delay is up. Look for sometime soon after Christmas Day.

Friday, 23 December 2011

Armies on the March

These are the last figures I painted before the Challenge began on the 20th. I just did not get the chance to set them up for Cath to do her stuff. First up are the Macedonian Companion Cavalry. I had a total of twelve of these fellows when I started painting them and now have another twelve that I will try to match up some time after painting up the figures I have lined up already. I have also started to try out the Tufts, these are The Army Painter Swamp Tuft and whist £4 a pack seems expensive you can get a lot out of a pack.

The figures are Chariot, supplied by Magister Militum in 15mm, this has always been my favorite supplier as by and large they are well detailed and fairly free from flash. Some of the more recent though have not been as fresh but still good. The problem with zooming in like this is that they look like they are holding telegraph poles.

All twelve with slimmer looking lances and with the flash the colours come out more true. These as before are based to Field of Glory so are 3 figures to a base. I have 4 bases out of a possible 6 in the standard army but the rest will come into use in the other Successor armies. I also have waiting their turn the Agema and have finished waiting final touches the Prodromoi light cavalry with lance that I really want to get on to the table top.
So what could possibly stand up against these? Well when I paint something new I have been rebasing something old, so here is the Persian HC.

These will sit along side about the same again so it's fair to say that at this point the Companions are a little outnumbered.
Anyone having read other recent posts will also be aware that I was painting up some new Saka and Skythian light cavalry. These were shown off unbased recently but have been also based up. Seems they know a good thing when they see it and have joined the Persians.

Not to bad, the twelve new Saka have been added to the previous figures and the whole lot had a bit of a spruce up. I now have more Skythian bow armed cavalry than I will be able to use in any list except the Parthian which is already taken. Maybe I will sell off the extra once I am all sorted for what I will need, especially as well errrrr, you see............ I have been given yet more of them! More on that in a later post but lets just say I have enough Pike for any Macedonian army.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

The Works

Just a quick heads up for UK based (or visiting) boardgamers. The Works who are a discount bookshop have up for sale 20 or so different titles of games from Rio Grande and Queens Games all of which are £7.99 each. The games range from War of the Ring:The Dual (yes LotR's) two player to the large Euro's any one who have seen Rio Grande will recognise. Now these games are not the El Grande etc. end of their catalogue but some of them have good scores on BoardgameGeek so it's worth checking them out. They also have them on sale on their website but the range is much smaller.

I Picked up a couple, one for the kids and the other for the wife and plan to raid them again after Christmas as Cath would not buy me one.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Saka Horse Archers

I wanted to show off the 12 Saka 15mm horse archers that I finished painting last night. I could not wait till after they have been based as they are being mixed in with 22 other mixed horse archers which gives the battle groups a more irregular feel. Once based I will throw some more pics on as well as pics of the Persian HC that I have rebased and the Agema HC that I finished painting last week. No more painting for me till the 20th though, no Sir, until then it will be clean and spray, clean and spray.
I really like the pose and I think these are Museum Miniatures but in honesty I am not sure as I picked them up off e-bay a couple of weeks ago as I was short by two figures for the maximum. A few casting issues between them though. About half of them are missing the end of their feet (one and sometimes both) whilst two figures have a gap in the bow, a real shame when the figures overall are really good, maybe this was the reason for selling them.

Each figure is painted different which added a little to the time but not as much as expected. One thing I missed until half way through painting is the lack of reins which was a surprise. Still it was one less bit to paint right at the end. I blue tack my figures to bottle tops to aid painting, some 6mm go on lolly sticks. The kids step up to the challenge when ever I need either.

Another close shot and to be honest they do look better a little further away, but not to shoddy. These are now glued to their bases and awaiting the first stage of flocking.

Last close up, this time the other side of the figure, no side arm on these guys and the main difference between them and the others is the rug rather than cloth to sit on. These really add to the mix I have and are in the top three of 6 or more poses I have within the group. Looking forward to finishing them and getting them all snapped. I still plan to continue rebasing the Persians each time I come to base up a Macedonian unit as I have loads yet to do but already I have way more than the basic army done. Over the next week I hope to get a practice game in, my game with Barry has been postponed and Christmas will get in the way of some opportunities but at some point I will get these and others on a table. I have a game with Matt over the holiday period booked, just need a day but not what we will play as yet. Watch out for the next lot of pics!

Of Mice and men

OK OK I stole the title, but it does seem kind of right. Blog hopping as I do I found on one of my favorite blogs details of a painting competition I could enter and not only that but possibly hold my head high. No not a contest you have to be blind to join but one that is not based on quality of painting but amount you paint! Whilst I am not too shabby with my painting I am not in the league of some of the guys who run blogs so this contest was of interest. With a little digging I son wound that a friendly rivalry was going between not just this great blog I follow but another I really like as well. Great, I can have some of that! So over I go to the blog Analogue-Hobbies to check it out only to find it in the process of accepting the last entry. A quick sign up attempt and e-mail to confirm interest and lucky me I got in (20th entry). Well one more guy from Spain got in behind me so now we have 21 and that will be it.

The idea is that we have to paint as many figures as possible between 20th December and 20th March with points assigned based on size and a little fudging by the Judge for any reason he feels apply, which is reasonable enough given the shenanigans we wargamers are known for. Also we have to paint one of his figures for him, in this case a viking which I will look forward to doing for sure. The rules are fairly straight forward, figures can be cleaned and primed but no painting should have been started and have to be finished, that is based to count. We just send in a pic or three as we complete our figures and basically rib each other silly (well that's my plan). So since the joining I have been painting myself silly, after all I was about half way into 12 Saka horse archers and have 34 to base as well as a few Persian HC, well these are now all painted and the start of basing has been done. This time tomorrow they will be done and dusted.

Good Luck to my opponents and I am sure when the paint settles we will have all had the most fun and nearly as important a few more figures painted than otherwise.

Friday, 9 December 2011

Field of Glory go Napoleonic

Osprey/Slitherine will be releasing a set of Napoleonic rules to compliment their Ancients and Renaissance sets. These will be released in March of next year (in time for me Birthday). I could not get much from the website but it will use Battle Groups and mentions correct formations so I assume it will really be more directed at 15mm and larger, possibly 10mm but not block based 6mm. It will be interesting to see what comes from these rules and how they differ from The Ancients, but then again I have yet to get the Renaissance rules for my ECW army and don't feel any rush, first I need to get the Ancients down.

The rules are listed at £25 and can be pre-ordered via the Osprey Website.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

The Battle of Foz d'Arouce, Preview.

Newstead Abby May 2011

The French under Ney, are being forced out of Portugal by Wellington's combined Anglo-Portuguese army. Late in the afternoon Wellington caught up with Ney as he was trying to get his army over the Rio Ceira at a small town of Foz d'Arouce. Normally this could be done via the bridge and the ford but due to the heavy rain the use of the ford is only possible by the Cavalry.

The French are drawn up ready to fight it out but are outnumbered and several regiments are already disorganised and have taken a pounding in the retreat so their combat effectiveness has been reduced. I as Nay will have to try and balance force preservation with the ability to hold the west bank of the river. Night is not far off but I am not sure this will be much help once battle is joined. Wellington (Barry) will try and drive my troops into the river smashing my force as I try to have one foot on either side of the river. Already outnumbered this really does no seem the smart thing to do but I am told this was not Nay's brightest day.

Rather than the normal fight till you destroy your opponents army, this battle can be won by the side taking the hardest pounding if they play it right and go after Victory Points.

These are:-

Each side gets

2 VP's for an enemy unit routed off board

2VP for control of the farm of Poisao,

2VP for control of the town of Foz d'Arouce

2VP for controlling the ford

2VP for controlling the bridge

The French

1VP for each unit on the at start side of the river.


5VP no French on the at start side of the river

5VP for each Allied unit on the opposite back of the river.

A nice set of conflicting VP's that rather force the French players hand and make him at least stand and fight for part of the battle. The scenario idea is lifted from the board game Fuentes De Onoro 1811 and is the first scenario from the game. It comes with 3 battles (about 6-7 scenarios) over three maps. I choose this one as it's the smallest and seems easy to port across. The boardgame is produced by the French Company VaeVictis in both English and French and the company have a solid reputation. The game is next week so you won't have to wait too long for the result. Polemos rules will be used for the game itself so these get another airing.

Sunday, 4 December 2011

French Dragoons Enter The Battle

I like many have a tendency not to like painting horses and 6mm horses are no better, well were no better. Seems the time since I last painted horses and now I have grown to not really worry about it. Better still when it came to painting these guys I actually enjoyed it, possibly the time pressure being much reduced and the expectation of using them in a coming game have all added to the fun, whatever I have to say I enjoyed painting these and have 2 regiments of Hussars on the table waiting their turn. Above is the 19th Dragoons all ready for action

The figures are 4 Regiments of Baccus and 2 of Irregular Miniatures I had left over. I will compare them towards the end of the post.

All six regiments lined up on a hill awaiting orders to fight their first battle. Until now all I had finished was the five Hussars and six Lancer units, still got to paint up the Cuirassiers and for these I have 4 each of Baccus and Irregular so they are some way back on the list as in a pinch I can use some of the Prussians if really forced.

Two of the Baccus Regiments, the 19th and the 28th Dragons. I have painted the collars, turnbacks and rolls (over the ammunition boxes to the rear of the saddle) to fit specific Regiments. France had rather a lot of these Regiments so I have plenty to go at when I expand further.

The 23rd managed to get in the frame twice, this time sharing with the 13th. The 23rd is one of the two Irregular units.

Now the 23rd share the stage with the 30th, both Irregular which means the only time the 7th gets in on the photo shoot is the compare pics below, oh well at least they will get Battle shots.

Compare the Dragoon.Com. On the left we have the Irregular and the right Baccus. The Baccus are to start off slightly larger and more filled out figure which helps to give more detail to the figure. Also what needs mentioning the Irregular are somewhat old castings I have had for 15+ years whilst the Baccus were probably cast in the last few months. This in fact favours the Irregular because their molds unless replaced in the last few years were showing their age and I know at least one guy who has taken figures back to them after buying them at a con due to the heavy flash and poor detail. Still £ for £ they are really a great price but even looking at the price of Baccus since the price rise they are a fair price for what you get.

The Irregular being on a base of 4 figures facing forwards means both the sculpting and painting options are reduced. The feet of Irregular horses are all joined together whilst the Baccus are 4 legged creatures and what's more they stand on their own 4 feet! This also means that when basing they are nice and regimental, lovely straight lines and all. Great if that's what you want, not so good if you like a more realistic wave line. Talking of Regimental, the lack of any pose other than musket raised leaves me a little cold. No Trumpeter, no Officer, no character and that's where they really start to lag behind for me. Then add the extra detail of Baccus (some of the detail on the Irregular is painted on where it is obvious on the Baccus figure forcing you to include it. It was a joy to paint them, glad I don't have 20+ regiments to paint at a time as they really do demand the attention and pay you back in spades for the effort.

So is it worth the extra money for Baccus? Yes on almost every level is my answer. Sure if you are starting out and you get the better cast Irregular it's a start and can help decide if 6mm Naps is for you. Painted weel like my Prussians then really they are as good as you will ever need, but not as good as you may ever want. Of course if you can start with a small force and work your way up I would say skip Irregular as you may well find yourself replacing what you have spent the time and money painting, whats more don't expect a good return on selling them as most are on the Baccus wagon and those that are not are as much Adler as any other.

More from Mr Postman and other stuff.

I bid and won a couple more E-Bay lots. These are a pair of Heroics and Ross wagons in 6mm for my Naps which are under the rules I am using at the moment are no more than battlefield furniture but were such a bargain I just had to go for it. These are already undercoated and if I had not already painted a bunch of horses would have been done straight away, but they remain on the painting table so may jump the cue yet.

The other item I bid and won was 12 Saka 15mm Horse Archers that I got for a little over the price of one pack. These are great looking miniatures. I needed just two more figures to complete my Persian LC allowance and as I have just de-based the rest of them ready for conversion to FoG I will paint all 12 up and mix in these figures with the rest giving me a yet more varied group. This is great as I already have about 6 different figures and with a few conversions already in place I will have 10 different poses over 24 figures. This will leave me with 5 bases more than I need which I will hold onto for now but possibly sell on or trade them off for other unpainted led.

E-Bay. Well the slingers were watched by 6 guys but none of them bid on them so they go to the back of the cupboard until the next convention and may well try to get rid on the bring and buy, shame as at £7 starting bid I had hopes to off load, anyone want them for that, just get in touch.

Met a couple of friends yesterday in London, one on his way back home to Australia, he very nicely gave me a Napoleonic board game that he picked up in Paris. Not only does it look a good game that I will try out in the coming weeks but I have to come up with a scenario for my Naps game with Barry and this game may well supply some inspiration for the game. Double value that one.