They’re Just Skirmishers!

Well my first unit of sling-armed Elephant Runners for my Seleucid Army are now finished.  I guess I am putting more work into them then I have done for models in a long time and I am really enjoying it.  I picked a pretty drab color palate for these 14 models so they can be used as either general skirmishers or levy in the future.  Frankly, 3 level highlighting on brown is rather boring.  These are a mixture of Aventine slingers and stone-throwers.  But here they are for you inspection!

SK1SK2SK4SK5

Bolt Action Germans for Enfilade!

Armies-of-Germany-cover-600x775Well, Enfilade is only 5 months away and I am going to have to paint my own army.  I have played both Germans and Americans which have been borrowed from a buddy.  Now I have to get my own army painted.  While my ultimate goal will be to have at least 2 armies, I think I am going to start with Germans.  More exactly, Panzer Grenadiers.  While I don’t have much time to paint until I get back from England, this is the 1000 points I am planning on going with as a starting point (for tournaments and such).

HQ- First Lieutenant & 2 men (V) = 116

Squad #1- 10 Veteran Grenadiers (V) with 1 LMG, 2 SMG & 4 Assault Rifles = 176

Squad #1- 10 Veteran Grenadiers (V) with 1 LMG, 2 SMG & 4 Assault Rifles = 176

Panzer IV Ausf G (V) with Schurzen = 292

SDKFZ 251 Half-Track (V) with rear mounted MMG = 122

Opel Blitz Truck (V) with forward pintle-mounted MMG = 62

Kubelwagen (V) with forward pintle-mounted MMG = 40

Total = 984

Hellenistic War Elephant…One Down!

As I put the final finishing touches on the two crewman for this beast, I thought I would post up a couple of quick pictures to let you see the finished product.  The crew and howdah are actually separate and can be secured with rare earth magnets.  I pinned the mahout in place, so he is now a permanent part of the model.   Well here it is…let me know what you think.

HEF01 HEF02 HEF03

Hellenistic War Elephant (WIP)

HE01 HE02Well, the painting continues for the WAB GT.  I have spent the last couple of days working on this Seleucid Elephant for my army.  I am pretty happy with how it looks thus far.   I hope to publish photos of it when the base, mahout and tower with crew are all done.  Hopefully I can wrap it all up by this weekend.  This elephant is from Aventine (ELH004) and is exactly how is came out of the box (no modifications).  I had to do very little in the way of trimming and sanding, so I am very pleased about that.

Well, back to the painting.

Hellenestic Archers (unit of 10).

Well, my painting is going slowly but I must admit that over all I am happy with the results thus far.  The vibrant color of the later Hellenistic and Successor armies have always been more time consuming to paint (at least for this painter).  All figures are from Aventine Miniatures.

So I got this unit of Neo-Cretans done today.  It was nearly a week long process, aided by some short-cuts.  I started from a white primer and then used Army Painter (AP) Crystal Blue for my base coat.  I then inked the models with P3 blue ink and set about applying skin tones (AP Barbarian Flesh) and weapons/armor (AP Leather Brown and Plate Mail). The bows were painted with AP Bleached Bone and all the areas that weren’t blue were given a wash with AP Soft Tone ink.  I must admit I am very happy with the results.  Only a few light lights of flesh and weapons were added.  The original Crystal Blue was applied to the first shading effect, and then a 50% Crystal Blue to  50% AP Matte White was mixed as a final highlight.  The bases were done with AP Oak Brown over Woodland Scenic’s Fine Bassalt with a light dry brush of Bleached Bone.  Citadel (GW) tuffed were added as a finishing effect.  The models were sealed with Testor’s Dullcote.

In retrospect and product review, I am happy with the AP Inks.  They performed very well and I will be buying them again.  I don’t think I would use them over pastel colors as they would mute them, which I did do initially on one test model.  The P3 Blue Ink worked well and the Testor’s and Woodland Scenic’s stuff is already a tried and tested standard on my work-table.  the only negative note was the GW tuff grass.  The individual tufts did look good, but the white glue (used as a base) was visible in places after application and was not malleable, meaning it didn’t conform to the bases very well.  Well, here they are for your honest review.

Hellas1Hellas2Hellas3Hellas4

SAGA Warband: Byzantines

Well, I have been immersed in SAGA for the past couple of weeks and have been working on a couple of warbands; Welsh and Vikings.  In part, I want to do something different and since I already have a partially completed Byzantine Army (from the previous WAB- NHMGS Dark Ages Campaign), I have decided to push through and get a Byzantine Warband done for SAGA.  With no official list published, I went to the SAGA Forums and read up on the experimental list by A. Hughes and it is available at his blog site.

So, I had to decide what I wanted my 6 point warband to look like.  I wanted to stick with a elite cavalry force with good infantry.  So I put 3 points into hearthguard in the form of Khataphracts and end up with 12 models which I will organize into 2 units of 6 models each.  Not really wanting to take levies (psiloi), I spent another 3 points on warriors; 10 will be bowmen and 2 units of 7 skoutatoi or spearmen.

I just want to thank A. Hughes for putting the list and battleboard together and the guys from the SAGA Forums for making it available and encouraging the community to put their own 2 cents in.  I am really looking forward to getting some games of SAGA in with this warband (pictures to follow).
10/18/2012…

Just got a copy of the SAGA Byzantines faction which will be released in Wargames Illustrated’s November issue.  It was very close, but I will be taking the option which allows for one of my mounted hearthguard units to have bows.  This should be awesome!

Army Pre-Production – Help

Well, just wanted to a take a quick second and talk about my thoughts on how to plan an army for wargaming.  As most of you know I am a big fan of both Warhammer Ancient Battles (WAB) and Clash of Empires (COE) for my 28mm wargaming.

A few weeks ago I was asked how to plan out an army for wargaming by a somewhat novice friend of mine.  If he would have asked me this question 10 years ago, I probably would have answered the questions this way, “Put together a killer list, you want something that will punch your opponent in the face!”  If I was asked about painting, I would have shrugged my shoulders and said something just as ambivalent, “Just paint them anyway you want, it really doesn’t matter, they are your figs.”  The sad truth is that I was more interested in winning, than wargaming in antiquity (I am a recovering WAAC  WHFB player).

I now officially repent if you knew me before 10 years ago.

So, I was recently asked what I do to plan an army.  Well my short answer would look like this; research, read & mentally picture your army in advance.  While some die-hard historians will deride many of the books published from Osprey, this is a good place to start for the average (non-historian) wargamer.  These books typically have good overviews of history, tactics and some major battles fought by the army you are interested in.  The books can be kind of pricey, so get them from e-bay whenever you can.  In addition to fairly detailed narratives, the books do have many color plates and depictions of ancient warriors, weapons and armor.  Several of these books contain magnificent images by Angus McBride, which is just a bonus!

So I review the material from books and the internet and put together a list which represents the army as it was composed in history.  Now, I will give you the following caveat, make sure you understand the game mechanics also.  A balanced army which is well painted in an accurate color pallet and historical composition will generally serve you well and be of great enjoyment to you and your opponent.

Empires at Sea Battle Report- Athens vs. Persia

Well, today as part of the NHMGS Friday Truants, myself and Dean Motoyama met at the Game Matrix in Tacoma to play a game of Empires at Sea, a home-grown set of rules which I have posted on the WAB Forums for free use to the historical wargaming community.  You can download the rules here.

Well, in small point game (500 points each side), Dean and I put our fleets to the test.  We decided to play a pitched battle and as general of the Athenian fleet I won initiative and chose to deployed my forces first.  So during turn one, I try to maneuver one of my squadrons in between the 2 reefs (depicted in gray).

Turn One
Deployment

At the beginning of turn two it appears Dean isn’t going to allow me to minimize the advantage of his greater numbers.  All three of his squadrons pass their ‘get your back into it’ checks and the fleets close in on each other. At the beginning of turn three,  I position two of my squadrons in order to engage the Persians with missile fire, which proves totally ineffective.

Turn Two
Athenian Missile Fire Proves Ineffective

In his turn three, Dean engages the squadron containing my Fleet Commander and manages to destroy him.  In return, I destroy one of his triremes and damage another one.  With the loss of my Fleet Commander I find myself on my heels.  I was very happy we weren’t playing the grudge match scenario of Dean would of already had the game in the bag.  So as I reel from the punishment on my right flank, my left appears to be doing very well.  I still have a chance to pull this off and obtain victory.

Turn Three
Victory On The Left Flank

In turn four, with all but two of my vessels destroyed on the right flank, the squadron fails it’s moral check and turns tail to run!  In turn five, my quadrireme runs aground but survives and remains in action.   Almost by fate, Dean attempts to disengage and both of my remaining squadrons move in for the kill.   During turn six and seven, I begin chasing Deans routing vessels and he repays the favor in kind.

Still hope for victory on the left flank
Athenians Flee on the right flank

As I look at the reminants of my fleet, I realize that in order to have any chance of winning I must destroy at least three more of Dean’s vessels.  The Persians pursues the squadron on the right flank off the table (below).  So I engage one of his fleeing quadriremes and a trireme, destroying the trireme, but nothing else.  During his final turn, Dean ensures to protect his vessels and again rolls very well to repeal the continuing boarding action with his resilient quadrireme.

Well, the final score was 20 points for the Persians and 16 for the Athenians.  Dean pulls off a solid victory.   Congratulations Dean!