Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Macedonian Pike Unit for Basic Impetus

Hi Guys

Continuing the project of painting up my Alexandrian Macedonians for Basic Impetus, I got the first unit of pike finished. There will be two units of pike for this army, and a third done to cover some of the successor lists. Once I am done with the figures I have, I will need to add so cataphracts for the later Selucid list. I love these pike figures, they are easy to paint, and the pike has 4 points of conact with the model so is very secure. Both the models and the pikes, which are sold seperately, are from Black hat models. The pike wire fits to the models hand perfectly and is surprising strong for such narrow wire. The head is well shaped as a spear point and not just a pointy bit on the end. They are also bloody sharp, and I have a thumb like a tea bag after not watching what I was doing while picking up the next figure to paint. I have all the pike I need to do a successor list, but as they mostly fought each other, I can see this army mutate until it can field two successor lists so they can fight each other. This could be a project for next year, as the next army I hope to do for ancients is an Indian army to face Alexander. They could also face my Late Achemenid Persian army, which could be an interesting fight with lots of colour.

I have to get transfers for the shields, as my hand painting isnt up to scratch

The pike heads show up well in this shot.

The Command stand

In column formation.

Next up is the unit of Prodromi. They are half painted so far. It looks strange to have light horse equipped with pikes and they could be awkward to line up as a unit without poking the figures in front.

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Tarantine Light Horse

Here is another unit for Impetus. I picked them up with the Macedonian figures and will be used with them for Pyrrhus and for Selucid armies. They will probably be pressed into service as later Thracian Light horse for my Romans, especially if the Numidian Light horse is in use. These figures are from Magister Militum, they are single piece casts. At first I thought they were all in a single pose, but there is slight differences with the riders and more variation with the horses, mainly in head position as if they have been made to turn. Very clean models with crisp detail and no flash.

I am fairly pleased with the paintjob, but the shield patterns are less than what I would like. My first attempt at taking pictures outside, as it is a rare sunny day here. Better than using a flash but the shadows are a bit severe.

Next up is the start of the Macedonian pikes. I have started painting them up, and although the wire pikes I got from Black Hat look really good, I have serveral holes in my hands and forearms like a heroin user. There is nothing like stabbing yourself with a base of pike and jerking your arm back, launching the nearly finished figures across the room, Noooooooooo crunch.    :(


Friday, 17 August 2012

Where are my Eyebrows ?

We had a game of Dystopian wars last night. They are an unusual set of VSF rules which cover naval,aerial and land fights simultaneously. We have yet to try land combat, but started with the naval starter sets and added some aerial units for a little variety. Last night we played to 1000pts, with my usual gaming oponent, Ed using his British fleet while I used my Prussians. We normally use a few islands as it breaks up line of sight and forces more challenges for placement and manoevering.

The British fleet deployed

The Prussian fleet

Prussians converge on the British aerial flagship

Congested air space

Where did my airship go ?
We played for about 3 hours, with time lost making tea and talking. There were some quality moments, such as my battleship running into a strength  5 mine, Ed rolled one 6, and continued to roll 6's until my BB had taked a crit and was now on fire. Towards the end of the game, most of my heavier units had started to converge on Eds aerial battleship, it was damaged and I was desperate to try to bring it down. My two aerial crusiers came up behind it to engage at close range but had little effect. Ed closed with his flying aircraft carrier and shot at my two smaller airships. He scored a critical on the nearer one and rolled a double 1, a magazine explosion.This has a blast radius and all the nearby flying units were in range. The resulting fireball caused a crit on my other aerial cruiser, wrecking the engines. It caused damage on the flying aircraft carrier that fired the shot, my heavy airship and nearly caused a crit on Eds own flagship. We timed out at this stage, there was still plenty of fight left in the Prussians but the tide of battle was in Eds favour so we called it a minor victory for him. 1000 points was probably a bit ambitious given the amount of time we had to play in, so we figure on going for about 750 next time and try to play to a conclusion.


Tuesday, 14 August 2012


I finished another  15mm unit today, skythian horse archers. They are incredibly useful unit, being a part of many ancient armies, Persian, Greek, Macedonian as well as a variety of others. Theses figures are from Magister Militum, very nice single cast models, very crisp with plenty of detail, but unfortuneately just one pose. These are intended to serve primarily with the Alexandrian Imperial list for Basic Impetus, but will be used as generic horse archers with plenty of lists.

The quivers were quite detailed but one feature of these models that surprised me was each figure had three severed heads tied over the saddle. I didnt know the skythians took heads, but there you go. The red on the hoods were a bit dodgy. I didnt want them all to have various shades of off-white to light brown, but I didnt want them to look like Noddy either.


Here is the next unit for the Alexandrian Macedonian army, the Hypaspists. These are modelled with spears rather than pikes. The pack size meant I ended up with 6 bases worth, when I only need 4 for Impetus.
All 6 stands from the front

Two views from the side to show the colours of the troopers

The command stand with the heroic unit leader.

The pattern on the shields and banner is a wonky handpainted attempt at a star. This is only a temporary job until I get some transfers with a proper Macedonian star, but will do to give the idea, as long as you look from far away, in poor light, with your glasses off....

Friday, 10 August 2012

Basic Impetus- Greeks Vs Persians

I played two very good games of Basic Impetus last night against Ed. We used the standard rules but allowed light horse and skirmishers to flee from an enemy charge if they had no impetus rating.

For the first game, I had the Early achaemenid Persians, with 2 units of medium cavalry, 2 units light cavalry with bows, 1 unit of Immortals, 2 units of sparabara, 2 units of skirmishers and 2 units of heavy foot levies, who were absolute dross. The general was with one of the medium cavalry .

2CL12311composite bow B - Skytians or Bactrians
1T6523short bow A - Immortals
2T6412short bow A - Sparabara
2S8201short bow B

The Early Persian army list for Basic Impetus

Ed had the Asiatic city state Greeks. He had 1 unit of medium cavalry, 1 unit of light cavalry, 5 units of heavy foot hoplites and 2 units of skirmishers with bows. The General was with one of the hoplite units.

5FP(*)5523long spear
2S8201short bow B, sling or javelin

The Asiatic Greek city state army list for Basic Impetus

We rolled for attacker and it was the Persians who attacked. The Greeks set up the terrain, and then deployed first. The board looked like this

The first turn was a general advance on both sides, but the Greek cavalry stay out of harms way ( officially he called them a reserve, but they were too valuable to risk near the enemy as they couldn't fight their way through a fog...)

End of turn 1

Turn 2, The Greeks won initiative and advanced forward, the Persians advancing slightly on the flanks, holding in the centre. The Immortals fired at long range at the hoplites in front of them, causing some disruption, but no hits.

End of Turn 2.

Turn 3, Persian won initiative and sent another few volleys towards the Greeks, causing more distruption, but no damage.

End of Turn 3
Turn 4, Initiative to the Persians, some advancing by the Greeks and much shape throwing on either sides but little damage caused on either side.
End of Turn 4

Turn 5. Greeks win initiative and run amok. His hoplites on his right flank drive off my Light horse and his generals hoplite unit charges my cavalry causing some damage. My light horse on the right charge his general, a desperate move to try to take pressure off the cavalry unit currently being perferated by Greek spears. The light horse gets slapped soundly and is sent fleeing back. In the melee between the spears and the medium cavalry, the persians are driven back again but the Greeks cannot maintain contact. The Immortals give the Greeks a volley ( rolled a double 6!) and they fluff their hit test, taking 3 points of damage and look very shaky.

End of Turn 5
Turn 6. The Persians win initiative but their bowfire is ineffective. The Greeks move forward again. The hoplites on the Greek right charge the levy in from of them. The levy act like speed bumps, slowing the Greeks for a moment before being driven over. The Greek general charges the damaged Persian cavalry to his front, driving them back again with more damage.

End of Turn 6

Turn 7, The Persians win the initiative and the Immortals destroy the hoplites in front of them with another heavy volley. That is the high point of turn 7 for the persians. The hoplites on the Greek right charge the sparabara in front of them. The Greek general charges the shattered Persian cavalry and finishes them off. The Greek light horse charges and drives back the Persian light horse on my right. Things are looking back for the Persians.....

End of Turn 7

Turn 8. Greeks take the initiative  ( again :(  ). His light horse charges my skirmishers who flee. His light horse then contacts my light horse, driving them from the board. His pursuit took his light horse into the back of my fleeing skirmishers with predictable results. The Persians are now very close to breaking. His hoplites charge the Sparabara unit, driving them back with 3 points of damage to their VBU. My Immortals wheel to their right to threaten the flank of the hoplites while my general on my right wheels towards the Greek general.

End of Turn 8

Turn 9. Greeks take the initiative but cause little damage. My Immortals charge the flank of the hoplites and destroy them. The Persian general lines up for a charge on the Greek skirmishers.

End of Turn 9

Turn 10. The Persians win the initiative. The Persian general charges the skirmishers. They flee behind the hoplite general who is a bit worse for wear at this stage. The cavalry charge takes them into contact with hoplite general. The Greeks are destroyed and are now only 1 point away from breaking themselves. The cavalry follows up and hits the rear of the Greek skirmishers who had just fled from them. The skirmishers are ridden down and the Persians snatch a (Pyrrhic) victory from the jaws of defeat.

End of Turn 10.

Hardly a glorious victory for the empire, but a very enjoyable game that took about 90 minutes to play to a finish. The Persian bowfire wittled down the Greeks, weakening them just enough to give me a chance later on. The fact that the Persian general was in the right place at the right time was an accident, not planning on my part, I only brought him right so he would have enough room to turn around to face my left. He plugged the gap that appeared in front of him and he got lucky.

We swapped sides for our second game, I took the Greeks while Ed took the Persians. The bowfire was more effective this time, helped by me rolling incredibly baddly for damage checks and my general appeared to be wearing magnetic, arrow attracting armour... . After 1 hour of play the Greeks had broken, causing minimal damage to the Persians. At least I scored some damage on the Immortals, but not much   :(
A very good pair of games with good fights, a few mistakes and plenty of laughs.


Monday, 6 August 2012

Alexandrian Macedonians

I have started painting up an  Alexandrian Macedonian army for Basic Impetus. Basic Impetus is an excellent set of free wargaming rules available here :
They provide a good, fun game with reasonable sized forces and usually get a definative result in under 90 minutes. We usually get in two games per evening, and swap armies for the second game so we get plenty of variety in play out of a single evening. I already have a good few ancients armies so we play historically matched pairs, although my Romans are late republic, and have been pressed into service against my Carthaginians ( but using the mid-republican list) until I get a mid-republican army painted.

I got these Macedonians from Black hat, but didnt realise they came without spears or pikes, so I have only painted a few bases worth so far, those troops that had cast on weapons.

This is the command element for the army, representing Alexander himself with companions.

Same element from the side.

These are the Thessalian medium cavalry. They will also serve under Pyrrhus in Italy

 All 5 stands. I only need 4 for Impetus, but the way the figure pack sizes are, I ended up with 5 stands worth, so I wasnt leaving a few figures unpainted. I would never get back to doing them and it is easier to do uniform paint jobs in batches.
From the side.

 This is Alexander at the head of a wedge of Thessalians. He should be with his companions, just waiting unit I get their xystons sorted and get the unit painted up.

Next on the painting table is the Hypaspists.


Sunday, 5 August 2012

Nameless war

This is a link to the blog of a friend of mine, Edmond Barrett. He is the authour of an excellent series of military science fiction series of books, "The nameless war".  For anyone with an interest in sci-fi , these are highly recommended.



This is my first attempt at blogging, so this may go a bit wonky. This blog will mainly be devoted to wargaming, with occassional sidetrips towards films, books, humour and ranting. I am about as technologically adept as a flint-weilding neanderthal, so this wont be anything high-tech or fancy, mainly wargaming stuff, after-game reports and gaps in the medication.