Sunday, 23 September 2012

Alexanders Companions

This is the final unit to finish my Basic Impetus Macedonian army, the mounted companions. These are a compulsory unit for Alexanders army, and a very strong unit in Impetus, but I can never bring myself to like the helmet. A bit part of the appeal for me of a Greek/Hellenistic army is the look of the Greek equipment. The linothorax armour is for me one of the iconic images of the classical era, the phrygian helmet is cool and the common image of a Greek helmet, the Corinthian with full vertical crest ( none of your Spartan transverse crest guff) is probably the coolest piece of military kit in the ancient world. The boetian helmet however looks like an up-turned soup bowl with none of the military menace of the Corinthian, its the bicycle helmet of the Greek world, soldiers only wearing it because their mum made them.

With Alexander at their head.

How the unit will look for Impetus
 I was pleased how the unit looked over all. The xystons are cut down pikes from Black Hat, the same ones I used for the foot companions, but with a bit taken off so they would not be overly long. They only have one point of contact, the hand, so they are not very secure. I went with the reverse of the colour scheme I used on the Prodromoi. I only realised when I was finished that I had used different colours on Alexanders base, so a quick repaint was called for. I used a P3 yellow called sulphuric yellow for the cloaks and horse fittings. I bought this paint a good while back on a whim and hadnt used it , but since starting the Macedonian army, it has seen more use than Sean Beans grim reaper loyalty card.

That is the army finished for Basic Impetus. I have one unit of pike left to do and a successor general painted but not based yet, so I can do Pyrrhic and successor armies with these figures. I will have to add Cataphracts and Argyraspids as well when finances allow, so I can do Later Selucid to face the Romans. When I have the last few elements done, I will post a few pics of the whole army laid out together. Next up after that is some GW Imperial guard.


Monday, 10 September 2012

Basic Impetus - Gauls Vs Romans

My usual Basic Impetus opponent, Ed, and myself had two fun games of BI yesterday. Here is a few pictures and a quick after game report on the first game. In the first game, Ed took the Romans, using the Marian Roman list, which covers the forces of Julius Caesar. It contains 1 medium cavalry unit, 1 light cavalry unit, 1 unit of medium infantry with javelins, 1 unit of javelin armed skirmishers and 4 units of scary Roman heavy infantry, the legions. Ed placed his general with one of the Legionaries units.

1CM(*)10412Gauls, Germans, Italians...
1CL12311Numidians, Tracians...
4FP(*)5613Legionaries - pilum
1FL8412Spanish, Ligurians... - javelin
1S8201short bow B (Cretans) or sling (Balearics) or javelin (Spanish or Numidians)

This is the army of Marius, Sulla, Pompeus, Crassus and Julius Caesar

I took a Gallic force to oppose him, for the classic Rome/Gaul match-up. I had two medium cavalry units, one of which contained my general, two units of javelin armed skirmishers and six units of Gallic warriors, four of which I formed into two large double strength units.

GAULS II-I Cent. AD (VDT=20/10)

Note. FL can form Large Units

 We rolled for attacker and the Gauls won, so the Romans set up the terrain and deployed first, then the Gauls deployed opposite them. The initial battlefield looked like this :

The Romans held the hill in the centre, with a wood to their right and broken ground on their left.
 Turn 1:  The Romans won the initiative and advanced across the line, except for the legions on the hill who kept the high ground. The Gauls advanced all their troops straight ahead.

 Turn 2 : The Gauls took the initiative and surge forward, the Romans do the same in their phase, except for those holding the hill.

Turn 3. The Romans win the initiative and press forward again, the skirmishers attack the large unit of warriors ahead of them, but to no effect.

 Turn 4, The Romans take the initiative and the cavalry on their right flank charges the Gallic noble cavalry ahead of them, both sides are disrupted but no permanent damage is suffered on either side. The Numidian light horse on the Roman left charges the other unit of Gallic cavalry. The light horse causes 2 points of damage to the cavalry, but suffer 1 point themselves. The cavalry are driven back and the light horse pursue but cause no additional damage. The Gallic warband in the centre charge the legion on the hill and disrupt them. All other Gallic troops advance towards the fight.

 Turn 5: The Romans get the initiative yet again and the legion on their left flank charges the warband ahead of it, disrupting them, but then the Romans luck runs out. Their light horse are destroyed by the damaged Cavalry on the Gallic right, their cavalry go down to the Gallic cavalry and their legion on the hill are swarmed under by the large warband facing them. There are holes in the line and a few flanks are dangling in the breeze...

 Turn 6: The left flank Gallic cavalry turned to threaten the flank of the Spanish medium infantry of the Roman far right, but the Spanish are destroyed by the Gallic warriors attacking them. The victorious warband on the hill turn to face the flank of the last Roman legion on the hill and the left hand Roman heavy foot unit destroys their opponents

Turn 7: The Roman heavy troops on their left destroy the Gallic cavalry and have cleared the Gallic right flank apart from a unit of elusive skirmishers but the combined warbands on the hill in the Roman centre flank and destroy the Roman generals unit and break the Roman army, but having lost a cavalry unit and two units of warband, it was hardly a bloodless victory for the Gauls.

The position at games end.

We swapped sides and the Romans got their revenge in the second game which was a close run thing with every Roman foot unit being a hit or two away from breaking by games end. Both games were good fun. I hope to have my Macedonians finished and on the table in a week or two, unless real life gets in the way.


Saturday, 1 September 2012

Prodromoi or Light horse, big stick.

Here are a few pictures of the next unit to be finished for the Macedonian army, the Prodromoi. These are very unusual in that they are pike armed light cavalry. The models didnt look right when assembling them, as the Sarissa looked way too big for light horse and it was tricky to position them in a way that looked realistic. I also had to make sure the bases would be able to line up as a unit without looking like a mounted pole-vaulting team. I tried to stick to a yellow/purple theme as the Osprey book on the Macedonian army shows these colours from Prodromoi, Thessalian cavalry and the Companions.

Only two units left to go for the Alexandrian army now, one more unit of pike and the Companions. After that I have a few bits to add to cover early successor lists. I will have to pick up some cataphracts before I can do a later selucid list. Next up is the second unit of pike. I will go with the same colour scheme as before so they look right when forming up together as a large unit for Impetus.