Prufrock's Wargaming Blog

Prufrock's Wargaming Blog

Friday, May 28, 2010

Illyrian light & Thracian medium cavalry

Here are some shots of the recently completed Illyrian light cavalry. Again, these figures are Old Glory 15s (code: SS14). I painted this batch at the same time as the Thracians, so many of the steps were done at the same time, which sped things up a great deal. Here is a frontal shot, just prior to the matt varnish being applied (photos should be clickable this time!):

These figures did not have a much in the way of folds in their garments, so the focus is more on the face, the poses of the arms and the horses. Fortunately, these faces have character, as do the OG horses, which respond well to washes and layering. As for the poses, there were only two in the pack, but by moving the spear arms and twisting heads slightly I was able to work in a bit more variety. On the whole, I'm pretty pleased with them. Here is another shot from a different angle:

To finish, here are a couple of shots of the completed Old Glory Thracians (code: TH05), though you might notice that a couple of spare Illyrian lights have been drafted in to make up the numbers. Again, I'm pleased with how they came out. Rather than paint each tunic a different colour, I thought I'd keep them uniform and introduce variety through saddle cloths and horse colours. I wanted the leader (a Xyston figure) to give them a bit of pop, and for the blue of his cloak (being the same as a few saddlecloths) to help provide a bit of unity. It's not prize winning stuff, but compared to my usual standard I hope that it's an improvement!

And another shot, showing the front.

I have a couple of things to do in the next lot, but am not sure which order I'll do them in yet.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Thracian cavalry

As I'd hoped, my earlier experiment with pre-producing horses en masse enabled a unit of Thracian cavalry to be churned out quite quickly. The horses were spray-painted a straight brown, black, white or grey, then given a wash or two of various darker shades using Future/Klear. Some were also dry-brushed (the greys) or given a highlight (to add variety to the browns).

The riders were undercoated white, with their skin done in three shades, and the other colours were blocked in. The riders were then affixed to the horses and given my own version of 'the dip' (a mix of two acrylic stains, one clear and one brown). This didn't do much here because the figures do not have many folds in their garments (though it did do a good job with the commander's pteruges), but it adds another protective coat and helps a little with facial features. After that I highlighted the armour with a yellower bronze, & did a bit of extra stuff here and there. All they need now before basing is two coats of Klear/Future and a spray of matt varnish.

So, here they are, whipped out in three nights and hopefully onto the table within a week. Rough and ready though they paint jobs are, I'm feeling pretty happy to have regained a bit of enthusiasm for the task...

There is one thing that's bugging me about them: they have some strange kind of ring below the neck (currently painted bronze), but it looks more like cloth than a torc. I'm not really sure what these are supposed to be. I may do some more research and colour them differently depending upon what I can find out, but then again I may just leave them be. No one's going to notice anyway, apart from me!

I can feel a Commands & Colors game coming on this weekend...

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Painting tally, May

To motivate myself to paint more, I'm going to start posting painting tallies.

To date this year:

12 Celtiberian scutarii (OG).
4 Carthaginian four-horse chariots, 12 crew (Chariot).
8 Successor elephants, 24 crew, (Chariot) 6 supporting skirmishers (OG).
1 mounted general (OG).

Hmm, looking pretty poor, but I have done some prep work which will hopefully help things progress a bit faster later in the year!

Next on the table:
18 Thracian medium cavalry (OG).
18 Illyrian light horse (OG).

Friday, May 21, 2010

Jumbos almost complete...

Here we go with the successor elephants almost done.

These fellows should give a good account of themselves!


Here are some shots from a recent solo refight of Cynoscephalae. (Note the new hills in use - I'm not very pleased with them: I need to improve my flocking techniques!)
The first shot shows a scene from about the fourth or fifth turn. Philip has reinforced the ridge after some early hits by the Romans; Flamininus have been forced to delay his advance in the foreground to press the attacks on the left.

The next shot shows the situation two turns later. The Romans are under a lot of pressure facing Philip's veteran phalanx on the ridge. They have won the cavalry battle, but the cavalry flank attacks are not proving very effective in dislodging the phalangites. The Roman troops in the foreground are all spent. In hindsight, these should have retreated at this point, forcing Philip to come down off the ridge and press the attack. Note also the Roman zone (with elephants and Flamininus himself) in a pocket (flanked on both sides).

This is a shot showing the entire battlefield. The Romans are taking heavy casualties assaulting Philip on the ridge. In the foreground they have come to grips with the other phalanx units and are having the better of it. Unfortunately for Rome, the hour is getting late (as Bob Dylan said in another context...).

The last shot shows the phalangites (painted by Fernando Enterprises) in the centre thumbing their noses at the Romans, who have been forced to call it a day. The phalanx has held its ground and inflicted a bloody nose on the legions. Although the battle has been inconclusive, Flamininus has had the worst of the exchange, and will have to do a bit of creative reporting to keep the senate off his back...

The points tally is Macedon 97 vs 57 to Rome for a solid victory to the fellows with the pikes.

The battle was good fun and a bit of a puzzle for both sides. The Romans suffered from poor command rolls early in the game vs strong ones for the Macs, which allowed Philip more options for deployment and cut down the Roman chances to make optimum use of the veteran legions' ability to manoeuvre trickily. Again, Lost Battles proved a most enjoyable way to spend an evening.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Painting update

After too long with little time (and, it must be said, less motivation), the paint brushes are back out. I had never found a good white, so in desperation I took a trip to the local art supply store to pick up some artists' acrylics and see if they would do a better job. I was rapt when it turned out they do. The white looks so crisp and applies so evenly that I finished the linen armour on all of my successor elephant crews without even noticing, and then used it to whiten the tunics of some Spanish I finished painting years ago.

I used to dread painting white, but I'm so impressed by this paint that I'm going to pick up a few other colours as well. Suddenly, the prospect of painting up the Greeks and Macedonians I have sitting in the cupboard does not seem the nightmare it did two weeks ago.

So, we're on the home stretch with the jumbos, and I'm starting to think about what to do next. I hope this enthusiasm lasts!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Another Lost Battle.

These are some shots from another test game for the scenario generation system I've been working on for Lost Battles. This time the Carthaginians were a quality level up on the Romans, and it showed: Rome got whupped.

This is a shot of the deployments, viewed from the Roman right (this was the best Rome would look all game, in fact!):

Here the lines are closing in the centre:

Rome was quickly in trouble on the left, not having enough men or commands to do much on this flank and also attack on the right:

It comes to the triarii before too long:

After taking heavy casualties and a couple of disastrous morale tests, Rome has forces remaining in only two zones...

...but not for long!

Although this game used the rout the enemy victory conditions, it would have been a whopping great win for Carthage under the handicap system as well. It was good fun, but raised a few more questions than it answered.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

2nd Pharsalus, part 2.

This picks up (finally!) from where an earlier post left off. Follow this link to see part one:

We rejoin the action in turn 5, with Caesar attacking all along the line and trying to break through with his cavalry on the right. It takes another turn to overwhelm Pompey's levy heavy cavalry, and in that time it manages to shatter another Caesarian unit and forces Caesar to rally a third. Pompey is killed attempting a rally of his own in the centre left zone, and from there Caesar's men press on remorselessly.

Here is the scene following Pompey's death and just prior to the destruction of the last Pompeian cavalry unit:

The Pompeians fight on for another two turns, but fail to do much damage to Caesar's veterans. Caesar sees his cavalry advance victorious on the right, his infantry roll up Pompeian centre from its left, the line disintegrate, and the Pompeians turn to flight.

It was a great game played by John, who handled the Caesarians very well. His decision to press the attack on the right turned out to be the correct one (again Antony failed to do much damage on the left) and while it was tight for a turn or two, the pressure told and Pompey died while trying to hold things together long enough to score some more hits.

Final scores: Caesar 108 points to Pompey 94. A narrow victory, but one that felt rather more decisive than the final tally had it.
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