Sunday, 2 December 2018

Gratuitous Phalanx Photos

I don't have anything new But I decided that while I had a table and my newly marked out mat set up, that I'd set up my Hellenic troops for a photo shoot.

I wanted to see how they will work for To The Strongest as I really like the look of these rules and intend to get playing them as soon as possible.

Greeks first ~ After re-basing these guys I wasn't sure how big their phalanx is. It was good to set them out to see how they looked. I'm not sure I like the multitude of 20x40mm bases. I might glue some of them together to form 40x40's.

Spartans on the right as deep formations. Armoured hoplites in the center. Poorer hoplites (unarmoured) on the left. The armoured hoplites are also in deep formations but can be deployed as regular and the line extended. They also have Greek and Thracian peltasts and slingers. I can also add Cretan archers (see below). The cavalry element is pretty small. I have heavy Greek and Thessalonian light horse.
 "Spartans! Tonight we dine in Heck!!!"


The Macedonian phalanx in much larger because it also includes the armoured hoplites as Greek mercenaries (no Spartans though). I still need to finish one more syntagma of pike and maybe another one of agema pike.

The phalanx also has three units of theurophoroi in deep formation but if I mix some units I could have 4 of them as regular sized units. There are also two regular units of Thracian foot. I think I might add to these to make them deep warband units. The Greek mercenary hoplites are at the back. And of course, as should be expected in any Successor army there are a some elephants with light infantry support. I like more elephants.

For skirmishers I have light infantry with javelins, two units of Cretan archers, Macedonian archers, and, as above, the slingers and Thracian peltasts (this time as a deep unit).

Cavalry is much stronger with two units of companions, a unit that can double as Thessalonian light cav or Prodromoi. There's also the allied Greek cav.

Having set this up I can see I need more for generals and some individual figures to represent Heroes, etc... And again, I'm not keen on the multitude of 20x40mm bases.


 The LBM Studio decals really bring them to life.
 Thracian's on the flank.
 Companion Cavalry and General.


Well that it. There are a lot of them but, like any wargamer worth their salt, I want more. The Greeks are 99% AB miniatures and the Macedonians are 99% Xyston. The Greek shields are all hand painted and the Macedonian shields are decals from Little Big Man Studios.

The single figures will be used to represent markers and tokens. In To The Strongest you can attach Heroes to units for a one off re-roll so the fighty looking guys will represent those brave fellows.

Friday, 30 November 2018

Mat Work for To The Strongest

I took out my grassland gaming mat and decided to mark out a grid for To The Strongest.

I made this mat in 2016 for a 950 year anniversary game of the Battle of Hastings. It's made of a sheet of canvass with a covering of brown caulk and a load of home-made flock. It's pretty durable and quite nice.

I marked out the grid using a long piece of timber with 100mm intervals marked on it. The timber itself is also 100mm wide so it was just a matter of lining it up making a dot on the mat then lining up the timber over and over again. I used a blue sharpie for the dot.

I decided on a 100mm grid because my Macedonian pike units are 80mm wide as are most of my other ancient units. Also my Romans (after basing, re-basing and re-basing again) are now back to 4 figures on a 40mm base because of the mechanics of To The Strongest this will allow me to deploy them in a proper triplex acies formation. I couldn't turn up that opportunity!

I'm pretty happy with the result. The grid can be easily identified but it's very unobtrusive. Other little bits of flock that have stuck to the mat over time help to break up the grid pattern.

Surprisingly the grid is much clearer in these pics than in real life.

Monday, 19 November 2018

2nd Legion Started

After a short wait the figures for my second Roman Legion arrived. I took pains to decide on a colour scheme and settled on the one below. I like the shields but I'm not totally happy with the madder coloured tunics. It actually looks okay on the principes but is a bit over powering on the hastati. But I made my choice and I'm going to stick with it.

I also got a general. I already had the other figures on the general's base in my stash of gifted figures.

For better or worse... Here they are:
All figures are Xyston with decals from Little Big Men Studio

Tuesday, 6 November 2018

Equites & Socii

I did the equites to round off my tiny Roman Legion and started on some Italian allies.

The cavalry were enjoyable to paint and I think they look great. I was going to do just these four bases for my entire Roman cavalry but I might do another four bases to go with my second legion. The figures are, once again, from Xyston.

The Socii (Italian Allies) are actually Xyston Oscans. I had these sitting around amongst a bunch of 15mm figures that I was given a few years back. I was going to do Iberians as allies but decided to save some money and commit to Italians instead. I have more on order - heavy/medium infantry & cavalry - to go with these guys.

I'm not really sure if these should be light infantry or what, but I decided to make them light. I have enough to make another two bases but decided to keep them at the same strength as the Roman velite that I've already done. They were nice and easy to paint.

As far as these socii are concerned, I have no idea how they should look or how to paint them. I think that their helmets and shields may be wrong for the era so I decided to make their shields look a bit more plane & uniform to make them seem more organised. I'm really quite confused about them because I'm finding it hard to find any decent pictorial references. Should I just use Roman figures for Italians?

If nothing else: I can always put them alongside some phalangites and hoplites as part of a Pyrrhic army.

Anyway, here they are:

Monday, 29 October 2018

First Legion ~ Redux

In my last post I mentioned that I wasn't really happy with my initial Roman Legion so I came upon a solution which I like.

As you can see from the photos I've doubled the amount of hastati, principes & velites. The velites were easy because it was just a matter of painting up another unit of 4 bases. However for the heavy infantry I decided on a different solution.

What I did was remove one figure from each base filled in the area with some grit and flock and put the bases side by side again. So this gave me a smaller looking unit of 12 figures (instead of 16) with four figures left over. All I needed to do was paint up another 8-pack of figures and I had a second unit.

This worked for both the hastati and principes. For the triarii I removed the figures from the end of the two bases I already had and painted up another four figures. Done!

This looks much better to my eye. It's still small for a legion but the quincunx formation looks better and I'm counting on a second legion to complete the illusion. I also have some Italian allies on order to make up the numbers (in true Roman fashion). I was going to go for Iberian's but went with the Italiotes at the last minute.

Oh yes... I'm also getting some equites ready for paint as I type. I'm going small for these guys - If the hastatii, principes & velite each amount to 1200 troops then each unit equates to 600 troops. So... I'm thinking that 4 bases of cavalry should account for the combined cavalry of 2 legions ~ but I might boost it to 6 bases later. We'll see...

Sunday, 21 October 2018

My First Legion

So I decided to try my hand at Polybian Romans. Most of this is guesswork. I have an idea what they should look like, how they should be organised and who they should fight... But putting that into wargaming terms is where I get a bit lost.

From what I can gather by looking a several different sets of rules this group pretty much makes up a legion. I understand scaling and all that but it looks wrong. I don't think in terms of movement/combat/game elements. I think in terms of true organisation and how can I recreate it. But to me this looks much too small to be called a Legion.

I think I should double it (at least).

My plan is to eventually make a simple Consular Army - 2 Roman Legions and two Auxiliary Legions. I'd like to use Spanish and Italiotes in this role.

Also, I'm not sure about the individual units. I'm thinking that each one should be made up of 4 bases. And just to contradict myself; two bases making a little square looks good to me but - as I said - Too small & dinky. Come to think of it 2 bases makes a century and 4 would make a maniple - That makes sense.

Anyway, here's my start but all told... This army confuses me!

All figures are 15mm Xyston.



 Triarii and Legate

Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Companion Cavalry

I don't really have much to post at the moment so I'll post my new Companion Cavalry just to keep this blog interesting and up to date. These are, yet again, 15mm Xyston figures. They're very nice but they took me bloody ages to get finished. There's no reason why, I just took my time. This is the first 6 base unit (18 figures) and I plan to do another unit as well as an "Alexander" command base (in case I decide to field my troops as Alexandrian sometime in the future).

Here they are: