Romani ite domum!

 

Click to embiggen!

Click to embiggen!

One of my first armies in 1/72 was Imperial Romans.  Like most new wargamers, I went with something familiar, impressive, and badass.  Since then I’ve come to like more of the underdogs of history, but if you’re going to go with a winner, you might as well pick one of the winningest armies in history.*

I began with some recasts of the Airfix Romans set, made by HäT, and later added ESCI, Revell, and HäT originals.

roman-testudoFront line, Airfix recasts; behind them, ESCI, trying to form a Testudo or “tortoise” formation.  Third line, in blue, Italieri Republican-era Romans; fourth line, barely visible, Revell.  The blue uniformed troops I gave a dark wash.  Usually I avoid any shading on my wargaming 1/72s both to speed things up and to keep a cleaner, toy-soldier look.  The only exception is that I usually shade steel with black and flesh with a darker tone.

roman-legions-2Some stands with command elements.  Center, all Airfix; right, all ESCI; left, ESCI troopers but I think Italieri command.  Behind them a Revell tribune standing over a fallen Airfix trooper and an ESCI Caesar standing over a fallen Airfix Briton.  (They don’t serve any role in a DBA army; I had originally planned to use Might of Arms as my war game rules but found it a little too complex for what I was after, and I really the simplicity of DBx type rules.)   You can also see some cavalry (HäT Republican Romans) and a ballista in the background.

roman-legionsMore legions.

roman-auxilia-revellRevell auxilia — in this case, lightly armed recruits, probably Gauls in Roman gear.

roman-batavi-hatHäT auxilia — in this case Batavi, some Germanic tribesmen famous for using their traditional clubs in battle and for being excellent amphibious troops — or at least able to swim across rivers that gave the legionaries pause.  Behind them are some auxiliary archers.  Both the Airfix and ESCI sets had what looked like legionaries with bows, so I painted them in legionary colors, but really they would probably be archers from subject lands in more native dress — Syrian archers are often mentioned.  The second line of archers are Britons from the Airfix Briton set.  I’m not sure if any Britons served as archers for Rome but I didn’t need many missile troops for my Ancient British army so the Romans took them.

Some miscellaneous stands of troops did not get close-ups.  Those are more auxilia in Roman dress, camp followrs, and some skirmishers.  The army is far larger than I need for DBA and could probably form several Early Imperial Armies — perfect for a civil war.  I also made some Roman camps, as DBA armies usually need one unless there is a settlement on the battlefield.  I have couple of simple, generic palisades, but I also did a funner one, which I always get out for Good Friday:

camp-romanThree religious-supply store crucifixes and a pair of Airfix legionaries.

With any luck I’ll find some time to photograph some more stuff this weekend — my Roman mile fort, and the Republican Romans, as well as some Etruscans & Italian Hill Tribes, Thracians, Carthage, and so on….

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*Well, that’s their reputation anyway.  They certainly conquered a big area and held it a long time.  Superior numbers, technology, logistics, and training seems to do that.

Published in: on April 5, 2014 at 2:32 pm  Comments (5)  
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men o bronze

The release of a new edition of De Bellis Antiquitatis, along with my hiatus from having to DM, and having just read a book on hoplite warfare, all converged to reignite my interest in ancients war gaming.  Or at least in building armies and painting them.

So this is the group shot of most of my Greeks (I have another dozen or so stands of Thracians, as well as some mercenary Greeks in my Persian and Carthaginian armies, and some unpainted hoplites probably).

greeks-panorama

Click to embiggen!

A lot of my Greeks are Spartans, naturally.  The lambda is really easy to paint onto a shield, and the red tunics look pretty awesome against the bronze everything else.

Come and take them.

Come and take them.

The general and piper are Zvedza; the rest are Nexxus recasts of the old Atlantic set.  The second line in the background is all Zvedza too.

greek-thracians-hatThese are the Thracians that I keep with the Greek army.  Like I said I have a whole army of them, I should post them next.  These three guys are HäT Industries minis.

greek-macedonainsMost ancient Greek city-states did not use a lot of cavalry (well Thessaly would big the big exception), but the Macedonians famously did.  Since my pikemen are actually hoplites with extra long spears, I use them interchangeably and the Macedonians are stored with my Greeks too.  Above we have mostly Zvedza cavalry (the guys way in the back are Nexxus/Atlantic) and some HäT hoplites/pikemen.

greek-pikes-hatHere’s another view of the HäT “pikemen”.  I think the shields are all off to the side because of the limitations of injection-molding plastics.  I wish they’d opted for separate shields instead but back when I was collecting plastics, I just bought whatever was available.  Nowadays there are so many sets available you could pick and choose.  Still, these figures are pretty solid and look OK.

 

Published in: on April 4, 2014 at 12:00 pm  Comments (1)  
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At the court of the Crimson King

Posting a little more rapidly this week — the polar vortex has caused my library to close today, so I have some free time!

I stumbled across this absolutely stunning army of ancient lead (Minifigs mostly, with a few Citadel thrown in) and had to point it out. (The picture above is from that site & is the least of them.)  The figures are mostly Minfigs “Tunnel elves” (which were later repackaged as goblins when Minifigs had the D&D license) and the units refer to various tracks on King Crimson’s first album.  The army is absolutely stunning and surreal.

Someone on The Miniatures Page pointed out how uncannily these minis resemble Rodney Matthew paintings.   This can’t be a coincidence.

picture

Published in: on January 28, 2014 at 12:00 pm  Comments (2)  
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2386

Stayed home today as my kid has a fever and can’t go to school.  I’m really glad I can use sick time like this.  She’s watching a Wallace & Gromit video so I took a few minutes away from tending to her and chores to count my painted 1/72 minis.  This time I distinguished among infantry, cavalry, chariotry, and elephants.  A few camp followers and litter bearers got stuck in with the infantry.

Anyway:

Elephants: 8

Chariots: 43

Cavalry: 309

Infantry: 2026

Grand total: 2386.

This includes six Ral Partha Iroquois, three RP gendarmes, and three Minifigs Mamluks, all “true” 25mm and very close to 1/72 scale.  I did not count a few static diorama “camps” and some artillery and war wagons, but there is less than a dozen of those.

These guys range from Sumerians to Conquistadors, the bulk being Medieval (Europe, Crusades, Mongols, and Japanese), Classical (Greco-Roman-Celtic), and Biblicals (Egypt, Hebrew, Philistine, Lybian, Nubian, etc.).  I have a lot that are still unpainted, but will probably begin to cull them soon.

Anybody interested in 100  or so 1/72 scale Vikings?

Some time I’ll figure out exactly how many different DBA armies this represents.   Going by the rule of thumb that you need about 50 figures per army, that’s 47 armies.  But of course I make a lot of my chariots do double duty in various armies so I don’t think I could really field that many “legal” armies at once.  Still, sounds like I could run a tourney if I had enough table space and terrain.

Published in: on April 19, 2011 at 12:39 pm  Comments (4)  
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my dark ages project

Just a quick post to tie together the three 1066 armies and a static page with more information on how I assembled the armies.

Published in: on March 28, 2010 at 11:26 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Anglo-Saxons

The death of Harold Godwinson

Granted, the Vikings are more popular, and the Normans were the final victors, but the English army of 1066 had heart.   Harold and his men raced north to repel a massive Viking invasion, catching the enemy by surprise and massacring them.  Then they raced south to Hastings, shedding most of their (horseless) light troops and levies along the way.  There Normans won the day, but only after taking shocking casualties from the Huscarl’s axes.   The dismounted huscarls of Harold’s army turned back repeated charges by the Norman knights, which is pretty incredible really. (more…)

Published in: on March 28, 2010 at 3:05 pm  Comments (1)  
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Norman, is that you?

The Normans, as you may know, were descendants of Vikings (Northmen =>Norman) in France.  They spoke French but were basically vikings of big ass horses with state of the art arms and armor.  One charming account of their diplomacy is mentioned by John Julius Norwich:

Calling a halt, [the Byzantine Catapan] sent a messenger across to them, offering the choice: either they could leave Byzantine territory peaceably and at once, or they must face his own army in battle on the morrow.

The Normans had heard communications of that sort before, and knew how to deal with them.  During the harangue one of the twelve chiefs, Hugh Tuboeuf, had approached the messenger’s horse, and had been stroking it approvingly; now, as the man finished, he suddenly turned and struck it one mighty blow between the eyes with his bare fist, laying the luckless animal unconscious on the ground.  At this, according to Malaterra, the messenger in a paroxysm of fear fainted dead away, but the Normans, having with some difficulty restored him to his senses, gave him a new horse, better than the first, on which they sent him back to the Catapan with the message that they were ready.
-Source (more…)

Published in: on March 26, 2010 at 10:14 am  Comments (3)  
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“Deliver us, oh Lord, from the fury of the Northmen”

Hide the gold and silver, and lock up your able-bodied youths (who will be enslaved) and maidens (who will be… well you know), here come the Vikings with their Land-waster banner. My banner is based on a sail design from a second-hand souvenir dragon ship , which was made in Norway or Denmark.

(more…)

Published in: on March 25, 2010 at 12:41 pm  Leave a Comment  
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The Aztec army

I had some details about this army on the static page for my conversions but I finally got around to photographing the whole army! This is basically two boxes of Revell’s Aztecs.

(more…)

Published in: on March 23, 2010 at 9:57 am  Comments (5)  
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Army of the orcs

Man, I loves me some orcs.  The army below takes up  two tackle boxes, and I have about three more tackle boxes of loose orcs based for RPGs, including cavalry (but not counting goblins and half-orcs!)

This army can field everything in the Mordor and Misty Mountains lists for DBA, with many extras (Shooters, chariots, etc.).  About half the pictures didn’t come out so well, so there are not a lot of closeups, but you can always click to embiggen.  See the army of Robilar for some pics of the orc infantry. (more…)

Published in: on March 5, 2010 at 10:50 am  Comments (2)  
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