Blog Archive

Search This Blog

Saturday, December 31, 2022

II/82a Western Patrician Roman v III/35b Feudal Spanish

A last chance to get my new armies on the table before the end of the year! I'm using a 1.2m square board. It's a broad valley, narrowing to a defile: featuring steep hills on three sides with low, wooded hills within the valley.

Romans roll defender and field a German-heavy option, and elect to keep an Ax back in their fort. With a feeling they ought to have opted for a Hun LH they have 3x4Wb, 1xBd, 2x4Ax, 2xPs, 1Cv, 2x3Kn, and a KnGen. 

Spanish roll aggressor and field the first or main of any option. This leaves them a core of 3x4Sp supported by fast Cb; two javelin toting Ps, one LH for annoying enemy deployment of light troops, one Cv for killing said light troops, and the real strength, 3Kn and a KnGen. 

The Spanish push lighter groups up near the limit of deployment. It's nice to have plenty of room!

Turn 1
PatRom PIP=1!
The mass of troops move forward at slowest pace, 2BW.
FeuSpa PIP=6!
Left flank LH+Ps race forward then split, the Ps ducking inward to ZOC PatRom right; LH stays clear ready to zip round further if the next roll is a 6. (Spoilers: it is not.)
Turn 2
PatRom PIP=3, and the warbands wheel up into the wooded hill cover. 
FeuSpa PIP=3, so playing safe, the Ps and LH pull back while the main mass of troops walk forward.

Turns 3 to 4:
Both sides use crafty maneuvers. PatRom Cv races in, is flanked by Ps before Wb can support; but it holds on long enough for the Wb to in turn trap the Ps. The FeuSpa LH races back to its own lines before it too can be trapped!

Turns 5 to 7
PatRoms decide to attack left while holding right. The Wb begin the slow process of getting across to mark the FeuSpa Sp, covered by their Cv, while the bulk of forces wheel left (below); in response the FeuSpa get their left flank wheeling forward and prep for their main advance by spreading out on their right (below).

These processes work best for the PatRom, though only by leaving their left flank horribly exposed:
And again, although the FeuSpa push their Cb into the wooded hill to match the Wb, their left flank Kn can't ever quite catch the other two Wb!
Turns 8 to 10
The FeuSpa get a real roll on and attack all along the line! Their left Kn and right Cv slaughter a Ps and Wb!

With precious few PIPs to spend the PatRom KnGen commits himself right, and destroys one of the Kn! And in the woods, that audacious Sp element is made to pay: a Wb manages to front up and immediately destroys it!
But the shoe is on the other foot as the FeuSpa pounce on the isolated enemy general!
Turns 11 to 12
Draw! Draw! Draw! The melee continues around the two generals, more and more elements being sucked in. Meanwhile the FeuSpa Cv pounce on the seemingly-easy target, Ps.
The PatRom Ps score a 6:1 over the Cv! And with that, they have their 4 elements to 2 victory!

Both sides look great, and although it's a shame that the Feudal Spanish could not win, it's nice to have a Roman side that does not suck.

Friday, December 30, 2022

bench update 31 December 2022

Highlights! I begin with eyes and once I have those (not every mini rates eyes) skin is next, then light colors where relevant.
Then I move on to the horses, and they look a lot better than where they began!
With some misgivings I try a dark matt wash, and as you would expect given how dark these minis already were, the results are VERY dark.
I think remaining minis might be best just given amatt varnish...

Friday, December 23, 2022

Unearthed: West Frank motley

Today I opened my store-box of Viking + Carolingian. Sure enough, I had left the Carolingian foot and LH back there!
These are 2nd edition of course but I can see the dismounted Knights are going to be much easier to account for. In turn, that means having separate "all spear" and "all blade" foot will be highly doable. 

Saturday, December 17, 2022

III/28 West Frank/Carolingian project begins

I'm vaguely sure I used to have a whole army to field, but, anyway, this is the rebase project kicking off.
Using the same approach as the wider Roman project just complete, OneNote allows me to write out the requirements and what is needed. 
I find that writing it out helps me track the army much better than just taking a picture of the army list.
In summary I have all but 3Bw, but I'm not entirely convinced about a lot of what I have. Many of the cavalry shields are tiny. Foot shields are too flat. I have visualized how I can make shields, but do I want to put in that much effort?
Anyway... trimming out has begun, my blade broke and the stub cut my thumb. Progress will be slow. It may be better to focus on repaint work.

Friday, December 16, 2022

Romans all back in boxes

I thought I should set this down as a marker before going on to the next bench project. These boxes exclude all Germanic elements except for Saxon Wb for Sub-romans.
Last night I found those missing heavy, part-armored mounts. I sure picked a weird place to hide them! Had I found them back at the beginning of my planning, the end result would look quite different!
Anyway, for the record I still have plenty of cataphractarii mounts, but not so many riders. In terms of Cv the problem is worse, as only two remaining minis might count as Cv.
If I decide to creep forward to the book iii armies, things are a bit better. Ostrogoths can be made up from Germanic elements, and Belisarius' or Narses armies can add Huns. I do have enough LH roman minis still on sprees for 4 elements, but only enough mounts for 2 elements.

Wednesday, December 14, 2022

bench update 15 December 2022

A wet day, perfect! Got the cavalry finished! I think, once they are flocked and all of the various combos are matt-sprayed, this will do. In theory I could need more 4Kn and 3Kn but it's hard to imagine a board where mid or late Roman armies can go crazy with mounted. Yeah I'll change my mind when I acquire Sassanid minis..

Friday, December 9, 2022

bench update 10 December 2022

Despite good painting weather I could not get into the cavalry very far. Still, some basics are done:

Friday, December 2, 2022

bench update 03 December 2022

After a week of dithering and procrastination...
Two heavies for the 3KnGen, and two lights for the sub-Roman LH. For the latter, after reviewing other II/81 armies images, I decided I could just suit myself. So I've followed the same general theme as my Medieval Irish LH, with a gentry mini wearing a spangenhelm and lorica, accompanied by an unarmored mini (the very last of the el Cid lights) wielding hurling darts. His boss wields a spear - a long one like a cut-down kontos - and dart. 

Sunday, November 27, 2022

bench update 28 November 2022

Forgot to add the final result for the cavalry and bolt Arty!
I finished these guys on the same night I based them, they look a good match to the other late Roman elements. 

Friday, November 25, 2022

bench update 26 November 2022

2x3Cv and 1xbolt Arty: all done up to basing, flocking, shields and a couple highlights to come.

Sunday, November 20, 2022

bench update 21 November 2022

Basing done! The drying weather allowed it all to be sped through. I may add a few dabs of color once the spongy 'scrub' dries.

bench update 20 November 2022

This has got to be the fastest I've worked through nearly 40 minis, right? Not such a good day for paint, the rain eased and dry-time shortened... but I pushed along in shorter runs. So... it's all done bar the basing. And I finished the flock on the earlier 5 bases too!

Friday, November 18, 2022

bench update 19 November 2022

I decided to block out the colors first rather than doing flesh first.

It's been a wet day, ideal for painting! I managed to power through, so all that remains is eyes, face highlights, magic wash and shields.

Sunday, November 13, 2022

bench update 14 November 2022

I now have the 3x4Bd based, though not flocked yet. Same goes for 4Kn (part armor) and 3Kn (full armor).
Next up: foot! Including a couple of minor revisions to existing 4Ax, to enable 1x4Cb and 1x3Bd. I even brought in 2 recyclables from my Imex Saxons, carefully drilling out their tiny hands and replacing broken javelins with short darts. I added normal size spears to two banner-holding minis - HaT make annoying flat-handed ones for their medium Roman foot - and with three very aristocratic looking officers I have just enough!

Saturday, November 12, 2022

bench update 13 November 2022

Well, these are ready to base... just retouched a few bits and most importantly, used thread and superglue to really attach lance to support hand on those two-hand minis. 

They are by no means all of the heavies I need, plenty to do yet.

Sunday, November 6, 2022

bench update 06 November 2022

Today is adding a little color to the cataphractii and I've gone for a fairly dark palette wrt harness and saddle blankets. I typically use dark options on heavy cavalry and I don't want weird bright trim to pop out on the board.

Wednesday, November 2, 2022


Metallic varieties done.

Monday, October 31, 2022

Aims for the current project

Looking back over September, the aim of the current work has been unstated since I finished the Wb. 

I began with a "rebase sub-romans" project. I then decided most figures were unsuitable, and that I could replace them with more suitable minis from my late imperial spares, mainly HaT. (Back in the early oughties I put a lot of effort into the old Atlantic Romans converting them, but their time is up.) I've packed the unusable minis away in a bag labelled "junk" but you never know, I might be able to use them in some future project.

During October I worked on the 7Hd and 4Bd side of things, while reading sources, and came to realize I could extend the project to a morph of all of mid, late, patrician and sub-roman sides.

I used OneNote to record needs, existing, and available, and found this reasonably manageable. 

Friday, October 28, 2022

bench update 29 October 2022

After much counting and comparing needs with haves, today I've trimmed and pinned 7 cataphractii/clibanarii and washed them, plus a draconarius on his unarmored mount, plys 5 heavy legionarii that have turned up from odd places. The cavalry are Zvezda Cataphracts.

I plan to use the dark prep coat then metallic approach I used for the original later roman II/78s. I wasn't thrilled about it, but it's a reasonable approach to super-armored minis, and of course, I need to be consistent.

Friday, October 21, 2022

speed painting! last 4 late Roman heavy foot ready for shield designs!

Reassured by the check-in, I whipped through the final four. It seems that the sculptor was none too sure about lorica sleeve length. I used black to provide a separation, as I had done on older efforts. Otherwise these were pretty straightforward. 
I took the chance to touch up the other four on the paint stick as well.

Next I have to choose a couple of either generic, or distinctly eastern Roman, shield designs. I have another set on order from littlebigman studio so will probably wait for those.

legionarii review

Time for a check-in on the plan. I now have six legionarii elements. Two more partway. 

Middle Imperial Western need 4 with 2 more as individual options. They are among the most Bd-heavy armies. Their eastern  counterparts also need 4 with 1 more optional. So with the two in the works, I will have enough for east vs west, middle period. 

The other period combinations such as patrician vs sub-roman all require fewer than eight.

Tuesday, October 18, 2022

when two colors go to war

I've been reworking those blue-red-blue shields to try to get better definition into the blue 10-point stars. Those colors hate each other! I don't believe the Oxford color key, but I believe the Munich color scheme less. 

I'm told Bernard Cornwell came up with silver stars, that would look great on blue, but sometimes blue is used to represent silver...

That aside, a few more dabs of barely-thinned red and blue and they should be done!

Saturday, October 15, 2022

bench update 16 October 2022

During the week I've done a touch here, a touch there... and I'm now close to having the minimum two elements of 4Bd tidied up. As mentioned these just needed shields refreshed. 

The blue-on-red shields of leg XX Val Victrix were really hard to tackle. This (front right) is near enough. I just need to put iron bosses on all shields and coat with varnish.

Also today, I followed up base varnish on the extra 4 minis cleaned up, with base dark sienna. 

Friday, October 7, 2022

bench update thoughts on next bits

I'm really tempted to work on II/81a cataphractii but the main project is rebase/revive on my old army, so I plan to tackle the legion component. There's not much wrong with what I begin with:
These don't look great as human sculpts, but they do the job. (HaT, late Roman heavy foot.) My main concern was that I had mixed them in among other minis in the last rebasing. They need to simply stand as they are, as early C5 legionarii, that can double as middle imperial legionarii if need be.

I think the main issue is shields. Once I decide on that, I can do some stripping and reworking.
Oct 9: Result! The Victrix 4 (bottom left) look great.

bench update 08 October 2022

Aside from trimming the flag, these elements are complete!
1. The controversial deep Wb General. 
This chap is designed to (a) fit into the II/81b sub-roman army and (b) stack onto the C5 Germanic Wb elements I already have.

2. 3x4Wb
In the II/81b context these deeper bases fit alongside the deeper-base 4Sp which will also be used as 4Ax. In any of the "all foot" C5 Germanic armies these are the extra three elements I've needed, as I already have eight shallower depth bases. I'm still trying to persuade myself that the deeper bases are justified.

3. 4Sp/4Ax for II/81
These lads are mostly dressed in homespun tunics, but a few wear limitanei mail or leather, one has a full hand-me-down clibanarii suit, and one has stripped his top off! Helmets vary wildly as expected of a force that wears inherited gear. 

4. Ps for II/81b or d
The older style light foot caps have been replaced by the same semi-phrygian cap favored by all foot. 

5. Wretched masses 2x7Hd for II81b or c
Front rankers have a shield, others do not. In their d option I would need to add two more such. 

Friday, September 30, 2022

bench update 01 October 2023

Initial basing of the pedyt and Saxon warband, and could-be-limitanei. I managed to fit only 7 minis per Hd base, leaving the least-useful two spare.
I will probably want to add a banner to the "royal" warband (top right) next. Snip the handaxe, drill and post.

Saturday, September 24, 2022

bench update 25 September 2022

Faces and hands are finished, and the Hd elements could just about be based now... just needing matt varnish. I may want a judicious dark wash over their homespun garments first.

Friday, September 16, 2022

bench update 17 September 2022

No work today, I have a painful pulled shoulder tendon, a consequence of not getting treatment of earlier arm injuries.

Friday, September 9, 2022

bench update 10 September 2022

The 2 x pedyt Hd and 4x4Wb are progressing well. Probably the next step is eyes. I have not made any final decision about repainting most shields, but I'll probably just leave them with the preponderance of red/yellow they are.

Friday, September 2, 2022

bench update 03 September 2022

On the cutting board today: these Saxon or federati foot are planned for
(a) 5th century Germanic; I have an example at top right, and seven more stands. Need 11 in total including a recognizable general - a number of armies around II/70 - II/73 use up to 11 4Wb stands. 
(b) 5th century sub-roman brits, II/81b, and patrician roman II/82a. While only 3 or 4 stands are required, they need to be subtly recognizable when opposing Huns or Germanic armies.

The shields and 8 red-brown unpainted minis are from Strelets 003 Anglo-Saxons, these are noteworthy in being clad in slightly uparmored Roman pattern gear. They will fit right in with the existing eight MiniArt Germanic stands. The shields are a little large, designed for the shield wall age. I do have in reserve Auxiliary style oval shields and were it not for needing up to 11 stands, those would be better.

The minis below the Strelets 003 are the ghastly Strelets 016 Anglo-Saxons plus one Emhar mini. Those to right are destined to be two Hd stands. Mostly Emhar and a few Strelets 016.

Monday, August 29, 2022