Tuesday, 4 December 2018

Last few Numidians

I forgot that I had these pics ready to post for some time now! Things on the hobby front have been sporadic. I have now and again had a few sessions at the desk working on some Roman penal legionaries using Newline velites. I have also been distracted by sorting through some plastic Napoleonics into units. 

I do intend to pursue Napoleonic gaming probably using Blucher, or at least its army building as a basis, to work on more Napoleonic units. However the idea of measuring and fiddling about with pivoting and such is quite off putting for me. I need to mull over grids or area based movement and combats which I have found has been great for solo ancient battles. If I can find or fudge some kind of system I can do as I have done with my ancients, that is focus on units towards fighting a scenario. 

Anyway these are the last few Newline Designs 20mm Numidians. I needed two more bases for my Zama project but I had 3 figures left so I thought I would scrape another base together. I had some spare Greek javlinmen so I pressed one into Numidian service and gave him one of the Numidian shields. The shields were also scraped together with a few bossed shields having to be used which I hope weren't meant to be for some other figures. They were a quick hitter, following their flesh spray under/basecoat there were few colours to block in before the wash. This can be a boost after making slow progress to do a simple 'quick' unit. I believe I just need a few elephants for Zama and the time to set it up and play the battle.

If like me you are an obsessive fan of 20mm or 1/72 scale and Newline Designs, or interested in seeing pictures and videos on what is sometimes a mysterious and elusive range (so many codes without images!) check out the Wee Painted Men blog. There is some fantastic work on there, amazing painting and some inspiring videos! 

1/72 Ancients

Sunday, 11 November 2018

Etruscan Class IV Infantry

I ordered a few unit packs of 20mm Etruscans class IV from Newline Designs. However my plan is to use them as Roman Leves as depicted in Duncan Head's Armies of the Macedonian and Punic Wars, they seem to fit the bill. At the time of ordering Sean asked if I wouldn't mind waiting a while for them as he wanted to resculpt them, so I have painted a couple of examples as Etruscans to show off the new castings and I hope I have done them justice. Being completely unarmoured they are a very useful and flexible line, not only Leves, but also usable as peltasts, thureophoroi or rebellious slaves for example, just need to swap over the shields. Despite the fact I do not have enough space for a full Etruscan force it is great that the option is there to depict them in 20mm.

I have recently finished my last few bases of Numidian foot and will post them up next. I am now working on some Velites, however I have some Gallic shields for them as I plan to make up a unit of Roman penal legionaries which will also be proxy Ligurians for Lost Battles Zama.

1/72 Ancients

Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Punic Levies

The Punic levy for the Carthaginians at Zama using a couple of poses from Newline Designs 20mm African spearmen in tunics. I gave them thureos/scuta shields instead of the Argive type shields that came with them. I could have created a more rag-tag looking levy by fully utilising the variety of helmet types with this code, mixing shield types and even a spattering of armoured spearmen standing. A future project hopefully, I have the figures but not sure about the storage space.

I undercoated these with white guesso and the usual method of base colours, wash, highlight. After a bit of experimentation I went with flat white on the shields with no shading. I tend to prefer advancing poses, but as I have found previously with the Triarii and Samnites standing, the pose ranks up nicely with no hassle. I only have a few units left for Lost Battles Zama scenario, I created a to-do list on PARADE GROUND WORKSHOP to help keep track of where I am at with my projects. With hobby time reduced recently I found it helpful.

I have started to paint a few example of some resculpted Etruscans from Newline and a few more bases of Numidian light foot to provide Rome some levy light infantry for Zama. I have posted Numidian foot before but I may again to show some progress on this slow blog!

1/72 ancients

Friday, 12 October 2018

Lost Battles: Trebia

I was left alone for a few hours so I took the opportunity to set up a battle. I set up Trebia using Lost Battles and following the scenario deployment. I was rushing around to get it set up, played, photographed and put away I ended up forgetting to implement modifiers and not using the rules for wet weather incorrectly so I apologise in advance for the sloppy implementation of the rules.

So the Roman infantry were not as hard to hit as normal. I forgot to use the -1 attack modifier for lead heavy infantry attacking fresh legionaries, although I think it may not have been needed a lot as elephants and light infantry lead most of the successful attacks in the main battle lines. However it must have given the Carthaginians a little more help, praise Melqart! With the wet weather I followed the attack modifiers, but forgot to check for weather change at the start of each turn and the fact that the wet weather halves the command points was also missed. There were quite a few high command rolls too but the battle played out well despite the missed rules. 

The Battle of Trebia

Sempronius Longus had a point to prove to Hannibal and his barbarian horde. Despite the freezing rain Sempronius was to show Hannibal the virtue of true Romans and lead his army through the mud and water in the full knowledge that they would send the barbarians back into Translpine Gaul. And all on an empty stomach!

Hannibal and his men were prepared for this provoked, rash Roman behavior, waiting patiently whilst their enemy trudged the cold muddy river exhausting themselves before any blows were struck. Furthermore Hannibal's brother Mago, lead a group of his fiercest Numidian horsemen and were ready to strike when the time came.  

The light armed clashed in the centre, the more competent Carthaginian skirmishers were overwhelmed by the weight of the Roman light levies. This poor show of force surely had a negative impact on the Punic centre as they went on to struggle through out the battle against the cream of the Roman army. However Hannibal knew that by pushing the light armed to breaking point it would buy crucial time and that the morale of his line would hold. The Gallic and Iberian heavy foot eventually forced back the Roman light armed but had to retreat under the unrelenting legions, hoping for Mago's relief force. They regrouped and prepared to gird their loins.

Hannibal personally lead the Punic left and his elephants caused much disruption to the Roman right, the Cenomani were particularly troubled by the elephants, they were the first of the Roman line to flee. 

It was the infantry clash that would settle it for Sempronius but the Punic line held its own.

Hannibal knew what he lacked in infantry he more than made up for it in cavalry, and he knew it would be decided on the flanks. The Numdians raced forward on both flanks hoping to wear down the Roman horse which held back to cover the Roman flanks long enough to allow the legions to do their work. The Iberian horse on the right and the Gauls on the left followed the Numidian screening force and it was not long before the Roman horse was concerned. As the Roman centre forced the Punic infantry back, Hannibal showed Sempronius his master stroke as the Roman horse crumbled, Mago and his horsemen appeared behind the Roman centre. The heavy Iberian and Gallic cavalry soon made their way behind their respective Roman flanks.  

The Roman right was the first to crumble allowing Hannibal to turn his African heavy infantry onto the Roman centre's flank. The killing strike came from the Iberian horsemen descending upon the rear of the Roman left, shattering two Roman formations and routing the rest. The morale in the centre held onto one last hope.

That last hope was to break though the worn Gallic and Iberian tribesmen, however, Sempronius' men were too tired and the Punic centre held out whilst Mago's picked Numidians struck the final blow.

Battle Results

I'll attempt to work out the victory points! As mentioned above as well as the fatigue suffered by the Romans they had to suffer from a few missed 'Fresh Legionary' modifiers. I'm not sure who the missed wet weather rule helped most? I imagine again it was Hannibal as there were plenty of spare commands for attack bonus'. After a poor start with the light infantry duel in the centre the Carthaginians around the battlefield came off alright Rome seemed to roll well for commands but poorly for attacks. The dice rolls add the chaos and the tention in Lost Battles and the fear of a double hit is ever present.

Although levies are fragile receiving attacks and suffer too in the morale roll, in the few battles I have played they have been able to cause trouble to their opponents.  

Hannibal used the 'flip-flop' of the turn order on turn 5, mainly to retreat the centre before the legionaries made short work of them. It also allowed Hannibal to finish off the Roman cavalry with a fresh stock of commands and only the flanks with units available to attack so they got a few attack bonus'. Hannibal's (and Mago's) command and attack bonus exceptions were pivotal to Carthaginian success throughout the battle, along with the flip-flop rule that replicated Mago's ambush. The ambush is handled abstractly as the Numidians were deployed with the rest of the army however the 'flip-flop' rule allows for 2 consecutive moves so by giving the Numidians double movement they could almost fly around the battlefield! Despite my many rules cock ups Lost Battles gave a realistic outcome for Trebia.

I am now realising that I am confused again over the ALE FV? During the battle should I have added 6 more FV to the overall Roman FV of 73? This may have again exacerbated Rome's command and control, although initially it would not have given the Romans and extra command to use they may have lost  out as units were removed from the battle? Hopefully a veteran player can help, but it sounds like another rules error against Rome! Terrible! A rematch will have to be on the cards... (EDIT: turns out I had done this right at least; FV 73 when fighting and FV 67 when scoring for the Romans.)

After all that Lost Battles again provided a tense and interesting game even though it was played solo. If I could manage to play it more frequently I am sure I would remember the rules better and get a good smoother flowing game. Some of the modifiers seem quite wordy but they provide much of the nuanced interactions of the ancient battlefield and along with the morale rules give a Lost Battles game a historical feel, like an account lifted from Livy or Polybius.   


Shatters; 2 x AHC = 12VP, 1 x AHI = 6VP, 3 x ALE = 18VP, 1 x VLE = 8VP  

Routs; 3 x AHC = 12VP, 1 x LLI = 3VP, 3 x ALE = 12VP 7 x VLE =  35VP 

Withdrawn: 1 x UC = 3VP         

109 VP For Carthage


Shatters: 1 x ALI = 6VP, 2 x AHI = 12VP 
Spent 3 x AHI = 9VP, 2 x AHC = 6VP, 1 x ALC = 3VP, 1 x ALI = 3VP, 1 x AEL = 3VP  

42 VP for Rome, Major Carthaginian victory.... or: 
82 VP = 42 + 20 (FV difference x2) + 20 (fatigue),  Clear Carthaginian game victory, however the ref needs sacking!

Monday, 27 August 2018

Austrian Grenzers

Finally an update to the blog! Real life has been interfering in the hobby for both good and bad reasons, but little by little I have managed to do small bursts at the work bench. This time its a few of the new Newline Designs 20mm Grenzers from the Napoleonic Austrian range. As ever nicely detailed miniatures which lend themselves very well to my usual painting method of blocking, washing then highlighting.

There are a few codes, illustrated below, two advance poses, two firing poses and one loading pose. The command set is great and I love the NCO encouraging his men! Mixing the codes you can create a good looking irregular firing line. I am not an expert in Napoleonic era uniforms but these look close enough to what I have seen. I used a few plates from around the web and the Hat 1/72 Grenzer art work for reference. I still need to get a flag and base them but I will do that at a later date. 

I hope to press straight on with the ancients of which I have undercoated a good few units of light infantry and Punic citizens. The main focus on ancients is due to the realisation that I am fast running out of space for painted miniatures, so I am hoping to at least get the Macedonian and Punic war covered before that happens!   


Sunday, 8 July 2018

Carthaginian Mounted Nobles

Another cheat post! These 20mm Newline Designs Carthaginian cavalry miniatures had been sat on my desk waiting to be refurbished and rebased for some time now, I just kept putting them off. Now I want to have a clear of the half done projects on my desk ready for a big push on light infantry units and Zama units (of which this is one!). I was never quite satisfied how they had turned out originally, the clouding of the varnish and my over zealous bending of their arms left me feeling "at least they are done".

With the plan to play Zama with Lost Battles at some point I thought I would base the individuals on to 60mm x 40mm bases like my other mounted units. So I also needed to "fix" the arms, apply some highlights (particularly the bronze) and inject some colour into the riders. I ended up leaving most of the horses some still look cloudy but its not too bad with them being mottled grey. I also changed  the shields to slightly flatter ones which are the same diameter, various colours and some Veni Vidi Vici transfers from their 15mm Hellenistic range. The laurel wreath design was from an aborted homebrew transfer project. Now I feel happier with them and look forward to them taking the field in their new guise.

In the past few weeks since the last post I have tried to at least spend a little bit of time preparing the figures listed in the post before that. I still have the Greek javelinemen and Grenzers to clean up, they all need mounted and spears attached. I still need to find and prep some shields for the Punic citizens. I may if I get a bit of time post a "to do" on the PARADE GROUND WORKSHOP sister blog, at least for units for Lost Battles anyway. I have seen these sort of lists on blogs and it will be an added bit of incentive to keep on at it. In some ways I am enjoying the shorter bursts at the work bench but the slow progress is a bit frustrating.

It may be a long while before there are some more pictures of finished figures on here, as well as game reports, of which I still have yet to find an opportunity. With things being hectic at home and lots of things to do around the house a re-fight appears only in the far distance. I will have to console myself with short bursts at the desk which will allow more battles when the chance appears as more units are slowly finished.

1/72 ancients

Sunday, 24 June 2018

Elymian Archers


Along with the Persian slingers these 20mm Elymian Archers from Newline Designs will form some of Antiochus' light infantry levies for Magnesia. These are from the Achaemenid Persian range and feature one pose. To introduce some variety  they were given a few differing colourful outfits. Other than that they were straight forward to paint up.  

As I mentioned in my last post, because I am only a few units away from having 'enough' units for Zama, I am going to have a focus on those. Also if I re-fight Cannae with larger units, I need more light infantry for the Romans at least. The planned Leves types using Newline Etruscans will do for that. Next up will be a refurbished unit of Carthaginian heavy cavalry, which will clear my desk allowing me to start cracking through my next list of targets.

1/72 Ancients

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Third Time Lucky and Industrial Strategy

This poor unit of Napoleonic Austrian infantry was rebased for the third and final time, roughly the same time as the Landwehr. I was at that point still not happy with my photography, but since then I have managed to get some good photos of the unit. The combination of discovering the HDR function on my camera phone and the built in editor has given me a boost on the photography aspect of the blog. I felt it was worth a third post on this particular unit to show both the basing and photographic improvements. Also because I have had my hands full I wanted to post something on here and money for old rope is the order of the day.

I have been wanting a game of Lost Battles Trebia scenario for some time now but I'm not sure when the opportunity will present itself. However I have been slowly working here and there on the painting side of the hobby. I have just finished the Elymian levy light infantry and I have been wanting to spruce up a few Carthaginian horsemen that need rebased which are just about there.

Once these are done I have an ambitious list of all Newline Designs 20mm units to get through and I would like to prep them on an industrial scale. The following list will all need mould lines checked and scraped off and all except the Napoleonics will be painted in roughly the same manner that is base sprayed with Barbarian Flesh:
  • Few Austrian grenzers samples.
  • 8 bases (at least) unarmoured Etruscans. These will be used as levy light infantry featuring both new and old sculpts for that code.
  • 8 bases (at least) Greek javelinmen. Features a new pose recently added to the code.
  • 2 bases of Numidian light infantry (Zama).
  • 4 bases of Velites tunics and helmets with Gallic shields as generic heavy infantry or Ligurians (Zama).
  • 4 bases Carthaginian or Libyan levy spearmen. (Zama).
Once they are at the base coated stage I will hopefully crack through them a unit at a time. Once they are all done I will only need to do one more African elephant for Zama to have the opposing armies finished. Once the units for Zama are complete I will try to focus back on Magnesia.

Monday, 11 June 2018

Hadria Line Infantry Imperial Guard

Continuing on with the 40k and abandoned project theme I took a few snaps of a prototype Imperial Guardsman or Astra Militarum as they go by nowadays. When I was procuring the plastic Cadians along with some plastic heavy weapons and command sets I had wanted to base their uniforms on German Fallschimjagres. I painted this model up based on the Italeri 1/72 Fallschrimjager art work.

I was a fan of the original Cadian shock troops miniatures in the 90s but I still can not get away with the redesigned helmet on the plastic set. Also, I later decided to have a self intervention, with the 1/72 and 20mm collections becoming out of control, I had now convinced myself to not by any Imperial Guard tanks.

So now the Guardsmen were to be an infantry only force depending on waves of troops and basic heavy weapon support. With this in mind I wanted to change the appearance to fit the theme of such a force. If I could find a historical themed seperate head I could convert the cadians into a rustic looking regiment like the Mordians or Praetorians. 

I discovered on Arcane Scenery's webshop Trent miniatures AWI range which includes seperate heads.  They seemed perfect, spare heads in Tarletons! Giving the guardsman a horse and musket era feel, then repainting them based on 19th century Prussians, with the armour painted in a silver metal inspired by Napoleonic French Cuirassiers. I did have to snip the ponytail but other than that the head fit like a dream. 

I was planning on squeezing as much as I could out if the heavy weapon set by attempting to mount the bolter, autocannon and lascannon onto napoleonic artillery carriages, like the carriage mounted Gatling guns of the 19th century. However, that hasn't advanced any further than the hairbrain stage yet. 

I do have a sentenel walker burried somewhere which was included in a battleforce set and I have a few Tallarn Desert Raiders. This detachmet would provide an irregular contrast to the ridgedly drilled and diciplined force.

Like the Eldar I would love to continue this project but it resides way down the list of priorities at this time. One day! I keep telling myself.