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Saturday, 3 June 2023

Cannae with Lost Battles

I recently finished rebasing my African veterans (post to follow) giving me the units I needed for a game of Lost Battles Cannae scenario. I did try to keep a record of the battle for a blow by blow account but I started to lose track of things towards the end so have opted to do a photo report with the battle loosely narrated in the photo captions below. 

The battlefield at Cannae

The hill on the Punic right made using some cork tiles under the fleece

Low tech river of laminated card with a water effect print,
loose foliage was used to make up the banks

Armies deployed 

Hannibal's intimidating cavalry arm
Hannibal's thin infantry line

The Legions massed to overwhelm the Carthaginians

The Velites quickly give the Caetratii some trouble

Both lines close

Roman cavalry hold despite desperate odds

The Romans press hard

The Punic line struggles to resist the Legions

The Numidians are repelled by the Romans

Hannibal's infantry line buckles while the cavalry 
swings round the flank 

The Romans press the centre and the Roman cavalry attempt
to relieve the pressure on the rear

Carthaginian left struggles against the might of Rome

Roman cavalry attempt to distract the Punic cavalry however
the Numidians return to threaten the Roman rear

The Legions tear through the Punic infantry while the
Carthaginian cavalry wreak havoc on the Roman rear

Only the Roman centre remains but continues to fight

The encircled Roman centre battles on 

Another blow to Hannibal's line, Hannibal managed to 
keep them fighting for a little longer but eventually the 
Gauls broke and the cavalry to the rear fled, leaving the
Romans to win the field.

Saturday, 20 May 2023

Roman Anti Elephant Carts

I was inspired to make up some elephant carts after seeing the plate in the Osprey Pyrrhus army book. It looked great, sported a scorpion bolt thrower and was pushed by oxen, however I felt this was a bit fanciful. I envisioned the carts more like a wagon fort, being pulled and filled with missile troops and long spears. If they are meant to block elephants I would have thought any artillery would need to be placed behind the frontline. So I made my carts a bit more simplistically. 

To make these 20mm Roman anti elephant carts I started with 4 x Sea people ox carts (ANCH03) as 2 carts are needed to make 1 anti elephant cart. The 2 base components need to be glued together, the rear section  had the beam and yoke removed and both were filed to give a closer fit. Once superglued I used a few bits of cocktail stick to reinforce the joint on the underside.

Next I attached the wheels with difficulty and with 20/20 hindsight I would leave this step until AFTER the sides have been sorted. The side sections that join in the middle had their chamfers snipped off and filed to give a better join while all the other side parts were left unmodified, when it was dry the gaps were filled. Once the main cart was assembled all the components were painted up.

The carts were basecoated in dark brown then built up with various browns, khakis and beige colours until I felt it was done. The oxen were painted as well as the drovers which were spare Greek catapult crew that Sean at Newline Designs kindly and thoughtfully sent after I told him my intentions with the carts. Then it was the fighting crew.

The crew much like the chariots I left loose, so the carts could be generic baggage carts. I used Newline Velites (ANR05) for the unarmoured crew and armoured pikeman is a conversion using a Roman head in Montefortino style helmet and Carthaginian pikeman body:


When all the components were completed the oxen and drovers were glued to the base then the whole base was filled with filler for the ground texture. After the filler was dry and painted the carts were attached before the static grass was applied. It will be some time before I'll have a Pyrrhic war battle so I set them up with some elephants for a quick scene. 

The Roman ox carts attempt to impede the stampeding elephants of Pyrrhus:

Wednesday, 17 May 2023

The Spaniard Vs Tigris of Gaul


For some time now I've had the idea of creating characters inspired by one of the seminal influences for my love of the ancients era, Ridley Scott's Gladiator. The spark began when Newline Designs released a pack of 20mm Gladiators (ANR28) I thought I would love to have a miniature Tigris of Gaul there was a figure that had a similar look with cross belts. The iconic character was very striking in appearance with the silvered tiger helm and mask. To recreate this I grabbed an Alexander the Great (AP01) the figure wears a lion head helmet which would do nicely, the plumes removed and heads swapped with the intention to paint the face as the silver face mask. I didn't want to mess the figure up with poor green stuff skills so I just went for a close approximation, I did ditch the shield and drill out the hand. I used a bristle and made the axe head out of one of the Newline spearheads, flattened and shaped. I painted the padded armour as silver banded armour to match the theme.

I couldn't do Tigris without doing the protagonist, the Spaniard, Maximus Decimus Meridius! This was a more straight forward head swap using a bare head from Etruscan class IV infantry (ANI09) and placing it on a body from Mercenary Hoplites I (ANG14), the ones with pturges and Iphicratean boots may have been a closer match but I preferred the pose of the finished figure. His sword was sourced from a Hat set and the rest came down to painting to get a close approximation of the Spaniard. This was mainly painting the left sleeve as a shoulder pad, painting a short beard and the studded pturges.

These two will hopefully be joined down the line with more gladiators who will find use in a gladiatorial combat game and as part of a Slave revolt army. Although individually based I tend to go for grid based games so single figures with round bases can battle rectangular multi bases without issues! 

I'm slowly working through Roman skirmish markers, a couple of generals and two more Iberian units. I also have my Seleucid pikemen that have been debased and await spear and shield updates. There's also some finished and rebased stuff to post up when I get the chance to do so.    

Sunday, 7 May 2023

Generals and Rabbles

A bit of a mixed bag with this post. Firstly the Roman generals, which feature a quid pro quo head swap of a Newline Designs 20mm mounted General and a foot command officer figure, which gives me a few more unique characters!   

Secondly, we have a few light infantry bases. While sorting out the rebasing I came upon a box of miniatures that had yet to be based containing Roman Leves and Greek Javelinmen. I had 32 of each painted up as I was initially making light foot units in multiples of 4. With changing this to 6 figure bases, I decided on 4 x 6 man base and the remaining 8 figures to be based individually.

The individual figures are hopefully for Strength & Honour. The few games I've played so far used 4 base per unit and with the large unit size I manage to fudge skirmish bases with the 6 man light foot bases. However for larger battles or for fitting on a smaller table space I would need another solution. With these battles one 80mm base will represent one unit therefore making the grid smaller and the battle field divided into more squares. So for representing units with skirmish lines I thought individual figures would do the job as skirmishers markers, I could use as many or few as I had or wanted (see below). Furthermore with my preference for gridded wargames the individually based figures can be units in their own right without the different format impacting the rules.    

Roman Officers;
Greek Javelinmen;

Skirmishers markers;
Skirmisher markers;

The skirmisher markers arrayed with the legionary base, a couple of potential formats for Strength & Honour:
                                                                       1/72 ancients  1:72