Tuesday, 29 May 2012

A River Runs Through It No.1

On the subject of DBA Campaigns, one of the things that I'm always short of is suitable terrain and so I've decided to make some.  I've got a whole list of items to make which no doubt I will blog about but first up is a river.  This will be my starting point:
Yes, we got some nice 'tiled' lino for the kitchen a few years ago and I'd been keeping the offcuts for something.... The pieces are a sort of marbled stone effect and there's quite a lot of blue in some of them.
And here are the various river sections I've cut, mainly from blue parts of the tiles.  They are all about 40mm across (i.e. one 15mm base-width in DBA/DBM) and there are various curved and straight sections.
Here are a few river pieces with some 15mm Magister Militum Skythian horsemen for scale.  I like the severed heads hanging from the saddles - nice touch.

Sunday, 27 May 2012

DBM Armies and Their Uses

One of my long term projects (what am I saying?  All of my wargame projects are 'long term') has been my 15mm, 500 point Lydian DBM army (I/50), developed and finally all painted over the embarrassingly long period from 1995-2010.  The thing about choosing and developing a DBM army, at least for someone thrifty like me, is the opportunity to ensure that there was enough variety to generate an interesting selection of (much smaller) DBA armies without having to acquire additional figures.

As Classical armies go the Lydian army is quite useful because not only does it have mounted 'hoplites' - 'knights' Kn(F) (unusual for that period) but it also has light chariots (LCh), (foot) hoplites (Sp) and lots of auxiliaries (Ax), not to mention Psiloi (Ps) and, my personal favourite, wardogs (they count as Warband).
Not the most war-like of dogs really - they were actually some animals I got in the railway model shop Harburn Hobbies (top end of Leith Walk) so they're really just collies (and a labrador).  Still, with a little training..... The dog walker is an Essex ballista crew member or similar.  And yes I know, the basing is a bit, well, basic, but they were done a long time ago and if I redo these then I'll have to do them all, which is 500pts worth of rebasing....

Anyway, this varied collection of troop types lends itself to a variety of DBA armies.  For the sake of argument here are four of them, which also happen to be historical opponents (according to the DBA 2.0 army lists anyway):
  • I/41 Phrygian (800BC-676BC)
  • I/48 Thracian (700BC-46AD)
  • I/50 Lydian (687BC-546BC)
  • I/52(g) Early Hoplite Greek (Asiatic Greek) (668BC-450BC)
And here are (from front to back) the Lydians, Thracians and Phrygians.  All figures are/were 15mm Chariot (now Magister Militum).  I couldn't be bothered setting out the Asiatic Greek Hoplites, although the figures I have are very good (check out HOG002 and HOG003 on the Hoplites page).

And the reason for all this?  Well, a good few years ago we did a very successful DBA campaign where Geoff and I both fielded 4 armies that blundered round a rather complicated hex map fighting each other (not using the DBA campaign rules, as such).

It was one of those campaigns using a massive matchbox chest of drawers in true Donald Featherstone style.  I've still got most of the matchboxes somewhere, but my inclination now is to use the Berthier Campaign Manager (currently on v7.6.4), now that I'm thinking about another DBA campaign, which is ultimately the whole point of this rather rambling post.  Yet another opportunity to 'watch this space'.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

ACW Adventures in Basing No.5

Actually, this post isn't about basing per se, but does address the issue that the Union forces (i.e. mine) never really had cavalry.  But they do now.
And it's these - 1:72 Italieri Union Cavalry, bought a few years ago (see price tag) but heading to the top of the pile.
They are actually excellent figures and I'm looking forward to getting on with painting them, much though I tend to put that part of the process off for as long as possible.
The good news is that I am slowly inching towards arranging a play test of the Regimental Fire & Fury Rules I bought last year, not to mention a go at Black Powder, which seems to be a strangely persistent set of rules (a good thing!) and which was to be my new project from last summer but work and other things sadly got in the way.

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

ACW Adventures in Basing No.4

With the infantry more or less all based up, for the legendary 20mm plastic Regimental Fire & Fury and/or Black Powder ACW project (see earlier posts), I thought it was time to start on cavalry.
These are some lance armed cavalry (they are meant to be a Texas regiment) that Geoff did a long while ago and I took the opportunity to base them this month.
The figures are actually very special because Geoff converted them from Esci Napoleonic Polish Lancers, and therefore I thought I'd feature closeups of them all.
As before, basing was done on 2mm thick MDF stands covered with very coarse shelly sand from my local beach, with some Jarvis autumn mix static grass on top, all glued on with PVA.
There is quite a variety of uniforms and in fact each figure is different.  Well, you might as well if you're converting them.
As always, the Esci figures are great in their own right and are a very nice starting point - I think that they have converted across very well.
As you can see, a lot of carving, adding on paper coats and plasticine hats - much more effort than I can usually manage.
Anyway, they're done now so on to the next lot of ACW troops.