Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Saxon / Roman Dilemma

Oh what fickle creatures we wargamers can be!

I've been struggling to make a start on my latest project, Caesar's Legions. This, I deemed, was due to having moved house only very recently; and that is certainly a big part of the equation. But I've been wondering if there was another reason? ... and there is. Yes dear readers, I must admit that I haven't quite got the Dark Ages gaming bug out of my system yet!

This epiphany came yesterday evening whilst sorting out some boxes of figures in my new Man Cave(tm). I discovered some carefully wrapped Saxon figures from Gripping Beast's Dark Age civilian and Casualties & Killers ranges all prepped and ready to paint. First thought "Ooh lovely, must paint those!" rather than "Ooh must put those some where safe until I've completed my Romans".

Hmmm ... ?

To be fair there are some more pragmatic considerations too. In early May we hope to be taking the Saxon-Viking game to Legionary (Exeter) and I'd really like to have some extra civilians and other dioramas ready to add more Dark Ages atmosphere to the table. There's also the vague possibility of a magazine article later in the year - definitely want all of the extra bits and pieces ready for that if it goes ahead!

And yes, I have seen GB's latest offering. Plastic Dark Age Warriors along with the new Shieldwall range, not to mention a forthcoming range of new Vikings! Again, I found my self thinking "must get some of those!".

Does this mean that my latest purchase will be swept in to a dusty corner? No! (By which I mean 'yes', but only until I finish off these Dark Ages figures - approximately thirty or so)

I really do want to get started on my new Romans, but I just have to properly finish off my Saxons first. This is something of a new concept here at the Wargames Table.

So whilst I know that the Dark Ages are perhaps not everyone's "cup of tea", I do hope that you'll bear with me as I continue my journey through 10th and 11th century England.

Happy Gaming!

Friday, 22 March 2013

New Romans from Warlord

We have moved at last! What better way to celebrate than to start a brand new army?! After all one more box around here will hardly notice.

As you have already seen, Warlord have launched another range of Romans! This time it's "Caesar's Legions". I've purchased three boxes plus some Numidian light cavalry. I thought some of my readers might like to see some pics and read my mini review?

There are 24 figures to a box, equipped with either gladius or pilum (one weapon type per box). Pricing is very reasonable at £18 per box and Warlord are doing some good 3 & 6 box deals.

First impressions were very good. The detail is finely sculpted and crisply moulded. As with most plastic figures there are some fine mould lines to remove. Assembly is easy; the body includes legs and a shield arm, so you need only add a weapon arm and a head. There are two similar sprues, command and rank & file. Each has four figures plus appropriate arms, shields, etc. There are also enough slings to equip half the figures if you want some tough skirmishers. There are four different bodies, four weapon arms and six heads, so plenty of variety.

In order to give you a sense of their size, at least when compared to other Roman figures, I've taken a few pics with the figures alongside Aventine and Black Tree Early Imperial Romans (I don't have any other 'earlier' Romans). All are clickable.

Aventine, Warlord, BTD, Warlord, BTD

Warlord, BTD, Warlord, Aventine, Warlord

Some closer shots

Aventine, Warlord

BTD, Warlord

Aventine, Warlord

I really like these new plastic figures! I haven't quite settled upon the best way to paint them yet, either dipped/washed or a more conventional layering approach? I may paint a few in each style and see which I prefer.

Anyway, better get on with the unpacking! Hope you found the review useful.

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Latest Painting - WIP

All rather hectic here recently but I have managed to squeeze in a little painting time before my paints had to be packed away.

As mentioned before I have a few Dark Age figures to finish off before I return to all things Roman. Here they are.

First some Bondi for my wife's army. I'll be getting some large LBMS transfers for those shields.

As you can see they are block painted with some highlighting on items such as the hair and metals. The dip/wash is packed.

Apologies about the rather poor quality photos, I was in a bit of rush!

Next some Bondi Archers.

And again.

Now some Perry archers (from their Crusaders range). I thought these would be useful for a variety of Dark Age settings.

To make it clear they are skirmishers I've based them on 25mm circular bases.


Saturday, 9 March 2013

Next Big Project

Yes, after a lot of head scratching I've finally settled on my next big wargaming project; Caesar's Legions! I've been thoroughly immersed in the Dark Ages for around 18 months starting with warbands for Saga then expanding these in to large armies for War & Conquest, then taking part in some demo games at shows and generally having a lot of fun. So it's been good but now I feel I need a change, both in terms of painting and gaming.

One of the books I've been avidly reading recently

Although I already have a modest Early Imperial Roman army I've been interested in gaming Caesar's conquest for a long while. The deciding factor was Warlord's announcement of their new Caesarian boxed sets.

I've ordered three boxes, that's 72 figures for £48, plus I added a box of Numidian cavalry. I've already got suitable command figures plus some generic skirmishers on the painting table, so that's most of an army. Good value at £73 I think. It's certainly enough to be play some good sized games. No doubt I'll think about adding either more Legions or more Auxiliaries ... or both!

To avoid bother with the post I've asked Warlord to hang on to the order until after we move so it will be a little while before I've any painted figures to show, plus I have a few Dark Age bits and bobs to finish off.

I've also been thinking about how to base and transport the figures. At the recent War & Conquest gaming day I was very impressed by some of the chaps who turned up with their figures already on move trays stored in shallow plastic boxes. They needed only minutes to have their figures ready on the table. Therefore I'll be looking at multi-basing the figures, possibly in 4 x 1 or 4 x 2's, and I'll be investigating the various options for magnetic basing. Speaking of bases - I'm considering a new more arid colour scheme for the bases.That's because I have a vague idea about collecting a Parthian force - but that's another matter.

Happy gaming.

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Viking Army

A few weeks back I posted up some pics of my Saxon army. Now, here are some pics of my wife's rather splendid Vikings.

By the way.... things may go a little quiet on the blog for the next few weeks as we're gearing up to move house! Please bear with me, as normal service will be resumed as soon as possible.

Here's the full army.

Some Hirdmen supported by Bondi and archers.

Here's the King with his banner and his most trusted Hirdmen.

More Hirdmen with Bondi and Thralls in support. Note the 'refreshment cart' and 'other entertainment' on the top right ;o)

As with the Saxons there's still plenty to add to the army. Firstly, another unit of Hirdmen, secondly some beserkers perhaps, then some allied cavalry; perhaps Welsh or Scots, they've always been keen to have a bash at the Saxons!