Thursday, 31 January 2008

Another Unit of EIR Auxiliary Infantry Painted

Completed painting another unit of 15 Auxiliary Infantry last night! (except for shields - which are ready to be LBM-ed). Really pleased with the results. Will take some pics at the weekend if I have time to finish basing them properly. This brings the total to 41 figures.

Plus, I've already made a good start on the second unit of 15. Got up early this morning in the hope that the weather would be still (it's often quite windy here in NZ) so that I could do some undercoating on the next batch. The lack of a garage is bl**dy annoying! The weather was perfect so there I was at 7am on the patio spraying the next lot of Romans with GW Chaos Black before heading off to work.

Bonkers eh?

Thursday, 24 January 2008

Roman Reinforcements

To ensure the Pax Romana, Rome is sending reinforcements!

Actually the troops are being sent by Black Tree Design. Yes - I got official permission to expand my army with the addition of:-

18 Legionaries (incl. Centurion, Aquila & Cornicern)
9 Auxiliary Cavalry (incl command group)
2 Scorpio bolt shooters incl crew (to replace the ballista)

This will bring my forces up to a nice 1,500pts. Just right for dealing with all those hairy barbarian types.


Friday, 18 January 2008

The Romans are Advancing!

The Romans are coming along quite nicely now with the second unit of Auxiliary infantry nearing completion - apart from needing to order some shield transfers from LBM. I now have the rest of the figures (thanks to Grandma for bringing them from the UK) for my basic 1,000pt starter army. The army list should look something like this

18 Legionaries CSM
15 Auxiliaries LSM
15 Auxiliaries LSM
12 Auxiliary Archers
1 Ballista
10 Mountain Tribesmen LSM
9 Barbarian Skirmishers
2 x 1 Packmaster with 5 Warhounds

Fairly light in terms of Legionaries at this stage but having done a certain amount of research into the subject I see that the Roman army that conquered Britannia used a lot Auxiliaries for the more routine patrolling and (Roman) law enforcement, backed up by a smaller contingents of regular Legionaries to ensure proper discipline was maintained. That's how I understand things at the moment anyway!

The army I'm building reflects this, with only a single unit of Legionaries. The plan is to expand the force to around 1,500pts later this year with the addition of another unit of Legionaries and a unit of Auxiliary cavalry. After that I may add a third unit of Legionaries and reduce the proportion of Auxiliaries in the force, but that can wait.

I really seem to have got in to a good routine for painting and feel quite confident that I can achieve my aim of having this army complete by the end of April. It's likely that the next 2-3 weeks will see less painting as we have family visitng from the UK, however I'll keep things ticking along.

All this painting confidence has naturally led me to start thinking about what I'd like to do next. I'm pleased to say that WAB seems to be (slowly) gaining interest at the club. A couple of guys at the club have AoA armies so that might be a good idea. I'm quite inspired by guitarheroandy and his beautiful Welsh army ( see 2007 posts). Those GB and WW figures look very good indeed. However, I'm also quite inspired to build a Saxon or Viking or Norman army from the Shieldwall supplement. Then of course there's El Cid .... Gah!?

Sunday, 13 January 2008

Barbarian Packmaster & Warhounds

I've been very busy painting up a unit of Auxiliaries (cohortes pedites) for my Early Imperial Roman army, however I decided to take a rest and paint these fellows. The packmaster is a very old Foundry figure I think. I found it in my bits box - handy indeed! The hounds are, of course, from Gripping Beast.

(click for larger picture)

Apologies for the (slightly) dreadful photo quality. I was experimenting with non-scenic backgrounds but realised that my little'uns had made off with all the light blue paper so I had to resort to a not-so-light green ... hmmm? I'll take some better pics (with scenery) another time.

Haven't completed the packmaster's base yet as I intend to varnish him first, then complete the basing, as I understand that static grass does not handle varnish too well. Varnishing will (thanks to advice from those splendid chaps on the WAB forum) be GW 'Ardcoat followed by Testors Dullcote.

The plan is to have 2 units of these chaps in my army. The WS 4 hounds can make short work of enemy skirmishers who are often only WS 2 with very little in the way of armour. Having units of 7 can make them rather fragile if confronted with determined enemy missile fire given the packmaster's Ld of 6 (the hounds are only Ld 3) but these units cost few points and will definitely give your opponent pause for thought.

Anyway, better get on with the rest of the Auxiliaries. The unit will be 15 in total, and 9 are complete so far with the rest well on the way. Need to order some Little Big Men (LBM) studios transfers for the shields too.

Happy gaming (& painting)!

Wednesday, 9 January 2008

Age of Arthur Cover Art

Just thought I'd post this lovely pic.

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WAB - 30th Dec 2007 - Early Saxons vs EIR

Always keen for a game of WAB I arranged another game against Darren's early Saxon Horde. Rather than use my HYW English (Bretonnian) figures I asked Darren if I could use his Roman-style Dwarf army as stand in figures. I cannot remember which company makes the figures but they are wearing lorica style armour and carrying scutum-like shields. I managed to field a few of my archers and used some Bretonnian light cavalry as stand in figures for Auxiliary Cavalry. In fact the slightly odd nature and appearance of the army rather reminded me of the first few games of WFB I played way back in about '87. The "armies" were a mix of role-playing figures, borrowed bits and newly acquired GW Orcs & Goblins. Ah - nothing to match a bit of misty-eyed nostalgia is there?

Anyway, my EIR was

3 x 15 Legionaries CSM
1 x 15 Auxiliary Infantry LSM
1 x 12 Auxiliary Archers
1 x 9 Auxiliary Cavalry LSM
2 x Ballista
2 x 9 Barbarian Skirmishers
2 x Packmaster & 5 Warhounds

CSM = Centurion, Standard and Musician.
LSM = Leader, Standard and Musician.

Darren's Saxons was something like (approx anyway - must remember to make a note on the day)

1 x 24 Gedricht LSM
1 x 12 Mounted Duguth LSM
1 x 28 Duguth LSM incl General, ASB
1 x 28 Geoguth LSM
3 x Unit of 9 skirmishers (short bows and/or javelins)

The game was a 1,500pt Pitched Battle lasting 6 turns.

For a change I think I deployed quite well. The Legionaries were centrally placed with the Auxiliary Infantry on their right flank. The skirmishers were in front, with a pack of hounds on each flank. The Ballista were sited one on each flank. The Archers protected the right-hand ballista. The cavalry were placed on the right flank too.

Darren placed his Saxons with the three big infantry units in the centre, the cavalry on his left flank (facing my cavalry). His skirmishers were placed in front of his infantry units.

The Battle
First turn went to the EIR and they advanced across the board. In reply only the Saxons skirmishers and Mounted Duguth advanced. Turns 2-3 saw a fierce battle develop in the centre of the field as the skirmish lines clashed. Suprisingly, neitehr side would give and this caused some hold up for the Legionaries keen to get to grips with the waiting Saxons. On the Roman left flank the warhounds did well against bow armed skirmishers, tearing them to shreds and then pursuing into a formed unit of Saxons who promptly beat them, causing the hounds to flee the field. On the right flank the disciplined Roman cavalry beat, routed and destroyed their Saxon counterparts, though the fight was close.

Eventually in turn 4 the greater number of barbarian skirmishers prevailed against the Saxons. However, the barbarians pursued in to the waiting Saxon Duguth and Gedricht and so were torn to shreds. But at last the legions had a clear view of the Saxon infantry and wasted no time in bringing them to battle.

However, this is were my plans went slightly awry. Having won the fight against the cavalry and the skirmishers I was perhaps feeling a little too confident. One Legionary unit attacked each of the Geoguth and Duguth but the Gedricht got the charge on the other Legionary unit supported by the formed Auxiliary Infantry. The Gedricht chose to charge the Auxiliaries who were simply no match for the fearsome Saxon killers. The few survivors fleds. The pursuit of the Gedricht took them away from the waiting Legionaries. The combats against the Duguth and Geoguth did not go too well either with the Roman armour seemingly made of paper.

At this point I think I must have had a brain-fart because I forgot the fantastic rule that Romans are stubborn (ignore first break test) so the Legionaries made a run for it and were wiped out ... both units! Ho hum - certainly the best way to learn eh?

The remaining unit of Legionaries and the few Auxiliary cavalry were no match for the massed Saxons and the game finished as a massive victory for the dreaded 'Sais'.

Another very enjoyable game! I'm really beginning to like the WAB rules and armies. The result is a much better wargame, in my opinion, than WFB. I really must prepare for battles more thoroughly and make sure I remember any important special rules.

Tuesday, 1 January 2008

Early Imperial Roman Auxiliary Archers

Hooray! At last I have completed my first proper unit for my WAB EIR army ... a unit of 12 Auxiliary Archers. I'm really pleased with the results. Here are a few pics.

EIR Auxiliary Archers
(click for larger picture)

Here's a closer shot.

EIR Auxiliary Archers
(click for larger picture)

Being Light Infantry they can either be formed up in ranks, handy for the 'massed archery' rule, or become skirmishers.

EIR Auxiliary Archers
(click for larger picture)

The figures are from Black Tree Design. They have been painted with Foundry and some GW paints as follows.

Black GW undercoat spray.
Armour - GW Bolt Gun Metal, wash with GW Black Ink, then GW Chainmail and GW Mithril Silver.
Skin - Foundry Flesh Shade/Mid/Light.
Tunic - Foundry Boneyard Mid/Light, mix of Boneyard Light and GW Skull White.
Red Pterges - GW Mechrite Red, Foundry Bright Red Shade/Mid.
Blue Pterges - Foundry Deep Blue Mid/Light.
Green Pterges - Foundry Phlegm Green Mid/Light
Sandals - GW Vermin Fur, GW Brown Ink, GW Vermin Fur if necessary.
Quiver - Foundry Spearshaft Shade/Mid/Light
Bow - Foundry Buff Leather Shade/Mid

The bases are sand washed with thinned GW Bestial Brown, then highlighted with GW Vomit Brown and GW Bleached Bone. Add some static grass and scenic scatter material.

Hope you like them because there's more Romans on the way!