Archive for Historical

Saga: The Saga(s) Continue(s)

Posted in Miniatures with tags , , , , , , , on September 7, 2018 by Sean


I’ve been working on various and sundry projects lately. Between larger blocks of units and such I’ve been working on a couple minies for Saga: Age of Crusades. I’ve finished all I need for The Age of Vikings era (for now), and now I’m turning my eye to Crusade-era factions.

The Warlord here is for the Pagan Peoples, the Slavic tribes and nations of the Baltic region of Europe. These peoples faced the onslaught of the Baltic Crusades. I can field my Anglo-Saxons to sub in as Pagans (Curonians, Prussians, or Latvians, etc.), but I plan on adding models painted up specifically as proper 12th Century tribal warriors. I wanted an appropriately ferocious model for the Warlord. I picked the Gripping Beast Viking special character of Njal, swapping a throwing axe for the spear in his left hand. The spear instead got planted in the ground to decorate the base, festooned with a pennant.

The model is a head taller than other figures of this scale so he has a suitable presence on the table. His lack of armor also helps differentiate him from my other Warlords, some of whom are covered head to toe in mail. His yellow shield has a stylized sun-burst symbol I found online; another shield with interlocking rectangles lies at his feet.

Next is a pair of Polish warriors, armed with great weapons. These models are from the Fireforge Russian infantry plastic kit. I plan on adding Polish units to my existing models- these are my test models. The warband will be a mix of Eastern gear (via Russia and Lithuania) and Western gear (Germany and similar). These guys definitely follow the Eastern fashion. The Polish warband would also allow me to play as Crusaders or Eastern Princes.

Last is an odd addition, straining the ‘historical’ nature of this post. The Mongols faction features in Age of Crusades rules, allowing me to use my Goblin Wolfriders models. The Gobbos already get fielded as any army made up of mounted troops, like the Huns, Spanish, and Moors. The models will once again ride forth. This time they will be accompanied by their Drummer, a hero-type of unit. In game he activates units nearby for free, allowing for amazing maneuverability for the Mongol warband. By the rules, the Drummer rides a camel instead of a horse. Since my Gobbos ride wolves, I figured a boar would be an obvious outlier to represent the difference.

I am going to go forward on the new warbands soon, either Polish or Pagans first. More to come.


Arena Rex: Morituri

Posted in Miniatures with tags , , , , , on August 23, 2018 by Sean



Arena Rex, the fantasy gladiator game, came out some time ago. I chose the Egyptian-themed ludus, the Morituri, purely off the look of the models. Luckily for me the rules seem to be good for them too.

When it first came out, I painted up two of the Morituri starter set, leaving the third to wait on the shelf for a while. With renewed interest in the game at my FLGS, I decided to push through and finish the set.

The starter set is a great variety of body types and fighting styles. I decided on a basic red/white/blue color scheme, contrasted by linen, bandages, and of course lots of gold.

First up is Ur-Kek, the heavy hitter (fat joke unintentional). He towers over the other members, with a bladed staff as big as a person. The whole game’s line of miniatures has a ton of skin on display, and Ur-Kek is no exception. I game him a nice healthy glow, the complexion of a heavy-set giant in the middle of exerting himself. A few scars and stretch marks finish him off. I like the sculpting, especially his face. This is one smug bastard.

Next is Mago, who carries the net/trident combination of the Retiarius type of gladiator. He seems to also wear a Secutor-style helmet. I gave him a warm black skin for more variety of tones.  His skulking posture (the better to defend with that trident) makes him look tiny, especially compared to Ur-Kek’s bulk and Zahra’s extended height.

The last member is Zahra, the spear and whip carrying member. She was the hardest to paint, due to the projecting spear and (very) flexible whip, whip constantly got in the way. A liked the swirling tassels (?) on her headdress, giving them a black stripe like the character artwork. The color scheme plays out on her with a red torso armor, white skirt, and blue edging. The skirt, being an Egyptian-style shendyt, would in theory be translucent. With that in mind, I added a little flesh tone into some parts to suggest the skin underneath. As I was painting her, I realized I was dangerously close to painting Wonder Women (the costume and whip didn’t help), but I managed to pull back. The only addition to her model was a rock for her to be launching off of. I figured she could use more height.

I’ll be getting more of the Morituri soon, so there will be posts with them soon enough.

The Romans on Parade

Posted in Miniatures with tags , , , , , , , on August 18, 2018 by Sean

This is a follow-up to the previous post about the Roman army for Field of Glory. I took some pics of the whole force arrayed to show off its grandeur. I love to see a completed army on the table.

The force is 600 points, so has potential for expansion later.

Field Commander (CinC), 2 Troop Commanders, 4 x4 Hastati & Principes, 2 x4 Velites, 2 x2 Triarii, 1 x4 Roman Cavalry, 1 x4 Numidian Cavalry, 1 x8 Allied Italians, and a Fortified Camp.

Field of Glory: SPQR

Posted in Miniatures with tags , , , , , , on August 16, 2018 by Sean

The Mid-Republican Roman army for Field of Glory has been finished! Another notch on the old army belt…

The last batch included the army’s commanders. The Commander-in-Chief represents the legions’ Legatus legionis, a member of the senate and senior commander. Next down is his second, the Tribunus laticlavius. Also a member of the senate, he most likely is related to the Legatus (nephew, son?). The third commander is a Praefecti, a member of the equestrian class, acting as a sub-commander for a small contingent.

The commander models once again fall prey to the Essex Miniatures ‘one pose’ problem. With that in mind I had to use their bodyguard and personal color schemes to tell them apart. The Legatus is the officer with two mounted bodyguards, the Tribunus has a small foot guard, and the Praefecti has just a single bodyguard model. I painted white lines on the rear of their bases to make spotting them on the table during a game easier.



Next is a unit of Italian Allies for the Romans. These might represent Campanions or Samnites. They fight in a loose version of the Greek/Etruscan style of hoplites or thureophoroi, giving the Roman heavy foot some support in rough ground. Most bare shields with a common sunburst symbol. A good unit to add some color to the serried sameness of the Legions.

These models had a good variety, with 5 poses and good details. They do have the problem of separate metal spears, which required a lot of work to straighten (see my rant about this in my post about the Triarii).

Finally, rounding out the army is the very important camp. The Romans built everywhere they went, so this included their camp. Every night they fortified their camp with stockades, stakes, ditches, and gates. Given time, especially if the army was staying in one place for a while, the fort would build up with more ditches and towers. Here though it’s pretty stylized and simple, with enough detail to suggest a broader structure.

The front gate is guarded by a Triarius, as was custom. Slaves and reserve Legionnaires prepare the defenses. I liked the detail of the camp fire and the little dog. I painted him like a Roman mastiff. He even has a bone to chew on!


With that project done, I move on to something new. There’s already more Romans, as well as Gauls and Carthaginians, on the horizon…

By Fire & Sword!

Posted in Miniatures with tags , , , on August 5, 2018 by Sean

As I draw other projects to their conclusion, I get started on others. Never ending, really.

The next project for a client is a shift in time periods and games. We move from Ancient Rome in Field of Glory to The Northern Wars in By Fire & Sword. By Fire & Sword covers the late 17th to mid-18th centuries, in the grand clusterf**k that was Central and Eastern Europe. It’s not a period of history I’m too knowledgeable about, but it never hurts to learn right?

The army I’m working on is the basic skirmish box of the Kingdom of Sweden. The Swede box comes with a Commander, a unit of 4 Reiters (mounted pistoliers), a unit of Dragoons (mounted riflemen, with dismounted versions), and an attached Regimental Gun.

The first stands finished are some of the dismounted Dragoons. On foot, they arranged themselves into lines of riflemen. Alongside the Dragoons we have the Regiment’s Gun, a light cannon with crew.

On a painting note, I have to say I’m not totally up on uniforms of the Swedish Kingdom during this period, though research seems to show lots of blue. The Dragoons here are not in uniforms per se, so it allowed a bit of variety of color.

Now for a bit of editorializing: I’m not a fan of the sculpts I’ve seen. The miniatures are 15mm, but really technically close to 18, being oversized compared to other 15mm sculpts like Old Glory and Essex. The detail on them varies a lot- some have nice sculpts  with crisp detail, while others’ sculpts have really ‘soft’ casting, some details sort of lost in the recesses or simply terminating in rounded edges. I’m sure some of this comes from a poor casting, but it could stand to be better. It will get worse when I get to the horses. Still, they look good massed on a table.

Field of Glory: Battle of Naughtley

Posted in Miniatures with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 4, 2018 by Sean

Something a little different here…


I played a game of Field of Glory this week. WotR English (the Yorkists) versus my own HYW English (standing in as Lancastrians). This was a 600 point game, the armies detailed in previous posts. I didn’t have my camera handy for the fight, so I recreated the key points with maps.

For this game I suggested we do a scenario, to encourage us to do a different fight than normal. English vs English battles tend to follow the historical mold, which means several turns of maneuver, archery duels, and then slow grinding combat. Instead we played a scenario I whipped up.

Centered on the table was Naughtley, a fictional small town somewhere in the West Country. Near it was a smaller village and the plantation estate of some lord. The key to the battle was claiming these objectives before the game ended. The center town was worth 2 attrition points, while the two other objectives were worth 1 attrition point. These attrition points were on top of losses from fighting, so could swing the game. In addition, if a unit was in the objective terrain, they had to test every turn to see if they looted it instead of doing anything else (like a Camp in a normal game).

The objective terrain was specified by the scenario, but we also chose more terrain, in the Developed terrain type. Several open fields, as well as an enclosed field, gave the area a nice hinterland feel. As usual my luck put almost all of the terrain on the opponent’s side of the table, but at least I got 1 piece to use.


Deployment: The Yorkists were north, favoring their right side, with Knights and Pike moving to cut the Lancastrians off from the town. Mercenary Handgunners scouted ahead to slow enemy movement.  My Lancastrians had a more spread out formation, trying to take (or at least threaten) all three objectives, though the strongest push was the center.


Turns 1-3: The Yorkists, with the advantage of first turn and skirmishers, moved up to flank the town on both sides and block Lancastrian marches. There was ineffective shooting at the Handgunners in the center, but on the right the Handgunners lost their shooting duel (after 2 turns of nothing) and got disrupted.

Both sides sent heavy units up the roads, taking advantage of the extra movement. The Yorkists got units forward first, so managed to keep my Men-at-Arms on the road from marching when they got close.


Turn 4: The Yorkists center was pretty strong. The Pike which had advanced along the road spread out into battle formation, and the Archers on the left took possession of the plantation objective. Slowed by nearby enemies my Men-at-Arms heading to the town finally got to the town walls but lacked movement to enter.

The center saw more archery duels; both sides took hits but held their cohesion fine. On the right, the Lancastrian Archers decided shooting was too slow and charged the Handgunners, forcing them back. The Men-at-Arms with them peeled off to help the center with the Knights and Pike.


Turn 5: The battle lines were being drawn. The center saw the Archers exchanging more shooting to no effect. The Archers in the plantation avoided looting long enough to threaten the Lancastrian Knights, though with no effect from their shooting. Poor shooting was the rule for this turn, as two battlegroups of Longbow concentrated on the Yorkist Pikes, producing 0 hits from 6 dice. On the right, the Archers chased the Handgunners again, this time charging into the village.


Turn 6: This was the deciding turn. My left-center Men-at-Arms weathered the bow fire and charged the Archers flanking the town. They scored 3 hits to none, fragmenting the Archers. My Archers once more charged the Handgunners, this time well and truly taking the village from them. On my left, my Knights turned to escape the Archers in the plantation, as they were in danger of being both shot to pieces and charged in the flank. My MAA south of the town turned to threaten the Pike’s flank.

In the shooting phase the Pike came under a storm of fire. I had maneuvered the second Archer unit to gain maximum firepower, producing 7 hits on the unit. They lost 2 stands of men, though oddly held out their morale.

After this my opponent conceded. While I thought he still hand a good chance, his center was in tatters and I was pressing my advantage, so he lost the will to fight on.

Conclusion: 2/1 AP. Technically a close game, but it would have spiraled out of control quickly in the next turns. The loss of the York Archers in the center would have spread panic through 3 other units nearby, and Pike were going to take another round of shooting, plus had a unit of Men-at-Arms coming for them.  I had taken the village, was more or less in control of the town, while he held the plantation.

I like scenarios like this. It forced us to think outside the battleline mode of movement, as we had to cover several areas at once. We had to advance, avoiding the generally static archery duels we’ve done before. Looking forward to trying this scenario (or similar) again.

Field of Glory: The Maniples

Posted in Miniatures with tags , , , , , on July 29, 2018 by Sean

The Mid-Republic Roman army’s complement of Hastati and Principes has been completed. 4 units of 4 stands each- small but very good soldiers, being Superior Drilled Armored Impact Heavy Foot, with Superior Swordsmen capabilities in the fight. The center of the army will be a tough nut to crack, that’s for sure.

I included an example of a sort of ‘maniple (handful)’ formation, with a front line of 2 battlegroups of Hastati and Principes backed by another line of battlegroups, arranged in a sort of checkerboard-looking spread of units. In practice this would be Hastati in front and Principes behind them, but the miniatures are already an abstraction, so we can assume the movement of fresh troops into the enemy happens at the micro-level. Each stand represents 150-300 men after all.

The Legios are great troops, but slow and harder to manuever. To protect their flank or chase down faster enemy, the Legion has a group of heavy cavalry. These are wealthy nobles, able to afford horses and the best gear. Compared to other cavalry-based armies they’re not too great, but their armor should help them. The cavalry are led by a model representing a Decurion, the cavalry equivalent to the infantry’s Centurion. The model was snagged from the Roman Commanders bodyguard set. He helps give the unit at least a little more variety; the cav are falling prey to the ‘single pose problem’ you can get with Essex Miniatures. At least the horses are not all the same pose too.

We’re in the home stretch now. Only the 3 commanders, a unit of Italian allies, and the Fortified Camp left to go.