Archive for Historical

Saga: Thundering Hooves

Posted in Miniatures with tags , , , , , , on August 31, 2017 by Sean

I’ve finally finished the 8-man mounted Hearthguard unit for my Briton warband for Saga: Aetius & Arthur. I posted the first half of the unit earlier. They’ll also serve as Roman mounted troops as well.

The newest members include a leader type, a musician, a draco standard and a Roman signum, reflecting the mixed culture of the Romano-British models I used for the unit. I chose the standard of Legio vigesima Valeria Victrix (Twentieth Victorious Valeria Legion) which saw action in Briton in the later years of the Empire. While the unit has a roundel shield design, I added a few odd shields for individuality. The signum bearer has a small target shield with a serpent, the horn blower has a wolf, and the unit’s ‘leader’ (the second in command of the warband after the Warlord) has a unique dragon shield.

I gave the signum bearer dark skin to reflect some of the recent archeology on Rome in Britannia. I figured he was either a Berber or North African recruit, or even a recruit all the way over from the Middle East. I have also read of the grave of a Syrian who was in the Roman army found at Hadrian’s Wall, so decided to reflect that.

My group and I have been playing lots of games with the new factions. I’ve played as the Saxons, Romans, Britons, and Huns, and played against Saxons, Romans, Picts, and Britons. I haven’t tried the Goths yet, since their battle board seems so weird (emphasis on balancing Fatigue, but encouraging accumulating it).

Recently we played a Romans versus Huns, using the Champions of God scenario from Saga: The Crescent and the Cross book. My friend fielded his Romans (Warlord, 8 Hearthguard, 16 Warriors with spear, 8 bow Warriors, 6 Levy with spear, and a Manubalista) versus my Huns (mounted Warlord, 12 mounted Hearthguard, 16 mounted Warriors, and 12 bow Levy). For this game I once again broke out my grisly Goblin Wolf Riders. I’d love to some day build up an actual human mounted force, but until then only my Gobbos have enough cavalry to substitute. I also use my Goblins for the Spanish faction, another potentially all-mounted army.

The game got off to a quick start, with the Huns using their board’s ability to move the whole army (with bonus distance for cavalry) right up into the Romans’ faces. I knew the Manubalista could potentially wreck my mounted troops, so I concentrated bow fire, wiping it out after its one shot (that my guys miraculously saved against). The left Roman flank collapsed within 2 turns, the Roman commander fleeing as fast as he could to the rest of his army. The Roman right flank had been held up by my Levy archers and some careful use of Fatigue from a small skirmishing cav unit.

I could have simply retreated then and there, since the scenario was based on VP’s for kills, and I had crushed half his army for a only a little damage to my own forces. Instead I decide to make it a fun game, so the Huns swung around and chased after the Warlord and got into a scrum with the remaining Roman infantry. I wore his forces down until the scenario ended. having lost a bunch of my army needlessly. However, he couldn’t make up the gap in VP’s so win for the Huns!

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Saga: Fantasy- A&A

Posted in Miniatures with tags , , , , , , , , on August 19, 2017 by Sean

 

I’ve been playing the newest Saga expansion, the Late Roman-era Aetius & Arthur. I thought some of the new factions would work nicely for some of the Warhammer factions I couldn’t match up before.

Empire: The regimented order of the army and its ability to hold the line and initiate sudden strikes that the Roman faction uses would fit the Empire. This version of the Empire is an ‘earlier’ tech level of the city-states, before widespread gunpowder weapons.

Warlords are Empire nobles, career officers or blue blood royalty. They can fight on foot or mounted on fine steeds.

Hearthguard are the Knights, the elite core of the Knightly Orders like the Reiksguard, Knights Panther, or Blazing Sun, fighting mounted, or Greatswords and Swordsmen, fighting on foot. For an additional 1 point, up to 8 Hearthguard can be fielded as Cataphracts, representing the Inner Circles of the Knightly Orders

Warrior are the State Troops, loyal soldiers of the city-states. They can fight with sword, spear, or halberd (with Armor 4), or take to the field as Huntsmen, carrying bows (with Armor 3).

Levies are the Militia, the common rabble called to defend their realm. They can carry shortbows and throwing axes (javelins) or be fielded as the Free Companies. Free Companies generate 1 Attack for 2 members in melee (unlike normally 1 for 3), and have Armor 4. The player may also remove 6 Levy and replace them with an Artillery Piece manned by 2 Levy crewmen. The piece (Range 2xL) could represent any of the weapons of the Empire, like a bolt thrower or light cannon. The Artillery generates Attack dice when it shoots equal to half the members of the target, reducing their Armor by 1. Each time it fires it gains a Fatigue.

Lizardmen: I figured the defensive nature of the Britons, backed by their heroic Warlords fighting on the front line, leading by example, and directing their men to victory worked to represent the Lizardmen, or at least a Saurus and Skink-focused force.

The key value for the army is Inspiration. Units within S (2″) of the Warlord count as being Inspired. Various battle board abilities only work for Inspired units.

Warlords are Scar Veterans and Oldbloods, ancient born fighters, survivors of countless battles, and direct servants of the Slaan. They can fight on foot or ride Cold Ones. The Warlord can be accompanied by a pair of Temple Guard, called Companions. They form a unit with the Warlord. The Companions extend the 2″ range of the Warlord’s Inspiration from themselves as well. If the Warlord has Companions, he cannot use Side by Side.

Hearthguard are the Temple Guard, hand-picked Saurus decked in the finest armor and jeweled weapons. They can fight on foot or ride Cold Ones.

Warriors are appropriately the Saurus Warriors, bestial reptilian soldiers of the Slann cities.

Levies are the Skinks, diminutive skirmishers and scouts. While lacking in combat ability, they can rain death from their javelins or blowpipes (bows/slings).

Savage Orcs: I decided after playing the Saxons several times, the utter mindless brutality of the Savage Orcs was a good fit. With only fighting on their frenzied minds, the Orcs rush into combat heedless of danger, determined to crush the enemy or die trying.

Warlords are the Savage Orc Bosses, hulking beasts of green muscle, protected by bone ornaments and warpaint, their belief in their invulnerability equal to true armor.

Hearthguard are the Big ‘Uns, the strongest members of the tribe. They group in mobs of their own, ready to stomp anything in reach.

Warriors are the Boyz, the common Orcs of the savage tribes. They lack the brutal strength of the Big ‘uns but make up for it in numbers.

Levy are the Yoofs, the youngest and weakest Orcs. Not yet to the level of a proper member of the mobs, they instead use ranged weapons to pelt the foe while the Boyz close in. Alternatively they could represent Forest Goblins pressed into service. They are armed with bows or slings.

 

And here is a break from Aetius & Arthur factions. I wanted to add in an older faction that I never got around to, based on the Normans from Saga: Dark Age.

Wood Elves: The mixture of archery and shock cavalry exemplified by the Normans fit the Wood Elves well enough. It does somewhat ignore some the stronger close combat units and the various tree spirits, but it will do for now.

Warlords are the Kindred, leaders of one of the numerous kinbands. They can represent Glade Lords, fighting on foot or mounted on stag or Elven steed, or even Branchwraiths or Treemen fighting on foot.

Hearthguards are the Nobles, elite guardians of the Wood Elf realms. They can fight on foot, using their swordstaves, or launch themselves into combat as Wardancers. They can also take to battle mounted as the Sisters of the Thorn or Wild Riders. Alternatively, Heardguard on foot can also be represented by Dryads.

Warriors are the Eternal Guard, the common members of the kinbands. They fight in ranks of spear on foot, or mounted as Glade Riders. One unit (of up to 8 members) can carry Elven Longbows, representing the Waywatchers. Longbow-armed units reduce their targets’ Armor by 1, but also lower their own Armor by 1.

Levies are the Glade Guard, the militia of the army. They carry bows, firing in massed ranks of black-feathered arrows.

There’s still more factions to convert to Saga: Fantasy. I’ll add them eventually.

Field of Glory: The Lions of England

Posted in Miniatures with tags , , , , on August 6, 2017 by Sean

It’s been quite a long time since I’ve gotten some painting in for my Hundred Years’ War English 15mm army for Field of Glory. The army has been long in the making, started years ago. I had nearly finished it before my gaming group at the time stopped playing FoG, leaving me with little motivation to finish it.  All that was left were the commanders and the camp.

But now I return. I’ve added the commanders and the camp, bringing the army to a close. While I could add some bases for variety (say unmounted versions of the knights or some more archers and barricades), the army is done.

The army is based off the force that was present at the Battle of Crecy (1346) during the Hundred Years War. I tried to follow the actual units and heraldry of the lords that fought there. The bases for the commanders get a simple roman numeral on the front and back and stars to help differentiate them from the mass of troop bases.

The first commander, the army’s Commander in Chief, is King Edward III himself. He sits on his finely armored warhorse, flanked by the flag of England and his personal banner. Like the other banners in the army, I hand-painted the banners based on reference pics. I could have used printed banners, but decided to attempt the painting myself.

Next up is Edward III’s son, the Prince of Wales. While only 16 years old at the time of Crecy, Edward still commanded the 1st Battle, right wing of the army and proved himself in combat. The name of the Black Prince came later. The miniature here is accompanied by a banner man, flying the flag of England, festooned with the ribbon of the eldest son (also seen on the prince’s shield and horse armor). I added an archer to link him to Wales.

The last commander is William de Bohun, the Earl of Northhampton. He commanded the left wing of the army. While he has an elaborate decoration on his armor and horse, I decided to give him a simple pennant with the St. George’s Cross. Along with him I added Richard Fitzalan, the Earl of Arundel (or at least a liege knight).

The final pic is the English camp. All armies in Field of Glory are required to have a counter representing their rear camp, supplies, reserves, etc. I wanted it to look a little busy, the ground churned with activity, with plenty of soldiers moving about. The base has a grouping of tents, along with various guards and servants. I used extra models from the army (English billmen, mounted crossbowman, Welsh spearman, etc.). Since the French were shadowing the English and were blocking their way at Crecy, I figured the camp was set up with some haste; guards stand ready to defend just in case.

Blood and Plunder!

Posted in Miniatures with tags , , , , on July 22, 2017 by Sean

With the arrival of Blood and Plunder to my FLGS, I’ve been shanghaied into painting up the French starter box for the game. I’ve actually gotten a demo game this week. I enjoyed it- very close to Muskets & Tomahawks, with fairly simple basic rules and few super units. The activation mechanic is very cool, allowing for some good strategy over the course of the game turn.

We played 3×3 players on the Breakthrough scenario, with the starter boxes. My side all used the French, while the opponents used Spanish, English, and Unaligned forces. The French line was holding fine on the flanks, beating back the Spanish and English (the right flank even pushing the English almost back to their deployment zone). The center was severely mauled, the Unaligned force nearly taking the French deployment zone. I had to leave before the end, but France seemed in a good position at the end.

The models are nicely done, with some good details and character, though some of the castings are a bit rough in places. The era of the 17th Century Spanish Main and colonial conflict in the Caribbean is a new historical era for me. Earlier I posted my French Canadians for Muskets & Tomahawks, which covers mid-to-late-18th Century conflicts, so I’m at least used to musketeers and their assorted details.

The first pic is the French Commander. This guy is very fancy, with a lacy shirt, bright blue coat, bows and ribbons all over, and of course the big curled wig. He definitely gives the force a national character, considering the rest of the minies are somewhat generic frontiersmen and sailors. I painted him to match the color scheme from the official art; very colorful and vibrant. He’s joined by a few of the Marins that I’ve finished.

The next pic is a group of Boucaniers, the hunters and woodsmen of the French army. They lack any sort of uniform and standard equipment, instead looking like rugged individuals. The bare legs and floppy hats give them a distinctive look.

Finally in this batch are the Militia, the Milice des Caraibes. In contrast to the Boucaniers, they wear uniform grey coats and blue sashes, along with standard issue muskets, cutlasses, plug bayonets, and pistols. Some have bayonets fixed, while the others are firing their guns. The boxed unit has duplicate members of the unit (8 in the full unit); hopefully I’ll be able to paint them with enough variation.

More to come. The box contains 8 Milice, 8 Flibustiers, 4 Boucaniers, and 4 Marins.

Saga: Equites

Posted in Miniatures with tags , , , on July 3, 2017 by Sean

I’ve been adding to my Romano-British force for Saga: Aetius & Arthur. I like both of the Roman and Briton factions’ battle boards, so I am designing some of my minies to be usable for either. These will be Romano-British, representing Britons and/or Romans in Britannia near the end of the occupation. In a pinch, they could even represent Goths (since at the time the Goths often were under the employ of the Romans anyway).

With that in mind, I picked up 2 blisters of mounted troops from Gripping Beast; one set of Roman armored cavalry and one of Briton cavalry. They will act as Commanipulares for the Britons or Knights for the Romans. These are the first 4 members of what will be an 8-man Hearthguard unit. I’ll also be able to attach 2 of them as the Companions for the Briton Warlord, the rest forming a 6-man unit.

The miniatures mix nicely together; the Late Roman legions were much more hodge-podge in their uniforms and unit designations. I also figured the Hearthguard, being of the equites social class, would have even more leeway and mixed equipment. The majority of the unit will have the roundel legion shield design, with a few unique designs mixed in. Along with the roundel, the chi-ro symbol shows up in a few places. Their clothing was procured locally, so they’re wearing British versions of the Roman tunics common at that period.

I painted the striping on their cavalry spears, since they apparently did paint them for both decoration and to protect the wooden shafts from rot. Technically, the spears might be a bit too long for this period (resembling full lances) but I’m ok with that to make them look more striking on the table.

The Warlord has been posted here before. However, after some thought and research, I decided he needed a little ‘oomph’. His original shield was a bit boring, and his javelin wasn’t really impressive. With that in mind, a weapon swap (to a proper Roman spatha) and a highly decorated shield. The Virgin will safeguard him through all future battles! The icon and the unit’s shields were all based on historical images I found.

The rest of the unit will come along eventually.

Saga: Aetius & Arthur

Posted in Miniatures with tags , , , , , on June 10, 2017 by Sean

I’ve gotten in some games of Saga, with the Aetius & Arthur expansion. We’ve been playing the decline of the Western Roman Empire in Britannia. My regular opponents and I have been using our Dark Ages models, since they are generic enough to pass as ca. 400 AD, though it does make a stickler like myself twitch that my Saxons have the wrong shields. Oh well!

The first model I’ve done for the new expansion is a mounted Warlord. This is a Gripping Beast Late Roman General model, mounted on a 60mm base. I wanted him to stand out from his mounted soldiers. This model can stand in as both a Roman general as well as a Briton hero, and in a pinch could stand in as a Gothic Warlord (by this point in history the forces are almost nearly wearing the same gear anyway). I modeled him riding his horse down a dilapidated Roman path, next to a Roman road marker. I based the writing on a photo of a real marker from Britain.

We played 2 battles today. The first was Saxons versus Britons with the Frozen River scenario. My Saxons were using the frozen river surface to invade the lands of the Britons. We played 6-point forces. Saxons were Warlord, 40 Warriors, and 12 bow Levy. The Britons were Warlord and 2 Companions, 10 mounted Hearthguard, 16 Warriors, and 12 bow Levy.

My Saxons slowly crossed the river and fords, while the Britons turtled up waiting. The Briton battle board really encourages defense over offense. The Saxons have no choice but to advance!

The fights were very bloody, but the Saxons forced the defenders back at great cost. Eventually, the Warlord met in combat, pushing back and forth before the Briton’s lord was cast down (at a cost of a dozen Saxons). There wasn’t much left of either army by the end. The end result was 9-6 VP’s left, a Saxon victory!

The second battle was the Campfire scenario. This time I was using the Romans, while my friend stuck with the Britons. Maybe the Romans were chastising the Britons for letting the Saxons overrun the frontier earlier, or the Britons were negotiating military support from the typically arrogant Romans. Either way, things got out of hand, and swords were drawn…

The Romans had a mounted Warlord, 4 mounted Hearthguard, 24 spear Warriors, 8 bow Warriors, and 12 spear Levy. Except for the new mounted Roman Warlord, I used the Anglo-Saxons/Saxons models, with some donated mounted Hearthguard. The Roman frontier forces of the era were mostly Germans by this point anyway, right? The Britons had a mounted Warlord, 8 mounted Hearthguard, 24 Warriors, and 12 bow Levy.

The scenario requires the armies being split up among each other, which means the units are threatened from all sides. I scattered the Roman Forces in a rough circle, while the Britons had a few tight bulwarks of units. The fight began with the Roman Warlord drawing his sword and leading his nearest unit of soldiers against the British lord, cutting him down. After that the Romans had the upper hand, especially in Saga dice.

The movements of both armies was chaotic, but the Romans quickly redressed their ranks and tried to hold back the Britons. The Levy struck down several British Hearthguard with their plumbatae (heavy darts) and some lucky combats. The Roman defensive abilities served them well. On the other side the Britons were wearing the Romans down, both holding their own lines and performing repeated charges and volleys of bow shots. The Hearthguard performed a disastrous charge, the Briton shieldwall holding and wiping them out. Oops. Eventually though the Roman Warlord rallied his forces and crushed the flank, beating back the encirclement and winning the battle. Final VP’s were 19-14, victory for the Romans!

French & Indian War tables

Posted in Miniatures with tags , , , , , , , on August 14, 2016 by Sean

As long as I’m posting pics of the progress of my French and Canadian forces for Muskets & Tomahawks, I figured I’d post some pics of some of my group’s recent gaming tables. most of these tables were 4’x6′ (400 points), but the second is a 4’x4′ (200 points)

The buildings used here are laser cut wooden pieces from 4ground from Warlord Games, and the trees and shrubs are a mix of suppliers. The fences are scratch built and resin prepaints. Felt pieces mark out fields and orchard boundaries.

We tried to make ‘organic’ looking frontier settlements, with at least some resemblance to a real farmstead or trading post. The better to attempt to burn down, right? Gives the games a bit more flair than too scattered and random.

These are a few pics of units during some of the games. The Canadians and Marines are from my French force (previous posts) while the Highlanders are from a friend’s British army, though I painted those as well (shown in previous posts).

The big scrum between some French Marines and Highlanders was a decisive point in one battle, with both units crushed from the sprawling melee. After the sides broke off the fight there were only a pair of Highlanders and a single fleeing Marine left. The Marine got revenge though, managing to fight off a British Officer who cowardly charged him in the back, taking the oafish Brit out of action. The losses from the fight pushed the Brits into a Morale card situation, which eventually broke the force (good thing too, since my own force was teetering on the edge as well).

The fourth pic is a 2v1 game, with mine and a friend’s French forces versus a British force. At that point in the battle, units were depleted and scattered all over.