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Monday, 31 December 2012

Warlord Macedonian Royal Guard

First post for the year - here are a some photos of the Warlord Games Macedonian Royal Guard with Foundry Command. I've had these on my painting table for ages but seeing the Alexander the Great exhibition in Sydney a few weeks ago (see previous post) has inspired me to finish them off over the holidays.

I've painted them as Argyraspides (Silver Shields) and converted a few of the Warlord phalangites to make up the unit, by adding blobs of green stuff on the sides of helmets as plumes. The Macedonian Royal Guard are the same figures as the Warlord phalangites but you also get twenty four metal heads and embossed shields. Fitting the metal heads and plastic torso can be a bit tricky and the poses leaning forward tend to become top heavy. By using polystyrene glue first to seat the head and reinforcing it with super glue you do get a very strong bond.

Best wishes to everyone for 2013!

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Early Imperial Romans Revisited

Praetorian Guard Cavalry

Roman Auxilliary Cavalry

Veteran Roman Legionaries

Auxilia take on a Dacian Warband

I thought I'd post some new photos of selected units, a review if you like, of my Early Imperial Roman Army. The figures are a mix of ranges and include Warlord, Black Tree Designs and Aventine Miniatures. There is also the odd falx wielding Foundry figure, skulking among the Dacians there somewhere.

Earlier in the month we drove up to Sydney for the day to see the Alexander the Great, 2000 Years of Treasures exhibition at the Australian Museum. This is a visiting exhibition from the State Hermitage of St Petersburg that is on until 28 April 2013. It is definitely worth catching and it is a rare event when something like this actually makes it to Australian shores.

Highlights of the exhibition for me were Greek and Scythian weapons, armour and equipment. My favourite objects in it were a pair of Bactrian phalars (adornments for a horse's harness) that depict two Indian elephants with mahouts, crew and tower, facing in opposite directions. There is a selected photo gallery of objects in the exhibition here:

Finally as it is the end of the year, I'd like to wish everybody a great Xmas/New Year break and happy painting, gaming and blogging for 2013!

Praetorian Guard

Roman Marines

Roman Legionaries

Roman Legionaries

Roman Legionaries

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Byzantine Strategos

Here are a few photos of my Byzantine Strategos made by Gripping Beast. I've always wanted a Byzantine army, so with the new Saga Byzantine faction rules and battle board in Wargames Illustrated 301, it seemed like the right time to get started. I will build the army up from a small Saga force to a fairly large Tagmatic Byzantine army for Hail Caesar using the Gripping Beast and Crusader ranges. I already have a Seljuk Turk army of Perry Miniatures as opponents.

Visually I really like the 25mm round bases used for infantry in Saga and other rule sets and have recently acquired movement trays to accommodate these. Instead of a standard unit of 8 by 3 with  20mm square bases, my mixed units of Kontaratoi (front two ranks) and Toxotai (back rank) will be 6 by 3 on 25mm round bases, which is about the same width, but requires six fewer figures per unit. I've also settled on eight figures (staggered in two ranks of four) as the optimum size for small units of infantry skirmishers and have movement trays both square and round for these as well.

Friday, 7 December 2012

Spartan Cavalry

Here are a few photos of some Spartan cavalry units for my Spartan army of the Peloponnesian War and later. The figures are all Foundry. One unit is armoured and the other unarmoured, both are small units in Hail Caesar game terms, with the armoured deemed medium cavalry while the unarmoured are obviously light cavalry.

Thucydides in his description (5.67) of the Spartan forces at the Battle of Mantinea in 418 BC mentions 'their cavalry being posted on the two wings'. A few years ago we actually refought this battle playing WAB and it resulted in an unlikely Argive, Athenian and allies victory! Apart from scouting and skirmishing, guarding the wings or protecting the flanks seems to have been the usual role for the cavalry in the Spartan army.

Xenophon  (Hellenika 6.4.10-11) in his description of the Battle of Leuctra in 371 BC is particularly scathing of the Spartan cavalry:

...the Spartan cavalry at that time was in the very worst shape. This was because at Sparta only the wealthiest men raised horses, and when troops were called up, each man who was selected by his officers to serve in the cavalry would come to obtain his horse and whatever arms were given to him, and immediately go to the field. Most important of all was the fact that the men riding the horses were in terrible physical shape and utterly uninterested in wining glory.

Monday, 3 December 2012

Liebster Blog Award

Like a lot of other gaming bloggers I've been nominated for this award and would like to thank John of, Piotr of and Caliban of, for their kind words. 

The rules are:

- Copy and paste the award on your blog, linking it to the blogger who has given it to you.
- Pass the award to your top five favourite blogs with fewer than 200 followers by leaving a comment on one of their blog posts to notify them that they have won the award and list them on your own blog.
- Sit back and bask in that warm fuzzy feeling that comes with knowing that you have just made someone's day.
- There is no obligation to pass this onto anyone else but it is nice if you do.

The blogs I'd like to nominate are:

All great blogs which I hope you enjoy if you haven't come across them before!