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Friday, 20 December 2013

More Late Republican Romans

Here are a few photos of two units of Late Republican Romans that I bought as a big batch of second hand painted figures earlier in the year. They are Foundry and Companion miniatures painted very nicely indeed, by Raglan. I've just finished rebasing them and had another two units as well that I was going to take photos of but I dropped the lot! Fortunately these two units were undamaged and I've included some comparison shots with two of my Warlord units below. I'll post photos of the other two units when I can face gluing their pila and scuta back on…

Best wishes to everyone for Xmas and happy gaming, painting and blogging for 2014!

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Parthian Camel Train

Here are a few photos of a Parthian camel train I've just finished, we actually used it in our Battle of Carrhae last weekend. There are also Parthian cataphracts and horse archers in the background by A&A, Old Glory, Magister Militum and Warlord. The camels are by Copplestone Castings and two of these are Bactrian camels with two humps that have been converted - one has an Essex cataphract as a rider and the other has green stuff made into baggage. It is always good to get the Parthians out for a bit of shooting practice, pity I was on the receiving end!

Monday, 9 December 2013

Battle of Carrhae

Crassus' Romans deployed in a hollow square

Right flank of the Parthian army

Left flank with camel train and an endless supply of arrows

Parthian horse archers advance

Cataphracts and camel train watch the horse archers 

Last Sunday Garry and I met at the Vikings Club to play a Hail Caesar refight of the Battle of Carrhae (53 BC). Garry was Surena, the Parthian commander, while I was Crassus, about to lead seven legions into one of the worst Roman military disasters of all time! Here are some photos of the game which mainly consisted, of shooting for the Parthian horse archers and, taking break tests for ranged fire, for the Romans…

The Romans attempted to advance and engage the cataphracts but were hampered by poor leadership and repeatedly failed to move. Crassus was rated only 7 compared to the normal 8, while Surena was rated 9. Meanwhile the Parthian cataphracts carefully manoeuvred around the table, avoiding contact with the frustrated legions. We didn't realise until later in the game that shaken troops deduct excess casualties from shooting from their dice score for break tests which means that it tends to get ugly, very quickly once you are shaken. In the actual battle Surena ensured the Parthian horse archers had a massive resupply of arrows from the camel train. In game terms this meant all fourteen units of horse archers were marksmen and had a single reroll for failed shooting each turn.

We played many turns and in the end, neither side was broken but things were starting to unravel rapidly for the Romans. It was definitely a victory for the Parthians, the Romans had lost a legionary unit, the Gallic cavalry, Syrian light cavalry and nearly all of their light infantry. The only Parthian losses were two units of horse archers. The cataphracts had spent the entire game polishing the dust of their armour and reapplying their eye liner along the edges of the table! Although it was a frustrating game from the Roman perspective, it was good to fight the battle, get an historical result and give my Parthians a run, while gaining a better understanding of the ranged fire rules. Thanks to Garry for the game. 

Action on the Roman left flank

Roman right flank

View of Parthian army from the Roman left flank

Surena exhorts his troops

Parthian catphracts who never saw action the entire game 

More cataphracts skulking in a corner & polishing their armour

Crassus' legions face the storm of arrows

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Museum of Anatolian Civilizations - Part Three

Basalt relief of a Sphinx – Carchemish 9th century BC

Basalt relief of bird-men – Carchemish 9th century BC

Basalt relief of soldiers – Carchemish 8th century BC

Basalt relief of palace officials – Carchemish 8th century BC

Andesite relief of acrobats – Alacahöyük 14th century BC

King and queen praying in front of altar – Alacahöyük 14th century BC

Andesite relief of three figures (priests?) – Alacahöyük 14th century BC

Andesite relief of figure and sheep – Alacahöyük 14th century BC

Relief depicting libations to the gods

Basalt relief of Goddess Kubaba?

Basalt relief of chariot – Carchemish 8th century BC

Bronze daggers – Hançerler 1st millennium BC

Obsidian arrowheads – 3rd millennium BC

Bronze arrowheads with spur – 1st millennium BC

Bronze Hoplite helmet – 6-5th century BC

Bronze Phrygian helmet

Bronze axe heads– Baltalar 1st millennium BC

Bronze axe head