David Bickley's Wargames Blog

The occasional ramblings of an average gamer, journeyman painter, indifferent modeller, games designer, sometime writer for Wargames Illustrated and host of games in GHQ.

Thursday 28 September 2023

The First of the Rebased Prodigal Foundry Roosians

Over the past several eons, or so it seemed at the time, I've been rebasing some of the Foundry Roosian infantry battalions to harmonize the old with the new for tabletop battles. Just on the off chance that anyone has just lighted on the blog here are some of the recent Great War Miniatures Roosians on their 3mm thick 80x60mm bases ~

When the Prodigal Collection was unexpectedly returned to me by Jon this is how I'd based them back in the early 1980's when I'd first collected and painted them ~
They were based on 40x40mm card bases with texture provided by filler which was then painted with Brown, Yellow and Green washes of Plaka acrylic paints. In the picture here I'd been trying to rearrange the existing bases to see what I could make up into the new style of basing. In the photo below you can see the first stage in the rebasing process, with the de-based figures glued to the new 3mm thick 80x60mm bases from Warbases ~
The next stage in the process was to glue on some larger Woodlands Scenics Buff rocks with UHU to break up the otherwise flat look and then to texture all the bases with the Woodlands Scenics Buff Ballast mix I use nowadays. When that had dried overnight then the bases were treated to a wash of Crafter's Acrylics Country Maple as the next picture shows ~
I generally leave the newly washed bases for a day before the next stage, which is the application of static grass and a few larger tufts to taste. Basing is a very personal choice when it comes to finished look. I'm in the less-is-more camp, using a mix of Jarvis Summer and Spring static grass, augmented by plain grass tufts in two sizes and shades of green and weeds also in two shades of green. These latter are Gamers' Grass products which I source from Great Escape Games. 
One issue I needed to resolve was the flags for the four Battalions. When they were returned the sported the GMB Design flags you see in the picture, while my new units sport those from North Star and differ in both size and intensity of colours. I have partially resolved this issue by popping the flags off the figures and reallocating them to the new formations. It gives me one Grenadier battalion and three Line Infantry battalions, but I am short of one common plain Line Infantry flag as it stands ~
The finished bases after grass and tufting seem to me, if to noone else, to draw the two ranges of figures together when viewed at tabletop battlefield distance {in the above picture}. Closer pictures clearly show my old, darker painting style, but again at tabletop distance in the heat of the game I doubt it will bother us ~

The figures and bases just need a spray of matt varnish now, plus the flag of course, and they can muster into GHQ. By the by, next on the rebasing front for any interested readers will be the Prodigal Foundry Collection artillery for both armies.

Tuesday 26 September 2023

The Camera may not lie...

...but it can certainly exaggerate and cover up a multitude of sins. A few pictures Paul took during last week's Punic War game here in GHQ which I thought were more than worthy of sharing with any interested visitors to the blog. Just a reminder that these armies were painted during the first Lockdown caused by the Chinese Plague, so there were some small positive outcomes from the chaos as Aly has reminded me. Anyway, on to the pictures in question and no more waffle ~

Three elephants from A&A Miniatures painted by Phil, though I painted the figures and did the basing. The Light Infantry skirmishers are from Aventine.
Two Legions: the Sixth, the Wolf's Cubs, in red and an Allied Legion of Etruscan figures. Most from Aventine Miniatures with a few Agema figures sculpted by Matt mixed in.
Celt-Iberian cavalry and warbands. The cavalry are from Foundry/Casting Rooms Miniatures while the warbands are from Crusader and A&A Miniatures. The exquisite shield transfers are from Little Big Man.
Ancient wargames armies are wonderfully colourful I find even when your own men are heading the wrong way!
A Celt-Iberian warlord from the Aventine Hill Tribes range sporting a tremendous helmet!
Haztrubel Bicca leading his veteran Libyans into battle screened by Spanish Scutari. The Scutari are from Foundry, the veterans from Aventine Miniatures. Haztrubel Bicca himself is from either Crusader or A&A Miniatures, I can't recall right now.
The Allied Legion made up of Aventine Miniatures Late Etruscan figures with pila.
Light Infantry skirmishers clash in battle here. I have yet to work out how to use my elephants effectively. Any and all advice is welcome.
The Triarii of the Allied Legion, the figures from Aventine Miniatures.
A general view from the rear centre of the Carthaginian army, veteran Libyans in the foreground.

Rome's Legions make a stiring or intimidating sight, depending on which side of the table you are sitting I'd guess...

And finally, a timely reminder of the need to keep those capricious 'Dice Gods' onside despite the all too frequent feeling that 'Infamy! Infamy! They've all got it in for me!' Sacrificial scenics from Agema Miniatures. Julius sculpted by Matt for Warlord Games. The lictors and signifer he sculpted too, but for Agema Miniatures.

Sunday 24 September 2023

'Haztrubel Bicca' takes the field

This past week saw two games here in GHQ utilizing my collections for the Second Punic War. Those readers with long memories may recall that these collections we born out of Lockdown during the first phase of the COVID plague. I chose the game because on the Tuesday morning of Phil's visit I was having my fifth vaccination against the bl**dy virus and I knew that for Paul's Thursday visit he had expressed a wish to see the collection in action.

In the Tuesday iteration of the battle Haztrubel Bicca was greatly aided by some classical poor dice throwing by Phil! Game over in four turns, brisk even for Hail Caesar MkII. A few annotated pictures in the usual photomontage which I hope give a feel for the unfolding drama ~

Haztrubel Bicca army of Carthage advances en masse on the Republican Romans of Coronus Cunctator.
Coronus orders an advance to meet the Carthaginian army but with ominous lack of uniform dice success. 
First clash in the centre in Turn 2 sees the light troops engage with each other and so halt the elephants in their tracks 
Italian allied Velites fall back having been beaten by the Spanish Scutari.
The victorious Scutari, supported by the first line of Haztrubal's Libyan spearmen, drive into the Allied Italian Legion.
The Hastatii are driven back by the momentum of the Carthaginian attack, which in turn smashes into the Allied Principes.
Celt-Iberian cavalry clashes with their Roman counterparts on the Carthaginian right flank.
The Romans break leaving the Celt-Iberians free to smash into the following unit.
On the left of the Carthaginian line the Light troops are having little success in holding off their Roman counterparts though the elephants have engaged the Wolf's Cubs! 
On the right, Roman and Allied cavalry have been soundly beaten and the Allied legion suffers further losses to the Scutari and supporting Libyan veterans.
The right and centre are beaten back, the cavalry fleeing for their lives...
...and the Allied Legion, already disordered, is defeated. It's all over for poor old Coronus as he falls on his sword at the end of Turn 4! Or should that be his dice?

On to Thursday's rerun of the battle next: also over in 4 Turns, but a very different game nevertheless and a markedly different outcome! As before an annotated photomontage to hopefully convey the sense of the action ~

The Carthaginian advance is patchy in Turn 1.
As is the Roman response.
On the Carthaginian right the first clashes see the Spanish cavalry beaten badly by their Numidian opponents.
A Blunder, or two! First on the left, where the light infantry surge forward for three turns, then in the centre where an entire Division retired! The Carthaginian line is coming undone in Turn 2.
Again the elephants fail to make any headway as the Light infantry clash holds them up.
Spanish cavalry are routed by the Numidians...
...as are Celt-Iberians by their Roman opponents. The Carthaginian right is creaking under these losses 
In the centre the elephants' light infantry supports are routed finally as the Wolf's Cubs Hastatii come to the support of their Velites.
On the Carthaginian right the two cavalry divisions are routed leaving the army in mortal danger!
The Allied Legion has driven back Haztrubal's veterans who, with enemy cavalry behind their flank, begin to give ground.
Finally the Wolf's Cubs beat the elephants and it's all up for Haztrubal's cause! The end of Turn 4 sees his army broken and in disarray as he flees the field. Clearly the 'Dice Gods' were swayed by sacrifice ~
Two very different games, two very different outcomes. What they had in common though was two games played in the spirit of companionship and the joy of our wonderful hobby. A bit of a break now in GHQ though, as we are off 'Oop North' again for a week's R&R, so fingers crossed for the weather or we will be dodging the rain drops in the Southern Lakes.

Thursday 21 September 2023

Crimean War British Command Stand

While I was plodding through the Roosian Rifle Battalion skirmisher figures I was also daubing paint on four pieces for the British Army Command Stand. The stand features the mounted figures of Lord Raglan and General Cathcart with a General on foot {about to sign off the order which will 'loose the Light Brigade'}, and an ADC from the 'Cherubims'. The figures are from Great War Miniatures via North Star and the bases are from Warbases as ever ~
Such hobby time as I have found lately has been largely devoted to the rebasing of the Roosian infantry from the Prodigal Foundry Collection. I hope to show some photos of these in the coming days, so stay tuned please!

Tuesday 19 September 2023

A Roosian Rifle Battalion

I'd initially bought these firing line figures to represent the fourth, Jaeger Battalion in my Roosian infantry regiment when I'd planned on 20 figures to a battalion. As we all know, plans seldom survive contact with the enemy, or in this case trial basing, and strengths planned rose to 28-30 figure battalions for the Roosians! Instead, following a chat with Dave O'Brien at Claymore last month, these 20 figures were designated as the regiment's attached Rifle battalion, deployed in skirmishing formation ~

Figures from the two Infantry firing line packs with a Sergeant from the Command in caps pack 
From the same two packs but with the officer from the command pack. A British casualty figure added for effect.

All the figures are from Great War Miniatures via North Star of course and the bases are from Warbases as ever. Great service from both companies by the way, even a free figure with my most recent North Star order - more on him later on. Overall the project is progressing at a decent rate I'd say, though I doubt it will be all over for Christmas as initial plans had surmised. The reason, you are rightly entitled to ask? Well, a combination of the reappearance of the Prodigal Foundry Collection combined with my typical decision to add a second Great War Miniatures Roosian infantry regiment of four battalions to the pot! Well, I am a wargamer after all...