Thursday, 22 March 2012

Dux Bellorum game two - report

Following on from the photos, and before I forget too much, here is a brief report of the battle fought last night.

I took a Saxon army of a unit of warrior companions and a unit of noble warriors fighting alongside six units of ordinary warriors. The remaining points went on a unit of javelin armed skirmishes and a veteran upgrade for the unit of nobles. This left my warlord with just the regular 6 leadership points.

Laurence opted for a Romano-Brotish force with plenty of horsemen. His comitatus companions were mounted and flanked by two unit of noble riders. Further cavalry support came in the shape of two units of ordinary riders.
The foot component of the army consisted of three ordinary shield walls and two units of skirmishes; one with bows, the other with slings.

The battlefield was fairly open with a hill on the centre and a bog off to one side of this.

Laurence's plan was to push his infantry onto the hill while his noble and companion cavalry threatened my right and his ordinary riders rode around the bog to threaten my left and rear. In general this worked but he allowed his nobles to stand around for several turns while the rest of the army manoevered. This gave me time to push units into the bog and for my right flank to realign to face the noble cavalry with my own companions and three units of warriors. My veteran nobles and two units of warriors engaged the shield wall on the hill- a mighty task.

The battle swayed both ways. On my right I was able to catch some of Lau's ordinary riders in the flank with a unit of warriors erupting from the bog which slowed this flaking move. In the centre we fought each other to a standstill on the hill, each side outflanking the other. On my right the warriors traded blows with the British nobility. In the end the resilience of the Saxons was just enough and unit after unit of the enemy crumbled until the army's morale have way. In the end only the British warlord remained in the fight, still battling away with sword and spear.

I had only lost two units of warriors but this doesn't tell the whole tale as many of my surviving units were very much on their last legs and the result could easily have been reversed.


Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Dux Bellorum game two

Just a few shots of our game. Saxons versus Romano-British. The battle was very close but in the end the blonde warriors overcame the British defence. The rules seem really excellent and the game was great fun. Again a game with 120mm elements worked well on a 6x4 table with measurements in multiples of 4 inches.

Two weeks to the next club night so I'm planning to get some tribal pict/Irish elements done to use as allies.


Sunday, 18 March 2012

British warlord and more cavalry

This week I have mostly painted this warlord and finished the basing on some cavalry who only got half way done on my Big Basing Weekend (TM).

The warlord has been painted in the style of Arthur from Bernard Cornwell's "The Winter King" although I am still unconvinced by the silver shield. The metalwork in general features a lot of Anita's Acrylic metallic white over a silver base to enhance the cold stark effect. The figure has been based with a couple of Gripping Beast wolfhounds rather than a second figure (as originally planned and painted) because I think this just works better. Arthur is always a bit of a lonely figure in legend and literature.

Next week, a base of skirmishing light cavalry...probably :-) and a game of Dux Bellorum.


Saturday, 10 March 2012

Dux completed

All finished, based and ready for battle.

Friday, 9 March 2012

The passing of an inspiration

I found out yesterday that Greg Novak had passed away. It is strange to be so affected by the loss of someone known only through his books and brief Internet contact. Greg was an inspiration and source of so much valuable information to many AWI Wargames and his passing is to the detriment of the ongoing effort to better explain this period.

Rest in peace, Greg. You will be missed.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Dux Bellorum Rules: first game

We played our first game using the draft version of Dux Bellorum last night. Saxons v Sub-Roman British. We kept things simple so didn't use any special rules.

The game was great and all done in under 2 hours despite lots of looking in the rules to clarify things. I expect we got a few things wrong but overall the game was cracking.

The rules are due for publication in August, from Osprey. I already have a set on pre-order.


Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Cataphracts based and Dux WIP

Title says it all really. The Dux is to act as C in C for the Late Romans under rules that need such a commander. I am going for a wealthy look as befits a high ranking general of the falling empire.

The glue is still drying on the cataphract base so the area around the grass is a tad darker than it will eventually be.


Monday, 5 March 2012

Base finishing part 1

Here is a picture of my dry mix basing material as described in a recent post and a shot of this applied to the cataphract base. Tomorrow, once it has dried I'll add static grass etc.

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Super Cataphract a licious

Finished painting and waiting for the glue to dry on the base. I have added shields although none came in the blister and they aren't strictly necessary. In this case I think they finish off the unit nicely. The design is, as usual, freehand painting.

These figures feature, as well as army painter, plenty of GW washes, some cut 50/50 with Matt varnish.

Once the basing is done these should make a great addition to my Late Romans. With luck they should be done in time for Wednesday's gaming night.

Off to watch the rugby now. France v Ireland so I'll be cheering the men in green in the hope of making things look better for Wales. :-)


Saturday, 3 March 2012

Cataphract progress

I have managed to finish the block painting on the Late Roman cataphracts. They have now had a coat of Army Painter Strong Tone which I am using as an intermediate stage rather than as a finish. Once this is dry I'll paint in the flesh and the highlights. Because of the preponderance of armour I think I might the brush-on Matt varnish on the non metal areas rather than using a spray.


Basing technique

A recent comment asked about the basing technique I use for my large bases, as I agree it is difficult to paint between the figures once they are gued down.

My method is to paint the mdf bases brown before starting. The figure bases are also painted brown (although I sometimes forget!).

Once the figures are fully painted, a layer of PVA is squeezed onto the mdf base and the figures placed in position (using superglue for the occasional one who won't stand up straight. As the PVA dries it blends the level of the figure base into the mdf base.

This is all left to dry thoroughy so the figures are well fixed to the mdf base

Next step is to mix up a dry mix of the following: sand coloured flock, earth coloured flock, fine grit, model rairoad ballast, fine sand and polyfilla powder. I sometimes throw in a dash of static grass or green flock too but not too much.

The mdf base with the figures on then gets a thin wash of PVA & Water eith a dash of detergent. This milky liquid flows between the figure bases - or can be encouraged to do so with a paintbrush and some tilting of the base. The dry mix is then liberally sprinkled over the whole base and left to dry.

The PVA/water soaks into the dry mix, fixing it firmly to the base and once dry the whole thing is turned upside down to allow excess basing mix to fall off and then given a good blow to remove the dust from the figures (a soft brush can also be used with care).

A watery PVA mix is then dabbed onto the base in patches and static grass sprinked on - the amout will vary depending on the desired "look".

After a quick pist of varnish to fix the grass and protect the figures, the base can join the ranks for the next battle.

I find this dry mix approack is much faster and easier than mucking about with wet basing mixes, especially for larger bases of figures, and if you get the original recipe right it looks just as good.


I came, I saw, I glued

Romans now on based and waiting for the glue to dry. They'll then wait in the garage for the next big basing session.

Thursday, 1 March 2012

More Romans

The Caesarian Romans are coming along nicely. I finished the flesh this evening. Tomorrow I'll finish the bases and attach the shields. Hopefully I can also undercoat the next batch of figures; some cataphracts to add to the late roman forces.