Friday 23 February 2024

Legion exhibition at the British museum and ramblings

 I went to an exhibition on the Roman army at the British museum the other day and thought it might be of interest even if it is a bit London specific! It was pretty well laid out, following a real citizen who couldn't get into the legions to start with and had to join the marines ( the lowest level auxiliaries) until eventually being able to transfer over to the legions, based on existing letters between him and his father, first century AD, he took part in putting down the Jewish revolt.

I like the mortuary statue of the imagifier and I think the twisted image of Galba is absolutely splendid, distorted he looks like some kind of robot villain! 

The blue enamel medals were also interesting I thought?

The cavalry bits were nicely laid out and while I knew of the Greek and Amazon cavalry parade/display helmets the Trojan on the right was a new one on me. 

Seeing the Dura Europas shield up close was a treat, plus the usual swords and helmets. The bits of Roman military tents and pegs were fun and I was particularly taken by the cataphract kit, very large scales! 

Worth a visit even if you know a bit about Roman Legions, it's on until June. What it has done is make me have another look at what I'm painting. Virtually all my French Napoleonics are now at least primed and assembled and my Austrians aren't far behind.  I was going to follow that up with getting a brigade of Bavarians and at least that or maybe more of Prussians.  

I've put that on hold at least for the moment and  have moved late Romans up into the paint queue, I  guess Napoleonics have been almost the exclusive focus of painting for a number of years , since the start of 2021, and while they're not going to be going away I think I'll be having a bit more variety, I was particularly taken with Jonathan Freitag's Republic Romans in his multiple games of Trasemine and they might become a project down the line, especially as one of my nephews is doing a successor army in 28mm, I will be expanding my Celts from more than just chariots and building, priming and painting two early Imperial Roman armies that I already have figures for, before then I want to paint my Late Roman and Romano British armies for Dux Bellorum and maybe expand them a little into a To the Strongest forces. I've also finished my Imperial Guard book and am now reading one on the Picts!  Expect more Napoleonics for a while but at some point there should be other units coming through and maybe something rather more left field  for me? 

Sorry for the wall of text and I promise there will be toy soldiers next time! 

All the best


Saturday 17 February 2024

French artillery Napoleonic 50

 Here is an expansion to my Napoleonic French artillery to add to recently painted limbers.  Six pieces, 12lb, 8lb and howitzer, all foot,  guard and line. Three are from the Victrix plastic set up to 1814 the other three are made up of the 3d printed carriages that came with the limbers and a mix of Victrix and 3d printed barrels.  The wheels that came with the 3d printed carriages were just too big ( I'm sure I'll find a use for them) so they have been substituted with some resin wheels which while not having the right number of spokes, are at least the right kind of size, the carriages are closer in size to 25mm rather than 28mm but are good enough in my view, by using four crew for each gun I ended up with six spare Victrix crew and by utilising left over Perry elite bodies I was able to make up two more Guard crews, the Victrix heads and arms being entirely compatible with the Perry plastic figures.  There is also a 3d printed freebie I got with the limbers, a command figure with a slightly incorrect headgear but he fills a gap and looks good enough to me!

Painted in my usual slapdash or if one is being generous, impressionistic manner they're done,following on from these chaps and in the effort of balance I have rather more Austrian artillery in an attempt to even up the arms race. Batteries are single pieces in Valour and Fortitude so my artillery park for both armies are a little excessive but they were primed so they must be painted, thems the rules and I quite like the effect of the grand battery!

All the best 


Sunday 11 February 2024

Lion Rampant English versus Islemen

 Des came over for a game and for a change we decided to have a game of Lion Rampant first edition as we haven't played it in an age , we used two retinues from the rulebook, later English and Islesmen and the scenario defend the undefenderbal so we used a church as the objective, essentially the attacker, starting from the east has to touch the objective, the defender has to prevent this or reduce the attacking force below 50%. I took the Islesmen made up of my gallowglass and kern and then filled out with Picts, they're about a millennia out of date but at least they're from the right area and fulfil the criteria of hairy blokes with spears, shields  and not much armour, fierce foot, three units, one unit of archers and two of men at arms, that was my retinue and I was the attacker, Des had a unit of men at arms a unit of expert foot sergeants and two of expert archers. He could have two units at the church , the rest had to travel from the western side of the table, so he placed both expert archer units by the church and got the first go.

The activation element is both the fun and frustrating part of Lion Rampant, fun when you're opponent fails frustrating when you do, my dice rolling wasn't terribly good and Des's was decent so I wasn't able to descend on him mob handed before reinforcements arrived, in fact all I  managed to do was get a unit of fierce foot isolated in front of the church having taken hits even under cover of the hedge, I figured it I was lucky I'd take out the archer unit hit the church, game over, needless to say I wasn't lucky and my underarmoured unit was anhihilated by two units of expert archers while his armoured allies got closer, still it kept his archers busy while I managed to move the archers and another unit of fierce foot into the woods on my right flank, another unit of fierce foot behind the left flank hedge and started moving my men at arms forward.  Des managed to get his big unit of sergeants in front of the church, his men at arms on his right flank and his archers killed one of my archers. On my turn I managed to charge his expert archers on my left flank and his expert archers on my right, both with fierce foot wild charges, both archers ended up battered, unfortunately so did my left flank unit Des charged my first men at arms unit with his expert sergeants and was repulsed and battered . I charged my men at arms into his battered sergeants and eliminated them and the fierce foot hit the expert archers up against the church, battered them and won the game. Definitely see sawed throughout the game and kept our interest, we're planning some more of these games and I've dragged out some dark age types to add to the painting queue!

All the best