Virtual Meeting #2

The club held a second ‘virtual meeting’ last weekend, with solo games, and even a socially distanced garden game of FoG. Over to the players…

Stephen – Solo SAGA
Stephen had a game of SAGA – the Prized Possessions scenario. Edward Oswaldson (Anglo Danes) had been tasked by the earl to escort the local bishop and his possessions. Meanwhile, a boat load of Norse Gaels from Dublin led by Ragnall Svendsson had been raiding in the area. The Anglo Danes won. They managed to get the wagons off the table, though the bishop himself didn’t quite get off and the game ended with the bishop looking at a very irate Norse Gael warlord…

Marcus – Galactic Heroes

Marcus took on his sons; never a good move… The game was going well but match abandoned after an 90 mins due to unforeseen circumstances. Just as well, he was the rebel scum entering bottom left, trying to get a droid to the ship (top right) he’d lost two characters already to the eldest son. Youngest son was preparing an ambush should he make it through…

Alan Kirk – Verdun 1916

Alan played a solo learning game of Verdun 1916: Steel Inferno using the first scenario which covers the initial German attack.

Mark J, John Legg, Bret – FoG in the Garden

Mark’s Roman Dominate army had its first outing in his back garden and were truly smashed by the Sassanids…twice!

And finally, Eric played a couple of wargames-based video games (Total War and Dark Future – there are videos !

Painting 6mm Romans

New(ish) member Mark2 shows us how he paints his little fellas…

I’ve recently started playing Field of Glory at the club and decided to purchase a 6mm late Roman Army, never owned a Roman army but I have dabbled with late western Roman reenactment and enjoy this period. After consulting the FoG ‘Legions Triumphant’ army list, I picked a Dominate army (3rd to 5th century). Bought my figures from Baccus, they have a good range of late Roman and allies to pick from, the whole army cost around £90. Bases where purchased from Warbases and I used a mixture of Citadel and Vallejo paints, plus the Baccus basing kit.

Baccus figures are pretty chunky for 6mm and have quite a bit of detail, after consulting with some experienced 6mm painters at the club I decided to start with a black undercoat and work up from this, dry brushing light/bold colours to accentuate the detail, finally picking out detail such as weapons, helmets and banners. It’s important to use lighter or bolder colours at this scale, without this figures tend to look like a dark blob on the table. The black undercoat acts as shade/black line effect. The trick here is to ’trick’ the eye, with the aim of producing hopefully decent looking figures on a tabletop battlefield.

These figures are Baccus late roman with helm, I’m using them for my Auxilia palatina. In a Dominate army these troops were usually deployed as medium infantry but where also used as heavy infantry. I believe this was to fill gaps in the legions which were becoming a little more scarce during this time. I’ll be basing the auxilia on a FoG 15mm medium infantry base (40x30mm) but will pack the troops together in the style of heavy infantry. The figures come in fours and I use 16 per base, two lines of eight, that’s about as many as you can get across a stand this size using Baccus.

These figures where tacked to temporary painting bases, I usually permanently base before painting if I can, but didn’t fancy painting these guys when they are so closely packed together. I tack using a small blob of super glue as it’s easy to break off when you’re ready to base.

I base coat using a black acrylic spray, I find cheaper car sprays work well with metal figures, not to be used with plastics. It’s a messy job, but you can cover a whole army fairly quickly. I tend to undercoat in chunks, usually around 4 units at a time.

I begin by dry brushing the main colour, for the auxilia it’s their tunic, which I have painted using Citadel Lothern Blue, a bright powder like blue. I chose this colour as I have seen artists impressions using blue and it plausible that it may have been used. I dry brush with one of my 0 size brushes that has seen better days, you can purchase dry brushes but they tend to be on the large size and you need a relatively small brush for this scale. Dry brushing involves removing moisture from the brush by sweeping it across some kitchen role or the like and then lightly brushing across the area you want to paint, at a 45 degree angle if possible. This technique highlights raised detail and leaves recessed areas darker, giving a fairly good and realistic contrast, I find it works really well at this scale. I don’t tend to dry brush at larger scales as I prefer to wash and layer, however this is a quick and effective way to paint 6mm armies. You need to be careful not to contaminate other parts of the figure, such as the spear, shield and forearms, but this is relatively easy with some steady sweeps of your brush, any miss-haps can be blacked over.

Once I’ve completed the main colour I move on to the ‘large’ peripheries, in this case the shield (Vallejo Scarlet). Note that I am not dry brushing here but applying colour to the front of the shield leaving the middle and rear black, the same technique is also used with the spear (Vallejo Beige Brown), helmet (Citadel Mithril Silver) and flesh (Vallejo Flat Flesh), more on this in a moment.
Fourth picture – helmet, spear.

Before moving on the next stage, now is a good time to check for any contamination, such as tunic colour on flesh or weapon areas by touching up with some black, this sounds fiddly but it’s worth doing and doesn’t take long at all. I spend about 5 minutes per unit, the auxilia have eight stands with 16 figures on each so it gives you an idea of what I mean by not taking up much time.

I now move on to the flesh, hands and face in the case of these figures. As I mentioned above, Baccus are quite detailed for 6mm, so need a little care and attention when doing the Faces. I use a three spot method, one at the mid-top of the face and two below, left and right, this creates a face rather than a flesh coloured blob (at least that’s the theory). I’ve found the Baccus figures do have different faces, some work well with three dots others are better with two, this can only be about casting variations. Remember the effect works at battlefield level, on the table top, not close up. Next is to add any metal colours, I used Citadel Mithril Silver for the helmets, spear tips and shield boss. Gold (Vallejo Brass) for the standard, instrument and helms for the officer, musician and standard bearer. I use the same technique described above, making sure to pick out highlights and leave those in shade black. After this it’s the spear poles and then onto shield detail (see below). I also apply paint to the leggings at this point (Vallejo Pale Sand).

I’ve chosen to add a pattern to the shield, I’ve done this as it adds a little more detail to the figures and helps to catch the eye, really important at this scale. I’ve used Vallejo white, note that there are two units both with differing patterns. I’ve done this based on research carried out about the period, which indicates that Roman armies of this time were subject to more barbarian influence.

Finally the base materials are applied, basing is important at all scales, for 6mm it’s really important as it helps to bring your units to life. Again, brighter colours should be used for same reasons described above. I’ve chosen to use the Baccus basing system, which involves applying fine grade sand using PVA glue, washing the sand with a light brown ink and then dry brushing three progressively lighter sand colours over the dry wash. Don’t worry about hiding the figures’ stands at the moment, this comes next. Once the dry brushing is complete, you add the grass, this is done using a small plastic device called an Uff Puff. It’s best described as a plastic bellows, which you fill with grass and then apply the grass over the base, this means that the grass is more likely to stand up, and less likely to lie flat or clump. So, water down a little PVA apply around the figures’ base and hey presto you have some grass and no step showing from the figures’ base. Finally I paint the edges of the base Citadel Moot Green. I’ve also included some of my archers and cavalry, these were done without using temporary panting bases and there’s more space between these figures. I have also added grass between each figure. So that’s it, I hope this has been helpful, I am also working on a 6mm Spanish Peninsular army and hope to share some photos of these in the not too distant future.

ROMANES EUNT DOMUS: A game of Basic Impetus

Stephen gets impetuous…

I downloaded Basic Impetus yonks ago, when it was available as a free download.

Unfortunately it’s no longer available as a freebie because the publishers subsequently brought out a separate edition because it proved so popular as a game in its own right and not just as a stepping stone on to the full Impetus rules. After my recent game I think I may buy the bells-and-whistles published version because Basic Impetus is a great game.

I went with Romans, invading the Germans. The battlefield was set up with a river going across the middle, some woods either side of the river on one flank and an area of rocky ground on the other. The Romans lined up with their auxiliaries facing the wood, the cavalry and legionaries in the middle, and the artillery and archers on the left. Similarly, the Germans also lined up with their warbands in the middle. On their left they put their cavalry and some of their skirmisher archers, and on their right they had the rest of their skirmishers. The Roman tactic was to use their archers and artillery to engage the Germans.

The risk was the Germans would take up position along the river, meaning it would cause disruption to the Romans as they crossed. So the Romans chose to use the archers and artillery to draw the Germans across the river rather than just sit there taking all the hits. The Germans put most of their skirmishers on their left flank, to make their way through the woods and outflank the Romans. Both sides initially held their cavalry back to act as a reserve unit to exploit gaps.

The Germans did indeed move up to the river and take position along it. This was an understandable and obvious tactic. The Roman auxiliaries moved up using the woods as cover, trying to shield themselves from the German skirmishers. This was fine, but as soon as they cleared the woods and moved up to the river they would be exposed, and the German archers opened fire. The Romans were trying a similar tactic on the other flank – their archers moved up and engaged the German archers that had taken up position in some rocks, and the artillery fired at long range in an attempt to disrupt the German battle line. Neither had any effect (something that would continue throughout the game).

The Germans did indeed move up to the river and take position along it. This was an understandable and obvious tactic. The Roman auxiliaries moved up using the woods as cover, trying to shield themselves from the German skirmishers. This was fine, but as soon as they cleared the woods and moved up to the river they would be exposed, and the German archers opened fire.

The Romans were trying a similar tactic on the other flank – their archers moved up and engaged the German archers that had taken up position in some rocks, and the artillery fired at long range in an attempt to disrupt the German battle line. Neither had any effect (something that would continue throughout the game). The Roman artillery and archers continued their firing but were having little effect. Fortunately, neither were the German archers.

The auxiliaries had made good progress against the Germans – having advanced across the river and pushed their opposition back. It had come at a price, though, and the auxiliaries had taken damage in securing this bridgehead. Now it was up to the legionaries. With initiative finally going the Roman way, the legions splashed across the river and charged against the Germans! A shoving match ensued, with the Germans counter-attacking. But the Romans were winning and steadily pushing the Germans back.

There now came the chance for the auxiliaries to show their worth once more. Although they had taken damage and were no longer fresh, all that stood in front of them were the German cavalry, commanded by their general. If the auxiliaires could eliminate the cavalry and general then victory would go to the Romans. Fortunately, the cavalry had also taken some damage, but it had rallied and was no longer disrupted. Nevertheless, the auxiliaries formed up and they charged against them.

This would prove to be the decisive melee. In went the auxiliaries and they managed to destroy the German cavalry and with it the German general. Final victory went to the Romans who, though many of their units had taken damage, had not lost a single unit.

AGM 2020

The first meeting of the year is when we hold our AGM – we try to keep it brief, and no more formal than is absolutely necessary. It’s generally a good meeting since we get more attendees than normal and this more games are put on. So rather than dwell on the thrills of the treasurer’s report on the club’s finances (healthy, by the way), here’s a gallery of the gaming highlights of the day.

Photos by Tony Francis and Andy King

During the AGM, John Legg collected the trophy for last year’s Field of Glory tournament from Paul Lymath, the 2018 winner.

Alan Kirk hosted a large 1940 Chain of Command game.

Tony Francis and Jeremey Claridge put on a Celtos game (but didn’t play in it themselves…)

Instead, they both took part in some aerial combat over the Sinai desert in 1956

As always, there was a Field of Glory game going on – the first of the 2020 tournament

And Jon Roche and John Lambert took to the seas in some ancient galleys

Dark Age Warriors

Andy K gets to grips with his inner beast…

I needed another eight figures for a Dux Bellorum game at the club recently, so dug into my boxes of Gripping Beast plastics for suitable figures. I decided to split them half and half, four armed with spears and the rest with sword or axe. These figures are made up of four parts: the body including left arm, right arm with a number of weapon options, head and shield.

They were assembled and painted these up in about a week; black undercoat, followed by shades of grey and brown for the tunics and trousers. A variety of hair colours were used. The paints are mostly Vallejo acrylics, with the odd bottle of Army Painter used. Once dry the figures were treated with appropriate shading paints from Army Painter.

The shields were painted white, and Little Big Man Studios transfers applied. All then given a coat of matt varnish

FoG League 2019

This year’s Field of Glory tournament started with a 3-a-side game on the first meeting of the year. From the scores it would seem to have been a very close game, with the triumvirate of Paul, Pete and Brett just edging out Colin, Jack and Chairman John 11-9. The FoG league page has now been moved to the blog from the club website – the page can be found here.

Pax Germanica

At the last meeting we had a game of Sword & Spear – Romans against Germans.

Jeremey took control of the Romans and Stephen had the Germans (we were joined half way through by Andy (Romans) and Tony (Germans) once they finished their Saga game). We did the River Crossing scenario from the rulebook, with the Romans on the attack. Victory conditions meant that if the Romans had half or more of their units on the opposite side of the river during any End Phase of the game they were automatically declared winner.

The Germans deployed first with their warbands stretched out facing the river to oppose any Roman crossing. On the left flank they had the cavalry and skirmishers.

The Romans had their legions facing the river with auxiliaries on the Roman left and the Roman cavalry on the right, having to make their way through rocky ground before getting to the river.

Both armies moved up quickly (we realised after a few turns that we read the group move rules incorrectly, but at least it got us stuck in quicker!). The German (lack of) discipline made moving up in any kind of order difficult and it turned out enough tribal leaders hadn’t arrived, so they also had a few command and control issues since the warbands on the further edges were out of command range (you can see I’m getting in the excuses early).

It reached that point – the Romans lined up on one side of the river and the Germans on the other. There’d been some desultory bow fire but it was quite clear how this was going to be decided. The Romans were on the attack and the onus was on them to win. So Rome’s finest did what they had to do and started wading across the river…

The main fighting was in the middle between the legions and the warbands. It started going the Roman way. They created a bridge head and units were crossing the river. It looked like this was going to be over quicker than we thought. The Germans brought up their cavalry to plug some holes. Out on the right flank things were going a bit slower – the Germans struggling to bring enough troops up and the Romans refusing the flank with their archers pouring fire into the tribesmen. Meanwhile, on the left, the Roman cavalry also took time coming up through the rocky ground allowing the German archers to advance to the river with bows at the ready once the cavalry came into range and sight.

The centre wore away. In one clash the Germans managed to destroy one of the Roman units taking the Roman general with it! The tide of battle was starting to turn and it looked as though the Germans may have a chance of victory. This had come at a cost though – the German units were starting to get weak and fragile from the battle. Realising they would have to be bold and daring to secure victory the German right flank finally managed to get to the river and decided to charge across it at the Roman archers and auxiliaries in the woods on the opposite bank. A bold attack, indeed, and one that was repulsed.

And there things came to an end. In that brief glimmer of hope the Germans had taken enough of a pounding to force them to quit the field. It had been no easy victory for the Romans – they had taken the river crossing but they had also taken a serious drubbing to achieve their goal. A pyrrhic victory at best. But a victory nonetheless.

Open Day 2018

The club is holding its annual Open Day on Saturday June 23rd (11am to 4pm). This when we put on many games and open our doors for all to come and visit and get a much wider idea of what we do and the games we play. We try to put on a good variety of games across all the popular periods and scales, all of which are open to visitors to join in. We offer a special discounted membership rate for anyone who joins the club on the day. There’s also a prize draw sponsored by local manufacturer Brigade Models for all visitors.

This year there are seven games, including one put on by Milton Hundred Wargames Club, our nearby friends and neighbours. The six club games are as follows:

The Fall of the Ramas Echor – a 28mm Lord of the Rings game set just before the Battle of Pelennor Fields, TA3019.

The Second Battle Of Sluys AD1370 – 28mm Medieval action using Lion Rampant rules.

Fields of Glory – a 15mm ancients game using the FoG ruleset.

Sharp Practice – 28mm Napoleonic skirmish action in the Spanish Peninsula.

WW2 Naval – early war action between the French and Italian navies in the Mediterranean.

Gaslands – post-apocalyptic car racing.

Directions to the club’s venue in Linton, near Maidstone, can be found on our website.

Pax Romana

At the last meeting we had a game of Sword & Spear – Romans against Sarmatians.

We decided to do one of the scenario games listed in the rules: Attack A Prepared Position.

The Romans (Andy King and Dave Sime) were defending which meant the Sarmatians (Tony Gibbs and Stephen Tucker) had to break them or they lose by default. After the sixth turn a dice is rolled each turn and depending on the roll that could be the end of the game.

So there was no time to lose.

The battle field was set up with a hill and wood on one flank, and on the other was another hill, an area of rocky ground, and a villa/farm. The Romans also had a fortified camp which they put in the middle of their table edge.

Since the Romans were defending they had to deploy first. They used their legionaries to form a strong line linking the farm and camp. They kept their cavalry in the rear as a mobile reserve, and put their auxiliaries in the farm with the wall to protect them. Their skirmishers – some light cavalry, slingers, and a few archers – they had out front in the open.

The Sarmatians deployed with their cavalry in the middle. On their left they put the light cavalry archers, and on the right they had a few skirmishers with bows and some Gepid mercenaries.

The game started with the Romans remaining stationary. There was no need for them to advance after all.

Tony’s Sarmatians on the left made good speed, advancing to threaten the Roman skirmishers and light cavalry. The right flank was somewhat tardy in its advance – the rocky ground and poor activation dice making progress difficult.

First blood went to the Sarmatians, who made short work of the Roman skirmishers. It was never looking good for them out there in the open against all that cavalry. There was a desultory exchange of bowfire between the Roman auxiliaries in the farm and the advancing Sarmatian skirmishers.

With the Roman light troops routed the Sarmatian left flank advanced on the Roman line. The Romans feared a mighty cavalry charge and moved their own cavalry into position where they might plug any gap should the inevitable happen. The Roman legionaries around the villa wobbled back and forth, unsure whether to make a charge or to hold their line (they chose to hold the line) and the Gepids finally managed to move up.

The turns ticked by. The Sarmatians were ahead on points but this game wasn’t about who killed most – the Sarmatians were against the clock and if they didn’t break the Roman line quickly that would be it. So in went the Gepids and in went the Sarmatian cavalry!

The Gepids delivered a whallop, but the Romans paid that back with interest. The cavalry charge wasn’t all it could have been and the Roman line held and pushed them back.

It hadn’t been enough.

Dusk fell, and time was up. Game end!

The Sarmatians had destroyed more Roman units but had failed to break them before the last turn.

Though bloodied, the Romans held the field and were declared victors.