Friday, 19 March 2021

Something nice from the Society of Ancients

 Nothing for six months, and then two posts come along at once! This arrived in the mail today:


I wrote quite a long descriptive review of Tactica II for Slingshot and won a thing.

I built a Kzinti Starbase

And here it is, with two fighter squadrons: 

There is a reason for this, believe it or not. Real life became unbelievably heavy last year due to a combination of work, work, more work and yet another redundancy threat. This means I had relatively little time left for any games stuff, as you could probably tell from the long silences on this blog. However, the situation gave me the impetus not only to go for the full head shave I'd been contemplating for a while (no hairdressers open = mad scientist look anyway), but also to apply for the sorts of jobs I wouldn't normally. So I will be moving to Al Ain in Abu Dhabi in the autumn to wok for the UAE University. In fact, I've already started, but they are extremely strict about covid, and everything is online. Which means I get to stay in the UK for a while longer.

I have been thinking about getting back into Star Fleet Battles and Federation and Empire for a while now, especially since there is a great Vassal module for the strategic game. I am going to need something I can play solo while I am over there, and setting it all up as a grand miniatures campaign has always been something in the back of mind; time to turn it into a reality. I have started a blog to chronicle it all here.

There are all sorts of things available that didn't exist when I first played these games several decades ago, such as a really good Shapeways section for SFB. I have been slowly building up a Kzinti fleet, and above is the start, along with a shield marker to show the station's facing without needing to move it too often. I got a boxed set from Goblin Games that allows you build stuff, and I wanted a base that looks different from the classic Federation stations. Plastics are really easy to stick in a suitcase...

Thursday, 20 August 2020

Command stands for German Cavalry

 I'm still slow, but some bits and pieces are gradually being completed:

Apart from casualty markers, which I will as usual cull from plastic figures, pretty much the entire army will be Old Glory. The only exception I can think of might be to buy a nice c-in-c from another range, but I haven't decided yet.

Shield designs by Little Big Men, as are the flags. I rescued these from an old set of Arthurian Banners (I think) that I had lying around; they are sufficiently generic to do for general pagan types.

I used the same figures for each group of three, but varied the clothing colours a little. You can tell these guys are posh, because some of them even have dyed cloaks and clothes.

Some of the horses are a bit on the big side, so I extended the usual WRG basing to a 5cm depth. Frontage is the standard 6cm.

Finally, a top-down shot to show the basing - a mixture of brown acrylic plastic wood, Faller landscape product, and flocking.

Monday, 13 July 2020

Early German skirmishers

Odds and sods left over from my Old Glory packs turned into skirmishers with javelins:
And a view from the rear:
As you can see, I've gone for muted clothing but reasonably bright shields. It remains to be seen how they fight...

Wednesday, 20 May 2020

Finally, a new post!

Germans, sir, fahsands of 'em!
Figs by Old Glory 25s

I am finally beginning to catch up a little bit on my ancients. Work life here has been off the scale ever since I arrived, and the virus situation has made it worse because we have all had to duplicate everything and move it online - double the amount of work for the final quarter of the academic year. However, working from home has had an extra bonus, which is the ability in between swathes of admin to do a colour here and there and even take some photos. Space is a bit tight, but anything is better than nothing...

So the photo above shows (rather badly) two newly completed warbands of 36 loose formation loonies. This completes all of the massed foot for the army:
Here they are in their nice comfy underbed storage box.

This gives me eight close formation warbands of 48 figures each plus the 72 just completed. Next up will be skirmish javelins and I already have those. Gaming with them will of course be another issue, but I have a cunning plan. When the army is finished, I am hoping to run a reasonably tight sample battle using Tactica II for the purposes not only of moving my moribund ancients campaign on a bit, but also to follow up on an in-depth review of the rules I produced for the most recent issue of Slingshot. 

In fact, I'm actually planning two battles as the Cimbri take on the might of Rome. One will be against a very late Republican army, and the other a newly raised, but rather unwieldy and poorly trained emergency force using the new so-called 'Marian' legion. Basically, it's the campaign version of Arausio, divided in two to be manageable. These will make a nice two-parter explaining how the rules can be used to construct custom armies, plus a reasonably straightforward couple of battles based mostly on infantry combat. The combination should work nicely. That's the plan anyway - it'll probably take a while to come to fruition, though, because I still need to paint the skirmishers, cavalry, command stands and (of course!) the much-needed casualty markers...

Still, I have produced this lot in around four months, so it should be do-able. This is about half of my previous level of productivity in Scotland, but it does represent my best effort since coming to Cheltenham. I seem to getting at least some of my mojo back.

Tuesday, 28 May 2019

Saying hello: Jean-Pascal Tran

Hi, and thanks for following. This blog isn't very active at the moment, because my figure gaming life is pretty much moribund. When I moved to this part of England, I already knew of several games clubs, but as it happened, they weren't really good for me. Either too far away, or mostly Warhammer stuff. I am still painting, albeit in a rather desultory fashion, and I do occasionally manage a figure game, but all is few and far between. I will return to it properly at one point. Of course, the main issue is massive amounts of over-work, which means I have very little energy for anything else at the moment. But I shall return when the stars are right...

Wednesday, 22 August 2018

Stylised map of the roads of the Roman Empire

I haven't posted on here for quite a while. Real life is incredibly busy, especially at work, so I haven't been doing much in the way of historical figure gaming. However, I have come across this:

Even my painting time is limited, but every so often I'll post something relevant here as and when it comes...

Monday, 1 January 2018

On the painting table: January 2018

Germans, surprisingly enough. I reckon that I'll need one more war band like this and that will give me enough of the standard line of warriors for a decent-sized Tactica game. After that, it's light infantry, skirmishers and cavalry. Not to mention leaders. That should keep me going for a little while.

Then I'll have to make a decision. Believe it or not, this will give me only about a third of what I'd need to run a historical large-scale refight of massive engagements such as Arausio. So there will come a point where I need to figure out if I can stomach the idea of painting more Germans, or take a break and shift temporarily to something else as a breather.

Saturday, 23 December 2017

A New Blog

I've just started a new blog for a new game. Well, an old game really, because I'm reviving my fantasy role-playing campaign for my kids. In case you haven't noticed, my activity on here has gone down of late, mainly because motivation is sadly lacking. The first post on the new blog explains why here. I'm hoping that a new chapter in my gaming life will help to keep me going with my ancients, at least in terms of painting. If I'm painting figures for the world of Elric, then it's just a small step to reaching for the ancient Germans as well...

Sunday, 5 November 2017

On the painting table: November 2017

Slow, stately progress on another couple of Early German war bands; figs by Old Glory. Proof positive that I am still painting at times...