Friday, December 23, 2011

November/December - Northamptonshire

A busy end of the year ...

Indeed ... in amongst the end of year shows and the odd administrative task, there's been quite a lot going on.

(click on the images if you want a better look at some of the photos)

(Graham's Byzantines near completion: the flocked ones are the new recruits and are classic Donnington figures)

I managed to get another Championship game or two ... Graham hasn't finished his Gothic Wars Armati army quite yet (and so had to sub in a few Piggie Parthians) but I think it looks splendid (and it's always nice to see another new ancients army take the field locally) ...

(armoured horse archers: the core of the Byzantine army of the Gothic War)

It also fought pretty sternly too - taking 4 of Totila's maximum of 6 before capitulating after losing its own 5 Break Points (Armati, that is ... Belisarius breaking on 5 key units down, Totila, 6, due to the Byzantines' slightly smaller, slightly higher specification force)..

In their first combat outing, the Belisarians got fewer of their missile troops to bear in the opening phase, and managed the evolution of lines slightly less well than the Goths (and so were always playing catch up - in footie speak).. But a tough test that could easily have gone the other way had the dice gods so chosen.

(Totila uses tactics to draw the Byzantines into the combat zone)

For some extra Armati army lists (including Totila's Goths), have a look at Warfloot (WF Army menu, Triumph of Cavalry)

I also managed to get to call in on the WD London crowd's pre-Christmas game ... long enough to wish everyone greetings for the season and present the 2010 Paul Morris Prize to John Bassett for his Roman Politics games.

(give us your entries for 2011 or the bunny gets it: John Bassett accepts the Paul Morris Prize for 2010)

Submissions are live for the 2011 Paul Morris Prize: awarded annually for the most innovative non-commercial game within the Society's remit. Contact me via 'comments', the Society Yahoo group, or, say, ancmed, if you have a runner to recommend. It needs to have been presented publicly during the course of 2011, and the panel will need a synopsis of how it works and why it is a winner. It need not be by a Society member.

(A Roman vignette: something for the display cabinet more than the table top)

I've also been grappling with the aesthetics of the flats project and organising the newly acquired collection. Whilst some are just being painted and tidied for display, such as these Romans caught by the Parthians at Carrhae ...

... many are being sorted for the Plataea game - and for now, at least, will be based up on clear plastic to maintain the look of individual loose basing beloved of 1960s photographers. I think this will actually look striking (in a good way) and give that 'new look to an old favourite' that I am looking for.

(sorting out figures for the big Plataea game)

But I will base up the Egyptians and enemies in the modern idiom (grit, grass, pebbles and dry bushing ... rather like those Romans) as a group of DBA armies.
For our last game before Christmas, I put a couple of trial versions out (New Kingdom, early years vs Nubians - though I used the Libyan list as I wanted to field a chariot general ... so I/22a vs I/7b) ... and I have to say all three of us were quite taken with the look.

(a crudely mocked up pair of armies that proved a great success with the players)

The unique look seems to suit Barker's pretty abstract game. The flats, of course, are 30mm, so about the same size as 28mm but without the clumsy look of modern figures.

(the Egyptian infantry running before Pharoaoh)

These shots are just of a mock up of course - even so I think the photos capture that 'something worth exploring' appeal of the figures. The Nubians are nearly ready bar the basing but there is still a lot of painting required on the Egyptians (and I need to think about some camps and general clutter).

(no issues with fitting the figures to the frontage with these figures of course)

Watch this space, as I think if I can do a decent job on them these armies will look splendid and be well worth a little feature.

Christmas is coming. 3 months and 1 week til the BattleDay (they do say time flies when you're having fun!) ...

Don't forget to subscribe to the Society of Ancients by the end of January.
(online subscriptions page)
(Totila's Goths ride out the year eager for another battle)

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