Thursday, October 24, 2019

DBA Special: I/3 Nubian


(DBA ancient Nubians featuring 15mm figures by Chariot and Falcon)

(the fan is borrowed from a Minifig ... otherwise Chariot Miniatures fom Magister Militum)

(Nubian warriors)

The army is mostly bowmen and I will likely deploy them as such (although I've done a few skirmishers as options)

... and finally ...

As with the Libyans, I've tried to do the best I can with the animal skins (as that's what these early desert peoples do - they don't have much to show off other than bits of wood, animal skins and some small bronze weapons)

The camp is inspired by images of Nubian tombs ... the pyramid is a piece of a child's toy I rescued from being thrown out.  Now it has a new life.  I added cattle as Nubians are often depicted with cattle in Egyptian paintings (see the header pic).  Probably it is how they paid tribute.  So the camp sort of says 'come and get it if you think ...'.

(DBA 15mm: Nubian camp)

This army pairs with Early Libyan

DBA Special: Book I/7 Early Libyan 3000 to 1251 BC

This army reflects the Libyan armies from the great age of Egypt: from the earliest times to the age of the New Kingdom and the period of Kadesh.  The core of the army is auxilia or (fast) hordes and I have chosen to fill the ranks with a rag-tag of desert supporters.

Most of the figures in this army are Chariot Miniatures (with the odd Essex and Falcon figure mixed in for variety).  I can't see this general wanting to deploy as a lone warband but it may be something to try at some stage.

(DBA I/7 ... Early Libyan warriors deployed as 'horde')

I have tried to incorporate a number of animal skin patterns (although some can be a little challenging in 15mm!).

(one of these skirmishers seems to have wandered off!)

A Libyan waterside camp ...

I can't say littoral as the army isn't (even though they allied with the Sea People and fought in the delta): you have to be a few hundred years later (Libyan Egyptian) to fight beside the water.  So this is any old inlet ...

(15mm Libyans: plastic palm tree, Chariot soldier, Essex boatman, Museum reed boat)

... and a Chariot and an Irregular cauldron on the boil.

The removable boat is the CF, mounted on 'perspex' as that's how I generally do water.  But I have provided a spare javelin base (in addition to the camera shy ones!) ... so that if anyone baulks at the boat sallying out, I can provide a suitable substitute.

((DBA camp: a waterside vignette)

I tried to do one of those trompe l'oeil painted fish in the water.  You can see it through the boat's plastic base.  It is very small but sort of works ... and there are some lilies to give an illusion of depth.

(15mm fish in the water ... water teems with fish in Egyptian pictures)

(15mm duck by Museum Minitures)

 This army pairs with Nubian

Saturday, October 12, 2019

1st September, Peterborough

A very busy September started with an enjoyable day just up the road in the company of Peterborough Wargames Club at Hereward.

This has become a regular outing for us and is a show that retains all the appeal of a traditional local show - organised primarily as a local club's open day.  In theory it's also a good opportunity for Northamptonshire Battlefields Society to meet and engage local people with local battlefields (although as Edgcote is our theme battle this year, 'local' is always relative: Peterbrough is just over the county line at one end of Northamptonshire and Edgcote is some 70 miles away, just inside the line at the other end).

The reality, of course, is that battles and campaigns aren't just confined to single spaces, and the Northmen at Edgcote in 1469 almost certainly came from Doncaster by the Great North Road via Stamford and the second rebellion (1470) was centred on the East Midlands and culminated at Losecote Field less than 20 miles up the road.  It's a local story.

(NBS volunteer, Paul, tells the Edgcote story)

(Northamptonshire Battlefields Society: medieval weapons and armour)

Edgcote Pictures

(Edgcote 1469: Robin of Redesdale takes up position on the East Hill overlooking Danesmoor)

Edgcote 1469: the earl of Pembroke's army was stationed on the West Hill)

(At some point during the battle or the build up, the earl of Devon leaves with his archers)

(harrassed by Robin's archers, Pembroke has no choice other than to attack across the small river)

The Show

The rest of the show had a good mix of attractions, a 'flea market' style bring-and-buy with good prices (happy punters and happy sellers - so that obviously works), bacon butties, a good mix of participation games (which are prioritised) and show games ... Dave Lanchester selling books ... Harry Sidebottom signing books ... 

And there's always the chance to try the NBS weapons for size ...

(Hereward 2019: on the NBS stand)

(Hereward 2019: Whacky Races)

(Hereward 2019: good looking and interesting games all round as usual)

At this show we had enough people to run the game with a couple of lads who would otherwise have been playing fantasy.  They picked up the basics of Hail Caesar quite quickly, commanding Robin and the reinforcements.  Paul too Pembroke's role and attacked with complete confidence.

Mirroring history, it all went horribly wrong - although in this battle, the rebels didn't allow the Herberts to try appealing for clemency a day or two later (with Warwick in Northampton): no, their heads were lopped off on the battlefield.

Warwick, of course, was never Mr Clemency, so the outcome was the same.

A great little show.  It should be on your list.

Friday, October 11, 2019

DBA Special: Book III/12 Christian Nubian

Another addition to the later ancient African group of armies (with Axumites and Nobades already available and Meroitics on the desk), this is another warriors and camels type army from the Middle Nile region and can ally with or fight against Beja and Nobades as well as fight against the Abyssinians and most of the surrounding Arab dynasties.

I painted the figures, Imogen painted the beach which I borrowed for a sandy backdrop.

The camels are Museum Miniatures with the usual adaptations that are needed to fit them on the bases.    The spearmen and mace-men are Feudal Castings.  The balance are the usual mix of Chariot, Essex, TableTop (and there's a Grumpy and a Donnington in there too!).

The broken obelisk has been knocking around for ages in my terrain box, so I turned it into a Nubian camp (changing the Camp Follower element leaves it suitable for a number of armies/periods so it's a handy item) ... It was a Hovels model, I think.  It seems good to me for anyone who has a grudge against the Egyptians.

(DBA Book III list 12: Christian Nubian)

The Mounted

I put the King in an animal skin transplanted from a Roman Aquilifer.  

(camel warriors from Museum Miniatures with some Nubian style heads swaps)

So that's a Kn or Cv general, 2 x camels, 2 x LH and a camel scout (LCm who could, instead, have been a Ps)

The Foot

I opted to take Blades and solid archers for the powerful combination of 4Bd with 4Bw (side support in close combat)

The Camp

(DBA broken obelisk camp ... in this case Christian Nubian)

There are a number of Camp Follower elements that would be suitable for this camp but here I have tried to hint at the legendary figure of Prester John ... almost certainly nothing to do with Nubia or even Ethiopia (but nevertheless maybe a distant memory of a lost Christian Kingdom somewhere beyond Arabia) 

(Prester John and the desert kingdoms, sand dunes by Imogen)

Thursday, October 10, 2019

DBA Special: II/25 Bosporan

This is a 15mm army comprised mainly of old Falcon Figures Skythian (the ancestor of the contemporary range by Lurkio) horse and a mix of Xyston and Chariot (Magister Militum) foot.  There are also figures by Alain Touler, Gladiator, Minifigs, Tabletop (now Alternative Armies) and Old Glory.  Nearly all are personalised in some way, and there are a few Irregular Corinthian helmets swapped into the mix. And I've 'mixed and matched' the shields.

Anyway, who are the Bosporans?  Well, contrary to misconceptions, they aren't from the Bosphorus (but from the other side of the Black Sea). 

(A useful Map from Battles of the Ancients with my soldiers emerging ...) 

So, the Crimea and Kerch peninsula, modern Ukraine and Russia.  The coast was colonised by Greek seafarers, and the culture mixed Greek styles with Scythian and Sarmatian influences.  

I chose the later period of list II/25 to incorporate the Sarmatian troops.  I also opted for a 'Knight' general, making for 4 x 3Kn and a 3Kn Gen.  I took Auxilia rather than hoplites, and horse archers rather than Ps.  

(DBA Bosporans: mostly from the characterful, if 'old', Falcon range)

The Cavalry General seems to be the 'percentage player's' pick.  And the forum pundits also seem to favour hoplites to thorakitai (4Ax) but I think the Ax are more historical for the 'Sarmatian' period (likewise the general) - then again (with a gamer hat on), I like to feel I have something to challenge the occasional elephant or fight in  bad going.

(Scythian horse archers - inspired by the old 'Sarmatian head-hunting girls' meme) 

Greek and Sarmatian girls brandishing Roman heads.  

Those thorakitai/peltasts.  They should probably be a bit more coordinated but I'd always envisaged this would be a colourful army.  Hand-painted shields of course.  

(DBA Bosporans: mostly Chariot figures for this rag-tag contingent)

And there's an element of Psiloi that seems to have been a tad camera-shy.

The army is 'littoral' and at Britcon I borrowed a warship camp from my Marian Romans.  Instead of a camp, for this gallery, I have photographed a 'Confused General' Barker Marker which has been in the Bosporan box with them since Manchester.  I believe Simon Bargery did these (I won it in one of the DBA League events).  This is my take on the figure:

(DBA: Confused General Shows North-style) 

This is a good, balanced army and is enjoyable to play with.  I had a few rough dice moments at Britcon but still placed mid table.  So it is quite forgiving. 

It is a good historical opponent for Scythians, Sarmatians, Alans, Pontics, Romans etc.

At Britcon, I had to play with a less decorative version due to a number of constraints.  Here is how it emerged to completion: