6 August, 2016

It’s been quite a while since I’ve posted on this blog. Recently I was reminded that Conquest was coming up at the end of this year; Keith’s planning a new format with some BBDBA for the last day. It’s got me motivated to see what I could field if I were to attend. I don’t have enough figures for any army to be made up of 36 elements from one list. I’d need to field 24 elements from one list and take an ally. This precludes taking a successor army, which is a pity, as pike are better with solid wings, something they struggle to get in normal DBA. At this stage I’ve got a few armies I’m looking at:

The Republican army at Thapsus led by Scipio and Labienus and aided by their ally the Numidian Juba. I’m painting the Numidians now, and I’m looking at rebasing Spanish to make enough 4Ax. Otherwise, I’m pretty much able to field this army. I would look to get a few more elephants, though. I’m not normally a big fan of Roman armies, but the any that resisted the tyrant Caesar is OK, especially with honourable leaders such as Labienus and Cato the Younger.

Another army is a Mithridatic one with an Armenian ally. I’d need to paint a bit more to get this one ready. It’d have two solid wings of light horse and auxilia, a centre of blade or pike and enough knights to be a threat.

I could also put together a Syracusan army with a Carthaginian ally.

Anyway, along with getting these armies ready, I’m reluctantly planning to rebase my Gauls as 4Wb; I’m hoping I can get some rather nice looking Xyston Gallic foot nobles to mix in with the Corvus Belli ones to add some further presence to each element. I also have plenty of Gallic cavalry to look at painting. Perhaps they could be another BBDBA army!

Belated battle reports

6 November, 2013

It’s been a while since I’ve posted. I went to Cancon at the start of the year, but never got around to posting. I took Mithridatics (II/48) and Comnenans (IV/1a). I ended the competition in the middle, winning my early games and then falling back in the second half. I generally fielded the blade option for the Mithridatics.

I didn’t get to play much DBA otherwise. When Steve visited at the end of June we played a few games, but after that I’ve not played anything until last Friday when I visited Melbourne to catch up with Steve and take part in Tormentus with the Monday Knights at the Auburn Bowls Club.

This was a fun tournament of four games. You only had the same 12 elements for the whole tournament and the terrain was set. I decided to take the Mithridatics with their blade option. I won two and lost two. The one element we couldn’t meet easily was the knight, and I lost to an army with seven of them; I did get the first kill and I might have had a chance if I’d not tried to go after his bow with some blade, breaking up my line. The last game was against some Vietnamese; as luck would have it my opponent ended up with a swampy river and a wood in front of him. Again, I might have won if I’d kept my forces together and gone into the swamp with my blade, auxilia and psiloi. Instead, I sent the light troops around the flank. We got to three each and short of time when I went into the swamp with some overlaps, but really a bit of a forlorn hope. I lost.

There were a lot of awards; more than there were participants; I got one for having travelled the furthest and one for the best looking army. I was somewhat surprised by the second, but most of the armies were put together from bigger ones, while mine was made for DBA. However, it is a hodge-podge of manufacturers and in need of repair; the commander’s standard has broken as has the dagger of the sacrificing priestess.

That weekend Steve and I had a couple more games, two of Song of Blades and Heroes. I’m keen to play this more; when I get settled after I finish in Adelaide, my first priority would be making some decent terrain for skirmishing in 15mm. Steve had some houses and good hills, trees and a river that really made a difference. I’m thinking of using the campaign setting of the World of Greyhawk for a simple campaign set in the devastated Duchy of Tenh. It’s a setting that seems suited to a campaign and I already have the figures for it, particularly goblins, dwarves and elves.

More Imitation Legionaries

31 December, 2012

Late Hellenistic imitation legionaries. Two have red shields and could be Ptolemaic; the one with green shields would be Seleucid.

Late Hellenistic imitation legionaries. Two have red shields and could be Ptolemaic; the one with green shields would be Seleucid.

  • Imitation legionaries

With a brief flurry of painting I go my Mithridatics ready for CANCON 2013. All my paints are in storage, so it took a bit of effort to get them out to do three 4Bd elements. I’d already prepped them, so they didn’t take long once I started. These elements allow me to field the late Ptolemaic and Seleucid armies. which have two and one element respectively. I’ll also use them to fill out my Mithridatic army.

From behind.

From behind.

The figures are Freikorp Thureophoroi and Thorakitai; I’ve given them pila from old-style Freikorp Romans. They may not have used them, but it helps make them clearly imitation legionaries.

From the other side.

From the other side.

The Mithridatic army has five elements of imitation legionaries. I’ve decided to use one element of Romans, as Mithridates had some Marian exiles fighting for him; then there are two elements of Marian figures mixed with Thorakitai, but with Marian shields. And finally two of the new legionaries. It is a nicely hodge-podge collection of legionaries, in keeping with the rest of the army.

Mithridates' legionaries: the two blue-shielded elements have a mixture of Marian Roman figures and modified Thorakitai. The middle one are straight Romans, exiled supporters of the Marian faction. The last two have more obviously Hellenistic equipment.

Mithridates’ legionaries: the two blue-shielded elements have a mixture of Marian Roman figures and modified Thorakitai. The middle one are straight Romans, exiled supporters of the Marian faction. The last two have more obviously Hellenistic equipment.


As I mentioned in an earlier post, I’m attending CANCON next year. I’m looking forward to it. I didn’t play that much DBA last year, though I started to get a few games in November. I’ll be taking a few armies to Oz when I return; I reckon I can get all my Classical armies (though I’m leaving behind the Ancient British chariots, LH and extra Ps to make room. As it is, I’ll have a stack of armies for the period of around 300 BC to the start of the principate. One army that doesn’t fit is the Komnenan Byzantines, who I need for the second day of CANCON. I’ve used it before and like it, not that I’m terribly successful with it. My other armies from Books 3 and 4 are either not finished, needing to have their bases upgraded, and/or not very competitive. I was tempted to try the Pre-feudal Scots; they’re not terrible, but are a bit of a challenge. If I wanted to keep with a similar army for the first day, I could have gone with the Syracusans. However, I’m keen to use the SCh before it is emasculated, so Mithridatics it is; I can make a fairly spurious link with the Komnenans by pointing out they’re from the same region!

Another shot of the Mithridatic legionaries.

Another shot of the Mithridatic legionaries.

  • Mithridatics completed

The Mithridatics are a somewhat cheesy army for competitions in Australasia, as down here you are generally allowed to choose what elements you’ll use before each battle. The option to substitute five 4Bd for a SCh and four 4Pk allows you to transform the army’s capabilities. Against most foot the blade are very powerful, but against armies with a lot of knights the combination of pikes and a scythed chariot should be pretty potent. That said, I’m unsure what to field against armies with pikes and knights, though I suspect the blades are a better bet.

The Mithridatics arrayed with the legionary option.

The Mithridatics arrayed with the legionary option.

The army has a strong selection of BGo troops; it’s able to vary the combination of Auxilia and Psiloi to give more rear support for the blade, or to create a block of three Auxilia with one Psiloi for support. The army also has a choice between a 3Kn, a 3Cv and a 2LH. The 3Kn is probably the most useful, but I really like the figures for the 3Cv and I don’t get to use them enough.

The same army from another angle.

The same army from another angle.

I’ve updated the Mithridatics army page too.

Pontic Imitation Legionaries and the first of the Marians.

The Mithridatics are a bit closer now with the first of their imitation legionaries done. The blue shields are imitation legionaries, the red shields are Marians. These are Freikorp figures; For the imitation legionaries two on each element are Marians, one of an older vintage, and one each of the newer ones. The other two are Hellenistic thorakitai with scuta instead of thurioi and pila from the old vintage Marians. As mentioned in earlier posts, I’ve used VVV transfers, which I think look pretty effective.

The Marians have a centurion, two of the new vintage figures, and one of the old ones. I plan to have a centurion on each element, for colour, but also as they were so significant to the functioning of the legions. I’ll probably do pairs of shield designs for them, so that there will be some four ‘legions’ in the DBA army.

I think the figures look pretty neat, though I missed some major flash on some of the new figures; it’s very prominent on one of their faces!

From the side.

Now I’ve got these figures done, I just need to do the three elements of Ptolemaic and Seleucid imitation legionaries, who have thurioi. Then I can field later versions of these armies, as well as the Mithridatic option of five 4Bd.

The other side.

The Marians should be pretty quick to do now that I’ve established that these transfers work, though whether they’re next on the to do is another question.

From the rear.

After the Ptolemaic and Seleucid imitation legionaries, I could do some more pike; they’re all prepped; it’s just I’ve scuttled off onto other projects. And I could still be tempted to do Bruttians, again prepped, or Numidians instead of these pike. There are also some camps to be done when the mood takes me!

A couple of shields

26 November, 2011

I decided to put shields on my Pontic light horse, as by this period most cavalry used them. Following the good advice of the Teenage Visigoth, ‘use what you’ve got, rather than dreaming about what you could have’, I gave them a pair of bucklers that were the best size for them I had. As I didn’t want to draw attention to the shields especially, I gave them fairly ordinary colours. These were also extra quick, as I didn’t clean or undercoat them. They got one colour and the boss was bare metal; then I gave them a wash and glued them.

A pair of shields for the Pontic cavalry.

I’ve also started painting the shields of the Pontic imitation legionaries and the Marian Romans. These are VVV Early Imperial Roman designs. Both the designs needed a little trimming to fit. Some of the shields are on older Freikorp figures and noticeably cruder in terms of their bosses, but this shouldn’t show up too much.

Marian Romans (red shields) and Pontic imitation legionaries (blue shields).

Pontus ready to combat Roman tyranny.

Mithridates is ready to free the Roman province of Asia from the avarice and corruption of the Romans. I’ve updated their Army Page too.

Light foot: thureophoroi and Asiatic archers (Freikorp).

Another angle.

Mithridates has a good supply of light foot, which can be used by the Seleucids (and others).

Pontic cavalry options.

Pontic cavalry (Warmodelling).

His cavalry is fairly strong, compared to his Roman rivals. He has Pontic cavalry of a 3Cv command and a 2LH.

Flanking a Freikorp element for comparison.

Another angle.

I’ll probably add small shields to the 2LH, as they were pretty standard by this period. Mithridates also has a choice of Sarmatians (3Kn), Skythians (2LH) or more Pontics (3Cv).

More horse: Sarmatians (Donnington), Skythians and Pontics (Freikorp).

Another angle.

The Pontic horse have a lot of character and will see service as Seleucid Civic Militia or auxiliary cavalry for Marian Romans. The cup on their shields reflects their dishevelled appearance—an enthusiasm for foraging over fighting! I may get more for some 2LH!

From behind to show the kit on the Seleucid civic militia and the swords on the Sarmatians.

Mithridatics on the move

14 November, 2011

I got inspired to get my Mithridatic army done. It’s jumping the queue somewhat, but then that’s pretty much the only reason why I have one! There are a couple of reasons; partly it allows me to get elements done that can be used for other armies, partly it is that Mithridates himself is extremely fascinating, but mostly it is that I’m curious to see how some of the figures turn out as they are from a mix of manufactures and some of them are conversions.

As I’m so curious, after getting them undercoated, I took the unusual step to base them temporarily to see how they look.

Pontic cavalry, from left to right Pontic light horse, Sarmatians, Pontic cavalry command, more Pontic cavalry and Skythians.

I decided to glue the riders to their mounts, as the Freikorp ones are moulded like this. Also they didn’t fit too well, so it allowed me to use green stuff to fill the gaps. Given the size of some of these gaps, I’m really glad I did this!

The Pontic cavalry, light horse and command elements. These are Warmodelling and the most speculative of my purchases.

The command element and an element of floppy hat wearing Thracians I got from Warmodelling. I’m told the oddness of their mounts is less apparent once painted, and already with an undercoat they seem to be blending in better. They’re of really hard metal, and replacing the shields on the command element involved a lot of work with a hacksaw!

More Pontic cavalry, this time Freikorp Seleucid militia next to the Warmodelling ones for comparison.

There’s a lot of debate about how Mithridates’ cavalry might have looked. I went for the Seleucid militia cavalry for some of them as I can use them for the last of the Seleucid army lists—and they look really neat: someone clearly enjoyed sculpting these, with their packs and untidy costumes. Using the Thracians as Pontic light horse will also give me an element of unshielded light horse I can use in other armies, while the Carthaginian command seemed to work, as they had horse armour, which is apparently possible for Mithridates.

Allied cavalry, Skythians and Sarmatians.

The other two cavalry options are Skythians, who pop up everywhere, and Sarmatians. The Skythians are Freikorp and the Sarmatians are Donnington. I’m really pleased with how the Donnington figures look next to Freikorp ones, and may get more.

Thureophoroi and Asiatic archers.

The Mithridatic list has some 4Ax and 2Ps. I could use some of the elements I’ve done, but I need some more, and these will be useful for the Seleucids and other armies.

Imitation Legionaries.

With the figures described so far I could field one version of the army, the one with a SCh and four 4Pk (though the pike so far are not the most appropriate), but I’m keen to do the five 4Bd, as I’ve thought of a way of doing some of them for the later Seleucid and Ptolemaic lists

Seleucid and Ptolemaic Imitation Legionaries.

The Seleucids can have one element of imitation legionaries and the Ptolemaics two; for these I’ve gone with Nick Secunda’s Montevert book, which shows them with the thureos, and used Freikorp thureophoroi and thorakitai. It seems they may have had spears instead of pila, but to make it clear they are imitation legionaries, I’ve given them some of the old Freikorp pila. These will be painted to distinguish the Seleucid from the Ptolemaics.

Mithridatic Imitation Legionaries.

For the Mithridatics, I’ll use the three earlier 4Bd, even if they aren’t entirely appropriate, and two elements with scuta. For these, I used a few of the Freikorp Marians and a few of the Freikorp thorakitai with their shields replaced with scuta. Overall, I’m pleased with the way the Freikorp figures are shaping up, and pleased to have used figures I already have, rather than buy yet more! There was quite a lot of work in prepping these guys; next actually to paint them!