Sunday, September 27, 2015

Dux Bellorum- Chalons

I've decided to set myself a little goal, to refight the battle of Chalons using Dux Bellorum.

I've sorted out the figures I've rebased and am almost there. Each command will be approximately 20 pts and during the battle each will get 4 LPs per turn.

  The Romans    
Left Flank - Romans, Franks and German allies (Aetius): 
  Pts Each  Total
1 x Foot Companions 5 5
1 x Noble Shield Wall 5 5
2x  Ordinary shield Wall 3 6
1x  Bow 3 3
1x  Skirmishers 1 1
6 20
Center - Alans (King Sangiban): 
1x  Mounted Companions 5 5
1x  Noble Riders 5 5
4x  Mounted Skirmishers 2 8
Right Flank - Visigoths (King Theodoric and his son Thorismund)
1x  Mounted Companions 5 5
1 x Noble Riders 5 5
4x  Ordinary Warriors 3 12
2x  Skirmishers (bow) 1 2
8     22
  Attila and allies    
Left Flank - Ostrogoths (Valamir, Theodemir and Videmir): 
1 x Mounted Companions 5 5
1 x Noble Riders 5 5
3 x Ordinary Warriors 3 9
1 x Skirmishers 1 1

Center: Huns (Attila): 
1x  Mounted Companions 5 5
1 x Noble Riders 5 5
5 x Mounted Skirmisher (bows) 2 10

 Total: 20
Right Flank - Gepids and German Allies (King Adaric of the Gepids): 
1 x Mounted Companions 5 5
1 x Noble Riders 5 5

3x Ordinary Warriors  3 9
1x  Skirmishers 1 1
I can field most of the forces but am short a command of Alans! Yesterday my small order of Aventine Steppe Cav (Huns) turned up so decided to turn some of the huns into Alans. The Alans were of fair skin and blonde hair apparently so not you typical hun! Although all "steppe" peoples would have similar dress I decided I wanted by Alans to look a bit more Germanic, so did a couple of head swaps using Westwind heads.

I'm not happy with the Westwind head or the shields so will replace the shields (at least) with Gripping beast ones. I suck and painting shields so Little Big Man Studio has been a life saver for many a project.

The Aventines mini's are really, really nice. The photos and my painting don't really do them justice. Each pack comes with plenty of extras too:  quivers of javelins,  quivers with bows, sheaths for swords, bags etc to further individualise them- and which will be handy for future projects,

The Footsore Miniatures Goth Heavy Cavalry unit I've also completed are beside them. These two ranges mix really well.

The Alans look better from the other side. 

 I also completed another unit of Gothic cavalry- Footsore Heavy Cavalry with barded horses. I need two more units of cavalry for "Operation Chalon" (and to complete the cavalry required for an Impetus Visigoth force)

The Aventine Steppe cavalry unit gave me half of the requirements of the Alan light cavalry contingent. I was going to/ am/ will get more Aventines but in the meantime looked round for some alternatives in the interim and soon came upon my GW Rohan force. I've read of other people using them for Visigoth/Germanic cavalry and as they are Saxon inspired thought, why not! So a rebase and a change of shields and there we have it, two more units of cavalry for the Alans!

To finish off the forces required for Chalon I now only need 2 more units of Footsore Goth Cavalry, and to complete my unit of Aventine medium Steppe Cavalry.

School holidays are just beginning so am away for a couple of days then up to Nelson to play football at the South Island Masters games for few more so won't be doing anything else for a week or so.


Friday, September 25, 2015

A busy couple of weeks

I've just finished another 3 bases of cavalry: My Welsh Mounted Companions, Late Roman/Arthurian British Companions and another stand of Goths (which will be press-ganged into service as Welsh).

Footsore Miniatures Goths

Welsh command. Again old Gripping Beast. I only had 3 mounted so added a priest/druid and and standard bearer.

Welsh Mounted Skirmishers

Late Roman/ Arthurian Command-Westwind Miniatures. Not my favourite models but they'll do.

Gothic Cavalry Assembled

This is what I've achieved in the past couple of weeks:

13 Stands of Cav (Huns, Goths, Late Romans, Welsh)
14 Stands of infantry (Welsh, Saxons/Goths, Late Romans)
1x Bow
5x Skirmishers

All in all not  bad effort really

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Welsh for Dux Bellorum/ Impetus

Another productive night tonight. I rebased four stands worth of Welsh warband last night but then decided that I "needed" 5 bases so found a copule more bases, removed the figures. Then it was time to repaint a couple, touch up the rest and repaint the shields. I also had to replace all the spears so it was a bit more of a mission than originally planned. I decided when I made the Welsh army a few years back to use a Crimson shields theme, maybe not the most historic but I think it looks good and differentiates them from my other armies.

The figures are mainly Gripping Best from their Welsh and British kingdomes ranges as well as quite a few from their other Dark Ages ranges. There are a couple of Crusader Miniatures and who knows what else- possibly one or two Old Glory?

Welsh for Dux Bellorum (9 units, 32 pts)
  • 1x  Mounted Companions (5 pts)
  • 1x Noble Riders (5pts)
  • 1x Noble Warriors (5pts)
  • 4x Warriors (12 pt)
  • 1x Mounted Skirmishers (2pt)
  • 1x Foot Skirmishers (1 pt)
  • 1x additional LP (2pts)

The Warband.

 And skirmishers

1x Mounted Skirmishers. These guys are from Gripping Beast and are some of my favourite GB mounted figures. I'm not sure they are still available, I got them back in 2001 and originally they were for a DBA Pre-Feudal Scots army.

The army so far assembled.

Tomorrow night I've two units of cavalry to base up to complete the force.


Monday, September 21, 2015

More reinforcements for Dux Bellorum/Impetus

Today my order from Footsore Miniatures arrived- Gothic cavalry and bowmen which can be used for my Visigoth/earlySaxon/ Late Roman/Hun armies. So tonight I managed to undercoat, paint and base the Gothic/Saxon mounted general and companions and a unit of Gothic bowmen- which would have to be my most productive evening in a long time. All figures from the Footsore Miniatures Gothic and Saxons ranges. Footsore/Musketeer are amongst my favourite miniatures, very characterful and detailed and I highly recommend them..

The general and companions

The bowmen

The Late Roman/ Authurian infantry assembled.

And the Goths/Saxons

I've just the Late Roman General and his companions to do to complete the first two forces- then it will be time to add a few of the quirky units in Dux Bellorum- stampeding livestock, monks and wardogs.


Sunday, September 20, 2015

Basing for Dux Bellorum/ Impetus

The rebasing project continued this evening and managed to get another 10-11 bases done.

I've ordered a few more figures from Footsore Miniatures (who carry the former Musketeer range) to complete my Late Roman/ Romano-British force, and also added a few of their Irish Fianna with axes for my Irish army/allies.

Saxons/ Goths  (32 pts)
  • 1x Mounted Companions  (5pts)
  • 1x Noble Riders      (5pts)
  • 1x Noble Warriors (5 pts)
  • 4x Warriors               (12pts)
  • 1x Skirmisher (bow)             (1pt)
  • 1x Mounted Skirmisher      (2pts)
  •                 +1 leadership     (2pts)

 Th Saxons still need a mounted General but otherwise are rebased and ready for action. The figures are a mixture of Musketeer/Footsore, Gripping Beast (including a few of their plastic armorued Saxons, the odd Westwind and others. 

Skirmishers and warriors

Noble Riders/ Medium cavalry

 Mounted skirmishers- young warriors

The noble warriors- who can also be the army general and his companions.

The Saxon/Goth army assembled.

And the Stalwart defenders of Rome/Briton. 

Late Romans/Romano-British      (32 pts)
  • 1x Mounted Companions  (5pts)
  • 1x Noble Riders      (5pts)
  • 2x Noble Shield Wall             (10pts)
  • 2x Ordinary shield Wall        (6pts)
  • 1x Bow       (3pts)
  • 1x Foot Skirmishers              (1pt)
  • 1x Mounted Skirmishers    (2pts)
Skirmishers and Shieldwall- I did a few extra stands of skirmishers. 

The army (so far) assembled.

I got the Gripping beast shield wall figures about 2000. I need to add a few more figures to the second rank to bulk it up a bit more. I intend to use the Footsore unarmoured Roman infantry as the ordinary shield wall but in the meantime rebased some of my (mainly) Gripping Beast figures that were originally purchased many years ago to form the nucleus of an Anglo-Danish army for DBA. The Footsore figures, when they arrive, will be used to make a more Late Roman feel to the army, the shieldwall below for use when they are used as Romano-British (and Anglo-Danes).

Noble Riders (Med Cav) Westwind Designs

Noble Shield wall- Westwind Armoured Arthurians

 Tomorrow night I hope to make a command stand from the Westwind King Arthur and few other Westwind Arthurian cav. 


Dux Bellorum: Late Romans vs Welsh

Yesterday I popped up to Christchurch to catch up with my wife who is doing an 8 week placement for her studies. While up there I also caught up with Ian and we decided to have a game of Dux Bellorum using his 15mm figures.

I am still looking for a ruleset that makes for fun, interesting “Dark Ages” games. In the past I’ve not been convinced that Impetus is the system in this era for me, VBU 5 javelins being a tad too effective in Impetus (though apparently now turned down a bit). DBA makes for interest match ups with lots of pushing and shoving and gets the right types of results but isn’t the most inspiring system as far as I’m concerned (though I admit that I have not tried DBA v 3) so I’ve been pinning my hopes on Hail Caesar or Dux Bellorum, though haven’t explored either as of yet.

Ian hadn’t played before and neither of us had read the rules in a long, long time so we decided to use two of the sample armies: Late Roman and Welsh, though I slightly tweaked the Welsh by dropping the special rules units (monks + Stampede) for more regular troops.

Late Romans
General + Mounted Companions
1x Cataphract
1x Noble Riders
4x Ordinary Shield Wall
1x Bow
1x Skirmisher (bow)
1x Mounted Skirmisher

General + Mounted Companions
2x Noble Riders
5x Ordinary Warband
1x Skirmisher (Javelin)
1x Mounted Skirmisher

The game was pretty straight forward, we quite often found ourselves saying, I guess it should go like this and usually once we found the rule it was correct, so pretty intuitive. One thing that did take a bit of getting used to was who fights in combats. One unit fights and others can act as support. Unlike many other games you don’t have to fight the unit contacting you to the front so you can be charged in the front and charged in the flank and chose to fight the easier kill enemy unit- which made using skirmishers as supports in many instances a tad dangerous, no using them to “close the door” as in DBA. In one amusing combat my mounted nobles charged downhill at Ian’s cataphracts which were also on the hill, then I charged my warriors into the rear of the cataphracts, only to find that instead of attacking the noble cav, Ian attacked the warriors, gaining an uphill advantage to nullify his penalty for being charged in the rear, 

The turn order is interesting. Starting with the attacker both sides fire then move units according to the unit type:
Missile fire
Foot troops

I’ve seen online people allowing skirmishers to go last so that they don’t move forward and then get charged before they fire so we may look into that in future.

The leadership points (LPs) were interesting but we tended just to use the one that gave an attack bonus, or the on that negated a hit. As you lost units you also lost leadership points so things became more of a slog. Tactially the LPs made for another fun dimesnion to the game in plotting where and how to use the LPs. We need to make more use of them to interrupt another units movement though,.  
I enjoyed the game, at times it felt a bit DBAish (though with more dice), at other times closer to Impetus. It has some nice mechanisms but can see us tweaking things a bit- such as possibly the order for skirmishers, letting them go after mounted. The game didn’t gab me as a “wow” type game but seemed to have the right feel for the era but a few more games are needed before I make up my mind. In the meantime I am continuing to rebase a couple of armies to be able to use them on 12cm wide bases.

The game about to begin, Ian checking the rules. The Late Roman's defended and had a hill to deploy their sheildwalls on. The blue counters are my ledership points. 

The Welsh warriros advance enmasse.

On my right flank we ended up having an epic battle as our general's and their companions fought the opposing noble riders (cavalry). After several tuns my general emerged triumphant, killing the Roman cavalry and general.

The cavalry battle got interesting when the Roman cataphracts turned up and ran over my skirmishers, then my warriors and a few other units.

Meanwhile the bulk of my Welsh warriors continue to head towards the hill. My other noble riders can be spotted on the far left flank attempting to rll up the shieldwall.

The cataphracts continue rampaging across the plains.

Then the head to help to Roman shieldwall on the hill.

In the end we broke each others forces but I managed to roll better than the Romans and stayed on the field to gain a very hollow victory.

A good game and well worth giving a few more goes to get the hang of...