Saturday, 16 September 2017

Palaeo Diet - the smorgasbord of options

There are is now a veritable hunter-gatherer's smorgasbord of options for buying Palaeo Diet: Eat or Be Eaten

A digital copy of the rules are now available from Ganesha Games or Wargame Vault. A hard copy, full colour, paperback can be found at Amazon (UKUSAGermany etc), or from Lulu

Mycenaean/Minoan Camp for ADG

"Far apart from the battle were their ships drawn up on the shore of the grey sea; for these had they drawn up to land in the foremost row, but had built the wall close to the hindmost."

Thus spake Homer (Iliad 14.30 ff.) of the Achaean camp at Troy. You might never have guessed it from my last post, but I have come to the realisation that my next project will be to build a 6mm Mycenaean army for L'Art de la Guerre. I once owned the same army in 15mm for DBA (v.1 or 2), but it was sold off in the dark teenage days when I turned my back on gaming. Back then I ran my army as Bronze Age Cretans or Minoans. I am looking to do the same this time, with a potent mix of heavy chariots, heavy spear and light archers (all to be bought, ultimately, from Rapier).

However, I've been pondering the problem of my camp. What makes a Minoan camp? Obviously, we just don't know, but Homer can perhaps add some inspiration. The Minoans were a mercantile culture with far-reaching trade links in all directions. They clearly had significant cultural influence over the Cyclades which may also have been (probably was?) political in nature. They certainly had a fleet of vessels which could transport them across the Aegean/Mediterranean.

The so-called House of the Admiral at Akrotiri, Thera, was decorated with some splendid frescos which, among other contemporary representations, give us a fair idea of what Bronze Age Aegean vessels looked like. So what about having a beached galley as part of my camp? It makes sense - on the assumption that the sea is somewhere nearby, off table of course.

Unfortunately, no one actually makes a 1/300 scale (6mm) Aegean galley. After a fairly extensive search and considering all sorts of different scale possibilities, I've decided to try and make one myself ... and so started my fourth and most testing Milliput experiment so far. I can't say I was 100% successful, but I think it will do the job.

Starting with a 6mm Grumpy Chinese junk (a spare from my Galleys & Galleons VOC fleet, lower right HERE), I attacked it with my new and very sharp stanley knife. The junk has a square bow and stern, so these both had to be carved away to better reflect the graceful curves on Aegean ships. as my G&G fleets are 1/450 scale, I have always removed the Grumpy crew figure. Now that I am using it as a 6mm vessel, I was happy to leave him in.

Stiff card was cut to form the skeletal bow and stern projections.

Which were then fleshed out with Milliput. Some of the vessels depicted in the House of the Admiral have animal figures projecting from behind the covered cabin/tent. I didn't have any appropriate animals, but I did have a spare 6mm harpy from Rapier Miniatures. As this will be a beached vessel in the process of being unloaded, I also put a couple of piles of sacks from Perfect Six Miniatures. There will be more of these on the base itself, around the foot of the gangplank. 

While I had the Milliput out, I also converted a Baccus civilian to give her the flounced skirt of an Aegean lady. I also trimmed back her veil and added a ponytail, and accentuated her breasts. It doesn't look much now - especially not zoomed in this much! - but I think she will work once painted.

 After the Milliput dried, I went over it with a blade, smoothing out the hull and trying to capture all those graceful lines. 

Again, I'm not sure that I have nailed it, but I think the model now approximates the idea and I am happy that she is close enough to suit my needs.

I have also tried to Bronze-Age-up a spare medieval tent from Levan miniatures. My army is going to have a blue and yellow theme, so I've replicated that on the tent, and tried to also keep to the maritime theme with a swirly sea motif. Again, not perfect, but then, neither am I.­čśĆ

Friday, 15 September 2017

Painting inspiration

I'll just leave these pictures* here. Oh, and also this useful link HERE.
*All lifted from the web - I make no claim to ownership or copyright.

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Beyond the Pale - ADG in the 15th century

Last week I was able to introduce my mate Andrew to the joys of L'Art de la Guerre. He's long had an interest in ancients gaming, but hasn't had much opportunity explore it. Having offloaded a box of spare Baccus 6mm War of the Roses stuff on him over the winter, it was great to see them painted up and on the table. These were the first 6mm models Andrew has put together, and I think he did a splendid job on them. He certainly justified the gifting!

Unfortunately, he decided to go with the House of York. As I have also raised my WotR banner for the Yorkist cause, and couldn't, with any conscience, play as the Lancastrians, so I ran my Anglo-Irish instead. Andrew went for a smaller force with a break point of 19 (there may have been a couple of errors in army building resulting in too many heavy foot, but it was a learning game, so not a bother). To my great delight, Andrew named the Earl of Warwick the C-in-C in the centre, while King Edward commanded the right wing (an honourable post no doubt) as an unreliable sub-commander. I think the historical Warwick probably would have agreed.

My army had a hefty break point of 23. Jim (with one or two previous games of ADG behind him) commanded my left wing consisting of all our mounted and some mediocre longbow militia. In the centre I had some heavy artillery, elite longbow and foot knights, together with garden variety longbow and billmen. On the right I had two elite units of gallowglass and some kern javelineers.

You can see in the shot above - well all the shots really - that the battle was fought in an open plain with occasional fields, a low hill and a wood, but no real terrain to speak of.

The lines start to merge. Although all sub-commanders were unreliable (for what is the point of playing this period with reliable sub-commanders?), they were all keen to get stuck in and activated with no bother at all. This shot really shows how much longer the Anglo-Irish line was compared to the heavier English.

Over on our left flank, Jim pursued a suitably chivalric approach, leading our Anglo-Irish noble horse (and Irish light horse) in a grand sweeping manouvre which left a decidedly tender looking spot between his command and my centre.

On our right, the advance of my kern around the English flank cause Andrew/King Edward to break his formation, refusing the flank while pushing forward in the centre.

By this stage, the copious archery on both sides, not to mention the artillery in both centres, was having a real effect. The Anglo-Irish probably had the better of it, but only by a slim margin.

On our left, the Anglo-Irish horse close in on the smaller body of Yorkist cavalry, quickly routing them. Meanwhile, the heavy foot on the Yorkist flank cleaved though our militia bowmen like a the fiery sword of some vengeful angel through softened half-fat butter. With the militia gone, there was nothing between Andrew's Yorkists and my camp except open fields. Happily, all of the Yorkists were on foot, and it was an awfully big field.

Milord Blue-on-Red, commander of the Anglo-Irish watches on as his elite (and regular) infantry close on Warwick's centre.
Back on our right, Edward charged his foot knights in the direction of my pesky kern wo turned and easily evaded.  The rest of my kern were stealthily making their way around Edward's flank.

And then the main battle lines met. In the centre, the elite Ango-Irish made short work of the Yorkist bill and bow in front of them. Meanwhile, the regular bowmen managed to just survive an equally grueling assault from Edward's foot knights. On our far right, the Irish gallowglass crashed into - and through - the bill opposite them.

... and that, as they say, is how the story goes. The above shot shows the game it it's final turn. Andrew's Yorkists suffered 20 break points I think and broke. We were not far behind are 19 break points, but with a larger army, that meant we still had some fight left in us. If Andrew's centre under Warwick had been able to hold off our centre for another turn (or two), it may have been a different outcome with Jim leading his cavalry against the Yorkist camp, while Andrew's heavy foot on his right/our left turned in towards the melee in the centre.

A very enjoyable game, and enough to start us all thinking about more armies!