Toy Soldiers and Dining Room Battles

Toy Soldiers and Dining Room Battles

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Periods and Scales I'm currently Playing, Part 1

My cousin-in-law Edgar (known far and wide as THE Flames of War tournament guy for the State of Florida) recommended that I post my periods and scales . . . so here is the start:

The Lantern Bearers: The Late Roman Period in the West
I got introduced to the historical novels of Elisabeth Sutcliff by my oldest son when he recommended that I read The Eagle of the Ninth. Her novel The Lantern Bearers follows a young man in Britain as the Roman Army is departing Britain to never return. Another excellent novel I highly recommend for this period is Eagle in the Snow, by Wallace Breem takes place along the Rhine River in 405 AD. To me it's a fascinating period: the Roman Infantry is still good but there is more cavalry, barbarians are everywhere and let's face it, everyone likes to have Huns in their armies.

From an economical wargaming perspective, any unit you paint can be on either side as you game the period. Civil Wars, uprisings and the occassional Barbarian invasion provide flavor and almost unlimited scenarios and variety of forces. So . . . will you be a defender of the Western Empire, trying to keep the lanterns of civilization lit? Or will you be pressing against the borders, possibly trained by Rome, trying to carve out your own kingdom?

The figure scale we play are the large 25mm's that are really 28mm. There has been quite a bit of scale creep in the 25mm scale - later when we get to fantasy I'll post some "true" 25's. Anyway . . . the majority of the figures we use are from the extensive Wargames Foundry range sculpted by the Perry twins, Michael and Alan. Virtually every figure was purchased online from eBay; unfortunately, buying direct from Wargames Foundry is becoming prohibitively expensive to the average wargamer. Hopefully they will not price themselves out of the business.

Roman Clibanarii (extra-heavy shock cavalry) by Wargames Foundry. The clibanarii were also mounted archers. This unit represents the "Scola Scutariorum Clibanariorum". They were considered part of the imperial "Guards."

There is the occasional figure from Old Glory miniatures. Old Glory also has an extensive range, though I believe Wargames Foundry's quality is better; however, they do paint up nicely and are probably the best bang for the buck in the good ole' USA.

Old Glory "Knights" from their King Arthur Range make excellent Germanic heavy cavalry.

The ruleset we use is Warhammer Ancients, based on the popular fantasy rule set Warhammer from Games Workshop and the supplement, The Fall of the West. Not an overly complicated set of rules, it moves quickly and suits the scale of play for the armies we have.

The "Equites Armigeri" regiment (heavy cavalry). Figures by Wargames Foundry.

The PBI (Poor Bloody Infantry):

The "Mattiaci Seniores" - basically, the senior Mattiaci regiment. I painted them because I liked the shield and a fresco that had Germans from this area wearing red tunics while on duty in a palace. Whether they actually wore red in battle is unknown - but it looks cool on the wargaming table!


And you can never have enough Barbarians:

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