Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Warlord Games Phalangites

The boxes of plastic phalangites that I pre-ordered from Warlord Games Hail Caesar line came in a couple of days ago. I've since assembled some of the figures, and I'm really quite satisfied with my purchase. I was supposed to get 2 boxes of 40 figures each for a total of 80 figures, but a note came with my order saying that the boxes used were too small, so that only 20 figures fit in each box - Warlord Games made good though, sending me 4 boxes, so I still ended up with a total of 80 figures. The picture to the right shows a single box of 20 figures and its contents, which also includes a sheet of Macedonian star shield transfers.

The figures are very nice sculpts, easy to assemble (something that I still don't like about plastics though), and the price was very nice - much cheaper than for metal figures that don't necessarily even come up to the quality of these. The only complaints that I have is that half the figures are holding their pikes at an angled while the other half are upright - I would have preferred that they all have the option to be only upright - and some of the bases will need to be trimmed if I'm going to fit four figures on a 60mm x 20mm WRG standard-sized base.

Here is a photo of the sprue:

This is the only sprue that comes in the box, and the box of 20 figures had 5 of these. There are also extra heads and pikes with the arms attached for a bit more variety. It would have been nice to have a small sprue with a couple of command figures on it, but if that would have meant less pikemen or a significant increase in cost, I'm glad that Warlord Games went the way that they did.

I still need to assemble a total of 32 figures for my first unit, but I did put together 4 figures from a single sprue to see had they will come out. Here is a photo:

And another showing a side shot of the figures:

Note the trimmed base on the one second from the right.

Once I get an unit fully assembled and painted up, I'll post that here too, but I thought that people might be interested in seeing as soon as possible what this new release actually looks like.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

This Quar's (Tomorrows) War

Once again, taking a short break from Ancients, I've painted up some of the wonderful 15mm Quar figures produced by Zombiesmith Miniatures. These guys are just great, and in my opinion, a really original alien race. I haven't concerned myself very much with the fluff produced by the manufacturer though, because I think these figures are incredibly versatile, appropriate for use in countless varieties of games - Victorian Science Fiction, WW1 fantasy, low-tech sci-fi battles, or space opera campaigns. My intent is to use them in a Tomorrows War game, but I haven't yet decided if they should be low tech mercenaries or defenders of an alien world invaded by a more advanced race.

Zombiesmith's 28mm line is much more complete than the 15mm line, but there is enough in the smaller scale to build a complete force now, and hopefully in the near future, more options and factions will be added to it.  The 28mm scale is too expensive for my wallet at present, and regardless, I really prefer 15mm for modern or science fiction era games. And the price on these guys is simply unbeatable. I purchased a complete light infantry company, an extra line infantry pack, and a Baeliog gun tractor, totaling approximately 70 figures, all for a price of only $36.50. That's a really easy entry into the world of 15mm science fiction gaming.

I've only completed about half of the figures so far, but since it's been a while since I posted anything sci-fi related, I thought I would put up some progress pictures here.

Here is a group photo of the line infantry:

And a closer shot of the same:

The heavy weapon troopers:

A pair of mortar teams:

An officer and a standard bearer (who still needs his flag):

The Quar are a small race, shorter than humans, so for comparison purposes, here is a photo showing several Quar flanked by a human Sahadeen fighter on the left and a Ground Zero Games NSL trooper on the right:

I've been promising some of the locals that I will eventually run a Tomorrow's War demonstration game, and I might yet use the Quar if I can figure out a scenario to put them in. When that happens, I'll make sure to post photos of the additional progress on this army and the game that they'll hopefully participate in.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

FoG 2nd Annual US Open

I wanted to put up a post here announcing that this year, the 2nd Annual Field of Glory US Open is being held in my neck of the woods - well, at least within a 2 hour drive that is, anyway. It is being put on by Matt Iverson, a good gaming buddy of mine up in the Boston area, and it appears that this will be quite the event - there may end up being as many as 40 players, coming in from all over the country, and several possibly also from the UK. I'm already very much looking forward to this, and I'm still working on several units I need to add to the army that I intend to play.

For anyone interested, here is the necessary information that Matt sent my way:

The Second Annual US FOG Open will be held on April 27-29 in Bedford MA, located 30 minutes from Boston’s Logan Airport and minutes from historic Lexington and Concord.

Bedford Plaza Hotel, 340 Great Road, Bedford MA, http://www.BedfordPlazaHotel.com

1st Round – Friday, April 27, 1900-2300
2nd Round – Saturday, April 28, 0900-1300
3rd Round – Saturday, April 28, 1400-1800
4th Round – Saturday, April 28, 1900-2300
5th Round – Sunday, April 29, 0900-1300

800 pts., single list, all books.

Rooms available in the tournament hotel for $89 per night, including breakfast, if booked 30 days in advance. Call for reduced rate.
Higher and lower end accommodations available minutes away.

Contact Matt Iverson at Iverson.jm@verizon.net for more information.

List submission: Lists should be submitted via email to Chris Anders at shadypage@att.net no later than Friday, April 13, 2012.

Cost: $40 entrance fee, payable at the door.

Sign up: I have attached a new post to the tournament page at slitherine.com:  http://www.slitherine.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=55&t=32102  for those to confirm that they are attending. Once you are sure you are coming (i.e. bought airline tickets or the equivalent), please post to that page EVEN IF YOU HAVE ALREADY TOLD ME YOU ARE COMING. I currently have space for 32 people. I can expand this with enough advanced notice, so if you coming please sign up as soon as possible.

If you are a Field of Glory fan, this should be one of the highlights of the year.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Ironclad - Surprisingly Enjoyable

The family was driving me nuts a few nights ago, leading me to seek refuge in my modest man-cave, where I pulled out my IPad to search Netflix for a "guys" movie. I came across "Ironclad", and even though I knew that it wasn't well received critically, not even getting widely distributed to theaters here in the States, I decided to commit to probably wasting a couple of hours to check it out. After all, it was a medieval-themed film that was supposedly heavy on the action - so I concluded there are worse ways to fritter away a solitary evening. To my utter surprise, I found that the movie was actually more enjoyable than not. Not a high classic by any means, and maybe my low expectations had something to do with it, but definitely there are worse selections in the historical fiction film library.

The film is VERY loosely based on the Barons War following the signing of Magna Carta, and the subsequent siege of Rochester Castle. The is also much in it that will drive knowledgeable viewers crazy - like the anachronisticly pagan Danish mercenaries fighting for the evil King John, and the small size of the forces both defending and attacking the castle. Also, there doesn't seem to have been much point to the main character being a Templar knight, breaking his vow of silence, and then having a tormented love affair with the daughter of Rochester Castle's owner. But the action scenes are really nice, even with the obviously limited budget the director had, and they comprise the overwhelming majority of the film - the plotting and character development is really secondary here. Some people might get dizzy from the first person perspective of the camera work, which is very jiggly at times, but I found it to lend an air of realism to the action; and the gritty and grimy color schemes are probably more characteristic of the era than medieval films that concentrate on royalty and tournaments.

Even though the characters are very one dimensional, the acting, when it is called for is actually very good. Paul Giamatti as King John is especially a thrill, even if played way over the top, particularly in a scene near the end where he gives a passionate and hysterically insane defense of the divine right of kings.

So, as I said, not an all-time great by any means, and the film is not for everyone - anyone with a low gore-fest tolerance should avoid this, and it is NOT a date night movie in no shape or form - but if you are looking for a blood-drenched medieval action film, you might find this one is your cup of tea.

For a sample of the action, here is a clip of John's initial assault on Rochester Castle:

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Later Peltasts

My Macedonian army needed some medium infantry, and I've done up some new peltasts for it. These are later peltasts though, not the skirmishing peltasts of the Peloponnesian War, but instead, a more evolved troop type.  Supposedly, these later peltasts could stand in the line of battle, maybe if not as effectively as heavy infantry, but they were also efficient at fighting in broken or rough terrain. They no longer carried the Thracian pelta shield from which their name was originally derived, but instead used a smaller, round, hoplite type shield - and now their name referred more to their status as mercenaries rather than as reference to their protection.

Here is an eight stand unit that would be appropriate for use with Field of Glory:

Under those rules, these fighters would be classified as protected, medium infantry with spears. I most likely would end up fielding them as a 6 stand unit, but if the points are available, using 8 stands has the advantage of being able to drop 2 stands before the unit no longer has the spear-armed advantages.

For Hail Caesar, I would probably field this unit 2 stands wide by 3 stands deep.

Under the Warrior rules, this unit would be rated as LMI, shielded with LTS and javelin. My intent for those rules would be to field 2 four stand units, like is shown below:

Under all Ancient rules, these aren't the most feared troops, but they are versatile, cheap, and effective for seizing terrain features or protecting a flank. I think they are good at filling out a Macedonian or Successor army, and being a standard troop type used in a multiple number of armies, they can be morphed over and over again in numerous different lists. Really, for a Classical era Ancients players, they are a must have.

The figures are a combination of Old Glory and Foundry 28mm, and the shield transfers are by Veni Vidi Vici.

Finally, here are a couple of more closeups of the completed figures: