Saturday, June 29, 2013

Barbarians at my gates!

And I'm not talking about the graduation party we're hosting today for my son!  Here's a quick post up of Gallic & Spanish units off the painting table.  All are Old Glory 15mm and painted for my Field of Glory armies.

Gallic Cavalry:  Since I have 12 bases of chariots painted up, 6 bases of cavalry will do for my Gallic army.  The Greek historian Strabo said of the Gauls, “They are better as cavalry than as infantry; and the best cavalry-force the Romans have comes from these people.”

Gallic Slingers:  8 bases of slingers to screen the Gauls as they go in.

Spanish Large Shield Cavalry:  These are replacements  for Spanish cavalry I sold off with my Carthaginian army months ago.  I have got to find an opportunity to get my Iberian army back on the table!

In his account of the Battle of Cannae, Livy mentions how rare it was for cavalry in the ancient world to meet head on:  "Soon the Gallic and Spanish horse on the Carthaginian left were engaged with the Roman right.  Lack of space made it an unusual cavalry encounter: the antagonists were compelled to charge head-on, front to front; there was no room for outflanking maneuvers, as the river on one side and the massed infantry on the other pinned them in, leaving them no option but to go straight ahead.  The horses soon found themselves brought to a halt, jammed close together in the inadequate space, and the riders set about dragging their opponents from the saddle, turning the contest more or less into an infantry battle.  It was fierce while it lasted, but that was not for long; the Romans were forced to yield and hurriedly withdrew."

Here's hoping the food line at Grant's graduation party today doesn't resemble this ancient mashup! 

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Gallic Chariots on Parade

I suspect the Gauls were not so different from us. Then and now, people want to be entertained. Chariots massed up and on the move would've been high entertainment in an age without TV and internet.  Perhaps the Gauls pulled their chariots out of storage for nonmilitary events.   Gallic chariots driven up and down Main Street in front of a cheering crowd might have been the original May Day parade.

I highly recommend Splintered Light Miniatures chariots, shaggy ponies and all. Great figures and great service over at Splintered Light. To tie these better into my Naked Gallic army, I filed away the pants' line on the drivers and painted them au naturel. With the upper body shirtless and the lower half mostly hidden from view, this trick worked well enough!
The original Pimp My Ride.  

In Field of Glory, Light chariots are a must have tool for the Gallic toolbox. They don't get missile fire but they do get 2 dice per front base in melee, which is a bonus over most other unit types.  If you're going to run Gauls, make sure to add light chariots to your list. Then whoop and holler when you send them crashing into your opponent's line.  And remember that as a Gaul, pants are optional!
Gallic May Day parades often ended badly. 

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Loads of HYW knights

Loads = 27 French knights for a HYW Agincourt commission. This was my first crack at Perry Miniatures and I can't say enough good things about them. The knights and their mounts come in a great variety of poses and kit. The sculpting is tops, with flourishes like bits of chainmail peeking out from the bottom of tunics.

For colors, inspiration and heraldry, I relied on a great French website found  here.  I'm painting to match an existing army so these were done with wetbrushed armor.

And a batch of Kingmaker knights to round out the French.  I wonder if these fellows know what they'll be up against at Agincourt?
I've got English knights up next and then a Jomsviking warband for SAGA.

Things are going to get crazy busy with hosting my son's graduation party, a trip to Milwaukee for a wedding, and then my sister and her family travelling from Turkey to stay with us. I'm going to put my paintbrush down and my feet up for a bit. Summertime is truly the best!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

King of the Britons & his bard

Maredudd ab Owain, King of the Britons, is a Hero for the Welsh faction in SAGA. Maredudd was plagued by Viking raiders during his reign. In 987, Godfrey Haroldson raided Anglesey, killing thousands and taking  a thousand more as captives. Maredudd was said to have paid a huge ransom to free his people.  So you might say he was bit of a Welsh Moses!  If the ransom story is true, he was an remarkable fellow.  

"Say Anything," the 987AD version.
The King was a challenge to paint. The detail was very fine and the cloak was quite flat.  For a time, I hit a wall and had to set him aside.  It didn't help that I recognized the scowl on the King's face. I saw that look every time I helped work on my dad's car and handed him the wrong tool.  Despite the difficulties in painting up my father, I did get to the finish line and that's enough on some days.

Last bit, Gripping Beast wagons for SAGA!  
"These damn nags follow me where ever I go! "

We've started a new campaign of Maurice with 8 players. The campaign rules are what make Maurice special, and there is a great deal of variety in the 8 armies in this campaign.  I'm looking forward to fielding my Turks again, and playing The Sultan.  To get in character, I read The Decline and Fall of the Ottoman Empire.  It was a decent read and I'll try to avoid making the mistakes of Sultan's past.  I'm quite sure I can top them with new, better ones!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

My son, the composer

Our local newspaper posted an article on my son today.  It's about his love of music and how he ended up on a path to becoming a composer. He's been studying under one of the great composers of our time, Libby Larson.  This spring, he won the prestigious ASCAP Young Composer's award.  He's had a number of pieces played and performed, and he even had his first commission.  I used to worry that a career in music would be a tough road but I've seen enough that I don't worry any more.  That in spite of the fact that I'm a worrier by nature!  Enough of me talking about him; here is his story.

In August, he's off to Indiana University where he'll major in composing with an oboe concentration at the Jacob's School of Music. We'll miss him dearly but he's so ready to move.  I can't wait to see what the future brings. Oh, and speaking of the future, he's helped me put together a list of classical music to game by so you've got that to look forward to!