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Everything posted by Koyote

  1. I want to test out Cretan Archers, so I built 8 archers using Victrix Greek Archers kit. Like the Victrix Peltast kit, the Archers kit is a bit dated, so I did some converting and kit bashing. I used heads from a couple different kits. Using a hobby knife, I remove the poorly cast daggers from the bodies, and added sheathed daggers that come from the Italian Allied Legions kit. I wish the Victrix Archer sprue included bucklers, so one can make proper Cretan archers, but sadly they don’t. None of the kits that I own include small enough shields to serve as bucklers. I almost ordered a pack of Byzantine bucklers from Gripping Beast, but then inspiration struck. Using a hole punch and plastic sheeting I removed from the box my old iPhone was packed in, I made my own bucklers. The hole punch makes fairly clean cuts, so cleaning up the sides, by shaving with a hobby knife, took very little time. Once all the shields are glued in place, I’ll add greenstuff straps.
  2. Torg, are you one of the Bellingham folks? If so, I’d be happy to get together sometime and play Saga. I have warbands for all 5 books, so we can play in any Age.
  3. We played at my friend’s house. The mat and terrain are my own. Do you play?
  4. After an 18 month hiatus from tabletop wargaming, I played an actual in-person game. We played a 6 point, Battle of Heroes scenario, using Age of Hannibal warbands. The noble Epirote Greeks battled the brutish Gauls. Both generals were rusty and bumbled about quite a bit, but we had a great game nonetheless. Due to the scenario’s rules, the game ended on turn 4 when the Gallic warlord eliminated the Greek warlord in single combat. After tallying the survival points and bonus VPs, the game ended in a Greek victory, 28 to 12. The Greek unit that saw the most action was my javelin Levy. Thanks to Aspis and Thureos, the normally fragile Levy was able to withstand attack after attack, and survive the battle. The Samnite mercenaries kicked ass. There’s no doubt, they are a keeper. Both my elephant and unit of 4 mounted HG proved to be relatively fragile, but since I used them to attack isolated or weakened units, both performed well. Four turns of play didn’t give me the chance to try out all of the Greek battleboard abilities or truly test my unit selection, but overall I was happy with how the Epirote Greeks played. We have a rematch this Wednesday.
  5. Here's my first unit of Lucanian (count-as Romans) Triarii (hearthguard). In the maniple system, the Triarii was comprised of veterans who were formed up in the third line of battle. While it may seem odd to put the most experienced troops in the rear, the Romans understood that a route always begins with the troops in the back of the battle line, who have better view of the overall battle than those in the mix of it. The Triarii, being the bravest and most disciplined troops, were the least likely to trigger a route. Also, their position in the rear allowed them to steady the middle ranks and re-establish a faltering battle line. Because they were positioned in the rear of the army, the Triarii were slow to adopt pilum. Instead they continued to use the the long spear for period, before slowly harmonizing their equipment with the rest of the army. Pictured in the foreground is my warlord and first unit of Lucanian warriors. The warlord is a 2019 limited edition Roman Optio mini made by Warlord Games. I'm tempted to replace the model's hastile (Optio staff) with a spear, but the staff makes the model stand out, and gives it an air of command.
  6. Another option that I want to experiment with is a unit of javelin levy. The Greek battle board has an advanced ability that can only be used on a unit armed with javelins, but since it is a melee/shooting reaction ability, it cannot be used by my Samnite mercenaries. It costs a single common die and forces an opponent in melee or shooting to reroll attack dice that roll 5s and 6s. Combined with the Aspis ability (units equipped with javelins can close ranks and gain 2 defense die), this can make unit of javelin levy very resilient. There are a few other advanced abilities that could be added to make the unit even tougher to kill. Assuming I get the right dice, I can turn one of the weakest units in the game (armor 3/3) into one of the most resilient. I bought 2 sprues of Victrix Greek Peltasts on eBay. Each sprue includes 8 different poses, but they are older Vicrix kit so the javelins are really thick and the detail isn't quite a sharp as their newer kits. Also, the shield arms are sculpted close to the body, so that the poses look a bit stiff and unnatural. After ruminating on it for a while, I decided to kitbash my own peltasts. I used the javelinmen bodies and arms from Vixtrix Warriors of Carthage kit, heads from the Greek Peltast kits, and small round shields from the Iberian infantry kit. Overall, I'm pleased with the results.
  7. I haven't played a single game of AoH, and I am already planning my second AoH warband. I know. It's a sickness. While painting and modeling, I like to listen to audiobooks -mostly horror, grimdark fantasy, sci-fi, and of course, historical fiction. If the setting of historical fiction is set in one of the Roman periods, I prefer stories told from the perspective of Rome's adversaries. I appreciate Rome, but being a lover of the underdog, I've always kinda despised them. Rooting for Rome is like rooting for Patriots or the Yankees. Yuck! So of course, as luck would have it, the Roman battle board is not only one of my favorites in AoH, but the Victrix Republican Roman models look awesome. What is a neurotic wargamer to do? Last night, while perusing Victrix's ancients model lines for the millionth time, it struck me. Victrix sells an Italian Allied Legions kit -which look similar to Republican Romans. Once subdued by their Roman neighbors, the Italian tribes fought alongside Rome as allies. However, from time to time, some of the tribes would band together and rebel, or join a foreign invader, like the Epirote Greek and Carthaginians, in the hopes of freeing themselves from Rome. One of the accounts in an Osprey book notes that in the Battle of Zamas, Hannibal's third line, which was composed of his veterans and Italian allies/mercenaries, held the longest and pretty much fought to the death, after the first two lines fled or were destroyed. The tribe I want to represent are the Lucanians. There's not a lot written about them, and their tribe and homeland eventually came to a bad end, but what little I've found sounds pretty cool. Below in a excerpt from an article titled Shield emblems in ancient Italy, published by Ancient Warfare Magazine. "With regards to the wolf, we should now consider the case of the Lucanians and – shortly thereafter – the Romans. The Lucanians, considered one of the fiercest Italic tribes together with the Samnites, seem to derive their name from the Osco-Umbrian word for wolf, lukos (compare Latin lupos). The wolf was the animal sacred to the Italic war god Mars." And looky! Vixtrix sells compatible shield transfers with wolves on them. Perfect! There isn't a lot of historical evidence on how the allied Italians were organized and fought, but by I've read that their place in Roman battle line suggests that they were organized and fought in a manner similar to the Romans, using maniples, pilum, and sword. In summary, playing the Lucanians will let me "play" AoH Romans without having to PLAY Romans. Woohoo!
  8. June was a slow hobby month. My home, like most homes in Western Washington, doesn't have central air conditioning. Painting in the baking heat with a fan blowing on me is both unpleasant and unproductive, so I spent my relatively few hobby hours in June planning and assembling my Age of Hannibal Graeculi warband. Things have cooled down enough for me to start thinking about putting paint on minis again. Near the top of my painting to-do list are my Mutatawwi'a warlord and hearthguard. All five models have been primered and are ready for paint, but my warlord needed a proper display base, so I updated the magnetized display base I originally built for my mounted Moor warlord. I added a mace an a greenstuff scarf to the horn blower, and replaced the original standard bearer with a different Brother Vinni Arabian model. I still need to glue texture to it, but once done, it will be ready for paint. My 75mm display base isn't permissible under the rules (a Warlord's base caps out at 60mm), but if you've followed my other threads, you will know that during game play, I prefer to keep my warlords on standard size bases. Thus, my display bases are exactly as described, purely for display purposes only.
  9. Yes, it’s a horde of Covid Gauls.
  10. The move of S is a killer. I'd rather they copied the elephant's rules and make their first move each turn a move of M and all subsequent moves in the same turn an S. The primary benefits a unit gets for being armed with sarissas is one free ranged attack per turn with a range of S, and a +1 to hit vs cav and elephants. However, you only get the latter if the unit has no fatigue. With one exception which requires the use of a Ruse card, the Epirote Graeculi are the only warband that can field a unit armed with sarissas. Since the Graeculi battle board has no advanced abilities for removing fatigue, getting the +1 to hit bonus is far from guaranteed. The other two benefits of the sarissa are (1) no armor reduction; and (2) the ability to close ranks. Both are good benefits, because in every other instance, equipping a model with additional equipment (i.e., mount, heavy weapon, javelin, bow, sling, or crossbow) results in an armor reduction and prevents the unit from closing ranks. The ability to close ranks is negated if the sarissa-armed unit is in uneven terrain, but I think this is a very fair trade off.
  11. I just wish the rules for Sarissas were a bit better. I think that Studio Tomahawk just missed mark with them.
  12. Making each one from scratch seems like a waste of time and resources to me.
  13. The coupling sleeves could have been made in mass and transported with the army as a way to repair broken sarissas. Depending on the type of break and where along shaft the break occurred, they could have cut a way the damaged portions and made a slightly shorter sarissa or kept the longest surviving length and matched it with another recovered piece or even with a new length cut from local timber or spare shafts.
  14. With one exception, the Epirote Graeculi (Greek) warriors, are the only unit in Age of Hannibal that can be armed with sarissas. The sarissa is a pike, measuring between 16 and 22 feet long. Phillip II of Macedon first equipped his infantry with it in the mid-4th century BC. The armies of Macedon and the Successor kingdoms continued its use for another 200 years thereafter. I didn't know of this until recently, but there exists a controversy about whether the sarissa's shaft was made from a single length of wood or two pieces connected by an iron coupling or sleeve. The argument for the 2-piece sarissa is based upon what is thought to be a the metal remains of a sarissa recovered from a Macedonian royal burial cluster in the 1970s, in northern Greece. The diagram below shows how the coupling sleeve would have made it easier to transport the sarissa. Victrix Miniatures elected to to model its plastic Macedonian and Successor phalangite models with sarissas that incorporate a coupling sleeve. I like the look of the Victirx sarissas, so I reproduced it using short lengths of rubber wire casing from a spool of copper wire. The "couplings" are a bit thicker than I'd prefer, but overall I am please with how they turned out. Below is my first go at a 6 point Epirote list. I'm unconvinced the the benefits of the sarissa outweighs the weapon's drawbacks, so rather than invest a third point into warriors armed with sarissas, I've opted to field a second unit of Samnites. As mercenaries, the Samnites come with their own drawbacks, but their speed (up to a 10" move) and ability to move freely through uneven terrain, helps to offset the slowness and terrain penalties suffered by my sarissa armed infantry. Also, since the Graeculi's advanced battle board ability, Aspis, is an Orders/Reaction that doesn't trigger an activation, the javelin armed Samnites can gain its benefits -namely, the ability to close ranks plus 2 bonus defense dice.
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