Thursday 31 December 2020

Farewell 2020!


Hi folks! I just wanted to wish everyone in the group a Happy New Year. Fantastic Battles was only released two months ago and already we have established a nice little group on Facebook - even though Covid restrictions have prevented many of us from actually playing! I can't wait for the situation to continue so we can all start to meet and roll dice again. Thanks to your support, the digital version of the rules has even earned a silver 'Best Seller' badge on Wargame Vault and hasn't dropped below the top five titles since release. Now, just watch my hubris as it drops way down tomorrow! 🤣😂🤣😂 Although I already have armies of Halflings, Goblins, Wyld Elves, Ziggurat Dwarves, and Greeks in 10mm, I have a new 28mm project lined up for 2021 - Project Troy... I'm not a fast painter, especially not with big figs, but I'll keep you posted! If done properly, the army should also serve for l'Art de la Guerre and Hail Caesar.

Wednesday 30 December 2020

6mm Austrian showcase for Bataille Empire - or, softly softly, catchee Hapsburgs

It has taken almost a full year (the first unit was completed on the 18th January), but my first 200 point army for Bataille Empire is now finished and awaiting table-top deployment. Of course, given the state of the world, it will probably be quite a few months before they get used in anger.

When we decided to venture into 6mm Napleonics, I wanted a fairly generic and middle-of-the-road army. My thoughts first turned to Sweden as something a little left of centre, but having struggled to find suitable proxy figures, I settled on Austria - an army I played more than 20 years ago in 15mm for Napoleon's Battles

Foolishly, we opted for 'shako' era, rather than 'bicorn' era Napoleonics. I say foolishly because I didn't realise at the time that post-1808, every Austrian infantry line regiment required six bases (or to put it another way, 96 figures!). Astute readers will observes a direct correlation between the minimum number of line infantry required by the army list, and the number included in my army...😁

The army composition is built around the 1809 Danube campaign list in the rules, but is not based on any historical order of battle per se.

The vanguard division (never leave home without one!) is far-and-away my favourite. With a jäger battalion, the Archduke Charles Legion, and some flashy Hungarian chaps swinging their curved sabres from the backs of flighty horses, there is something for everyone. The army list only allows for a single competent general, so I figured this division needed it more than most.

The infantry division requires four regiments of line infantry. I used figures in the 1806 helmet to represent my German veteran line. The Hungarian and Moravian regiments are properly attired in 1809 shakos. The regiment of Bohemian conscripts are technically wearing brown landwehr coats, but for now they will substitute as conscripts.

The heavy cavalry division of cuirassiers. Subtle as a brick, but more expensive to feed.


Tuesday 29 December 2020

6mm Napoleonic Austrians - Splenyi's (51st) Infantry Regiment

Nominally the 51st Infantry Regiment (drawing recruits from Hungary and Romania), whose colonel-in-chief was Feldmarschalleutnant Gabriel Splenyi von Mihaldy, I am oh-so-delighted to present the last* of the infantry regiments for my Austrian corp for Bataille Empire.

This army was my big project for 2020 and, while I have done a raft of other stuff, it has continued to loom ominously in the corner. Delighted that I am on course to finish it up by the end of this most challenging of years. 

*Last is such a definitive term...


Sunday 13 December 2020

Blood, Sweat and Cheers - light gladiators

Almost giving me a full compliment of 28mm gladiators, here are a veles ('The Caledonian') and sagitarius (Paris) for my Blood, Sweat and Cheers ludus. Both figures are from Crusader Miniatures, although the veles has been gallicised with a hefty moustache and torc.

Ludus in a box!

Saturday 5 December 2020

Blood, Sweat and Cheers 2nd edition


At the start of the month I sent off the updated BSC rules to Ganesha and the files at the various retailers have now been updated. The cards themselves have not changed - but the free pdf rules have been expanded to add clarity, a campaign system for competing ludi has been added, and there are also now simple guidelines for solo play.

The revised rule booklet (8x A5 pages) is available here.

A professionally printed card deck is still available from DriveThru Cards here, or a pdf (print and play) version of the rules can be bought direct from Ganesha Games here, or from the Ganesha Gumroad store here.

I owe my thanks to the following for their playtesting, comments and suggestions: Laura Wright, James Bryant, Brett Hodgson, Jim Latimer, Andrew Common, Andrew Murrell, Andrew Brown, Massimo Moscarelli, Diego Chisena, Diego Riccitelli, Joel Lawson, Victor Jarmusz, Steven Jarmusz, Craig Whiting, and a special show of thanks to Alan Saunders for his help and contributions to the 2nd edition. 

To celebrate the 2nd edition, and to continue fleshing out my 28mm ludus, I 'celtisiced' a veles from Crusader Miniatures, giving him a magnificent greenstuff moustache and torc. Bring on the Christmas holidays so I can slap some paint on him.

Sunday 22 November 2020

Fantastic Battles - 1000 points of pointy Wyld Elves


In an earlier blog post I shared my tiny (but elite) 500 point army of Wyld Elves for Fantastic Battles. Since then I have worked away, when I could, on expanding the army. I'm happy to say that, with enough strategies and relics, I now have a tiny (but elite) 1,000 point army of Wyld Elves. All figures are 3D printed miniatures from Excellent Miniatures. 

I've used a screen capture from Mike Wilson's army builder spreadsheet (available with the digital download of the game, or through the Facebook group or on Board Game Geek) to show the full breakdown of the army. Essentially there are three small units of rangers and a unit of stag riders, supported by a giant eagle, a couple of giant treemen and - because I an very loosly aiming for a Ljósálfar feel for this army - a Wyld Hunt.

The third (new) new unit of rangers, and a second way-watcher captain.

The Wyld Hunt (see the video below for an introduction if you're not familiar with the concept). I'm not entirely sure if it works, but the intention here was to create a unit of ethereal hunters and wolves, led by a mounted leader of the hunt, all moving from ghost-form to gain a corporeal form as they near the front of the hunt. 

A second magic-using huldra. The other magic-user in the army is in full-on tree form; this one only has one woody arm, horns and a few spikes, otherwise she is much more alluring. Both of my huldr will have level 2 entangle, and level 1 bless spells.

Monday 9 November 2020

Blood, Sweat and Cheers reviews at the Stronghold Rebuilt


There is a great game overview, review and some match reports for Blood Sweat and Cheers over at the Stronghold Rebuilt blog. Click HEREHERE, and HERE to go and check them out. 👍

Saturday 7 November 2020

Fantastic Battles artwork - writ large!

To celebrate the release of Fantastic Battles, my lovely wife gave me some new wall art for the lounge room. Those of you who've thumbed through the rules will see that she is the best wife ever!


BSC - The expanded ludus

Finishing up my existing 28mm gladiators for Blood, Sweat and Cheers, I can introduce Leon the dimachaerus, and Alexius the hoplomachus - both from Crusader Miniatures. 

A rough comparison shot alternating Wargames Foundry and Crusader figures. In general the Foundry figures are taller and leaner, while Crusader are shorter and more muscled. I've no problem using them together - after all people come in all manner of shapes and sizes. The big difference really is in the helmets, where Crusader's helmets are quite a bit larger.

Thursday 5 November 2020

Fantastic Battles out now - Play your Fantasy!

Fantastic news! FANTASTIC BATTLES is out now.

A fast-play, mass-battle, tabletop wargaming system for any fantasy setting, Fantastic Battles is available in hardcopy from Amazon, or in digital format from WargameVault.

Sunday 1 November 2020

Blood, Sweat and Cheers - the 28mm Ludus expands

Snatching a couple of hours of downtime over Halloween, I painted up two more 28mm gladiators for my gladiator school. I have dozens of 15mm fighters, but there is something nice about these big lads when you are only using one miniature at a time. 

On the left are the old hands, Lycus the murmillo and Satyros the thraex; on the right are Zeno the retiarius, and Scorpus the secutor. Lycus, Satyros and Scorpus are all from Wargames Foundry, Zeno is from Crusader Miniatures. 

Friday 30 October 2020

A new shield for Lycus


With our part of the world under increasingly stringent lockdown rules once again, I've found myself playing more and more Blood, Sweat and Cheers, both with my nine year old, and also solo. Bouts can take between 5 and 25 minutes each, and there is little prep time, so it is an easy game to wip out, roll dice and put away again.

In honor of his increased use, I decided that Lycus, my left-handed murmillo, needed to have his shield pimped out a bit. As Lycus seems to be the latinised Lykos, Greek for 'the wolf', I went for a wolfish motif based on coin imagery of the wolf that nursed Romulus and Remus (though I left the boys themselves off the shield). I'm not wholly convinced that I captured it with too much skill, but hopefully the aim is clear!😁


Roman Didrachm, c.275-255 BC, courtesy of Classical Numismatic Group (CNG)

Tuesday 27 October 2020

6mm Napoleonic Austrians - 7th Cuirassiers

Progress on my 6mm Austrians has been painfully slow, but I am getting there. In the great tradition of 1914, I'm sure I'll be finished by Christmas... Never-the-less, with the completion of my first cuirassier regiment for Bataille Empire, I am just three units away from a 200 point army. Given the blue facings, these gents shall nominally be the 7th (Moravian) Cuirassiers commnaded by Carl Eugen Prinz von Lothringen-Lambesc.

Uniform guide lifted from the interweb.

Saturday 24 October 2020

10mm Early Macedonians for l'Art de la Guerre

Over the last couple of months I have been on a re-basing journey with my 10mm early Macedonians, switching from 60mm base widths (which did look great), to the more common 40mm base widths (with the aim of having more ways to use them - principally for l'Art de la Guerre and Fantastic Battles). Except for the Thessalian cavalry and Illyrians (both from Pendraken), all are Magister Militum figures.

Readers who have passed by this blog in the past might have seen that I have a bit of a love affair with this army. I've some background info on the early Macedonians spread across various earlier posts, but for a good summary, I'd point people to this article in Ancient Warefare Magazine 13.3. The title is a bit of a give away about the reputation of Macedonians before the reforms of Philip II.

The army in all its mediocrity. Combining small amounts of fine cavalry with pretty woeful infantry, I have opted to stiffen it with a Thessalian ally.

Hetairoi/companion heavy cavalry with impact - the two units on the right are elite companions. All figures, including the king, are Magister Militum Thracian cavalry; more than half have been given greenstuff petasoi sun hats or headswaps. The king has a lionskin, emulating his ancestor Herakles.

Macedonian hoplites and commander.

Macedonian tribal/peasant levy - LMI javelinmen. the three bases in front are my highlanders, the more disorganised mobs in the back (with slingers scattered through them) are mediocre lowland javelinmen.

Macedonian archers.

Illyrian merceneries converted from Pendraken Spanish.

The Macedonian camp (using Baggage Train tents). The three figures in white chitons/tunics are from the Magister Militum Greek/Roman slaves pack. The pack has two sculpts holding amphorae, and two sculpts holding dishes of food.

Thessalian elite medium cavalry from Pendraken.

Thessalian hoplites and commander.

Thessalian peltasts.

Thessalian slingers and Cretan archers (Magister Militum archers with head swaps and added shields)


While I was taking photos, I mocked up a small 500 point army for Fantastic Battles. There are enough companies to more or less run the Early Macedonians in the same format as shown above, but obviously a touch of myth changes things up a bit. This wee army is themed around the foes of Odysseus, so with have a cyclops (Excellent Miniatures) and sirens (6mm harpies from Rapier) adding a fun factor.