Wednesday 28 July 2021

ProjectBACCHAE goes east - Yakshi Maiden Guard

The next unit in the service of Dionysos are a company of Yakshis, recruited during his Indian campaign and formed into a company of probably-less-than-maidenly Maiden Guard. Stories of Dionysos' Indian war developed in the Hellenistic and Roman periods and elephants, as well as the odd Indian, feature occasionally in Dionysiac scenes. Dionysos and his train also feature prominently in Gandharan art. It was not much of a stretch then for me to want to press an Indian unit into service. 

Yakshis, or yakshinis, were Indian nature spirits, akin to Greco-Roman nymphs. These ones are 28mm Indian Maiden Guard, previously sold by Sgt Major Miniatures, now owned by Thistle and Rose Miniatures. I was able to pick these ones up second-hand from Simon Millar (Big Red Bat). 

They are gorgeous figures, but sadly there are only two sculpts. The make the unit more interesting I replaced their long shields with 'Maiden Guard shields' from 1stCorp Miniatures and scratch-built a completely hypothetical standard.

My current thinking is to field these as an Elite company, with the doughty, fast and proud traits. Although they are equipped with spears, I don't really think their irregular formation lends itself to giving them the long spears trait. Sure, we'll see how the army comes together.

Sunday 18 July 2021

A thundering a hooves and the lamentation of women... 28mm L'Art de la Guerre - Trojans vs Hittites

As Northern Ireland baked under the hottest weather on record this weekend, Andrew and I managed to get together for some more l'Art de la Guerre (4th ed.), this time fielding our 2021 project armies, 28mm Hittites and Trojans. 

This battle was the the first time that we've played ADLG in 28mm - and boy the table is big! 

Andrew's Hittites deployed with a mixed command of heavy chariots, highlanders and archers -LMI and LI - on his right (top left), more heavy chariots in the centre, and light chariot archers, medium spear and javelineers on the left.  

The Trojans deployed a command of heavy spears and LMI bowmen on the left (lower right), medium swordsmen, javelin-armed skirmishers and more heavy spear in the centre, and elite light chariots with javelins, LMI javelinmen and slingers on the right.

The Hitties played aggressively, thundering across the plain with their eleven units of chariots (8 heavy, three light) and highlanders, being held back on only their left where the commander had too few pips to drive the spearmen forward for a second advance in turn one.

The Trojans advanced more cautiously, trying to hedge in the Hittite heavy chariots with their heavy spearmen, and meet the enemy light chariots with their own.

Before the two battle lines met, the Trojan superior archery started to weaken the Hittite forces, causing both their archers and two of the heavy chariots to lose cohesion. 

But then, with a sickening crunch, the two lines met.

The heavy chariots of Hattusa met the spearmen of Troy and their Amazonian allies, while the flower of Trojan chariotry plowed into the Hittite's chariot-archer subjects up from the Levant.
Almost everywhere across the field of battle, the fight went the way of the Hittites. Within a couple of rounds of melee, the Trojan line was starting to crumble.

Only on the Trojan left were the spearmen and archers of Troy able to hold their own, destroying the Hittite's highland auxiliaries and starting to turn the flank. 

However, a seeming Trojan inability to roll higher than a 2 for the melees elsewhere meant that both the centre and right flank were crumbling fast.

... and in a moment, it was all over. The Trojan and Amazonian heavy spears in the centre, and the Trojan chariotry, fell where they fought.

As the sun set, and the dust settled, the Trojan army broke and fled with 31/26 breakpoints; the victorious Hittites held proud at 17/24. Woe to the vanquished, and yet deeper woe upon their cities, towns and villages.

In a strange and most unusual twist of fate, while all six commanders were committed to melees, not one of them fell!

Tuesday 13 July 2021

Now that's a herd! More satyrs for ProjectBACCAHE


Hot on the hooves of last week's satyr-heavy post comes a second unit of horny hirsute folk for my Bacchic thiasos/triumph. This brings the tally up to six companies (all the same profile) to form the drunken core of a Fantastic Battles army.

Including the three characters, dryads and leopards, this already brings the army up to 500 points. Next on the list - maenads and some appropriate chariots (all of which are somewhere in the postal system)!

Sunday 11 July 2021

Second Breakfast with Fantastic Battles

Had an enjoyable wee Goblins vs Halfling game for Fantastic Battles with Lee up in Derry this week - a bit of grudge match between my first two FB armies.

Not many photos, but suffice to say, a second breakfast was had - and it tasted an awful lot like halfling ...

Wednesday 7 July 2021

ProjectBACCHAE - a flock o' satyrs

The next unit for my 28mm Bacchic army for Fantastic Battles is a three-company flock* of satyrs from Eureka Miniatures. Three of these figures were painted over ten years ago and I'm not sure whether to be delighted or a bit disappointed that my painting abilities have not changed noticeably!

I intend on using these as a unit of Irregular Companies with the forester and shooting (mixed) traits, and stimulants as a racial trope.  I have a second identical unit on the painting table at the moment.

I call these satyrs for ease, but technically satyrs - at least for the Classical Greeks - were nothing like what they have become to modern eyes. Rather, they were drunken ugly looking blokes with snub noses and the ears and tail of a horse (see the red figure examples below). Furthermore, they are always ithyphallic. Apart from the pretty erect standard, these figures are a lot more suitable for public consumption!


These, and I would suggest all so-called satyr miniatures are closer to panes - goat-legged - sometimes goat-headed - mountain spirits who might be seen as multiplications of, or children of Pan, the rustic god of flocks (again, see the red figure depictions of panes below). However, in popular imagination these are satyrs and so, on the tabletop, satyrs they shall be!

Update: It has been pointed out the the collective noun for satyrs should probably be herd rather than flock...