Monday, January 9, 2017

Coming Soon, a new adventure

All is quiet at home. What is a Warrior Prince to do? 
Duke Stephen leads a British force to save the stronghold of Bellemont and meets an old enemy!
At last the call comes! Rome has been assailed by the hordes of Attla! Who will come to her aid?

Saturday, December 31, 2016

A Hasty Gathering

Another year ending and what have I done?

Well I haven't finished any of my expanded Elastolin armies but after long but periodic internal debate I called closure and forced myself to make a "final" decision which is to base them permanently rather than either sticking with the trial magnetic bases which just didn't feel satisfying or going back to single figure skirmish games and that has allowed me to finally make some progress.

Elastolin Romans repainted to better fit the image in my head.
A few shields left to finish.
Occasionally I feel like I should have an urge to  do more semi-roleplaying skirmish Prince Michael games but to be honest the ones I've done were more fun to write up than to play and the stories were basically built around the bare events of the game after the fact rather than having been part of the game as "should" have happened with a talented GM and a group of players.  It would be as easy to add the narrative to a Gathering of Hosts game.

More than any other period, my views on what Ancient Warriors should look like were formed early and deep. This illustration is from the Living World of History which I got for Christmas 1964 when I was 9.

That done I was planning on finishing any repainting and conversion work before basing but I was stalled and REALLY wanted to play and not with figures half stuck on scraps on cardboard. More than that, I'm not going to do complete repaints on any figures. Just some touch ups to help them all look like they belong and I can do that on the based figures since they aren't in tight formations. So, I gathered what cut bases I had, organized the Romans into units with similar shield shape and design, glued, sawdusted and applied a base coat of green. Over the winter I'll finish the last couple of stands which need conversion and painting from scratch and do the various touch ups but at least I have a basic force for small games.

The last Roman Hosting: 5x2 infantry, 1x2 archers, 1x2 Light Cavalry, 1x2 Heavy Cavalry, 1x2 Artillery. There are 2 Generals, 1 with the Heavy Cavalry, 1+ Eagle with an infantry unit.
Hmm could use some barbarian light infantry perhaps.

Now, the plan was/is 1 stand is a unit and no grid but......... it just so happened that the figures divided nicely into groups of 2x4 man bases each forming a distinct, recognizable   unit which just happens to fit the new 6" grid. Hmmm. This may take some thought  and experimentation.

A Barbarian Horde to follow.

Happy 2017 to all the oh so patient and amazingly persistent readers of the sporadic GofH blog!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

A Redirecting of Hosts

It has become clear to me that the proposed effort to stage a joint 25mm massed fantasy battle at a convention is unlikely to come about in the near future. However, I like some aspects of where the proposed game has led the Gathering of Hosts rules and I am going to continue developing them  to suit myself with an eye for using them  with both my historical 16th Century and my Medieval/Fantasy armies. In effect they will become a new, improved, broader version of the Rough Wooing rules.

I somehow manage to delete all copies of the original photo on all platforms so here's an alternate view.

I intend to keep each stand as a unit but to once again have explicit multistand formations and to  focus a little more on the role of commanders.

With all that in mind I have a game on the table but I'm not ready to get rolling dice as I try to picture how the game should feel and how the rules will need to be shaped to deliver that whether played solo, one on one or as a multiplayer game.

So far there have been a number of "Aha!" moments followed by "oh not quite right". That in itself is a sign of progress though.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

E pluribus unum sagittariis (or something like that)

I don't like cutting up original, unbroken, Elastolins but have been  able to acquire a number of unpainted kits over the years. Having finally acquired 2 Roman cavalrymen and a reason to use them I set to work.

Unfortunately, what with the recent doubling of my Hunnic forces and having recently read Simon MacDowell's book on Chalons, I suddenly decided that I needed a Roman horse archer unit. I did have one of the relatively civilised, armoured, Hun Horse Archer kits  that could work with a head swap but the rest of the Hun kits were all the wilder sort and besides, I'll need every Hun I can get my hands on. I only had a few foot archer kits left, one of them being an archer firing down from a tower, great for siege dioramas but.....

Ok so its not really out of many, more like out of two. New figure on left. Component figures on the right, well other copies of the component figures at least. 
At first I had been expecting to cut both figures at the waist but the cavalry man splits diagonally along the  shoulder belt while the archer is a one piece body with two separate arms. I decided it would be better to do arm swaps. (The archer will reappear one day.) The anatomy is so well done on the Elastolin figures that its often hard to just drop arms or bodies on as things like which way the weight is shifted for balance and the tilt of shoulders will be wrong. I was anticipating a fair amount of work to adjust things but I lucked in. I didn't want an archer firing into the dirt and anyway the angle on the joint between the kits was all wrong for that but as I fiddled with the bits trying to find a good pose, the shoulders just sort of fell into place with the archer holding his bow at a slant. It looked good to me and only required minimal fitting.  I meant to hang a shield from his saddle bow but....oh well.

Since one of the game requirements for Rob's project was single stand units and since that's how my 16thC lads are organised, I have decided to stick with it, so, two units of comic book Roman cavalry, one of them being horse archers. One of the original requirements from Rob was single stand units since he has a few rare figures that can't muster enough for two bases but which he wishes to include. Its the same with my Elastolins and is how the 16th Century Rough Wooing project was done. So here are two "units" of Roman cavalry on temporary bases.

Surprising how hard it was to resist shading and detailing but I even left three of the horses unpainted to try and keep a suggestion of the original toy and comic book origins. The original weren't this glossy but it'll fade and  does suggest "toy". 
Next...hmm.. siege tower? more Romans? Huns on foot? "Barbarian" heavy cavalry? hmmm

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Whaddiyah Get When You Cross A...

Work is now well under way on organizing, painting and basing my 4cm Elastolin Romans. First up, they needed a mounted General to command in the field.

Comes Imonsey Magnus and Tribune Jehanus  

I didn't actually have one, or even a spare cavalryman but I did have 2 commanders on foot and a very Heroic Horse from one of my Norman knights. A bit of scrounging turned up a volunteer Saxon knight to provide legs. Not bad but the pointing thing was, well, ok, but then I noticed that his scabbard was empty. Right! A few minutes later I had a spare Elastolin arm with sword from, well, I'm  not sure which kit it was from, I don't seem to be missing one. A little chopping, gluing  (gotta love hard plastic), pinning, puttying and painting and  tada! It belatedly occurred to me that it might have been useful to paint him to match my commander on foot so that I could have had foot and mounted versions of the character like I do for the Prince. Oh well. I'm intending the Romans for massed battles anyway.