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  • in reply to: What Ya Playin’ ? #198844
    Avatar photoAlan Hamilton
    Participant

    At our regular Monday games – Morval Earth campaign with our own rules.

    With grandchildren – Dedburgh (Zombies) – modified Akula’s Rules, Hobbit

    With son – Spectre Ops, Delta Zone (our Zona Alfa setting), Britannia (our Roman, Briton, Pict games with our own rules), Bolt Action and about to start Cohors Cthulhu

    Avatar photoAlan Hamilton
    Participant

    Almost entirely wargaming in a whole range of genres – historical, fantasy, pulp, gothic horror, zombies/post apocalypse and more.  Very occasional scifi – Doctor Who, Stargate.

    Board games when setting up or writing up figure games.

    Avatar photoAlan Hamilton
    Participant

    My (current) interest is in Early Imperial Rome and in particular its Northern Frontier.  My interest extends to what is left on the ground: Hadrian’s and Antonine’s Walls; sites of forts, camps, roads and other remains; Roman Army organisation and the opposition British, Pict and Caledonian; museums; translations of orifinal documents (inc Tacitus, Cassius Dio, (other authors), Vindolanda tablets etc); history books, academic papers, online sources, web fora; personalities; politics; dress; weaponry; logistics; diet; trade; religion; mythology and more.  Though not all in the same detail.

    I must admit that I have not been to a presentation on Roman millinery but have on Roman fashions, sports, housing, crime, marriage and general life style of slaves, freedmen, plebeans, particians, senators and the Imperial family.

     

    Avatar photoAlan Hamilton
    Participant

    I started way back in the 1960s exactly when I don’t know because I cannot remember when exactly or in which order I read and played Don Featherstone’s books, or Charge! or Battle or many others.  I do know that our (brothers’ and mine) armies were Airfix Infantry Combat Group and WW2 Germans supported by Airfix, Roco Minitanks and toys.  When D&D appeared we played that too.  Also Minifigs fantasy and historicals (Napoleonics, ancients mainly) as well as Airfix Romans and Ancient Britons, ACW, AWI, WW2 other theatres and more.  Then I was introduced to a veteran wargamer in the early 70s who wrote his own rules and knew the greats personally (Featherstone, Grant, Bath etc).  This was a revelation and expanded what I did.

    Started in “historical” though many of them are “fantasy” I suppose with Byzantines fighting Ancient Britons or out of era Pharaonic Egyptians or Trojans etc.  In parallel I have played LOTR, fantasy, Dr Who, Stargate, Zombies, giant insects, naval (1:1200 WW2 and pre dreadnaught) and much much more.

    I see no difference – my emphasis is warGAMING.  It is the gaming that matters not the genre.

    So was there a gap? No.  More a continous flow to new things and revisiting old favourites.  As a result I have armies that have not seen battle in many years.  But may do so sometime.

    Avatar photoAlan Hamilton
    Participant

    Many years ago Rudi gave me a photocopy and I am so glad that this version is now available  Thank you so much.

    Avatar photoAlan Hamilton
    Participant

    There is a whole section on cheap and easy terrain building with some templates on our website

    http://www.morvalearth.co.uk/Terrain/Terain_Intro.htm

    Also Matakishi’s Tea house has many projects

    https://www.matakishi.net/making-things.html

    in reply to: Urban City Boards? #180070
    Avatar photoAlan Hamilton
    Participant
    in reply to: Cleaning Roman Mail #179341
    Avatar photoAlan Hamilton
    Participant

    Again we rely on interpretation of other sources for cadenced marching.  We know that the roman soldiers sang songs on the march though we do not have the actual tunes.  Military cadence is carrying out a rhythmic activity in time to singing or chanting.  It is not always done on the march.  Marching in step may, and often is, done in time to marching songs, chanting and drums, music or whistles marking the beat.

    There is a nice piece on Roman Marching tunes here   http://www.romanarmy.net/marchingtunes.shtml

    Since the Urbane, the ribald marching song of the soldiers at Julius Caesar’s Triumph, follows a rhythm strikingly similar to 20th Century marching songs it is very likely that the soldiers marched in time to the rhythm.  It is almost instinctive and makes marching easier.  It is a small step (pun) from there to have the Optios and Centurions chanting and the men following suit in much the same way as the American army did (does?).  And this is easier in step, “Sin, Dex, Sin, Dex, We will do our Pila Drill, etc.”

    Count: ONE, two, three, four – FIVE, six, seven, eight – NINE, ten, eleven, twelve – ONE, two, three; and you have it.  https://youtu.be/X5xsYU4fCOw

    Conjecture but I know how marching songs and marching in step eat up the miles.

    in reply to: Cleaning Roman Mail #179335
    Avatar photoAlan Hamilton
    Participant

    As far as I am aware there are no known Roman training manuals that have survived.  There are a few higher level “manuals” (eg Vegetius “De Re Militari”).  The fact we have not found any (yet) does not mean that there are none.   Rest assured that, by whatever means, the armour was cleaned and kept as rust free as the conditions (and Centurions and Optios) permitted.

    The Roman techniques may have been copied from the Gauls.  After all they learned a lot about metal working from them including much of their armour fabrication.  Not that that helps much.

    in reply to: Cleaning Roman Mail #179329
    Avatar photoAlan Hamilton
    Participant

    It is unlikely that we will find a definitive answer contained in documents.  We may find something in “finds” like the Vindolanda tablets.  The reason I say this is because virtually all surviving documents were written by the rich and famous.  The “celebrities” of their day.  How often do we find modern celebrities telling us how they clean their costumes?

    Most of the audience had been in the army or close to it so they knew how it was done, if only to make sure the slaves cleaned the armour properly.

    Back on topic, the people who did the cleaning were most likely the soldiers, army or personal  slaves.  The slaves are highly unlikely to have kept diaries that survived though a very, very few may have scribbled graffiti.  Soldiers are likely to have complained to each other, some may have written home but I suspect that “barrack room lore” probably passed from the veterans to the recruits was the way that the information passed.

    So few documents have survived the destruction caused by age, war, weather, religion, accident, casual/unthinking use as kindling or whatever that we lack the vast majority of written sources.  The very fact that so many nations and races used mail armour means that there must have been methods of keeping it clean, de-rusting it etc.  I have read of various abrasives (sand, crushed tiles, pebbles, gravel etc), greases, fats, oils being used in combinations and rolled in barrels, sacks tied to wheels, rubbed by hand; also that the rings when worn abraded each other to an extent as did wearing a linen tunic under and over the mail.

    I doubt you will find a literary source.

    Having said that I am sure that now someone will find a document by Googlus or Wikipedianos giving all sorts of information on the most obscure intricacies of cleaning armour.

     

     

    in reply to: Painting ruins for a WWII game #177706
    Avatar photoAlan Hamilton
    Participant

    They look more like abandoned and decayed ruins rather than war damaged.  War damage caused by shells and fire cause far more rubble, broken bits of household goods and other detritus.  So some more blackening on the inside, more rubble and wreckage.

    I would avoid vines and go for wrecked gardens.  A Google search on WW2 ruins might help.  The Oradour-sur-Glane site will give some ideas but remember that it is well weathered now.

    in reply to: Music while painting? #175044
    Avatar photoAlan Hamilton
    Participant

    Almost always.  Usually Classic FM, sometimes a TV Documentary, something that requires no concentration or provides no distraction.

    Avatar photoAlan Hamilton
    Participant

    Thanks, some of the figures are over 50 years old – the Minifig Persian Archer Regiment was bought painted back then, on their right are the Mythic Earth small goblins and on the enemy side are the Mythic Earth Uruk Hai.

    in reply to: Ice cold in Alex #174830
    Avatar photoAlan Hamilton
    Participant

    Excellent

    in reply to: Ice cold in Alex #174820
    Avatar photoAlan Hamilton
    Participant

    A very good diorama of one of my favourite war films.

    I remember coming home on R&R from Iraq and being asked by an amateur artist friend what colour to paint the sand in her picture.  I said “grey” just like in the film “Ice Cold in Alice”.  A few days later she called (laughing) to say she had watched the film.  “Grey, indeed,” she said, “it’s a black and white film!”

    So should the diorama not have been done in greyscale to match the original?  ;0)

    in reply to: Pay to put on a display game? #171317
    Avatar photoAlan Hamilton
    Participant

    We have run participation games at shows for over 40 years.  We have never been charged for putting the game on.  We are a small group seldom more than 6 wargamers.  The games alternated between myself and one other.  We each bore almost the entire cost of our game, travel etc. and this could run to three figures.

    In an earlier post it was suggested that shows have games aimed at kids.  While ours were not aimed at the kids we found that they were attracted to our games.  Why?  they were relatively short, colourful, attractive, used home made scenery (often from junk e.g, a temple made from a large scallop shell, city walls from packaging).  Sometimes they were fantasy, sometimes based on TV or films or books or just fun ideas.  What was common? The kids came back year after year, then their own kids and grandkids came along and the games became sibling rivalry contests.  So we, voluntarily, ran games that appealed to the novice gamer.  Is that not part of the purpose of a show?  To encourage the young to participate?

    Would I pay to put them on?  Well that would depend what it cost me over what I have already spent.  At the moment, maybe not but that has more to do with the “club” now reduced to 2 of us and our advanced years rather than anything else.  If we can recruit back up to 6 or 8 then maybe.

    in reply to: Getting the right vibe from Proxy models #171313
    Avatar photoAlan Hamilton
    Participant

    My fantasy forces are very much Old School and started out before WFB though I do have the original 3 book set somewhere.  My armies are from various historical ranges and fantasy figures from Minifigs (Mythic  Earth, Valley of 4 winds, Aurelea Rococco etc), Garrison (Sword and Sorcery), Greenwood and Ball, Hinchliffe, Asgard, Ral Partha, RAFM, Citadel (old), Reaper (old), Minot, GW LOTR and several others that escape me and others now defunct.

    Very few of the newer large figures fit.

    in reply to: Did Romans wear red? #160973
    Avatar photoAlan Hamilton
    Participant

    I am reading Graham Sumner’s “Roman Military Dress” and at pp 112-118 this topic is discussed in a very readable way.  I commend the book to you for its in depth descriptions of tunics, colours, dyeing process etc.

    In short, yes they did and also white as well as a whole range of other colours many sporting contrasting clavi.  Maybe red in battle as it was the colour of Mars and was also quite a cheap dye.  Remember that unbleached wool varies from off white to dark brown depending on the colour of the animal.

    Book cover

    in reply to: Did Romans wear red? #158591
    Avatar photoAlan Hamilton
    Participant

    When I did my first Roman Legion of Airfix figures each cohort was painted in a different colour – tunic, shields, signum and centurion’s crest.  I lost these in a house move and they were replaced by a legion of Italeri Romans all dressed in red tunics but with different coloured shields for each cohort.  My current legion is dressed in the “classic Hollywood” red.  Why? because the original units were for my grandson’s school project and that was how they were depicted in his school book.  Also the boxes (Warlord) had red shield transfers and it would be churlish not to use them.

    That said I have a vexillation in white tunics and blue shields of a different legion.  And some praetorians in black (as in film “Gladiator”) and Cohort in white tunics edged red with red/yellow shields.

    My auxiliaries have a different colour for each cohort or ala.

    The truth is that we do not know for sure as textiles seldom survive over centuries.  Roman writers were of the upper class or freedmen of upper class Romans writing for their social peers.  Thus they seldom describe the soldiers as everyone knew what they wore as most Romans of the Eques and Senatorial classes served in the Legions.  So I would stick to madder red (cheapest dye of the period), blue (woad), yellow (saffron), green, beige (oak galls), grey (oak gall beige followed by dipping in an iron after bath), false purple (lichen) and off white.  Pliny the Elder says that brighter colours like orange, red and purple were worn by priests and priestesses.
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    in reply to: Hobbits Riding Wolves #149492
    Avatar photoAlan Hamilton
    Participant

    I am not sure what I will do with the extra roosters, but I will be able to mount those hobbits on wolves or something else.

    Put them in a flock with a herder as extra rations for the wolves?  Or use them as pack-roosters with spare arrows or snacks (second breakfast, afternoon tea, luncheon etc).

    in reply to: ‘Timeless’ Figures #148749
    Avatar photoAlan Hamilton
    Participant

    Most of my metal figures are “timeless” as they were bought (or made) in the 1960s to 1990s.  As a result most of my recent purchases have been of second hand figures in compatible ranges of 25mm and small 28mm figures.  I have very few of the scale creep “28mm” or “heroic 28mm”.

    But to answer the question my “timeless” figures come from various Garrison ranges, Citadel historicals, some Minifigs, Grenadier, Amazon Miniatures, Wargames Foundry, Greenwood and Ball and others of that ilk.  So sometimes I do pay extra to get replacements or new units of old figures.

    in reply to: Christmas Gift Guide for Wargamers #148181
    Avatar photoAlan Hamilton
    Participant

    Only once (a very long time ago) did my wife give me a wargames present.  She went to my favourite wargames shop and asked the owner what she should buy.  He suggested a unit of Byzantine infantry – an excellent choice and it still takes the field every so often 43 years later.  After that I have suggested a list that is usually music or books.

    in reply to: Vexillum, Signum or Draco? #146564
    Avatar photoAlan Hamilton
    Participant

    There is also an illustration in Peter Connolly’s “Greece and Rome at War” page 237 (probably the same instrument)

    And in Bold as brass: ‘brass instruments’ in the Roman army by R Cross  –  pp 5-6

    The lituus, as well as being the curved staff of the augurs, also refers to a curved brass instrument. According to Aulus Gellius, the instrument resembled the aforementioned staff to some degree (Aulus Gellius 5.8). Seneca described the lituus as a bronze instrument with a hooked end (Sen. Oed. 733). A lituus fitting this description, found in the Rhine near Dusseldorf (Figure 3), consists of a conical tube with a curved, flared bell and notably features a set cup-shaped mouthpiece.

    There are several learned papers on the internet dealing with musical instruments in the Roman army.

    in reply to: Vexillum, Signum or Draco? #146556
    Avatar photoAlan Hamilton
    Participant

    Both the standard and the alpenhorn look a little odd for an EIR Roman unit. Musical instruments in the Roman army at that point should look like this:  Troops shown are a tubicen, with a tuba, on the right and a cornicen, with a cornu, on the left. Which is not at all to say you can’t use the figures you have. Just be aware that “caligae counters” may look at them sideways 🙂

    Thanks, Mike.  I did a bit more research on line last night and this morning.  (I am away from my books just now.)  The “alpenhorn” instrument is a lituus which my references seem to regard as being mainly used in funerals, processions by civilians but also in the army (mainly?) by the cavalry arm.  It is based on an old Etruscan instrument.  Here is one found near Dusseldorf

    So I have an answer to the “caligae counters”.

     

    in reply to: Vexillum, Signum or Draco? #146517
    Avatar photoAlan Hamilton
    Participant

    Thanks both.

    Thaddeus – I take your point and will certainly think about what you say as some of my games are set in a fictional continent somewhat resembling a cross between real world Europe, Tolkein’s Middle Earth and Conan’s Hyboria with limited magic/superstition and occasional intervention from deities.

    Mike – that is pretty much what I thought but the Aventine command packs got me thinking that maybe I had missed something.  My Legion is based on the mid 2nd Century around the time that Antoninus Pius ordered the construction of the wall a few miles from where I live.

    in reply to: Starting Afresh – Urgency #146448
    Avatar photoAlan Hamilton
    Participant

    I paint the vast majority of my figures to a reasonable standard by undercoating with white, base colours, a very few details, then a darkish wash to provide a sort of shading and then a lighter dry brush finished off with varnish.  My figures are used for battles and are commanded by grandchildren (7 to 13 years old), adults (up to 84 years old) and so get a lot of use and a lot of handling (and repairs!)

    This system allows batch painting without boredom as it is simple and quick.  It also allows children to achieve decent results without too much grandad assistance.  Though I do sometimes tidy them up.

    When batch painting I often have 2 or 3 (rarely more) units on the go at a time, each one at a different stage.

    In some projects the characters, officers, nobles or whatever get a different more individual treatment and so a few of them usually sit on the shelf above the light tube to be done for a break or a bit of variety,

    Just now I have 2 groups of Celtic Cavalry on the main table and at the side a Celtic chief, 2 Roman Tribunes, a wizards and Andromeda chained to a rock for a bit of variety.

    Avatar photoAlan Hamilton
    Participant

    I have been wargaming since about 1960 and so have many projects, forces and unpainted figures.  At certain points in my life I have worked to a small fixed budget (when I was a student and now as a pensioner), a virtually zero budget (when the kids were small) a fairly unrestricted budget (when promoted at work) but most of the time a moderate budget that was supposed to be fixed but varied slightly throughout the year (more at shows, less between).

    Now that my income is fixed and moderate then budgeting means sticking to a regular amount each month and decision making is more “need” than “want”. Admittedly that is easier now that I am adding to rather than creating new forces/periods/genres.  Also my purchasing is now mainly of second hand, discounted or other bargains (sales, black Friday, birthday, Christmas etc).  It is a long time since I bought a full price item with the exclusion that during the lockdown I bought full price paint because all shows were cancelled and I was out of two colours.

    I also have, over the years, amassed a large quantity of figures and models.  Probably more that than I will ever finish let alone use.

    So, my monthly budget now is, in relative terms, quite small and is seldom spent in full.  That said my paints and other materials are running out so a fairly large order may be in the offing soon – probably timed for Christmas.

    in reply to: Definition of troop #145220
    Avatar photoAlan Hamilton
    Participant

    In the (British) cavalry a Troop was half a Squadron which at full paper strength (1815) would be 1 Captain, 1-2 Lieutenants, 1 Cornet, 1 Sergeant-Major, 1 Farrier, 4 Sergeants, 4 Corporals, 1 Trumpeter, and 85 Troopers.

    The “NCOs and men” were and still are often referred to as “rank and file” sometimes “Other Ranks”.

    in reply to: Roman Auxiliaries, cohors equitata proportions #144982
    Avatar photoAlan Hamilton
    Participant

    Thanks a lot for your detailed and very useful answers.  It is now making sense to me. Unfortunately for me, I now realise that my cavalry ala is under strength.

    Taking your guidance I am going for my cohors equitata as a Prefect, 24 infantry (commanded by a Centurion) and 6 cavalry (commanded by a Decurion).

    in reply to: Roman Auxiliaries, cohors equitata proportions #144975
    Avatar photoAlan Hamilton
    Participant

    Interesting information and thanks.  However, do you have a primary source reference that the mounted contingent was “added” to the cohort?  If so from where did they come? I could not find it in the article quoted which discusses only differences between the two types of cavalry.  It also mentions that the mounted contingent is divided into turmae (cavalry designation) without a primary source reference.  Also the differential rates of pay might imply that the mounted men were infantrymen trained to fight mounted so get one and a half pay while the cavalry trooper from an ala with his greater skills gets double pay.

    For example if we assume that the cohors equitata (note infantry designation) actually had 500 men (infantry cohort strength) and is divided into 6 centuries.  Then we assume that the mounted contingent is drawn from these centuries that would, on average, be 15 men from each century or just about 2 contubernia.   This would be similar to the eques legionis who were given infantry designations and commanded by a Centurion.

    I may be entirely wrong.

    in reply to: My Early Imperial Romans #144761
    Avatar photoAlan Hamilton
    Participant

    Finished the Tenth Cohort last night and set the legion (so far) out for review.
    Cohort I is double strength (Primus Pilus + 47 men)
    Cohorts II – X have 24 troops
    6 Scorpio
    2 Carrobalistae
    1 Onager
    1 Cohort of (red) Praetorians (25)
    1 detachment of (black) Praetoriand (15)
    Staff – Legate, Tribunus Laticlvius, Praefectus Castrorum,2 x Tribunus Angusticlavius
    And a few others including baggage and some slaves.
    Supported by Auxiliaries

    Avatar photoAlan Hamilton
    Participant

    Hope the ‘Borisism’ does not impact the game – zoom rather than face to face? Stay safe

    We have tried Zoom, Whatsup etc.  It is reasonable but very slow and relies of a fair degree of IT skill but lacks the interaction as the tekkie issues replaces a lot of the banter!  So not as much fun.

     

    Avatar photoAlan Hamilton
    Participant

    Thanks again.  Very useful.

    Avatar photoAlan Hamilton
    Participant

    Mike, thanks a lot for confirming a lot what I have read, adding to my knowledge and giving me some food for thought (some of which is below).

    So are you suggesting that the Legionary Cavalry would look pretty much the same as the Legionary infantry though probably with a flat shield rather than a scutum?  Though I have read that Legionaries were trained to vault onto horses and also mount and dismount in full armour with shield.  So for the bodyguard I may use the Warlord Praetorian cavalry with their dismounted equivalents being their Marines with a head swop to Attic style helmets.

    If I understand you correctly my Legionary Cavalry may be wearing lorica segmentata which would be a relatively simple conversion to add infantry torsos onto the figures and different shields.

    I understand that the engineering and construction would be done by the Legionaries.  That said, route clearance in the face of the enemy appears to have been done by some sort of auxiliary pioneer corps in some to articles and books that I have read.  So in this role I would imagine that lorica hamata might be more flexible  so my pioneers may need to be conversions of Republican figures.

    Yes I also know of the Medical Corps but my question was about how the casualties were evacuated.  By mule, horse, ambulance, litter, on his shield or whatever.

    “To begin with, the speculatores were scouts but became messengers, bodyguards, military police and even executioners.”  I had not realised that they became military police and executioners.  Interesting.  Also interesting that you used the feminine of the noun as well.

    My exploratores may well be in civvies.

    More food for thought.

    LATE EDIT – Just realised that some of the Aventine Miniatures may offer the variety that I am looking for.

    Thanks again

    in reply to: Roman Mile Fort #144089
    Avatar photoAlan Hamilton
    Participant

    Didn’t mean a thing to me, but gave me something to google. Having found a few links to the Ender 3 and its exceedingly moderate price, I can feel another “Dammit, more expense” moment coming on. Can you tell me how many reels of the 1.75mm PLA your fort took to make? From the quoted accuracy of a tenth of a millimetre, I imagine that, despite the economic price, the Ender-3 would do work fine enough for printing tank parts and figures in 1/76th. Any accounts of experience in the use of the Ender 3 for such fine work, or general guidance on things for a beginner to watch out for, I would find very welcome. All the best, John.

    Unfortunately I have no idea how many reels he used as he says he buys plastic in big reels then rewinds them onto smaller ones for printing.  He also says he has never tried small items.

    I’d suggest starting your own thread on 3D printing as there are probably several folk here who know what they are talking about.  I have never tried 3D printing as I have a son who is very good at designing buildings (he has not done vehicles or figures).

    in reply to: Roman Mile Fort #144083
    Avatar photoAlan Hamilton
    Participant

    What material is it made of, and what printer did your son use? All the best, John.

    John, thanks for the kind words – my son uses an Ender 3 printer and a mixture of Cura and/or Slic3r for his printing programs. He uses reels of plastic PLA 1.75mm. I hope that makes sense?

    Alan

    in reply to: Roman Mile Fort #144063
    Avatar photoAlan Hamilton
    Participant

    Well, now that you’ve printed it you just have to make the Picts pay for it.

    The Picts will pay for Antonine’s Wall and the Caledonians (etc.) will pay for Hadrian’s Wall!

    in reply to: Roman Mile Fort #144062
    Avatar photoAlan Hamilton
    Participant

    Excellent model and painting and takes me back to the Airfix fort I had as a kid.

    Well there are probably 2 reasons for that:

    1 Airfix made a stylised version of the real thing

    2 So did my son after looking at my old (broken) Airfix model and my book on Hadrian’s Wall.

    in reply to: My Early Imperial Romans #144053
    Avatar photoAlan Hamilton
    Participant

    Added a couple of these home made carroballistae.  Scorpion and wheels from bits box, box from 3 x 20mm mdf bases and 1 x 25mm mdf base piled up, oxen are from Warlord Games.

    in reply to: Daft dad – daughters present ideas needed #142648
    Avatar photoAlan Hamilton
    Participant

    Toadstools, fungi, a ripped discarded pack with archaeologist tools spilling out, bottles/flasks, a large egg, a broken large egg (what came out of it?).

    Dungeon detritus – goblin (etc) poo, discarded food containers, abandoned camp fire, religious (or other) idols & statues.

Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 189 total)