Forum Replies Created
I concur with the opinions that there is a danger of having too many boards. On the other hand, does ‘Horse and Musket’ include the period where where rifles were increasingly used? Not all the mid to late 19th Century wars can be called “colonial”, although it might be argued that the Russo-Turkish War of 1877 was the Russians coming to the aid of the colonised Bulgarians by attacking the colonialist Ottoman Turks.
Late to the party, but…
I have always preferred Early Medieval/Dark Ages as the setting for fantasy. However, I am increasingly considering the Bronze Age. In my opinion, the more sketchy the historical record, the better fantasy seems to fit the setting.
Centaurs *MAY* have some link with chariot-using Mycenaean Greeks coming into contact with horse-riding nomads. Some of the steppe nations did have a proportion of female warriors which *MAY* have helped give rise to the Amazon myths. Homer’s writings (the poet, not the Simpsons character), if you can plough though them, has sorceresses, cyclops and much much more.
The Near East has a lot of interesting myths that have scope for wargaming, as does Egypt.
However, the Bronze Age of North West Europe seems to me to be a particularly fertile ground for further study. We don’t know about the history, but ‘Bronze Age Warfare’ by Richard Osgood, Sarah Monks with Judith Toms, gives me the impression that some of the folklore and mythology of early Britain, Ireland, Scandinavia and nearby countries may have roots earlier than the Iron Age. It so happens that my first 15mm DBA army was Early Northern Barbarian Europe 1400-701 BC, in other words, Late Bronze Age. I can’t help feeling that a lot of the details of the army list, including enemies, proportions of the different types of troops and exact dates are educated guesses rather than hard fact. Perhaps a few suitable additions would make it a particularly good Hordes of the Things army? The game or campaign would be greatly enhanced by having suitably well thought-out opponent(s).
People generally see DBA 3 as being an overall improvement.
Not everyone. For instance, I have reverted to using version 1.1 (which was the first version that I played). A significant set of people based particularly in the NE of the USA did a rival for version 3 as a set of house rules for version 2.2 called 2.2+, and used it for tournaments. Elsewhere in the world, there are still tournaments using version 2.2 running in parallel with tournaments for version 3.
In no particular order:
- Do they have the figures that I want in the figure size that I want?
- Do they give reasonable service?
- Are the figures reasonable in terms of casting, accuracy and not being too unrealistic anatomically? – I don’t need wonderful as I am not a perfectionist painter.
- Are the figures within (or ideally below) normal price range?
- For 15mm and smaller figures I have a strong dislike of gluing weapons and shields on.
- I avoid figures that tend to fall over when you try to glue them to strips of wood for painting, or to the final bases, Essex please note.
- Ability to order small numbers of figures as part of a larger order is an advantage. Thumbs up to Donnington!
- Pictures on the website help reassure me. I don’t get to many wargaming shows to see the figures ‘in the lead’ now.
Edit: Serious scale-creep puts me off a manufacturer, especially if it makes basing to established standards difficult.
When I do highlanders in 6mm, I am afraid that I just paint the kilts green.
Ancients – DBA v1.1 with v2 army lists. (I have used DBA 2.2 and 2.2+ in the recent past.)
Ancient Naval – Corvus
Fantasy – Hordes of the Things
English Civil War – DBR and DBA RRR. (DBA RRR is an adaption of DBA for the pike and shot era.)
Napoleonics – DBN
I have armies in preparation for the American War of Independence. I intend to use the adaption of DBN from KISS.
@ Kaptain Kobald, I take notice of your point on the origins of HotT version 2.0.
Must admit that I see a lot more parallels between Hordes of the Things (HotT) and DBA versions 1 and 1.1 than versions 2.0, 2.1 and 2.2, but perhaps that is just how it strikes me. It might well be that I pay much more attention to some aspects than others.
Against that, I am sure that the highly contentious built up areas (BUAs) of versions 2, 2.1 and 2.2 are based upon HotT strongholds. Strongholds, in my opinion, are fine for HotT, but I hold a different opinion on the v2 BUAs.
If I was trying to merge DBA and HotT (which is not necessarily as good a thing as it might at first seem) then I would be using DBA version 1 as the DBA version to merge HotT with.
With 6mm, I paint as units, unless I have something like Gauls that have to have a non-uniform appearance. Even when you want different coloured clothes, paint them as units but when it comes to doing what you want to be in various colours, paint a few at random in one colour, a few more with another, and so on.
Trying to thank General Slade for his information, but the site doesn’t seem to like me quoting him!
Living in Bulgaria, I tend to use what I have available, which is nearly always brought by me from the UK at various times. Royal Mail got fussy about dealing with parcels containing paints, so paints for my toy soldiers and toy trains became problematic.
I haven’t got a Facebook account, and would prefer not to get one. I have heard of a Hordes of the Things Facebook group, and was nearly tempted to sign up so I could join it. However, I saw a screen-shot of the page and it seemed to me that there was very little information available compared to the old Stronghold site, the new Stronghold blog or the HotT Yahoo group.
I much prefer forums, but tolerate Yahoo groups, if there is nothing better. If I am trying to find something out I can search to see whether someone else asked the question, and got useful answers.
Thanks. I confess that I don’t always read blogs when people post that they have put something on their blog, but I liked that report.
Hordes of the Things seems to be a very versatile set of rules. Quite a long time, someone at the club I was a member of decided to try HotT for a Crimean War scenario, and let me play. It seemed to work well (although please bear in mind that I am no expert on the Crimean War). If I remember correctly, he used the normal HotT troop types.
I use HotT for the Arthurian period (based upon Bernard Cornwall’s Warlord trilogy). You can either imagine that the magic works, or that it has an effect because the troops believe in it.
Just as a matter of interest, is your ‘Liberated Hordes’ variant to be found on the HotT Yahoo group?
Oh, go on then… How do you know that there are other types of glue for sticking wood together, which is very annoying if you want PVA for scenic purposes?
I bought some once. I think that I used it up making baseboards for my toy trains.
SOME wood glue is thicker PVA. It is sometimes possible to buy other types of glue for sticking wood together (and very annoying if you want PVA for scenic purposes). Ask me how I know that.
…[snip]… It takes very little to spoil a good game is what I am saying. Pat
When I was having a go at writing early medieval skirmish rules it would be a regular thing that one of the playtesters would suggest an additional rule for special cases. They tended to last through the next session before I quietly dumped them for the session after.
I do believe that you are correct, Not Connard Sage.
@Phil Dutré – Over the last 10 years or so, I have begun to believe that army lists for ancient armies sometimes include a lot of guesswork and unproven opinion. Playing mainly on my own, I am a lot more likely adapt army lists or have a go at trying my own out.
@Sane Max – There might be a lot going for your opinion. A certain well-known rules writer has stated that wargames rules tend to become more complex over time as later editions are produced. It certainly seems to be true of most of his rules, although HotT has largely avoided excessive ‘enhancement’.
By the way, It was interesting to hear about AK47. If I remember correctly, a lot of the people in the Sheffield club were playing it fairly frequently some years ago. I seem to remember having a go with it, and enjoying it, although later 20th century is not really an interest of mine.
[snip] But I also dislike every attempt I have ever seen in wargames rules to have three separate formations magically replacing each other in some sort of starlight express manoever, and have avoided owning a republican army for that very reason. I also have long secretly suspected the average roman soldier of the period was no better or worse than his opponent.
You could well be correct in wanting to avoid imagining the 3 lines as being separate formations. I see the lines as being close together, so that in practice they were part of the same formation. I have based my 6mm Polybian Romans so that Hastati and Princepes share 40mm wide by 20mm deep bases. If I had used 30mm deep bases then I could got the Triarii on as well.
Sorry if 6mm isn’t your thing.
This is a very interesting question. I have always seen the triarii interpreted as superior troops but I suppose the Roman saying of “send in the Triarii!” could also be interpreted as equivalent of “scraping the barrel”. As I understand it they went in last if the other classes had failed to win the battle which could be interpreted as using the least effective troops to ‘soften up’ the enemy first. There is so much we don’t really know about the remote past but it is a fascinating subject for discussion!
It is my understanding as well that if it came to the triarii becoming involved it would have been a very close battle.
It seems to me that if you can’t be sure of doing an accurate simulation when doing army lists or wargames rules, all you can do is to try to encourage the players to deploy and make decisions that seem to be what the real life generals would try to do.
The rules I use have them rated the same as the rest of the legion. They are supposed to be the older more experienced men so most likely would not be inferior to the rest of the legion. Being older there may not have been as many of them available to fill the ranks. Lifespans back then were not as long as present day lifespans. This might explain why there were only half as many men in each maniple.
The rules I had been looking at grades them as ‘Spear(Superior) whereas most pila armed legionaries are ‘Blades(Ordinary’, which means that the triarii do a lot better against cavalry. By the time of the army described by Polybios, the hastati and principes used pila and sword, not the thrusting spears the triarii at that time. Grading triarii the same as the hastati and princepes does seem to solve a couple of possible wargaming problems.
Presumably, in Spain, where the army seemed to go over to using cohorts rather than maniples as the basic tactical unit, a cohort would consist of a maniple of hastati, one of principes and one of triarii. It is difficult to imagine the different components of the cohort being composed or armed differently.
Your point about the maniples of triarii being half the size of the hastati and princepes maniples is as Polybios describes. However, Livy (who, it is to be admitted, wrote several centuries later than the army he described) said that the earlier version of the manipular army had similar numbers of hastati, princepes and triarii. He said that only the hastati used pila at that time; both the princepes and the triarii used thrusting spears.
Wargames rules writers, and users, love their troop classifications. Even if they’re only imaginary.
Personally, I think that troop classifications in wargames are just a vicious plot by rules writers to stop my Prussian Landwehr wiping the floor with Napoleon’s Old Guard.
Some army packs don’t come with prone figures. My Middle Kingdom Egyptians didn’t. Come to think of it, none of my ancients armies did. Come to that, neither did the ECW armies, the AWI, the Napoleonics…
I used to be in the ECWS, but some time after the split happened. I have always understood that it was at least partly due to internal politics.
By the way, the ECWS is actually an umbrella group for two organisations, the Kings Army and the Roundhead Association. You might find that they split from the Sealed Knot separately.
Might I suggest that everyone reads my OP again, carefully?
Why would anyone want to do that?
Most wargamers don’t concern themselves with scale, because they are not making a scale model. Often, one figure represents many men, so ground scale (and hence size of terrain features compared to the size of model buildings and trees) is going to be substantially different from the scale appropriate to the size of the figures. Some people use 6mm buildings with 15mm figures, so that a village looks at least like a tiny hamlet rather than an isolated farm.
Even if you are doing skirmishing, with a 1:1 figure to man ratio, I would be surprised and impressed if you had trees and buildings in scale with the figure heights.
Most wargames figures are not scale models. Very many (I suspect most) wargames figures have heads and hands much larger than a scale model their height would. The manufacturers find these caricature-like figures sell well because people can see and paint more detail you should be able to see on a figure of that size.
If you want to concern yourself with scales, why not get into railway modelling? If you choose OO (the most popular gauge for models of British prototype) you can enjoy the pleasure of having the Proto-Bores telling you that you are doing it wrong, because your trails are approximately 2.33 mm too close together for 1/76 models.
Thanks for the link to your blog.
About 20 years ago, I bought a second hand 6mm unpainted ‘Alamo’ set (with buildings) that I have been meaning to progress. At one point, I was even buying Ospreys (books, not the birds) that seemed relevant. I got the impression that the Mexican army didn’t change hugely between the independence of Texas and the Mexican-American War.
British outline TT has not been produced for a (quite large) number of years. I understand that continental (for instance, German) TT stuff is still around, and being made. You could try looking at Gaugemaster, who do a lot of foreign stuff. Alternatively, you could try using Google to find German model shops.
There are modellers of the British railway system who use a 3mm to the foot scale, which is TTish, but they tend to have to make an awful lot of things for themselves.
Thank you. I found the comparison particularly interesting.
Have to say that I am really impressed with the pictures on this thread. I like 6mm (my first armies were Baccus Covenanter and Montrose’s Great Rebellion armies), and also like to dabble in fantasy. I tend to do a bit of figure painting during the summer. I already intend to get a Hittite army from Rapier this year. Some of the Rapier Greek myth stuff would look very good for my HotT 6mm armies.
balked like a cat presented with Lidl own Brand Petfood
Actually, Lidl cat food is quite good. Our two ornithologists (who are are connoisseurs of meat, fish and cat food) love it. It also seems to do them good, in that their coats usually look better if that is the main component of their diet, as compared to other, locally available cat foods.
Very nice indeed.
Very nicely done. You have done the right thing in painting the 6mm figures more brightly than you might with larger scales.
A very interesting read. Thank you.
One thing that I noticed is that although they do mention axes, they seem to put more emphasis on spears, swords and clubs. Maybe worthwhile for people intending to wargame the Northern European Bronze Age to select their figures carefully, to avoid too high a proportion of axes.
The two Northern European Bronze Age ranges that I am most aware of are the Foundry ones in 28mm, and the old Falcon ones in 15mm. (I have a feeling that the Falcon ones can only be obtained from the USA now.) I have a great sentimental affection for the Falcon ones, because they formed my first 15mm DBA army. I do wish that I had got the mounted figures as well when they were still available in the UK, even though I would choose the option to field cavalry less often than have extra infantry.
EDIT: MY Miniatures also do a range of Northern European Neolithic, Bronze and Iron Age figures in 15mm
A definite improvement. Thanks Mike. What I did the first day it appeared was look at everything that I wanted to see, then, in the top level of the forum, clicked ‘Mark as read’. It took a while to do so, but now, when I log on, I see and can get to the new posts.
My guess is that it would not matter too much for scenario or casual one-off games, but the points system might come under intense scrutiny if used for competitions.
I like the drummer.
Thanks. I have book-marked you website.
Looks good to me.
I will look forward to more, particularly on the massed fantasy armies, with particular interest. The individuals that you have shown us might well have their uses for HotT heroes and magicians etc., as well as for skirmish and dungeon games.
As a matter of interest, how do you think that you will be basing your massed army troops? Will it be individually, on 2 cm strips like Baccus, or on variable length strips like Irregular Miniatures?
I think that shades of pale to dark normal skin (preferably with a greyish tinge) probably looks better, but have to admit that I have tended to paint mine a dull, brownish green. If I was to start a new fantasy army, I don’t think that I would use green.