Thursday 27 February 2020

Blackstone Fortress Baby-Eating Bishop of Bath & Wells

Bishop of Bath & Wells

I have been ploughing through my unpainted minis lately and, at the bottom of a cupboard, discovered an entire unpainted Blackstone Fortress game. And they are great models.

First up the good Bish' of Bath and Wells with his lovely assistant - all ready to toast those babies.

I have completely mislaid my Tamiya textured paint so finishing the base will have to wait for another day.

By, By Bishop, Goodbye....

Monday 24 February 2020

Hellenistic Ersatz Legionaries

Hellenistic 'Legionary' Infantry

At a parade in 166BC, Polybius refers to a 5,000 man unit of Seleucid infantry as armed 'like Romans'.

The question is how really like a Roman legion was this Hellenistic unit.

The key military attacking unit in World War II was the Armoured/Mechanised Division. No purely infantry army could win against a foe fielding these units. After WWII, armoured and mechanised divisions remained as the primary military units facing each other in The Cold War. Newly emergent nations with the cash to spare were keen to create their own modern battle winning divisions. They copied NATO or Soviet divisions, buying the vehicles and creating the ranks and uniforms. But these ersatz armoured divisions, good as they looked on paper, were found wanting in a real war. You can't make a Russian armoured division simply by buying the gear. You need Russian to man the tanks.

So what were Seleucid 'legionaries'? Hellenistic armies already had Thureophoroi and Thorakitai, infantry with helmets, large Gallic shields, spears & javelins, swords and, sometimes, mail armour? Even if Hellenistic kings equipped their troops with Italian rather than Gallic shields and heavy javelins rather than spears and light javelins, that wouldn't make them legions.

The point of the legion wasn't just the gear, but the training and battle tactics to use same - such as the flexible maniples, the line rotation in battle, the four types of troops, cohorts and so on.

Hellenistic Infantry

Whatever, Hellenistic legions have become a staple of wargames so I have some for my new 15 mm army.

Mine are sourced from Xyston, and I got them from Rochester Models.

Wednesday 12 February 2020

Review Warcry: Unmade

Unmade Warband - click to enlarge.

Warcry is, in my view, a much underrated fantasy skirmish wargame from The Evil Empire. It uses doubles and trebles, etc, from the roll of a set of dice to allow pieces to undertake actions of various complexity. The background is of small chaos warbands, not drawn from the usual factions, roaming the Eight Points realm trying to carry out great deeds to impress The Everchosen of Chaos. Mostly this involves beating up other small warbands.

The Unmade are one of those bands from the Realm of Shish (Realm of the Dead). They worship chaos in the form of pain and to be in an Unmade warband you have to cut your own face off and wear it as a belt buckle decoration - yes, even by GeeDubya standards this is really gruesome. Such a warrior is known as Awakened.

Yep, you really have to suffer for your wokeness in Age of Sigmar.

Moving up in status, a warrior is allowed to cut an arm off so as to permanently attach a weapon. These are the Ascended.

The second in command get to cut both arms off - an honour indeed - which is presumably why they are know as Joyous Ones.

But the leaders are the pièce de résistance. They are known as blissful ones because they get to cut off their legs as well as their arms - and become bladerunners.

The models are some of the best Citadel have made. Really, really beautiful a sadomasochistic sort of way. My only criticism, and it applies to all the Warcry warbands, is that they are a bit delicate as playing pieces. Gorgeous models for a diorama set in an insane world, though.

Highly Recommended (the game ain't bad, either)