dimanche 27 janvier 2013

They get painted 2 by 2

Two more Not Romans. I tried a different shield design, sticking with the same colours but bringing a bit of difference to the group.

Patterns certainly look a bit late Roman/Romano-British.
What a surprise, i now have a group for Dux Britanniarum. It was like i planned it...

Not the best photos but you get the idea. More of these on the workbench to train for the Runissians.

I also bought a sample pack from Legio Heroica of some Crusaders, Feudal and a Swiss pike man to see what they're like in the flesh. With them i should be able to start terrain and see how easy they are to convert, then maybe a full order?!?

samedi 26 janvier 2013


Sir Peter Walter, lord and veteran of the Battle of Tewskbury, is riding to his estates to inspect them. He is riding with his son, Edward, and a small retinue of men at arms. All seems calm, until they reach a place where the path passes by a steep hill...

Peter's scouts riding ahead.

The scouts spot something coming from the bushes, and soon a band of brigands appears, blocking the route!
Peter, a tough warrior, knows the only way to break through is to charge...

In a wave of horses, the bandits are cut down, but something is strange about them. Although they wear no badges, they wear good armour and look like soldiers, not ragged bandits.

The surviving bandits take cover behind a fence and Peter pulls his horsemen back to the road, leaving one shocked foot man after their charge, and prepares to break through the road block.

The charge hammers into the bandits and Edward goes for their leader, who wear a good harness, much more than any bandit could afford.

'Come to die, puppy!' The leader, dodging Edward's lance, plunges his sword through the young man's visor, killing him instantly. He lifts his helmet to reveal himself; the leader is no other than Sir Adam, who burned the south with his Germans and the rearguard for the Gueen's defeated army. Peter's standard bearer kills his crony and tries to clear the path for his lord.

Numbers are starting to tell, and the arrows and the bills of Adam's ragged band slowly bring down the men at arms. Peter makes a break through to escape, only to run into some archers hidden in the woods further on.

From the hill and the trees, arrows fly, killing Peter's horse. He is wounded too, and his chances of survival seem limited. His standard bearer rides to his rescue.

Alas, an arrow kills his brave standard bearer and, surrounded by enemies, Peter is brought down and killed. Adam's men loot the dead and sneak into the wilds...

mardi 22 janvier 2013

(Not) Romans

The first four not Romans are painted, the first 15mm i've done in years!
Since i bought 28mm Vikings and Saxons, i've only done 28mm until now. I still have lots of Perry Wars of the Roses to do and plenty of games to play, but i feel like a change of pace for a moment.
Why not Romans? Well, because i've not painted them to be Romans, one even has a tartan cloak! I painted the shields the same to keep them unified. I might make a Dux starter force with them (elites with regular shields, warriors with similar-ish shields).

After painting bigger figures for a while, these men take little time, but easy to make scruffy. I only went for a single highlight on the tunic and cloaks, being the biggest part of the figure (minus the shield). I thought they didn't look that good, but i based them and they look better.

Static grass on these men makes it look they they're in untamed fields, perfect! The tartan cloak is the front row on the right.

The spears are bent, yes. I could have bent they away but didn't want to break them.

I have plenty more of these to practice on before i get some Legion Heroica (maybe March/April), giving me time to do some Perrys too. I might do they at a slower pace, one or two at a time as not to get frustrated painting them. They seem a lot more trouble now!
Comparing painting times, it can take me several hours to do 6 Perry 28mm (shorter if i only do a couple at once) while these took an hour/hour and a half to paint, minus basing. Quite a difference!

dimanche 20 janvier 2013

Thinking of 15's

It's all a bit wet and grey here, and there's a flood warning so most likely no lycée tomorrow. Gives me more time to revise though (or wargame!)
I've not painted much, just advanced on some of the militia. I'va also made a build or two, nothing amazing to show.
I have been wondering about legio heroica and 15mm. As i said in a previous post, i'm planning to build a 15mm force or two, and at first i was not sure what period but i decided to do a Runissian force. I chose them as i really want to make some, and my attempts in 28mm were alright, but i want to give a different scale a go.
I want to make a force for Dux Britanniarum, or Dux Norvarje as it will be for my fantasy world. I will have one Runissian force, and i'm deciding whether to do a Kaliad force, based around spear men, shield bearers and mounted nobles and crossbowmen, or raiding Fraals, with light javelin throwers and a core of heavily armoured veterans.
Against Kaliads, the Runissians would be attackers, while if they were against Fraals they would be defending. I'll use the British and Saxon list from the book to keep it simple. I would also do some conversions, adding miliput to create full helmets, leather vests and boots.

Now for a little surprise; i already have some! They were the first historical figures i ever bought, some men of Carthage as it was my favorite force then. I also got a Roman force for my birthday, but in recent years they've been neglected. I also have a flames of war German force and some Soviets, and a smattering of Napoleonic Austrians and French (might be used for skirmishes or sold off).
I wanted to give my usual rules a roll with 15mm figures, so i decided to re base my ancients on single circle bases (before they were on DBA style bases). I also had a bash with some of them, using the Lord of the Rings rules. Here are some pictures:

I halved all distances and found they moved painfully slow. So i might use the normal distances, makes it look more 'realistic'.

Many of the Romans are only basecoated, while some are painted. I think i'll leave them, even though they are badly done. Painting 15mm seems a breeze compared to 28mm.

The Romans might not be painted to be Romans, maybe a city militia for some generic fantasy or even Romano-British???

The Romans won, as they had bigger shields and more training. It began badly, as the 'barbarian' cavalry threw javelins to effect but in the end the legionaries were too tough a nut to crack.

Don't worry! My Perrys haven't been neglected, i'm still chipping away at them and thinking of a livery for the Walker retinue.

mardi 15 janvier 2013

Max's Fate - explaining and categorising

Last time you might have been confused by all the backgrounds and categories and what not, and now i'm going to explain more. if you did understand, excellent!

More on traits

Traits are what define our nobles and give them the all important Fate Cards. These are influenced by backgrounds and a certain degree of luck and dice rolling. For any chosen setting, each background has some traits, and they are rolled for randomly at the creation of the noble. I had thought that you could choose, but rolling is more realistic; when do commanders get to choose their subordinates personality?

So, let's take take a generic background from the last post, the Reeve's son. Reeves are the 'sheriffs' of Anglo-Saxon England, so we would expect them to be brave and fighters, at least in theory. His son will then roll a d6 and looks at his trait possibilities:

-1: Roll again, re-rolling a 1. He gains a negative secondary trait.
-2 or 3: Courageous
-4 or 5: Cunning
-6: Veteran

Basically, our fate is not totally within our choice, unless you don't like randomness and choose the traits.

As i began to explain last time, i have several traits already. Now i shall show you the cards they offer to us:

Hero of the Age
Bounding move


Hit and run

Armour bright

I have a cunning plan


I know the path

Crouch lances


Aggressive charge


Sustained charge

I thought that went well

Shieldwall braced

 God is with us!

Tribal leader
Hit and run
Sustained charge

I know the way





Solid as the mountain

Mounted archers
Ok, you won't know some of the cards, because at the moment they only exist in my notebook, but you might get the idea by the names. All are primary traits.

I thought that each category has three traits that have to be taken, two for lower characters and one more for lords. The rest are optional and may be chosen for the character at his creation. I thought that:
Status I noble: 2 obligatory and 1 chosen.
Status II: 2 obligatory and 2 chosen.
Status III: 3 obligatory and 2 chosen.
Status IV: 3 obligatory and 3 chosen.
So this would give us (with two Status II nobles and a Status III lord) 9 cards. Add this to the about 15 generic cards and we have 21 cards, 33 if we add both decks together. But here lies the first big problem.

The first big problem

One or Two? One deck for each side, or one big deck for both players? Both have their advantages, and their disadvantages.
If each player had a deck, it would lean their cards would be only for their side, meaning no problems where a side can us the other player's cards even without having the right characters in their force (like a European knight using horse archers, for example). The decks are smaller, however, so powerful cards could be 'recycled' easier by canny players.
One deck means that the deck is bigger, but, as stated above, some mechanisms might be needed to stop certain characters use certain cards. This means more thinking though, but on the other hand it would be less encumbering on the table, with fewer chances of getting decks mixed up (you never know...).
I'm not sure, so any ideas are welcome.

It's all very good but...

...so far i've only been giving ideas, not hard categories and backgrounds and cards and all the rest! Do do not fear, they are being planned! The only thing is that they have to be flexible so that others can easily make characters AND decks. It's quite a slow progress, and in the next post i shall begin to set some proper walls on these foundations. I have the fate card ideas, categories and backgrounds. I guess fate cards should come first, as categories depend on they, so they might be coming this weekend.

dimanche 13 janvier 2013

Planning your fate - ideas and categories

I would like to point out all the rules here are drafts and ideas, and had neither play tests or fully thought through. If anyone has anything to offer, leave a comment and we can all develop these ideas, sort of for the Greater Good :-p


I first had this idea when playing with the idea of a sort of role playing dux, with characters having to create a war band and grow in power, wealth and status. I invented more backgrounds that gave you special abilities, and had the smart idea to change the fate deck. This depended on the status of the noble (his experience  and also his background, so a nobleman's son was proud, a warrior's son was savvy in the ways of war, etc...
Players would then have some cards automatically, and others could be chosen from a list. Characters might also gain other abilities and cards later, and also have (thanks Jim) secondary traits, which can or good or bad. These are then added to a generic deck (maybe the unsuited cards in the original game).

Backgrounds and their effects

Of course, if you play a Saxon and Briton game you can use the backgrounds provided, and Jim has some interesting medieval ones (designed for the 15th century but they might work for earlier). You could also go for fantasy ones, if that's what you play.
Backgrounds, as we all know, provides money and loyalty, and, to add a bit of spice, we could give our nobles a hereditary trait, given to him by his father/family (or lack of!), that might effect lots, or not at all, the game. Some examples of what I'm on about:

-Son of a lower nobleman (Esquire, Reeve...): More loyalty to other nobles and might be trained in war, giving him 1 random Veteran card (more below).
-Son of a steppe nomad: Maybe Huns or Mongols. He can ride a horse and fire a bow on the move. Gains a  random card from the Speed or Tribal chief categories.
-Son of a priest: Knows religions practices of his country, and is automatically Devout (as well as any other Dux traits). He gains a random Believer card.
-Son of a barbarian: Gains a Courageous or Berserker card.

So what do these words in italics mean?!? Pray read on, if your still with me.

The words in italics; fate card categories

Under these ideas, fate cards are put into several categories, making them easier to class. Some ideas are:

-Courageous: Cards of knightly values, such as being brave and killing many enemies singly handily. Some are Hero of the Age, Armour Bright and some i invented.
-Veteran: A fighter, these cards give you bonuses in combat, such as Shieldwall Braced, Aggressive Charge and Bounding move.
-Speed: Allow movement through some terrain without penalties, and maybe the use of boats along rivers or the sea.
-Tribal Chief: If a steppe nomad, these cards allow a mounted force to unleash arrows at the gallop and make hit-and-run attacks of a less mobile foe.
-Berserker: Mad men and savages all, these cards are dangerous in hand to hand, but might leave men vulnerable because of their rage.
-Cunning: The sneaky tricks, allowing ambushes and feints to confuse a foe.
-Lucky: A lesser trait, these cards allow the impossible to become possible, and turn events around, but they are few.
-Believer: Reduce shock and give religious bravery to the men. These might be useful for Crusaders.

There are tons of things that could be done, the sky's the limit!

Traits; what are they?

Role players know them, the characteristics that define our heroes. Our Dux nobles are no different, so each one has 2 traits, a primary one and a secondary one. The primary is one of the above, and really defines our nobles. The secondary is either given to him through his background, or gained through battle and experience. Unlike primary traits, secondary traits can be bad; for example, a noble who sees his leader loose battle after battle might become disillusioned and begin to think he could do better (Look what a mess you've got me into! hint hint).
I won't gone into them in depth yet. There could be hundreds, but we need to keep things simple, so lets reduce it to a dozen TOPS! No more! If not i'll go mad (too late, perhaps).

Relax, the post is over

So ends part 1. I'll group these coming posts under a new label, Max's Fate and maybe create a page with links to easily find the posts. I hope some of you find them useful. Next time i'll introduce some new Fate Cards and define them into the categories, and the power of traits.

samedi 12 janvier 2013

I have a plan...

Well, not really, more like some ideas.
Nothing spectacular on the wargames front this week. Being back at lycée, i'm trying to get back into work state of mind. I've also been doing some writing, a story that i might post here as it goes along. Maybe?

I have been thinking a bit about wargames, mainly about an idea i had with a sort of modified Dux Britanniarul rules. I had the idea to create a new fate deck, using nobles' traits to build the hand. Example; a noble is a brave, knightly sort, so in the hand you add Hero of the Age, the one for boosting status (never can remember the name) and one or two of choice from a list. A cunning mercenary leader can have cards that allow him and his troops to move through certain types of terrain, and keep them in line through fear and respect.
I also tried making some new cards for different characters. One is sustained charge, like aggressive charge but over both rounds. Some allow men to move through woods with no penalty, others hills or water (rivers, marshes...), also one where a unit becomes Stubborn and ignores all shock inflicted that turn. Some are also designed for fast, hit and run cavalry, like the Huns.
They're just ideas and thoughts, like lots of things on this blog!

In other news i bought a good magazine with lots on the Hundred Years War (medieval? me? Never...). Plenty of good pictures to look at. I've also been tempted to consider a 15mm army using Legio Herorica figures. They look really nice, and seeing them on a couple of blogs gets the grey cells thinking. Only the pile of Perry Minitaures makes me hesitate; not sure how my parents will react if i order even more figures.
They'll have to wait.
I also made a start on 4 more militia men, but they're not in a state to show yet. Just skin, metal and coats done. Right, time for some tea.

BTW: If any one is interested in some of the card ideas for their Dux adaptions, i can post some up.

dimanche 6 janvier 2013

Militia archers and a little 'how to'

I thought i'd show you how i made my 'light box';
It's very simple and rudimentary, made up of some paper or plasticard, a box, bluetack and, of course, the figures and a camera.

Put some bluetack on the box.

And stick. Easy.

And these are the photos they take. Here are the first of the militia retinue, three archers and one with a crossbow.

The right hand man obviously forgot his jacket, and the only thing that ties him with the group is the red diamond on his jacket.

Pavise stuck on. I only did a very simple design on the facing. They're only militia after all!

All finished, except bases, but they can wait.

I've also been experimenting with bigger hills in my games after a post on someone's blog and a message on the Toofatlardies yahoo group. So i placed two Perry boxes under the carpet, and the hills rose high.

Solid border tower looks out for raiders (Vikings, Saxons or even rival English).

mercredi 2 janvier 2013

The Mastons and the 'Light Box'

First post of the year!
Little experiment of the photo taking front, trying out a 'light box', something i saw on a forum a while ago and decided to try it out, to see if it improves by pictures.
Here it is:

In reality, it's a sheet of thin plasticard blue tacked onto a box.
So, these are the first of the Mastons:

The photos might not be great, but you can see the general look.

One of the 'sergeants' for the Mastons. He's probably an esquire or country gentleman. He will be leading some bill men.

A conversion of a bill carrying arms to now carry a sword and buckler. I made him a while back and have only now got around to paint him.

The halberdier who once carried a banner, but he seemed to lightly armoured to be one. He looks better with a halberd.

Here you can see the badge.

One of the few musicians i have ever painted (not sure why). With only carries a dagger, he won't really want to get stuck in. In Dux there are no rules for them, but someone made a banner and musician group, and they are useful for LOTR.

Man waving his sallet. The feather's defying gravity a bit, probably a fake, stiff one.

Another kneeling man. He's falling over a bit, and might be changed. His purpose will become apparent in the picture below...

'Protect me Jenkins!'
Yes, the pavise carrying servant who's only job is the protect the boss from arrows. He will join a 'command group', the leader for my whole force (if i ever play them as one, big army. One day...).

Some plastics for Walker's retinue, a kneeling archer, a bill man and the sergeant of the bill men. Fist time i've used that left arm.

Two of Walker's men at arms, with putty hands. Finally! Right, now for some paint.