Sunday, October 7, 2012

Rome vs Carthage Using "Look, Sarge, No Charts: Fantasy, Ancients & Medievals" Rules

Saturday a group of us got together to start playtesting the Ancients part of, Look, Sarge, No Charts: Fantasy, Ancients & Medievals, aka LSNC:FAM. One of the HAWKs, James 'Tank' Nickle, had been preparing 10mm Roman and Carthaginian forces over the past few months and this was our first opportunity to put them on the table and try them out with the rules.
   We managed to get in two 4-player games in about 5 hours, and all the participants reported having enjoyed this first outing with the rules in an Ancients game.  We played in two teams of 2, and switched the sides we commanded between games, so everyone had a chance to command both the Romans and the Carthaginians.  Each player commanded a  Legion on the Roman side, or a mixed force of Spanish, Celts and Africans on the Carthaginian side.

A Roman Legion, in foreground, prepares to charge the first line of Carthaginian defenders.

The first game was a Carthaginian victory, with the superior numbers of Carthaginian horse able to make their way through the Roman cavalry on the flanks and into the Roman army's rear, just as one of the Roman legions stated to waver.  The second game was a Roman victory with the Romans able to seriously weaken one of the Carthaginian commands by shattering their Spanish and Celtic allies as well as damaging the the heavy armored Africans to a point where the much of the force was routed.
We uncovered a number of issues we need to work on, but in general, every one was pleased with the flow and feel of the game.

Now on to the photos from the first game...
A Roman Legion, consisting of Hastati, Princips, and Triarii, as well as Cavalry

Numidian Cavalry moves out to harass the Roman flank.

James Nickle, who's armies were were using, here commanding a Carthaginian force, advances his Spanish units

The Roman  Legion, on the right wing of the battle, hammers the African infantry (with the blue shields) as it enters the battle piecemeal.

James Nickle and Duncan Adams adjudicate the outcome of a melee, as Kurt Schlegel looks on. 

The beginning of the end for the Romans. With the remnants of the Roman cavalry fleeing before them, the Carthaginian cavalry swings around into the Roman rear, just as the line of Hastati breaks and flees the battle, right in the path of the onrushing enemy cavalry.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Giant Bat Swarms from Halloween Confetti

Over the years I have received a number of compliments on my giant bat swarm bases that I made from bat shaped Halloween confetti. I thought I would recreate the project on my blog in the form of a tutorial so others could copy this idea.   While I originally created them for use with 25mm armies, I now employ them with my 10mm forces.  The great thing about giant bats is that the scale is really flexible.
Here is a shot of my original giant bat swarm bases (seen on the bottom left).

And here is a shot of my new version, shown with a 25mm figure

So here's how I made the new giant bat swarm:

Bat shaped confetti from JoAnns.  All their Halloween decorations are already on sale.
I took a trip to JoAnn's Craft & Fabric store, and found this pack of bat confetti, while not the exact style I used in my originals, I thought the shape and size would be good for my purposes.
Step 1, gluing bats to their wire flight stands
The first thing I did was to cut six 3 inch sections of thin wire, and separated out six of the individual pieces of bat confetti.  At the end of each piece of wire I made a small "V" shaped bend, and then bent the "V" perpendicular to the rest of the piece of wire. I then superglued a bat atop each of the little "V" bends.  On some of the bats I bent the wings up or down a little to help give a look of them being in flight.
Adding glue to form the bat's 'body'
After the super glue dried, and the bats were firmly affixed to their stand, I ran a small blob of thick Tacky glue down the length of the body to help give it dimension and make it look less like a perfectly flat surface.
Gluing the bundled wires onto a steel fender washer.  Shown with a 25mm figure for scale.
After the Tacky glue 'bodies' dried, my next step was to twist all the wires together at the loose end, staggering the lengths a little,  to form a little bundled section abut an inch long.  I then made a right angle bend in this bundled portion and formed the bent part into a small semi circle to make a base to glue onto a washer.
After a flat black primer coat.
I then primed the whole thing flat black.  After the primer dried I drybrushed the bats with gray, and added two little red dot eyes on each.
After the painting was done I then flocked the base and finally gave the whole thing a protective spray with Testor's Dullcote.
A shot of the finished Giant Bat Swarm. Shown with a 25mm figure
I'm pleased with how this base turned out.  I think in the future I might add a couple more bats to each base to make a slightly more dense swarm.