Friday, January 23, 2009

Game Markers for Impetus

I'm finishing off my last few units for the Early Imperial Romans, mostly light infantry and cavalry. I'm so close now that I've decided not to post any more pics until it's all finished. Then I can take some shots of the whole army spread out on the table. Until then however, I thought I'd show you all the markers, both homemade and improvised, that we will be using for playing Impetus.

Last night Stu and I played our first game and loved it. In addition to the regular measuring devices and dice, there are a few odds and ends required in order to get the full gaming experience. Tonight after supper I made these Zone of Control markers. I made these out of the same cardboard I used to make my Western buildings, and decorated them with a little paint.

The ZOC marker is used during play to determine when enemy units enter or pass through a unit's zone of control. Here's one laid in front of an archer unit. It runs the length of the base (6cm) and extends out 5cm.

A more aerial view. These are only laid on the table when ZOC situations arise.

I also use these wooden markers (from the boardgame Rheinlander) The red ones represent Disorder and the green ones are used to mark units on Opportunity. We may come up with something better down the road (models on small bases, perhaps)

Here's how we kept track of things last night. The die tracks the unit value (VBU) and the red marker shows disorder. As new players learning the units' limitations, there was A LOT of disorder during our first game.

This will likely be the last post in this thread. The next post concerning this army will be a full gallery shots of the entire army. I can't wait!

Thanks for reading,

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Almost there - Archers, Cavalry, and a Basing Idea

Thought I'd given up, huh? Thrown in the towel. Lesser geeks would be done for by now, it's true, but I forge onwards. I've finally reached the point where I'm far closer to the end of the project than I am to the beginning. It feels good.

For some reason I was avoiding painting the Auxiliary Archers because I thought they were going to be nit-picky. Boy, was I wrong; they've been the easiest unit to paint in the entire Roman range. Here are two units from the front...

...and from the back. I had to show the back because I was please how the quivers turned out, and with very little effort I should add.

The second unit of cavalry, looking very much like the first.

I realized that when I posted the first cavalry unit I never showed it from the back. I figured I'd take the opportunity this time around.

And now for a word on the basing material I'll be using. The original Legion test-unit was based with just sand. I found it a little too blah and promptly ripped it from the base. I've tried something different.

Pictured below is some of my homemade flocking. I have a few boxes of dried bark that I pulled from a gigantic dead tree. I smashed some pieces with a hammer, and eventually got a coarse mixture. I added some sand and came up with this concoction.

I tested it out on an Auxilia unit. I think it makes the base look more interesting and random than just sand. Sand alone works well on 28mm models, but I think at this scale, it's too perfect, and makes it seem like everyone is standing on the beach. We'll see how it looks when it paints up.

So, where are we now?

Good question. I figured it's about time for an update, a glance back at the initial goal. Here's the original 500-point list I came up with at the beginning of the project. Units in RED have been completed, and those in BLACK remain unfinished:

Command: Generals x 3
Cavalry Units: Medium Cavalry (Alares) x 2, Light Cavalry (Libyans) x 1
Infantry; Melee: Legionnaires x 6, Auxilia x 4
Infantry; Missile: Auxiliary Archers x 2, Ballistae (mobile) x 1
Skirmishers: Balearic Slingers x 2

TOTAL REMAINING - 4 units & 3 command stands

Here's what's left to paint. This includes the 4 units, as well as the command stands.

It's been quite a few years since I imposed a strict time limit on myself for a modelling project. Even though there are headaches (i.e. painting at times when you're not quite in the mood), it's quite rewarding to see a project come together before other distractions take over.

Thanks for reading,

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Parthians Smarthians...

Parth-who? Never heard of them... Oh, those Parthians... the ones who crushed Rome... numerous times.

So Stu came over tonight and we did some social geeking. Stu concentrated on getting his models on bases for Impetus. He based some horse archers (surprise surprise)...

...and some cataphracts...

...and more horse archers.

Meanwhile, I worked on my second unit of Roman cavalry and two units of slingers...

...and prepped up some light cavalry for painting. These are the only models I was waiting on for my EIR army. They are Baccus codes; Libyan light cavalry I believe. I will paint them in non-descript tunics, and will probably vary the shield colours and designs. The great thing about Impetus basing - 10 6mm light cavalry will make two units.

If you were ever curious to see the footprint of a 500-point Parthian army for Impetus, here's your chance - 6 units of cataphracts and 12 units of horse archers.

As ever, Stu's over-meticulous nature becomes tiresome. Who finds time to colour-code their paint collection this way?

We had a productive night, and more importantly, we drank tea and discussed the finer points of other armies, "It would be so cool to blah blah blah..." Next week we will try a test game of Impetus to start learning the rules. I would guess fully painted photos will be posted by the end of January.

Thanks for reading,

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

EIR - Roman Cavalry

After finishing off all of that infantry last week I kind of ran out of steam. Not to fear however. I've painted one unit of medium cavalry and have made a start on the second. Here's the first unit based up.

I had prepared 12 models/unit, but as I was painting, I realized that the base would be a little too packed for medium cavalry. As a comparison, Stu is basing heavy cavalry (i.e. Parthian cataphracts) 12 to a base. I would like the distinction between the two units at least somewhat represented. I've suggested two lines, but have arranged the figures a little more loosely than I might have for true heavy cavalry.

Finally, as discussed in an earlier post, the cavalry is based on 60x40mm, as opposed to the 60x30mm dimensions used for infantry.

Finally (really this time), Stu is coming over tomorrow night to work on the armies a little more. I may paint, I may apply sand, but whichever, we'll be doing something productive.

Thanks for reading,

Sunday, January 11, 2009

BFG engagements - Crush the Aliens!

The geeking last night started with a game of Warmachine between Kreoss (i.e. Ken) and the Witch Coven (i.e. Marc), but by the time I remembered to get the camera, the game was well under way. I decided to snap some Battlefleet Gothic shots instead, as I was lucky enough to have two new opponents.

Chris showed up with his 650-point Eldar fleet. It's composed of a Shadow Class Cruiser, Aconite Frigates x 3, Hellebore Frigates x 2, and a few upgrades.

The "other Chris" (from now on referred to as non-coughing Chris, aka NC Chris) brought along his Tau fleet. His three cruisers are scratchbuilt from leftover bitz from Tau vehicle kits. Very nice stuff! I don't know the names of any of the ships, so I won't even attempt it.

Fleet Engagement One: Imperial Navy vs. Eldar Space Pirates

The first scrap was between my Imperials and Chris's Eldar. The first shot was taken after the first turn. The Eldar frigates made a fairly ineffective attack and fled to the asteroid field.

The Admiral of the Dictator class Imperial cruiser dispatched Starhawk bombers and ordered them towards the asteroid field in an attempt to ambush the space pirates if they tried again.

The Shadow class cruiser opens up on the Sword squadron and wrecks a frigate.

The space panzee... ehh.. pirates "strategically reform" (read: flee) but are chased down by frigates. The Sword weapons batteries cripple the Eldar capital ship.

Meanwhile, the second Sword squadron, with some assistance from the Dauntless light cruisers, dispatch the remaining Eldar frigates. Victory to the Imperium!

Fleet Engagement Two: Imperial Navy vs. Tau Navy

NC Chris and I played a similar sized-game. The Tau began by unleasing a hail of torpedoes and holding their fleet back.

This game became a close-up fleet action with opposing fighters and bombers trading blows between the enemy capital ships. Broadsides erupted in a hail of small craft action (picture the assault on the Death Star). Imperial shields saved the day, and the Starhawk bombers (clearly the MVP's of the evening) took their toll on the Tau Navy.

On the other side of the planet, the Imperial Firestorm frigates traded blows with the Tau frigates for the entire game.

Broadside and bomber madness escalated to new levels of destruction. Two Tau cruisers were wrecked and the hulks drifted into space. The remaining capital ship, under orders of the Tau Admiral, disengaged and fled. Victory to the Emperor... again!

So, it was another night of successful geeking. Our group is growing. This presents some challenges, namely the logistics of how many games we are limited to on a Saturday night. However, this is far outweighed by the new interests brought to the group, as well as the opportunity to explore new games and modelling opportunities. Now we just have to get Ken's fancy new geek room up and running (i.e. two geek tables), and the geek madness will take on a whole new level.

Thanks for reading,

Thursday, January 8, 2009

EIR - Roman Infantry Mass

It's about time for an update. I've had a few minor set-backs (like re-basing a couple of units), not to mention general laziness, but things are progressing nonetheless. I have to say, when it comes to 6mm, this project is making a believer out of me.

Here's what the Roman legion looks like on bases. This equates to six units of heavy foot in Impetus.

I've also finished painting four units of Roman auxilia. To reflect the less regimented nature of the units, I've based them in a central clump. In 6mm, I've found this is a good way to distinguish drilled heavy units (i.e. FP) from less drilled, lighter infantry (i.e. FL)

A little glimpse into what's coming up. I painted a cavalry test model. I'll be painting two units of medium cavalry. (hopefully tonight)

I'm also painting two units of Balaeric Slingers (S). I only have to paint a dozen or so of these as they'll be dispersed over 6x2 cm bases.

After the slingers and the cavalry, I'll have 14 of 18 units painted, so I'm starting to turn the corner where I'm seeing light.

Thanks for reading,

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

EIR - Six Legions Finished!

The most nit-picky and irritating models are finally painted! I hope I'm right when I say this, but I think the Baccus legionnaires are the most annoying models in the EIR range when it comes to painting. The way the shields tilt down to the left makes it hard to paint the bottom-left portion without messing up the shield boss or the next soldier.

Here they are ready to base along with the unit that I finished last night. I'm pondering basing them in two groups per base as shown, but maybe a little closer together than the original. If I decide to do that, I'll pop the first unit off the base and adjust. We'll see.

Here's what's left. As you can see, I've drybrushed the silver on the four units of Auxilia. I'm hoping these will paint more organically than the legion did. I still have a couple of hours of productivity left in me tonight, so I'll see how it goes.

I realize that most people reading this thread will be very familiar with the different scales. However, for those who aren't, I thought I'd show a little comparison to put the project into perspective.

From L to R:
6mm (Baccus Romans), 10mm (Pendraken Numidian), 15mm (Corvus Belli Man-at-Arms), 28mm (Artizan Pinkerton Detective)

I'm off to the painting table. No more time to write; I've got to stay pumped!

Thanks for reading,

Monday, January 5, 2009

EIR - First Painted Unit

So, I"m giving it the good old college try, but I will be too tired later tonight to take photos and post. I decided to base up one unit as a sample to give an idea of where I'm headed. Here's how things look from the front...

...and from behind.

I assume that the Early Imperial Legionnaires were some of Peter's earliest sculpts, as I find them a little rough compared to other Baccus models I've seen. I expect the Auxilia and Archers to go more smoothly.

I think the whole army will look convincingly largish when it's lined up on the table, but enough babble - it's off to the painting table!

Thanks for reading,

EIR Stage II - Undercoat Complete

Well kids, the most mind-numbing part is over. The cleaning/filing/spraying and filling cracks with black paint is the part of modelling I hate most. However, here we are on day two, 1:00 pm. I plan on taking my son sliding after school (since I'm on vacation all week), but the rest of this day will be consumed by the tiny force guarding my basement.

One minor hitch so far. The photo below shows two of the standard bearer guys (two left-most models), but you may notice that the front gent is missing something, namely the standard top. If I have another, I'll prep it and replace. Otherwise, only one unit of cavalry will have a standard.

Check back later. I'll be posting before bed tonight.

Thanks for reading,

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Early Imperial Romans for Impetus - model preparation

"When it rains it pours," as the saying goes, and does it ever apply to me. Ever since I discovered the Basic Impetus rules (get'em here FREE), I've wanted to start a historical project with someone (or someones), and even more so since buying the full rules last summer.Just after Chrismas, Keir committed to partaking in a long-term HYW project in 15mm (more on that here), and then, just this week, Stu and I decided to pursue a 6mm Impetus project; Imperial Romans (me) vs. Parthians (Stu).

Here's what I accomplised on day one - cleaned and based for painting:

Pictured above are all the models required to field this 500-point Early Imperial Roman list:

Command: Good CS, Expert CIC, Fair Generals x 2, Re-roll x 1 - 95 pts

Cavalry Units: Medium Cavalry (Alares) x 2, Light Cavalry (Libyans) x 1 - 69 pts
Infantry; Melee: Legionnaires x 6, Auxilia x 4 - 260 pts
Infantry; Missile: Auxiliary Archers x 2, Ballistae (mobile) x 1 - 52 pts
Skirmishers: Balearic Slingers x 2 - 28 pts

This 500 pt list is actually 504 points, but since Stu went over by a small few as well, we won't be sweating it.

As for basing you may ask...

We decided to base these armies as the author suggested in the rulebook; that is, to (more or less) halve the dimensions used for 28mm gaming. All frontages will be 6cm and depths will vary. We agreed on 2cm for skirmishers, 3cm for all other infantry, and 4cm for cavalry, chariots, and elephants. The small round wooden bases are being used for my three generals. This allows me to assign command to different units freely from game to game.

Finally, here's my inspiration.

The photo is taken from my copy of Warmaster Ancients. Also a great game (at least I assume from playing lots of the fantasy version.) It shows Rick Priestley's 10mm Imperial Roman army, and although mine will not be painted to such a high level, the photo has always been my inspiration to someday paint a Roman army.

Anyhoo, I am off to undercoat the pride of Rome. With any luck there'll be a progress post in the very near future.

Thanks for reading,