Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Happy New Year!

Seems like I haven't blogged for a while so here's some edited highlights:

Just before xmas I purchased 2 boxes of Imex figures:
                                                  520 - Mexican Artillery at the Alamo
                                                  510 - Mexican Infantry
The artillery figures have plastrons but the infantry are very similar to various Napoleonics.  As I have plenty of old Airfix Naps transformations could take place (and I could have yet another painting project on my hands).

Yesterday's  DBM battle was a dower affair between War of the Roses (with Scots allies) versus Anglo-Irish.  A historical match-up that even after 3 hours looked no closer to reaching a conclusion.  Total casualties in single figures.  Mind you had one of our allied commands not sat still for the entire battle things might have been different.  Oh well!

Now, at the end of 2013, I can review my painting/modelling progress (which has been decidedly sporadic):

15mm  Hellenistics - save for the oddments I completed the refurbishment of my Greeks/Hellenistics tins including elephants, cavalry & infantry.  Additional figures were purchased and added where required.

DBA in the New World - 90 point armies of Maya, Tarascan, Colonial Spanish & Colonial Portuguese all painted and based.

Hopefully in 2014 I will be able to devote more time to wargaming.

Anyway to all my readers/viewers may I wish you A Happy New Year!

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Polish Paholki, Chariot Horses & Southern Chinese

(1) Polish Paholki:

Thanks to Kadrinazi I now know that these figures (except one) represent peasants & servants [see comment on previous post].  So not directly useable as Polish troops but no doubt will find themselves as 'back-rankers' in a number of armies.

(2) Chariot Horses:

Whilst scrambling through my (overcrowded) loft I found 10 Early Carthaginian chariots.  Unfortunately 10 horses seem to have vanished.  So I ordered replacements from those kind people at Essex.

All I have to do now is paint the darn things!  And - Oh Yes - the rest of the army.  Ho hum!

(3)  Southern Dynasties Chinese:

I added 24 x Chinese swordsmen to my Essex order:

An illustration in the book ("Imperial Chinese Armies: (1) 200 BC - 589 AD") - E2 - shows a shield in the same shape as these Essex figures.  It is of a North-Western rebel of the Three Kingdoms period.  

The costume is, however, the same as Southern Dynasties so a much better substitute than the warband that I normally press into service.

It's just a pity that nobody does figures like the illustration in MAA 284 (H2):

The text says "The curved shield is associated with swordsmen in art, in contrast to the rectangular or oval types which would have been more suitable for spearmen accustomed to fighting in close formation."

Seems like an odd shape to me - and how would you make it?

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Polish Paholki

After many grey days (with consequent low light levels) I managed to photograph the mysterious Polish troops:

4th/3rd figure - musket is rather short

 2nd figure - sword very close to the body.

1st figure - pistol is much too short
3rd figure - difficult to separate the spear from the sprue

Rather nice figures (if a bit cramped in places).  Anybody have any ideas about them? 

Friday, 6 December 2013

Polish 30YW Foot

The postman brought 2 boxes of (Mars) Polish foot soldiers:

72073 - Polish Infantry [early] [Thirty Years War]
72074 - Polish Paholki (Thirty Years War)

PSR has already reviewed the first box: 
They point out that the set is largely a replacement for an earlier one (of which I purchased 2 boxes).
                               72033 - Polish Infantry Mercenaries (Haiduks) 

The second box is a puzzle as I can find out NOTHING about these soldiers from the Internet.  Looks like I will have to pay Barnsley central library a visit for some old-fashioned book research

I took some photos, in spite of having my house lights on at mid day.  The quality is pretty poor AND the blog is failing to load pictures at the moment.  Perhaps fate is playing a card or two!

So here's my 'verbal' report:

4 x 12 figures - none of them have the "Kontusz overcoat with decorative buttons down the front" that all the 72073 box figures have.  All have boots, two have low turbans and the others have fur hats.  Armament comprises of: swords (6), axes (3), spear (1), musket (1) and pistol (1).

Still waiting for a delivery from Essex - more on that later.


Sunday, 1 December 2013

Just Some Quick Notes

My music project has kept me away from painting soldiers - I just hadn't realised for how long.  Coming to the end of it so back to the figures soon - I hope!

Last Monday's fight was Marian Roman v Tamil Indian.  I managed to break one enemy command and my co-consul another.  It wasn't half the army though - so a 7:3 victory only.

A real 'Ancients' night - next to us was an Armati battle between Persians and a 'Triple Alliance' army (what!).  A victory for massed bow fire.

Also being tried out was Impetus in 10mm featuring a Japanese (Samurai) civil war.  Looked like more time was being spent on the rules than playing the game - inevitable I suppose.

At home I solo-ed a 'Conflict at World's End' game between Tupi and Mixtecs.  Even though I had deliberately avoided horses and guns the game was still slow. It got to the stage where the Tupi had no more reserves while the Mixtecs had a third line.  I called it a day.

The 'uncontrolled' moves were ok to start with but caused problems when space was tight:

(a)  falling of the edge of the world - what happens when troops meet the table edge?
(b)  blocked by other (friendly) troops - do they interpenetrate, bounce off or what?

Need to re-read the rules and try again.

With Mars bringing out two new 30 years' Wars Polish boxes perhaps I should get around to building yet another 1/72nd DBA-RRR army.  According to PSR the standard box is a re-working of an earlier set but what the 'Paholki' are I cannot work out.  Maybe I will contact the local Polish community in this area to see if they can throw any light on the subject!

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Be Careful What You Wish For!

Been too tied up with another task to do any blogging lately....or any figure painting for that matter. 

Nevertheless I have manged a couple of DBM games since my last entry.  This Monday's fight was Southern Dynasty Chinese versus Moors.  The enemy managed to site their Vandal Kn(F) allies directly opposite my Reg Bd(F) - Oh! Oh!  The inevitable result was a demolished command - however the Vandals were also knocked out - result 5:5 (draw).

As I put away my soldiers I noticed that the stack in the loft had shifted slightly.  "Best to sort it out before it all falls down with the resultant mayhem", I thought.  Whilst re-positioning and securing I found an old box marked "Meso-Americans".  Inside was my  Aztec 6th Edition (WRG) army  - plus a few others.

A little light went on - could this be my next project?  The top layer was promising with contributions from Tin Soldier, Naismith, MY & Gladiator.  Unfortunately the bottom layer was not so good - 30 bases of very mixed figures like these:

Under 6th Ed Aztecs were a powerful army - high morale, multiple weapons, regular commands.  When 7th (and subsequent WRG rules) came in the Aztecs were transformed into 'no-hopers'.  The nobles became Bd(I) and the followers Hd(S) - Ouch! 

Looks like I tried to find a way to fight with them and failed.  Legend has it that one chap succeeded by hiding his nobles at the back whilst letting the Hd(S) do all the work - not exactly historical!

So now I'm faced with sorting out this little mess and trying to identify some of the figures.  Once I know what I have I can think about the context.   The skirmish rules "Conflict at World's End" quite take my fancy.

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Maya Completed

 Well.....not quite complete actually - I need a further 4 bases of commoners with spears. As I don't intend buying 5 more boxes of Caesar Maya just to get them I will have to raid the 'native reserve'. 

 All Caesar (except the Alligator Knights) 

Front right - Alligator Knights (Revell & Caesar) 
Back right -General's unit (white plumes).

So what's next?

Can't do anything with the Incas until I find the weapons I so carefully cut from the sprues and put away in a 'safe place'.  Also need to figure out how to build a litter for the general.

Recent purchases might give me a push though:

Orion 72013 - Ukrainian Foot Cossaks and Artillery
Orion 72007 - Polish Winged Hussars
Red Box RB72050 - Highland Infantry

I'm also finishing off the last of my Hellenistics. 

Have a feeling I might be looking for a change of scene........

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

The Unexpected Army - Tarascans

With a second tranche of warriors on my painting board I looked at the Maya army list variations. 

For the 'Post Classical Period' DNW wanted 11-31 Commoner Archers.  So basically 55 archers in breechclout needed.  A search through my plastic stocks found nothing suitable nor anything that I could convert in such numbers.

What I did find was some figures in tunics.  So what could I use them for?  An opportunity to dive back into my source books.

Reading about the Tarascans (also called Purempecha, Purepacha, Huacanace & Michoaca) showed soldiers with very short tunics but the text says that they were often longer - aha!  The bulk of them are archers plus some suit-wearers and otomi mercenaries.

 2 x Sh(S) backed up by 2 x Sh(O)

 Atlantic Trojans -the kneeling figure is somewhat larger than the rest

Sh(O) - rather two-dimensional figures

 This core of archers amounts to - 11 x Sh(O) @ 3 ap = 33
                                                      2 x Sh(S) @ 5 ap = 10
From 'stock natives' I can add - 5 x Bd(S) @ 5 ap =  25
                                                 3 x Sk @ 2 ap = 6
So that's 74 points out of 90 taken care of.  I now need to find 3 x Bd(S) Otomi mercenaries.

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Some Progress & New World 'Knights'

No armies actually finished yet but a little progress on the painting front:

7 x 3 Thracian peltasts (Tin Soldier 15mm)
(middle period so no highly patterned tunics but still light colours)

My take on 'Coyote Knights'
(Revell & Caesar 20mm)

A number of New World armies have 'knights' and I wondered who had what?  Going back to my primary source - "Armies of the 16th Century (2) Aztec & Inca Empires" by Ian Heath - I produced a grid for those 'knights' actually mentioned.


Maya Metzotec Tlaxcaltec



Aztec Guatemalan Huaxtecs Mixtec Tlaxcaltec


Aztec Guatemalan Huaxtecs Maya  Mixtec Tlaxcaltec






Seems like the Tlaxcaltecs had the greatest variety and most had both Jaguar & Eagle.  Will need to look at other sources to see if I can add to this table.

Friday, 30 August 2013

Native Question - Part 3

My 'New World' project was in danger of stalling owing to a lack of suitable 20mm / 1:72 figures.  The thought of converting scores (maybe hundreds) of plastics was more than a little daunting.  Any light at the end of the tunnel was, probably, a train coming in the other direction.

Looking at my stocks of painted figures I realised that each 'native' army has a core of dedicated and distinctive figures plus an assortment of extras.  Most have a number of suit-wearers, commoners/militia and allies.

So my new approach involves painting up 'cores' for Maya and Inca armies.  In addition various conversions can be periodically added to my extras box.  It seems like a plan!

New Recruits:

The first 3 figures are bowmen - all the rest are spearmen or swordsmen.

My first attempt at blades - might add shields to some.  
I know cloaks/mantles were normally discarded in battle so a little 'artistic license' has been taken.

Nobles created from various sources including Caesar & Revell Aztecs. 
(The base at left front needs altering/revising).

On another note - just received a box of Caesar Maya and one of Incas.  While they go through chemical processing I will take a look at the various army lists to see what I need.

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Maya Progress

Using Caesar Maya I have completed 9 bases, with 3 more about 90% done.

 My 'army' is now 12 bases strong::
                                                    6 x nobles (spear) - Bd(S) @ 5 ap = 30
                                                    1 x middle rank (spear) - Bd(S) @ 5 ap = 5
                                                    1 x middle rank (sling) - Sh(O) @ 3 ap = 3
                                                    1 x peasant (spear) - Bd(O) @ 3 = 3
                                                    2 x peasant (sling) - Sh(O) @ 3 = 6
                                                    1 x peasant skirmishers (sling) - Sk @ 2 = 2

Even if I could use them all together (which I can't) that's only 49 ap in total.  

So where do I go from here?  The middle rankers can, obviously, be promoted (or demoted) at need and a few Aztec nobles can be co-opted.  This still leaves a big shortfall.  Looks like I'm hitting the books again and giving my bank card a pounding. 

Friday, 16 August 2013

The Native Question - Part 2

I have added to my 'native' bases for DBA in the New World:

back row - slingers & archers (Caesar Aztecs)
front row - slingers & atl atl (conversions)

back row - Canari/Cunti (Incas), bowmen (Arabs) & blades (Aztecs)
front row - bow, slings & more bow (all conversions)

I decided to go for 3 skirmishers or 5 warriors to a square base.  Reasoning that I am only going to use these figures for "DBA in the New World" I thought that this was the best way.

So where do all these 'extras' come from?

 Waterloo 1815 - Dervish Infantry
I noticed that some Meso-American warriors (such as the Anti) had wrap-around breechclouts. 

(1)  Atl Atl - from plastic card & rod plus drawing pin shield
 original - fig 1c (PSR)

(2) Bowman - much trimming - quiver from sprue
original - fig 2a (PSR)

(3) Bowman - treatment as above - original standard-bearer for comparison

 (4) Slinger - sling from wire & putty, shield is a drawing pin head
original - fig 1a (PSR)

Now I need some blades - looking at Libyan warriors for them.
Also started on my Maya - watch this space!

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

The Native Question - Part 1

One of the problems with plastics is the over-supply of chiefs and not enough Indians.  Understandable from the suppliers point of view - the more attractive nobles will have greater appeal to the younger elements of our hobby.

A case in point is Aztecs (Caesar & Revell).  Nothing like enough peasants.  So where do I get enough Spanish auxilliaries from?

 Taken straight from the Caesar Aztec box

HaT Almoravid Arabs - repainted as Indian Auxilliaries

Taken from the Caesar Inca box - feathered spears are typical of Canari 
but the stripes are more Cunti or Colla.

I need at least 3 more stands of Indians for my Spanish in Mexico (or Peru) armies.  They are being worked on at the moment.  Watch this space!

Saturday, 3 August 2013

Spanish Colonial

My first 20mm army for "DBA in the New World". 

5 x Shot - 1 x Lancer (knight) general - 1 gun - 8 x Half-pikes =  90 points

 Decided to put 'regular' shot and bow 4 to a base.  Makes the elements more flexible for other rules systems.  Keeping Lancers/Knights 3 to a base as well.

Still working on the 'native question' so that I can field Conquistador armies.  
 It's also dawning on me just how many Maya or Inca figures I am going to have to paint! 

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Work in Progress - Renaissance Spanish

Well.....after all that analysis I just went on and started painting.  Not just Spanish but a couple of 30YW command bases:

30YW Swedish (Confederate cavalryman), 30YW French (temporary mounted figure) 
and Spanish Colonial.

On my painting table are the following:

16 - Crossbow                                18 - Sword & Buckler                            20 - Muskets   
24 -  Half-pikes                                 8 - Pikes                                                 9 - Indian Bow
15 - Indian Blades                             1 - Gun (plus 3 crew)                              3 - Lancers

Only 4 of the pikes have metal armour - the other four are cloth.  I have decided to allocate the former to a Spanish Imperial army for the Dutch Rebellion period.  The cloth four will become a colonial unit. 

Half-pikes provide an interesting problem.  Given their "Irregular" nature, and the terrain they had to work in, to me they are like Ax(X) in DBM terms so should be 3 to a base. 

(All conversions of musketeers)

Sword & buckler men are an easier decision - surely Bd(F) in DBM terms and therefore 3 to a base.
Muskets - I'm still torn between 3 or 4 to a base (any suggestions?).

Looks like this project is growing in an 'organic' manner in spite of its 'scientific' start.  Next thing to deal with is the 'native' problem.  Oh Well!

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Going Back to the Source

I thought that I would take a look at the original site for 'DBA in the New World' - Steven's Balagan:


...and what did I find:

Element Type Abbreviation Cost
DBA equivalents
Base Size (mm)
No. Figures
Lancer aka Knight Ln 15 3Kn 40 x 40 3
Shooters European ShE 7 3Bw, 4Bw, CB 40 x 20 3-4
Superior ShS 5 4Ax, 3Bw, 4Bw 40 x 40 5-8
Ordinary ShO 3 3Ax, 3Bw 40 x 40 5-8
Blades European BdE 7 3Bd, 4Bd 40 x 20 3-4
Superior BdS 5 4Bd, 3Wb, 4Wb 40 x 40 5-8
Ordinary BdO 3 3Ax, 4Bd, 5Wb 40 x 40 5-8
(i.e. Psiloi)
Sk 2 2Ps 40 x 20 2
Artillery Art 15 Art 40 x 40 1 gun + crew
(i.e. WWg (I) )
Lit 3 Lit 40 x 40 1 litter + crew
Pike Pk 3 4Pk 40 x 20 4
Spear Sp 4 3Sp, 4Sp 40 x 20 4
War dogs (i.e. Warband) Wb 3 3Wb 40 x 40

I also searched for photos - Will McNally's blog provided Conquistadores, Aztec & Maya:


Conquistadores -  standard bases - Shooters & Blades (3), Lancers (2), War dogs (3), Artillery (1)
Aztecs - all on squared bases - Shooters & Blades (5), Skirmishers (3)
Maya - all on squared bases - Blades (4), Skirmishers (3)

The squared bases follow the ideas of Michael Fischer:


Now I need to sit down and compare the evidence before me.

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Sorting Out the New World - Part 2

After a DBR troop type grid I looked at DBA & HOTT:

Depth Troop Type No. per base

80 Artillery 1
30 Auxilia 3 to 4
30 Blades (3 Bd) 3
20 Blades (4 Bd) 4
60 Blades (6 Bd) 6
30 Bows 3 to 4
60 Bows (6 Bw) 6
40 Camelry (3 Cm) 3
30 Camp Followers 2 to 4
40 Cavalry (3 Cv) 3
80 Cavalry (6 Cv) 6
80 Cavalry (Lch) 1
80 Elephants 1
40 Hordes (7 Hd) 7 to 8
40 Knights (3 Kn) 3 to 4
80 Knights (6 Kn) 6
80 Knights (Hch) 1
40 Light Horse (2 Cm) 2
40 Light Horse (2 Lh) 2
20 Pikes (4 Pk) 4
30 Psiloi (2 Ps) 2
80 Scythed Chariots 1
30 Spears (3 Sp) 3
20 Spears (4 Sp) 4
20 Warband (3 Wb) 3
30 Warband (4 Wb) 4
40 Warband (5 Wb) 5 to 6
120 War Wagons (Lit) 5 to 6
120 War Wagons (Wwg) 1

Depth Troop Type No. per base

80 Airboat 1
80 Artillery 1
80 Beasts 2 to 4
80 Behemoth 1 to 4
20 Blades 4
40 Clerics 1 to 3
80 Dragon 1
40 Flyers 1 to 3
40 Hero 1 to 3
60 Hordes 5 to 8
60 God 1
40 Knights 2 to 4
40 Lurkers 1 to 3
80 Magicians 1 to 3
40 Paladin 1 to 3
40 Riders 2 to 3
30 Shooters 4
30 Sneakers 1 to 3
20 Spears 4
30 Warband 3

To be continued .......

Sorting Out the 'New World'.

Looking at my stash of Spanish Renaissance figures I managed to put together a DBA-RRR 1.41 Spanish Colonial army (12 elements).  Painting commenced - then I thought about the 'DBA in the New World' rules set.  Would it be possible to combine the two?

My first step was to look at troop basing.  The listing in the DBR (v1.1) book is in an interesting order so I worked out a grid that I prefered.

  DBR – 25mm scale        Frontage – 60mm

Depth Troop Type No. per base

60 Artillery (I), (F) or (X) 1 to 2
60 Artillery (S) or (O) 1
60 Baggage
30 Blades (S), (O), (F) or (I) 3
20 Blades (not F) – alternative 3
120 Boats (S) or (F) 1
120 Boats (O) or (I) 2 to 4
30 Bows (S) or (O) 3
30 Bows (I) 3
40 Camelry (S) or (O) 2
40 Camelry (F) 1
60 Dragoons 3
80 Elephants 1
120 Galleys 1
40 Hordes 5 to 8
40 Lancers 2
40 Light Horse 1
30 Pikes 4
20 Pikes (alternative) 4
40 Pistols (S),(O) or (I) 3
40 Pistols (F) 2
120 Pontoneers
120 Ships 1
30 Shot 3
40 Sipahis 2
30 Skirmishers 1
30 Warband 3
20 Warband (S) – alternative 3
120 War Wagons 1

Next was to look at the DNW troop definitions:

Camp Followers / BUA  Denizens
Lancers                                       "Knights are simply renamed as Lancers"
Light Horse
Shooters                                    "Treat Shooters as DBA Bows"
War dogs                                   "Warband has only been retained for War Dogs"

European troops - Bd(E) or Sh(E) - 3 or 4 per base [author prefers 3]
Natives - if DBx (3 or 4), author prefers 5 to 8 (as Horde), alternative - 2 x DBx (6 to 8)

To be continued .....