Friday, 5 March 2010

And now for something completely different

The View from the Howdah
Something for a bit of a change, previously unseen on this blog; Ancients!
I went to see John a couple of weeks ago and gave him a small gift of a big piece of bunny-fur for him to experiment with. While it was rolled out on his table and we were discussing it's possibilities we thought it looked just right even unpainted for trying out his latest mini-project (mini by John's standards) of Romans and Carthaginians in 54mm.
He has had the Carthaginians for a while but recently took some time out from his world of 1/35th WWII in order to produce some Roman opponents. He reckons it took him about 3 months for a DBA army. Here are some of the results
The Battle opens: Cavalry skirmish on the flank. Warbands advance in the centre 
Most of the figures are from HaT models, with a few conversions, notably the Elephants and the cavalry, spears are all replaced by steel versions. All these figures are John's work, 54mm (naturally) and very fine they are too, he thinks the whole lot might have cost about £50...cheaper than 25mm metals.
We played the game effectively on a 9' b 5' which gave ample room.
The lines close: Legionaries duke it out with spearmen and auxilaries
While Ancients is a world I enjoy visiting, I wouldn't want to live there, if you know what I mean.
I've had plenty of ancient armies over the years but its not really my thing deep down. Having said that, I really enjoy simple Ancients games like DBA. No frills, quick, just pure tactics.
The game we played was a great example, a little hesitency on my part almost lost me the game, and John capitalised. We eventually closed, and he managed to destroy 4 of my elements to my 2.This meant a win for Carthage. We decided to play out the remainder of the turn. There were only 2 combats remaining. I would have to win and destroy the enemy in both of them in order to gain a draw. This I duly did! Thats my kind of game, down to the last throw of the dice. Its what wargames should be about.
The final turn: sticky time for the Romans
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Anonymous said...

Great looking game. 54mm elephants, now that is a thought!


Anonymous said...

I can't believe that you post this -- I have been thinking of doing exactly this kind of project. HaT plastics offer basically everything one would need for the Punic wars. The Romans are not great, but some of the later releases are superb, like the Spanish and Gallic types. Their website has pictures of all the figures. My only hesitation is the soft plastic issue, but the primers for plastic seem to work well and I suppose that the bigger 54s would hold up quite well.

I suspect the elephants are not conversions of 'zoo' set elephants, are they? HaT elephants look, well, less menacing.

Thanks for posting this. Now get back to Napoleonics! Or tell us about Gerry's WWII rules : )

DeanM said...

Wow! Those are HaT plastics - amazing. The phalangites in chain mail look particularly awesome. Dean

Neil said...

Inspirational work. I have been looking at 54mm sites since I saw your post. I wonder if there is an alternative to DBM without too many elements.

Yori said...

I like the photo with view from howdah. Really amazing! Congratulations!

Doc Smith said...

Cor Blimey! They don't look 'alf bad! I confess to not being that impressed with the smaller scale HaT figures and I read the posts on their latest Napoleonic release of Legere on Scott MacPhee's blog ( and I have to say they have improved. Not anywhere up to Perry's or even Front Rank - but quite decent figures that look good en masse.

Thanks for posting these HaT ancients - they look very impressive. They're certainly well painted and based (love the 'view from the howdah' shot with mad Marius attacking the elephant!) The plastic used in HaT's Napoleonic 1/32nd scale is a harder variety - I hope its the same for these Ancients.

Now you've really done it - I'm going to fixate on these bloody things and start thinking about how I'm going to start collecting another Ancients army!


Anonymous said...

Excellently done, I note there are some labels on the back of each base? Also, do you know the basing sizes that were used? They seem to be larger than just doubling the 25mm DBA standard since the figure count is increased per base....a nice thing. John in US

Unknown said...

In DBA, you don't count the elements until the end of a turn.
And, if you have both lost 4 elements, then the game continues until someone has lost more than the other.

Great pics, great armies.