Last evening I finished two units of Sassanid archers - enough figures to make my large 32 figure units into two medium-sized ones of 24 figures, and a separate unit of 12 to tack on the rear rank of a unit of spearmen - I haven't bothered to take photos because they aren't significantly different to the earlier archers. …
These are 28mm Palmyrene light cavalry from A&A Miniatures - modified a bit. The horses are from the Sassanid range, and the shields come from Miniature Design Studios. The idea was to make some Arab light cavalry for my 'Fire in the East' project. They'll most probably fight for the Sassanids, but the Romans had Arab allies, so they might change sides sometimes.
Next up are three units of Sassanid infantry - a unit of spearmen, and two of archers.
Our new rules require a few command figures - to represent the general and his subordinates. I've already done a batch of Roman ones and a couple of Sassanid cavalry commanders, so here are some Sassanid infantry commanders. There are a couple of 'extras' (the chap with the big shield and one of the plainer figures to the right) which will end up commanding two units I'm about to paint - it was easiest to paint them now, because they need more or less the same colour palette as the other command figures, rather than the palette I use for levies.
The rules have, at last, got a working title: "AVGVSTVS to AVRELIAN". I'd been pondering a title for ages, and getting nowhere fast. And then I was thinking about the period they covered, and realised that the period runs roughly from Augustus to Aurelian, and then I realised that those two names were alliterative. We'll probably add a sub-title or strap-line, along the lines of 'Miniature Wargaming during the Roman Principate'.
Here are the pieces of terrain I've been working on. Sorry, the camera flash makes them look a bit 'flat' - they're better in the flesh. One patch of soft sand dunes, two small patches of rocky ground, and one area of scrubby 'rough going'. They are, perhaps, going to be a bit tricky to balance stands of figures on, but anyone with any sense will skirt round them unless they really need to go through.
This week's project is to make some 'patches' of desert terrain to go on top of my terrain cloth. I'm getting remarkably sensible in my old age too - on Saturday I bought a 'Really Useful Box' and I'm going to make the terrain bases so they actually fit in it!
So, what to make? I'm going to start off with three irregularly roundish shaped bits of 4mm thick MDF and turn one into an area of 'rough' ground - mainly boulders, with a bit of scrub; another will be mostly scrub; an area of soft sand. …
The World Cup has started. My lad, despite being rugby mad and not really liking football, seems to have been caught up in the excitement, so watched the first game. My daughter too. I retired to the kitchen to cook the dinner. Football leaves me cold. So, rest assured, if you want to get away from the footy, I shan't be mentioning it again. …
Here is my latest cohort of Romans. I decided I needed a unit set up for skirmishing, so I used A&A Miniatures' 'Unarmoured Lanciarii'. I'm not really sure what Lanciarii were (and I don't think anyone else really knows either!), but the figures seem to 'work' as skirmishers. I might do another unit of skirmshers yet - but armoured this time - as I've still got enough spare figures for another cohort!
Next up is either some more Sassanid infantry, or some markers or tokens for the rules we're writing - we need to be able to mark 'disordered' and 'shaken' units. Something like abandoned shields or weapons should suffice, whilst not detracting too much from the 'look' of the game. I also need to bash out some more bits of scenery.
Warlord Games have just released some more Early Imperial Roman cavalry - with spears this time. They're slightly different from the original ones, the helmets are of slightly later designs and, obviously, they have spears instead of swords; the standard is different too.
I don't really need another unit of cavalry, so I'm going to change the shields (these are only blue-tacked in place), and add six of them to the cavalry I already have to make a proper quingenary ala (at the moment there are only ten in the original unit). Another four will be get shields the same as one of my infantry cohorts, which will become a cohors equitata (mixed, part-mounted, cohort). That leaves two, which may well become dispatch riders - I just need to find a couple of feathers to add to their spears.
Following an exchange of emails with Tricks and Laurence, organisers of the Partizan shows at Kelham Hall, Newark, it appears that I shall probably be putting on a game at this year's 'Other Partizan' on 5th September. It'll involve Sassanids, 3rd Century Romans and the rules Col and I are writing.
Today Anna, my daughter, and I went up to Hadrian's Wall to spend a few hours walking with Tony Riches and his agent Robin Wade on their charity march along the Wall. They're raising money for 'Help for Heroes' - please visit Tony's charity page here for more information. So far the walk has raised £1,734 - it would be great if, by the time they've finished, the total had topped £2,000. The photo shows our Heroes (Tony on the left as we look at them) in the vicus just by the south gate of Housesteads fort. They're wearing modern boots because the reproduction boots reenactors wear aren't strong enough to stand up to the punishment - the ones they bought fell apart during training.