Assyrian army

Assyrian army

Thursday, 30 August 2018

Some Garrison Parthian cataphracts

Though they'll do as Seleucid, Sassanid, Late Roman and anyone else that used cataphracts...

A couple of years ago I modified the Sarmation cataphract by removing the bow case and replacing it with a sword or mace. The intention at the time was to use them in my Seleucid army and I painted up 4 figures to see how they looked. Roll forward a couple of years to now and I've just finished another 16 to enable me to cover the cataphracts needed for a DBA Parthian army.

Comparing the two it's easy to see that my present batch has been painted to a far simpler standard than the originals - for example, armour plain chain mail rather than chain mail dry brushed over a black base.

This picture and the next clearly show the difference in painting style!

At some stage soon I'll do a second unit - the figures are just sitting there at the moment and looking at me...

My first Stalin?

Possibly, possibly not. If so it dates back to the mid or late 60s.

In favour, it's unpainted and has the original transfers. Back then I tended to paint everything - so an unpainted tank must be early. Add to that the fact I didn't use Stalin 3s - usually they got converted to Stalin 2s or KVs...

Against are the tracks. Did Airfix back then make black tracks or were they all that silver grey colour?

So, I like to think that this was one of the first tanks I made, but have to admit there are doubts.

Wednesday, 29 August 2018

The Russians are Coming!

Actually they've all been around for quite a while, it's just that I've only now started to get them together and sorted a bit.

Basically all I've done is spray them all olive green... and that's it. As they come from lots of different sources and manufacturers - and a couple of different scales - they're a bit of a mixed bunch. Frankly, regarding size differences, 45 years ago I would have been horrified. Today? They're toy soldiers for playing with... I know, it's sad, isn't it. Back then I used to agonise over mixing manufacturers and worrying about 1/76th or 1/72nd. Now, well, some of these are bigger than that.
The current force - sure I'll find more lying around at some stage.

Not sure of manufacturers - front one Airfix? back one Frontline?

Should have compared 3 here - front one old Airfix polypropylene toys with the hollow bases and little wheels inside, back one unknown plastic.

This T34/85 should have been in the above picture, instead I put it next to a Frontline T34/76. The bigger one is a die cast model and more 28mm. Not sure if it was one from the Works - probably.

The SU100 is definitely from the Works, The SU85 is Frontline.

Lastly 2 metal light tanks - either T60 or T70, can't remember. Likewise, can't remember who made them.
So, that's the nominal 20mm Russian tank force - at some stage I'll start putting it together in organised units. Not sure when of course.

Wednesday, 22 August 2018

Apocryphal Well endgame

So, to cut a very long story shorter, by the end of move 12 each side was getting the upper hand on their left flanks with the Egyptians winning in the centre. 12 moves being deemed a 'day', at the end of it both sides pulled back and (of course) claimed a great victory.
Clear view of the Assyrians starting to dominate to the right of the oasis - but still a lot of opposition to overcome.

While on the other flank Assyrian resistance is nearly at an end - though the Egyptian general is looking a lot more exposed than his Assyrian counterpart.

With the Assyrians losing 15 elements and the Egyptians losing 14 honours were pretty much even in this area.

So, things I think come out of this:

Too crowded - needed to have smaller forces on each side for this scenario. It didn't work as well as it should have.
Element based meant that unit fragmentation wasn't taken into account - to a certain extent the battle fell between two stools and needed some way of sorting this.
Lack of ranged archery - really, it would have been more satisfying to have distance fire rather than everything down as part of hand-to-hand combat. Perhaps not for smaller battles, certainly for this type I think I'll 're-introduce' distance firing.

I'm certainly going to use distance rules in my next battle... currently sorting out troops for Thymbra. Cyrus the Great versus Croseus, involving all those Persian battle carts, camels with howdahs and scythed chariots I made...

Monday, 20 August 2018

Apocryphal Well moves 7-9

Around this point trying to follow what's left of the original game seems pointless. In broad terms, the Egyptians are staring to push the Assyrians back in most of the centre, while both are starting to win on their extreme left flanks...

These 2 pictures show the situation at the start of Move 7

Egyptian right are starting to outflank the Assyrian heavy cavalry.

The centre is getting to be a bit of a slugfest as the Egyptian infantry gradually push forward...

... the chariots keep getting knocked back. Time to leave the centre - not much happening picture-wise.

The right Assyrian light cavalry are feeling a bit outgunned...

So the Assyrian heavy cavalry are involved in a bit of a stand-off...

So the Assyrian heavy cavalry are involved in a bit of a stand-off...

But the general is about to get involved.

On the other flank...

Assyrian cavalry showing the strain, Egyptian chariots not making much progress

And the right flank Assyrians are about to leave.

At the end of move 9 the casualties are starting to mount.

Early PB catalogue lists - 101+

When the PB ranges first came out they were a bit - confusing. Firstly, the Macedonian and Punic Wars figures are actually S Range. When first issued they came with an s tagged on the end of the code. Then, when the Imperial Rome range came out they simply continued from PB101 - but without the s. Later, the PB101+ figures were re badged as IR - but the codes didn't all tally with the 101 series - the IR series was quite a remodelling job.

So... saw some figures on EBay where the seller couldn't find the codes - early PB101+.  It seems to me it might be useful to have those 101+ listings available somewhere so I'm putting them on the Pages part of the blog. Meanwhile they're here as well.

Sunday, 19 August 2018

Apocryphal Well moves 4-6

Which covers the first picture in the book and the first contacts in the game. Which means I'm going to have to do some typing...

This is how they should be at Move 5....

Which is not exactly how it has worked out.

Move 6 and lots of contacts. The combat factors used are basically DBA as are the results of combat .

Egyptian right the Assyrian heavies have contacted the Egyptian infantry.

Moving towards the centre the Egyptians spears have contacted the Assyrian Bw but not the Assyrian Ax.

The Egyptians have also hit the Ax and Bw on the Egyptian centre left.

Meanwhile the Egyptian Ax are heading for the Right flank Assyrian LH.

So.... Results... the Assyrian heavy cavalry are doing well.

These archers aren't.

Nor are the Assyrian Ax and Bw on their centre right.

Leaving this situation at the end of Move 6. The Assyrians have lost 6 elements, the Egyptians 4.

Apocryphal Well Moves 1-3.

The first thing that becomes obvious is that changing the well and hills to an oasis makes a big difference. The next thing is that the table isn't wide enough to allow for the various outflanking moves. So, perhaps another attempt at some time using smaller forces.

One thing - a lot easier sorting the photos out. Question, though - does it detract from either the pictures or the story?

 I think I'll just let  the pictures tell their own story.

As it stands, the first pictured move in The Ancient Wargame is Move 5. At that point there has been a lot of manoeuvring  that is simply proving impossible here. So, turning into a completely different battle even at this point. 

Still, see how later moves go.