Friday, April 30, 2010

Now I've done it.....

The DBMM Yahoo groups has seen a bit of traffic recently on the upcoming release of DBMM 2.0 Don't get too excited as there is nothing graven in stone yet. However, given some of the criticisms of promotion efforts in the past and plans for the future, I put my foot in it and said "Why don't we as players go ahead and do our own promotion?" And that means - now I have to do something. Stay tuned for future updates.

Monday, April 26, 2010

DBMP - De Bellis Magistrorum Phantasium

Marc and I have decided to put HotT and DBMM into the blender and see what comes out. We have played a little of each and like the fantasy trappings of HotT but like the extra detail DBMM allows in terms of movement and complexity as well as the removal of geometric kill problems.

I think really Marc just wants Goblins(S) to put on the board. We'll keep you posted here.

It looks like HotT and DBA will have new editions later this year. So DBMP goes on the back burner for now. It's more fun to play than reinvent the wheel.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

DBMM 100 Ancient Briton List

Based on the DBM Ancient British list, this is a possible army list for DBMM100:
Troop TypeCost Per Element in APME Per ElementNumber of ElementsTotal Cost of Elements ME
C-in-C Irr Wb(S) 5 4 1 5 4
Cavalry - Irr LH (O) 51 2 10 2
Foot warriors - Irr Wb (F) 31/2 16 48 8
Slingers - Irr Ps (O) 21/2 6 12 3
Chariots - Irr Cv (O) 61 4 24 4
Disheartened: 15 1/2           Defeated: 10 1/2

The slingers will screen the main force, attempt to break up the enemy line and retire through the main force as they are able. The CinC will keep the warband in check from the back rank until they can be released. He will then hang back to plug any holes. My standard formation for the main body will be a block 6 wide and 2 deep with 2 extra elements in column on each wing for easy expansion or in a third rank with the CinC as a reserve force along with any surviving Ps.

The Lh will take one wing and the Chariots the other. The Lh will carry out the usual flank protection and harassment duties. The chariots will attempt a flanking move and if prudent will dismount as Wb(S) per the list once pips become available after the main body goes impetuous.

Well, that's the plan anyway.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Done (almost)

This morning I epoxied down my last chariot model leaving only a handful of singeltons rattling around the leadpile. There is some base painting to do and a lot of flocking but otherwise all my lead is in a playable state.

The forces to hand:

  • 22 Warband Fast. I have them as Britons though they could be any generic Celts
  • 11 Pike Fast. Some new Welsh spear along with some very old Picts. They can be mixed in with the warband or used as a pike block. I'm looking forward to experimenting with the Pk(F)'s unusual characteristics. Heavy spear who waltz through bad terrain - I like it.
  • 6 Slingers. Mostly used by southern British tribes and graded an un-inspiring Ps(O), I became very fond of these guys while painting them up and gave them all woad tattoos. I have a premonition they will be interesting if not necessarily very effective.
  • 5 Light horse (O). My "comtemptable little ponies". Two are actually Welsh but they'll pass in a pinch.
  • 6 Chariots as Cv(O). Four are from the old pack and represent line chariots. Two are pretty little models from Essex and carry the Battersea shield command figures mentioned earlier. A third general remains on foot for the moment.
  • 4 Warband (S). Three are general stands painted to act either as foot commands or as dismounts for the chariot generals. The fourth is an old stand of naked crazy Celts. I'm not sure about the generals. Superior makes sense historically with all the affluent hostage king's sons clustered into one command but they will not be able to keep up with the fast warband. I expect command and control issues if I am not careful.
  • 2 Javlineers. Graded as psiloi(I), these are DBA level filler for some lists. Made from Wb(F) with the centre figure removed after the Great Pict Pike Rebasing, they may return as Wb(F) command groups given the number of Battersea Generals I still have. This would allow me to dismount the chariots as Fast or Superior.
And that's the lot. Enough for DBMM 200, 100 or DBA using British, Scots/Irish, Caledonian or Pict lists. I really need more chariots for everyone and foot archers for the Picts but I'm off to a good start.

Saturday, April 17, 2010


Ok - I'm cheap I admit it. I have been holding off on buying the DBMM army lists because I have a perfectly good set of DBM lists.While my intent is to play primarily Ancient Britons, the old pack of miniatures I am refurbishing also contained a Pict option and I have acquired a handful of new Essex Welsh spear who could pass as well. Under DBM, the Pictish spear were graded Irr Ax(X) a grading that does not exist in DBMM. So off I go to the errata in the 1.0 DBMM rules looking for an update. Naturally I find that Ax(X) are now Pk(F).

When last I based them, I wanted to keep a generic warband feel so I liberally mixed the round and square shield Pict spears in with javelin and sword armed figures thinking that irregular auxilia could be a mix of types. Now pike, at least to me, are a different beast with spear men standing close together presenting a hedge of points to the rampaging horse - an image not well supported by one spear on a base with two javelin. So, off the bases come the spears to be re-mounted as spear only groups. Thank the gods the base depth and width didn't change. These new all spear groups should still be usable as warband when sprinkled into a larger formation.

Now where's my glue gone?

Thursday, April 15, 2010

200 points

With most of my remaining warband based up last night, I can just make 200 points worth of Britons if I put every piece of 15mm lead I own on the board. The distribution of troop type is off but I won't let that bother me.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Another night of HotT

Marc came over last night for a "quick" gaming fix.

Game 1

The first matchup was the one we used previously. Goblins with beasts on his right, riders on his left and a warband general centre supporting a line of hordes. I was defending and responded with the stronghold centre covered by two artillery out front. On my left was a 2 column block of blade supported by warcart knights and a hero general.

The goblins advanced rapidly on the flanks using the mounted and more slowly in the centre. I played a waiting game, expanding one column of blade out to the left to face the beasts while moving my hero out to my left as well. The knights went out to my right with an eye to going after the gobbo general. The goblin mounted moved up. On my left I was able to get the beasts entangled with my axemen then kill them with the hero. On the right, I pivoted my rock twangers to face the goblin riders advancing in column. Shooting was ineffectual beyond recoiling the riders, but when we go into hand to hand, the artillery crews shone, beating back the wolf-riders several times before succumbing. The riders continued on to attack my Stronghold.

While the fight against the goblin mounted was underway, my knights crushed the horde in front of the general, pushed him back and disrupted the horde line before dying in double overlap at the gobbo general's feet. I really need to get another couple of bases worth of warcarts. With the beasts gone and my hero on the flank, the goblin horde line started to fall. It didn't hurt that in an attack by my hero against a horde with a hard flank from a blade,  I failed and both elements were repulsed. The goblin riders had little luck with their attack on the stronghold due to poor pips and one died. Poor pips were a problem in general for the goblins with hard choices required between keeping his attacks going and bringing back on horde. In the end I was able to kill enough to end the game.

Game 2

Again I was defending. Marc went for a goblin magic user as his general this time retaining pretty much the same forces and disposition as before. I in turn ditched the artillery and replace them with an extra blade and an another hero and used my knights as general. I set up more centrally this time in an inverted U with a hero at the back of each arm. I liked the block formation I had used in the first game but it didn't exapnd as quickly as I wiould have liked so I went with the U instead.

My intent was to use the two heros to split the fire of the magician. Marc wasn't playing that game however. He rolled very well for pips initally and was able to move his whole force forward quickly. I did some wing expansion and threw the heroes out as flank support. There was much measuring in the mid-game while Marc and I figured out firing ranges for the magician - he was the first one either of us had used. In time I figured I had better get stuck in and pushed my blade line forward. The heroes kept the flank cavalry busy, the knight general waffled about in the end zone and the silver line of steel ground forward. Marc sniped at the line doing little damage but forcing me to spend the pips to keep it dressed. Marc's early success with the pip die betrayed him in combat.  I lost a hero to his depleted rider force, kept his beasts busy with the other and finally managed to contact his horde line. A judicious choice of combat order, some good rolling on my part and dice betrayal for Marc lead to a double flank attack on the wizard and down he went taking the game with him.

Despite my inadequate descriptions, they were a pair of close fought games each with some nail biting moments. A good night of gaming fun.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Painting and Basing

The 39 odd 15mm ancients I now have based up are due to a need to work out a triplet of British chariot generals. Under DBx, chariots  Cv(O) can dismount as Wb(O) or in the case of the Britons, Wb(F) with chariot general Cv(S) dismounting as Wb(S). The Britons, Scots/Irish and Caledonian lists all have chariot generals, so I thought that getting the mounted and dismounted pairs based up was a good place to start.

In my purchase from George, I acquired a largish number of figures with the Battersea shield - a singular ceremonial artifact. Some were armed with spear and some with sword. Beautiful figures for sure but it's rather like having a handful of Napoleons at a Waterloo battle. I took three pairs and painted each pair identically. The sword armed for the foot commands and the spear to go in the chariots. I based up the foot commands as Wb(S). Getting four figures onto the 15mm deep DBMM bases involved some careful figure selection. I use five minute epoxy for final basing mostly because it's what I have and secondly because it is very solid bond yet will peel off if I need to re-base. I made up too much and scrambled to select the best of the remaining painted figures and base them up as well. I now have very nearly a DBA's worth of based warband. That left the chariot generals.

My four current chariots are Minifig - I think - and not wide enough to handle the Essex generals. This leaves me with two unpainted Essex chariots to work on and another to purchase. Oh. Dear.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Future plans

Marc and I had a great game of Hordes of the Things the other day. My freshly painted dwarves managed to squash his flat goblins though we made a couple of mistakes with the rules.

We like the HotT rules but I at least find it a bit of a bother keeping HotT, DBA and DBMM in their respective rules boxes. This threw us off in our game because the HotT 1 rules don't appear to specifically disallow multiple moves per unit per turn so we had Goblins and Dwarves flying across the board using the equivalent of DBMM march moves.

While looking for something a little more complex than HotT, I came across Luke Ueda-Sarson's Middle-Earth Army Lists for DBM. He has done some great work on these lists and they should be adaptable for DBMM. Marc and I would like a little more magic without getting to the Warhammer level. - Stay Tuned

While poking around for more HotT information, I came across Alan Saunders wargaming page. A great resource for a number of games and periods, it features a set of quick play gladiatorial combat rules:  Munera Sine Missione. So gladiators go into the pile of games to play (Nothing to do with Spartacus Blood and Sand featuring Lucy Lawless aka Xena in the all together).

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

A Cunning Plan - 6mm Baccus Dwarves

A week before the Easter break, I received my battle pack of dwarves from  Baccus6mm. Based on our usually busy schedule, I calculated I had enough time to get them painted for a HOTT game I had planned for Easter Monday unbeknownst to my opponent, Marc.

The minis themselves were crisply molded with very little flash but some strips had large sprues on the bases. These were easily taken care of with a coarse file. The alloy itself is what I would call "medium". Much harder than the old lead minis, a bit harder than my Essex 15's but not as hard as the alloy used by Corvus Belli. This gives the dwarves a good weight for their size and makes them very robust. The only area of concern was the command strip standard poles which are very thin and will probably need to be replaced with a plastic bristle or dress makers pin in the future. The only assembly required was for the war carts which went together with some 5 minute epoxy. Cyanoacrylate / super glue would have worked as well if not better but I would have wanted to use a gap filling variety.

Painting was straight forward but more time consuming than I expected. I mounted all the strips onto painting sticks using generic Blu-Tack. I find this is much easier for repositioning and removing the figures than white glue or hot glue and is reusable even if painted. While some of the bigger 15's can be a bit heavy for this method, the tiny 6mm strips weren't going anywhere.

Priming was done with grey generic automotive primer. I didn't hit every nook and cranny but then I have only recently started using a primer coat at all. My painting technique is best described as dab and flow. More or less following the painting guide on the Baccus site, I started with an overall coat of Tamiya aluminum. No particular reason for Tamiya other than it hadn't dried up in the 20 years since I last painted any minis. This was followed by dabbing on GW elf flesh on all the faces and hands.

Once the main colours had dried it was onto the beards and hair. With silver armour and helmets, this is one of the few places to easily add colour. The hair and beard pass was followed by another for weapon shafts, weapons and shields. Now this sounds straight forward but in fact each new pass revealed some bit I had missed in the previous pass. So working on the hair revealed any number of helmets in primer grey requiring touch up and colouring in the shields exposed where beard colour was smeared over armour - and more touch ups. The paints used were a mixture of acrylic craft paint (cheap) Tamiya (on hand), GW (my wife's) and one bottle of Vallejo which was beautiful to work with.

One of the saving graces was the presence of a number of artillery models, the war carts and single hero figures. Just when frustration set in with the mass painting, I could take a break and do a single model 15mm style.

One of the final things to do was to go over the boots, touching each with one of several browns or black. Then onto basing. Since we were to be playing HOTT, I based them up 15mm deep as Blades. Over this went a wash of wrought iron as I will be "flocking" with coal and stone. Remember all those boots I painted? - all gone under the wash and given the narrow space between the two ranks, much of the detail on the back of the front rank and front of the back rank is now lost in shadow.

Final thoughts, The Baccus dwarves are very nice figures and look great en masse. My painting technique needs to be further simplified to avoid wasting time on things that won't be seen.