Monday, 23 October 2017

Ruspina 46 BCE

"Caesar once again returned to the town of Ruspina, drew up his camp there, and then set out himself with thirty cohorts in light order to forage."

Yesterday I ran an extended version of the Ruspina 46 BCE battle that is one of my favourite ancient engagements. NB all photos are clickable! 

Below are the massed Numidian cavalry, thaaaasands of them (well, 120).



The miniatures are almost all Foundry Numidians or Caesarians, with a degree of admixture of Crusader and conversions from other ranges. 


Above, lines of grim-faced legionaries. Below Caesar surveys the situation. In To the Strongest! terms he is a brilliant general, and very handy, too!
  


More Numidians, above and below.



Above, I based some palms with the minis, just for fun. Below, you can see how well the BatBases blend in with the Sagebrush Steppe design mat. Look- no straight lines!


We played the first part of the battle, twice, with novice players; everyone seemed to have fun, especially the kids, one of whom played for the third year in a row. SELWG is always a fun show! Huge thanks to chum Ian for the beautiful photography and to Mike Brian and his son Alex, and Robert, for helping with setup, and to the SELWGers. Thanks also to Foundry for the nellie and hippo and 1st Corps for all the sheep!  :-)

PS We have one place left on Saturday for a rerun of the battle at the Wargames Holiday Centre, near Basingstoke,; I'm also running the battle of Gaza with Demetrius Poliocretes, elephants and a forest of pikes.  If you are free drop me a line, i believe the day's gaming costs £75.

Friday, 20 October 2017

Out of Africa(ns)


With the above Numidians based, I have finally have as many as I anticipate needing for the foreseeable futire.... These minis, mostly lovely Wargames Foundry from the Caesarians range, bring me to a total of 120 light horse which should be enough for most battles, even those battles where both sides had Numidian cavalry, such as Zama.The minis were painted by Shaun McTague and finished by me; the bases are my famous Batbases.

I'll be running the big Ruspina game at SELWG on Sunday  and we'll see how they do! If you are coming and want to play, please drop me a line. I won't be selling anything at SELWG, but if anyone wants to order things from the BigRedbatShop by, say, 6PM on Saturday, I can bring them along for collection and refund your postage.

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Announcing the 2018 To the Strongest Worlds!

The fourth "To the Strongest!" World Championships will take place in the village of Chalgrove in Oxfordshire on Saturday 24th February 2018. We believe that "Worlds" is the largest big-battle ancient/medieval tournament in, well, the world. This year we hope to have 50 players from at least four countries who will each fight four battles using 28mm figures, to establish who is the World’s Strongest! 


The atmosphere is more good-natured than competitive; that said, the competition for the wooden spoon can be fierce. ;-) If you'd like to throw your hat in the ring, you can pick an ancient or medieval army from any of the 178 official "To the Strongest!" ancient and medieval lists, up to 130 points. If the list for your favourite 28mm historical army isn't already written, let me know and I will write the list for you. If you don't have a suitable 28mm army, I may be able to lend you one.


There will be prizes for the winner, the best army, the best camp and for sportsmanship, amongst others- and, of course, the wooden spoon. The cost of entry is £9 (includes tea/coffee and biscuits). 


To register, please email steve.dover (at) 3dsystems (dot) com. Steve will send you out a template to enter your army. Please don't wait too long, as there are fewer than twenty places remaining.


I hope to see you in Chalgrove in February!

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

With Ruspina to SELWG!

The annual SELWG show (Crystal Palace on Sunday week) is now just ten days away and I'll be putting on a rather grand game of To the Strongest!

Ruspina is one of Caesar's less well known battles, but one of my favourites because the great man came within a whisker of defeat. It is also an asymmetrical battle, with legionaries matched against masses of light troops. Here are some shots of the game as run earlier this year at the Wargames Holiday Centre; I hope to have a couple more units finished by Sunday week. All photos are clickable!


There will be Romans, Caesar and baggage...


...there will be elephants... savage Germans and proud Pompeians....


...and probably more Numidians than you will ever have seen on a gaming table!


If you are coming and want to play or help or both, please mail me or post in comments!

Saturday, 7 October 2017

Mea culpa...

...mea maxima culpa- it has been six weeks since my last blog post in the BigRedBatCave! 

I have been posting on my new ECW blog, For King nd Parliament, but writing and modelling time has temporarily cut across my ancients posting. I shall see if I can remedy that.... in the meanwhile, here are some lovely Caesarian Romans that Andrés Amián Fernández very generously gifted to me earlier this year. There are some fine painters out there but none who are better at hand-painted shields. The minis are Warlord Caesarian plastics and metals- the photo is clickable. They make my other Romans look shabby!


In other news... in the BigRedBatShop  have some gaming cloths on sale this week- mostly gridded, some ungridded. If you need a cheap cloth, you can find them here!

Friday, 25 August 2017

Leuctra at Partizan

Hi all, I'm still playing catch up after Partizan but here are a couple of photos of the game, taken by chum Ian Notter.


Above is the Spartan deployment- that's Cleombrotos I at the start of the battle. 

Below is the Theban extra-deep phalanx. The speed of the Theban advance in the first game was astonishing (hilariously the new pack of cards they were using for activations wasn't completely shuffled and they played the 6, 7 and the 8 of Hearts in a row, advancing straight into melee and clobbering the Spartans).


In both games Epaminondas' phalanx got off to a cracking start, but narrowly failed to break the opposing Spartans and was pushed back, disordered. In the second game it was routed. Despite this, both games eventually ended in extremely narrow Theban victories due to their superior cavalry (and in particular a large unit of very scruffy raw light cavalry) getting behind the Spartans and causing mayhem. Next week, when I have the time, I'll post the scenario in the BigRedBatShop for downloading; it's a cracker!

A huge thank you to Ian, Andrew Brentnall, Simon Williams, Phil Hamer and all those who helped, played or dropped by for a chat! It was a very enjoyable day at a terrific show. We were surrounded by lovely games with astonishing modelling- but I don't think any games were played by more people or with more good-natured enthusiasm than was ours.

Friday, 18 August 2017

Mega phalanx 4

Here are a couple of WIP shots of the Theban phalanx for Sunday. This will represent the very deep Theban phalanx used at Leuctra. 


The bases are only part painted and also need to be flocked, but should be finished today/tomorrow in time for the show on Sunday. I'm very much looking forward to Partizan, especially as I want to see the stunning Crecy game that David Imrie and Simon Chick have been working on.


In other news, for "To the Strongest!" fans... I've just released a revised version of Even Stronger- this free supplement  includes additional rules that can be used with the To the Strongest! rules. This latest version includes changes to combined light troops, who may now charge formed troops regardless of how they are armed. I have re-written the light lance rule. There are extra sections on ammunition (including a very important change regarding lances and shock and lance chits) and extra weapons. Supported cavalry have become deep units. Artillery have had a boost with a new type – Artillery (field gun), and these and bombards are now very effective against dense targets.

The free supplement can be downloaded from:-

https://bigredbatshop.co.uk/products/to-the-strongest-even-stronger-updated-24-3-2017