comments 2

Virtus 2018- the full and official list of armies

The tickets are now available from Firestorm Games. Once you have chosen your army please email me, preferably using Army Builder.  I shall forward my email to you once I see that you have bought a ticket from the Firestorm Events site. The deadline for lists is the 25th November but I shall send out regular updates as we come nearer to the competition.

VIRTUS 2018 – Early Classical Period (650 BC to 104 BC inclusive) – 200 points and 28mm scale (please note: Chris Jackson!)

Armies can be selected from the following army lists only:
no Ancient Period armies
38 Early Macedonian
39 Alexandrian Macedonian
40 Alexander the Great
41 Early Successors
42 Seleucid
43 Ptolemaic (only pre- 54BC options)
44 Pyrrhic
45 Later Macedonian
46 Graeco-Bactrian and Graeco-Indian
47 Italian Tribes
48 Etruscan
49 Tullian Roman
50 Syracusan
51 Campanian, Lucanian, Appullian and Bruttian
52 Camillan Roman
53 Republican Roman (no Marius)
54 Early Carthaginian
55 Carthaginian
56 Numidian (pre-55BC options only)
57 Saitic Egyptian
58 Cyrenian Greek
59 Meroitic Kushite
60 Classical Greek
61 Hellenistic Greek
62 Illyrian
63 Thracian
64 Achaemenid Persians
65 Lydians
66 Lycians
67 Bithyneans
68 Later Achaemenid Persians
69 Cappadocians
70 Bosphoran Kingdoms (pre 41AD options only)
71 Armenian (no Tigranes the Great options)
72 Galatian (pre 62BC options only)
73 Pergamon
74 Aramaean
75 Early Arab
76 Scythian
77 Sarmatian (no Roxolani options)
78 Vietnamese (pre 200AD options)
79 Classical Indian (no Guptas)
80 Warring States
81 Ch’iang and Ti (no Ch’in Kingdom options)
88 Gallic (but no Ariovistus German allies)
89 Ancient Spanish (no Sertorian option)
90 German (no Arminius option or Sarmatian cavalry);
102 Parthian (no Suren-Indo-Parthian Kingdom)
103 Judean Jewish (but only the Maccabean & Hasmonean – no “United Front of Judea”);
104 Commagene
105 Mithridatic (pre 84BC)
107 Kushan (no Indian troops);
116 Hsiung-Nu (no Southern Hsiung-Nu)
117 Han Chinese
121 Tamil Indian (no Chola)
Allies can only be selected from armies within the above list or allies specific to them. Our thanks as always to Mr. Mark Fry for his knowledge and organisational ability! Remember, tickets  are available from Firestorm Games- events page ( historical). But, they are selling fast and once we have filled the hall, that is it. Four years old and looking forward to the best event yet!

On behalf of the Tercio Executive Organising Authority.


comments 5

Saga II – The Fairer Sax

It was time for a first run-out for my newly painted Saxons. I’d painted two points of SAGA warriors and two hearthguard. My gallant opponent Chris lent me another points worth of levy archers and another points worth of select fyrd. Elite heavy infantry would make the Northmen rue the day they landed. I should have been more circumspect when Chris Kristoffson brought five points of Viking warriors and formed two small six man units of archers to bolster his Saga dice.

With a wall of Viking shields facing me, I thought to hold them in the centre whilst shooting over the impenetrable fen.

I know it’s was a lot to ask but I regretted the flank manouvre almost as soon as I finished the move. Chris charged my archers and it was only turn two!

My select fyrd were ready to counter attack but this is where that loveable Viking brigand had planned for. The Viking love of Vallhallah allows the player to sacrifice men for attacks. If it’s one thing my small elite units can’t stand it’s sacrificial Vikings. Chris was content to sacrifice warriors for hearth guard.

However, my great fyrd archers were made of sterner stuff. With a combination of reckless Viking sacrifices and great dice rolls, the Viking ” skateboard” sabot was looking very empty. Chris sacrificed the last three Vikings of this unit to bring down the Saxon hardmen.

In order for my super effective archery to inflict more damage, and allow my flank March to skirt the bog, I fell back to hoots of derision from my opponent!

Feeling more confident, the Vikings advanced. I didn’t fancy the exploding Viking Vallhalah seekers so decided to carve through the enemy archers instead. It wasn’t heroic but Cedric the Saxon leader was desperate.

Inspired by their drunken leader, the Saxons made short work of the Viking archers. Six figures may give you an extra SAGA dice but in combat they are severely disadvantaged. Chris’ Norse anger was inflamed, he charged in…

Then, Viking like, the commander who had sent so many of his own troops to their death, took back the move. His warriors came forward but then retired and looked to their flank. My Saxons had arrived behind them. Luckily, my taking the troops off the sabot, Chris’ Vikings were safe…out of range by a millimetre!

It all ended in a grand melee with just Cedric and one unit facing The Viking leader and one unit of warriors. We called it a draw – The table was littered with the dead and the dieing but I think the Vallhalah rule had accounted for most of them. An excellent skirmish and , for once, not a loss with new troops. Not a victory, but not a loss….

comments 4

Thornbury ADLG- Heat and Carnage 

Take a leisure centre, take over three halls with modelling goodness, add ninety degree heat, close all the doors and windows. Here, in this cauldron of hobby related capitalism  you have the annual Avon Modelling Show. But, to you and I, it means the Berk-ley Vale L’Art de la Guerre Competition, hosted by the Batman and Robin of West Country Wargaming, McGlynn and Unwin. It was a one hundred and twenty points competition, an interesting variation on an old favourite. I brought along another old favourite, Patrician Romans. My thoughts were that four units of federatii impetuous swordsmen could do the damage, whilst ‘decadent’ legionaries steadied their flank. Two commands usually means a smaller supporting corps, mine was filled with two units of heavy cavalry with bow and lots of skirmishers.

The modelling displays are always of interest. The great thing about Thornbury is that one gets to see many dealers who aren’t part of the regular wargaming fayre. Mr Lane’s group put on an epic refight of Maleme airport, replete with three JU-52s, and Big Don was in attendance with an awesome WW2 display of Goodwood.

Two things stand out about the competition for me, namely the overall quality of the painting and the atmosphere amongst the gamers. It’s been a few years now but we appear to be approaching a real golden period in terms of the quality of the games and the manner in which they are played. Keith and Andy kept us all organised and amused in their own unique fashion.

Like myself, Ian Speed is frequently kept from competitions by his sporting commitments. His painting is really top notch as you can see above. Many of the Berkl-ley Vale crew have armies painted by Jimmy and these are particularly note- worthy too. 28mm figures really are a joy to behold….

My first game saw my Patricians taking on those pesky Parthians whose “tin-men” would be steered by Colin “lady killer” Evans. I really wanted to avoid his cataphracts and assault his rather large number of supporting archers. My cavalry would have to slow the ponderous assault whilst my Federatii got to work.

With my skirmishers holding the field on the flank, the cataphract impact was delayed but to my horror, the Parthian archers were devastating my assault troops.

Arminius had to shout stern words to get the Goths to attack through the archery. And, when they did charge, the wily Partians had already vacated the hill. We did catch some though and this ended the game with honours just about equal. An hour and a half goes very quickly.

Game two was against one of the younger players who attended. L’art de la guerre is an excellent gateway game and it made a refreshing change to talk to five or six younger people who are getting into the hobby. John of course is the son of Jimmy so taking on the Spartans would be no push over. To be fair though it was only John’s second ever game , in his first he had held that old reprobate Mr. Mackie to a draw.

This particular group of Spartans certainly had loaded up on their pre- battle blood soup! Facing elite spearmen is never pleasant but my skirmishers had done stirling  work in weakening the scarlet tide.

John had unluckily left a gap for my heavy horse to exploit and after some tense exchanges, the Spartans were sent packing. I do hope John enjoyed his game and will be joining us again. Next up was his father with Triumvirate Romans. The solid core was the most expensive I think I had ever encountered- heavy swordsmen impact, elite and Armoured. The very table sank beneath their weight! He had already torn great holes in two earlier opponents(below)

However, it was my lighter corps that first felt the pressure. My Huns held up well but they were soon overwhelmed. My foot skirmishers were feeling very nervous as I committed my cavalry, one unit of which contained the commander.

The clash swung back and fore but the German mercenaries of my opponent were gaining ground. When Jimmy’s legion arrived it was all over. It was time for the horns to blow and the Patrician foot to charge.

The cavalry victory allowed the German horse of my opponent to flank my line but on the other end of the line, Jimmy’s Greek javelinmen weren’t up to facing my own legionaries. I had to commit Arminius but we held Jimmy to a draw. I could afford to lose just one more point as the heat ( and sweat) ended the competition. Seventh place out of eighteen was more than acceptable  for yours truly.

It had been a great day, the atmosphere  was relaxed and a very strange thing happened at the end- the army of Steve Price was in the corner of a battlefield. No change there, I hear you say, but, it was his opponents corner! Steve Price was actually in the other half of the table at the close of play. Miraculous!

The very worthy winner of the Nigel Poole prize for aggressive play went to Eddy. In the heat-haze, and with Andy Unwin’s speech impediment ( he’s publically educated) , it was just possible to work out the worthy winners. Andy Whitby and his immaculate Samurai stole the honour of first place. Steve Hacker ground down his opponents for second with Ian and Paul and his warlike Ostrogoths sneaking into third. Ian deservedly picked up the prize for best painted army. Amazingly Richard Walker, he of Macgoo Driving School, steered the Italian fairies of Bruttia into last place. A superb day out! Look out for the 250 point 28mm competition in the Autumn! It will be a must attend event!

comment 1

Green Screen Redskins

My old grandfather used to call television, “the idiot’s lamp”. That was why perhaps he lost his job as Director of Programming at Welsh Television. When my youngest son sent to Hong Kong for #StikBot Zanimation studio, all I was worried about was the eight pounds of my money he wanted to send to the other side of the world. I didn’t even like answering the phone when I was eight for Christ’s sake. But hang on a moment, there is potential there for us wargamers. My daughter still has her reservations about her 2007 Christmas present. It wasn’t that PlayStation Two wasn’t a good present for her, it was more the choice of  Warhammer Dawn of War, Call of Duty and Medal of Honor. She definately suspected a hidden motive in the purchase……

One week after the order, Reg the postman left the well travelled parcel behind our bin, a place of honour for many wargames armies over the years. Within ten minutes, my eight year old was making his own movies. Three hours later, I had mastered adding photographs to a background. The film’s may have to wait but I am impressed with this simple App and studio.

My other grandfather was the inventor of hi- vis jackets for soldiers of the First World War. They never caught on but don’t be afraid of the Hong Kong based media revolution that is StikBot. Anyway, see what you think….The start of my Sharp Practice American Revolution force, be kind!

comments 8

Attack 2018- The Earth destroys its fools!

It was Sunday and the faithful were worried. A victory over the Byzantine infidel had been followed by a loss to the barbarian Vandals. Next up came the heretical army of Al-Abbas ibn Adb al- Muttalib, a.k.a. Steve Hacker. Regulars will know the name, he of the careful deployment and even more careful gameplay. The opening few minutes didn’t look as if Al-Abbas ibn Abd al- Muttalib was going to change his ploy anytime soon! The Banu Hashim clan ensconced itself between two hills and waited.

However, the forces of Khalid were not as hungry for battle as they once were. We may have a closer bloodline to the Prophet but we weren’t ready for martyrdom just yet. Then horror of horrors, the Abbasids sent out their cavalry to roll up Khalid’s left wing. The sand-dune would be some protection but the Abbasid horse was bow armed, they could safely shoot away my skirmishers. Heavier troops were needed, to shore up the wing, and that meant proxy- elephants!

The defenders on my left had to withdraw. To cover the troops falling back, my Mubarizun were sacrificed to gain time.

Just in time, the Abbasid Bedouin scouts sought a gap but were killed in the attempt.

The Abbasid cavalry attack had been thwarted and hung back to shoot from a distance. The Abbasid centre started to roll forward. The enemy cavalry had a new role, provoke the charge of the Faithful. My impetuous warriors were being drawn forward by skirmisher attacks so that the Abbasid cavalry could roll up the unprotected flank.

“When Allah decides a matter, it is done!’

The pot of war was boiling fiercely and it was time to charge. The Abbasid Afghan hillmen could hold my charge but the effette Abbasid spear were not a match for the Unsullied. Led by Khalid himself, the game ended in bloody stalemate.

“I am the son of many chiefs,

My sword is sharp and terrible!’

Game Four would be against Colin. Knowing that he would be facing the Faithful, he had been cavorting in the most unseemly shorts, around the hall for most of the weekend, receiving lustful and sneering looks in equal measure. He placed his mixed units next to his World War Two bunker camp. Two corps off elite Byzantine impact and bow horsemen were his main weapon ( not including the shorts!)

I thought that this would be a one sided game. My Believers would be merrily shot down by the Byzantine supermen. But, Allah be praised, the hated and evil infidel was not content with bows. His cavalry wanted to chase my skirmishers and floundered in the dust…

Not wanting to face the Faithful, Colin’s cavalry were even discomfited by the ponderous charge of the camel proxies. Caught whilst fleeing is never pleasant. On the other flank, the Byzantine lights were outnumbered by the Believers bows.

The Byzantine horsemen were falling back in groups and it was time for the Mubarizun to attack the Infidel’s foot.

Khalid was uncertain but the attack went in. Historians may seek in vain to find out just what the rebel yell sounded like but it surely could not have been as shrill as the bleating of my opponent. Having spent a surplus of manouvre pips on trying to – place Varangians in the centre, mixed units on the flank and skirmishers out of the way, led to an overlapped position that just disappeared. The demise of the Varangians was especially heartening! Blaming his dice, the Byzantine infantry folded but it was also the last gasp of the Faithfull- mutual destruction. Colin would have to spend all the following week in his “office” blaming the dice…

So, the weekend ended with martyrdom. Mid table mediocrity is a cruel description but all four games had been great fun. I heartily recommend the competition to anyone and the show itself  goes from strength to strength too. Thanks to Colin for organising and all at Devizes wargames Club for another great weekend.


comments 4

SAGA II- a wargames army in two weeks; week four!

The modern trend for smaller, skirmish style games has much to recommend it. Within a relatively short space of time, the gamer is up and running. Outlay costs are less and compare favourably with alternatives like drinking heavily or taking an evening class. Two weeks came and went but now, after four weeks, my Saxon force for SAGA is ready. 

The heart guard of Cedric’s Saxons are meant for closing with the enemy in double quick time.

The heart guard of course rely on their stout yeomen to form an impenetrable shield wall. I love these sculpts by Foundry.
Amongst the Warriors, is my personal favourite….

I need to add double handed axes and some kind of missile troops but until then we shall have to rely on the humble spear!

The Little Big man transfers take a little blending in but I’m beginning to get the hang of them.

First game with these tonight- isn’t it funny how you always lose with new troops but they are finished! Vikings or Normans next- those Foundry boxsets are adictive.

Drink and be Merrie! More from Devizes next post!

comment 0

The Lost Viking – Welcome to Wails!

It is a telling question to ask oneself, “just how do others see me?”. My regular reader will know that I stand God-like against a see of foes but how true a picture is that? My last blog post had moved into ‘lifestyle’ issues but today I thought I might venture back, however unconvincingly,  into film criticism. As a man of a certain age, I often find myself searching for titles in the under five pounds section of my local supermarket. Tonight’s offering from the ASDA ‘film club’ was ‘The Lost Viking’ released in May 2018, and might have earned the reminder ‘ straight to D.V.D.. However, in light of my introductory comments, how refreshing it was to see my home area shot on film. As we follow Vitharr the Viking through South Wales, one could not help but feel a tinge of pride.

Ninth century Vikings come ashore at Southerndown. 

The film’s opening ‘chapters’ are enchanting. Real Rosmary Suttcliff style, boys’ own stuff as Vitharr escapes a Welsh ambush and heads inland for safety. The action is really well done and it’s really illuminating to see Dark Age Welshmen depicted. The lost Viking is heading for Haverfordwest and his uncle, and safety…

Above, the safe haven of Haverfordwest ( Haaverfjord Vest) 

Dean Ridge ( Vitharr) and his nemesis Ross Hennessy ( Wyman) duel through the forests of the Vale of Neath. The history starts to jar as the film progresses, sex and drug crazed hippies appear, only to be cut down by the near obligatory ‘ lost legion’. The gladiators’ arena is the shoddiest palisade overlooked by a dreadful ‘Crassius’ and his ” Romantic barbarians”. The film is at its lowest at this point! If only someone, anyone, had proof-read the box-art and not given employment to every reenactor in the gladiatorial combats that go on for far too long.

“For Thor’s sake! Not another S4C extra!”

Plot and history recovers as Vitharr escapes and discovers the dastardly plot. I have to admit I did enjoy the film but please no more “lost legionaries”, it’s the ninth century! 

Legion, Arthur, Lost Legion, Romantic Barbarians………honestly how could so many get lost?

So there you have it. Not a film to take too seriously but entertaining. Six point five out of ten on the Despertaferres Scale of Watching enjoyment. Please note that this was a desperate attempt to encourage our blog sites transitioning to social categories A and B. We shall see if the pop up adverts will shortly be changing to foreign holidays, investment portfolios and quiche, rather than Duct-tape and weight loss pills. Thank you for joining us on this journey.