The set-up was of course inspired by the classic Battle of Sittangbad. Palm trees were substituted for those seen in the original battle, and some ruined buildings suggested Sittangbad and Eisenberg. All, as usual, on Stuart's 6' x 3' dining table.
|The set-up. The attacking forces are shown as set out to indicate what was available.
Arrival on the table would be in sets of 4 units on consecutive moves.
|I took the attacking side. My heavy infantry is seen here pushing forward to clear the area around the ruined castle keep (a Hornby Skaledale model). One of the defending units has already been seen off (right of photo).
|Although down to half strength, the enemy cavalry is still in being and continues to threaten. My own units are also rather depleted, but my heavy cavalry is attacking on my right.
2 x heavy infantry units (18 figures each, phalanx with pikes)
1 x light infantry unit (12 figures, javelin men)
1 x light infantry unit (12 figures, slingers)
1 x heavy cavalry unit (8 figures)
1 x light cavalry unit (8 figures, javelins)
2 x elephants
1 x war engine
|Assembled and undercoated (sans shields, of course - they go on last), you can see what nice figures these are.
The dark brown undercoat was an idea I found online. It works very well for me.
|My first 12 figure unit. For the moment I'm going for the two Tony Bath nations of Hyperboria and Hyrkania
as the opposing forces. These chaps will form the core of the Hyperborean infantry.
|Rear view. I find these multi-pose hard plastics much easier to paint than metal figures. My basic block painting produced a result I was entirely pleased with, in a fairly quick timescale. Even assembling the figures was quite a fun experience.
|The first 6 figure tranche of the next unit.
|Yes, 18 figure units do look better, but I must be patient!
|18 figures in 2 ranks.
The paint schemes are of course entirely of my own invention - another plus for the project!
I have been trying to make up a strapline for this project, and so far I have:
- Trimsos: A Simple Game of Ancient Warfare
- Trimsos: Playing With Toy Soldiers in the Ancient Period
- Trimsos: Some Knockabout Fun in the World of Ancient Warfare
Two smells? Well, first the lovely small of an old book - don't you just love that aroma? And secondly, the smell of When Wargaming Started To Go Wrong. Charles Senior is immensely pleased with the rules that had taken ancient wargaming by storm in 1974 - those of the Wargames Research Group, in their 3rd Edition when the book was written. "Certainly, any improvement could only be trifling", he states triumphantly. Ah well, 4 more editions were to come, then DBA, DBM, DBwhatever, etc, etc. As an exercise I downloaded the WRG 3rd Edition rules, which are still available on the internet (thanks to the History of WRG page). Frankly, I am happy these have been consigned to the dustbin of wargaming history. Reading them brought back memories of watching WRG ancients games at the Southampton and Bath clubs back in the 1980s - mostly, the games seemed to consist of people compiling lists of plus and minus factors on pads of paper every time firing, melee or morale were being conducted. The impression was one of extreme tedium, and was probably a major reason I never got into ancients!
To be fair, WW2 wargamers were stuck with equally awful rule sets, like the unplayable Firefly rules (which appear to been played by a fair number of people - how did they do it?). Anyway, suffice to say my own nostalgia (and I think I can say Stuart's as well) certainly doesn't include any set of WRG ancients rules, although the first edition is well worth a look for old times' sake.
The other book I will acquire in time is Tony Bath's Ancient Wargaming, published by John Curry's redoubtable 'History of Wargaming' project. Not that I'm going to start any ancient period campaigning, but I want the background to Mr Bath's wargaming world, and especially ideas for the names of countries, generals and units to add spice to my own gaming. Why copy Tony Bath? Simply as a tribute to his contribution to wargaming in general and ancient wargaming in particular. It is important to me to reference my sources of inspiration. For me, the early works of the wargaming greats form a sort of imaginary history (if you will), encompassing the beginning of the modern hobby of wargaming. Having largely set aside real history, keeping in touch with this spirit is a vital part of the Trimsos Project (at least for me. Stuart probably thinks I'm nuts).
Anyway, Christmas is coming up, so no need to buy straight away!
So, it seems a lot of threads are coming together to make this new venture inspiring. I have high hopes, tempered with a reasonable amount of caution. I will of course keep you all posted.
'Til next time!