Friday, August 29, 2014

Assembling the Cohort

Ah, things are starting to move. I now have finished up some Roman Auxiliary for my Cohort. So far all but 2 of the miniatures that I have painted are from the Corvus Belli packs. These have been fun figures to paint. My only complaint that I have is the lack of what I picture centurions should look like are missing. So, given that, lets look at what I have done.

To begin with I have my Cohort Tribune. He is a tribune instead of a Prefect because the unit I am modeling is a citizen cohort. I have the Tribune and two slaves. One slave is holding the man's shield while the other is taking notes on wax tablets.

You can see that I settled on my basing. I mounted these on 1/2" squares of magnets. The size is just big enough that I can put the miniatures together in a tight block without the figures bumping one another (so far). I also tried to add some tea leaves to the bases to look like dead leaves. To my eye it looks OK so far. What do ya'll think?

Next up is the command of my first century (minus the centurion).

Again, Love the Optio figure. Too bad it is only one pose. The Cornicen and Signifers look good too. I just got word that my pack of centurions from QRF have shipped so that should be sorted out soon. While I was there, I got distracted by their signifier pack. It has a figure that will be useful for the Vexilium banner for the Cohort. Also they have some variety with the signum for the centuries. Corvus Belli has 2 different ones (one for each of the command packs).

Next up is a complete tent party. Here you can see my attempt at the shield design. It is supposed to be a Roman Eagle on top, two crescent moons (one on each side) and a lion at the bottom. There is supposed to be a wreath around the boss as well but I do not have a steady enough hand to even attempt. It is not great, but at distance it should do.

When I was looking for miniatures, I ordered a few from Museum miniatures. I picked up a Auxiliary Centurion, a Signifer and two auxiliaries. I liked the auxiliaries more than the other figures. So I painted them up as well.

Anyway, that is all I have for now. I have three more tent parties on painting sticks as well as four cavalry. I can probably start working on them by Monday Night if I play my cards right.

I also plan on making movement trays to match formations that they would be in. One for Wedge and another for line/block formations. Then I plan to make a template to use to put over figures when they go into the tortoise formation. But that is for later. I need more troops before I attempt that.

In theory, I will wait until I have these painted before buying more miniatures to finish this century out and start another. But I may not be that patient.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

From Empire to Revolution - Update & Some Roman Progress

From Empire to Revolution
Rich just sent me the proof of the first 16 pages of the project. I am so very excited. The art that Rich has added to it is very nice. I am getting very excited about seeing this project come together at last.

Roman Update
Well it is not much of an update. Painting is going slowly. So I thought I would try to take an in progress shot. I braved the Mosquitoes and headed out with my phone and some miniatures.

They are coming along but I have a boat load more to do.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Welcome and Some Random Thoughts

I just noticed that we hit 153 followers here. The latest to join is Christian Rekowski. Thank you for joining. He runs Ski's Wargames blog and is out of Savannah. Welcome.i don't see a blog listed in your profile. Let me know and I will update the post with the link.

Computer Games
I have dicovered a fun game called a while back. FreeCol is a Civilization type game that has been quite diverting. I have never played it all the way to its conclusion yet. I keep restarting. But it is a game I have kept coming back to for years now.

One thing that I have been looking for is a nice haystack for my East Front games. I have yet to find exactly what I am looking for but what I did just see on Loki's site are some haystacks that don't look cookie cutter similar they way my current ones do. Head over and check these out. These have character and will do quite well.

I am looking for something closer to this:

I found this on a Google search. URL: Roman Terrain
Someone recommended for me to visit the BigRedBat blog. I found a project that I want to do. He did some fantastic looking grape vines on a trellis. I think these would be great fun to model on the table top. Thanks for the recommendation.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Welcomes and More Roman Terrain thoughts

Welcome to the Wilde Goose. He runs a blog called "The Wilde Goose." It is a very interesting blog with lots of Napoleonic games. He is also part of Prague Wargamers and Bohemian Gentlemen Gamers. All are well worth a visit.

Roman Terrain
Roman Roads in 15mm are not really easy to come by based on my quick scan of the vendors that I could find. I did find Battlefield Accessories USA. They have some cobblestone roads that look promising. What I am thinking is to take the cobblestone road that they have and put a small bend in it so it has the curve seen in Roman roads. Then base that on some felt or other material and build up the sides to show the drainage ditches for it. That and a milestone should get me what I am looking for. Anyway, I am getting a sample section of road from them to see how it may work out.

Thomas N pointed out that I need lots of good ambush terrain such as forests and swamps. Absolutely. Besides, you can never have enough trees. I tried to make a forest area based on some instructions that I found online. The canopy came out OK. For the base, I had it the right shape and painted. Then I dropped it on the ground and the base basically shattered. I just have not had the heart to try to fix it. I have some individual trees but never enough.

Swamps are another issue though. Given that I hate making this stuff, the Battlefront swamp pack looks interesting. I think JR Miniatures may have something as well. Anyway, that won't happen soon.

One last thought, I have a scenario that is a raid on one of the small forts along the limes. I really want the JR Miniatures Mile fort to work. The drawings of the fort show it having walls with no towers at the corners. The mile fort kit has that. Walls with an earthen ramp on the inside - the JR minis kit has that. A plain gate set in the wall with no gate house - there I am out of luck. Or a gate with a tower above the gate rather than a gatehouse - again no joy. Inside the fort I would need a barracks building, a small workshop and a granary. The artist rendering has a small oven inside the compound as well. I could try to scratch build something but that does not seem to hold much excitement for me at the moment.

I think the starting point for me will be the roads and the watchtower. The watchtower should be top priority since I already have it. Maybe next post I will have some figures painted. Oh, that reminds me, I figured out how I will base these. I have a large flat rectangular magnet. The plan is to cut this into squares and use that as basing. The officers will be readily visible due to their head gear. Once they are based up, I can make a movement tray to move them in formation. Well, that is the plan at least.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Die Wacht am Rhine - Terrain Part II

After the suggestion that I received on roads, I began to search for some Roman Roads in 15mm. The closest was an offering from Iron Clad miniatures in 28mm. So I will have to make something which does not thrill me. But this led my mind off on another tangent. What is always present on Roman roads? Milestones. I am planning on making up a milestone marker. The nice thing is that they should be rather simple. A thin piece of dowel, a small square base and its done. Then paint to taste and add some writing on it.

In my search for milestones, I came across the picture of the one at the museum at Saalburg. Then I found a paper someone had written on milestones and roman roads in Asia Minor. While it could have been interesting, I have to admit, I only looked at it for the pictures. They had a rather well preserved example that had a triangular top piece on it. I am wondering how common that would have been. They also had one that some enterprising farmer had converted to a roller for his fields too. I think I will make more than one milestone marker, one with the triangular top piece and one without.

Next up is a village. I found an excellent site dealing with a civilian vicus (village) in Britain. The vicus was the smallest civilian administrative unit in the empire. It was a small settlement that had formed next to a 'Y' in the Roman road. It had a small temple and a minor shrine but was not large enough to support a forum or a basilica. But being the genius that I am, I saved that on my work computer instead of my laptop so you will just have to take my word for it. But a small village this size would be ideal for a skirmish game and similar to some of the outlying villages that would be closer to the border.

And then if one is looking at a larger and established settlement such as a civitas. The civitas is a planned town that supports a regional market adn at the very least has a basilica and a forum. Typically they have baths, amphitheaters and temples as well. Such would be the case with the town of Nida below Saalburg. These would tend to have town walls and their own city watch. This is likely too much to try to model for a skirmish game.

In my searches, I have turned up some more good websites. The first is This is a mostly German language site that has lots of interesting stuff. Next is I really like this site as it has maps that link and show lots of Roman sites across Europe.

Hopefully the next update will have me actually having made something.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Die Wacht am Limes - Terrain Ideas

I have been mulling over terrain for this project. I have come up with a few items that I think I will need.

Limes Wall

I started on a section of the limes to begin with. This is a two foot long section. I am planning on at least two more similar sections once this is done. That should be enough to span the whole table.

Watch Tower

I picked one of these up a while back. It is an MDF model. I have not had a chance to put this together yet. Definitely on the to do list.

Roman Villa

Yep, a Roman Villa Rustica is definitely needed. The farm complexes can be rather complex. I am thinking of building one that is a small one and another that is a medium size one with a nice garden and fountain. There are some really nice examples out on the internet. The small one I plan on building is based on this one.

I took this from the site

The larger ones can be huge and cover an entire table in scale.

In looking for what I wanted, I found Dante's Wars blog. I am very impressed with what he has put together.

Roman Fort

I want to make something like the kleinkastle Lochmuhle. That is further down the road. I have ideas but I want the other items done first.

A Temple

I found some plans for a temple of Mithras online. This could make for a nice small terrain item.

What Else?

There is a small German village. That could be useful. But what else? What other items of terrain should I think about? Suggestions?

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Kindle Version of In the Name of Roma

I know many of you have purchased In the Name of Roma from me and I am very thankful for that. I have received some fantastic feedback on it from many of you. Those of you that have given me feedback, would you do me a favor and please write a review on Amazon? I currently have two reviews out there now and I would really like to have a couple more if at all possible.

To get to In the Name of Roma on the Kindle store you can go to these links:

US Kindle Store
UK Kindle Store
Spain's Kindle Store
Canadian Kindle Store

I lowered the price on the Kindle store to $5.99 to see if that would make a difference. So far, not much of one. Anyway, thanks for the kind words that I have been sent. Thanks for the support.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014


I just realized that I have not acknowledged the recent followers who joined. Sorry about that.

The most recent is Stuart Surridge. Stuart, welcome aboard. Stuart's blog is at I don't see a link to a blog for you. Please let me know if you have one and I will happily post a link. He has a very nice AAR on a recent modern Africa game up at the moment. It is well worth a visit.

Next up is Brian English. Brian (if I have the right guy) is a regular gaming opponent of mine. I guess I have to be careful on just how biased my AARs are in the future. :)

I have recently been enjoying Simon Scarrow's Cato series. Unfortunately, I started them from the middle of the series due to what was available at the library. They are really pushing me forward with the Wacht am der Rhine project. They have been highly entertaining. But one thing they keep referring to is Legions having slings as part of their kit. I have found no other references for this. Anyone know of the validity of the Legions giving slings to their infantry? Seems like Mr Scarrow is just being creative to me. I know that there were Auxiliary cohorts that were so equipped.

Until next time.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Finishing up a few items

I finished up the basing on my Engineering elements for Chain of Command with my Early War Germans. I have a Medic, a minesweeper team and a wire demolition team. I did not have enough for a demolition team. I also had two spare Russians that I just finished the basing of to get them out of the way.

I am not happy with these. I forgot to water my ink down and they came out very dark. I am not so dissatisfied that I will want to repaint them. I will just live with them.

I just painted up the shields for my first couple of Early Imperial Romans. I went off of the shield design that is on the website. There was no way my eyes or hands could handle anything quite so detailed. So I tried to suggest at it. Not sure if it worked or not.

Here is the six that I have finished up. I have most of the command element for my first century. The Optio, the Signifer and the Cornicen. Also I have the guy who will be the Tribune for my citizen cohort. He has a pair of servants to take orders and hold his shield (apparently).

I really like the Corvus Belli optio. I think these came out pretty good.

Anyway, I have started on the infantry. I have the armor painted up and the flesh on a couple of them. They actually paint up really nicely. The one complaint I have on the CB Auxiliaries are the spears. The points are very indistinct. I will be trying out a few others as will. I have two Museum miniatures Auxiliaries (I think they are from them). They looks pretty good and should mix well (other than having better spears).

Next up is figuring out the basing. I believe that I want to have square bases for my Romans to allow them to be placed close together in formation. My Germans (whenever I get around to them) will be on Round bases as they will not be able to do close order formations like the Romans. Well, that is the current plan. Stay tuned. It could change. Anyway, things are at least progressing.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

From Empire to Revolution

Rich just sent me the cover art for my East Front Supplement for Through the Mud and Blood. I am very excited about this.

What do you think?