Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Warbases Skirmish trays

Just got in my order of Skirmish trays from Warbases. These are wonderful. They are 20mm holes that will fit a US penny that has sloppy basing materials on it. This is perfect for me. I previously had these for my Sharp Practice forces. I have a number of them for the six man skirmish groups that work perfectly for Saxons in Dux Britanniarum. I just picked up the 3x2 trays for my Romano-British and four 4-man trays for my skirmishers. So once again, I am off track in what I am doing, but I am having fun.

I have been basing and painting the SP skirmish/Saxon group trays. I have enough for a base force of 5 trays for my 2 elites and 3 warrior groups. These will be finished today. Not much work left on them. The new stuff may wait as I have some buildings that are primed and need thatched roofs.

I did finish the first five bases. Also finished a jump off point and a single shield for my saxons that I attached to the figure missing it.

But that is not the only distraction I am facing. I have been following the work of "" and "" Dux Arda Project. This is converting Dux Britanniarum to Lord of the Rings. What attracted me to this is that I can use some of my existing troops for this - mainly Saxons. I looked at an Isengard orc force and a Rohan force. I have no fantasy figures what so ever. But I do have plenty of Saxons painted. But Rohan was mostly a cavalry force while my Saxons are rather infantry. The good news is I don't need that many figure packs to sort this out.

For Rohan, I would need some new cavalry types. I have a base force of Elite shock cavalry thanks to the Splintered Light pack of Saxon Cavalry. These guys look great. They are in armor with shields and they stand out. I have 4 already painted and ready to go. I may have a couple more laying about as well.

What I am missing is Raider Cavalry and skirmish cavalry. For the skirmish cavalry, there is the Splintered Light Romano-British light cavalry. These will work great. Just guys with javelins on the backs of horses. I need some for my Romano-British anyway. The Raider Cavalry I struggled with. Then I found the Late German Range at Khurasan miniatures. They have cavalry followers. This is perfect. It is mounted guys with spears and shields but no armor. That gives me three classes of cavalry that you can identify on the table. I also found a secret that he has casualty figures for this range. It is a dead guy in a helmet that you can put either a round shield or a oval shield on and he could work for Romano-British/Late Roman or Saxon. I will order some of these for sure. So basically, 3 packs of figures and I now have a base Rohan force.

The orcs are not so easy. There are a number of good lines out there including Splintered Light, Khurasan, Eureka and plenty of others. I don't like most of them for LOTR. Eureka is the best fit that I have found. The problem with orcs are that they need TONS of starting troops. Dux Arda has six different troop types for the orcs. These all come in different size groups.

So the lowest level troops are Snaga that come in 2 groups of twelve guys! Ugh. That will be a bunch of painting on its own. I am thinking of using their orcs with pikes for them with a couple of bowmen sprinkled in. Next come the soldier orcs. These guys are in groups of 9 and you need two groups. Again, orcs with swords and some archers to round them out.

By this time, I will probably be burned out on painting orcs. The next needed are Uruk orcs. These are two groups of six figures each. Finally, a reasonable one with sabot bases I already have! These guys are supposed to be tougher so I switched over to the man-orc range and looked at their light infantry (they have patches of armor and shields) with some more bowmen thrown into the mix.

The last of the base force is two groups of Uruk Hai or the elite of the orcs. They are also in two groups of six. For these, I love the image in the movie of Sauruman's hordes marching forward with pikes. So I will use their armored pikes for this. Sprinkle in one or two crossbow armed ones and they are done.

For leaders, they have plenty of options. I am thinking of making more command stands for them with a standard bearer and musician accompanying the leader. But I may not. You need 3 officers and a champion. That is the only easy part of the mess. Some of the standards are huge and a US penny may not do to hold them up. But that is all theoretical as I am not buying anything for this until I finish out my Dux Reinforcements for both the Saxons and the Romano-British.

The Dux Arda project has plenty of variety to get you going. I picked Rohan and Isengard as I thought they were doable. Some of the other orc options are just too big of a force for me to want to start. Isengard alone is 70 figures. Mordor is 106 figures for a base force. Misty Mountain Orcs are 118 figures. Gundbad orcs are 106 figures. Some of these, the reinforcements include trolls and warg riders as well. So Isengard seems to be the most cost effective force to start with. It can be built upon and fleshed out later.

The Free Peoples of Eriador are interesting as they look like they could be my Romano-British. They come in two types: Levy and Warriors. There are three groups of warriors (so only one group more than my Dux Brit base force, not bad). But six groups of levy! That is three more groups than I have. The Dux Brit reinforcements really don't net you any levy reinforcements so I was not expecting to paint any more. Also my shield designs are rather Romano-British centric and would look odd fighting the orcs. But I won't let that stop me. They get hobbits as reinforcements as well as shock cavalry. That and some rangers thrown in the mix.

Anyway, this is a long post for something that is mostly theoretical at this point. Maybe 2020 for a LOTR project? Who knows.

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