Monday, January 30, 2012

Anglo-Danish (Saxon) deep impetus units

I liked the look of the rebased Vikings so much I redid the rear bases of my Saxons (Anglo-Danish in the Impetus army lists).  While I was at it, I added a few LBMS banners to the army.
Harold's Huscarls -- 10 figures on front base, 6 on rear
The reason for the change was visual.  I originally based this army for a different rule set, where these were not deep units.  I've been really enjoying Impetus, and am committed to playing Impetus for a while.  My unit bases, the front ones, are 12 cm by 6 cm, and this is standard across all my 28 mm dark age armies.  I usually put 10 figures on a close order infantry base, organized in two ranks, and crowded together in the center of the stand.  This creates a visual density in of figures, and a buffer to protect the figures in play.  When I was using two of these as a deep unit I always saw one unit behind another -- the appearance of a SYW second line in close support.  Not good!  I went to a dedicated rear base that is 12 cm by 4 cm in size, with the figures organized in one line on the front of the base.  I'm not totally satisfied with the look of the deep unit as there is still a gap between the second and third rank, but it is visually a huge improvement.  Time will tell if I rebase the entire army or not -- although I've felt very postive about my rebasing efforts so far, I do share the common despair about rebasing. The new look is very good from the front and back (which are, after all, the primary way we see the units in a game), and better from the side than the old appearance of two unit bases.
Side view, old deep unit (2 12x6 bases) and new deep unit (12x6 & 12x4 base)
There has been a discussion of how many figures to but on a 28mm FP (foot pondorous, or heavy foot) base on the Impetus Forum.  I use ten 28 mm figures for most of my armies, but for the Saxons I used twelve figures.  It does make the unit look dense!  I only used ten figures on the Huscarl units, as these are warriors fighting in the Scandinavian tradition.
Select fyrd (12 fig/main base) & Huscarls (10 fig/main base)
Finally, because a picture is worth a thousand words, and ours is indeed a visual hobby, here are more gratuitous pictures of figures!

New deep unit on left, old deep unit on right

Upcoming future posts will include some AARs and photo-presentations of other SPI members (St. Paul Irregulars) 28mm Impetus armies.  Your welcome to come back and visit soon . . .

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Irish army photo study

I have to share some photos of the finished Irish lads. One of my goals was to ensure that the different unit types were easily recognized. I differentiated them with figure selection, paint job, and base compostion.  I made skirmishing (S) kerns four figures from a limited pose, light foot (FL) kerns six figures from a limited pose, bonnauchts (also FL) 8 figures from a diverse pose, and nobles (also FL) 9 figures from a diverse pose selection.  I composed the nobles from my choice for best painted in the army.
S kerns in forground, FL kerns middle, FL nobles center rear, and bonnauchts outside rear
S kerns front, FL kerns middle, FL bonnauchts left rear and FL nobles right rear

S kerns front, FL kerns middle, FL nobles left rear and FL bonnauchts right rear
I've painted six noble units, 12 bonnaucht units, 6 FL kerns, 6 S kerns, 2 S slingers and 2 S bows.  A sampling of the bonnauchts and kerns follows.

 Some rear views are shown below.

My favorite lads, those who made the grade as best painted, formed parade for a photoshoot.  The results follow.

That's all for now!  I intend to post an AAR of the Irishmen's first engagement with the Vikings and a photo-review of my Saxon army soon.  The Saxon's are currently undergoing the same rear-stand rebasing for the deep units the Vikings underwent.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Viking 28mm army - rebasing deep units for Impetus

I collected my Viking army over several years, and based it up awhile ago to play "It's Magic" and "Might of Arms" with.  It's Magic is a local game with a lot of play testing that Peter & I enjoy playing, and Might of Arms is a fine set of published rules -- really old WRG rules made playable in an evening.

Both rulesets do not reduce unit sizes by removing casualties -- so I used big bases.  I have subsequently discovered Impetus, and like this ruleset a lot.  In Impetus many armies have units that are more than one stand deep, or deep units.  The Vikings are one of these.  So I played my Vikings as deep units but didn't like the look -- I based them as one-base equals one-unit.  Therefore, I compacted the figures in the middle of the base to both protect the figures from handling during play, and to visually make a tight formation on the base.  As single-base units this works great, but makes the deep unit look like one unit behind another, not one unit.  I never liked this, and finally determined to see if I couldn't improve the look (my pride in the Irish encouraged me to raise the appearance of their opponents, I believe).  So I unbased some of the figures from their 6 cm x 12 cm bases, and rebased them on 4 cm x 12 cm bases, in one rank on the leading edge of the base.

New deep unit basing on the front left unit and rear units, old deep unit "stacked unt" basing on the front right unit.
 You can see that the effect from the side is very improved.  However, it isn't perfect.  The ranks should be even.  I may rebase the rest of the army later, burt I will certainly base all future deep units at the same time so that I can compose them to appear as one unit.

I think that the view from the front is now much improved, however.  The following pictures show that.

The new basing system seen from the front.

The Viking envassion of Ireland had three Viking divisions.  The left wing was commanded by the least inspiring Jarl in the army.
Vikinng left wing division
The center and right had commanders of far more reknown, known and respected throughout the land.

Center and right divisions
The hard fought battle between the invading Vikings and the local Irish will be discussed in a future post!
Viking host desending on the peaceful Irish village

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Dark Age Irish Teaser

Bonnauchts, the bulk of the Irish army

The Irish have challenged all and sundry to a match tomorrow -- so I've been going full bore to get them ready for the big day.  I'd like to share a bit of the army, as a preview to the full review to come.

One goal I had was to make each troop type visually distinct. In the past I've had armies where I could tell them apart, but others had difficulty.  Sometimes I had to really study the stand to decide what it was.  Definately not what I want!  So I used variety of figure, number of figures per stand, and color and painting quality to show unit type.

All the Irishmen in the Impetus year 1000 list have javelins as missile weapons.  The bonnauchts are FL (light foot)  in Impetus, or order troops.  They are decent missile troops, but strictly average in melee at VBU 4, Impetus 1.  I portrayed them as 8 figure units, with well painted and varied figures.  The kerns are either FL or S (skirmish).  The FL are weak melee troops, and average missile units.  The S are average skirmishers.  I portrayed the FL kerns as 6 figures, and the S as 4 figures.  The figure variety is comparatively very limited, and the general appearance muddier.


Skirmish kern on left, FL on the right

Bonnauchts, FL kern & S kern
The rest of the army is awaiting the drying of all the glue.  Reveal day awaits!

The challenge is issued -- I'm hoping for the luck of the Irish! 

I will follow up with a presentation of the finished army, and may have an AAR of tomorrow's battle.  (Sometimes the camera just never gets used -- I quess some days the bards never make it off the field.)

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Up North!

I went up to Grand Marias over the new years.  I had a blast, clearly the north shore of Lake Superior is my "happy place."

In honor of that, I'd like to share some past photos of favorite spots.

In teh summer I stay in a cabin near Hovland, Minnesota.  Right out the door is a little point, which I spend a lot of time on.  Here's the view looking east up the coast . . .
The cabin on the next small point to the east
That evening I was out around sunset, and an ore-ship was reflecting the setting sun off the point.

This remains one of the favorite scenes I took pictures of off "the point."   I just noticed the resemblence between the waves on the point and the waves on the Jarl Asbjorn model -- I think I know what I was modelling!

Another often visited location is the Pidgeon river, which is the border between the US and Canada.  A very cool place on the river is the Partridge Falls.  In 2010 my buddy Dennis and I were up north in the peak of leaf season.  We went and visited Partridge Falls.
On the road into Partridge Falls
My "artsy" shot of the falls

Looking across the falls
Logs at the bottom of the falls -- these are from the 19th century, when the area was first logged
With Dennis, for scale!
I came home from the time up north totally refreshed -- which is my common reaction to visiting this wonderful area.

I'll post more on basing the Irish army soon!