Wednesday, December 23, 2020

I Love a Parade: Celts and Polybian Romans

Bring bored one day lined up two of my collections that had the most figures. They are my Celts and Polybian Romans. The rules I use are a homegrown version of DBA documented somewhat on the blog.

The thing you'll notice the most is the size of the armies. Units are blocks of various ranks for looks. My organization is easily convertible to Hail Caesar should I chose to do so. 

Some of the Celts were painted over 20 years ago. Their bases have been fronted with newer figures. The manufacturers involved in this project are Newline (for the metal Romans), Hat, Esci, Italeri and a few Zvezda make up the 1\72 plastic contributions.

The Legions face their Celtic enemies on high ground.

View from the Celtic side of things.

Celt horsemen ready to gather some heads!

My war band units are all fronted with heroic pose Gaesati or command figures with the Carnyx.

Phil Barker says in DBA 3.0 that the Galatians always fought naked. I suppose he has a source. I just think it gives the Celts some uniqueness to have them out front in each war band.

The bases on the far left are a special command unit. It features two bases of Gaesati in front of the chieftains personal retainers.

Celtic light armed units hold the flank.

Chariot warriors backed by a Druid retinue that is happily calling down curses on the hated Romans.

The Hat Bouticca figure holding a Roman head.

Italian cavalry and infantry on the flank. Each Roman army had an Italian Legion and a Roman one. There is no reason to believe imo they did not look the same. However, there is evidence that other Italians served out side the legions as auxiliaries and that's how I've chosen to feature them here.

Newline Triarii and cavalry on the left. Command units from Newline and Hat on the top right.

With the exceptions of the velites which are Hat, this picture is my Newline half of my Polybians.

This is the Hat half of my Legion. Shield transfers as from Veni, Vedi, Vici and are 15mm because they fit better.

Roman cavalry by Italeri and more Italians from the Zvezda Roman set. Zvezda makes excellent figures but their Republican Romans feature far too may poses in a heroic armor style imo. I did up quite a few but prefer the other manufacturers.

Romans cavalry again.

My Polybian Romans on parade.

My Celts on parade.

Nasty Druids!

Victory or death! ( Buaidh no bas)
Various command units backed by Triarii posing after the parade. I still need some shield transfers.

Saturday, November 21, 2020

Scruby American War of Independence

Scruby figures in 20-25mm scale were meant to be compatible with Airfix and although crude by today's standards they were popular. Since I have a bit of nostalgia in me I decided to rebuild part of my lost collections with Jack Scruby figures since I value the old "toy soldier" look they possess.

I found that most Scruby figures are still available through, an outfit in my home state of Wisconsin.

Below are pictures of what I have thus far for my AWI collection.

The Germans from the Principality of Brunswick Wolfenbuttel. Almost 6000 soldiers were supplied for the campaign. Few returned to the their native land.

The collection is organized around the Osprey Rules, Rebels and Patriots.

The crazy quilt of German States around the time of the American Revolution

Brunswick Jaegers. One company of around 150 were supplied as part of the Light Infantry Battalion Barner. 

Brunswick Infantry Regiment Von Specht. Grenadier Company to the left.

Brunswick Infantry Regiment Von Specht.

The 21st Foot, the Royal North British Fusileers. They were part of the Saratoga Campaign.

The Queens Rangers, one of the premier Loyalist or Tory formations. They were not at Saratoga.

The Queens Rangers had a Hussar Company, pictured left. The British Dragoons are part of the 17th Light Dragoons. 

The Queens Rangers wore distinctive head gear and like most Tory units were clad in dark green. Later in the war many Tory units switched to red, but not the Queen's Rangers.

My Scruby British contingent, the 21st Ft, a light company and the 17th Lt. Dragoons

Brunswick Infantry Regiment Von Specht with the Grenadier Company.

Brunswick Infantry Regiment Von Specht with the Jaeger Company.

I have a few AWI Musket Miniatures which are not available anymore. They were marketed as 25mm but are close enough to integrate with the Scrubys. I buy them up when I can find them. They are better quality than Scruby. It was a fine line!

Friday, November 13, 2020

WW1 Palestine, Trial By Fire

This is the second post where my friend Jim and I have tried a set of World War One rules titled Trial By Fire.

The set is homegrown and really is a composite using mechanisms from other sets. It's written by a Turkish gentleman and is rather comprehensive; yet simple once you get the hang of it.

Although the emphasis seems to have an Ottoman flavor the rules are suitable for any combination of armies and enemies. The rules were published back in 2016 on Blogger (link above) and my only complaint is that the author has not added anything to what I think is a fine set of rules that are playable.

The rules are flexible with scale, as the author does provide a supplement for those who like a skirmish feel to games and those who like Division\Corps level games. Our preference is Battalion\Regiment and that seems to be the author's preference as well.

For this game we chose Palestine 1917. The armies pictures are newly painted and organized. As a second game test I was curious how a frontal assault on a semi-prepared position would work out.

I'll try to tell the story with the pictures below but first here is the scenario description and OB.

Scenario Palestine, 1917


An Indian Battalion reinforced by a British\Australian Support group has seized a small rail station that has interrupted the Turkish line of supply to a town down the road.


The Turks have responded with local forces in an attempt to drive the Commonwealth forces away.


Commonwealth OB


Main Force


1st Bn Rajput Infantry: Maneuver: 3 Battle Skill:3 Endurance:4

            4 companies, 1 Mg




1st Squadron Australian Light Horse (Lewis LtMg) Maneuver:4 Battle Skill:4 Endurance:4

1st Platoon AC Yeomanry Maneuver:4 Battle Skill:4 Endurance:3

1st Co, 1st Bn Staffordshires + Mg Maneuver:4 Battle Skill:4 Endurance:4

Royal Horse Artillery Batt. Maneuver:4 Battle Skill:4 Endurance:4


Ottoman OB


Main Force


Local Response Forces

Combined Turk\Arab Bn, 4 Co’s plus MG: Maneuver: 3 Battle Skill:3 Endurance:3

2 Squadrons Cavalry: Maneuver: 3 Battle Skill:3 Endurance:4

1 Batt Lt Art.: Maneuver: 4 Battle Skill:4 Endurance:4


Reinforcement Support Force


Turkish Infantry Bn, 4 Co’s plus MG: Maneuver: 3 Battle Skill:3 Endurance:5

Off board Hv Art with limited ammo; (Available on a roll of 1-3) 


Victory Turks


Major Victory seizes the rail station itself.

Minor Victory takes the high ground to the flank of the station in an attempt to encircle.

This is a pre-game shot and doesn't show the rail line that was added later. The armored car is a Lancaster of unknown origin. It was an eBay find. The unit to the left of the picture is a British company while the unit behind the walls is Indian.

Turkish cavalry after they finish off  an Australian Light Horse Squadron holding the hill. The Turkish infantry did most of the work!

A better shot of the Lancaster.  The Australian Light Horse and AC were pickets. The Australians did not withdraw in time but the AC did.

The Turks arrive on the British\Commonwealth flank. One interesting aspect of the rules is that they allow for "squads" small speciality units like light mgs, snipers and mortars. In this case it's a Turkish sniper squad.  It managed to get a hit on the Aussie Light Horse.

The Turkish right consisted of a composite force of Turkish and Arab infantry. Their quality was not quite the same of the regular Turkish battalion on the other flank.

A Royal Artillery section supported by an Indian Infantry Company. The brush makes for "target unclear" in the rules.

Another Indian Infantry Company this time supported by a HvMg squad.

My 4' by 4' table

The Turkish assault on the British\Commonwealth right flank. The British company would be destroyed  but the rest of the line was solid with the building and wall being tough to crack.

The Aussie Light Horse squadron on picket. They are supported by a Lewis LtMg.

An Indian Company in the main line of resistance.

The Turkish right flank. They would get the furthest and destroy the Australians. They would run out of gas at the rail line which was held by the Indians.

The lead Turkish cavalry unit would be sacrificed as the infantry got closer to the Australian position. The second cavalry unit would eventually over run the remnant of the Australians.

Pesky sniper squad

The Australians stayed too long  but held up the Turkish advance for quite a while.

Another shot of the Turk left flank with the Arab company out front

The British company that  died. Units not in cover do not last long. An attacker needs at least 3 to 1 plus support to carry a position.

The RHA section in direct fire mode. It would do some damage but counter battery fire plus rifle fire would take it out,

The fine looking Ottoman cavalry at the beginning of the game.

There is a place for mounted units in Trial by Fire.

The Indian battalion was my core unit and it suffered only a few losses. The support units took the brunt.

As good as a trench and as hard to take!

The Aussies on the hill have been overrun and the Turkish infantry is crossing the tracks. That's as far as they can get. At some point there is open ground and the defender has a big advantage.

I had a lot of fun painted up the Australian Light Horse. The figures are by HAT as were just about all the other figures in the game.