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.


Jonathan Freitag said...

Bruce, I love a parade too especially one as impressive as yours. Well done!

Philotep said...

Very nice armies, on both sides! I love the pattern on the Roman shields, they look great :)

Bruce Roeder said...

As always Phil you are very kind. Merry Christmas to you and yours!

John said...

Gaesatae are only mentioned a couple of times in Polybios. Once there is no mention of what they wore (or didn't). The other reference is Telamon, where they are described as stripping naked. That's it for Gaesatae as far as I know. A few other historians (Diodorus, Livy and Julius Caesar) refer in general to Gauls fighting naked. Here's a useful summary of the evidence, textual and visual.

I thought it interesting that the coins depict naked charioteers and cavalry also, including what look to be naked women warriors.

So while Phil's claim that the Gaesatae "always fought naked" may be an exaggeration, and while the Gaesatae were a distinct band of warriors, there is plenty of evidence to support your decision to depict front ranks of other Gallic units as including naked warriors.


Bruce Roeder said...

Thanks for the feedback John. Interesting stuff. The Galatians certainly gained a reputation as mercenaries so maybe that was Phil’s reasoning.

John said...

Phil has been *the* towering (even if divisive) figure in the development of wargaming, especially but not only in Ancient/Mediaeval. Sometimes though, his reasoning is just impossible to fathom . . . ;-)

Bruce Roeder said...

I played WRG 40 years ago and loved the lists. I also subscribed to Slingshot for a number of years. I was all in with all things Barker and yeah he was a towering figure. I dropped out of gaming for 25 years and when I got back in a friend introduced me to his version of DBA. He had developed it for solo use. Once again Phil loomed large. I have the 3.0 lists and my impression is Phil has sought to be thorough while my friend thinks it’s about making money. I guess I would not blame him. Given where I’m at in life I’m finding adapting CCA to miniatures as being more my speed. Yet, I love the history and interesting comments about Gaesetae. Thanks much.

John said...

Interestingly your history mirrors mine. WRG 5th - 7th, then a long break. In my case I bypassed DBA but got involved again just as DBM was about to lose its near monopoly position in the 'big game; version of Ancient wargaming. Personally, I'm one of the minority that absolutely loves the game DBMM delivers. As for Phil making money, I think it would be pennies per hour given the time he has devoted. I'll be checking in on your page!

Bruce Roeder said...

That is interesting-you must be older like me ;-) When I got back into gaming there was controversy between the two other friends interested in ancients. one desired big games and even had the old copies of WRG 5 from back in the day. He didn't like aspects but went ahead and produced two large armies. He further rejected Field of Glory and Hail Caesar and other sets that were recommended for a go see. Meanwhile, the other friend had turned DBA 1.0 into a solo game and introduced me to that. His goal, keep it small so he could do more armies. My intent was to come alongside what they were doing but their visions were totally different. I landed on smaller and doable although my Polybians and Celts could easily fit into WRG-I have that many! I like to paint. Thanks for the chit chat. Do you have a blog?

John said...

I have the intention of having a blog. Is that the same thing? I do mostly solo games at the moment due to lack of opponents (although my stepkids occasionally let me recruit them). I have worked on DBMM100, making a quick, easy and fun game possible, progressing to 200, then for some, expanding to full size(400+). So in DBMM terms I have a full (options available) Ptolemaic and Andalusian, a couple of hundred AP painted for early 11th century Feudal Spanish, but practically the whole list for c1050AD ready in the queue. A couple of hundred AP of Early Muslim North Africans (again, with the balance to paint to complete a full sized army) and about 100AP of Tuaregs, who can also be an ally for the EMNA. So all historical opponents for around 1000 - 1050AD. Then I also have an army of Celts (Cisalpine), and about 1-200AP each of Etruscans, Samnites, Camillan Romans and Campanians, all but a DBA sized Gallic army awaiting paint . . . Oh, and then there's a whole unpainted (400+, probably nearer 500AP) of Meroitic Kushites. Why, you might ask? But it does give me a historically correct opponent for the Ptolemaics. And who can say no to the people who invented and manufactured antibiotics about 1500 years before Pasteur?

Bruce Roeder said...

Yes, you are commenting on my Blogger blog for wargames. I do not have many opponents either so solo for me has become a "thing" so-to-speak. My version of DBA used double figure stands, just meaning a second rank that meant nothing unless the rules allowed. It was mainly for looks. I started to use CCA maps because I'm mostly interested in historical matchups or at least contemporary armies that could have faced each other. Some of my armies have taken on the size of old WRG. I have a copy of DBMM but never tried it. You have some fascinating armies that are off the beaten path and that is really cool. I'm involved in a lot of other periods and for those I use most of sets that Osprey produces. Where do you live anyway? I'm in SE Wisconsin.

John said...

I'm in Christchurch, New Zealand, so about as far from Wisconsin as it's possible to be! Christchurch is, unfortunately, now best known for a series of destructive earthquakes (the 10th anniversary of one of the bad ones was yesterday NZ time (Feb 22), and the mass shooting (51 dead, 50 injured) in two mosques.

I have never really been interested in seeking out the 'mainstream' or tournament tiger armies, just ones that interest me for all kinds of perverse reasons:

Ptolemaic because they built the biggest and least practical galley of all time and they had six story skyscrapers.

Meroitic because, well, they're Meroitic . . . Warrior queen on elephant, the Romans thought they were rubbish but they seem to have beaten them anyway*, what's not to like.

I kind of like the idea of also getting Kyrenians, Aramaeans, and maybe early-ish Seleucids (Raphia) too.

Andalusians because they represent a fascinating period of crossover between Europe and the Muslim world. And if you're going to have Andalusians, you need their neighbours eh!

I like the idea of being able to do wee campaigns around a year and locale.

I'm slowly painting a 15mm Napoleonic Austrian army currently too and have some French and Italians to follow (all for 1809). So many figures, so little time.

* The Romans fought a war against Meroe in the 20s BC, claimed a victory, rubbished the army, but gave the Kentake (queen) everything she asked for in the post-conflict negotiations and she got to keep a bronze head of Augustus to step over every time she ascended her throne :-) I think maybe they'd done a little better on the field of battle than the Romans were willing to acknowledge . . .

Bruce Roeder said...

Well, it would be harder to be further away! Beautiful country you Kiwis have. I found this interesting since I confess to not being aware of the conflict:* The Romans fought a war against Meroe in the 20s BC, claimed a victory, rubbished the army, but gave the Kentake (queen) everything she asked for in the post-conflict negotiations and she got to keep a bronze head of Augustus to step over every time she ascended her throne :-) I think maybe they'd done a little better on the field of battle than the Romans were willing to acknowledge . . ."

I'll have to look it up but at first glance I'm guessing a Numidian successor kingdom of sorts? I'm currently working on a 20mm Marian Roman army and could always use another enemy esp if the they are Numidian look alikes, since I have quite a few.

I've been tempted with the HAT Spanish and Andalusians but like you have was too many projects. Fortunately. I enjoy painting just as much as collecting.

Bruce Roeder said...

John...I see Meroe was a Kushite kingdom bordering Egypt in the Sudan. Now, I'll have to see if DBA 3.0 has a list and then figure out what they look like! Thanks for the tip.