Sunday, December 12, 2010

Fantasy Campaing World:Map

The map above represents the fantasy world I will be using to situate all my ahistorical DBA/RRK and Hott battles. For the time being it has no special name, and the back ground is primarilly in my mind. You can find some backround on the page for the Undead Army.

Generally speaking this is a low magic dark ages tach world. It is primarilly popualted by human, as well as some fantasy races (Dwarves, Elves, Undead, maybe Lizardmen). Every DBA army I will have will have a represantation in the world so I can justify ahistorical games. While teh Dwarves, Undead and maybe Lizardmen will have their own armies, the backstory about elves is that they tend to rule over human vassals that do the fighting for them (Celtic or Nordic humans). So there will be no "elvish armies" but istead armies of their huamn vassals with maybe an element representing their elusive masters.

A list of approxiamtions with armies I have (painted and upainted) is the following

Divine Empire: Nikiforean Byzantine
Kingdom of Varnaz: Western Franks or Later Longbards
Repulbic of Litania: Polybian Republican Roman
Salamenian Tibes: Iberians/ Lusitanians
Western Horse Lords: Goths or Sarmartians
Southern Republics: Later Ottoman Turk( no artillery)

Possible-Suggested approximations
Elf Kings: Celts, Socts-Irish, Viking, Wend, Eastern Ameridian
Mountain Men: Infantry based dark age armies
The Divine Leage: Italin Communal, Greek Hoplite
Lands of the Khalifas: Sassnid Persian, Muslim 1000-1200
Southern Republic Alternative: Indian Republican
Land of Ksariya Kings: Indian armies
The Petty Kings: Sub-roman British
Eastern Hrose Lords: Huns, Mongols etc

HOTT/RRK Undead Army(Apethanatou Basileos Ypiretai)

Apethanatoi bimatizountes ksana- The Dead Walk Again

This phrase of terror has accompanied the subjects of the Divine Empire for the last 150 years. Ever since the Divine Emperor Gordian IV went mad with power and tried to make him-self a god. The 25th Emperor of the House of Lakid, the royal House that founded the Divine Empire 300 years ago, Gordian may had been the greatest human magician to ever live. But his greatness is the world’s undoing. Driven mad by the tutelages of the renegade Elf Lord Varisharm and his studies of the forbidden lore deep within the ruins of the stepped temples of the Old Ones, the Emperor sought something more then mere immortality. He sought invulnerability. As he went deeper into his dark studies he left the empire without a ruler. The Empire teetered as the Western Horse Lords poured in from beyond Western Mountains and the Northern Exarchy collapsed. In the south Khorvun III led his armies into an invasion of the imperial dominions south of the Gentle Peaks. The empire descended into civil war, as the Exarch of the North Mauricius declared himself a Basileus and allied with some of the Horse Lords to curve out his usurper dominion.

And then the dead walked. At first it was rare sight, furtive whispers of peasants. But slowly the numbers grew. The Imperial Council and the Senate were worried, but the Emperor had locked himself in the Porfyro Palace. The only answer to their entreaties was to let the dead alone. In time armies of the dead were raised and with some otherworldly purpose seemed to attack the enemies of the empire. Khorvun had to cross the Akmaios River at the head of a terror driven army. The dead ravaged the Northern Exarchy trying to break the power of the Usurper King Mauricius. But the people of the empire were afraid. The priests and priestesses of the Triad denounced the emperor’s action only to be attacked by the shambling hordes. The further the undead were from the Imperial Capital of Ekatopylos, the more erratic and destructive their behavior. For three years the people of the empire lived in terror.

The one day the dead started attacking indiscriminately. No one new what happened. When the Imperial Council and the Senate tried to get an audience with the Emperor they found the imperial palace a charnel house. All the servants were dead and reanimated. On the Red Throne sat a hooded, emancipated figure which with skeletal hands ordered the Senators and Councilors to commit suicide so that they could join his undying empire. They fled in terror while the capital cities various neighborhoods tried to fortify themselves. Undead armies were raised throughout the empire massacring the living only so that they too could arise. With the dread legions turned inward, Khorvun and Mauricius launched there attacks anew. Then on the 15th of the month Melachite, the patriarch of the Triad, Augoustinos IX declared that the Emperor had gone mad, that he had let his soul be tainted by the evil legacies of the Old Ones, and that he could no more remain emperor anymore. The patriarch’s brother, Anastasius, Imperial Legate of the Inner Sea Provinces, was declared Emperor by the armies of the Northern Exarchy, and the Inner Sea Navy.

Thus began the first Thanatomachia (from the greek words Thanatos=death and machi=battle). Rallied by Anastasius and the Triadic faith, the people of the empire rose against their Emperor and his infernal legions. Fire and steel ruled from border with the Salamenian Tribes all the way to the start of the Horse Lords Steppes. It took 3 years of hard fighting to reach the imperial capital, a city empty of the living. And rumors are that the First Thanatomachia would never had ended in victory if some unknown hero had not raved the dead filled Ekatopylos to steal from Gordian something important. Gordian fled the fire and steel of the armies of the living going into hiding deep within the gorges, chasms and forbidding forests of the Western Mountains. Anastasius cleansed the Imperial Capital of the dead and refounded the Divine Empire a year later taking the tile of Divine Emperor as Tilemach III. It took him and his successor and son Anastasius I, 20 years of warfare to contain the damage done by Gordian IV, whose name was expunged from Imperial Records and who is now called the Undying Emperor.

But the damage was done. The old Northern Exarchy beyond the Verusian Bay was lost to the Ususrper King Mauricius who founded the Kingdom of Varanz. The lands on the southern shore of the Bay were lost to any imperial authority divided between tens of petty tyrants who styled themselves king and who survived by pitting the Horse Lords against the Varanzian Usurper, against the Empire. Culturally the empire became more religious, the subjects of the emperor less open to new ideas. Cremation replaced burial as the only permitted funeral rite in order to deny the Undying King his bounty.

The most permanent damage was the fact that the Undying Emperor had situated his dominions right next to the empires western border. Over the next 130 years the once fertile western provinces of the empire became blighted. Plagues would herald undead armies that would march mechanically trying to rich Ekatopylos and the rumored vaults that contain the artifact the Undying Emperor lost. These Thanatomachiai have happened seven times until now laying waste to the Western province, with only the hardiest and bravest surviving in heavily fortified cities and towns. The damage was so much that the Divine Emperor had to turn the province to a special military Exarchy ruled essentially as a military dictatorship under the rule of an Exarch appointed by the Emperor. Beyond the forts of the Western Exarchy lie the foreboding and barren of any life but twisted trees lands of the Undying Emperor. No living soul dares tread there, expect from the twisted souls of the fools that try to gain some of his knowledge and power, creating the Thanatofilia secret societies that plague the empires politics.

And the people are always tense waiting to hear the terrible cry, the Dead Walk Again

What you read above is the back-story for my newest army, a 15mm Undead army using Splintered Light Miniatures. The army is almost complete, with 8 elements done. I intend to add a Skeletal Behemoth, a Necromancer element (as a hero, not a magician), and some zombie elements (to represent plague victims). I wanted the army to give a dark ages look since the world I have inside my mind as a backdrop for my fantasy wargaming is one with 1000-1100 AD(CE) technology. The SLM miniatures are perfect for this since few of them wear full plate armor. The army is built for HOTT or Rally Round the King.

It is also a low-magic world. As the back-story points out Gordian’s IV folly was a pretty much major affair but mostly because it coincided with the Horse Lords migration (more on that in the future). As a result I wanted to keep the undead army to mostly skeletons and zombies. No flying beasties, and no ghost, wraiths etc. Only the simplest of undead creatures are part of the army. The army is mostly made up of hordes of mindless skeletons that only know one thing: move towards the direction of the Imperial Capital and hit anything alive in your way. Once unleashed, they will just move forward until destroyed as they have no will of their own and are actually not controllable by even their creator (point about limits of magic). Some of them ride steeds (the two rider elements) but for all purposes behave like the horde skeletons (rule-wise I classify them as riders).

Three of the elements represent Wights. These are skeletons imbued with souls stolen from living people. The magic to create them is very vile, and also very taxing. Few can be created by the Undying Emperor since he has to use a part of his soul to steal the souls of the living. As a result Wights cannot be raised as wights if destroyed, but will be raised as simple skeletons. But thanks to the stolen souls within them, wights are able to fight with more skill (And thus are classified as Blades for HOTT). The impossibility of raising them as wights as well has led to them being more heavily armored then other skeletons.

Here are some pictures from the army. For a map and some information about the fantasy world go

Skeletal Riders

The Elite: Wights

The Skeletal Hordes

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

DBA IV/55 (b) Later Ottoman 1362-1449

I haven't updated my blog for quite a while. Lots of work and very little time. That said I have been painting, and got a chance to play and lose a couple of BI games :)

My newest addition is a Later Ottoman Army for DBA. The army represents the eraly post-refoms Ottoman armies but before the widespread adoption of handguns after the Second Battle fo Kosovo in 1448. Thus it represents the armies of Murat I, Baezid I, Mehmet I and his brothers, and especially Murat II.

The army is made up of 15mm Essex minaitures from their supposed Early Ottoman Army. The set is terrible for an eraly Ottoman army as it contains Janissaries, Balkan Horse, and most importantly Delis, which only started appearing in Ottoman Armies towards the end of the era. As a result I decided to model the army as a Later Ottoman.

Essex miniatures are nice with only one real problem for me. They have terible sclupted miniatures bases, requiring the use of green stuff to make the miniature stay on a element base. This is a mjor issue for me and will probably keep me away from Essex in the future. The psiloi element of the two north african corssbows is Minifigis 15mm. I added quilted horse armor to the general's cavalry element, and I scratchbuilt the gun for the artillery element.

A close up of the cavalry, inifigs Psiloi, Jannisaries and Artillery

Turcoman and Deli Light Cavalry and Christian Sipahis

Some closeups of units
The Yeni-Ceri and scratchbuilt artillery
Turkmen Horse-Arcehrs
The Pasha/Sultan and the Kapi-Quolu

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Early Later Ottomans DBA 15mm

A month ago I bought a ealry ottoman dba pack from my local game store the Dragons Table. The pack was an Essex one. Once I opened it to my dismay I saw that most of the really nice minis were not appropiate for an early Ottoman army. Especialy the presence of Delis made it very problematic. I thus decided to model the army as a Ealry Later Ottoman Army representing the armies from Bayezid Yalederim to the adoption of firearms after Second Belgrade (1444 I think).

I have started the project and here is a small peek at it. The green stuff at the bases is for keeping the terrible Essex miniature bases from tilting over.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Basic Impetus Battle Reports

Clash in the East!

Finaly got the chance to play a couple of Basic Impetus battles. Lost both of them:) Both battles are Succesor clashes and quite aptly both generals were Greeks :). Here is the battle report of the most recent clash, very condensed on time. The two armies were a augmented Later Selucid Force and a augmeented Greco Bactrian force.

The Seleucid force under my command was made up of 1xAgema CP, 2xTarantine CL,1xEl with escorts, 3xFP phalangites,1xFP elite phalangites,1xFL Thyeroforoi,1xS Cretans, 1xFL Gauls, 1 CGP Scythed Chariot

The Greco-Bactrian force under my opponents command was made up of 2xCP Greek cavalry,2xCP Cataphracts, 2xCL Bactrians Hrose Archers, 2x FP Phalangties, 2xFL Thyeroforoi,1xS Cretans, 1x El without escort.

The first picture has the lay of the land (north is up). I deployed forist. My general plan was to stymie his right flank on the river ford close to the forest in the north with the Elephants supported by the S and Gauls. I would at the same time strike hard at the center with my dense phalanxes, Heavy Calvalry and Schythed Cahriot. The Tarantines would try to flank his center using the gap between the south hill and forest. The Thyeroforoi would guard the south wood and my flank. This was a mistaken plan because it really relied on speed and from the army lists I had the handicap. The reason was his plan.

My opponent went for double envelopement. To the North side he deployed the light calvalry which would ford the river on a non-river crossing area (needs an additional turn to cross) and ride down the gap between the north wood and the river. His Cataphracts and Thyeroforoi would ford the river
at the crossing. His Elephants, Pike phalanx and S would hold the center prefering to defend and in the far south his Greek heavy cavalry,deployed beyond the hill would strike my south flank.

So the game was essentially a competition of speed. If my center crushed into his before he otufloanked me at either side I would win. If my center was too slow then I would get surrounded by his more numerous horse. In another word my plan was already the more risky of the two. But in good devil may care Succesor panache I went with it :)

The battle opened with essetially oen of his Cataphracts clashing with my Elephants at the ford. His elephatns in the center stopped my scythed cahriots in their tracks while those were rushing to hit his phalanx. My phalanx broke in two groups. One going towards the elephants in the cneter and the other towards his pike phalanx in the center.

In the center my chariots lost but his elepants were then destroyed by my phalanx. At the same time in the north my Elepants destroyed the frist unit of cataphracts only to be destroyed in turn by his general and the second unit of cataphracts. At about the same time his Light cavlary was done crossing the fords. My Gauls tried to stymie the coming onsalught but were destroeyd by a unit if thyeroforoi due to my unwilligness to risk a failed charge.
At the south end stupidly I decided to use my Tarantines to attack his phalanx rather then slow down his thundering heavy greek horse. A foolish move as my pikes were nowehre close to engangement with his.

As my north flank was evaporating in the center one of my tarantines made contact with the phalanx and got destroyed while the Heavy Greek calvary was on their heels. My thyeroforoi in the south made a valiant but foolish attempt to stop the greek cavlary and died. But one of my phalances made contact, pushed the enemy back, but then died after a lengthy fight.

What followed then was despearation at my side. My general in good Succesro fashion drove his cavalry into the enemy general unit (Cataphracts). A wild battle ensued which was lost by the Greek heavy calvary of my general. In the center. My second Pike unit made contact with his pikemen and destroyed them, but alas the battle was lost as the enemy calvary surrounded my armies remains. Like good Succesor troops, the Pezaiterhaioi lay down their arms and offered their servicesto the victor.

The battle was fun, but now that I thought about my plan was very very stupid. With how much cavalry he had I should had hunkered down and turned that area in the center between those two forests into a fortress. My army was slower but had more staying power and I did not take adavantage of it. But alas, like a good Greek I prefered the exhilaration of attack :) Still the game was fun and very bloody (something like 7 or 8 lost units for me and 4 for him). I still need to get used to some things about the rules (misread the firing rules and thus the skirmishers in the game ended up being useless). All in all a fun game!

Basic Impetus Armies in 6mm

I am almost done with my 6mm ancients projects (just a couple minis)
I have enough minis for three all option BI armies: Later Seleucids, Greco-Bactrians, and Parthians. I also belive I probably have enough eleemnts for two Impetus armies. I also have enough Parthians for a DBA 25mm base scale army.

The Later Seleucids

The Greco-Bactrians

The Parthians

Some focused shots on new elements

Parthian horse archers, also masquerading as scythians in hellenistic service

Parthian Cataphracts

Parthian Hrose Arcehrs in Cantabrian Circle

Scythed Chariots!

The Greco-Bactrian Pikes. I based them diffrently from the Seleucid ones. Less pikemen but light infantry escorts. I like it.


Hellenic Greek Cavalry

All in all I am very happy with the results. One piece of advice-> undercoat black. It makes it easier.

PhDleadhead Update: BI 6mm, DBA 15mm

Hi all

Lots of work and reading to do at school with ISA Midwest around the corner and MPSA in 3 months. But I found time to do some wargaming things.

For starters I am almost finished with my 6mm Baccus projects. I now have 3 armies for Basic Impetus: Later Sleucids, Greco-Bactrians and Parthians and enought elements for a Parthian DBA army. But I am ready to move beyond 6mm. This is a great scale for starting a new game as 1) you can quickly paint two armies 2) it looks good 3) it is relatevly cheap. For palyers on a tight budget and tight space 6mm is one of the best options out there.

Find pictures of all armies here
Secondly I got the chance to paly a couple of Basic Impetus games. A battle report of the most recent can be found here
and finally I am working on my 15mm DBA Early Later Ottomans. Find a small peek here.

One more thing. I wish to thank Kyoteblue a great TMPer for a major gift he gave me. He approached me and gave me for free four, FOUR, complete 15mm DBA armies (Lusitanians, Republucan Romans, Repulican Romans and Samartians). I really thank him and wish him the best . He is a swell guy. I have decided to gift two of the armies to good friends in honor of his action and vow to paint the other ones to the best possible standards! This also means that I have more then enough painting to last me a year and a half. Thanks Kyoteblue!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Sale from PhDleadhead

Hi all

I am holding a small sale for minaitures I am not going to be painting, or painted armies I won't be using. The sale will first e posted for a week for blog watchers, and then annanounced on TMP. So take advanatge of the windfall. What is for sale and prices(negotiatable for up to 15%, or for single items)

GNW Minaitures 25/28mm: Unpainted 30 minis, 4 standard bearers, 3 NCOs and Officers, 2 Drummers. Pikes will also be provided. (Dixon and Imperialist)
Price: 20$ (I will cover S&H)

Falmes of War Soviet Tank company 15mm: Painted and unpainted
Painted:6xT-34/42, 6Xt-34/85,2xSU-152(or SU-122),6xTransports, 9xBases of Assult Infantry, 1xComamnd Base.
Upainted: Pack of Heavy Mortars and Crews, 3 bases of Bailed out Groups.
Al will come in Sabot containers and palstic container. (FOW and Old GLory and Battel Honors)
Price: 80$ (I will cover S&H)

War of the Legaue of Aurgsburg Units 15mm:
Painted 2x Units made up of 3 bases each of 7 miniatures each, plus two bases of four pikemen each. Hanpainted Flags.
Unpainted: 8 Packs of Grendiers/ Musketteers and 1 Pack of Hussars.
Will come in Sabot container (Venexia)
Price: 40$ (I cover S&H for Continental US)

Thrity Years War units 25/28mm:
Painted: Pike and Shot Unit made up of 20 Musketteers, 20 Pikemen and command, handpainted flags,10 Cavalry with command.
Unpainted: 6 Dragoons/ Harbequisers and 8 Pikemen and Command (Metal Pikes included but not shown)
Will come in Sabot container (Foundry, Perry, Asult Group, Dixon)
Price: 60$ (I cover S&h)

Payment method of preference is check. Receipts will be provided for all purchases.
If interested please email me at

Saturday, August 28, 2010

First DBA Games

Hi All
Got a great chance to play DBA and try my Byzantines with Mike from minigamermike. We played 4 games, from last to first

100 Years War English vs. 1419 Mideval French- I won that thanks to the Englush Knights actually winning a Knight Battle with the French. 3-4
Late Carthigians vs. Nikiforeans-> Lost spectacularly with Cathigians when my Elephants were peppered with arrows from the Byz. infantry and crushed into the Carthigian phalanx. 4-0

War of the Roses English vs. War of the Roses English. I think I lost this one.

WoTR vs. WoTR

WoTR vs. WoTR

Nikiforean Byzantines vs. Normans. Not sure I remember who won.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Four Impetus: BI Vikings

Finally I finished the Basic Impetus Viking army in 1/72. The army was a joy to paint. The miniatures are Strelets and Zvezda. All in all the cheapest of all Basic Imeptus Armies in the Four Impetus Program (14$). I decided to go for the 15mm basing rather then the 1/72. This a) perimitted the army to be finished faster, and b) gave a DBA feel to army creation. 1/72 with 15mm basing is the cheapest way to create a Basic Imeptus Army. A good way to start the game. A first bunch of pictures below.

Where to from here?
Well Four Impetus is still not finished. I still have the 28mm Marian Roman Army. That said I am not sure I will ever get to finish it, except if I take it with me to Greece when I go for vacation and only work on it. After spending 2 years working on historicals I have gotten unsued to needing to work on buidling the miniatures.
On the painting queqe I have a) sci fi ships b) DBA Early Ottomans c) 15mm Byzantines to start turning the DBA to a BI army. d) Rhino for my 40K Space Marines e) 4 units of 6mm Napoleonic cavalry for Polemos f) finishing off the units to turn the Seleucids BI army to Impetus
Future projects are probably going to be opponents for my compelted historical armies: 1) DBA Early Hungarians for DBA Byzantines 2) BI Andalusians for Vikings 3) Impetus Parthians for Seleucids. I am alos interested in building a pair of HOTT armies or Basic Impetus Fantasy, either Artesian armies, or something GW themed.
Anyway we will see how my interests, motivation and time go.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Basic Barogue Battle

Game at the Dragons Table in Champaing Illinois
The game was a English Civil War game using Basic Barogue. The miniatures are 10mm and looked great!

The Royalist Deployment
The Parliament Deployment

Parlimentrian White Coats, supporting the Right Cavlary Wing (the cavalry udner my command)

Parliamentarian Center

The Battle on the Left Flank. Red strings donate disordered units

My failed assult on the Monarchists Right.

The centers approach for a push of pike that never came.

Furious battle on the Right

The Parliamntarian Right flank spending it self on assults
The Parliamanterian Left flank doing the same

The approach to the attack

The two armies deployed

The game was fun, but both sides could had afforeded to be more aggressive.