Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas from Iron-Mitten

Merry Christmas everyone and have a great new year. All the best, Simon

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Tullus strikes back (campaign 49)

Febuary in the new year opened well for Tullus, with the descovery of a salt mine in Mauretania Caesariensis.
When news of Secundus's march on Rome reached the ears of Tullus, he decided it was time to make a strike of his own. Tullus had so far played it safe recruiting in Africa and the outskirts of the Empire, now, he ordered his Legate in Tarraconensis to invade Gaul. Lucius Silius Famia marched an army made from vexillations of the VII Gemina and the newly recruited III Augusta into the Gaulish province of Narbonensis.
For the first time since the war began, the two sides now faced each other across a frontier. By this simple move, Tullus had put pressure on both Gaul and on the capital, Rome itself.

Senate flees Rome (campaign 48)

Panic sweeps through the capital as Secundus and his army grow closer. Lucius Plaudicus and the other leading senaters run from Rome and buy safe passage across the sea to join Tullus in Africa.
Tullus had no idea, that when the Senate had backed him in Rome, he would end up having to feed them all and put up with their constant bickering in Africa. A ship full of politicians was the last thing Tullus wanted to see turn up as he made his plans to invade the inner provinces of the Empire.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

The Inner Sanctum

These are some shots I took about three weeks ago. At the very start of my Blog, I posted a picture of my cabinet as it was, so I thought I'd better post an update of what it looks like now. I've had to add three more shelves since back then, to house my ever growing Roman collection and my other eras have had to take a back seat for a while, until I have finished with the Romans.
At some point I am looking forward to returning and expanding my Waterloo range. The cherry on the cake being, the start of the British forces....I can't wait. Also, I have a large collection of Celts I am looking forward to finishing.

With the Roman campaign well under way now, the next job is to finally start to work out the points for each unit and army, for the wargaming. This will be a big job and one that I will have to set a weekend aside for. However, my friend has sent me a list of troop values he found on the Inter-net, which cover just about every troop type I can think of and one that will save me hours of work. It even includes some I thought I'd have to make up, like those of the Batavians for example.
This room has become abit of a shrine for me and one that I have come to spend hours in. Once you've painted a unit, It captures alot more than just the colours from a book, times and dates and locations are also captured and for the painter, it can be like a diary spanning back years and years and years. Woo...too deep, pull out!...that was close! Stick to the drawing simon.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Secundus marches to Rome (campaign 47)

At the head of his newly appointed German bodyguard, Secundus journeys through the north of Italy towards the capital.

The unit Secundus has trusted with his life, is made up of the renown Batavian cavalry. The German tribe paid no taxes to Rome unlike all other tribes in the Empire. This said, there was still a price to pay, for the tribe were natural fighters and Rome demanded that each year a certain amount of Batavians inlist to fight in the Roman army. The Batavians were also known for their ability to cross rivers in full armour, a skill lacking in other Auxiliary units of the time and one that was used to great effect in the conquest of Britain.

The Army of Rome

Here are a couple of shots of the Army of Rome before its defeat at Arretium. The first is of an urban cohort in the battleline awaiting orders. I love the self-importance on the face of the officer, even though he's leading a bunch of poorly trained levys. These figures are unarmoured and are from the Punic war range, Renegade miniatures. I bought them to use for all my Garrison troops in the game, here they form an Urban cohort from Rome.

Below, the Young Roman general Venantius takes some seasoned advice for the oncoming battle, It will be to no avail.

Hot off the painting table

Balearic slingers join the forces of Tullus. I decided to give some of them small shields to add alittle more variety to the unit, also I found the perfect place for one of my favourite figures. To bring these unruly stone throwers to heel, I popped a young Roman officer in amongst them. I love this figure but I have found it hard to put him into units of armoured legionaries. Now, I feel, he has found his place.

Victory at the battle of Arretium (campaign 46)

Secundus rode out to meet the army of Rome near the town of Arretium in northern Italy. The battle is long and bloody with both sides taking turns to win ground, only to lose it again a moment later. To everyones surprise, the Praetorian guard fought well and almost turned the battle at one point. However with the weight of numbers on his side It was Secundus who triumphed in the end, forcing the army of Rome down into a number of river gullies, where it was cut to pieces.

Centurion Vitus celebrates victory after the battle with his Gallic warcry.

Senate rejects Secundus..again (campaign 45)

With the Rhine re-enforced and the German problem quelled, Secundus appeals to the Senate once more, to back his cause. Lucius Plaudicus, a haughty noble of high birth mocks Secundus in public, laughing at the thought of one of such low origins becoming Emperor. " second by name....second by nature" scoffs Lucius in the Forum.

Secundus is not known for his patience, and decides that he will not ask a third time. He mocks back in return "there is no third chance with Secundus!" Meanwhile alot of other senaters begin to realize, Secundus is alot closer to Rome than Tullus and his spainish armies. Rome is thrown into chaos as parties devide and argue over what to do.

Secundus straps on his helmet for battle and looks forward to meeting Lucius face to face.

German tribes attack across Rhine (campaign 44)

As Secundus mustered his forces, he stripped the borders of their much needed garrisons. With the XXI Rapax now marching behind him, he ventured south leaving a very under manned frontier. This of course did not go unnoticed by the local tribes in the area, who crossed the Rhine in force and destroyed two settlements and their garrisons in early april. To add to the insult, the tribes burnt to the ground two auxiliary forts before disappearing back into the dark forests. A relief column sent by Secundus was also ambushed and masscred as it struggled through the marshland to help the beleaguered Rhine settlements,

Secundus was not happy!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Off season blues (campaign 43)

The winter months passed quickly for the two would be Emperors and their growing armies. Secundus suffered alittle from a shortage of pack animals which set his road building plans back a month, however, roads were still completed in Raetia and Germany.
Tullus too took the slow, cold months to lace his new provinces with roads, seeing new roads built in Baetra and Numidia. However, building the long narrow roads in the shifting sands of Numidia was no easy feat, but Roman sweat and craftsmenship won through in the always.

Balearic Islands join Tullus (campaign 42)

The month of August saw a sickness sweep through Tullus's Northern army, the trouble was traced back to bad provisions from Gaul. This did little to dampen the spirits of Tullus, who sailed to the Balearic islands the following month and recruited the renowned slingers of the province for his army. The province openly declaired it's loyalty to Tullus and his Spainish armies. The troops of Secundus would soon feel the lead shot of these excellent skirmishers.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Secundus prepares (campaign 41)

Secundus joins the XXI Rapax in Upper Germany and prepares them to march on Rome. It's not the way he would have liked to have done things, but now he has no choice in the matter. Rome must fall to the Sucundian cause or burn!

Senate turns down Secundus (campaign 40)

The month of August started well for Secundus when a small raid on enemy supply routes paid off, however this goodluck was short lived. Secundus was now in a position to invade the capital of Rome and sent a bribe to help the process along.
The Senate turned him down flat, they took the bribe but laughed his messengers out of Rome.

Secundus took the news very badly and stormed around the camp cursing and vowing that now he had the German legions on his side, It would soon be him who'd be laughing.