Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Austrian Reserve Corps, Kommandeur: Erbprinz Friedrich von Hessen-Homburg Division: FML Nikolaus Graf Weißenwolff, 1813

Another gallery "imported" from the old site. They look much better here. Victrix figures painted for me by Leuthen Studios. IR 35 fought with the Reserve Corps at Leipzig, so an appropriate unit for 2013. They were part of an all-Grenadier Division.

Oberstleutnant Call
IR No. 35
Oberstleutnant Call
IR No. 35
Oberstleutnant Call
IR No. 35

Grenadierbatallion Call
IR No. 35

Grenadierbatallion Call
IR No. 35
1811 Regulations

Pontoon Detachment, Prussian, Seven Years War

I am moving some of the galleries from my old blog to this new blog. By request, I am starting with a detachment of Prussian Pontoniers. The figures and equipment were painted for me by Leuthen Studios. The river and bridge sections are by Wargamers Terrain:

Monday, January 21, 2013

Commands & Colors Ancients

So what have we been playing recently at our Craft Days? Mostly "Command & Colors, Ancients". Cate, Will and John gave me the game. Good work Cate finding a copy, as it is currently out of print.

Expansion games 4 and 6 are in print and it was inevitable I had to buy them.

Expansion game 1 is also out of print, very hard to find and critical to being able to play the games in Expansion 6. 

We have played a number of "block games" over the last two years. Although I had resisted them for a long time, they actually got me very interested in board game again.

The gaming experience was greatly enhanced by playing Expansion game 5, "C&C Epic Ancients II". This game combines 2 sets of boards and a new set of cards that produces large but very manageable games, with interesting command rules for multi-player games.

The Battle of Plataea, 479 BC, in "epic" scale

The Battle of Plataea was our first "Epic" game. We were able to get into it very quickly after having already played several standard C&C games.

Michael and Jeff took the Greek side and Will the Persian

Greeks triumphant!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

"A Storm of Spears" by Christopher Matthew

I am reading this book to try to really understand Greek hoplite warfare. Matthew has a very different view than that of conventional authors. For example, I had become quite comfortable with Victor Davis Hanson's various studies on the subject such as "The Western Way of War".

I had accepted that hoplites used their spears in over-arm positions to stab at the opposing phalanx. Most model representations of hoplites show such positions when trying to recapture the fighting of the period.

Hughes takes a radically different approach...and has been attacked vigorously by the establishment and historical modelers for challenging the prevailing orthodoxy. I am still carefully working my way through his book, but I am inclined to accept his alternative hypothesis. He says that the vase-images so often used to interpret hoplite warfare are actually stylized versions of warfare in the Heroic (ie pre-hoplite era), or representations of javelin armed troops in combat, not hoplites in a phalanx. He uses vase and other art, literature and physical analysis of how hoplites probably fought to support his arguments.

Why is this work so important? It not only challenges, very assertively, many years of scholarship by numerous respected academics, it also renders inaccurate, if correct, most model figures of the hoplite era. I am interested for both academic and hobby reasons. I'm glad I have not committed many hours yet to building a hoplite army that might be inaccurate. I am also disappointed at how quickly this new work is being dismissed by fellow wargamers, I suspect, without a careful reading. If you accept Matthew, then these Victrix hoplites should be advancing in an oblique position, left leg forward, spears underarm, not overarm.

The TMP community is not, in my opinion, giving Matthew a fair reading. I find his work very thorough and compelling. I have not yet made up my own mind.