Thursday, November 10, 2016

Some dark age stuff complete

My dark age Finland project isn't exactly moving forward but now I have at least enough figures all in all for a small, Mordheim-sized match between viking invaders and Finns.

The earliest written record of Finns at war comes from a runestone in Gävle, Sweden:

"Brúsi had this stone erected in memory of Egill, his brother. And he died in Tafeistaland, when Brúsi brought (= led?) the land's levy(?) (= army) in memory of , his brother. He travelled with Freygeirr. May God and God's mother help his soul. Sveinn and Ásmundr, they marked."

Tafeistaland is a reference to Tavastia, or modern day Häme, a region in Finland that had settlements during the viking age. This stone tells us that a viking ledung raided Finland and lives were lost, probably due to resistance by the Finns. Meh, plenty enough to base my campaign on, especially when I sprinkle some Kalevala folklore in the mix :)








The Finns are pretty much your average dark age warriors. They have a few archers and have one "hero" character among them. Dark age Finns were particularly poor so the only model who has a sword or armor is the hero. They also don't have shield details like the vikings I did earlier had, to make them look like the poorer quality troops they undoubtedly were. 

Dark age Finns by artist Pekka Halonen. Historically they did wear dyed clothes so I made mine a bit more colourful. I might have made a mistake in doing so as they now "look wrong" to me because Finns are always painted like this with clean white clothes. Also the hat is something I don't think there is archaeological proof of existing but you see a lot in 19th century paintings.
  This model is the Frostgrave Knight I got in the nickstarter, I just gave him a Gripping Beast shield. He's based on Lemminkäinen, one of the characters in the Finnish national epic Kalevala. Lemminkäinen is said to be a mighty, red haired warrior who had traveled far. Therefore it's safe to assume he may have some history traveling with the vikings himself before settling down! He also drowned in the river of Tuonela but was saved and brought back to life by his mother so he counts as undead ;)

The mother of Lemminkäinen dragging his son's corpse from the river of the underworld, because that's what moms do!

I also did some personalities for the vikings:

Here is Brusi, the Viking leader. The Brodir of Man model by Gripping Beast was suitably imposing.
An old figure by Foundry perhaps. He can stand in as Egil although I'd like to get a younger warrior to portray him.
Two fearsome viking berserkers to add color to the force. I've had these Foundry models in my lead pile for ages and finally found use for them.

I've already shown these before but I'll add these viking raiders in this post for completeness. Real viking raiders wouldn't be so heavily armored, but what else can I do with all those Gripping Beast hirdmen? Besides, it helps set them apart from the Finns.

So, there you have them. Now I just need to do a lakeside village for the Vikings to raid and a boat for them to sail in!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

DBA: Hoplite on Hoplite

I played De Bellis Antiquitatis for the first time today! I'd say it's about time. My opponent hasn't played it either so I bet we fell into every rules pitfall in the book in addition to using my hoplite figures which are based for the wrong depth for DBA. I had plenty enough of figures to field two early hoplite greek lists. We had time for two games as the first one ended abruptly.




Apparently it's a bad idea to march your general on horseback into rough terrain. They.. die if they have to retreat at all and that's a sudden death victory right there.

In the second game we got some proper fighting going on. Movement feels a bit fiddly compared to modern games. Melee involves a lot of to-and-fro pushing of stands whilst there are a bare minimum of modifiers to consider. The game proceeds quickly and I bet you can easily play a game to its conclusion in 30-45 minutes.




Based on this experience I'd rate DBA a light "filler" wargame but I'm sure the DBx vets will disagree.