The same old problem

At the beginning of this year I decided that I would take my wargaming inspiration from magazine articles, specifically those in Wargames, Soldiers and Strategy and Military History Matters.

Surely, I thought, with a shed full of half-painted stuff and a loft full of toys I can manage to get a game from the articles and my existing playthings?

Not so. I have managed a couple of battles, notably using Commands and Colors to fight some of Alexander’s great battles. I have never been a great fan of “Ancient” wargames, but I found this fun, after making my own playing tokens and slightly adapting the core rules. I was unwilling to buy more expansion sets, as I previously have for Napoleonic and Second World War editions, so I scoured the internet for other people’s ideas on period-specific rule options.

Back to the present. The latest issue of WSS starts with the battle of Mons Graupius. I have the “Strength and Honour” rules that the article was written for, but have never used them. You can buy the downloaded “Top down” unit tokens from Too Fat Lardies. I did so.

But I am restricted in my gaming space. Normally I have to restrict myself to a 4ft x 3ft table. Reducing the size of the printed game units did not work satisfactorily, so I – guess what? – bought some models

I discounted the 2mm figures from Irregular Miniatures because I did not feel that the deeper block units and massed warband could be well represented. They are excellent for the 18th and early 19th centuries, but I felt not what I wanted here.

I have played with 3mm figures in other periods and found the Oddzial Osmy range to be well detailed, so I ordered some. I also found in the shed a Roman Legion and Celtic Warband from Magister Militum’s own range awaiting painting.

On social media I read of people using POSCA acrylic fine point pens for painting 2mm armies, so I thought it worth a try. I bought pens from Amazon and found they work well.With my eyesight and unsteady hand, they are easier than paintbrushes. The ranges I recommend are POSCA and GGBOOM, and for larger areas the Windsor & Newton promarker range of alcohol based pens.

Thus, for the last few weeks I have been painting 3mm figures and NOT getting on with the game. My early results are shown below. the problem is that, although painting figures en masse, they are still moulded as discernible individuals. Not what was intended.

Having been drawn to the period I decided to continue with these models, but for the battle in hand to revert to 2mm models. Antonine Miniatures (from Warbases) make a range intended for the full size Strength and Honour units on a 1:1 figure scale, but on investigation I felt I could use them on smaller bases on a smaller board. They arrived yesterday and I was surprised to find they were cast metal. I had the impression they were 3d printed.

On first examination I believe they do not have the detail of Irregular Miniatures 2mm models but the massed formation impression is better for the task in hand. They will be quicker to paint than the 3mm units.

And so, to get the battle underway, 3mm goes onto the back burner while I have a go at 2mm blocks.

3mm Roman Legion
3mm Auxiliaries, work in progress
3mm chariots, work in progress. Buildings from Perry Miniatures Travel Battle.

In an effort