Sunday, February 11, 2024

Early Italian Wars: More Refurbished Holy Roman Empire Units

The refurbishment of my Holy Roman Empire (HRE) late medieval army continues. As with the previous units, each one (except the knights) is themed around a particular northern German city, generally affiliated with the Hanseatic League

Army General from Lübeck. Figures by Front Rank.

28mm Front Rank War of the Roses miniatures for the early Italian Wars: Hanseatic General

Knights. Figures by Front Rank.
28mm Front Rank War of the Roses miniatures for the early Italian Wars: Knights

28mm Front Rank War of the Roses miniatures for the early Italian Wars: Knights

Light Cavalry from Dortmund. Figures by Front Rank.
28mm Front Rank War of the Roses miniatures for the early Italian Wars: City of Dortmund

Light Cavalry from Bremen. Figures by Front Rank.
28mm Front Rank War of the Roses miniatures for the early Italian Wars: City of Bremen

Spearmen/Billmen from Nordhorn.  Figures by Old Glory with a Mirliton hero.
28mm Old Glory- and Mirliton miniatures for the early Italian Wars: City of Nordhorn

Pikemen from Köln (Cologne).  Figures by Old Glory.
28mm Old Glory miniatures for the early Italian Wars: City of Köln (Cologne)


Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Early Italian Wars: Refurbished Holy Roman Empire Army


After almost a year of working on Carthaginians, I felt it was time for a break.  However, it is still another refurbishment project. 

Around 20 years ago I built a Warhammer Ancients Battles (WAB) Holy Roman Empire army for the late medieval/early Italian Wars period.  Having briefly lived in northwestern Germany, I opted to base the units around cities I visited, with the Hanseatic League rising as an overarching theme.  Now that Hail Caesar has expanded into that era and I have a local opponent, I thought it was time to pull my figures out of storage and get them back on the table. 

When I first painted this army, the only paints I had access to were were Citadel, which had more vibrant colors appropriate for Fantasy and Sci Fi armies. I also made the artistic decision at the time to really have distinct color schemes for each unit's clothing based around the city flags. While I would do it differently today, I've opted not to repaint everything and instead just add some additional highlighting and washes as needed.  Instead the primary focus will be on upgrading the basing and completing they unfinished figures I've had squirreled away (painted to match the old style).

Back at the time, the only basing material I had access to was some Woodland Scenics flock and a bit of grass I could cut into tufts. While it looked fine in its day, it doesn't really pop on today's tables. 

28mm Old Glory Italian War Miniatures prior to refurbishment

For the refurbishment, I've scraped off the old flock, and added a layer of Vallejo Diorama FX brown earth with Woodland Scenics brown ballast and some grey rock.  This then received a sprinkling of Army Painter field grass and appropriate tufts from Army Painter and Gamers Grass.  As seen below, it really made a huge difference in appearances.

28mm Old Glory Italian War Miniatures being refurbished

The army was originally built using Old Glory Italian Wars miniatures for the infantry. This is actually one of their better lines and while not quite up to today's standards, still look reasonably good on the table. These have since been supplemented with some Mirliton fantasy miniatures, and War of the Roses miniatures from Perry, Crusader, and Foundry.  

Spearmen/Billmen from Cloppenburg. Old Glory with two Mirliton fantasy heroes.

28mm Old Glory and Mirliton miniatures for the early Italian Wars: City of Cloppenburg

Halberdiers from Hanover. Old Glory with one Mirliton fantasy hero.

28mm Old Glory and Mirliton miniatures for the early Italian Wars: City of Hanover

Arquebusiers with pavises from Osnabrück. Old Glory with one plastic Perry figure.

28mm Old Glory and Perry miniatures for the early Italian Wars: City of Osnabrück

Crossbowmen with pavises from Oldenburg. This is a new unit made from Perry plastics, and figures from Crusader and Foundry.

28mm Perry, Crusader, and Foundry miniatures for the early Italian Wars: City of Oldenburg


I still have more units to either refurbish or start as new, but I'm happy with how things are progressing and am looking forward to getting this army back on the table after so long.

Tuesday, January 9, 2024

Punic Wars: Gallic and Italian Cavalry

 The refurbishment of my old Carthaginian army is starting to wind down, with just a few units remaining. I obtained some second hand cavalry years ago that has just been sitting in bags, and thought it was time to finally paint them up and get the on the table.

First up are some Gallic cavalry that look to be from Foundry. I didn't have shields for all the figures, so had to use some from the bits box.  They are really well sculpted and I think they'll look great on the table.

28mm Wargames Foundry Gallic Cavalry miniatures

28mm Wargames Foundry Gallic Cavalry miniatures

28mm Wargames Foundry Gallic Cavalry miniatures

28mm Wargames Foundry Gallic Cavalry miniatures

28mm Wargames Foundry Gallic Cavalry miniatures

Next up are some Italian cavalry from Old Glory. These were mixed in with a lot of other figures, but I believe they are the Ligurian pack, with perhaps some hill tribe figures included as well (half the figures had sculpted saddle blankets while the other did not, so it makes me suspicious that they aren't a single pack).  The horses supplied also seemed to be a mix of sculpting styles, so I'm not sure they are all the correct ones for these riders. But I got these for free as part of another deal, so am not going to complain and I think the end result looks good enough.

28mm Old Glory Italian/Ligurian Cavalry miniatures

28mm Old Glory Italian/Ligurian Cavalry miniatures

28mm Old Glory Italian/Ligurian Cavalry miniatures

28mm Old Glory Italian/Ligurian Cavalry miniatures

28mm Old Glory Italian/Ligurian Cavalry miniatures


At this stage, I've been working almost exclusively on Punic Wars for the last year (300+ figures either refurbished or newly painted) and am feeling a bit burnt out.  Since I now have more than enough done for a good size game of Hail Caesar, I've decide to pause work on this for a bit and focus on another army refurbishment project that I'll be starting this month.  






Tuesday, August 29, 2023

Punic Wars: Commanders and Gallic Warbands


The work on expanding my Carthaginian army continues. As Hail Caesar uses more command stands than WAB, I’ve created two more from some Crusader Miniatures infantry command stands. They are very well sculpted and cast, and fit nicely with the A&A figures I have in my army (which isn’t a huge surprise since it’s the same sculptor).  Since the Carthaginian army was a mix of peoples, I’ve opted to go with one Carthaginian commander and one Apulian Italian commander. While I don’t have any Apulian units in my army, my hope is that they look generically Italian enough that won’t look out of placing leading a mix of Oscans, Ligurians, and Italian hill tribes. The shields were done using transfers from Little Big Man Studios.

28mm Carthaginian and  Apulian Italian Punic Wars command miniatures for Hail Caesar and Warhammer Ancients from Crusader Miniatures

28mm Carthaginian and  Apulian Italian Punic Wars command miniatures for Hail Caesar and Warhammer Ancients from Crusader Miniatures

My initial Gallic warband from 20 years ago was made from Foundry figures, with Black Tree command, and a lone 1st Corps figure (known as ‘Shorty Bob” due to his stature when compared to the other lines).  I bought the Foundry figures second hand and they came without shields, so I had to order replacements from Old Glory. Since then, I went on to pick up some Renegade and Gripping Beast over the years. There are some size differences between the various brands (The Renegades are big guys with swords the size of cricket bats), but I’ve done my best to mix everything together.  Overall, I think the dynamic poses help hide the differences in a warband, so I don’t think it’s too glaring. For the shields, I’ve mixed everything up and replaced some with additional Old Glory shields, allowing me to use LBM transfers in additional to the original decals from Veni Vidi Vici.

Warband 1:

28mm Punic Wars Gallic Warband for Hail Caesar and Warhammer Ancients from Foundry, A&A, Renegade, Gripping Beast, and Black Tree Miniatures

28mm Punic Wars Gallic Warband for Hail Caesar and Warhammer Ancients from Foundry, A&A, Renegade, Gripping Beast, and Black Tree Miniatures

28mm Punic Wars Gallic Warband for Hail Caesar and Warhammer Ancients from Foundry, A&A, Renegade, Gripping Beast, and Black Tree Miniatures

28mm Punic Wars Gallic Warband for Hail Caesar and Warhammer Ancients from Foundry, A&A, Renegade, Gripping Beast, and Black Tree Miniatures

28mm Punic Wars Gallic Warband for Hail Caesar and Warhammer Ancients from Foundry, A&A, Renegade, Gripping Beast, and Black Tree Miniatures

Warband 2:

28mm Punic Wars Gallic Warband for Hail Caesar and Warhammer Ancients from Foundry, A&A, Renegade, Gripping Beast, and Black Tree Miniatures

28mm Punic Wars Gallic Warband for Hail Caesar and Warhammer Ancients from Foundry, A&A, Renegade, Gripping Beast, and Black Tree Miniatures

28mm Punic Wars Gallic Warband for Hail Caesar and Warhammer Ancients from Foundry, A&A, Renegade, Gripping Beast, and Black Tree Miniatures

28mm Punic Wars Gallic Warband for Hail Caesar and Warhammer Ancients from Foundry, A&A, Renegade, Gripping Beast, and Black Tree Miniatures

28mm Punic Wars Gallic Warband for Hail Caesar and Warhammer Ancients from Foundry, A&A, Renegade, Gripping Beast, and Black Tree Miniatures

Sunday, July 30, 2023

Hail Caesar: First Game


We're still finishing our armies, but we had enough to try our first test game of Hail Caesar (we're still using 1st Ed.): Two divisions of Punic War Carthaginians vs three divisions of Early Imperial Romans, for a total of around 330 pts per side. Overall we enjoyed the rules, though we made a lot of mistakes around disorder, stamina, and break tests. I'm not sure how much our errors impacted the final results (Roman victory), but it will be interesting to retry this battle in the future. 


Th initial battle lines after the Carthaginians moved first. The hit and run tactics of the Numidian cavalry worked well, especially when attacking in the flank.



On the far end of the board, I made the mistake of letting my cavalry get in front of my infantry.  While they hit hard the first round, their sustained attack was weak and it really impacted the back and forth of the battle. I think the smarter move would have been for them to swing into the flank after the infantry made contact.


Though loosing the round of combat (I forgot about the Wild Fighter rerolls), the large Gallic Warband held up fairly well against the Romans.


Very quickly we learned that supporting units and flank attacks were critical to winning the encounters, particularly when light or medium infantry were going up against heavy infantry. 


I was originally concerned the variation in unit frontages (my army was based for Warhammer Ancients) was going to cause problems, but it ended up not being an issue. However, that may be to us taking the game casually; more competitive players might have had cause to raise a stink about how we lined things up.



I originally used my skirmishers as screens to protect my infantry formations as they moved up, but later found them more useful as flank attackers to weaken the Roman attacks on my heavy infantry.



The elephant wasn't as effective of a terror weapon as I had hoped for, at least how I deployed him.  I'll have to toy around with new strategies moving forward.



A lot of people have recommended moving to the 2nd Ed. rules, as the organization is supposedly clearer, but I think we'll keep muddling through the original rules before shelling out another $56 to upgrade. As we continue to finish our armies, it will also be interesting to see how many units can practically be deployed on a 4'x6' table. We should both be at approximately 3-4 divisions of 4+ units per army when done.