Saturday, November 28, 2009

Roman Update

I have still been working on my Romans, slowly. This has been despite being distracted by other stuff, mainly computer games, including Dragon Age: Origins, which was quite good.

Since I finished up Dragon Age, I've been on a bit of a roll with my miniatures, and now have about a third of the legionnaires finished, aside from completing the basing. I've even gone so far as to order the rest of the miniatures I need to complete the army, as I've become fairly confident in my ability to finish up this project.

At the top of this post you can see all the miniatures that I've completed to date. There's another four on my painting table, and another battle group of 16 is in the final stages of assembly. Assembly is a bit tricky with these guys due to the ranking up issues I've discussed in the past, so instead of trying to assemble them all at once, I've been doing them in stages to help me focus on getting them where they can rank up properly. So far it seems to be working fairly well.

Below you can see my first 'command' stand that includes a cornicen (musician), signifer (standard bearer) and optio (NCO responsible for keeping the other legionnaires from retreating without orders). The stand has no game effect in Field of Glory, it's just for looks. When placed in the back of a battle group, and a stand with a centurion is placed in the front, it completes the mini-cohort look.

Monday, November 02, 2009

The Cohort

Above is one of three pictures I took of my first two Roman bases. You can see the other two if you click through to Flickr.

My goal here is to achieve a quality similar to that of pre-painted miniatures, and I think I've achieved it. There are a lot of things I could do to improve the miniatures. Doing the leather details on the armor, some hi-lighting on the faces, applying transfers to the shields, and detailing the open parts of the sandals would add a lot to the appearance of the models, but at the expense of a lot of extra time. With 80+ Romans alone to paint for this army, plus 60+ other models (many of which are cavalry), I really need to keep things simple if I ever hope to finish.

These are based using .8mm plywood bases from Litko Aerosystems. So far so good, although I'll withhold my final judgment until after I apply the basing materials. Getting them ranked up is the most difficult part of the entire project. The depth of the bases is the problem. You have to model the miniatures with their bodies at just the right angle to get them to rank up properly without hanging over the front or rear of the base.

Next up is to finish modeling and painting the remaining two stands in this first battlegroup. I've got six of the eight models primed and on my painting table now, including the signifer and the cornicen (standard bearer and musician). I just need to finish modeling the optio (second in command of a cohort) and one more legionnaire to round out the century.

I've sat down and figured out what this army is going to consist of if I finish it:
20 stands of Legionnaires
6 stands of slingers
6 stands of archers
8 stands of heavy cavalry
8 stands of light cavalry
3 command stands (probably 2 infantry and 1 cavalry)

That's a total of 645 points and around 155 models, give or take one or two depending on how I do the command stands. To do it I need a box of Numidians, 2 boxes of Celt Cavalry, and 2 boxes of German Cavalry, all from Wargames Factory; plus a set of Roman Tribunes from Foundry Miniatures. The total should be around $120. I suspect that if I get to play this army, the changes I'm most likely to make will be to cut some of the auxiliaries in order to add more Legionnaires, but as over half the models in the list are already Legionnaires, I'd rather start with this.

This list is based partly on ideas from online, but mostly just what I want to paint. The idea behind the list is that it represents a single cohort of five centurys (there'd normally be six if I'm reading my TO&E's for the period correctly), supported by auxiliaries. At this scale each model represents approximately 6 men. Alternatively, the army could represent an understrength legion of five cohorts (normally 10 to a legion), in which case each model would represent approximately 35 men.