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Here comes the cavalry

Three new blocks of cavalry for the Punic Wars:  Gallic Cavalry, Numidian Cavalry and Allied Italian Cavalry.  (The left hand Numidian unit was purchased painted.  Only the basing is mine.)

Italian Paint Plan:

Whites:  Bastion Grey, Wolf Grey and Solid White

Blues:  Exile Blue and Tropical Blue.

Red:  German Red Brown and Rouch Red

Yellow:  NMM Gold Base and plague brown

Skin:  the normal skin method of Middle Skin with Soft tone was coming out more yellow than normal.  I added a highlight of Warrior Flesh on the to lighten up the tone.


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Hail Caesar, 2nd Edition

The second edition of Hail Caesar is a cleaned up & well organized version of the game we all know and love. The changes add an extensive table of contents, cross reference page notes, and easy to read bullet point descriptions. New chapters include a historical summary, the army point system from the army books, rules for later medieval battles and siege battles.

The handful of new rules (or rules which I have forgotten over the years) are noted below:

PG 82 – Open Order units with view to the enemy can act on initiative orders.
PG 86 – Proximity requires a visible, qualifying enemy to the unit’s front and to be within 12 inches.
PG 109 – Diagram illustrating a diagonal charge action when its the only path to joining the combat.
PG 114 – New charge reaction. Infantry can turn to face.
PG 118 – Medium and Light infantry units are allowed to close ranks.
PG 120 – Diagram illustrating a unit supporting at a diagonal, touching only at the corner.
PG 130 – Follow Up orders can be given to Disordered/Shaken units.
PG 136 – Generals have two new orders. Where’s your courage? and General Advance.
PG 145 – Light cavalry in open order take no distance modifiers for orders, and move 12 inches with each order.
PG 161 – Pike have new restrictions including only a single movement order outside of their front arch, not able to turn to face, and loss of pike in forest.
PG 171 – Woods. Cavalry must dismount and are treated as infantry. Units are limited to 5 attack dice. A check is required to remove disordered status (except for light/skirmish infantry units).

Break Checks – it appears that the only copy of the hand to hand chart is on the last page of the book.  Only the shooting break check chart is (copied multiple times) included in the chapters and summary. Also noted that shooting results in a Retreat and combat results in Give Ground. These two types of movement have different rules for navigating around obstacles and friendly units.

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Punic Project

Units painted in winter of 20/21, finally based and ready for the table in 2022.

Two units Victrix Iberians, one unit Gripping Beast Iberians, one unit of Foundry, Warlord and Wargames Factory Gauls.

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Victrix Iberian

Unit of Victrix Iberian Warriors.  Shield transfers by Little Big Men.

Tried two paint plans for the tunic.

  • Ghoul Skin by Reaper produced a green/grey with good coverage
  • Foundry linen triad.  Spotty coverage with poor layers.  End result is a sickly yellow color.  Had better luck just using the green shade color.

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To cross the Alps, you must have Elephants!

A pair of Foundry Elephants for Hannibal’s army.

Base is a rather small 50mm square.  I may build out a larger tray that I can drop this smaller base into for games where a bigger base would work better.

Paint Plan

Elephant:  Espresso primer (dark, dark brown) worked up with Dusky skin (Reaper) (which is actually grey)

Howda:  Bastion grey, desert stone, desert stone + yellowed bone

Blanket:  Terracotta (Foundry), gory red, rach red

Troops:  White armor with red tunics.  Tried Reapers Grey Liner as a line filler, worked as a black ink.

Mahout:  Started skin with dark brown, worked up with Ruddy Brown (R)


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Painting guides – Horses and others

My (old) favorite horse color:  Rife Butt (Howard Hues) + Tanned Flesh (GW).  This combination produces a Chestnut color which varies from a dark brown up to a warm brown/red.  Adding Graveyard Bone (Reaper), creates a chalky brown/grey which could be roan or grey.

I think both my Rife Butt and Tanned Flesh have both dried to mud at this point.  Ruddy Brown (Reaper) is the base for my most recent unit of cavalry.  Also from Reaper, Heartwood Brown for dun, Fair Skin for tails/mains, and Dusky Skin for grey.  Foundry triad Chestnut and TerraCotta have joined my painting table.  Expect to see them used in the future.

I’ve often tried to answer the question – what would horses of the ancient period look like.  Appears my solid chestnuts are all wrong….

An international research team under the direction of the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (IZW) in Berlin, Germany is sorting out the millennia by using horse color. The ancients loved spots, they tell us. Spotted and “diluted” horses were more populous from the beginning of domestication until the end of the Roman Empire, whereas solid colors (bay, black and chestnut) were dominant in the Middle Ages.  Source:

A pair of handy reference pages.

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Spanish Scutarii

Unit of Gripping Beast Scutarii primed black (by a previous owner….)

Paint Plan: 


  • P3 Hammerfall Khaki
  • P3 Traitor Green
  • Vallejo Khaki
  • Reaper Stained Olive (brighten as needed)


  • Vallejo German Red Brown
  • Reaper Gory Red
  • (R) Rach Red


  • P3 Hammerfall Khaki + Red accepts
  • (R) Stained Olive + (R) Ruddy Brown w/ (R) Saddle Brown highlights


  • (R) Suntan Flesh + Army Painter Soft Tone


  • (V) Chainmail
  • (R) Tarnished Brass
  • (SW) Armor Wash


  • (R) Ruddy Brown w/ P3 Gun Corps Brown highlights + (SW) Dark Sepia


  • (V) Leather Brown


  • (R) Witchcraft Purple



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Next Up: Republic Romans

This summer I will be returning to a favored project which I was satisfied with:  The Roman Republic.  This linchpin of the period fights with or against a host of opponents:  Carthage, Spain, Samnites, Etruscans and Greek/Macedonians.  First up is a box of Agema Republic Romans.  The delicately sculpted figures provide a full division of Roman warriors with 2 Hastati, 2 Principes and 1 Triarii.  Assembly was smooth, but I wish that they had provided a neck socket instead of a flat join between head and body.



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Battle of Kursk – Adepticon 2017

For a second year, my friend Aaron and I hosted a Bolt Action Kursk game at Adepticon.  This year’s battle was armor only – not historically accurate, but a necessary change to run a large scale battle planned for 8 players.  The table was 12×5 with two large hills, a village on one end, and plenty of wrecks/smoke breaking up line of sight.  The teams each had objectives to achieve – both sides needed to inflict casualties on the other and also achieve a movement goal.  The Soviets needed to place four tanks into the German deployment zone.  The Germans needed to move two tanks onto an objective on one of the hills.

The Soviet players elected to mass their tanks in the central section of the table.   While the Germans stayed put behind the smoke.  For several turns, the longer range of the German guns picked off tank after tank.  It was starting to look like an easy German victory when the Soviets crossed into the German zone and scored their movement objective.  Suddenly, the Soviet team was ahead on points.  After a brief panic, the Germans rushed to claim their hill & continued to pound the Soviet tanks. Final score was 16 to 10 in favor of the Germans.

Set up for the battle:  20 Soviet tanks face off against 12 German tanks

Burning Soviet tanks fill the fields

Aaron created lite smoke columns using tea lights.  Awesome effect.

In the end, nearly all of the Soviet tanks were destroyed.

Panzers in the Smoke   Mission brief and tank list


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Russian Village

A new village for the Bolt Action Kursk table, getting ready for their debut at Adepticon Thursday night. Building kits by Sarissa Precision.  The kits are small, inexpensive, reasonably detailed and went together without much trouble.  Paint was an under coat of black, brown and grey spray paint, then sponge painting to lay down the top coat.  Green, yellow and blue were added to spice up the dreary peasant life.

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