Monday, 14 November 2011

When Bithynians Attack!

 Thanks to the Pre-Teen Visigoth in making this poster.
Well, here they are finally. The Bithynians. DBA Book II Army 6. I painted this army back in 2004, yet only have gotten around to posting them now. Not sure why so slow, mostly I am easily distracted and forget about what I really need to do sometimes. So for those of you who feel you are wasting your time looking at stuff painted a long time ago, move on. I think somebody has painted some Romans somewhere...Still here? Awesome. Let's talk Bithynia.

My Bithynians.  I love them, but by Sabazios they're a sorry lot when it comes to battle. On paper they're a challenge, 1 x Cavalry General, 1 x Light Horse, 2 x Psiloi, 8 x Auxilia and the option of 1 x warband in place of one of the Auxilia. An arable army with low aggression, the Bithynians can set a reasonably messy board to confound some of their historical opponents, but nowhere as nasty as a hilly army could. Fighting in the open these guys must rely on speed and maneuver lacking any 'killer' elements short of the one warband. The warband in my experience moves slowly and often like so many Scythed chariots, expends itself in futile rampage against the enemy pikes.

Enemies? First off the Persians both Early and Later. Alex and his Macedonian Goon Squad, Antigonos grasping for his share of planet plus wacky, paranoid ol' Lysimachus as well. Other Asia Minor B-Stringers like the Kappadokinas, Galatians and Pergamenes. Last but not least, those over-rated militarists from Lakedaemonia, the Spartans. Pretty sweet list of opponents. One of the reasons I picked these guys in the first place. Lots of legit, popular and interesting enemies.

Notable Bithynian Accomplishments in History.
1. Hired has-been Hannibal, suggests throwing snakes in enemy boats, actually works.
2. Scythed chariots used successfully...on them!
3. Pestered big-head Xenophon and the rest of the 10 000.
4. King dies, gives Kingdom to Rome in 74 BCE.
5.Never completely conquered by the Persians or the Macedonians.
6. Invited the Galatians into Asia Minor.
7. Ran away from Mithridiates, repeatedly.
Mighty Spanikopites and bodyguard.
Have rhomphia, will fight.

I used Minifigs 'New' Alexandrian line. Not so new anymore and very 'True 15' in scale. They look like children next to Xyston and other latter day giants. The sculpting is very simple, spare, almost zen and requires the painter to relish the flat surface and give some brush love. It remains a favourite line of mine.

The Galatian Warband were some big wacky ol' Falcon US figures I've had since the days of 1.0.

Given the Bithyians were a Thracian sub-set you could use the traditional Thracian Hill Folk costume for an earlier look. Those fox skin boots never go out of style (or maybe they should). I went with the 'Hellenistic Thracian' look. Mostly cause I like it, it's an established (via steles and such) Bithynian 'look' and the figures were right in my hands at the time. Which is one of the Teenage Visigoth's rules for happy wargaming, use what you've got, rather than dreaming about what you could have.

The arrayed auxilia.
As per the DBM lists, El Barko states that the rhomphia was not used by the Bithynians. Which may be correct, but it is such a freaking cool thing, why would you not include it? The DBM lists say lots of shit. Very little of which I pay attention to and suggest all good-hearted DBA players do the same.

Hairy and scary naked men, Galatian Mercenaries.
Size comparison. Puny wee Bithynians (Minifigs) next to mighty Galatians (Falcon US)
Light Horse, my game winner. That is when I do win with these guys.
The joy of a limited pallette.

In the interest of speed and a unified look I kept the palette limited and variation between figure at zero. I wanted the look of a unified army that would be different. Would I do the same again? I'm not sure.
The most effective part of the army, the camp followers.
I've played over 30 matches with these guys. I'm pretty sure their record it 5-25 or something like that. I've been hammered by Republican Rome, Alexander, The Persians, Mithradiates, endless hoplites and those lousy Kappadokians.

Now before you write me a well meaning missive suggesting I need to play auxilia armies different than other sorts of forces, thanks, but don't bother. I am the auxilia king in our parts. Flying columns, offset deployment, jerky toe-holding name it I do it and I win.

I've been figuring out ways for auxilia armies to win since 1.0 back when my beloved Welsh were mostly all Ax.  My Scots-Irish are terrors of their times. My Early Samurai have a record well better than they should.
 I could go on...

I win with Ax, just never with the Bithynians.

What's up Bithynia? Is it me? I love you guys. I made a special camp with an angry rock throwing woman for you. Why do you always fold in the clinch?

I'm willing to work on this relationship. 


Friday, 11 November 2011

Bonnie Light Horseman, Kate Rusby 11/11/11

When Boney he commanded his army to stand
He levelled his cannon all over the land
He levelled his cannon his victory to claim
And he slew my light Horseman on his way going haim

So broken-heated I will wander, broken-heated I'll remain
For the loss of my lover, in the wars he was slain
Broken-hearted I will wander, broken-heated I'll remain
He is my Bonnie Light Horseman, in the wars he was slain

The dame she laments for her man she will fly
Oh where, tell me where is my darling she cries
And where in this wide world is there one to compare
To my Bonnie Light Horseman who was lost in the war

So broken-hearted I will wander, broken-hearted I'll remain
For the loss of my lover, in the wars he was slain
Broken-hearted I will wander, broken-heated I'll remain
He is my Bonnie Light Horseman, in the wars he was slain

Oh and if I were a small bird and had wings to fly
I would fly o'er the salt seas to where my love doth lie
And with my fond wings I'll beat over the grave
And I'd kiss the pale lips laying cold in the clay

So broken-hearted I will wander, broken-hearted I'll remain
For the loss of my lover, in the wars he was slain
Broken-hearted I will wander, broken-hearted I'll remain
He was my Bonnie Light Horseman, in the wars he was slain

edit: It is important that you collect everything Kate Rusby has ever done. Go here.