Thursday, June 4, 2020

Sassanid Persian Warmaster Ancients Paper Army

The time from the end of the Parthian (Arsacid) dynasty to the Arab conquest is known as the Sassanid or Sassanian period and it represents the last great flowering of ancient Mesopotamian tradition before it was overborne by the rising power of Islam. Sassanid Persia spans the wars of Roman and Byzantine Emperors, the invasions of nomadic hordes, and eventually, the Arab conquests. --Warmaster Ancients

I'm trying something new with this set. Each counter on the fourth page has a small triangle pointing toward the stand's front. This can help remind players which direction the unit is facing regardless of the images on the stand. This can be useful on units like 'shock' cavalry in Warmaster Ancients because they are mounted with the short 20mm side of the stand being the front, whereas other cavalry in the game are based with the 40mm side being the front. This also helps as a visual reminder on units such as chariots or artillery, whose counter images probably won't represent the direction the unit actually is facing.

Using those 'direction' counters is completely optional, which is why I placed them on a separate page. That way, if you don't want them, don't print page 4. The stands on page 4 are meant to replace their counterparts on the other pages. Is this a good idea? Should I do this for other sets? Let me know what you think in the comments section.

I'd like to thank the wonderful folks at Gripping Beast, whose images of their Sassanid figures I use throughout this paper army to give it a unified appearance. If only they made them in 10mm or 15mm!

The Sassanid Persians in Warmaster Ancients
The following is advice is from the rulebook on how to play this army: The Sassanids are a hard hitting cavalry based army burdened by a mandatory block of some of the worst infantry ever to appear on an ancient battlefield. Sassanid kings never expected much from their infantry and neither should you--so leave them in reserve of use them to secure dense terrain that is otherwise inaccessible to your cavalry. The archers can be extremely useful for forcing enemies out of position and are cheap too--but they won't last long if brought to close combat. The cavalry are capable of maneuvering to charge and will win most combats they initiate--but you have relatively few units and so can't afford to take chances. The Clibanarii's short range shooting ability is very useful but do not be tempted into using them as bowmen when you can charge instead. Their shooting ability is very useful as a defensive measure. The Elephants are too expensive to use in small battles but well worth bringing out for large battles where their high cost is off-set by the need for fewer commanders.

Printing the Counters
I hope you find these paper army sets useful. You can print them at places like Staples or Kinkos, using 110lb card stock paper printed at actual size. You can also print on regular paper and then glue the counters to wooden bases. (Check the older posts on how I did this with my Empire army.) Do not print the pdf to "fit margins." Always print at 100%.  I like printing the counter sets on good copy paper, spray gluing the dull side of a 'Silver Age' comic backing board with Super 77, attaching a sheet to the board, and then cutting out the counters using a sharp Xacto knife with a steel ruler. Using the backing boards makes for cheap, sturdy counters. I like keeping the shiny side down to make moving them easier on a table. Note: This set is designed to fit Silver Age and larger comic backing boards.

Click on the counter set image above to download the complete army counter set in PDF format. The set has enough counters to create many armies of 2,000 points or less. Of course, if you need more counters simply print more copies!

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Cheap l'Art de la Guerre Ancients Rules & Other Things

If you were to come to my house and sit down in my game room, which to be honest is dominated by my son's massive collection of board games, you would notice my bookcases directly behind me. One bookcase contains my Lego book collection, but that's another hobby for another day. The bookcase next to my Lego bookcase, on the shelves below the binders of my Magic the Gathering collection and other CCG's, sits my collection of miniature gaming rule books. Looking at them, I realize how small that collection looks compared to everything else in this room!

A Few of My Favorite Games
My current favorite miniature games are Gaslands: Refueled, Lion Rampant, Dragon Rampant, Black Cross/Blue Sky, Napoleon's Battles, and the entire Warmaster series. I still need a good rule set for my large Western and Gothic collection. (I've come to a point where I don't want to spend the years I have left trying to reinvent the wheel with my own set of rules.) Same for my WWII collection. I'll probably use Bolt Action with the latter.

I just realized that I need to post some photos of a fantastic Gaslands game from last year. Another fellow put on two different games using 3D-printed scenery and other cobbled bits. They were awesome. I went on a thrift shop binge and bought a ton of old Hot Wheels and Matchboxes for the game. I need to work on them! I'll make that post later this week.

Finally, the Point of this Post
I want to call attention to an ancients game that has been around for a while but was translated into English a few years ago: l'Art de la Guerre by Hervé Caille. Perhaps some of you have heard of it? It's a 240-page, full-color, all-in-one book covering everything from the dawn of time through the Late Middle Ages on every continent other than Antarctica, from what I can tell. In the US, it sells for $42.

I never gave the game much thought because it was always out of stock. As soon as a print run hit the shelves here in the US, it was sold out. It's sold out now. A few weeks ago, Hervé graciously made the book available in PDF for only 5 Euros. It cost me around $7.50 after PayPal fees. That is dirt cheap! You can buy it from the ADLG website here.

I highly recommend it, especially at 5 Euros for the PDF. In the future when I post an army for WMA, I most likely will create an army for ADLG as well. I'm looking at going back and converting some of my other ancient sets to ADLG as well, since it would take little work.

What's Next?
Next set will be another enemy for the Late Romans--the Sassanid Persians. I'm almost done with it, thanks to images from Gripping Beast's 28mm range.

With all the game conventions being cancelled, we'll be hosting our own ultra-mini four-day convention next week. (It's a fun way to use some of our Hilton Rewards points!) From the "chatter" I've been picking up, I think I'm going to get pulled into playing a game of Star Wars: Legion from Fantasy Flight Games or Shadespire from GW. Or I could be totally surprised. I know I'll be running some Funkoverse games (imagine the Joker and T-Rex chasing The Golden Girls around their house.) I'll be sure to take photos. Hey, I'm getting back into the swing of this blog thing!