jeudi 5 octobre 2017

Knights of the Cleansing Flame

The Story of the Cleansing Flame

From the ashes of the old are born the new, and the fire shall have cleansed them, and they shall be free of evil.' Chronus Goodheart at the funeral pyre of the Brotherhood.

Chronus Goodheart was a member of a singular band of crusaders in the holy war against the Arabians. He was one of the Brotherhood. Chronus came from a deeply religious family and firmly believed in the ways of the West. He abhorred the swarthy, outlandish men of Araby and their insidiously evil culture. Now he was confronted by the most hideous scene he could possibly have envisaged.

Before him was a sight that turned his stomach, and a stench that spelled both his nostrils and his soul. It was human carrion, carrion that had once been friend and fellow crusader. Chronus and his three companions were puzzled arid horrified at the sickening carnage that had fallen upon their fellows. It was the work of no man, or no sane man at least, they reasoned.

They built a great funeral pyre to consume what remained of the Knights of the Brotherhood. As the flames bellowed and roared one of Chronus's Knights made a strange discovery amongst the ruins where the massacre had taken place. Returning to Chronus he told of his find, and Chronus at once investigated. What the young Knight had chanced upon was an underground sanctuary -originally part of a temple, but now hidden amongst the ruins. Entering inside Chronus saw the blood stained frescoes, frescoes that depicted scenes of horror and perversion of an altogether abhuman nature. Worst of all, upon the floor lay the discarded uniform and equipment of a Knight of The Brotherhood.

Eroneus, he gasped, as he recognised the clothing of one of the company, Eroneus Balbadron, his own cousin.

Chronus's mind was thrown into chaos. Clearly his cousin had been murdered, and in a manner both foul and inhuman. The whole thing stank of some perverse religious ritual, of a terrible sacrifice to who knows what hellish god.

But it was Garland, the standard bearer who glimpsed the truth, for in his youth he had seen the secret woodland temples of the Gods of Chaos, and had heard rumours of their deeds. He came from the forests of the Empire, lands deep enough, and dark enough to hide the minions of chaos and their victims. In the ruins of the temple he recognised the signs.

Chronus was struck dumb at what Garland told him. To find that his own cousin was the monster that had undoubtedly precipitated, if not actually accomplished, the deaths of so many good Knights, was a considerable blow.

The Knights packed the sanctuary with straw, and around the whole circuit of the hill they spread such flammable materials as lay to hand. Within an hour the whole hilltop was on fire, and what little remained of the Knights of The brotherhood, and of the strange temple, was utterly destroyed. As the flames burned each Knight swore a great and binding oath.

'This shall be our call to arms and symbol, the flame of our burning brothers. We must keep the flame burning until such time as our oath is fulfilled and the world cleansed of the evil of Chaos. Only then can our souls rest in peace. And the flame we shall bear as our device, and -the minions of Chaos will come to fear us, and we shall be known as the Avenging Knights of the Cleansing Flame. So it was that the four Knights travelled abroad in search of Eroneus. They encountered much evidence of his passing, and many men joined them in their quest, for many were the unspeakable acts committed by the defilers of Chaos.

That's a regiment of renown designed by Jes Goodwin and released in May 1985.
The text and photos above were edited in the CITADEL JOURNAL N°5

I use this regiment with my HOTT empire army.Since I paly HOTT with extralarge bases (official sizes x 1,5. i.e. 9cm front) there are twelve figures on the regimental base.

samedi 30 septembre 2017

HOTT Hordes of the things

Hordes of the Things (HOTT) is a fantasy miniatures wargame published by WRG. These rules are based on the De bellis antiquitatis rules.

A generic fantasy game, it can represent armies from a wide variety of settings. 

 An army is made up of a number of 'elements' of equal frontage and varying numbers of figures. The number of figures on each element is unimportant and need only be what looks right for any given army; all game mechanisms use the element as a basic unit. The number of elements in an army is based on a points system. Each element costs 1, 2, 3, 4 or 6 Army Points (AP) depending on its type. A basic army is made up of 24 AP worth of troops, but no more than half the points can be spent on elements costing 3 or more AP. A basic army is therefore normally made up of between 9 and 12 elements, although 13-24 element armies are possible. Elements are of basic types—examples are Knights (mounted troops relying on a fierce charge), Blades (skilled fencing infantry), Heroes (superhuman individuals), Lurkers (things that hide and ambush) and Magicians (practitioners of magic). One element is the army's general.

Variant to play mass battles
Hordes of the Things has a variant called Mass Battle Hordes of the Things – where each player can use two or more armies instead of one

Each army is divided into commands, each controlled only by its own general, or that one of them designated as commander-in-chief. Commands can be of unequal size, but no command may have more than half its points of 6 AP, 4 AP and 3 AP elements, and only that of the commander-in-chief can include gods, dragons or lurkers. Elements of different commands must not intermingle when first deployed.

Both sides' commanders-in-chief dice. The lower scorer is the defender. He chooses the terrain and numbers the playing area's two long edges 1,2,3 and 4,5,6 respectively. The higher scorer is the attacker. He dices, taking the edge corresponding to his score as his base edge. The defender places his side's stronghold on that opposite. Both sides now alternatly deploy one command, the attackers starting first. The defenders take first bound.

Some links:

- Free download of the rules (V2 English version): on this page
-  Free downlad of the rules (V2 French version): On this page

mardi 25 juillet 2017

[List IV/41] Zulus



A "count as" army

The Zulu army is the only "traditional" army ignored by the DBA army lists. However, there are several unofficial versions on the internet (the French publisher ZBB has even produced a version)

Wishing to play this beautiful army (and taking advantage of a 30% reduction in the price of the range at Black tree design) 
I opted for the use of the Swiss list IV / 41. I find that the many 6Bd are well suited to the "Hollywood" image of the army (mass of unstoppable hand-to-hand warriors) The horns made up of single warriors correspond more to classic Bd. I chose to distort the original list by representing them by 3Bd rather than 4Bd because it more closely corresponds to their historical tactic of rapid envelopment of enemy wings. If a possible opponent disputes this, they will be played as 4Bd (the latter may, in the rules, be plumbed like 3Bd)


The composition of the army

It responds to the desire to impose a mandatory distribution of the bodies in order to restore the tactical rigidity of the Zulu army, whose predictability historically harms them.

The tactic at the head of the bull (two horns and a chest) is respected. For the game, the reserve historically deployed by the Zulus in their traditional strategy is assigned to other bodies.
 My army consists of Black tree design figurines, made of metal. Each of the army figures is different from the others, thanks to the richness of their Zulu range.


Hilly, agressivity 1
  • Left horn 13 bases, breaking point 5
    • 1 x 3Bd Sub-general  Mavumegwana Ka Ndlela Ntuli
    • 2 x 3Bd Regiment of unmarried warriors uVe (Black and white shields)
    • 2 x 3Bd Regiment of unmarried warriors i Ngobamakhosi (Mixed shields)
    • 2 x 3Bd Regiment of unmarried warriors u Mbonambi (Black shields)
    • 2 x 3Bd Regiment of unmarried warriors um Hlanga (White and black shields)
    • 2 x Ps Regiment of unmarried warriors u Meijo (Black shields)
    • 2 x Ps Regiment of unmarried warriors u Bheuvula (Black shields)
  • Chest 10 bases, breaking point 4
    Cetshwayo KaMpande en 1875
    • 1 x 3Bd Général en chef, Roi Cetshwayo KaMpande
    • 2 x 6Bd Regiment of married warriors uThulwana (White shields)
    • 2 x 6Bd Regiment of married warriors isAngqu (White shields)
    • 2 x 6Bd Regiment of married warriors  uDloko (Red shields)
    • 2 x 6Bd Regiment of married warriors iNdlondlo (White & red shields)
    • 1 x Ps Regiment of married warriors um Khulushane
  • Right horn 13 bases, breaking point 5
    • 1 x 3Bd Sub-general Ntshingwayo kaMahole (dit Ntshingwayo Khoza)
    • 2 x 3Bd Regiment of unmarried warriors u Dududu (Black shields)
    • 2 x 3Bd Regiment of unmarried warriors iMbube
    • 2 x 3Bd Regiment of unmarried warriors i Ndluyengwe (Black shields)
    • 2 x 3Bd Regiment of unmarried warriors u Khandempemvu (Grey shields)
    • 2 x Ps Regiment of unmarried warriors u Nokhenke  (Black shields)
    • 2 x Ps Regiment of unmarried warriors u Mzynyati  (Black shields)

The colors and motifs of the shields, different for each regiment, respects the remarkable work provided by Kriegsmann and visible via this link. 
It respects also the great documentation od DoubbleD here

Just an exemple of the Kriegsmann's .work (there are many others on his URL)

And an exemple of DoubleD's document.

lundi 17 juillet 2017

[List II/22d] Kingdom of Characene

Army list. My army consists of two Arabo-Aramaic bodies of the Osmani tribe, who ruled the kingdom (list II/22d) and a body of nomadic pre-Islmaic Arabs (List II/23a). I chose to represent the Roman and Parthian period of the kingdom. The generals and heavy infantrymen are of the pure Arabo-Aramaic style as they were found in Hatra or Palmyra. The archers on foot are represented, as well as the light infantry, by veteran troops such as the pre-Islamic Arabs. The camel riders ride on naked dromedaries, less harnessed than the cataphractary dromedaries that could be found in Hatra or in certain armies of the Parthian suzerain.

- 2 Generals 4Kn
- 2 Light cavalry LH
- 2 Light camelmen LCm 
- 2 Heavy infantry 4Bd
- 3 Heavy javelinmen 3Ax
- 13 Archers Ps
Nomadic allies
- 1 General Cv
- 1 Light cavalry LH
- 1 Light camelmen LCm 
- 4 Camelmen Cm
- 3 Heavy infantry 4Bd
- 2 Archers Ps                         

 The Characene (or Kharacene or Caracene or Charakene or Mesen or Meshun in Judeo-Aramaic: חבל ימא, Hevel Yama "the land of the sea") is a former independent (or semi-independent) Hellenistic kingdom, located in the extreme South of the fertile region which lies at the mouth of the Tigris and the Euphrates, on the Arabian-Persian Gulf. In fact we do not really know its borders. They are different according to classical authors or geographers, but are traditionally associated with the southern region of Babylonia, in present-day Iraq, Iran and Kuwait.

    Basically, the kingdom must have as its boundaries to the west, the Arabian desert, to the north, the Chaldean marshes and to the south the Persian Gulf. Several islands in the Persian Gulf, including Bahrain, also belonged to the kingdom of Characena. It was created at the end of the 2nd century BC and was a vassal of the Parthian empire. It is very probable that the official language of the kingdom was the Greek koinè, the language spoken in the Hellenistic or Hellenized countries, but there is no certainty even today on this subject.


 The kingdom of Characene is founded about 127 BC. BC by Aspasinè, named Hyspaosines by classical authors, an ancient satrap of Antiochos IV Epiphanes. Surviving the dissolution of the Seleucid Empire, the Characene became a vassal of the Parthian Empire until its fall at the beginning of the third century. The Sassanid kings put an end to the local royal dynasty and replaced it with governors.

Although vassal of the Parthians, the kingdom has always had a pro-Roman policy, and welcomed the Roman invasion of Trajan in 116. The emperor himself stays at Spasinou Charax, and personally attends the departure of the ships for India, regretting being too old to undertake the journey, as Alexander of Macedonia had done. Thereafter, the kingdom seems to have escaped long enough for the Parthians to take over Mesopotamia, it is only in 150 that it returns to the zone of direct influence of the empire of the Arsacides after the defeat of the King Meredate (or Meherdate) before Vologese IV. The latter undoubtedly takes an important spoil from Spasinou Charax, including a statuette of Hercules found in Seleucia of the Tiger and bearing the inscription that revealed this episode.

Source: Wikipedia

Coins of king Meredathes

Meredates seems to have been placed on the throne of Characene may be as governor initially, by a successor of his father Pacorus II after the Romans were driven out of the area of ​​Parthians. However, their invasion was at the origin of a civil war in the Parthian empire and Vologese IV was the son of a major rival of Pacorus II for the throne of "Great King." Vologesius IV attempted to re-establish his authority over several provinces of the Parthian empire which had declared independence during the war against Rome.

Meredates is also known by some coins, and by an inscription discovered in Palmyra. He was a son of Pacorus II as indicated by his coins stamped in the most Parthian style arsacide. The mention on the pieces confirms his filiation "Meredates, son of Phokoros, King of Kings, King of Omani"

samedi 15 juillet 2017

[List IV/38] Nasrid emirate (Grenadines) from 1238 to 1492 AD

I will be very intersted in owning an army including a plethora of psiloi elements. A low agressive factor and a compulsory difficult grounds would be intersting assets. Thinking about that, i remember an army i was playing some years ago in 15mm (with the De bellis multitudinis system) with great pleasure.

I had, at the time, carried out research on the history of this kingdom, its culture etc. The historical aspect of this project is, in fact, very interesting and, as is often the case, travels through time and geography. Ultimate interest of this army: renewal. I do not yet have an army from the Arab - Muslim world when I cover most of the world 's cultural areas with my other armies.

The Alhambra grenadine palace

The army composition would be:
3 Generals 3Kn
12 Cavalymen LH
6 Spearmen Sp
3 Crossbowmen 4BW
12 Crossbowmen Ps

Such a light army, helped by its low
agressivity (0) and its compulsory
hilly ground.                                                  

Grenadine flags and standards
It would be an army very different from my other ones.  It will impose a style of play totally original compared to those that I usually develop. Moreover, the aesthetics of a large number of skirmishers equipped with a crossbow is not without pleasing me. It would seem (and the comments published in conjunction with the army list, in the DBA book, also mention) that most Grenadian peasants owned a crossbow.

This may greatly annoy any enemy who wishes to penetrate the mountains of the kingdom of Granada.

The Nasrid dynasty, Banu al-Ahmar, Banu Nazari Nazarí in Castilian, or Nasari according to orthography, is an Arab dynasty founded by Mohammed ben Naṣar, who established his power over the kingdom of Granada by creating the emirate of Granada in 1237 This state owes its subsistence to its vassalage to the kings of Castile and Aragon, for whom the Moors pay an annual tribute. This emirate represents the last form of the kingdom of Granada. The "country of al-Andalus" is then reduced to a congruent portion. (Wikipedia source)

The dynasty was established in 1238 by an Arab emir, Mohammed ben Nazar, often called Al-Ahmar ("The Red"), and nicknamed Al-Ghâlib ("the victor") who would descend from the medina Sa`d ibn `Ubâda Tribe of the Banu Khazraj at the time of the death of Mahomet in 632. After the fall of Almohades, they seize several cities and finally of Granada. Al-Ahmar built a fortified residence there that would become the palace of Alhambra. In front of the Christian Reconquista, the Emir of Granada had to declare himself a vassal of the King of Castile, Ferdinand III. The emirs of Granada then sought an alliance with the Maghreb Zianides, who gave their support after the cession of Algeciras. (...) Embellishment of the princely palaces, of a refinement never reached elsewhere in al-Andalus. The artists are at the height of their mastery, the Nasrids encourage them to decorate each piece of their palace, in a sort of horror of the void. Walking on massive marble slabs, they walk in an architectural and spiritual universe, depicting nature on the façades in an allegorical way, and skies strewn with golden stars on rare wooden ceilings. Faced with the advance of the Christian troops, (...) the emirate was defeated on 2 January 1492 . The motto of the Nasrids would have been proclaimed by the first conqueror when he entered under the door of Elvira of Granada:  ولا غالب إلا الله  Wa lā ghālib illa-āllāh (And there is no victor, but God) (Wikipedia source)

Osprey painting of grenadine warriors

mercredi 21 juin 2017

jeudi 15 juin 2017

Holy roman empire artillery, circa 1500

 The artillery of my German renaisance army contains a piece of artillery, which is an interesting three - piece battery in big battle.

One of the pieces is a howitzer. The figurines are CITADEL / GW of the 1990's.