Monday, 8 October 2012

Anyone for Ancients?

Hello Andy, welcome to the blog!

As a recognised wargame period 'Ancients' has always struck me as unique. For a start it covers such a huge chronological space, some three thousand years at least, filled with a great number of technological and sociological changes that in any other wargamed era would mark it out as lots of different periods. Consider the eighteenth century, how many wargames 'periods' do we divide those one hundred years into? We would no more think of fighting a Marlburian army with a Revolutionary French one than we would of supporting, can't bring myself to say it...that vile North London team that wear white! Yet, many Ancient period rule sets allow, even encourage, players with chronologically disparate armies to fight each other.

Now do not get me wrong, I am no wargames snob; I actually like the idea and this was one of the reasons I so liked DBA. I do find it odd though that whilst we as hobbyists can be so demanding of accuracy and historical correctness we can give it all up just to see our Early Imperial Romans fight it out with Spartan Hoplites. But why not? Yes, they really never met, yes, each had very different styles and tactics and yes, the later tactics evolved from the earlier but.......

I bought a 28mm plastic Greek Hoplite army (albeit one that has sat in their boxes in my 'to do' drawer for the best part of two years and never seen a paint brush) purely so that I could fight my mate Mark's Romans (not finished either!). We just like wargaming and realised that the rule set, Hail Caesar, suited us; we didn't have to get all girly about it as we have all seen some wargamers do. If you don't like it then don't play, simple enough really. I really, really must get back to my 28mm Greek Hoplites........

So why am I suddenly posting about Ancients? There is a solid core of Ancient players at the club. One, Phil, has even written a proper published book on Ancient cavalry...I even have a copy. Ancients does get its fair share of games with us with 'Might of Arms' and 'Hail Ceasar' being popular. It now seems as if that period is going to be played even more, the three possible new members we attracted via the open day are all devotees. They have even asked that we play an Ancients game with Hail Caesar, using the 15mm ancient armies of the newbies....guess who is the only member attending that day with even a remote understanding of the rules!!! Guess what I will now be reading morning, noon, night and on the loo for the next 48 hours? I have played it before of course but you all know what it is like when the game starts, within twenty minuets some git does something that nobody remembers how to do and it seems to be missing from the rule book all of a sudden!

So, dear blog follower, think of me for the next couple of days with my legs going numb on the loo of learning and my brain dripping out of my ears. I will post again on Wednesday to let you know how we got on and, more importantly, whether we do indeed have three new and paid up members! That reminds me, I must remember to pack the pliers, just in case.......


  1. Good luck with the studying, keep tapping the feet, it helps the blood circulate!

  2. Hi Ray,

    wish you had said earlier, fell off and bashed my head on the sink!

  3. Sounds to me great idea even though like you say it is full of inaccuracies its like the boxing fans who always wanted to know what it would be like if Ali in his prime faced off against Tyson in his prime.