Sunday, June 17, 2012

Plans within plans . . .


Bit of a planning / WIP post today.  With the completion of my Maurice SYW French army, I'm ready for a few new projects.  Up on deck, as I've mentioned, are a Spartan army for Impetus and a Russian Guard force for Lasalle.  I thought I'd take a post to outline my plans for each.

While I plan to alternate between each of these, I think I'll start with a unit of Spartans.  These will be in 15mm, using (mostly) Xyston figures.  A while back, I picked up a DBA boxed army of these as part of a larger deal (the same one that brought me the OG figures I've used for my Antigonids).  I supplemented this core a few months back when Skip at Legends in Time had a sale on some of his Xyston stock.  I now have enough to do a 500 point Impetus army, with options.

The list I'm starting with will be a 300 points in a single command.  So far, the plan is this, with the point values and options drawn from the updates list in Extra Impetus 4:

Good command structure, 20 point commander
2 Large units of FP Spartan hoplites
1 Large unit of FP allied hoplites
1 unit of CM Spartan cavalry
1 unit of S Skiritai
2 units of S Javelinmen
1 units of FL peltasts

It works out to 297 points, and give me a good mix of troops.  I've already begun sorting through my figures, sorting some of the heavier-armed troops (for the front of the large units) from the lighter (for the rear units).  One of the things I'm coming to appreciate about the Xyston figures is the range of poses.  For the core hoplite figures, for example, take a look at this:


That middle line is all the individual poses side by side (with multiples of each extending above and below the middle line).  By my count, that's 16 different poses.  You don't often see that much variety in a range.  With the extra packs I picked up from Legends in time, I should be able to minimise the amount of repetition in my units, even without head swaps, etc.

My initial plan is to use the hoplite unit I did for the Antigonids in the army, but I will likely replace them with different figures in time.  One option I only just came across are the hoplite range from AB figures.  I saw them on the Eureka Miniatures website while doing some research on the Russians.  The figures looked good, but I wondered how they'd mix with the Xyston.  I picked up a couple figures when I made the Russian order, and I think they'll mix reasonably well.

From L-R:  AB, Xyston, Xyston, AB, Xyston

The two ranges compare well in terms of detail and style (the AB stuff seems a little more conservative in pose), and of the figures I've seen, only the AB general seems a bit tall.  Given there's a bit of difference in size between the figures in the Xyston range itself, I think it'll work.  I've currently sorted out figures for the first large unit of Spartans, and will try to find time to clean and prep them over the next couple days.

In terms of the Lasalle project, it's AB all the way.  I'd seen some of the range in the flesh, and was flabbergasted at the quality.  While the new Blue Moon stuff had me waffling for a while (they seem to be the "best of the rest" in terms of quality, and are about 25-30% cheaper), in the end, I opted for the AB.  Now that they've arrived, I'm not disappointed.

Lasalle has been fairly popular at the THMG, but until recently, I'd not really been in a position to do Napoleonics in 15mm.  I had puttered a bit with doing something in 1/72, but despite the vastly increased quality of the figures in that scale from what I remember as a kid, they just weren't grabbing me.  After a certain amount of waffling and planning (considering, among others, French and Brits), I settled on Russians, specifically guards, as my core force, with a supporting option of guard cuirassiers.

My first order, with two units of infantry, one of cavalry, and a couple of guns, arrived while I was away on business this week - a nice surprise for me coming home.  As an aside, I'd recommend both EurekaUSA and EurekaAU to any potential customers out there.  I bothered both of them extensively with questions prior to purchase, and they were both extremely helpful and patient with a first-time customer.

The figures are astonishing, but the impact isn't immediately apparent. You can see a couple of pictures below:



Those are actually 2 different poses.  It's not immediately evident, as there's no exaggeration in the sculpting, but the two figures are holding their muskets and heads at different angles, and their bags / pouches are positioned slightly differently.   There's at least three subtle pose variations I've identified so far, and if used effectively, should give a pretty effective sense of movement on the finished bases without any risk of this:

The "naturalist" approach to the sculpting carries over to proportion and scale as well - none of the exaggeration in heads or hands I associate with other figure ranges, but the sculptor has still managed to capture a level of detail that rivals good 28mm sculpts.  The more I look at these, the more I appreciate them.  Can't wait to get them on the table.

The list for these guys is pretty straightforward, with 6-8 units of infantry and some guns as the core, and two large units of cavalry in support.  Simple, but effective.  I figure that if these grab me as much as I expect, I can expand the scope of what I own over time, even building towards alternate rule-sets like Black Powder.

I'm scheduled for a first, trial game of Lasalle at the club on Wednesday.  I'll be sure to get some pictures, and post an AAR with impressions, etc. afterwards.



  1. Look forward to seeing how your Russians go.

  2. ...and looking forward to see how your antic figures go!
    Courage for painting...

  3. your plate looks to be full for 2012! I'm looking forward to both of your projects.