9 Feb 2019

The Venetians @ The USTT 2019 - a Madaxeman.com Podcast

The USTT L'Art de la Guerre event is one of the bigger North American tournaments which in January 2019 attracted 40 players in teams of 4... including Henry "Tucker" Saglio who was kind enough to agree to be interviewed about his 5 games on the Madaxeman.com Podcast.

The interview was conducted over Skype, so there are moments where the audio is a bit patchy, but hey, it's not like you've signed up to this on Patreon or anything now is it?

His own write ups of his games also appear on the ADLG forum, and the lists he played against can be found on the Madaxeman ADLG Wiki

Tucker's Venetian Italian Condottieri list was as follows:

C-in-C (Gattamelata) (Brilliant)
-2 Heavy Knight, Impact, Ordinary
-2 Crossbow, Ordinary
-2 Medium Swordsmen, Heavy Weapons, Ordinary
-2 Light Infantry, Firearms, Elite

Command 2 (Sforza) (Brilliant)
-3 Heavy Knight, Impact, Ordinary
-2 Crossbow, Ordinary
-1 Light Horse, Crossbow, Ordinary
-1 Heavy Artillery

Command 3 (Ordinary)
-3 Heavy Knight, Impact, Ordinary
-2 Light Horse, Javelin, Elite

This podcast is also available on YouTube, with pictures of figures that "could" have been in the armies involved playing on rotation in the background, and it should also soon be available to download from iTunes

26 Jan 2019

The Paphlagonians survive a varnish experience

Much to my relief, the ink-washed Xyston figures did come through a spray varnish this morning unscathed.

If anything it seems to have helped highlight the definition and texture of their silk-effect uniforms.

As you can see from the left shoulder of the chap in the front left corner of this base, there has still been some colour-bleed between the different inked colours, but whether it's something which is worth (or even possible) to touch up without making it look worse is questionable.

Now all I need to do is steel myself to grab a very fine brush and paint in their headbands...

18 Jan 2019

15mm ADLG Arab army on eBay

Downsizing my oversized 15mm ancients collection means I have realised that I enough spares to sell on eBay a whole "Arab" army, using figures from various manufacturers to make up armies for many of the "Arab" forces in the L'Art de la Guerre rulebook. 

That means that on eBay right now is an army made up of the following ADLG-based units;

  • 3 Generals
  • 1 Elephant 
  • 2 "Dailami" Medium Foot
  • 6 Ghilman Bow-armed Cavalry 
  • 4 LH with bow
  • 2 LH with javelin/Impact
  • 1 LH Javelin
  • 2 LF Bow
  • 4 HI Spearmen
  • 4 "DBx" bases of Bow + 2 "DBx" bases of Swordsmen, plus metal sabots to base them as bow-only or as mixed units
  • 3 Knights
  • 2 Spearmen
  • 1 Crossbow unit
  • 1 LF Bowman
  • Army Baggage Train 80x40 base
Allied "Christian" contingent of
The figures are mostly Essex, but also include Outpost (most of the Arab cavalry) and a few others. They are all based and magnabased.

The auction ends around 8pm on Sunday 20th UK time. 

13 Jan 2019

WW2 15mm stuff - going on eBay

With my 4 Bisley 15 drawer filing cabinet (eBay link) figure storage solution rapidly approaching "full" status, rather than test the floorboards (and my domestic harmony) with a 5th cabinet it's become time to have a bit of a new year clearout.

The end result is that onto eBay rumbles a 15mm WW2 Russian army (well, probably more like a company with armour support) as well as some excess 15mm German armour.

The Russian figures - and there are nearly 200 of them - are mostly original Battlefront metal Russians - well fed little chaps with those cute big round heads. 

Originally collected and based for Peter Pig's PBI ruleset, there's also a host of casualty markers included.

The accompanying armoured support is eclectic and numerous - T34's, KV1's as well as some more exotic bits of machinery as well.

PBI bases its LMGs and AT rifles as separate teams, as well as officers for each platoon and company HQ.

The tanks are mostly (but not all) Rocco plastic ones in 1/87th scale. That makes them a smidge larger than normal 1/100th 15mm vehicles, which I feel fits better with the slightly oversized 15mm infantry that Battlefront make.

They are also better proportioned than many of Battlefront's supposedly 15mm-scale AFV's, which seem to be stretched vertically to scale with their infantry too.

And then, in a separate listing, the German armour.

Two Forged in Battle Tiger 1's, and a couple of (I think) Skytrex metal PzIV's both is late war cammo schemes.

(this is the one out of the FiB 3-pack that I'm keeping - the ones on sale are identical, but are numbered 201 and 213)

Both lots are on eBay now and will end next Sunday evening (20th) around 7pm. A %zge of all sale fees go to SSAFA, the armed forces charity. 
All the links in this post will take you to eBay to bid for them if you wish.

5 Jan 2019

15mm Xyston Paphlagonians & Takabara

There's plenty of early classical era armies which have a handful of "Persian Takabara", "Paphlagonian", "Arachosian" or other "Generic Eastern-ish Minor Nation" Medium Infantry, armed either with javelins or spears.  These guys are never vital, but often "nice to have" - especially as Javelinmen in L'Art de la Guerre to give an army a nice little anti-elephant force.

In the same Attack! purchase from Damian at Donnington as the recently-finished Egyptian Marines now come some Xyston Takabara and Paphlagonian infantry to fill that particular gap.

Xyston ANC20033 - Paphlagonian Infantry

These figures have Thracian-style shields which need to be glued onto the figures (using my standard 2-part epoxy liquid metal).

Xyston ANC20033 Paphlagonian Infantry

The shields were close enough in shape that I was able to dig out some unused LBMS Thracian transfers - sadly I only had 4 left, meaning I had to actually paint the other ones myself (nightmare!)

Xyston ANC20062 - Takabara Persian Peltasts

The uniforms are done almost entirely in inks - not even washes, proper Windsor and Newton ink (amazon affilate link) on a white base coat.
Xyston ANC20033 - Paphlagonian Infantry

This is a technique I've used on Persians in the past, as it gives a distinctive "silks" effect. There are only a handful of colours in use, namely Blue, Vridian, Deep Red and Peat Brown (the latter being on the leather gilets some of the guys are wearing, which were painted either leather brown or Skeleton Bone as a base colour).

Xyston ANC20062 - Takabara Persian Peltasts

The end result is a pretty bright and cheery set of unit, and with shields which don't look too badly out of place even with a few LBMS ones in the front rank as well.

Xyston ANC20062 - Takabara Persian Peltasts

The challenge with using ink as a main colour is that it doesn't fully dry - painting anything next to an inked area leads to the ink bleeding into the new, liquid colour.

That also makes applying varnish by brush almost impossible too - hence these not (yet) being matt varnished, and also not (yet) having painted leather straps as headbands on some of the figures.

Xyston ANC20062 - Takabara Persian Peltasts

My aim is to use a spray varnish instead of trying to brush one on, but at the moment it's too cold outside to risk spraying them.  After that they will look more matt, and be easier to handle.

23 Dec 2018

Museum Miniatures Assyrian Army

Having been rather light on Biblical armies, ADLG and its easy-to-collect army size has allowed me to turbocharge this previously neglected part of my collection.

First up were the Myceneans, and then the NKE ended up being rebased as well. But now, finally, and after 30 years of collecting and gaming I now have an Assyrian army as well!

As with the Myceneans, my choice was to go with Museum figures. They are a little static in their poses and stylized, but for Biblical era I feel that this style works really well.

The Assyrians are a ruthlessly efficient army and so the regular poses of most of the men also feels right. Many of the colour choices were inspired by (but sadly not particularly closely copied from) the fantastic 28mm Foundry range, which have provided three Generals elements for this army as well.

The highlight is of course the Chariotry - which I've tarted up using a common or garden cheap printer and some Google-fu to search for "Assyrian Patterns", downloading and printing out some images to paste onto the walls of the Chariots to surprisingly good effect.

There's a full page of pictures of all of the figures, together with paint selection details (and links to eBay to find the paints) to browse now;


There is also a video of all of these photos on Youtube

18 Dec 2018

Xyston "Egyptian Spearmen"

Along with the Assyrians the festive Madaxeman workbench has been a home for quite some time for 2 packs of Xyston Egyptian Spearmen, bought from Damian at Donnington at Attack! in Devizes earlier this year.

They fall into the category of "I'm not quite sure what to do with them but they are great figures so I bought them anyway". If only there was an army list for this I'd be able to field all sorts of stuff from my collection much more often!

There are probably a couple of armies that they can appear in - some of the "non NKE" Egyptian ones in the ADLG lists, and given the shields I could maybe sneak them into an Assyrian or Babylonian lineup as well I guess.

I did the clever painter-y thing on their kilts of doing darker stripes of blue, and then adding a lighter, thinner stripe inside them to give an impression of some texture.

White undercoats for the men, black for the shields. The shields are stuck on with my go-to solution for shields, 2-part "liquid metal" epoxy from Araldite (affiliate link).

Basing is the usual sand + Rustins Wood Stain + 2 layers of drybrushing before adding some tufts and static grass

14 Dec 2018

UK Ancients Competition Scene - year-end snapshot

With the festive period now closing in fast it's time to repeat my now-almost-as-traditional-as-sprouts snapshot summary of the state of play in the UK ancients competition scene.

The full analysis will again be out in a few months and cover to the year to April-ish (and will cover other rulesets before you all ask - this is just the 'big 6' most popular ancients sets) however but as of today the headlines are as follows:


Total Player Numbers:

1.   ADLG (36% of total pool across all 6 rulesets)
2.   DBMM (18%)
3.= DBA  (13%)
3.= MeG (13%)
5.   FoGAM (12%)
6.   DBM (7%)

Net Change 2017-18

1. ADLG (+19)
2. MeG (+13)
3. DBMM (+4)
4. DBA (-)
5. DBM (-2)
6. FoGAM (-28)

New Competition Players for each system in 2018

1. ADLG (53, or 46 excluding overseas)
2. MeG (28, or 26 excluding overseas)
3. DBA (16)
4. FoGAM (11)
5. DBMM (11)
6. DBM (2)

Attrition Rate among prior competition attendees (compared to 2017)

1. FoGAM (39 / -44%)
2. DBA (16 / -31%)
3. MeG (15 / -29%)
4. ADLG (30 / -18%)
5. DBMM (14 / -13%)
6. DBM (4 / -10%)

Overall that means a net growth of 6 players year on year in 2018 - which is nice.

Worth noting also that 76% of UK Ancients competition players across the most popular 6 sets are now playing DBx-based rules systems - an impressive achievement for a certain Mr Barker and his ideas almost 30 years after the launch of DBA 1.0!

Ruleset Details

ADLG remains the most widely played ruleset by some margin, with 180 players having taken part in at least 1 of the 31 (yes) ADLG events during the 2018 calendar year. 12 of the events were 3-round/1-day format events.

That number represents a net increase of +19 players on the 161 who played in a UK event in 2017, with a total of 53 new faces appearing in UK ADLG events for the first time in 2018. 7 of these came from overseas, the other 46 being new UK-based players to the system.  

30 UK-based players who took part in a UK ADLG event in 2017 failed to reappear in 2018 (18% attrition) with 10 more overseas-based players also not returning to these shores in 2018 (25% if overseas players are included).  

The most active player took part in 15 out of the 31 events which were staged, and the most active 21 players between them represented 1 in 3 of all competition entrants across the year

68 players took part in just one event, including 13 overseas players. Excluding these international visitors gives a figure of 31% of UK-based ADLG players only taking part in one event this year.

(There is a one-day ADLG event being held in Scotland on December 27th, which may nudge up the total player number by 1-2. It will almost certainly also reduce the 'only played once' figure, as 15 of the current pool of 55 "only once" players are based in Scotland).

DBMM remains in clear second place in popularity, with overall numbers also showing growth in 2018 with 88 players taking part in at least 1 event during the calendar year - an increase of 4 from 2017's total.  

This increase included 11 new faces to the UK circuit, the biggest 1-year influx of new players DBMM has seen since 2011. 14 players from 2017 failed to show in 2018 (13% attrition), but with a handful of lapsed players also returning from previous years the net effect was to record a small increase of +4.

The most active player took part in 11 out of the 18 events which were staged, with the most active 10 players between them representing 1 in 3 of all competition entrants across the year. 8 of the 18 events held were 1-day format and 26 players only appear in the rankings as a result of their participation at these 1-day events, including the reduced-format DBMM100 competition.

33 players took part in just one event, including 7 overseas players. Excluding these visitors gives a figure of 29% of UK-based DBMM players only taking part in one event this year. 

DBA has been stable throughout the last year, with 65 players featuring at UK events held in 2018. This is dead level with the number of players who took part in at least 1 event during the previous calendar year of 2017.  

This overall stability masked a churn of 16 new players coming into the circuit and 4 returning after skipping 2017, offset by 20 who failed to reappear after 2017 - a 31% churn level.

Two players came close to a clean sweep, entering 12 out of the 13 events staged in the year, and  with the most active 8 players between them chipped in with 1 in 3 of all competition entrants across the year. 

18 players took part in just one event, representing 29% of the UK pool of DBA players. 

Now entering its 4th year of being played in the UK, total UK MeG player numbers have now drawn level with DBA on a total of 65, marginally outstripping FoGAM for the first time in the process.

65 represents a net increase of 13 players year on year for MeG, with 15 players of the 52 who took part in at least one MeG event in 2017 failing to reappear (29% attrition) and 28 new faces showing up for the first time at MeG events. Two of the new players were from overseas, half of the new faces only played in one event - but, impressively three of these brand new players dived headfirst into MeG and racked up an impressive 30 appearances between them in their first year of playing.

The most active single player took part in 13 out of the 16 events which were staged, and the most active 8 players made up 1 in 3 of all competition entrants across the year.

22 players took part in just one event, 2 of whom came from overseas, meaning that 31% of all UK-based MeG players only took part in one event this year.

With a new edition out in January, 2018 has been a year of some change for the UK FoGAM tournament scene with 61 people taking part in a UK-based event this year. 

This represents a net fall of 28 from the previous year, with 39 players dropping out of the AM circuit (44% attrition) and 11 new players entering events for the first time. Of the 11 new players, 6 came from the Wessex & Solent clubs and only appeared at events held by the Wessex club. 

The most active single player took part in 11 out of the 15 events which were staged, and the most active 8 players between them contributed 1 in 3 of all competition entrants across the year.

24 players took part in just one event, none of whom came from overseas. This represents 39% of UK FoGAM players only taking part in one event this year - the only set to deviate noticeably from the "31% play only once" norm in this respect. 

Numbers for DBM again pretty much managed to hold steady year on year, with 37 people taking part in the 9 UK events held in 2018 - a marginal reduction of 2 overall compared to 2017. This figure includes 2 new players debuting in 2018, offset by 4 non-returnees who represented a 10% attrition rate.  

The scene continues to be split into 2 circuits with some overlap. 29 players participated in the 6 events held in the West Country, with 11 of these players not venturing into Norfolk/Essex. 27 players appeared in Norfolk/Essex, with 9 of them not making a journey westwards to roll dice this year.   

The most active DBM player took part in every single event held, with two more making all bar one competition this year. The 4 most active players contributed 1 in 3 of all competition entrants across the year. offset by a dozen players (33% of the total pool) who only took part in one event this year.

(Whilst some players appear in the stats twice this is discounted for the analysis as its reasonable to assume the numbers of multi-ruleset players are kinda similar to last year. And it's too much work to de-dupe them by name as well )

(I've also dropped Swordpoint from this abbreviated listing this year, as there only appear to have been 5 events held last year, with at most a dozen players attending each, down from around 17 per event in 2017) 

13 Dec 2018

WiP 15mm Assyrians

A Museum Miniatures January sale order finally makes it onto the painting table... after the somewhat disappointing outings so far for the Mycenaeans, these are the first bases of Assyrians to be fully finished as I test out colour schemes for this army.

The uniform scheme I’m going with is rather dour, with dark blues and reds. This seems to suit the ruthless efficiency of the Assyrian war machine. 

No doubt the final army will also end up having the old classic wargamers trope of different coloured shields for the Elite and Regular quality troops!


I an still undecided about patterned horse blankets. Could easily look too gaudy. 

My original army list to use the figures I bought doesn’t bear much resemblance to any of the Assyrian lists I’ve been beaten by this year, so an extra order may be required. Luckily there should be another sale along soon!


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