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Sunday, 5 January 2014

Why him and why now?

A lifetime ago A rich relative gave me a rather grand book called "an illustrated history of Britain". It was full of wonderful etchings and copies of mainly Victorian artwork including a dedication to King Arthur. To my young mind it was pure enlightenment. For many years I carried the image of a plate wearing medieval king who saved our nation.  Many years later as a callow youth I discovered two books by Rosemary Sutcliffe called "eagle of the ninth" and "A sword at sunset" Both novels drew gritty pictures of our pre Norman history that were probably very unfashionable at the time but I loved them. Her picture of a dark age military leader struggling to maintain his version of society in an increasingly collapsing Roman world enthralled me. Throughout my war-gaming life I searched for a way to simulate that world on a gaming table but never found the image or the rules to inspire me.
                Sometime back in the early 80's I took part in a presentation of an idea called DAIS by Andy Callan. "Dark Age Infantry Slog" was the way forward now all I had to find was a perfected rule set and the appropriate figures. The rule set came a few years after in the form of "A Glutter of Ravens" by Dan Mersey using base elements. In my minds eye I saw packed bases but couldn't see how to do that in the larger scales and was certain only smaller scales would suffice. This was however  an age of heroes and individuals so I wanted my figures to have a degree of detail that 6mm just wouldn't do for me. So it had to be 10mm but at that time there wasn't the diversity of figures required. About 6 or 7 years ago on a trip to the UK to visit a wargames show I spotted some Kallistra fantasy figures and they looked pretty good to me as heroic age Romano Brits. The project spent a long while on the back burner until I saw an advert from Kallistra for historic ranges including dark age figure of Saxons Vikings and Normans.  The time had come! I bought a shedload of figures and started converting and painting. At the same time Dan Mersey produced Dux Bellorum and the picture was complete.
           So why him and why now. Because the forces of Roman Britain including the illusive legendary king himself are on the workbench now and I intend to report on the progress via this new blog. So the scene was set. 10mm figures using 60mmx60mm bases for cavalry and 60mmx40mm bases for infantry. I found I could squeeze 12 cavalry or 18 infantry on a base and that sounded pretty good to me. So to work.

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