Playing Commands & Colors: Ancients, the board game from GMT Games
, with figures rather than blocks has really proven popular at Scimitar wargames club, so much so that we decied to put together a Punic Wars ladder campaign.
Now, most of the club members already have Ancients armies for DBM in either 15mm or 28mm, and so it was decided to play with these figures, and use the camapign rules written by Don Clarke, which use the DBA army lists as a basis for each army (12 elements).I decided to play Republican Romans, since these are a fairly “standard” army in C&CA, and give a good mix of troops.
The Republican Roman army of the period is based upon the Polybian Roman DBA army list is made up of the following:
- 2 Units of Light Infantry
- 6 Units of Medium Infantry
- 2 Units of Heavy Infantry
- 2 Units of Medium Cavalry
It has no options within the list.
We were using the standard DBA element sizes, which meant that each unit of Light Infantry consists of 4 bases of 2 figures each, each unit of Medium & Heavy Infantry has 4 bases of 4 figures each and each unit of Medium Cavalry consists of 3 bases of 3 mounted figures. A quick bit of arthimetc revels that I need the following number of figures:
- Light Infantry – 16 figures
- Medium Infantry – 96 figures
- Heavy Infantry – 32 figures
- Medium Cavalry – 18 mounted figures
I very quickly decided that putting together an army of this size in 28mm would be very expensive – in excess of £150 – and so I started looking at alternatives. Even in 15mm, the army would cost a fair amount – and then I thought about using plastic troops.
Andrew Lawrence in our club uses plastic troops for all his ancients gaming, and I’ve previously played C&CA with a couple of his armies. The figures (1/72nd or 20mm) have a good visual impact on the board. What is more, plastic figures are very affordable, and as an added bonus are very light, making a sizeable army easy to transport.
A quick visit to the Plastic Soldier Review
website, and a chat with Andrew, confirmed my thoughts and I put together a list of what I needed for the army. The main choice to make was how I was going to represent the difference between the Medium and Heavy troop types, and in the end I decided that I would use Hastati for the Medium Troops, whilst the Heavies would be made up of Princeps and Triari. The figure box sets from Hat Industries seemed to fit these requirements pretty well, and so I made these my troops of choice.My final shopping list looked like this:
- 3 Boxes of Velites & Hastati
- 1 Box of Princeps & Triari
- 2 Boxes of Roman Cavalry
- 1 Box of Roman Command
The box of Roman Comand was to provide the figures for the Army General, and to give some officer figures for the units. The really good news about these figures were that after routing around, Andrew had some going spare, and so I picked these up cheaper than normal. The entire army came to no more than £24.00!
All that was left to do was to buy the bases for the army, and these were bought from East Riding Miniatures, as they do an excellent range of pre-cut MDF bases, ideal for element based wargames and very reasonably priced.