Shiny Things, or Rather the Perils of Being a Wargamer and Reading a New Book

Actually, two books. I received a copy of A Naval History of the Peloponnesian War – Ships, Men and Money in the War at Sea, 431-404 BC written by Marc G DeSantis, ISBN: 9781473861589, published on 29 November 2017.

When reading that I thought it would be a good idea to read Great Battles of the Classical Greek World by Owen Rees, ISBN: 9781473827295, published on 15 August 2016 at the same time as there was a degree of overlap between the two.

Both books are published by Pen & Sword and both look at one area of particular interest to me. I will review both books separately in other blog posts.

So, what is the risk to the Wargamer? Well, it is simple. My favourite periods of interest are Ancient Wargaming and Naval Wargaming. The Peloponnesian War has both. The 25 years of the Peloponnesian War covered a bitter period of classical Greek history and warfare. By this time the Greeks were well settled into the hoplite style of warfare with armoured man, large shields and a long spear standing in a long line with other men similarly armed.

To my pile of uncompleted projects I have added two Greek projects. One is the Greek world circa 670 BCE to 450 BCE – the period when hoplite panoply and warfare was developed to its peak. This was also the period where the Persians were defeated at Marathon and Plataea. The second is the Greek world circa 450 BCE to around 225 BCE which includes the Peloponnesian War.

Fortunately the core troops from the earlier period will also double up for the later period. Currently I am planning the hoplite forces. This little project will be in 6mm for reasons of:

  • space
  • cost
  • speed of painting

Rules will either be DBA or Basic Impetus. The armies should be easy enough to build to be useful for both rule sets. For example, the early Athenian army in Basic Impetus consists of a maximum of 8 bases of Hoplites, and one base each of Slingers, Javelinmen, Thessalian Light Cavalry and Thessalian Medium Cavalry. The DBA equivalent is 10 elements of Hoplites and two elements of skirmishers.

The only real question I have to consider from the rule perspective is whether to use 60mm or 40mm wide bases. DBA would normally be a 40mm element frontage while Dadi and Piombo recommend a 60mm frontage for Basic Impetus in 6mm. 60mm frontage is also the base frontage for Baccus’ SPQR rules.

The base size will set the area that is needed to play and 40mm has the attraction of probably only needed a 2-foot square area (DBA) or 3-foot square (Basic Impetus) while 60mm would set a 4-foot by 3-foot area (Basic Impetus).

More updates later as I start to plan further.

6 thoughts on “Shiny Things, or Rather the Perils of Being a Wargamer and Reading a New Book

  1. Pete S/ SP 1 April 2018 / 9:24 pm

    My liffe, in some ways, would be simpler if I read less book. Like you I am easily distracted by what I have read last.



    Liked by 2 people

  2. TWR 10 April 2018 / 3:46 pm

    As you may know I play a bit of DBA in 15mm, but enjoy 6mm for many other periods. One of the locals has some Successor armies in 6mm on 60mm wide bases, they look great. But I’m tempted to 40mm wide bases due to the board size. Nothing is easy…


    • Thomo the Lost 10 April 2018 / 3:51 pm

      I’m thinking of 40mm for ancients but load them up. 15mm size bases with 4 close order infantry per 15mm figure. 60mm wide bases will be ECW or TYW and Napoleonics.

      There, that’s a plan


      • TWR 10 April 2018 / 3:58 pm

        I think that would provide good visuals for Ancients, and was basically my plan as well. Though I could probably do either. While organising my lead pile the other day I even located the 6mm Ancients I had previously purchased. However, I need to focus on the other projects first!


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