Friday, July 28, 2017

The Weekly Update - Friday, July 28th, 2017 - "Cleopatra" And The Budget, or, Raising An Army

Miss Claudette Colbert as Cleopatra

Photo from Dark Fable Miniatures
I am happy to report that my ill-humor of the past couple of weeks has largely evaporated; the impending arrival of the latest batch of figures from Dark Fable Miniatures has improved my mood on end. I had thought that I might vent my spleen here on the blog, but after some reflection thought that I should spare all of you the unpleasant mood I've been in for a while. I may yet do a special page, detailing my annoyances, but we shall see; in the meantime, there are some updates and changes to the Rules Of Engagement.

On to Aegyptus, via Hollywood and Cinecittia!

As previously reported in these pages, I have backed the latest Indiegogo from Dark Fable, "The Legend of Cleopatra". I have also mentioned that I picked up some nice Victrix figures for her guards and army - the first 'historical' figures I've bought for use as (sort of) such since I got out of historicals back in the very early 1980s - and now I think I need some opponents for them to engage with.

This does, however, bring us to the question of just how 'seriously historical' I want to be, and the answer would seem to be 'not much'. Most of the time in movies, the Ptolomaic Egyptians are all dressed in very dubious 'Aegyptian' costumes, and their usual opponents the Romans of Caesar are all in lorica segmentata; the latter armor is much more Imperial, and Julius had his lads in mail; the usual gaming term is 'late Republican' or 'Caesarian'. I actually have plenty of the right troops, as a long while back I got some Old Glory figures from the right period. They were co-opted to be the medium infantry for my legion, All-Consuming Flame, and their shield designs are the Vriddi clan-glyph. Right armor, wrong paint job. So, what's a gamer to do?

Answer: think like a Hollywood producer for staging our miniature epics, and call the costume rental house for some cohorts. Yes, they'll all be in the wrong armor, but they'll all be instantly recognizable as Romans. I got the Macedonians for the same reason; by the time of the real Cleopatra VII, most of the countries around then had equipped their armies as sort-of-Roman, with everybody in mail and with oval shields. Thank you, but if I'm staging one of my epic games, then I want equally epic forces in the picture. So, as seen in "Cleopatra" (1963), Warlord Romans will do just fine. The F:GS has some for cheap, and I'll get them this weekend.

And yes, 'cheap' is a factor. I get $400 a year for my gaming budget (the Missus has her own gamig budget, by the way) and I have to spend it wisely. This year, I have this for a current balance sheet:

Dark Fable 'Legend of Cleopatra' Indiegogo - $145
Sea Dog Game Studios boats - $80
Victrix Macedonians - $84
TRE Games Ships - $16                                          

Total for 2017 - $325

So, we have the gold in our coffers, and the Legions will march once again. Bring plenty of popcorn; I'm setting up the game lounge to be a family viewing room - this after a major family meeting, last weekend - and "Cleopatra" is going to be a double feature, with Claudette Colbert and Elizabeth Taylor in the starring roles...


  1. Have you read the Stacy Schiff book on the legendary queen?

    The double feature sounds fun, BTW.
    : )

    1. No, but I'm going to get a copy. I have several others, too.

      Thank you! I got the 50" installed yesterday, along with the audio system and the CD player, so we can now view our movies in comfort.

  2. Good to see a new post. I was beginning to wonder...
    Chirine, just wondering if you had any Hru'u or Wuru minis you could post? I was especially curious to see how you did the purple, as highlighting it can be a bit tricky, and if one's not careful it looks a bit "cartoony."

    1. Well, it's been a miserable month for me on-line, with people I know getting into arguments over historical details. It's gotten old, and I'm tired of getting kicked. The new page will have examples of what annoys me, and I'll be adding to it as time goes on.

      I'll shoot some photos; haven't done any Hru'u figures since the late 1970s and early 1980s, but I did some for Phil. Used Humbrol 'Ancient Purple', as Phil did, and they look pretty good. There's a new acrylic out that looks s good, and I shall do a post about it all for you when I get the chance.

  3. I love that idea of thinking like Hollywood. Cleopatra is such a classic, and with gorgeous visuals. I need to re-watch it. As it happens, the wife has not seen it, so that's an opportunity!

    1. Well, I'm only following in the footsteps of those greater then I; we always had a certain 'cinematic' quality in gaming with Phil.

      Wonderful! Don't worry about 'historical accuracy'; as Phil said, why ruin the story? Just enjoy it, and have fun! :0