Sunday, June 24, 2012

How Many Figures?

How Many Figures?

With Tékumel gaming the tradition has been to use a ratio of 1:100 when translating a battle for the tabletop. With the maximum Tsolyáni legion size fixed at 8000 men, this yields 80 figures on the tabletop. This seems manageable, and I think the thought is that any lower figure ratio would make for units that were just too large to be manageable (let alone affordable.)

The thing is that Tsolyánu is a big place and the odds are that elements are going to be detached for garrision duty or to other sectors. In addition, the paper strength is 20 cohorts @ 400 men per cohort giving the total strength of 8000 men (and aridáni.) This does not take into account casualties and those missing due to illness or injury or desertion.

In the published battle reports the numbers of troops available for the battles is much lower. In fact, the Professor doesn't even refer to cohorts, but rather "blocks" of 500, 1000, 1500 or 2000 men. I'm assuming these numbers are approximate; and so they should be - no one is going to know exactly how many men are at a given battle. It's almost always going to be an approximation.

Granted there could be really large battles fought where the full legion, or a large part of it, were present but these are going to be the exception, not the rule in my opinion. My thinking was at first to use a 1:100 ratio but now I am thinking that small to medium sized battles are going to be more likely. Battles where any particular legion typically has 500 to 2000 troops available.

With this in mind, I want a figure ratio that makes a nice looking unit of the tabletop. At 1:40 scale, one could field a cohort or two of skirmishers in 12-figure skirmish groups. A 2000-strong detachment from the Legion of Ever-Present Glory would be 50 figures. That could be an on-table formation some 12 figures wide by 4 deep with assorted officers, standards and musicians included. On 20mm bases that would be a unit about 240mm wide by 80mm deep (about 9.5" x 3".) A proper phalanx! :-) IIRC, that would be the size fielded at the Battle of Ry (or Rü.) 

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Another Warrior-Priestess of Karakán...

This time an upcoming figure from Hasslefree Miniatures, sculpted by Kev White.

It's almost perfect! The helmet has a hawk or eagle motif, as does the shield...

Kev's figures are not the over-sized, "heroic" figures that some manufacturers make, and I'm pretty confident that this figure will scale nicely with ours.

As I said, it isn't perfect, however.

Myself, I will be swapping out the sword for something more appropriate for Tékumel and lopping off the scabbard for either another weapon or a bow case and quiver combination which I just happen to have castings for. :-)

I'm going to smooth out the creases in the trews and give her bare legs and maybe gussy up the boots a little to make them a little more exotic looking. I'm not sure if the figure has bare arms - she might be intended to be wearing a long-sleeved tunic. If so, I'll alter that with paint and a bit of filing or perhaps add some short sleeves with greenstuff.

The figure isn't available yet so I'm just going by what I can tell from the pictures, but if that works I'd consider providing a conversion kit (ie. bow case, etc) to Tekumel Club members who wanted to do their own conversion.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Arena Update...

I didn't spot this at first, but one of the later posts to the arena thread on the Lead Adventure Forum mentioned that Playmobil had re-released their large Arena playset. And so they have! You can find it here...

Not sure if they ship to Canada or not. Often these big US companies do not. :-(