Friday, October 17, 2014

Indian Summer: 25mm Minifigs Mauryan Indian Army

Ellis Con in Danielson, CT (link to Facebook Event Page) is only a little over 4 weeks away now (Saturday, November 15th  so if I am going to run my games of Legio Quaternarius successfully, it is past time to get on with shaking the preparations out!  As part of that process, I dug out my vintage 25mm Minifigs Mauryan Indian army, which will be one of the four armies to be played.

Shot of the entire Indian army deployed; 24 units plus the General. I hope to give these veteran troops (painted back in Medical school circa 1979) an application of Magic Wash before the convention. 

A more general overview shot of the army from behind...

and one from the front (note the vintage "bookcase" games in the background!) 

Right flank of the Army from the right side

Next the center

Then the left flank of the army.

Left Flank from the rear.

and the center

and the right flank.

Left flank from the front

and the center

and finally the Left flank.

Here's my own "Army List" for this army for Legio Quaternarius:

#3 Mauryan India     (350 - 200 BC)

Unit Description
Unit Type
Indian Elephants
Heavy Chariots
Light Cavalry
Medium Cavalry
Indian Archers
MI*2H,B, No Sh
Indian Javelinmen
MI*J, 2H, Sh
Indian Spearmen
LI*B,2H, No Sh
Light Bolt Throwers
Special Rules:
All Indian Elephants are+15 on Morale and +10 in Combat
All Indian Infantry is -10 on Morale
Indian Cavalry and Chariots never suffer disorganization due to the proximity of Elephants

The Army has a total of 96 Infantry, 20 Cavalry, 2 Four-horse Chariots, 6 Elephants (I've borrowed two from my Sassanid army), 2 bolt throwers with 4 crew figures, plus the General; 

Years ago, I had made a square grid using 2 x 3 foot sheets of Masonite, painted green, and then drew on a 3" grid with a wide black  magic marker. That worked well but was heavy to store, and over time, the boards gradually warped in storage (a flood or two in the basement didn't help - we now have a sump pump and a generator! 

A number of years ago, while we were driving back from a Historicon in Lancaster, Joe and I were shooting the war games breeze as usual. We had seen the gorgeous little terrain layout for the National Flames of War Tournament laid out in the auditorium. Although he disavows any recollection of these events "Mission; Impossible!" style, as I was thinking out loud about lightweight grids for use in tabletop gaming, Joe gave me the idea of using the heavy duty brown paper that can be purchased in large rolls for very little at Home Depot and similar DIY stores. A trip thereto revealed that it came in 30" wide rolls - so I cut two equal lengths, and used wide masking tape to join them together. That yielded a surface almost 72 inches across and 64 inches deep. 

I sprayed a mottled light green pattern on top of the already light brown paper, and it actually looked pretty good. I then drew a 4" grid onto it using a black ball point pen and a yardstick. The resultant grid was 14 x 14 squares, with some space to spare on all sides. For this game, I think I am going to use that extra space to add another row of squares to all four sides, increasing the grid to 16 x 16 (256 squares), so as to not have the flanks  be too secure; no unit may start more than three squares on to the table, and units may not start in the 2 rows of squares to either flank, either.

We had a light frost overnight on Sunday morning of Columbus Day weekend, followed by a gloriously bright, clear and warm day with many more that followed, thus meeting at least some of the definitions for Indian Summer. That inspired me to take some Fall pictures of our area, a bit before the elusive "peak color" for this year. This shot was taken on the border between Bridgewater, where I live, and New Milford where my office and Hospital are located. This is looking more or lees South from CT Route 67. The tall mound in the midground is Lover's Leap, now a State Park. Apropos to my last musings about the role of population density, it can be seen that although I live in the Northeast of the US, in my area, the population density is not that high@!  In fairness, there are actually quiet a lot of houses that are obscured by all the trees of our area, but still, you get the idea!

Lover's Leap (in true summer), overlooks the e gorge on the Housantonic River where the daughter of Chief Waramaug, Princess Lillinonah, is said to have met her death in the (then) treacherous rapids, along with her lover who leaped into the water in an attempt to save her, but tragically drowned in the attempt himself. Such at least is the legend!  Bald Eagles nest in this area, and are often seen gliding in the skies above. We'll continue of a brief Fall Tour of New Milford, the largest town geographically in the state of Connecticut. 

New Milford Hospital, where I have admitted and treated patients for 30 years. It is located less than 100 yards from the Green..

Located on the tall hill overlooking the center of  the Town of New Milford, is this unusual Masonic Hall, St. Peter's Masonic Temple. 

The interior of the Hall is notable for the stained glass windows and checkered linoleum floor, without much other ornamentation being seen when it is used for non Masonic events.

Interior of the Temple, from the Lodge's website

Hiking further up the rather steep Hill (which continues up to the private Canterbury School located atop it) gives a nice view down upon the center of Town. Little wonder our area sees heavy motor vehicle traffic "leaf peeping" in mid October!

Looking from the top of the Green; if it was earlier in the day there would have been a busy farmer's Market on the green, selling local produce, most of it organically grown. New Milford has the longest Town Green in the state; at least that's our claim, and we're sticking to it!

The First Congregational Church of New Milford, established circa 1716 (the present building on the Green was dedicated in 1833). The church's carillon plays every half hour during the day; as I was taking this shot, it was the "Ode to Joy" from Beethoven's wonderful 9th Symphony. Entirely fitting!

St. John's Episcopal Church, also on the Green. Established in 1746. Most New England towns of any size have a Congregational Church (descended from the original Puritan churches, although now very progressive, in colonial times and for decades thereafter, it was required to establish such a church before an application for incorporation as a town could be approved), and an Episcopal church (aka the Church of England prior to the Revolution) right in the center of town. 

Further South on the Green, the red brick building is Town Hall, and was built on the site of Roger Sherman's homestead. He lived bin New Milford from 1743 to 1760, and was an active member of the Congregational Church. He later moved to New Haven, where he later became the city's first Mayor. Roger Sherman (b. 1721 , d 1793) "served on the Committee of Five that drafted the Declaration of Independence, and was also a representative and senator in the new republic. He was the only person to sign all four great state papers of the U.S.: the Continental Association, the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution. Thomas Jefferson said of him: "That is Mr. Sherman, of Connecticut, a man who never said a foolish thing in his life." [citation from Wikipedia]. Mr. Sherman was the originator of the "Connecticut Compromise", which resulted in the representation of each State being according to its population  in the House, but equal in the Senate. The neighboring town of Sherman, Connecticut (originally a part of New Milford itself, as indeed was Bridgewater as well) is named in his honor. 

View from New Milford Hospital towards East street. The ridge in the background is known as Second Hill. 

Another view of Second hill, this one being from the parking lot of my office. 

I hope you haven't found this limited Autumn tour of my area too boring! Let me conclude by celebrating a gorgeous Fall day with the words of the Hymn to Joy, words by Henry van Dyke and set to Beethoven's music:

Joyful, joyful, we adore Thee,
God of glory, Lord of love;
Hearts unfold like flow’rs before Thee,
Op’ning to the sun above.
Melt the clouds of sin and sadness;
Drive the dark of doubt away;
Giver of immortal gladness,
Fill us with the light of day!



  1. Wow, Peter! Much to digest in this posting!

    First, beautiful area of the country in which you live. Exactly what I envision when I think of small-town New England. As I was out cycling yesterday afternoon, I thought, "hey, I should bring a camera along to snaps of shots of our NW fall scenery."

    Second, your Indian army looks great! I bet a wash or staining will make them look state of the art with little effort.

    Third, "vintage bookcase games?" I have many of those too. I must be "vintage!"

    Fourth (and finally!), interesting idea to use brown paper as a ground cloth. My first impression would be that it would be too brittle and fragile with repeated play. The mottling effect is outstanding.

    Excellent stuff!

    1. It is a beautiful area. The next town North, Kent CT has a covered bridge, Kent Falls, and a great stretch of the Applacian Trail for hiking (of which there is plenty in New Milford and Bridgewater as well), and in the spring white water rafting on the Housatonic River.

      I had to look up The Palouse when I first started following your blog, and it seems a lovely area as well!

      Ill have to post a few "post wash" pics as well.

      Jon, you and I are both fast becoming vintage, LOL!

      The brown paper has held up well - it is pretty thick and the paint (and spray fixative) helps too. On several of the other similar mats I made, I used masking tape all along the edges to prevent tearing. The biggest issue is the creases, actually. In addition to the grid issue, I wanted a smooth surface rather than felt because it is much easier to slide the troops on it.

      Do take some pics of your own local sights! If the weather is nice this weekend, I'll snap a few of the small town of Bridgewater that I share with Barry (who lives in a "vintage" house right on Main street).

  2. Great post Peter, beautiful landscapes...Love your Indian army, we have no more this kind of army in our club, unfortunatly...Very nice job!

    1. Thanks Phil.
      That's a shame - the Indians are a pretty varied army with the archers, 2 handed swords, Elephants, Chariots and cavalry; what more could you want?

  3. I always miss New Milford this time of year.
    Is there still an M3 light tank on the green?

    1. Hi Rich,
      I think our area is pretty beautiful year round, but it surely shines brightest in October. Yes, there is still the M-3 Tank, the iconic Bandstand, the Lincoln Civil War monument, the Ship's bell monument and more on the Green as well, not to mention a variety of restaurants!

  4. Nice town and beautiful Autumn leaves!

    1. Thanks, John. I think today will be close to the ephemeral "peak color" here in the CT Berkshires.

  5. This posting is a great work of writing and learning, a joy to read...marvelous!

    1. Thanks so much, Phil. Glad that you enjoyed it.

  6. A classic looking army. That is a wonderful area of the US you live in. Full of history and historic sites. That Masonic temple looks like something from the Old World.

    1. Thanks, Dean. I think Minifigs look best with a fairly straightforward paint job.

      It is a beautiful area, pretty much any time of year except mud season!

      The Masonic lodge building, certainly is rather unusual. From the lodge's website: "In 1963 the Lodge acquired the All Saints Church on Aspetuck Ave. This is a stone church of Gothic design built in 1885 by the Episcopal Church." I've added a picture of the interior from the site.

      There are no mason's that I know of in my family, but my wife's Paternal grandfather was a very active Mason - his gravestone has Masonic symbols on it. Her Father was a Mason but was inactive after young adulthood.

  7. This has confirmed what I have always suspected about you Peter, in that as an owner of a "vintage" Minifigs Indian ancient army, you have always been slightly ahead of the "curve"...

  8. Interesting post ,enjoyable photographs and great Minifigs.Thanks for sharing all this with us.

  9. Very much like the pictures of your armies