The Roaring Northerners are Dave Stewart, John Hill and Iain Robertson; a loose affiliation of tabletop wargamers and figure painters who inhabit the frozen and somewhat soggy wastelands of west central Scotland. Shadowy and secretive, they stoically quest to reduce the scale of the lead mountain that threatens to engulf them all, and perhaps even find the time for the occasional game...
....This is their story

Tuesday, 4 March 2014


So, dear reader, we are transported back to the year 312AD and an epic recreation of the battle of Turin as the Roman Civil War approaches its bloody climax.

Iain took control of the forces of Maxentius whilst I took the place of Constantine of sacred memory.

As the forces lined up it became clear that Maxentius had the edge in sheer numbers and choccy biccies, but Constantine's veterans took the field confident and battle tested, and with the better part of a leftover Christmas chocolate selection box to browse upon.

Maxentius' Forces took their positions in noisy and boisterous fashion. Despite their advantage in numbers, perhaps they were trying to suppress a certain nervousness as they eyed Constantine's seemingly unstoppable veterans across the chosen field.

Maxentius clearly looked to take advantage of his longer battle line and envelope Constantine.

Interestingly they had brought with them a battery of heavy catapults.

Clibanarii Cataphracts.

And some men with very pretty shields.

Meanwhile one of his best auxiliary units concealed themselves cunningly behind a piece of rough terrain. The plan seems to have been to burst forth at a critical moment. Sadly, they were apparently distracted by the local flora and fauna, and stayed there for the entire battle.

His legions looked across the plain as their adversaries formed up. Both sides traded long-range latin insults.

Constantine's forces took the field in good order and with a grim, silent determination. His renowned Infantry including men from the British Legions and many of them carried the signs of the new god on their shields.

On their flanks, small but elite units of Clibanarii, heavy cavalry and lighter Sagitarii horse archers formed up. Constantine himself took command of the right wing and the majority of the Cavalry.

While the left wing was weaker in numbers but not in quality.

From the first moves it was clear that  Constantine was aiming to break Maxentius' line before bringing his veteran legions up to the 'meat grinder' in his centre. Maxentius however was endeavouring to envelope and attack his opponent from the flanks.

Maxentius brought his three elite legions on, in echelon to the left of his line whilst his right took advantage of the hills to their front and his wings of light cavalry surged forward.....the catapult crews all the while, tested their machines and nervously checked and re-checked their ranges.

Constantine concentrated his forces, the Legions came on in good order and his weak left wing trotted forward to threaten, whilst he formed up a massive cavalry punch on his right under his own personal command.

Soon, Constantine had his cavalry ready and seeing his flanks already being harried, he determined to make his move. Senior commanders counselled caution as the centre was proving slow to come up, but the chosen one carrying the sacred banner of the one true God would brook no delay....the juggernaut rumbled forward and crunched into Maxentius' left wing light cavalry screen.

Constantine's Clibanarii contemptuously swatted the light cavalry aside, but ominously, his supporting units were held up for a small but significant two turns.

Soon the light cavalry broke though and Constantine turned his attention to the Auxilia to his front.
Tails up and 'mad for it' they tore into the Auxiliary unit. After a short sharp engagement the Auxilia had had enough and turned tail. Constantine ploughed onward, hacking and slashing at the running men. To his rear his support formed up to come on again, and on the other flank the Sagitarii with their Clibanarii support trotted forward to harass Maxentius' right flank and clear the foot archer screen.

Soon the Auxilia burst upon and dispersed around Maxentius' left flank legion. These were the renowned  Legio X, the legion of Mars the old god of war. Through the dust Constantine saw their banners and spurred ever onward.

The new God against the old Gods.

The Legion barely had time to brace, then Constantine and his elite Clibanarii smashed into their centre......the infantry line buckled and staggered, but crucially it did not break!

The men of Mars, Legio X hold and catastrophically, Constantine's support is too far behind to help as Maxentius' own Clibanarii puts in a devastating charge into Constantine's flank.

Meanwhile, seemingly miles away, as the Maxentian right flank is itself seeming to be threatened, the catapults loosed their first and only volley......Constantine's flank commander was targeted......and suddenly that flank found itself without a commander!

Worse was to follow, as in the furious melee between Constantine's Clibanarii, the Legion of Mars and Maxentius' Clibanarii, Constantine himself falls!........The chosen one and his sacred banner are down and trampled in the dust!!

Word soon spreads across the army. The Infantry centre hesitates, then takes a knee, Maxentius is victorious!

Thus, on a wet Wednesday in East Kilbride, is the entire history of the western world rewritten in 15mm!

This was a superb game and too long delayed. Much though I love painting 28mm, there is something about the sweep and scope of 15mm on the table that fascinates me more than any other scale.

Maxentius' forces painted by John Hill and Captained by Iain Robertson. Constantine's forces painted and Captained by myself.

As ever, comments, pro and con,  gratefully received.


David Stewart.


  1. Great write up Dave I almost forgot I knew the outcome and got carried away! It was good to get the 15mms out again its been a while for the Romans. John.

  2. Thought like our Macedonian game the rule changes worked and we got that elusive historical feel.Love that creation of story that we get as well that makes these games great fun to play,umpire or watch. Figures look cool to! John.

  3. Cheers John, I got a bit carried away, but enjoyed doing the commentary!
    Yes it's been too long since these lads were on the table.
    Can't decide what I want to game next to be honest.

  4. Yup, brilliantly scribed, Stewart! Though I still maintain my excuse for winning is that I don't have the benefit of a classical education and thus had no idea how my troops were meant to behave!

    Made all the better by the cracking figures on display, definitely need to get the 15s on the table more often. I never cease to be amazed by the standard of work you guys turn out...