Saturday, 12 October 2013

Alternative Racing Chariots

Having a few games of 'Charioteer!' under my belt I thought that it would be nice to play the game with some models rather than just the counters provided with the rules (not that they aren't nice, but models are nearly always nicer).

Like most people, though, I don't have Roman racing chariots just laying around. Ideally I'd love to discover a previously forgotten stash of the chariots that came with the old Airfix Romans, as they would be perfect, but  can't see that happening. So I had to look elsewhere.

Now, my 6mm ancient armies were put together many years ago, initially for WRG 7th Edition, then for DBM. One of the armies I did was Scots-Irish, and they had plenty of chariots. So I have a few bases of them, plus a couple of packets of unpainted ones. Great - all I have to do is convert them. But, really, the body of a Roman racing chariot is a different shape to that of the Celtic chariots - it's a D-shaped bathtub, with the wheels at the back, rather than a rectangle with the wheels in the middle. Really I'd be looking at pretty much making the body of the chariot from scratch*. Plus for each chariot I'd have to add in a couple of extra horses.

All very good, but I wanted a quick solution to my lack of models.

Then I got to thinking. First the extra horses. Well, I don't actually need them. True the racing the Romans really went for was that of the four-horse chariots, but they did run races with two-horse chariots as well. And 'Charioteer!' is abstract enough that the number of horses pulling the chariot is irrelevant. So, that was one bit of time saved - go for two-horse chariots.

Then I had an 'Aha!' moment. The Romans couldn't have been the only people to race chariots. And, indeed, they weren't. The Greeks did (indeed the rules mention this). But, according to a quick Google search, the Celts weren't above a bit of horse- and chariot-racing as well. True, probably not on the grand scale of the Romans, but sufficient for a game.After all, there's no reason to assume that the Celtic drivers wouldn't have been as aggressive and motivated to win as any Roman charioteer.

And so a simple project was born. Find five already painted Celtic chariots. Strip out the (for a race) redundant warrior, leaving just the driver. Rebase them. Colour code them. Race them. Easy.

Here they are - Heroics & Ros 6mm Celtic chariots, on 15mm x 25mm bases, ready to race on the the green fields of Salisbury Plain or Ireland in honour of Epona or some similar entity.

They are colour-coded Red, Yellow, Blue, Green, White and Grey. I tried black, but it looked wrong.

I may edge the bases in the chariot's colour as well.

Here they are in a faked setup, to show how they'd look in an actual game. I actually have a couple of resin scenic pieces that might make a nice backdrop for them to race against - I will have to see about the best way to use them. But for now I need to give them a proper outing in a game ...

*Spare crew from the various Roman artillery pieces I have would make good drivers, I reckon.

1 comment:

  1. I actually have a bunch of 4 horse 6mm chariots with a painter at the moment - I think they are Seleucids, Gauls & some others. Some have scythes. I was hoping to have them ready for MOAB but wasn't to be.



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