Sunday, November 18, 2012

Slingshot 284

ss284 cover
The current issue of Slingshot (number 284, September 2012), the bi-monthly publication of the Society of Ancients, is now available for individual purchases from the Society web store. Society members received their subscriber copies some weeks ago.

Slingshot 284 includes 52 full colour internal pages. The contents of Slingshot 284 are as follows:
  • Editorial: Slings & Arrows
  • Guardroom
  • How many dead?, by Andrew Hobley
  • The Wrong Procopius, by Jim Sye
  • The Battle of Clontarf, by Mick Hession
  • Catalan Fleet, Sicilian Vespers, by Jim Webster
  • Transjordanian Tales, Part One: Ramesses Attacks!, by Alastair McBeath
  • DBA Tournament Reports, by Martin Smith
  • I Come to Praise Warmaster … , by Justin Taylor & Rick Priestley
  • Wargames Competitions Made Simple, by Ray Briggs
  • Adapting the Day of Battle Command System to Command & Colors Games, by Chris Parker
  • Game & Figure Reviews, by Christopher Kay, John Curry, Fred Cartwright, Dave Gee & David Edwards
  • Book Reviews, by John Walsh, Dave Gee, Duncan Head, Anthony Clipsom & John Hastings
For more information on the Society of Ancients, please visit

You can join the Society at

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Slingshot Back Issues Now Available Individually

The Society of Ancients has a new webstore up and running and, as part of its new policy, limited numbers of individual Slingshot back issues are now available individually for purchase by non-members at This policy only applies to the last few issues, but provides an opportunity to try out Slingshot in advance of joining the Society. If you're a new member, and want to buy earlier issues from the year, you can also buy from the same store, taking advantage of your 20% SoA discount code.

(If you're wondering what the previous policy was, you could only buy back issues in bundles of 6, collected by year - this is still the case for issues before 2012).

This is a chance to try out the new format, all colour Slingshot, introduced in March 2012. We hope you enjoy it. We only print a few surplus issues, so back issue availability will be limited while stocks last!

For more information on the Society of Ancients, please visit

You can join the Society at

Friday, August 17, 2012

Slingshot 283

The latest issue of Slingshot (number 283, July 2012), the bi-monthly publication of the Society of Ancients, has gone to the printers.

The contents of Slingshot 283 are as follows
  • Editorial: Slings & Arrows
  • After Hannibal, by Julian Lorriman
  • A Short History of the Iberian Peninsula from 400 to 1100AD – Part 2: The Visigoths in Iberia, by Robert Heiligers
  • Numidian Armies, by Jim Webster
  • Plataea 479BC: Introduction, by Richard Lockwood
  • Battle Day 2012 Gallery
  • Modelling the Field of Plataea for Warmaster Ancients, by Ross Bigley
  • Plataea with Warmaster Ancients., by Jeremy Giles
  • Plataea With Armati, by Will Whyler
  • Plataea With Command & Colors: Ancients, by Mark Richards
  • Plataea With DBMM, by Toby Partridge
  • Plataea with Lost Battles by Philip Sabin
  • Plataea with Warlord & War and Conquest, by Trevor Halsall & Rob Broom
  • Plataea with Tony Bath’s Peltast & Pila, by Daivid Barnsdale
  • Painting an Etruscan Hoplite, by Jamie Welling
  • For more information on the Society of Ancients, please visit

You can join the Society at

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Call it Qids now generally available

SoA Qids pic
The SoA 2012 bonus game is now available for separate purchase from the SoA web store, at £7 (worldwide postage included, for a limited time only). Call it Qids is a fast paced, highly replayable game based around the Battle of Qadesh. By Graham Evans and Ian Russell Lowell.

Call it Qids is a stylised, fast-play, refight of the Battle of Qadesh between the armies of Ramses II and the collected forces of the Empire of Hatti, played out on a square grid with special rules for ford-crossing and the Egyptian camp. The Hatti army is entirely chariotry (the infantry in the historical battle seem to have remained east of the river and so are not featured in this game) while the Egyptians are split into four contingents (Amun, Ra, Ptah and the 'Nearin') in different locations. The Hatti player is after the Egyptian baggage, and clearing away the Egyptian troops is merely a means to an end. The Egyptian player is trying to kill Hatti chariots, and his trump card here is Ramses himself, whom the designers have granted the combat capability apparent in the Egyptian accounts of the battle. He can kill an opposing unit on a near-certain basis, but has to watch out in case he is surrounded and overpowered, an event that boosts the Hatti player's victory total considerably should it occur. Egyptian and Hatti chariots fight at par, their respective advantages and disadvantages being assumed to cancel out. Infantry is at a stiff disadvantage in the open, but able to fight at par in the camp, which is a great equaliser.

The game requires players to balance boldness against risk, and the range of outcomes rewards repeated play. The Hatti player has to choose between an early assault on the camp, which cuts the strength of the Nearin contingent when it appears, but brings it on early, or a later assault, which is more likely to clear the camp but allows a stronger Nearin division to arrive. The Egyptian player has to watch his infantry, who are dead meat in the open but can give a good account of themselves in camp. Baggage is taken around by infantry (only); a Hatti chariot unit that captures a baggage unit promptly leaves the board with it to enjoy the dividends forthwith (and racks up a victory point) and never returns. Obviously, if after the initial panic the Egyptian player can slip his baggage-tending infantry into the camp, he can go some way to denying the Hatti player victory, though this is easier said than done.

Victory compares Egyptian kills of Hatti chariot units with the number of baggage units the Hatti troops have seized, giving grades of success for either side. All in all, this is a fast-moving game with opportunities for both sides, and a slight bias in favour of the forces of Hatti is countered by the Poem-of-Pentaur-like exploits of Ramses.

The booklet also contains an assessment of the sources and forces for the battle.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Society of Ancients Battle Day 2013 Announced

…the fight grew fierce, confused, monstrous, unrelenting...
The tenth annual Society of Ancients Battle Day, Saturday 13 April 2013
Sycamore Hall, Drayton Road, Bletchley, Near Milton Keynes, MK2 3RR, UK

Chalons 451 AD

And although the situation was itself fearful, yet the presence of their king dispelled anxiety and hesitation. Hand to hand they clashed in battle, and the fight grew fierce, confused, monstrous, unrelenting--a fight whose like no ancient time has ever recorded. There such deeds were done that a brave man who missed this marvellous spectacle could not hope to see anything so wonderful all his life long. For, if we may believe our elders, a brook flowing between low banks through the plain was greatly increased by blood from the wounds of the slain. It was not flooded by showers, as brooks usually rise, but was swollen by a strange stream and turned into a torrent by the increase of blood. Those whose wounds drove them to slake their parching thirst drank water mingled with gore. In their wretched plight they were forced to drink what they thought was the blood they had poured from their own wounds.

Phew! The ferocious hand-to-hand fighting, as described in Chapter 40 of Jordanes “The Origin and Deeds of the Goths”, translated by Charles C. Mierow and found online at

For our tenth annual Battle Day, we once again invite you to a unique day’s wargaming.

The battle: Chalons 451 AD – Attila and his Hunnic hordes finally meet their match on the Catalaunian Fields at the hands of the Roman/Visigoth/German alliance scraped together by the Roman Patrician Aetius.

So turn back the Hunnic hordes with Aetius and his polyglot alliance, or join Attila the Hun and sweep aside the last resistance in Western Europe to your bloodthirsty conquest.

As ever, the aims of the day remain the same:

  • To have fun!
  • To gather as many ancient wargamers as possible to refight a historical battle.
  • To fight the same battle simultaneously on many tables, using a different set of rules on each table.

The day will run from 9am until 5pm, with an hour either side to set up and pack away.

As usual we will have an expert speaker giving an introduction to the battle at the start of the day. Simon MacDowall, author of many books on the period including the Osprey Warrior series “Late Roman Infantryman” and “Late Roman Cavalryman”, will be opening for us this year. Simon will also be running a game using the latest incarnation of his period-specific Comitatus rules.

And of course, The Society of Ancients will be awarding a number of prizes (for various criteria, some more frivolous than others) to the wargamers on the day, including prizes for Best Game and Best Terrain.

To offer to stage a game, either at the event itself or as a "partner event" somewhere else in the world – please contact Richard Lockwood either by going to the SoA contact page (set the topic to "Battle Day" - it will go to him automatically) or else via his details in Slingshot. But in any case, come along and take part as a player.

The cost of participating in the Battle Day, to contribute towards hire of venue and tables, will be held at £7 (juniors free), as it has been for eight years now.

Every year it just gets better and better – this really should be a regular event on your calendar. Don’t miss out – come and be part of it!

The Battle Day is open to both members and non-members of the Society of Ancients.

For more information on the Society of Ancients, please visit

You can join the Society at

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Changes to Society of Ancients Subscription Year and Price

This is to let you know that we are making some changes to the way in which SoA subscription works:

The Main Changes:

- As of August 31, the annual subscription rate for the SoA will be raised from £20 to £24. 
- SoA membership is moving from calendar year based subscription (subscribe January to December) to annual subscription (subscribe for 6 Slingshot issues, from the date you subscribe)
- This means that, if you miss an issue from your subscription, we will no longer automatically ship back issues for that year. You will however be able to buy back issues separately, while available (from now on, and availability permitting, the last 5 back issues will be available on an individual basis; otherwise back issues will continue to be available in annual packs)
- Postal sales (including back issue packs) will now be charged, additionally, for postage at cost. Previously postal sale prices included worldwide postage. Additional postage charges will not however be charged on memberships/Slingshot subscriptions, which will continue to be inclusive of worldwide postage. Items bought and collected at shows will obviously carry no postage charge.
- Family memberships, which provide all the benefits of membership except for a Slingshot subscription (member discounts, vendor discounts, forum subscriptions, tournament entry, etc) will now be available for free to anyone co-residing with an existing society member, on application to the membership secretary. Previously these memberships were charged at £2/year.

Why Are We Doing This?

Any price rise is unfortunate, but it should be pointed out that the committee has managed to maintain the cost of membership at £20, despite general inflation and specifically in the case of postal charges, since 2003. An increasing proportion of expenditure has as a result gone onto postage. Had we moved prices in line with inflation, the cost of membership would now be £26.80, so we think the deal is still a good one.

The other changes are to make spending efficiencies, which we intend to reinvest in Slingshot. Under the pre-existing arrangements, the print run for Slingshot had to be set at where we guessed it might end up at the end of the year, because we have to reserve enough back issues to be able to send out. This is obviously inefficient; we'd like to print a better Slingshot on a shorter print run. Also, those back issue packs were more expensive to send out, since they didn't qualify for our bulk mailing discount. The new system will mean that early re-subscribers aren't subsidising those who leave it late (note: the shorter print run will also make back issues more scarce).

During the last 5 years we have introduced, firstly colour covers and improved paper stock, and more recently colour throughout the magazine. We believe these changes mean we can continue to improve our main Slingshot offering. In the short term we will use the savings incurred to move Slingshot from 48 to 52 pages (starting with issue 284, publication date September 2012), which will further improve our ability to provide variety of gaming and hobby coverage within the magazine, which we believe to be important. At the same time, we intend to use our reserves to introduce and maintain other new programs. These include:

- a line of self-funding, limited run publications, available both in paper and e-book form and using existing Slingshot material, updated with the latest research and available both to non-members and (with a substantial discount on printed versions) to Society members
- we are also reviewing our existing line of games, notably those which are out of stock, for reprinting at improved production values; we are also open for submissions for new games in this line

And Finally:

Note the changes to subscriptions will take place as of 31 August. If you have been thinking of taking out a new subscription, under the existing arrangements, you have until then to do so, by going here: You can also buy publications and back issues from the same web store, before the new arrangements come in.

Roy Boss 
SoA President

Monday, May 28, 2012

Slingshot 282

ss282 cover
The latest issue of Slingshot (number 282, May 2012), the bi-monthly publication of the Society of Ancients, has gone to the printers.

The contents of Slingshot 282 are as follows
  • Editorial: Slings & Arrows
  • The Butcher’s Dog, by Edward Harvey
  • Carthaginian Citizens in Arms, by Jim Webster
  • A Short History of the Iberian Peninsula from 400 to 1100AD – Part 1: Prelude, by Robert Heiligers
  • The Role of the Master of Dragons , Part 2, by Jim Sye
  • Scramble - A Tale of Two Tournaments, by Martin Myers
  • DBA Competition Reports, by Martin Smith & Richard Pulley
  • Kadesh with Command & Colors: Ancients, by Andrew Lawrence
  • Very Very Little Wars: Experiments in wargaming with 6mm figures, hexagons and a spreadsheet, by David Kay
  • Exercitus: A Personal Rules Solution for Legion verses Phalanx, by Adrian Nayler
  • Book Review, Warfare in the Medieval World, Reviewed by Anthony Clipsom
  • Book Reviews, by Mark Watson
For more information on the Society of Ancients, please visit

You can join the Society at

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Society of Ancients UK DBA League 2011

(2011 UK DBA League Champion Colin, flanked by Junior champion Patrick Myers and runner up Martin Smith)

Whilst the Shows Team was at Triples supporting the DBA Northern Cup we were able to present 2011 UK DBA League winner Colin O'Shea with his trophy.

Colin was overseas at the end of the season, but his lead proved just sufficient to withstand the last event, the English Open, at Portsmouth, where the other awards were made.

The Junior category was won by Patrick Myers.

In addition to the awards made at the individual rounds,  the top players recieved trophies featuring a hand-made Legionary shield, Colin had a pick of wargaming titles sponsored by Monarch Military Books, and Patrick a Xyston DBA boxed army sponsored by the Society of Ancients.

The 2010/11 Season (which ran through to a final round at the English Open) comprised 11 tournaments (4, including the Open counting as Premier events).

The Top Ten Senior and Juniors were ...

1st Colin O’Shea - 85 points; 2nd Martin smith – 81 points; 3rd Richard Pulley – 79 points; Scott Russell – 75 points; Robert Dowling – 72 points; John Drury - 58 points; William MacGillivray; Arnaud Marmier; Mark Skelton; Martin Myers.

Junior Champion Patrick Myers - 47 points; 2nd James May – 26 points; 3rd Rob Walker – 26 points; Aislinn Smith – 24 points; Findlay Schofield – 22 points; Justin Wilkinson - 10 points; George Edwards; Gareth Hunter; Juseph Parsons; Mathew Davison

In all 64 players participated in the event.

For more detailed scores: 2010/11 UK DBA League results
For a full line up of events: Society of Ancients UK DBA League events

We are now part way through the second (2011/12) season ... the next event is Sittingbourne on June 10th.  (League Tournaments)

The Society of Ancients would like to thank everyone involved in the inaugural season, especially the organising team at Portsmouth, Monarch Military Books for joining us in sponsoring the League and all the players who supported our idea.

(some group pictures from UK DBA League 2010/11 events)

Friday, April 13, 2012

Slingshot 281

The latest issue of Slingshot (number 281, March 2012), the bi-monthly publication of the Society of Ancients, has gone to the printers.

The contents of Slingshot 281 are as follows
  • Editorial: Slings & Arrows
  • Guardroom
  • The Seventh Crusade, by Keith Hawkesford
  • The Role of the Master of Dragons (Part 1), by Jim Sye
  • East Roman Cavalry Warfare and Tactics, c. 410-641, Part 3, by Ilkka ‘Ike’ Syvänne
  • Ruleset Round Table, Version 2.0, edited by Mark Watson
  • The Third, Fourth and Fifth Dynasties of Ur will Emerge Victorious!: the 2011 Victorian Field of Glory Championship, by Steven Neate
  • Figure Reviews, by Aaron Bell & David Edwards
  • Book Reviews, by Mark Watson
For more information on the Society of Ancients, please visit

You can join the Society at

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Warlord Games joins the SoA Discount Scheme

We're pleased to announce that Warlord Games, manufacturers and purveyors of fine wargaming figures, have joined the SoA Discount Scheme.

A discount of 10% is available from the Warlord store at To obtain the discount, you need to use a discount code on checkout. This code has been distributed to existing members by email, and will also be published in the March issue of Slingshot. The discount covers all goods available from their store - figures, rules, etc., including the newly acquired Immortal Miniatures ranges and in fact not only for the Ancients period. Many thanks to everyone at Warlord for this generous offer.

For more information about the SoA vendor discount scheme, please visit

To join the Society of Ancients, please visit

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Karwansaray Publishers joins the SoA Discount Scheme

We're pleased to announce that Karwansaray Publishers, publishers of Ancient Warfare, Medieval Warfare and Wargames Soldiers and Strategy, have joined the SoA Discount Scheme.

A discount of 10% is available from the Karwansaray store ( To obtain the discount, you need to use a discount code on checkout. This code has been distributed to existing members by email, and will also be published in the March issue of Slingshot. Many thanks to Jasper and company at Karwansaray for this generous offer.

For more information about the SoA vendor discount scheme, please visit

To join the Society of Ancients, please visit

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Back Issues Prices Reduced

Some Slingshot back issue packages have been reduced in price on the website. Specifically:

2010 & 2008 have been reduced to £15
2007 has been reduced to £10

Back issue packages include print copies of all 6 issues published for the year in question.

Worldwide postage is included in the price. The higher prices for 2010 and 2008 reflect the higher size, weight and (therefore) postage costs for the issues in those years.

This is partly to reflect our policy of making back issue packages cheaper, and partly to ensure that all the various quoted prices (notably between the website and Slingshot) are consistent. There are still some inconsistencies with the prices quoted in the January Slingshot. We'll fix these in the March Slingshot and until then continue to honour prices quoted.

Also note, 2009 back issue packages have been unavailable (sold out) for some time, although some individual 2009 back issues may be available at shows. This is because we've completely run out of stock of two of the issues for the year in question.

Slingshot back issue packages are available from

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Slingshot 280

The latest issue of Slingshot (number 280, January 2012), the bi-monthly publication of the Society of Ancients, has gone to the printers.

The contents of Slingshot 280 are as follows
  • War Elephant, by Patrick Waterson
  • East Roman Cavalry Warfare and Tactics, c. 410-641 Part 2, by Ilkka ‘Ike’ Syvänne
  • The Golden Age of the Franks (751-843 AD) Part 5, by Robert Heiligers
  • Sound the Trumpets, by David Edwards
  • Naval Battles of the Lamian War 323-322 BC, by Rob Brennan
  • A Moonlit Night at the Ilian Palladium, by Alastair McBeath
  • Do-It-Yourself Transfers, by Lawrence Greaves
  • Problems with DBA, by Richard Gill
  • Where Less is More: Improvements in the Use of Field of Glory, by Steven Neate
  • DBA in New Zealand - Reflections on 2011, by Keith McNelly
  • The English DBA Open, October 2011, by Martin Smith
  • ‘On they went with loud shouts...’, Society of Ancients Battle Day 2012: Plataea 479 BC, by Richard Lockwood and Daivid Barnsdale
  • Rules, Book and Game Reviews
For more information on the Society of Ancients, please visit

You can join the Society at