Slingshot is a bi-monthly publication, distributed to members of the Society of Ancients as part of their membership subscription. Most of the content is contributed by Society members on a wide range of items related to Ancient and Medieval military history and wargaming. There are articles, reviews, letters, game design ideas, as well as the usual discussion on various wargames rules. Competition results and the occasional battle report are also published. Our quality publication showcases the written contributions from our membership and features original pen and ink artwork.

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SLINGSHOT, the bi-monthly journal of the Society, is the most admired publication in its field. This DVD includes every Slingshot produced from 1965 to 2015. It constitutes an invaluable resource of over 13,000 pages about ancient and medieval history and wargaming. The collection is fully indexed and requires Adobe Acrobat Reader version 7.0 or later.

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Slingshot 331, July/August 2020

Guardroom

News and views

Honour and Loss

Phil Sabin recounts his long and stimulating acquaintaince with Patrick Waterson that spanned 15 years and was the occasion of many fruitful discussions and debates.

Sumerian Military Camel Riders

Simon Watson takes a closer look at the standard assumption that camels were used in armies only from about 1000 BC and produces arguments for their being used by the Sumerians domestically and hence probably in a military context a millennium and a half earlier.

What a Wheelie

Chariots anyone? Here is an overview of a skirmish-level game that covers every aspect of the troop type that dominated warfare in the Fertile Crescent for millennia. And the rulest itself is downloadable for free!

In the Lab with Legions 

How does one model the triplex acies legion on the gaming table? Chris Hahn sifts through Tactica II, Armati, Hail Caesar, Impetus and l'Art de la Guerre to ascertain which ruleset best replicates the iconic formation that created the Roman Empire.

Making 15mm Siena Military Companies

Siennese Contrade make for an interesting army list, comprising militia spearmen, pavesari, crossbowmen, javelinmen, archers and knights—and not forgetting the carroccio. Richard Lockwood describes how he created an army that is as pretty as it is authentic.

Refighting Cannae

As every wargamer knows, Cannae is one of the toughest battles to recreate on the wargaming table in a way that even remotely replicates history. Using l'Art de la Guerre, Dan Hazelwood sets up a game scenario that promises not only historicity but also balanced gameplay.

Aquae Sextiae with DBA

Using Big Battle DBA, Andy Offen manages to recreate an historical outcome between Marius's legions and their historical enemies, the Teutones and Ambrones, though the question of whether Marian Romans were better than Polybian Romans is still to be answered.

Slingshot Book & Game Reviews

  • The Western Way of War: Infantry Battle in Classical Greece
  • Hoplites: the classical Greek Battle Experience
  • Greek Warfare: Myths and Realities
  • A Storm of Spears: Understanding the Greek Hoplite at War
  • Reinstating the Hoplite: Arms, Armour and Phalanx Fighting in Archaic and Classical Greece
  • Men of Bronze: Hoplite Warfare in Ancient Greece
  • Hoplites at War: a Comprehensive Analysis of Heavy Infantry Combat in the Greek World, 750-100 BCE
  • Armies of the Hellenistic States 323BC – AD30, History, Organisation and Equipment.
  • The Ancient War Game
  • Carthage’s Other Wars: Carthaginian warfare outside the ‘Punic Wars’ with Rome
  • The Life and Legend of the Sultan Saladin

 

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Read more: Slingshot 331, July/August 2020

 

 

Slingshot 329, March/April 2020

Editorial - In Memoriam Patrick Waterson

Guardroom

Bosworth Field 1485 Battle Pack - by Richard Lockwood

Bosworth Field is one of the most significant battles in English history, yet some details of the engagement are frustratingly unclear, even to the location of the battlefield—until recently. Richard Lockwood gives the findings of contemporary research.

The French at Bosworth - by Duncan Head

The French contingent at Bosworth was an important part of Henry’s army, but how large was it and how was it equipped? Duncan trawls through the sources to give a nuanced picture of mixed-arms infantry that were the beginnings of a French standing army.

Tactica II - A Personal Perspective - by Simon Watson

For Simon Watson, Tactica II strikes the ideal balance between ease of play, historical feel, the player’s decision-making, aesthetics, and the richness of troop diversity.

Providing Your Warhorses - by Jim Webster

Heavy cavalry has always been expensive, but Jim Webster shows just how expensive it was for the Frankish kingdom to raise good quality warhorses.

Numbers in Some Roman Battles - by Julian Lorriman

The standard wisdom is that Gallic armies consisted of vast numbers of warriors. But reading between the lines in the sources, Julian Lorriman comes up with a different picture.

Trouble in Paradise - by David Beatty

A good bout of bloody warfare in the peaceful islands of Hawaii where visitors in the 15th century were more likely to be met with spears than wreaths.

In One Side, Out the Other - by Chris Hahn

Interpenetration—one unit passing through another—in most wargaming rules is limited to psiloi and sometimes light horse. But in the past other troop types possessed this ability. Chris Hahn examines the evidence to see which ruleset best replicates the historical record.

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Read more: Slingshot 329, March/April 2020

 

 

Slingshot 330, May/June 2020

Guardroom
The debate continues over the credibility (and availability) of primary sources.

Zhizhi's Last Stand by Nicholas Spratt
Gan Yanshou’s victory in 36BCE is famous, not just because it was the only time a Chinese army would kill a Chanyu of the Xiongnu Empire, or because the Han army would have to travel 3400km from the capital to get there, but because a hapax legomenon in the Hanshu’s description has been interpreted as suggesting that China faced Roman Legionaries on the battlefield that day.

An Alternative Rant by David Kay
David Kay follows Simon Watson’s lead and has a look at the more problematic elements of current wargaming play mechanisms, troop classifications and other bones of contention.

Have at Thee, Varlet! by Anthony Clipsom
For most of us, ‘varlet’ is just a quaint, old expression for an example of degenerate scum. Anthony digs up the fascinating Mediaeval origins behind the word.

The Red Dragon and the White Boar by Chris Hahn
In the absence of a Battle Day with subsequent battle reports, here are several home games of Bosworth using Armati, l’Art de la Guerre and To The Strongest! Chris Hahn makes it clear that if Richard doesn’t throw away the battle with his charge, Henry is in real trouble.

Tactica II: A Ruleset Analysis by Paul Innes
A former editor makes a good case for why Tactica II is one of the most historically accurate and playable large battle rulesets out there, among other things creating nuanced troop types using troop category and quality, and catering for details like Roman line relief.

Slingshot Book & Game Reviews
Battles and Battlefields of Ancient Greece: A Guide to their History, Topography and Archaeology
Cities of the Classical World
The Wars of Alexander’s Successors 323-281 BC. Volume II: Battles & Tacticsblurbs

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Read more: Slingshot 330, May/June 2020