Back in 2009 the lads at Lincombe Barn (Bristol) produced a very handy double-sided crib-sheet for their Hordes of the Things tournament. I’m reproducing it below as it will likely be of use to players both old and new. Thanks to the Lincombe Barn club for their hard work in producing it – click here to visit their website.
ACW2 – HoTT Army Lists
I thought I’d pre-empt the Second American Civil War by putting together paired army lists for it. Apologies for the lapse in taste, but I’m so appalled by what’s going on in the US that I felt in need of a little catharsis…
Behemoth Gen. x 1 – Trump [4 points]
Shooters x 4 – 1 x Homeland Security unit, 1 x Border Patrol unit,
1 x regular Police unit, 1 Secret Service unit [8 points]
Warband x 3 – Far Right militias, assorted weapons [6 points]
Lurkers x 2 – 1 x Fox News camera crew, 1 x reactionary Supreme Court Judge [2 points]
Hordes x 4 – Placard-waving supporters in MAGA hats [4 points]
Alternatives: Airboat x 1 – Trump Blimp [3 points]
Stronghold: Trump Tower or heavily fortified White House
Behemoth Gen. x 1 – Statue of Liberty [4 points]
Shooters x 2 – FBI Agents [4 points]
Blades x 4 – Regular Army units [8 points]
Lurkers x 1 – CNN camera crew [1 point]
Hordes x 7 – Placard-waving pro-democracy demonstrators [7 points]
Alternatives: Cleric x 1 – Joe Biden and Kamala Harris [3 points]; God x 1 – US Constitution [4 points]; Paladin x 1 – Bernie Saunders [4 points]
Stronghold: US Capitol Building or community centre
Grannies v Neo-Nazis
A Woman Hitting a Neo-Nazi With Her Handbag is a photograph taken in Växjö, Sweden on 13 April 1985 by Hans Runesson. It depicts Danuta Danielsson hitting a marching neo-Nazi with a handbag. This HoTT list is loosely inspired by the photo, and is dedicated to the memory of Danuta, who died a few years after the photo was taken. And yes, I know she probably wasn’t actually a granny! For more information, click here.
Hero General x 1 Danuta Danielsson swinging her handbag 4 points
Knights x 2 Grannies on mobility scooters 4 points
Blades x 2 Grannies with knitting needles 4 points
Warband x 4 Grannies wielding walking sticks, frying pans etc. 8 points
Shooter x 1 Grannies throwing boiled sweets 2 points
Beasts x 1 Granny walking small dogs in assorted dog jackets 2 points
Stronghold: Park benches set around a bandstand or ornamental flower bed
Alternatives: Flyers (Grannies on broomsticks); Magician (Granny giving pocket money to small child)
Cleric x 1 Smartly dressed orator with thuggish ‘minders’ 3 points
Warband x 6 ‘Uniformed’ skinheads with baseball bats, razors etc. 12 points
Horde x 9 Less ‘committed’ fascists in ordinary street clothes 9 points
Stronghold: Bierkeller, or street section with open sewer cover (garnish liberally with rats)
Alternatives: Magician (Alt-Right keyboard warrior or yellow press journalist stirring up xenophobic sentiment from afar – thanks for the idea Dex McH!)
Machiavellian Renaissance HoTT
by Jay Blackwood…
Contrary to the bad press he’s received, Nicolo Machiavelli was a nice boy – I mean, just look at that sweet smile! On the other hand, when it came to pondering military matters, he was a bit of a duffer. He believed pikemen would be outmatched by troops wielding sword and buckler; that firearms and artillery would have a limited impact on the contemporary battlefield; and that cavalry would mainly function as skirmishers. His errors stemmed, according to the historian Sir Charles Oman, from a misreading of recent battles and – crucially – from a misguided attempt to apply the ‘lessons’ of classical warfare to the Renaissance era. In particular, Nicolo believed that the triumph of the Roman maniple over the Successor pike block would be replicated in his own day.
Machiavelli’s musings do however provide the basis for a rather different sort of Renaissance Italian army, as detailed below…
1 Knight General (the Prince) @ 2 AP = 2 AP
6 Blades (infantry armed with sword and buckler, Spanish style) @ 2 AP = 12 AP
2 Spears (Italian pikemen) @ 2 AP = 4 AP
2 Shooters (arquebusiers) @ 2 AP = 4 AP
1 Rider (light horse armed with crossbows or guns) @ 2 AP = 2 AP
1 Sneaker (Machiavelli, with a cunning plan) @ 3 AP
1 Horde (admiring Princes) @ 1 AP
1 Artillery (catapult firing copies of classical military texts) @ 3 AP
1 Behemoth (Da Vinci tank) @ 4 AP
1 Magician (a Renaissance alchemist or necromancer) @ 4 AP
1 Flyer (Da Vinci flying contraption) @ 2 AP
An Italianate tower or fortified house – must have own library!
Of Mice And Frogs
Guest post on Brachatomyomachia for HoTT by Bernie F.
Homer was the most popular and admired poet of the ancient world. Of course he was also read in schools and probably bored thousands of pupils to death. So it’s not a surprise that parodies on his poems were written. One of them, a parody of the Iliad, had the title “Brachatomyomachia” (“The Battle of Frogs and Mice”) and in antiquity was even thought to be composed by Homer himself. Actually, however, it had probably been written in the 1st century BC by an author living in or near Alexandria in (or rather “at”, as the Ancients would have said) Egypt. The little poem of about 300 lines was very popular both in antiquity and the middle ages and has come down to us in dozens of manuscripts. And it still makes a good read.
Psicharpax (“Thief of crumbs”), son of the mouse king Troxartes (“Bread nibbler”), drinking water from a lake meets the frog king Physignathos (“Chubby Cheek(s)”), who invites him to his “palace”. As the frog king swims across the lake, the mouse prince seated on his back, they are confronted by a frightening watersnake. The frog dives, forgetting about his passenger, who drowns. Another mouse witnesses the scene from the bank of the lake, and runs to tell everyone about it. The mice arm themselves for battle to avenge the frog king’s treachery, and send a herald to the frogs with a declaration of war. The frogs first blame their king, who by telling them a barefaced lie about the real circumstances persuades them to go to war. In the meantime, Zeus, seeing the brewing war, proposes that the gods take sides. Athena refuses, saying that both mice and frogs have done her a lot of mischief, adding “No, gods, let us refrain from helping these hosts, or one of us may get wounded with a sharp spear; for they fight hand to hand, even if a god comes against them.“ And so it happens. A bloody battle ensues and eventually the Mice prevail, not the least because of their great hero Meridarpax (“Stealer of small bits” or “Slice snatcher”, as an English translation says). As the gods themselves are afraid to fight this mighty hero and even Zeus’ thunderbolt does not stop the mice, he summons a force of crayfish or crabs to prevent complete destruction of the Frogs. Powerless against the armoured crabs, the Mice retreat, and the one-day war ends at sundown.
Heroes, Equipment And Troop Types
In the poem the mice seem to have more and greater heroes than the frogs. I prefer to classify the latter’s champions as »sneakers«, since a certain Prassaios (“Greencoat”) “presses through those in front of him” to support his king against the mouse king. In the same scene his companion Origanios (a name connected to “oreganum”; the English translation gives “Rueful”, while a German one I own prefers the more proper “Bitterling”) is called “the only one distinguishing himself in the frog army”, so he alone (or the king if accompanied by him) would deserve to classified as »hero«. Anyway, the mice should have at least one hero more than the frogs.
About the equipment of the mice we read: “First they fastened greaves to their shins made from yellow bean-pods broken into two parts which they had gnawed out, standing over them all night. Their breast plates were of skin stretched on reeds, skilfully made from a ferret they had flayed. For shields (aspides) each had the centrepiece of a lamp, and their spears (the Greek word used is longchai, plural of longche) were
long needles, the all-bronze instruments of Ares, and the helmets upon their temples were chickpea shells.”
This equipment may be only that of a precious few, as the mice had only one ferret flayed and certainly won’t have a large numbers of lamps available. The rank and file may have been unarmoured and had simple shields, if any. Instead of the spear the mighty Meridarpax “splitting a chestnut-husk into two parts along the joint, put the two hollow pieces as weapons on his paws”.
The frogs’ equipment is similar to that of the mice, but made of more readily available material: “They wrapped around their shins leaves of mallows, and had breastplates made of fine green beet-leaves, and cabbage-leaves, skilfully fashioned, for shields (again aspides). Each one was equipped with a long, pointed rush for a spear (again, the word longchai is used, and smooth snail-shells to cover their heads.” (the first example of completely biodegradable armour, it seems). The differences between the several types of leg protection is interesting, by the way: the mice use classic greaves, while the frogs wrap a flexible (and presumably thick) material around their shins.
In spite of the breast plates and the round shields I prefer to classify the infantry of both sides as a kind of peltasts or, in the terms of HOTT, as »warband« (perhaps with an option for grading the mice as »spears«). This also suits the nature of the combatants.
Warband General @ 2AP – Physignathos, king of the frogs
Sneakers x 2 @ 3AP – Assorted frog champions like Seutlaios and Borborokoites
Warband x 7 @ 2AP – Ordinary frog warriors
Water Lurkers x 2 @ 1AP – Ambushers
Total Cost: 24AP
Variants: Hero General (Physignathos if accompanied by several frog champions like Prassaios and Origanios) or Hero (Origanios) @ 4AP, God (Zeus or other Olympians, if
they ever dare to appear) @ 4AP, Behemoths @ 4AP or Beasts @ 2AP (the crayfish army send by Zeus), Hordes (less well motivated warriors) @ 1AP.
Hero General x 1 @ 4AP – Troxartes, king of the mice, accompanied by several lesser heroes
Hero x 1 @ 4AP – “The Mighty Meridarpax”
Sneakers x 1 @ 3AP – Lesser mouse champions
Warband x 6 @ 2AP – Ordinary mouse warriors
Land Lurker x 1 @ 1AP – Ambushers
Total Cost: 24AP
Variants: Flyers (Mosquitos) @ 2AP, Spears (alternative classification of the warriors, may therefore not be used with warbands) @ 2AP, Hordes (less well motivated mice like Meridarpax’ father) @ 1AP
HOTT Army Lists Completed!
I’ve just finished uploading over a hundred HOTT army lists to the blog. Click here to access the lists, which are given in alphabetical order. This was going to be – as per my last post – a “long term” project; but it proved to be a fantastic alternative to doing the work I actually need to do, so I’ve completed it in double quick time. Procrastination is the mother of HOTT pages…
I’m planning to tidy the lists up a bit over time, improving the presentation and adding graphics/photos where possible.
If you have lists that you would like to add, or photographs of your HOTT elements/armies, please do get in touch by emailing me here – firstname.lastname@example.org.
Once again, a big THANK YOU to Alan Saunders for giving permission to reproduce the lists here, and more generally for having done so much to ensure that HOTT didn’t just slip into the mists of time. Alan’s current website, which includes much HOTT material, can be found here – http://hordesofthethings.blogspot.com/