Saturday, 23 September 2023

Workbench Update Last of the Irish

 I have finished off the last of the Irish this week alongside a few other bits and pieces, apologies for the quality of the pictures again.

This first group is Crusader Scots light horse who will happily be Irish light horse for me nice figures that dont fit quite as nicely as I would like on their horses.

Crusader Scots Thegns with Steve Barber head swaps. The flag is the Earl of Tyrone. These two will now give me 6 units of Irish Horse when based.
These Flags of War Kern are lovely, the picture does them no justice at all. To be fair I am not sure my painting does either, lots of fine detail, really impressed with the sculpts, slightly less so with my painting of them.
These Kern are all Crusader Dark Age Scots, any spares will mix straight in with my Picts I think.
Probably the best picture these are all dark age Irish from Gripping Beast and actually mix in quite well. You will notice I have revisited the O'Neil flags this time from Flags of War. The chao with horn is most likely to fins himself surrounded by semi naked guys with tattoos and square sheilds out of this lot ifI ahve spares.
This left figure is a 3d printed scots archer and the right one an Antideluvian Kern.
The large Hessian Officer here is one of the 3D prints that was slightly too large, I dont mind using these as separate command figures so expect a couple of them, but I wont be mixing them in units. The other is a Spaniard painted as a Paris Municipal Guardsman in campaign dress.
So thats the Irish painted, just a mountain of basing to do, then some more English a Company of Spanish Rodolero's and maybe some Scots Highlanders and we are ready for the game at Partizan.

Update, the Hessian Officer based and a couple of other figures for Elizabethan Ireland.
English command for one of the heavier units or maybe the sword and buckler unit? Both Redount and so is this flag.
Irish Lord with the original head left on, not my favourite but bags of character so it can stay.

Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, 19 September 2023

Tudor Arte of Warre Volume 2

 To complement the work on my Elizabethan Ireland project I have been doing my research. The Twighlight Lords is a fabulous book covering the Elizabethan period and in particular the devastating Desmond rebellions and led me to want to learn more.

More recently I invested in Helions Tudor Arte of Warre book 2, looking at warfare in the age of Elizabeth, where book one deals with the earlier Tudors..

It was almost immediately apparent that there is far more to this period than I thought I knew. Davies shares a narrative for a period rich in military history that is often over looked.

He challenges the often shared narrative that most Elizabethan military ventures were failures due to Elizabeth's fiscal parsimony and fickle mind changes, although there is ample evidence for some of this.

Instead we find the leaders of England's armies often woefully unable and misleading of their monarch inevitably leading to spiralling costs, negligible results and a massive wastage in man power.

As you would expect the book is full of portraits, maps and colour plates in  this case in the form of re-enactors with period costume and weapons.

The Politics, characters and events are skillfully told with the military campaigns themselves broken out and individual key battles having their own chapters.

Scotland, Flanders, France, Brittany, Spain, Portugal and Ireland are all thoroughly covered as is the potential for a land battle via the Spanish Armada.

Interestingly in his analysis the Spanish troops are defeated and unlikely to have beaten the English. As much by the poor logistics and inevitable disease as anything.
Whilst I was aware that disease and poor supplies brought on by inadequate logistics were big players in earlier campaigns the stark numbers presented by the author are chilling and another new factor to consider for me, one letter to the privy council from a general in Ireland baldly stating that the 6,000 troops sent a few months earlier were now "all used up".

The author shows that England's opponents in regular warfare suffered similar fates when fighting on foreign soil, the Spanish at Kinsale being a good example.
All told an excellent read and very interesting, I recommend to anyone interested in the period and I look forward to the release of volume 3 covering the troops themselves.

Sunday, 10 September 2023

Irish Light Horse Workbench

This week I have been mostly focused on adding some Irish Light horse to my Elizabethan project.

A number of different makes here, and photos on a  couple of cameras trying to get  a decent shot in weird light.

Two Redoubt horse will give me enough for 3 companies of these, the right hand one has a Steve Barber thirty years war head, the left one is the original, not keen on this but I felt I would keep at least one from the nine with its original head.
The netx two are Crusader figures, both sold as Scots, the armoured figure has a tee Barber head swap, the left is as sold. Nice figures these if a little awkward in terms of fit to the horses.
These two are dark age Irish from Footsore, smaller than the other but very nice, I will keep these on separate bases.
This Footsore figure was going to be an Irish Warlord but he looks like what he is, a Dark Age leader, I may use him with my Picts as its a lovely figure.

Same pictures different phone!

The Flags of War Irish Lord is far too English for me, with English clothes, horse trappings and even a nicely trimmed beard. That said he is a lovely English Lord so will command some of my English Troops.

This si the first of the Crusader Kern, actually sold as Scots, he will fit in nicely I think and the hounds potentially mixed individually into different units of Kern.
Struggling with the lighting I have tried natural light with these few. Bit of a mix of figures to finish a few things off.
The Scots archers are Bannockburn era figures, I was tempted by them to use with my Gallowglass given the aketons and that Gallowglass servants fought as skirmishers supporting their masters, I will have to see how they look mixed intot he back ranks of the Gallowglass formations. Lovely 3d printed figures.

The last of the three Footsore Irish, much smaller than the other makes but as all three will go on a single company base I dont think that matters.

This crusader light horseman wouldnt fit on the crusader horses because of how I positioned his shield so another horse was pinched.

The last of the Redoubt Cavalry this will give me 3 units of these figures, again a Steve Barber 30 years war helmet has been pressed into service.
Two more kern, one Gripping Beast the other a very nice Crusader figure. About 10 more Kern to do before I can base up units.

Not huge amounts to do now before I can say this part of the project is done. 

I will keep you posted.

Thursday, 31 August 2023

Midgard Bronze Age Playtest

 We had a game at East Leeds tonight to test the changes to James Moriss's forthcoming rules for heroic warfare, Midgard.

We have play tested these three times now and thoroughly enjoyed them, but there have been changes as they get nearer to publication so we wanted another go with the latest version.

I still dont have enough figures to get the best from the rules which can be used for very large battles indeed, I do have plenty left to paint, but otherwise we think they are good fit with their focus on rewarding the heroic behaviour of the Leaders and Champions and optional extra rules for magic, enhanced weapons, Shamen casting curses etc..

Chris Flowers would command a smaller force holding a hill. He has A level 3 leader and a level 1 and level 2 Champion, 2 units of javelin armed skirmishers, 1 of archers, 1 of light cavalry, 2 of warriors and 1 of Warriors Heavy Infantry. Thats those chaps in decent gear at the front with swords and axes.

My force was slightly larger.. I have the same levels of leader with level 3 Battle Queen Maive leading a level 1 and 2 champion. The other troop types I have one more of each than Chris other than the Warriors Heavy Infantry and Javelins. So 2 Light Horse, 2 archers, 2 javelins, 3 warriors, really this should more than offset the advantage of the hill. Let see.

The aim of the game is to deplete your opponents reputation whilst increasing your own through winning or losing melees or single combats, points can also be added for making the first charge of the game or charging your leader into melee. Adding in optional rules for magic etc can also give an extra layer to those games where this is appropriate. Clearly when units or champions are defeated this leads to loss of reputation. 

A silver goblet with jewels to represent your reputation is recommended, we made do with coffee mugs and curtain rings.

Chris wanted a photo so I decideed I needed a photo of him taking a photo of me, childish I know!
Game commences and immediately Chris Issues a challenge from his commander to mine, naturally I accept and we meet in the middle of the armies to conduct our duel.

Purely for visual purposes I swapped the Hero's on foot for the same figures riding in Chariots, I think our duel requires some more Panache.
After three rounds of combat both leaders retire having gained reputation points and both having their stamina reduced by one. Tiring work all this heroic posturing you know.

Lugh of the silver spear has come to take enemy heads, heres one he prepared earlier!

Back behind her army Queen Maeve urges them on and the army advances.
Each unit moves once, all measurements are in spear throws which is also a unit frontage, hence the movement trays. Foot move one Spear throw and mounted move two. Units can also attempt to move a second time needing a command roll, its fairly easy passing on a 3 plus, leaders and champions can also spend points to re-roll fails although move one this is not needed and all my forces leap forward two spear throws (four for mounted)

My right flank Cavalry are not quite close enough to reach Chris's light horse.
My other cavalry unit swings around the flank of Chirs;s forces led by my level 1 champion
Chris's turn and he charges my light cavalry, his level 1 Champion issues a challenge and beats my level 2. Damn!
His Light Cavalry also beats mine and reduces its stamina, but we pass our morale.
Chris turns his archers to fire at my passing horse without success, I chance a long range shot and take on point of stamina from him.
Our Javelinmen advance to exchange short range missile fire..
Chris chares my light horse with his warriors and our hero's engage in single combat, again Chris manages to win both combats, killing a second champion and damaging my light horse.
My javelins have made amess of Chris's but now he charges his Heavy Warriors and my Javelins evade.

Chris has the edge here as he has hit my ordinary Warriors first and they become my primary unit.
As the melee begins our Leaders ride into single combat again and you guessed it Chris kills the last of my Champions who is also the leader of my force and my reputation pot is lookign decidedly empty.

The battlefield is a waste of piled corpses as very few units remain at all and virtually none are left completely intact. 
One last roll of the bones with an even chance of beating Chris, 3 fives should do he rolls 4 sixes! Thats it my reputations points are gone and Chris takes the victory.
We call it a night, all of my Champions are dead, all my reputation is gone and most of my troops are food for the crows.

Chris's dice have been fabulous, even when I rolled well he rolled slightly better.

Fair play though , the Gods favoured Chris's troops this day.

Another good test for Midgard passed with flying colours, I really need to consider how I am basing the rest of this collection now to get the best out of them. Food for thought.