Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Me Lord's Retinue for Lion Rampant

While usually playing only one game is not the stepping stone for a whole new direction,  Andrew's introduction of Lion Rampant [ LR ] did get me thinking about my dormant medieval 28mm collection.  While I do like the collection, thinking the painting fine and still interested in the period,  I could not make it 'work' for any of the common rule sets played around here.  The army lists of those rules either had me needing to buy - and paint - many more, or had me abandon large amounts.  I was willing to do neither, nor did the thought of rebasing excite me.....

Years ago, some club members came to the conclusion that nearly everyone had medieval figures of one type or another in 28mm individually mounted and wouldn't it be fun to have a huge game with everyone coming with whatever contingent they could create!   Well I was in as I had just traded for a large and now older GW plastic Bretonnian army - very historically Hundred Years Wars that.  Lots of archers of course and so completed the lot all in one livery.
The whole concept fell off the rails of course, as those things usually do, and so I have been left with this one-side-only collection too big and not finding the right opposition in terms of nice miniatures and or indeed willing to do the opposition.
There it lay in the box for years until this week.

After Andrew's game I searched the web and came up with the pointing system and set to task computing my retinue numbers and indeed can produce a three retinue army of 72 points !  And legally at that!  So all the various amounts of men-at-arms, archers, spearmen all are nicely grouped into proper units.  Wonderful!  With the 72 points I could field a 14 unit army if I so choose and all in the same livery.   These are all foot, Early HYW (c. Battle of Crecy)

I was struck by the simple fact that my collection fit almost perfectly with the army list values of LR
With that
a) I will not have to purchase any more
b) It uses all my figures in total*
c) I will not need to rebase!
d) no other known rules set I can use my force without need to add to or subtract

makes the choice fairly easy.  I do hope I will like the rules….

*with the exception of only 3 additonal Bidowers which I completed in short order as I had a few unpainted plastic spares. (see below)

The collection is the mentioned GW plastics, with a smaller amounts of Black Tree medievals, and perhaps ? Front Rank. They were long in the box and traded for or purchased in dribs and dabs so I can't rightly recall.

The livery is dark red/dark blue simply because I liked the colour combination.

One of the elite archer units of my retinue. Mostly plastics with a few metal ones for variation. 
The "Bidowers" 
Before and after slight modifications to give my Bidowers and bit of different look.  Originally GW plastics
the big bushy plastic bared head really alters the look of this figure. I added a small purse to the modified figure to enhance the change.  The bidowers would be mercenaries for hire I be thinking.
The final added figure to the bidower unit.  Again a new plastic head (from a donated Perry plastic left over sprue) provides the greatest difference between the original figure (in the back).  The added large bag again enhances the difference along with the clothing colors used. The other three figures of the unit are, were I believe called "scouts" or some such and are metal.

Now to play a game or two with this lot!

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

X-Wing game

A Monday Night Game at Francis's hosted by Sean who brought along his X-Wing game.  Star Wars driven, of course, the models are pre-painted of a very good quality and the rules are extremely well thought out.  All issues which came up were quickly dealt with by the rules and for Francis's group of ADD lads, that is saying much!
A Rebel "Freighter" with a heck of a lot of firepower!

While Francis and Dave to a large extent are more LotR fans, I and Sean like Star Wars and so perhaps are more into making the sounds of a TieFighter screeching to the attack.  Heck, I am old enough to have seen the original first run of the movie on the screen when I was young(er).

The scenario was a mutual recovery of important capsules of techie stuff left floating in space was the objective and, of course, to blow each other into atoms....

I played the Imperium once this game I will ALWAYS play the Imperium.  Luke is a reactionist young bleeping trouble maker really; and is the bad guy regardless how Lucas makes us believe.

Anyway I was gunning for the pup but in the last turn of the game, he (played by Dave) got lucky and was a mere 1/8" within range of my Tie-Fighter with the third capsule in tow after finally chasing it all game , destroyed it leaving this capsule in space. With one captured capsule each, the battle was declared a tie.

For reporting accuracy, yes, Darth Vader was also flying, under the command of Sean, who managed through some "interesting " maneuvers to do very little in the game.  Apparently he does not know his right from his left.  Oops, note to self :  use inner voice as I am now choking for breath against a bulkhead with my feet above the floor....

Yes, Darth, in my usual "anything to do with flying" games I will always get shot down, in my defence I ONLY lost one fighter!
Luke Skywalker's X-Wing with a "8" pilot and a whole lot of bonuses which Dave had fun with.
Ol' Darthie flying in the wrong direction! :-))
very nice pre-painted models
Thanks to SeanR for hosting.

Sunday, 4 January 2015

a game of "Lion Rampant" rules

Andrew came over to introduce the newish rules of "Lion Rampant" by Osprey Publishing.

This is a skirmish-y level rules for the 'whack-and-slash' military periods.  Lacking any historical match ups between us, he brought over his Chinese with bows and pointy sticks to clash against my English early Hundred Years War force with bows and pointy sticks.  As the rules are very broad in nature, it really does not matter the type at all.
The rules are very general indeed with only real hint to their intended target era with the description of the unit type as "Foot Sergeants" "Men at Arms" etc.

Because of the game being a small affair and Andrew having to explain it all with but one game under his belt himself, I really should withhold comments until I have played it more to get more of the feel and subtleties of the system.  As a very visual learner, I saw, with the 'movement trays' Andrew suggested we use to speed play, each unit as a block without necessarily any skirmish feel.  With all units at 12 or 6 strong, that feeling of a block is maintained.  I saw no need for individual movement of figures or even that they be place individually on a stand for ease of movement.    At the end of the game I was already expressing that a 'unit' be only a stand in a vignette arrangement of, say 6 or 8 figures with all the Attacker 6+, Move 3+ etc etc information laid out on the stand itself with only perhaps a changeable marker showing the 'casualties'.

But like I said, I should reserve judgement.  However I would like to like these rules as they have seemed to attract a bit of attention from the local gamers and I have a huge army with 85 archers alone ( ! ) waiting to be used one day.....  (sigh)

It was good of Andrew to show me the rules and gives me a better idea of the interest in them.

Not a real good look to this game but it was kinda spur of the moment and quickly arranged.

my HYW boys all in livery

my pointy stick boys a bit worn down but still in the fight
Andrew's Chinese purchased painted from eBay

Overview of the small action with my archers to each flank of the spear and his horse at half strength from a couple failed charges at my centre. 

One of my "need a 5+" attempts!  OK to be honest the next six throws had much better results......

Thursday, 25 December 2014

Layout for Waterloo refight

With the Highlanders completed [ see previous post ], this (almost) completes what I need to do a tabletop game of Waterloo.  Woohoo.  Let's consider it a Christmas present to myself.

With the 200th anniversary coming up next year, there will be a flurry of games by individuals, bloggers and clubs.  It should be interesting to tally the results and see if Napoleon indeed had a chance.  I don't think the manner of the rules will have much bearing.  I would hope that most will start with the historical set up and play out the game from the actual deployments; but as I plan to do, will also try the 'the French can do whatever they want' game.  Both added together should give a good idea whether Welly was good, lucky, really needed the Prussians, or Napoleon played it all wrong.

For the 8 x 5 foot table space available at the conventions I will only use simple green mats.  The buildings are paper models and the rye fields are cut up straw feet mats and are just to fill in some empty space.  A modelled ridge line is not used as it was certainly not considerable and did not impede or slow movement and does not form any defensive importance but rather only as a slight rise for line of sight. Thus the road forms that feature.

I took a few overhead shots to help with future set-ups

Historical deployment.  Looking north from behind French lines - above Rosomme like in some fictional balloon.  Hougomont is the brick complex on the left, LaHayeSainte upper middle, LaBelleAlliance building with the red roof, lower centre, Papalotte/Fischermont upper right and finally Planceoit lower right.
The French deployments:
Reilly's Corps facing Hougomont, with Kellerman's heavy cavalry to their rear.  Barely visible within Hougomont's woods, are the Nassau defenders  
The centre of the French deployment showing Lobau/Mouton's Corps across the road from LaBelleAlliance, and the Guard infantry and cavalry to their rear, along the road to Brussels. 

Continuing east-bound, we have D'Erlon's Corps in column masse ready to attack and with the "Grand Battery" made up of his and a Guard artillery model.  While perhaps not visually massive, it does have a lot of firepower, but with only Bylandt's brigade and the Netherland artillery exposed on the ridge, one can understand that they would be hit hard.
* the green stick indicates a move distance.  
 The Allies positions:

We view the Allied left flank from the French point of view.  The road runs along the "crest" of the ridge and thus, all those units north of the road cannot be seen from the French positions.  While sketched deployments can be used or better yet dummy markers for more accurate placement, I will chose, at least for the historical version, to have everything on the table.  Looks prettier!  French artillery can hit units over the crest but with a harsh modifier and only try once per unit per turn to replicate the indirect thus random fire to these hidden units to the French. Should still help a bit as it still did on that day. 
The Allied right, again from the French point of view. Hougomont on the left and LHS on the right, does not allow much room for attack.  Historically the French cavalry attacked through this area.

Now looking south from the ridge:
From above the Allied centre, we can see Picton's infantry of Highlanders and Hanoverians deployment just behind the ridge line and the British heavy horse of the Scots Greys and Households with the Dutch and Belgian Carabineers behind.
Note that I have added the lone "Wellington's Tree" to keep up with the mythology of this battle! 
From above the Allied right flank showing the brigades deployed behind Hougomont
The camera seems to find lots of open green space while the human eye does not. Why is that? The tabletop appears much closer and better I must say, as I admit spending more than a few minutes gazing upon the whole scene, seeing the results of about a few years effort, made among other projects and painting.....

....Right, enough of that.  Where are my primered Russians.....

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

My Waterloo Highland Units

"Don't do it!  Think of your life! Think about what it will do to your eyes!"

Those were my thoughts to myself but there wasn't anything but to pick up the 000 paint brush and get to it. So after much deliberate delay, I finally got to the tartans...and all the British regimental lace...and the bleeping bagpipes.....

For the element's strength ratios of the rules, one can often pick and choose which individual regiments one will want to use to represent the entire brigade.  Well, for the brigades of Picton's Division I picked the Highland Regiments.  How could I not, actually.  They are THE units of Waterloo.

The 79th Camerons

the 92nd Gordons

While I only really needed the 79th and 92nd to represent the brigades, I also painted up the famous 42nd (the Black Watch) at the same time as they are well known and can be used in the Quatre-Bras scenario as they were chewed up by French cavalry. To that end, I used at the kneeling figures - from a Victrix box of flank company types and ignored the overuse of the shoulder wings - to create a "square-like" vignette of tense action amidst the rye.
the Black Watch at The Battle of Quatre-Bras.  My version anyway.
I decided to do all the regiments together with the idea, like peeling a bandage off the hairy part of you leg all at once rather than doing it slowly.

Old eyes and impatience. But these still took a long time to paint. That is all I have to say about that.

 As a final note, I added "Colonel Gordon" to the Duke of Wellington's command stand for, in the movie "Waterloo" he seemed to have the most interaction with the Allied commander.  "Some of the lads can call me more than colonel"
"The lads are down to three rounds a man......Och aye, they'll stand"