Friday, March 31, 2017

LoA Weekender

Clarence Harrison - I've made the pilgrimage to LoA headquarters in Scotland to participate in one of the famed LoA weekenders. Next week Barry, Bob, and I are heading no to Ireland to walk the battlefields that form the basis for my collections in the period, including Derry, the Boyne, Athlone, and Aughrim! We will both be blogging about the trip in the weeks following, but I'm going to post a few quick and random things as we go. I'm traveling light so I didn't bother to pack my laptop which means I have no way to download pics from my 'proper' camera (so these are all camera phone pics). I'm using an app to post now. So I don't have as much control over the formatting.

We travelled to the hotel in Dumphries, well yesterday now since I'm posting in the wee hours of Saturday morning (we were in the bar you see so I couldn't post earlier). Here's rush hour on the outskirts of East Kilbride on our way to the hotel...

We are basically running three games on 6x6' tables Saturday morning, the outcomes of which will determine conditions in later larger battles on 6x12' boards...

.Here are the armies for ONE of the bigger games...

I brought ONE model, my character figure for the weekend , Lord Galmoy...

I've had the chance to meet lots of great folks that I've only interacted with over the net and I'm really looking forward to the games. I'm off to bed now, but I'll try to post a couple of pics tomorrow.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Clare's Dragoons

Clarence Harrison - A few weeks ago I finally got my hands on some of the new Warfare Mounted Dragoons and finished my first squadron, Clare's Dragoons...

I decided to mount these models on individual 25x50mm bases so I can use them for Donnybrook as well as Beneath the Lily Banners. That actually makes them 10mm narrower than my standard cavalry units. Since they are on smaller horses, that will be ok (and we don't quibble about small differences in base size), but I may make a movement tray with a 5mm lip just to make them easier to move around in BLB.

They go with the foot dragoons I painted a while ago...

The second squadron is halfway finished, but I doubt I'll get the chance to finish before I head for Scotland on Wednesday! Now I need some extra ponies to make a horse holder stands... maybe while I'm across the pond I can grab some...

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Polish Panzers - Pancerni

Pancerni Green Banner

As part of the Eastern Expansion initiated by Toggy I received a large box containing 47 painted Polish cavalry from the brush of talented Rob Goodyer.

Pancerni Red Banner

Perry Brothers' sculpting has come a long way form the 1990s but these models still have a charm all of their own and hold the same place in my heart as Mark Copplestone's big handed Grand Alliance sculpts which were released by Dixons in the 90s. The character is all there even if anatomical ideas for sculpting have moved on.

Red Banner first squadron

Red Banner first squadron rear view

I had several of these models of my own but alas sold them in a moment of weakness sometime between 2004 and 2010. I have no idea where my own efforts went although thankfully some photos of them still exist in WI from days past.

Pancerni Red Banner second squadron

Pancerni Red Banner 2nd squadron rear view

Anyway, back in the now.. I had to organize the figures from Bob and Rob into units and so chose to place the Pancerni models into two twelve model units giving four squadrons in total.

As the lances for these were not complete I chose to theme the lance colours and coordinate those with the banner colours. I picked out a red and a green banner for the two lead squadrons and those figures requiring lances were given said weapons in the colour of the flags. The rearward squadrons had to take what was left after I had given some Eagle banners to the superior caste Winged Hussars.

As we are going to use these models primarily for a period past the zenith of the Polish cavalry's legendary heyday of 1620 -1690 the Pancerni are equipped with a variety of weapons and not just lances.

As 'supporting' cavalry they are often not seen as being in the same league as their legendary brothers in the boas but the Pancerni as proven here can look pretty impressive too.

A couple more units of these should make the Polish cavalry horde complete but for now - marvel at the Perry classic sculpts of yester-year, Rob Goodyer's lovely painting and some attractive table top units set off by pretty flags and neat basing.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

The Lifeguard of King James II, Part Two

Clarence Harrison - Here's the second squadron! I actually managed to finish them last week, but I had to go out of town for work and didn't get the chance to take photos.

This is one of my favorite regiments in the collection so far and forms the nucleus of my Jacobite horse. My original goal was two squadrons of Lifeguard, three squadrons of Tyrconnel's, two squadrons of Parker's, and one squadron of Sutherland's. I'm halfway there!

I'm going to take a break from painting horse, sort of, and paint two squadrons of Clare's mounted dragoons over the next two weeks...

Friday, March 10, 2017

A weekend with the League of Augsburg…..

With another Weekender looming on the horizon Mark Shearwood shares his view of some wargaming Rock n' roll...

Mark's first killing ground near Taunton.. lucky he was defending!

I have followed the reports of previous weekends with interest and I must admit a little envy, so when a thread appeared by Barry on Fighting Talk on the Monday following Salute 2016 putting out feelers for a autumn weekend my interest was sparked.

Saturday morning was just a warm up... Mark's main event!

So quickly moving through time and with finances checked I booked my place and waited with bated breath for the plans for the weekend to evolve, the hotel where all the action was happening sat on English Street in Dumfries - how appropriate for the subject matter of the weekender!

The Duke of Berwick's forces for the weekend's campaigning

In the months prior to the weekend Barry informed us the action would be the conclusion to a campaign where the Jacobites invaded England to regain King James crown from the forces of William III.  We were allocated commands, mine being the King’s love-child(aka Bastard) James Fitzjames, Duke of Berwick.

von Tettau's Danes- featuring prominently in Mark's tale

So after several campaign turns where more than a little skulduggery occurred (I still want my ship back General Mackay you git!) and units were lost or recruited depending on the campaign Gods (well Barry actually), we were all set.

Mark's pickets surprise Kirke's advancing Dutch.. did Kirke betray his own men?

So with car full of figures and terrain I set forth on the morning of the 10th November up to Scotland to play a French born English duke invading England to take back the Crown for his Father. After checking in I found the game room, unloaded and over the next couple of hours all those involved arrived. There followed much discussion about who was playing whom.

The Jacobite assemble.. according to Mark, too few troops are as challenging as too many

The evening was spent (around a good dinner) sorting commands and assembling the 200  or so units needed. Eight collections were used and Barry and Toggy setting up four set up games for Saturday morning.

Some of Kirke's battalions changes sides, some went down fighting, some fled... all at Badon, not here

Replete with a hearty ‘full Scottish’ we headed into the hall to discover what surprises Barry had in store. The four tables represented Somerset, Oxfordshire, Shropshire and the a spit over the Esk into England. I knew my force along with Richard Hamilton’s had been campaigning in Devon and Somerset. 

The Williamite attack is giving Mark the collywobbles

We knew which table was ours the question was were attacking a fortified camp uphill or defending it. The good news from Barry was that we were defending; the bad news was that combined, we had three battalions (all asleep) and four detachments in front of the camp.

The Young Duke Victorious!    Kirke calls off the attack

The Mornings game was great fun. We were warned that casualties would be transferred to the main event I never knew it was so hard commanding so few forces, we were saved by some of my horse returning from a foraging trip and in the end it was a Jacobite win, overall the morning was a two-two draw.

Upscaling - Berwick scans his command in the centre of the Jacobite Team

During lunch the tables were changed into two 14 foot games, one in the north of the country and one in the south where my forces were located. We were set for the grand event with all commanders having secret victory conditions (more of that later). On our table the Jacobites were; the Duke of Berwick (myself), Richard Hamilton (Jacobite commander),Patrick Sarsfield and Dominic Sheldon. 

The Duke of Berwick bears down..

We hoped the Earl of Marlborough would join us.  Facing us were three Williamite commanders  vonTettau (holed up in a village), Kirke and Tollemache. On our left flank was Marlborough (allegiance suspect).  Due to my victory conditions I deployed next to Marlborough and opposite the village. With all the forces deployed it was left to Mr Hilton to unleash the dogs of war….

Putting the Preusser under pressure - von Tettau feels the heat 

We were playing the new variant of Beneath the Lily Banners,called The War of Three Kings which worked extremely well regardless of how familiar players were with BLB2.
Berwick sent a rider with a note asking Churchill’s intentions and requesting he attend in person to agree a plan and to discuss a Dukedom (more of that later). I headed up to a half way point supported by two squadrons of my father’s Life Guard.

Who will blink first? Berwick's Life Guards or Churchill's Horse Guards?

Churchill arrived with two squadrons of his Elite Regiment of Horse. These faced off from Saturday pm till early Sunday morning  neither fully trusting the other and waiting for who blinked first.
Our plan, which worked to some degree, was to pressure the village to push the enemy into reinforcing it thus leaving the centre of the Williamite line weak. 

These Danish lads are putting up some fight for Mercenaries!

The rest of Saturday’s gaming was immense fun with Barry handing out event cards which just added to everyone’s enjoyment. We broke about 7 for dinner followed by some liquid refreshment and not a little more skulduggery.

The gaming moments we live for.. The Grand Prior's charge to glory!

Around 9 on Sunday morning we re-convened with both Churchill’s and my forces concentrating on the Danes in and around the village. Churchill sent several squadrons of cavalry off table to try and come around behind the Williamites whilst I was sending my infantry against the now thinning line of Danes. The Danish Guards were in the firing line. All the time I kept a close eye on Mr Churchill and had a squadron of Horse Guards ‘protecting’ his rear.

You can't see these moments too often, can you Mark?? 

After lunch, we continued with more skulduggery. It culminated with Kirke changing sides and charging into his former ally’s flank. As this happened on the far side of the battle my lead infantry 1st Battalion The Lord Grand Prior’s Regiment was about to engage with the Danish Guards but were taking considerable fire from the village. In fact, they took eleven casualties in one turn. With the help of a good Catholic Priest they passed the morale check.

General Kirke, you are a very bad man... turning on your Allies!

 The following turn with dice gods on their side (and a well played event card) forcing the Guards to fire on their own men in the village) the now depleted Grand Prior’s charged with such force they won the melee and forced the enemy from the field.

Churchill politiks his way to redemption

With the battle all but one, Hamilton sent terms to the Williamites. There was some disagreement between the Jacobites as my Father had instructed that Tollemache and Kirke be arrested or killed, Kirke escaped and we agreed that Tollemache and his Danish troops be allowed to leave the field with full honours and colours flying.

Snouts in the trough - Churchill's cavalry loot the Williamite baggage train

Know back to Churchill, who had supported my flank all battle but was also on my Father’s hit list. I instructed that squadron of Horse been behind Churchill arrested him. This had the room in hysterics as no one else knew about my victory conditions.

Wargaming with the LoA

The weekend was a narrow victory for the Jacobites and we had taken about half of the country but more importantly it was a great weekend of gaming with friends old and new. We all said we’d like to do again, so much that we are keeping the campaign on a slow burn and planning the next instalment in 2017… That takes place in three weeks… alas The Duke of Berwick is currently on tour in Eastern Europe as will be seen..

James Fitzjames, Duke of Berwick, aka. Mark

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Taking liberties with the Russians

Garrison of?

Is nothing sacred? Hilton bastardizes yet more conventions to get result.....

Two years ago I got Clibinarium to create ten test sculpts for the GNW which have developed into a large and rapidly growing range. One of the first sculpts was a marching Russian musketeer.

Although that figure has very recently developed into a full five variant code which may, by the time this post is published be commercially available,I had dozens of the original test sculpt cast up.

I never got round to painting them and I sent a battalion's worth to Rob Goodyer to be painted as a garrison battalion. As I had no marching command at that point I sent some Swedish command.

 Not a cardinal sin as the Russians adopted the turned back coat tails eventually and for the purposes of practicality, some of soldiers in the field probably did so anyway despite regulations.

As I had no idea whether garrison units carried colours or not I decided to use one of the attractive Streltsi flags that Clarence created to flag them up!

Here is the attractive result - a nameless garrison battalion which will first take the field at Tactica 2017....

Which as I add this postscript I can confirm it did. Its war was realtively unspectacular but it did fire in anger at the Blue Wasps which stung the massive Russian-Polish force! evidence below..

The Virgin Soldiers

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Inspired by Gunter and PC games

Test base of Saxon cuirassiers - I used WLOA53 with tricornes

I have grown fond of the Saxons but have not yet seriously started painting any. Gunter Heim's mammoth Saxon Army of the GNW used almost exclusively Warfare Miniatures and I have had the pleasure of seeing them in action three times.

Part of Gunter's Kurassier horde

Reading about the Saxons and playing the Pike & Shot Campaign game as the Saxons at Fraustadt, Klissow and Gemeaurthof has intrigue me even more. The game is of course limited in its AI ability and does not think like a human simply reacting to the player moves. Difficulty of scenario is created by downgrading player morale and upgrading AI morale. Nevertheless the games have been fun and the Saxons prove quite tough and frequently win.

Pike & Shot Battle of Klissow

 I have been meaning to start some Saxons but lack of time has prevented it which has been frustrating.

I am happy with both the colours and the poses of the test base

I have managed to get started with this test base of cuirassiers. Since all Saxon cavalry with the exception of the dragoon regiments were cuirassiers any collector is spoiled for choice.

The Army of August the Strong in the Northern War

This German language book from the Army and Weapons series is pricey but has some really interesting illustrations. It shows the Saxon army in an extremely wide variety of dress styles substantiating the use of almost any 1680-1720 period wargames figures legitimately.

Another view of the test

Gunter chose to put all of his troops in the informal shaped hat. which looks fantastic. I have learned from his experience and am going to mix the dress of my Saxons.

Led by the Gardes du Corps - Gunter Heim's collection

The choice of facing colours in the Saxon army is extremely wide and the flags, specifically commissioned from Quindia Studios by Gunter are truly spectacular and prismatic in shade.

Oh, those flags.. 3 per battalion

Watch out for more Saxons coming your way from me.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

The Lifeguard of King James II, 1st Troop

Clarence Harrison - The Warfare Miniatures USA store opened today, I've finally had a bit of time with all my preparations for this to get in a little time on brushwork for my own collection with the first troop of King James II's Lifeguard.

The Lifeguard troops were as large as squadrons (not sure why they didn't just call them squadrons). As usual with the Jacobites, we only have sketchy info on uniforms. These are based on the uniforms of the Lifeguard when King James II was the undisputed ruler of England. I was going to paint white lace on the cuffs, but on most of the models the gauntlets nearly cover these and the result was that the cuffs looked white! The models were drawn from multiple Warfare codes with a mix of Enthusiastic Horse and Cuirassiers.

I'll have the second troop by next weekend with a white flag and white trim on their saddle blankets to distinguish them. I am determined to actually finish my 1690 project this year (no, really). I still need to paint 4 battalions of foot, 4 squadrons of horse, and 4 squadrons of mounted dragoons to finish the initial goal for my Jacobite army. I need two battalions of Huguenot foot for my Williamites too. I can easily complete one unit per week when I want to so there's no reason I can't get these finished by the end of summer even with interruptions and wandering off through other periods...

As if saying it out loud will make it happen!

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