Saturday 30 April 2011

Two Captains

The captains from the last blog entry are painted and done; both represent leaders of small retinues, employed by their lords who themselves would have been indentured by their own greater lord or even by the king.

I've added a couple of items to the bases for interest. I've been trying to come up with things that can be put on to vignette bases. In wars of the next century drums and damaged artillery pieces look good, but for the medieval period I'm a little more restricted, so it looks like all the ideas I've used here with be seen in different forms on other bases in the future. The wayside shrine is a Noch model railway item, the dog is from Warlord Games Celtic range and the fencing is homemade (cocktail sticks, wire and thin plastic strips).

Glad to have got these done, as they've been knocking around for some time - probably about 15 years!

Saturday 23 April 2011

New Plans

My original plan for after the Salute game was to return to my Burgundians. However bouyed by the great feedback etc, I'm now going to get the remaining castings I have for my 1420s HYW armies completed - whilst restricting myself to not buying any new castings - so I can draw a line under them. Hopefully this will be all done in the next couple of months.

This essentially amounts to painting some odds and ends, including some vignettes, a few more longbowmen (based as skirmishers), a contingent of brigands/armed locals (who I can use on either side) and casualty markers - the latter which I failed to get done for Salute and which we were in need of during the game on the day.

So first up, I've been fiddling with old Citadel castings to create a couple of men at arms en route. Like many others I'm a great hoarder of figures and these have been knocking around for years on the basis that "they'll come in handy one day", and so to justify my magpie-tendencies their day has arrived. These are inspired by Sire Godfrey's figures on a similiar theme. They are composites; old Citadel medieval figures (whose attire is of an earlier HYW period but never mind) on Perry horses with weapons and personal baggage items culled from other figures and a bit of sculpting putty added to assist them sitting better on the mounts. The barrel on the back of the left-hand mounted figure has since been replaced by a small plastic chest that I found I have. The chap on the right will be repainted (except or the horse).

I'll post them up when painted.

Monday 18 April 2011

Verneuil at Salute

Well, we managed to put the Verneuil game on at Salute on Saturday.

Despite the facts that: Darrell Hindley and I had liaised by email and phone but never met until an hour before the show opened; the terrain and figures had never been laid out beforehand as a dry-run; that I had miscalculated my metric to imperial conversions and so we couldn't fit the fourth terrain tiles across the width of the table and had to live with a narrower terrain layout; that all the players from the Lance & Longbow Society hadn't previously met and that everyone forgot to bring any dice with them! Despite all of this, we chatted...we played..we chatted some more....and amazingly...we won "best demonstration game at Salute 2011"!!!

The win was a real surprise to all of us and topped off a great day. It was a thoroughly enjoyable and rewarding experience, although an immensely tiring one. The specific logistical procedures at ExCel means that the set-up and take-away times are very protracted. This meant a Friday afternoon arrival to set-up and an overnight stop for me with all the terrain and many of the figures. The evening stay was compensated for however by the generous invitation to join the folks from Perrys, Rendera and Immortal Minis for dinner.

I did manage to see the proverbial tip of the iceberg of the other very attractive games. At the trade stands I only spent some 'loose change', which was a positive and the plastic was only called for to pay for a subscription to the forthcoming 'Medieval Warfare' magazine, which I'm looking forward to receiving next month.

There appeared to be a steady flow of interest in the game during the day; lots of questions (particularly on how the town walls had been constructed) and many kind, complimentary words passed on the game. It was good to briefly catch up with familiar faces and to be able to put new faces to names from this blog and other gaming forums.

For the game, we set up the alternative scenario, as outlined in Michael Jones' academic article, with the Lombardy mounted men at arms in the centre (rather than on the wings), with their charge being anticipated as the key tactical moment for the battle. Darrell led the French foot, George Moriatis the Lombardians and Nick Palmer took the Scots, while Nigel Cook and I were Bedford and Salisbury respectively. We used basic Impetus rules, which seemed to work well with Darrell, George and Nick's guidance re the finer points (as I'd not played them before). Nigel also acted as our very own 'Jean du Waurin' and kept a chronicle of key events (in his little black book) as the game progressed. Briefly the English decided to stay put in their strong defensive position and take on the force of the cavalry charge. The Lombards initially inflicted casualties, but with some judicous dice rolls the English line held as the charge lost it's impetus (sorry for the pun). The French and Scottish wings of foot, screened by crossbows, gradually advanced. As with the actual battle Narbonne's contingent got ahead of Aumale; although we discovered this was primarily due to everyone overlooking to move the unit whilst Darrell was otherwise engaged around the show! The English longbows failed to make much impression on the advancing Franco-Scots and the game was nicely poised with both sets of the men at arms ready to come to grips, when we ran out of time. I suspect that the greater numbers may have told in favour of the French in the long run?

I hope that the game creates some good publicity for the Lance and Longbow Society and my thanks go to Dave Landchester for allowing us to put the game on, to Darrell for helping with the organisation, his extra figures and the motivation, and to the guys on the day - perhaps we can reprise it again in 2011 at another show?

My personal highlight from Saturday (of the little I saw) were the two '3-up' mounted men at arms by Michael Perry - they look fantastic and here's hoping they make it to the finished stage for the end of this year, as it'll make my wife's life much easier for the Christmas pressie buying . I'm now motivated to try and finish off all the outstanding figures to get my HYW armies completed, before moving on with my Burgundians.

Tuesday 12 April 2011

...and finally

I've thankfully completed all the items I have time to do for the Verneuil Salute game. On one hand I've been enthused by having a target to reach and so get my HYW armies to a state of oh-so-near completion, which may not have happened with agreeing to do the game with Darrell Hindley. On the other hand, what's been done has used up all my spare time (and some more) and there's been many moments of self doubt over getting things completed on time. I did fail to paint some planned casualty figures and I'd like to have had the town populated with some figures and vignettes.

These are just a hotch-potch of some that haven't fitted into any of the previous postings. The French man at arms about to be despatched is inspired by a Sasha Herm vignette. I added the chamfron with Magi Sculpt putty to the horse which is a Foundry casting and the billman started life as the Perry figure wielding a hammer from the 'Archers Preparing' pack, now with a headswop of a plastic sallet and the hammer replaced with a polearm. The heraldry on the horse barding is Baron d'Avrech, an Armagnac captain of the 1420's.

The knight arming is another Foundry group who's attire is most definetly earlier HYW, but he'll be tucked away in the camp somewhere - forever preparing and never getting the honour of fighting. The two larger tents are Baueda resins.

Two buildings have been blocked and dipped for speed. One is a Grand Manner medieval house and the other is a composite I put togther - using a lower storey from Grand Manner and the upper is the Hudson and Allen casting that's now provided with the fortified farm complex. The gothic corbels that support the (rather large) overhang are exquisite metal castings available from Antenociti (ex Freebooter).

Finally another base of armoured men at arms to get the Lombardy contingent upto a reasonable size.

Please say "hi" to Darrell and me at Salute if you're going and have time and/or sufficient orientation skills (!) to find the Lance and Longbow Society stand at GE06. I'll post some pics of the game next week.

Saturday 9 April 2011

Armagnacs (quatre)

The very last Armagnac French completed for Verneuil game, I'm pleased to say as I thought at one stage that I'd not get these completed in time. Four more bases of men at arms and three couplings of a man at arms with flagbearer, to potentially be use as 'Impetus' markers for the game or to just linger near the back.

Men at arms are usual mix of Perry and older Citadel figures, some of the former painted by James Oliver. The markers are the flags for the Duke of Nevers, 'sun in flames' (a popular image on manuscript illustrations of the period) and French royal arms.

Tuesday 5 April 2011

Verneuil town walls

The gate and walls of Verneuil are based on castings from Hudson and Allen, which have been expertly modified and painted for me by John Boadle. These are an attempt to reflect how a typical fifteenth century town or castle walls would have appeared, based on contemporary illustrations. They consist of four pieces from H&A's castle set; the gate and three wall sections (one of which is breached and not shown here), all of which have undergone major rebuild or substantial modifications by John. All the walls have been rendered over the cast stonework, to represent a limewash covering.

The gate has undergone most significant changes. The tower has been raised in height with an enclosed roof added, as wll as a breteche, loopholes and shutters and on the interanl-facing side two high gothic windows. A wooden boulevard (as a seperate piece) reinforces the gate, as would have been common practice when a siege or attack was threatened. To the rear of the gateway the original stone stable building has been removed and replaced with a half-timbered guardhouse. The wooden pallisades, along the tops of the walls all have removeable roofs to place in figures.

The intact wall section has a wider parapet, where a gun loop has been added between the pallisaded sections. I've added a gun from the Kingmaker Hussite wagon with a gunner and spotter ("I don't know where the English are, but I do have a hunch!").

The other wall section has full pallisading and a damaged tower, which John has embellished with additional fallen masonry and wood. I'm not using the breached setcion at Salute as it appears that verneuil walls were intact on 17 August 1424; the castle has been retaken by the French using stealth, apparently a result of Scottish troops convincing the garrison they were English and so being let in (!!).

My contribution has been limited to painting the two tower roofs (to which are added spare poles from some 'Baueda' tents) and trying to match John's painting. I'm thrilled by the quality of John's work on these pieces; he's also added many small improvments (such as windows etc) which all add to making these both highly detailed and very convincing and has turned my scratchy drawings and aspirations into reality. They will see much use as town walls in many scenarios to come (as illustrated by the Burgundian garrison circa 1475, assembled on the walls).

For the Salute game, I'm hoping to quickly paint a couple of buildings to go inside, if time permits.

Friday 1 April 2011

Three Armagnac Captains

Just completed some command stands for Verneuil game, and for future use in other engagements. Featured are a French high command group, the duke of Alencon and the earl of Douglas.

The French command group with royal banner are all figures painted by Oliver James (the left and right hand ones being one of his conversions I believe), with the exception of the musician and the hound that I've painted up. They stand on some high ground to view the Anglo-Norman forces before battle begins. The wayside shrine is an old, out-of-production casting from the Cry Havoc range (I think) that I've held onto for years.

The duke of Alencon was one of the Armagnac commanders at Verneuil, who was the young son of the duke who'd been killed at Agincourt. He was wounded and captured and freed in 1429, after payment of a substantial ransom, only to continue fighting the English as one of the commanders alongside Jean of Arc. For those of you who know their heraldry, don't look too closely at the figure I've used as his tabard and shield don't bear Alencon arms... but it's just between me and you... the others won't know! Did a quickie headswop on the musician, replacing it with one of those nice hats from the first Perry plastics box. Flag is Little Big Men designs.

Archibald, the 4th earl of Douglas was one of the captains of the large Scottish battle and lost his life on the day in among the high number of Scottish casualties that were suffered in the final route. I've made a slight amend to the figure by exchanging his poleaxe for a more 'typically Scottish' axe, and the bagpiper is a tad more ready for the fray from the wearing of a helmet (a plastic sallet from the Perry WotR box), rather than the soft hat he was cast with (which is tucked away for a future conversion). Flag from GMB Designs

More Verneuil stuff coming up...