Archive for Historical

Field of Glory: Legions

Posted in Miniatures with tags , , , , , on July 6, 2018 by Sean

 

More recruits for the Legion! The Mid-Republic Roman army slowly grows.

Next up is another cohort of Hastati and Principes, this time with yellow shields. The shields got a decoration of oak leaves, repeated on the more Greek style shield of their Centurian. They use the same models as the previous Legion battlegroup.

Backing up the Hastati and Principes in the front lines are a small grouping of Triarii, the hard-core vets of the army. The oldest, most experienced soldiers in the army, they actually apparently were mostly there for morale and only stepping in if things went to hell during battle. They got red tunics to help differentiate them from the main line Legions’ white.

The planned army is based partly off the starter set from Essex Miniatures, coming in at ~600 points.

-Field Commander

-Troop Commander x2

-4x Hastati & Principes x4

-2x Triarii x2

-2x Velites x4

-Roman Cavalry x4

-Numidian Cavalry x4

-Allied Italian Spear x8

-Fortified Camp

 

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Field of Glory: Rome

Posted in Miniatures with tags , , , , , on June 25, 2018 by Sean

 

I’ve begun working on a Mid-Republican Roman army for Field of Glory. The first test models are a pair of units.

First is a battlegroup of Hastati and Principes, the first and second line of the Legions. Historically the Hastati were the front lines, wearing less armor (being poorer soldiers) but still capable fighters. If the front lines weakened or broke, the second line stepped up, made up of the Principes. The Principes wore better armor, and represented the more seasoned veterans.

Model-wise, the Hastati are sculpted with only a square of bronze on their chests and a grieve on their left leg, while the Principes wear chain hauberks. Both carry pilum, shield, and their gladius sidearm. I mixed the models on the bases for some variety, since otherwise they have single sculpts for each type. These Legions are Marian Roman models from Essex Miniatures. The army is based around the type that existed in the Mid-Republic era, ca. 210 BC, specifically during the 2nd Punic War versus Hannibal.

The unit has a command group consisting of a Centurion and a Signifier carrying theĀ  standard. The unit could represent a cohort (~480 men) or a pair of cohorts (FoG scales to ~150-300 men per base). With the rest of the army’s Hastati/Principes battlegroups, you’d have a full Legion. At the moment the Legion battlegroups have 4 bases, but one could be expanded to 6 to make it the First Cohort.

The color scheme is pretty simple, with white tunics, bronze helmets and armor, chainmail, black helmet feather plumes, and red shields. Other units will change this up, with different colored shields, tunics, and/or helmet plumes to easily identify them on the table. I might add some decoration to the Centurion’s shield later.

Along with the Legions, I’ve worked on some Velites stands. These are the light skirmishers that moved ahead of the Hastati and Principes units. Like the Legions, they were wealth-based, having the least equipment, relegated to harassing the enemy and scouting. The unit bears red shields, tying them to the red-shielded Legion unit. Other Velites units will match other Legion battlegroups. A pity though that they weren’t sculpted with wolf-skin hoods. Oh well.

More to come. There a whole army to go.

Saga: Britannia

Posted in Miniatures with tags , , , , on June 22, 2018 by Sean

 

While working on various projects, I’ve been working on some miniatures for myself. These are additions to my exiting armies that allow me to play as Britons; the actual warband uses a mix of Welsh and Saxon models, plus the mounted Hearthguard I built a while back.

I already have a mounted Briton/Roman (or even Romano-British) Warlord, so I figured I’d make a version on foot. Play with the Britons has shown that while the mounted option is useful, it can lead to the Warlord running off on his own, which negates the Briton Inspiration ability.

This Warlord has the same mix of Roman and Briton equipment, with another Virgin Mary shield device. I elevated him a bit above his standard bearer by building up his base.

Along with the Warlord, I painted up a pair of Companions, who can accompany their chief in battle. These are the Foot Companions from Gripping Beast. They could be some of the dismounted Hearthguard, so they got nicer equipment and individualized shields, rather than the roundel design seen with the cavalry unit.

 

And now for something different- Vikings! These are the Berserkers from Warlord Miniatures. I figured I could paint up the small unit for use when I want to play my army as Vikings.

These models are nicely odd looking compared to the rest of the warband. Naked and wildly gesticulating, they charge into combat. They have a good variety of classic berserk behavior, as well as different levels of combat nudity. It is funny that only one wears a ‘bear shirt’, but that works. I gave him a raven design on the shield he’s biting. The unit’s bare skin allowed for some scarring across their limbs, either from enemies or self-inflicted.

 

 

Field of Glory: Wars of the Roses battle

Posted in Miniatures with tags , , , , , , , , , , on June 15, 2018 by Sean

Today I got to have a ‘proud papa’ moment. The two Wars of the Roses English armies I finished recently faced off for the first time in a real battle.

I served as the ref to help the players get the rules down, plus gave tactical advice to both sides to best use their units.

The Yorkists (on the right in the first pic) met the Lancastrians (on the left). Edward IV faced off against the Duke of Somerset in some good fighting.

I set up the terrain in the interest of saving time, with a couple forests (green blobs), a small gentle hill (the brown blob), an open field (dark brown), and an enclosed field (tan). These were done in an impartial ‘typical’ set-up. The Yorkists had the initiative.

The game was a learning game. This resulted in a few bad placements and risky moves, but they seemed to have fun. The Yorkists decided to advance with everything, trying to bridge the gap as soon as they could. The Lancastrians were content to wait for them; forward movement was to the top of the hill and the edge of the forest on their side of the table. Once on the hill the Archers placed their stakes- no one was going to dislodge them.

As the Yorkists got into range, fire and arrows darkened the sky. Yorkist Pike came under several turns of arrow fire from the Archers on the hill, losing half their bases from murderous fire over 3 turns (at effective range the Archers were throwing 9 dice). On the other flank, arrow and crossbow crossfire took out a Knight as they closed with their Lancastrian counterparts. In the Knights melee, the Yorkists came out on top, until the Archers took a cue from Agincourt and charged out of the woods into their flank.

In the center, things got serious. A poor placement meant the center Yorkist Archers got charged from 2 Footmen groups. Both sides’ generals joined the fray. The Archers lost the impact phase but held on, and avoided losing any bases. In subsequent combats the Archers actually rolled out of danger, beating both Footmen units, disordering one and fragmenting the other! On right flank the intervention of the Archers tipped the fight to Lancaster, breaking the Yorkist Knights, who ran off.

After that we ran out of time. Technically a Lancastrian sort-of win, with 1 broken enemy BG. The Lancastrian center was in the potential of collapsing, and the left flank still had plenty of fighting to do, so hard to say how it would have ended if we had more time. The players enjoyed the game, and recognized mistakes they made in placement. Looking forward to next time.

Wars of the Roses: House of York

Posted in Miniatures with tags , , , , , , , , on June 1, 2018 by Sean

 

The army of the House of York is complete. This marks the end of both of the Wars of the Roses armies for Field of Glory.

These three pics are the army commanders. First is Edward IV, king of England (Long Live the King!). This is Edward at the time of the Battle of Tewkesbury (1471), where the Yorkists crushed the Lancastrian forces. It was this battle that snuffed the Prince of Wales and set up Edward as king unopposed until his death in 1483. Here Edward wears his golden plate armor, astride an armored steed. Alongside him is his banner bearer and herald.

Next is Richard, Duke of Gloucester, brother to Edward and future Richard III. At Tewkesbury he served under his brother. I gave him some retainers on foot to distinguish his stand from Edward’s.

Last is Lord William Hastings, loyal supporter to Edward. He was a powerful and rich man, which did little to save him from Richard’s axe in 1483. Poor Hastings. Here he is from better days, alive and leading part of Edward’s army. Like for the Lancastrian army, I had the stand of the third in command with only 2 models.

The banners for the commanders are way too big really, since in reality such flags would drag the ground. However, I wanted the commanders to be easily spotted on the table.

These battlegroups are the mounted Men-at-Arms contingent of the army. First up are the general retainers, sergeants, and knights of the various lords. I painted them just like the knights for the Lancastrians; considering the dubious loyalties of the Wars of the Roses, some might have fought on both sides. The surplus of Freezywater Flags allowed the unit to carry 2 banners.

Second are the Royal Guard, the elite retainers of the king. The small unit of only 2 stands got 2 banners for each stand- Edward, Edward the king, the flag of England, and St. George. The flag with the cross was sculpted, otherwise the rest are Freezywater. Another way to make the unit stand out was a blue wash and pure silver highlights for their armor and horse harnesses.

Here are some pics of the whole army arranged for presentation.

The list for the army is:

Commander-in-Chief: Edward IV

Sub-commander: Richard, Duke of Gloucester

Sub-commander: Lord Hastings

2 Archer groups x8 (in liveries of Hastings and Buckingham, and Richard and Neville)

Dismounted Footmen/Men-at-Arms x6 (in liveries of Edward, Clarence, and Buckingham)

Mounted Men-at-Arms x4

Royal Guard Men-at-Arms x2

Mercenary Pike x8

Mercenary Handgunners x4

Mercenary Handgunners x4

 

Field of Glory: Wars of the Roses Batrep

Posted in Miniatures with tags , , , , , , , , on May 8, 2018 by Sean

I finally got a demo game of Field of Glory for the client I painted the Lancastrian army for. This was his first game, so we went slow and I pointed out pitfalls and avoided the sneaky tactics (or as sneaky as the English can get with their rather limited unit choices).

I used my Hundred Years War army, standing in as Yorkists, while he played his Lancastrians. To keep it simple, we played a mirror battle, so we both had the same units.

C-in-C Field Commander, 2x Troop Commanders, 3×6 Longbow, 3×4 Footmen/Dismounted Men-at-Arms, 1×4 Knights, and 1×6 Crossbow. The Crossbows were the only difference, as I didn’t field any for my army, giving him a numbers advantage.

 

We played out 600 points (starter armies, more or less) with a simple terrain setup. The large green patches are some open fields, the small green patch is a forest, and the large beige patch in the rear is an enclosed field. So the table was fairly open, with some good places to hide archers and channel heavy foot and knights.

The battle went slow at first, as expected with FoG. The English army of this era is fairly defensive, especially compared to Continental forces like the French and Germans. However, since we both had the same forces, I decided to be more aggressive; I also wanted to showcase the rules, so I went for a strong plan of attack.

 

The lines both went forward, eventually meeting in bow range on the flanks. A long exchange led to some damage, with the Yorkists coming out on top dice-wise. The Swiss merc Crossbow got worn down to Fragmented, but then doggedly held on for the rest of the game. Archers on both sides got cut down. By the end the Yorkists had lost a few stands, while the Lancastrians’ left flank crumbled with 2 archers groups breaking.

The Men-at-Arms scrum in the center was a long affair, with the flower of English manhood being cut down in droves on both sides. The Lancastrian knights charged into some Yorkist Footmen, but quickly got overwhelmed, running away. They never had the chance to rally before running off the table. On the other side, a serious run of dice fatigue led to the Yorkists Footmen groups losing several stands, one eventually breaking from stand loss, the other hanging on by the skin of its teeth. The center saw the Yorkist Knights crushing Lancastrian Footmen, cementing their win.

We called the game, but it was pretty close 7-2 Yorkist win (1 destroyed group, 3 broken versus 1 destroyed group).

 

My opponent loved the rules, so we shall be getting more games in. It was a funny model match-up, with my HYW English (Crecy, 1346) versus the WotR Lancastrians (Wakefield, 1460). My poor troops looked pretty antique compared to the sleek Lancastrians…

Hopefully we shall be able to get the Lancastrian and Yorkist armies I’ve painted on a table together. I love when a battle involves armies I’ve painted.

 

Field of Glory: House of York

Posted in Miniatures with tags , , , , , , , on May 1, 2018 by Sean

More soldiers of the House of York from the Wars of the Roses! The army I’m building for Field of Glory is roughly half-way done. I’ve finished all the infantry, leaving the commanders and mounted knights.

The first pic is the dismounted Men-at-Arms and assorted Footmen, built as a 6-stand battlegroup. This unit will be more resilient than the 4-stand Lancaster units I built, at the cost of maneuverability. They predominately wear the livery of Edward IV, king of England at the time of the Battle of Tewkesbury. The scheme is similar to the livery of Lord Hastings (shown earlier) but reverses the colors and uses a darker red for the most part. Other colors include Neville and Buckingham, as well as Dacre, Scott, and Kent. As in other groups I varied the colors to make the unit look more interesting.

Since the unit was so important, I had the unit include a command stand, with a unit leader, drummer, and standard bearer with Edward’s standard. To bolster the look, the second rank also has a banner, this time a St. George’s cross.

The second pic is the second Longbowsmen battlegroup, this time bearing the livery and banner of Richard, Duke of Gloucester. Gloucester’s livery is the same as his brother Edward, but I didn’t add the yellow edging and extra decoration seen in some of the Footmen. The second rank is made up of archers under service of Buckingham. I posted the Buckingham Longbowsmen earlier.

 

 

Alongside the loyal retainers of the crown, we have more mercenaries. These are Pikemen, hailing from the Low Countries (Flanders and the like). The unit is an 8-stand block, fighting in 4 ranks in 2 columns. The unit’s color scheme is much more of a motley compared to the rest of the army, reflecting the mixed nature of the Continental mercenaries. I avoided any real overall scheme. I did favor an orange/white color scheme a little to avoid the unit being too busy.

Taking advantage of the long pikes I had the unit carrying 4 separate banners for decoration. I nicely decorated pike block looks great on a table. The army’s banners are from Freezywaters Flags, rather than the banners of the Lancastrian army I did by hand.

A note on miniatures: The pike models are one-piece casts. The pikes are attached of course, but have the problem of being long soft metal. I had to straighten and uncurl every one, and as seen in the pics I wasn’t able to get them all sorted right. The mass of pikes looks better in column, which helps hide the odd pike shaft. Other manufacturers, like Old Glory 15’s, use brass wire instead. This has its own problems (attachment and ease of damage) but they don’t get bent easily.

On to the mounted troops!