Archive for Historical

War of the Roses: Longbow

Posted in Miniatures with tags , , , , , on January 18, 2018 by Sean

I’ve finished the next battle group of Longbow archers for Field of Glory. Like the previous post before, these are for the Lancastrian army from the Wars of the Roses.

In this case the battle group is in the livery of the second army commander, Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland. His colors are red and black, with a crescent moon symbol. As with the Somerset group, I varied the colors up enough to add some diversity but still kept it unified (both for visual interest and for ease of identification on the tabletop).

The second pic shows details. The Northumberland group shows the crescent moon icon worn on some of the archers’ chests. Some wear the icons across their backs instead.

In addition, I went back to add some extra decoration to the Somerset group. Somerset’s livery bears a yellow gate portcullis icon. I sprinkled a few of those throughout the unit. I did have to simplify the portcullis somewhat (we are talking 15mm here after all).

Next on the painting desk is the third Longbow archer group and a Mercenary Crossbow group. The Longbow will either be in Lord Clifford’s livery (white with red details and dragon icon) or Andrew Trollope’s livery (green and white with stag icon). I might leave one of the other for when the army gets expanded to 800 points. The other option is mixing the two liveries amongst the unit.

The Crossbow, being Continental mercenaries, will have much looser livery colors. They will have a lot of random colors; however to avoid too much of a motley, a substantial amount will be wearing the yellow/black colors of the Swiss canton of Uri. Once more, this will help identification on the table.

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Field of Glory: Wars of the Roses

Posted in Miniatures with tags , , , , , on January 16, 2018 by Sean

 

In an effort to get Field of Glory played around my area again, I’ve been trying to sell the game to other players. Sometimes if you want to play a game, you have to paint all the armies…

Two players have decided they want to play the sides of the Wars of the Roses, one doing Yorkists and the other Lancastrians. The armies will also be used for ‘generic’ Late Medieval armies for other opponents. I am doing the Lancastrians army, using the starter army from Essex Miniatures.

The army planned out comes out to 600 points. I based it loosely off the army that fought at the Battle of Wakefield (1460), where the Lancastrians crushed the Yorkist force, killing most of the Yorkist leadership, including Richard, Duke of York. I figured the army could represent the House of Lancaster at one of their zeniths.

Field Commander (CiC)- Henry Beaufort, Duke of Somerset

Troop Commander- Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland

Troop Commander- John Clifford

Dismounted Men-at-Arms x4

Dismounted Men-at-Arms x4

Dismounted Men-at-Arms x4

Mounted Men-at-Arms x4

Longbowmen x6

Longbowmen x6

Longbowmen x6

Mercenary Crossbowmen x6

Stakes x9

If we expand the army to 800 points, some potential units could be Currours, Town & Country militia Archers, and maybe cannon. I might also add Andrew Trollope as another Troop Commander. When I get around to making the camp for the army, I’ll try to include Queen Margaret of Anjou and Prince Edward.

These archers are Longbowmen of the retinue of Somerset. They wear his livery of blue and white, with enough variety to keep it interesting. I wish there were more sculpts for the archers, but I did my best with just 3 (and a serious favoring of one sculpt).

I’m looking forward to the rest of the force. I haven’t done 15mm in a long while. More to come.

Saga: Saxons vs. Britons

Posted in Miniatures with tags , , , , on November 1, 2017 by Sean

I recently played a game of Saga: Aetius & Arthur, where my Britons fought the Saxons.

The scenario was Retreat. We figured after yet another skirmish between the invading Saxons and the native Britons, the Britons were retreating back to a stronghold, pursued by Saxons. We used 6 point armies.

The Britons were a mounted Warlord, 8 mounted Hearthguard, 24 Warriors, and 12 bow Levy. I’ve posted the Warlord and Hearthguard here already. To represent the Britons I used my Welsh and some of my Anglo-Saxons.

The Saxons were led by the original trouble brothers, Hengist and Horsa. The rest of their warband were 8 Hearthguard, 16 Warriors, and a unit of Hunting Dogs. The Saxons were my friend’s army, and are in the process of being painted.

In the scenario, the defender sets up in a thin band at about 1/3 from the attacker’s edge. The attacker sets up across from him near their edge, but can also deploy up to 2 points of units from the opposite edge to cut off their retreat (they start with Fatigue, representing their rush to cut off the retreat). The defender has to get as much of his force off that edge as he can, while the attacker just wants kills. The defenders are assumed to have been running or recovering from the earlier fight, so every Defender unit has Fatigue at the start.

The Britons held the center, anchored by a cottage on one flank and woods on the other, the center a swamp occupied by the bow Levy. The Saxons started with both Warlords and their Hearthguard on the close side, with a unit of Warriors in the middle, and sent the Dogs and the other unit of Warriors around back.

The battle began with some quick movement from the Saxon on both sides, threatening my force immediately. I responded with a few retreat moves, but decided I needed to break the pursuers before they could press their advantage. The Hearthguard charged the nearest warlord, Hengist, pushing him back but unable to kill him. After a countercharge, they were able to bring him down, but at the cost of half the unit. The Fatigue across my whole army was eating activations to remove, since I didn’t want to face the Saxons in combat with Fatigue.

In response to his brother’s death, Horsa went ham on my army, cutting down most of a unit of Warriors in repeated charges. My opponent was able to use his Battleboard ability to just remove Defense dice when he had better armor than my units, easily done with a Warlord who doesn’t get Fatigues from fights. My own efforts to fight through the rear attackers floundered, with great saves by the Saxons and poor saves on my own part leading to losses or ties, keeping my forces hemmed in.

The last part of the battle had little left on the table. Horsa slew my Warlord and his Hearthguard. crushing the last few Warriors in the center. My last group of Warriors finally was able to squeeze through the gap of the rear guard and escape, a measly 5 men out of the whole army.

The last men in my army were the bow Levy left behind in the swamp. Horsa turned his attention to them, launching himself into their ranks. He cut down 4 of the Levy, but miraculously he must have slipped and sank into the murky water or something, as the Levy managed to kill him in combat. After that the game ended.

In the end, it was a Saxon victory by 3 VP’s. They killed my Warlord, 8 Hearthguard, 19 Warriors, and 4 Levy, but paid for it, with the loss of both of the Warlords, 8 Hearthguard, 15 Warriors, and 5 Dogs. This was a horrific battle, with the loss of 3 Warlords!

My Britons performed ok, but I made the mistake of fighting the Saxons head-on instead of retreating, as the scenario wanted. The Saxons did very well, chasing my units, forcing fights and cutting my men down. Their rear guard held my units the whole game, buying his forces time.

More battles in time.

Saga: Thundering Hooves

Posted in Miniatures with tags , , , , , , on August 31, 2017 by Sean

I’ve finally finished the 8-man mounted Hearthguard unit for my Briton warband for Saga: Aetius & Arthur. I posted the first half of the unit earlier. They’ll also serve as Roman mounted troops as well.

The newest members include a leader type, a musician, a draco standard and a Roman signum, reflecting the mixed culture of the Romano-British models I used for the unit. I chose the standard of Legio vigesima Valeria Victrix (Twentieth Victorious Valeria Legion) which saw action in Briton in the later years of the Empire. While the unit has a roundel shield design, I added a few odd shields for individuality. The signum bearer has a small target shield with a serpent, the horn blower has a wolf, and the unit’s ‘leader’ (the second in command of the warband after the Warlord) has a unique dragon shield.

I gave the signum bearer dark skin to reflect some of the recent archeology on Rome in Britannia. I figured he was either a Berber or North African recruit, or even a recruit all the way over from the Middle East. I have also read of the grave of a Syrian who was in the Roman army found at Hadrian’s Wall, so decided to reflect that.

My group and I have been playing lots of games with the new factions. I’ve played as the Saxons, Romans, Britons, and Huns, and played against Saxons, Romans, Picts, and Britons. I haven’t tried the Goths yet, since their battle board seems so weird (emphasis on balancing Fatigue, but encouraging accumulating it).

Recently we played a Romans versus Huns, using the Champions of God scenario from Saga: The Crescent and the Cross book. My friend fielded his Romans (Warlord, 8 Hearthguard, 16 Warriors with spear, 8 bow Warriors, 6 Levy with spear, and a Manubalista) versus my Huns (mounted Warlord, 12 mounted Hearthguard, 16 mounted Warriors, and 12 bow Levy). For this game I once again broke out my grisly Goblin Wolf Riders. I’d love to some day build up an actual human mounted force, but until then only my Gobbos have enough cavalry to substitute. I also use my Goblins for the Spanish faction, another potentially all-mounted army.

The game got off to a quick start, with the Huns using their board’s ability to move the whole army (with bonus distance for cavalry) right up into the Romans’ faces. I knew the Manubalista could potentially wreck my mounted troops, so I concentrated bow fire, wiping it out after its one shot (that my guys miraculously saved against). The left Roman flank collapsed within 2 turns, the Roman commander fleeing as fast as he could to the rest of his army. The Roman right flank had been held up by my Levy archers and some careful use of Fatigue from a small skirmishing cav unit.

I could have simply retreated then and there, since the scenario was based on VP’s for kills, and I had crushed half his army for a only a little damage to my own forces. Instead I decide to make it a fun game, so the Huns swung around and chased after the Warlord and got into a scrum with the remaining Roman infantry. I wore his forces down until the scenario ended. having lost a bunch of my army needlessly. However, he couldn’t make up the gap in VP’s so win for the Huns!

Saga: Fantasy- A&A

Posted in Miniatures with tags , , , , , , , , on August 19, 2017 by Sean

 

I’ve been playing the newest Saga expansion, the Late Roman-era Aetius & Arthur. I thought some of the new factions would work nicely for some of the Warhammer factions I couldn’t match up before.

Empire: The regimented order of the army and its ability to hold the line and initiate sudden strikes that the Roman faction uses would fit the Empire. This version of the Empire is an ‘earlier’ tech level of the city-states, before widespread gunpowder weapons.

Warlords are Empire nobles, career officers or blue blood royalty. They can fight on foot or mounted on fine steeds.

Hearthguard are the Knights, the elite core of the Knightly Orders like the Reiksguard, Knights Panther, or Blazing Sun, fighting mounted, or Greatswords and Swordsmen, fighting on foot. For an additional 1 point, up to 8 Hearthguard can be fielded as Cataphracts, representing the Inner Circles of the Knightly Orders

Warrior are the State Troops, loyal soldiers of the city-states. They can fight with sword, spear, or halberd (with Armor 4), or take to the field as Huntsmen, carrying bows (with Armor 3).

Levies are the Militia, the common rabble called to defend their realm. They can carry shortbows and throwing axes (javelins) or be fielded as the Free Companies. Free Companies generate 1 Attack for 2 members in melee (unlike normally 1 for 3), and have Armor 4. The player may also remove 6 Levy and replace them with an Artillery Piece manned by 2 Levy crewmen. The piece (Range 2xL) could represent any of the weapons of the Empire, like a bolt thrower or light cannon. The Artillery generates Attack dice when it shoots equal to half the members of the target, reducing their Armor by 1. Each time it fires it gains a Fatigue.

Lizardmen: I figured the defensive nature of the Britons, backed by their heroic Warlords fighting on the front line, leading by example, and directing their men to victory worked to represent the Lizardmen, or at least a Saurus and Skink-focused force.

The key value for the army is Inspiration. Units within S (2″) of the Warlord count as being Inspired. Various battle board abilities only work for Inspired units.

Warlords are Scar Veterans and Oldbloods, ancient born fighters, survivors of countless battles, and direct servants of the Slaan. They can fight on foot or ride Cold Ones. The Warlord can be accompanied by a pair of Temple Guard, called Companions. They form a unit with the Warlord. The Companions extend the 2″ range of the Warlord’s Inspiration from themselves as well. If the Warlord has Companions, he cannot use Side by Side.

Hearthguard are the Temple Guard, hand-picked Saurus decked in the finest armor and jeweled weapons. They can fight on foot or ride Cold Ones.

Warriors are appropriately the Saurus Warriors, bestial reptilian soldiers of the Slann cities.

Levies are the Skinks, diminutive skirmishers and scouts. While lacking in combat ability, they can rain death from their javelins or blowpipes (bows/slings).

Savage Orcs: I decided after playing the Saxons several times, the utter mindless brutality of the Savage Orcs was a good fit. With only fighting on their frenzied minds, the Orcs rush into combat heedless of danger, determined to crush the enemy or die trying.

Warlords are the Savage Orc Bosses, hulking beasts of green muscle, protected by bone ornaments and warpaint, their belief in their invulnerability equal to true armor.

Hearthguard are the Big ‘Uns, the strongest members of the tribe. They group in mobs of their own, ready to stomp anything in reach.

Warriors are the Boyz, the common Orcs of the savage tribes. They lack the brutal strength of the Big ‘uns but make up for it in numbers.

Levy are the Yoofs, the youngest and weakest Orcs. Not yet to the level of a proper member of the mobs, they instead use ranged weapons to pelt the foe while the Boyz close in. Alternatively they could represent Forest Goblins pressed into service. They are armed with bows or slings.

 

And here is a break from Aetius & Arthur factions. I wanted to add in an older faction that I never got around to, based on the Normans from Saga: Dark Age.

Wood Elves: The mixture of archery and shock cavalry exemplified by the Normans fit the Wood Elves well enough. It does somewhat ignore some the stronger close combat units and the various tree spirits, but it will do for now.

Warlords are the Kindred, leaders of one of the numerous kinbands. They can represent Glade Lords, fighting on foot or mounted on stag or Elven steed, or even Branchwraiths or Treemen fighting on foot.

Hearthguards are the Nobles, elite guardians of the Wood Elf realms. They can fight on foot, using their swordstaves, or launch themselves into combat as Wardancers. They can also take to battle mounted as the Sisters of the Thorn or Wild Riders. Alternatively, Heardguard on foot can also be represented by Dryads.

Warriors are the Eternal Guard, the common members of the kinbands. They fight in ranks of spear on foot, or mounted as Glade Riders. One unit (of up to 8 members) can carry Elven Longbows, representing the Waywatchers. Longbow-armed units reduce their targets’ Armor by 1, but also lower their own Armor by 1.

Levies are the Glade Guard, the militia of the army. They carry bows, firing in massed ranks of black-feathered arrows.

There’s still more factions to convert to Saga: Fantasy. I’ll add them eventually.

Field of Glory: The Lions of England

Posted in Miniatures with tags , , , , on August 6, 2017 by Sean

It’s been quite a long time since I’ve gotten some painting in for my Hundred Years’ War English 15mm army for Field of Glory. The army has been long in the making, started years ago. I had nearly finished it before my gaming group at the time stopped playing FoG, leaving me with little motivation to finish it.  All that was left were the commanders and the camp.

But now I return. I’ve added the commanders and the camp, bringing the army to a close. While I could add some bases for variety (say unmounted versions of the knights or some more archers and barricades), the army is done.

The army is based off the force that was present at the Battle of Crecy (1346) during the Hundred Years War. I tried to follow the actual units and heraldry of the lords that fought there. The bases for the commanders get a simple roman numeral on the front and back and stars to help differentiate them from the mass of troop bases.

The first commander, the army’s Commander in Chief, is King Edward III himself. He sits on his finely armored warhorse, flanked by the flag of England and his personal banner. Like the other banners in the army, I hand-painted the banners based on reference pics. I could have used printed banners, but decided to attempt the painting myself.

Next up is Edward III’s son, the Prince of Wales. While only 16 years old at the time of Crecy, Edward still commanded the 1st Battle, right wing of the army and proved himself in combat. The name of the Black Prince came later. The miniature here is accompanied by a banner man, flying the flag of England, festooned with the ribbon of the eldest son (also seen on the prince’s shield and horse armor). I added an archer to link him to Wales.

The last commander is William de Bohun, the Earl of Northhampton. He commanded the left wing of the army. While he has an elaborate decoration on his armor and horse, I decided to give him a simple pennant with the St. George’s Cross. Along with him I added Richard Fitzalan, the Earl of Arundel (or at least a liege knight).

The final pic is the English camp. All armies in Field of Glory are required to have a counter representing their rear camp, supplies, reserves, etc. I wanted it to look a little busy, the ground churned with activity, with plenty of soldiers moving about. The base has a grouping of tents, along with various guards and servants. I used extra models from the army (English billmen, mounted crossbowman, Welsh spearman, etc.). Since the French were shadowing the English and were blocking their way at Crecy, I figured the camp was set up with some haste; guards stand ready to defend just in case.

Blood and Plunder!

Posted in Miniatures with tags , , , , on July 22, 2017 by Sean

With the arrival of Blood and Plunder to my FLGS, I’ve been shanghaied into painting up the French starter box for the game. I’ve actually gotten a demo game this week. I enjoyed it- very close to Muskets & Tomahawks, with fairly simple basic rules and few super units. The activation mechanic is very cool, allowing for some good strategy over the course of the game turn.

We played 3×3 players on the Breakthrough scenario, with the starter boxes. My side all used the French, while the opponents used Spanish, English, and Unaligned forces. The French line was holding fine on the flanks, beating back the Spanish and English (the right flank even pushing the English almost back to their deployment zone). The center was severely mauled, the Unaligned force nearly taking the French deployment zone. I had to leave before the end, but France seemed in a good position at the end.

The models are nicely done, with some good details and character, though some of the castings are a bit rough in places. The era of the 17th Century Spanish Main and colonial conflict in the Caribbean is a new historical era for me. Earlier I posted my French Canadians for Muskets & Tomahawks, which covers mid-to-late-18th Century conflicts, so I’m at least used to musketeers and their assorted details.

The first pic is the French Commander. This guy is very fancy, with a lacy shirt, bright blue coat, bows and ribbons all over, and of course the big curled wig. He definitely gives the force a national character, considering the rest of the minies are somewhat generic frontiersmen and sailors. I painted him to match the color scheme from the official art; very colorful and vibrant. He’s joined by a few of the Marins that I’ve finished.

The next pic is a group of Boucaniers, the hunters and woodsmen of the French army. They lack any sort of uniform and standard equipment, instead looking like rugged individuals. The bare legs and floppy hats give them a distinctive look.

Finally in this batch are the Militia, the Milice des Caraibes. In contrast to the Boucaniers, they wear uniform grey coats and blue sashes, along with standard issue muskets, cutlasses, plug bayonets, and pistols. Some have bayonets fixed, while the others are firing their guns. The boxed unit has duplicate members of the unit (8 in the full unit); hopefully I’ll be able to paint them with enough variation.

More to come. The box contains 8 Milice, 8 Flibustiers, 4 Boucaniers, and 4 Marins.