Sunday, October 23, 2016

Dwarf Warband (Non-historical)

Given that I now have goblin and orc forces, I thought it might be appropriate to gather the old (metal) Dwarf figures I used to use for Dungeons and Dragons and see what sort of a force I could make from them.

Not enough for a stand-alone army, but a useful little band of allies for any human force looking to take on the "nasties".

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Orcs (from fantasy literature - not historical figures)

Intended for Halloween as part of an army of "nasties", but they may get a run before then.

Pictured above, Orc Chieftain/king and bodyguard mounted on wargs (more vicious than normal wolves) and an Orc warband on foot. Not a lot of special troops in this lot - They were kind of the "mass heavy foot" mercenaries, while goblins and smaller creatures handled the light infantry chores and hill giants and trolls provided the extra "shock" troops in fantasy "giant race" armies.

Or they could join an army of barbarian humans, I guess, with my various Celtic and Germanic tribes providing human fighters.

Lots of possibilities, and I'm sure they will find themselves in all sorts of scenarios.

Early Rus

My Early Rus army is now ready for action. Most of the figures are by Zvezda, although there are a few others thrown in.

The Rus Prince and his bodyguard ride into battle. Traditionally, they deployed at the rear during the early stages of the battle, only joining the fray for the decisive charge to put the enemy to flight (and hog the glory!). These are actually from the Italeri set of Rus.

Archers (with composite bow) deployed here in front of the main position, screening the main force and shooting at the enemy as it advances to weaken it before the close-up action begins.

Crossbowmen deployed in a similar fashion. The leader (slightly taller and in a different pose, is actually a lead figure I had lying around doing nothing from my old Dungeons and Dragons role-playing days. (Manufacturer unknown). Trying to find him a new "cause" to fight for.

Men with slingshots, again deployed as a screening force. Not sure if the picture angle shows the slingshots very well.

The main infantry contingent with spearmen in the front rank and assorted weapons behind. The commander (next to the flag, leaning on his two-handed sword in a thoughtful pose) is actually another metal figure from the world of D&D - again, manufacturer unknown.

I'm planning to give them their first run this coming weekend in my "Battle of Hastings 950th Anniversary" battle, although not as Rus. They dressed pretty much the same as the Saxons and Normans of the era(Saxon King Harold's sister or daughter was married to a Rus prince at the time of Hastings, so what the heck!), so they will kind of fit in.

I haven't decided which side they will be on, but will probably be one of the mercenary units on the Norman side as that army appears to be a bit short of troops at the moment.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

(Japanese) nobushi Archers

I painted these guys a little earlier in the year but have only now got around to photographing them.

nobushi atrchers fought in the various armies that contested the Sengoku Jidai period civil wars in Japan, between 1467-1650. They came from all social backgrounds, but were grouped into units based on skill alone - social class was not a factor.

The vegetation in the background is actually scenery I picked up in the aquarium department at Walmart. I figured it might fit with the trees etc I currently have to help make a nice forest or jungle display. I'm looking forward to actually setting up a battlefield to see if this works as well as I think it might.

Hopefully they will get their first tryout in either November or December. I still have a few more of these guys to do (for a different faction), and a bunch of ashigaru (peasant class soldiers) and hopefully my Japanese collection will be complete.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

French Vs Russians

The first semi-final of my "Horse and Musket" era Tournament pitted my Revolutionary French against my Napoleonic Wars Russians, battling for possession of a small village surrounding a strategically important crossroads.

Despite both armies fielding quite sizeable forces, this amounted to little more than a skirmish with almost no casualties.

Speed of deployment proved to be decisive, as the French arrived first and were able to establish a strong defensive position north of the river, forcing the Russians to approach from the south, with the bridge then acting as a choke point.

While the dragoons leading the Russian column did make it across the bridge, they immediately found their path blocked by a rapidly increasing number of French forces. They succeeded in destroying a squadron of French scouts that was sent forward in an effort to persuade them to turn back, and inflicted some casualties on the supporting French infantry that was following up.

But with overwhelming numbers of French now pouring through the village from the north, east and west, the Russian commander decided that discretion was the better part of valor, and withdrew across the river, determined to find another point of attack.

The French now meet the winner of the clash between my Seven Years War Prussians and my Napoleonic Wars British in the tournament final.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Austrians Vs British

Bit of a fizzer this one!

When I first made the tournament draw up I was excited by this clash, as the different colored uniforms of the two armies would have made for some neat pics. But neither army was very enthusiastic about getting involved, and it ended up as nothing more than a brief skirmish between a small portion of each army's cavalry......

On a morning where heavy fog kept visibility to a minimum, the advance guards of the Austrian and British armies (mostly cavalry - the British had a gun but it didn't see any action) clashed over a bridge in a skirmish that was over almost as soon as it started.

The Austrians won the right to choose which side of the river they entered from and took the side with the village, hoping to establish it as a supply depot. (Austrians in white, British in red).

The Austrian Dragoons reached the bridge first, but as they crossed it, the (British) Scots Greys came within sight. The Scots Greys immediately charged the Austrians, inflicting heavy casualties (including the Austrian general) on the leading squadron, before pushing on into the second squadron.

Thrown onto the back foot, the Austrians were badly shaken, and as their morale collapsed, the Scots Greys continued their work until the enemy was in full flight.

In the end, an easy win for the British, who now face the Prussians in the tournament's semi-final round. My French and Russians square off in the other semi.

Still on the waiting list also is the "Barbarian World" Final between the Britons and Picts.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Bavarians Vs Prussians

I'm a little behind schedule with this update due to busy weekends the past couple of weeks. The battle did go ahead as scheduled, a little over two weeks ago. It's just taken me this long to get the photos etc sorted out.

The Bavarians (variously decked out in the light blue, green and white, and approaching from the left in the pics) failed to match the efforts of previous weeks' performances by my minor nations, and were pretty much steamrolled by my Prussians (in the dark blue, generally approaching from the right in these pics).

The terrain was pretty simplistic - a mostly flat farmland area with just the farmhouse, a few trees, and further north than where the action took place, a low hill. A road ran past the farmhouse, giving the two armies access to the area.

The Bavarians arrived first and attempted to set up a defensive position in and around the farmhouse.

Unfortunately, once the Prussians arrived on the scene, it soon became obvious that the Prussians had enough artillery to be able to sit back and pummel the Bavarians into oblivion. This forced the Bavarians out of their defensive position, but as an attacking force they lack the punch to break through the Prussians, and although they were able to inflict heavier casualties than the Prussians would have liked, were soon overwhelmed (see the pic at the top of the post).

Prussians advance to fight the winner of the Austrian Vs British encounter in the semi-final round. (Russians Vs French in the other semi). Hopefully Austria Vs Britain will take place over Easter weekend!