Monday, October 2, 2017

Battle Time!

I've had this table set up for a couple of months now intending to get a battle going on it, but so far no luck.

Hopefully, this week, that will change, as my 100 Years' War armies approach the village (English from the top left - the north-west - and the French from the bottom right - the south-east).

In pressing his claims for the French throne, the English king has landed in Normandy and now approaches Paris.

The French have hastily gathered an army to bring a stop to their progress, and plan to intercept the invaders before they reach the featured village (just above the bridge in the battlefield picture above), denying them access to vital supplies and shelter from the elements.

I'm expecting the main battle to be contested somewhere between the village and the far river, which the English must yet cross. With the two armies entering at opposite ends of the 12'x4' table, it's going to take a while for them to come to grips. Hopefully that will mean plenty of interesting maneuvering for position before the fighting begins in earnest.

My plan is to fight a few rounds each evening after work this week, and finish it off over the weekend (and hopefully find time to paint the last of my Huns too!) so I can have lots of lovely pics and a nice story for next Monday.

Have a nice week!

Ottoman Turk Light Cavalry

Not quite such a productive weekend painting this time around due to having to work Saturday, but I did manage to get most of the light cavalry for my Late Period Ottoman Empire painted up. Just a few more figures to buy and paint - hopefully should be finished within the next month.

For an earlier period army, I can borrow the horse archers I use for most of my Asian armies, from Achaemenid Persian through to Mongol Conquest, as they all pretty much look the same.

I'm looking forward to giving these guys a run real soon though.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Another Good Painting Weekend

Two weekends in a row......what I can achieve when I don't have to work Saturday overtime!

First up, my Ottoman Empire heavy cavalry is "finished".

Yes, I still have some unpainted figures left over that I might do later anyway, just to get them done. But I have what I need for an Ottoman army. (Light cavalry scheduled for attention next weekend!)

Lots of color, and it should look especially good when these guys go up against the Winged Hussars of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. They also have historical enemies in the form of Germans, Muscovites (Early Russians) and Swedes waiting to test them out too. And I'm sure that by selecting figures from my Mongol and Indian armies, I might even be able to put together an historical Eastern Asian enemy for them to fight. So lots of options available.

And from the same period, but a different part of the world, more samurai artillery from the Sengoku Jidai (Japanese Civil War) period - this time for my "Blue Faction" army.

Whereas my Red Faction guns are simply barrels of guns mounted on boxes and bags, the Blue Faction has made their gun mobile by putting it on a wheeled carriage in a similar style to the European guns we are more used to. The barrels tended to be provided by the Western nations trying to get a foothold in Japan at the time, and supplying the various Japanese warlords with guns from their ships. The wheeled carriage was apparently more popular in the later years of the period - given that my Blue Faction is probably the most "westernized" of my six factions, I figured it was most appropriate for them to adapt the European style of mounting the gun.

My reading suggests that the samurai armies tended to use their artillery against fortifications rather than against enemy troops, but the guns provided seem a little small to make much of a dent in the walls of a well-built Japanese castle.

Oh well, we'll see how it all works out once the fighting begins!

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Ottomans Turks Now Have Artillery

Also completed this weekend - the first four (of eight planned) guns for my Ottoman Turkish army.

These are the four lighter guns, more suitable for field operations. The remaining four are bigger, heavier pieces, more common in sieges, which don't feature much on the wargames table, but might provide an interesting "objective" for an enemy army trying to prevent the Turks bringing their big guns up for a siege.

This army really still needs more cavalry (and possibly infantry). I have enough to represent the Early Ottoman forces, (by borrowing horse archers from my other "Asian" armies - Mongols, Huns, maybe even Skythians) when they were initially building their empire, but not so much for the later years. Hopefully I can get the cavalry finished over the next week or two.

I've started using small "cotton balls" that I found in the crafts department at Walmart to indicate a gun has fired (this game turn) - representing the smoke from the blast. Hopefully that will save me trying to remember which guns are firing this turn and which aren't.

I'll probably also use them to mark the targets of the shot (the smoke from the explosion when the cannonball landed).

Maybe this will put more "action" into the photos I take of the battles?

Oh, and just a reminder of how colorful Ottoman cavalry is, take a look at these guys.....

I think I'll be able to get some pretty nice looking photos with them racing across the battlefield.

Grand Duchy of Brunswick Now Has Supporting Artillery

(Note: This army is from the latter portion of the Napoleonic Wars - c180-1815, when the Duke of Brunswick was in exile in Britain and rebuilding his forces, which fought alongside the British in Portugal and Spain, and then in the Waterloo campaign of 1815).

I've previously posted pics of their infantry and cavalry, but up until this weekend they have been lacking an artillery arm. Four guns is probably more than will ever be used at one time with this mini-army, but "what-the-heck!"

With no actual "Brunswick Artillery" figures currently on the market, I used the Dutch-Belgian Artillery 1815 set made by Waterloo (the company, not the campaign/battle) and just painted them as Brunswickers. I figure that given that the British were arming and supplying both the Brunswickers and the Belgio-Dutch, they would have been pretty much the same.

(I like the way the light blue facings stand out against the otherwise all black uniforms of these guys. They actually look a lot more attractive than I expected an army clad predominantly in black to be).

Evil thought: I might just match up my Brunswickers against Belgio-Dutch to see which set of artillery performs better.

Amazons - army complete (finally)

They started off as just a fun "extended warband" (with some supporting light troops) intended to be used alongside my Hittites (as Anatolian allies) or other armies as appropriate.

But I kind of got carried away and turned them into a full army.

Up until now, they've been a little too lightweight to do much damage, and with their archer units (so far) under-performing on a regular basis, they've never been able to keep enemy units from closing in and overpowering them.

I'm planning several battles for them over the winter months. I guess we'll find out whether all that newly-added cavalry can make these ladies a bit more dangerous on the battlefield.

Historical footnote:

At the time the Amazons supposedly existed as a nation, horses were generally too small to be used as individual mounts, and were instead employed in most armies to pull chariots. However, there are three points to note:

1: Greek legends relating to the Amazons appear to reference women riding horses rather than women driving chariots

2: at about this time, the New Kingdom Egyptians were starting to use individually mounted horsemen in a light cavalry role

3: women generally weigh less than men, so presumably would have been less of a burden for horses to carry.

Accordingly, it seems highly possible that the Amazons (if they did exist) were among the first to actually use "horse cavalry" as opposed to chariots.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Projects update

It's been a while since I posted but I have been busy. For now, some of the painting projects I have been working on.....

Firstly, I've started a Medieval Irish army. This one is going to be a little bit personal for me, as in trying to trace my family tree I discovered that my family "started" in Ireland back around the mid-1200s, with a guy who for some reason broke away from the MacRagnall clan (modern day Reynolds family). This army is from right around that time, and so will represent my family's fighting forces when it is finished.

So far I've only got the light infantry (archers and javelin-armed skirmishers done - about 20 of each, although the two photos only show a few). I'll put them all on show when I've finished the full army.

Secondly, I've got a bit carried away with my Amazons, and now instead of just a small fighting force designed to "help out" my Hittites and other suitable armies, I've been building up the mounted wing of the force so they can be a stand-alone army in their own right. I've still got a handful of spots to fill - mainly officers - but they look quite a bit stronger now.

Thirdly, I'm working on building up an area of "Gothic ruins". So far, most of the ruins are Games Workshop fantasy buildings, but I have my eye on some Pegasus buildings which hopefully I will be able to get (and assemble) before the end of the year for inclusion in some Dark Ages and Medieval period battles.

The little guy climbing the steps to investigate the ruins (and the smoke coming out from above the dragon statues) is from Cesar's "Adventurers" set.

So, with these and a few other projects that I will be sharing shortly, I've got plenty on my plate.