Monday, 7 June 2021

Q) When's a Mongol not a Mongol?

  A) When he's a Bastard son of the most black'ed Crow.

Simple really.

 I feel I should clarify. Having finished my 10mm Swiss and Burgundian Ordonnance armies i fancied putting together another force, mainly to give the Swiss steamroller a challenge. So looking through Ancient and Medieval wargaming by Neil Thomas to search for suitable opposition I stumbled soon the Mongol list. Loads of missile horse and nippy lads to stretch the Swiss line and evade their doubleduppikeblocksofdeath However, the spirit of historical accuracy reared its head and I must admit to being pretty sure the forces never actually met (I could be wrong but the map of the world would point to it being unlikely). However I really wanted a speedy force of horse botherers. So the answer seemed simple. Invent a fantasy army!.

Introducing the first batch of units for the Bastard sons of the most black'ed Crow.

I planned to collect some fantasy forces in 10mm eventually so why not build one using the Mongol list as a base?. In my head they are a mash up of modern bikers, waste land barbarians and backwards rednecks. One of many tribes (or are they extended family?) that infest the wastes running contraband, raiding isolated farmsteads, protecting their 'turf' and engaging in all other brands of banditry. 

They are pendraken sarmatians painted with modern day biker gangers in mind, hence the attempt at black leather waist coats and blue jeans on all the models. I painted the bows and banner poles red to contrast the brown horses and also as a nod to early 90's G.W., I've decided the tribe use the natural materials of the wastes so carry bitchwood weapons.

 Another reason I wanted to do an all mounted force is because I have an aversion to painting horses, so doing an army full should be a suitable 'kill or cure' remedy for my issue!. I just need to work out what I'm doing for banners and I should be able to crack on.

 Also I was looking through some old miniatures and came across my 12mm kallistra Medieval armies, which were one of the first painting projects I completed a few years back. I plan to use them to build some retinues for an upcoming project. So I decided to strip and repaint a few to see how they clean up.

 I painted a few horsemen and decided to compare them with some of my earlier attempts.

Hopefully you can tell which ones I have just painted!. The point of this I suppose is that although I'm an averageatbest painter I was surprised how much progress I have made in terms of my painting style and general standard of my attempts. It's easy to feel like you aren't getting anywhere but by comparing these paint jobs I can see I have improved and be pleased with the progress I have managed. Give it a go, you will surprise yourself.

'till next time...

Saturday, 15 May 2021

If I can be serious for a moment (I wonder, can I?)

 As you may or may not be aware today marks the start of tourettes awareness month. Why is this important?, Well all three of the Sprinklings as well as the amazing Mrs Sprinks suffer with the condition to some extent or another (Mrs Sprinks and sprinkling 3: The revenge have mild symptoms where as Sprinkling 1: the beginning has full blown vocal and motor ticks, including hitting, throwing and lots of choice language). I thought I would take the opportunity to do my bit to spread some awareness about this really miss understood condition and to encourage you all to spend a few minutes to have a look at the poster below and the brilliant tourettes-action.

Ta. Normal service will resume shortly...I promise.

...'till next time...

Saturday, 24 April 2021

Swiss army done...for now

  Having painted the last of my pike units  I finally managed to finish painting my 10mm Swiss army. 

This lot.

This unit brings the force up to seven units. The rules I am using requires army's to be eight strong (Ancient and Medieval wargaming by Neil Thomas), however the Swiss have been so good at stomping the opposition even when understrength I think another unit would be a tad too much. I have a unit of hand gunners to make up the full force but they can wait for now.

In the rules the Swiss are allowed to double up their units of pikemen so I kept this in mind when basing the units. Here's the above unit combined with a unit I put together to be their rear ranks.

  So that's another project done and (almost) dusted. Cue the whole army photo.

'till next time...

Saturday, 10 April 2021

Burgundian Ordonnance army done

  I managed a final push this afternoon to finish off the last two units for my 10mm Burgundian force. 

These two. These Gendarmes should finally give the army the punch they have been lacking. And with them done the army is now complete. Yay!. Here are some gratuitous army shots to show them off:

Repelling the Swiss!.

Speaking of finishing armies I only have a couple more units to do and the Swiss will also be done, then it's back to the greatest dilemma a Wargamer can ever wrestle with...What project do I do next?...I may have a couple of ideas...

...'till next time...

Saturday, 3 April 2021

Even more pike!.

 Hi all, work continues on my 15th century Swiss, I have managed to get two more units of pikemen painted.

Two more done.

  As ever all the miniatures are 10mm Pendraken. In the rules they are based for (Ancient and medieval wargaming by Neil Thomas) all units are made up of four bases, however the Swiss are allowed to combine two units into one big eight base steamroller. I have deliberately based the pike units with this in mind to hopefully give the impression of a large mass of troops rather than two units bunged together.

 I have also bunged some extra banners on my completed units to make them look spiffy.

Just one more unit of pike to finish then a unit of hand gunners and the Swiss will be done...

...'till next time...

Friday, 2 April 2021

More late medieval tomfoolery

  I had a few pre-easter days off so managed to paint another Swiss pike block (and almost finished a second) in between watching far too much Trailer Park Boys, I even got another test game of this in:

 I decided to roughly link it to my last game, the plan being to play a very loose narrative campaign as I paint more units. In the last game the Swiss frankly mullered the Burgundians so this time I decided to put some slightly larger forces on the table to play a game where a hastily deployed Burgundian force have been tasked with slowing the Swiss advance to allow the main army to properly prepare to meet them. To that end a battlefield was prepared:

A field of battle, somewhere over the Burgundian border.  

 The basic idea was for the Burgundians to deploy on/ near the hill in the top of the picture, the Swiss would deploy opposite and must have more units over half strength than the opposition on the hill by the end of turn 5.

  Burgundians prepare to receive the Swiss (all minis are 10mm Pendraken).

Swiss pike form a strong center ( in the rules Swiss pike can 'double up' to create massive units).

Crossbows deployed on the hill on the Swiss left.

The final unit of pike march along the road on the right.

The battle begins with the Swiss advancing under heavy missile and artillery fire.

The Burgundians prepare to unleash another volley...

...Badly as it turned out!.

The Artillery take a heavy toll on the opposition as the Swiss close.

On the road the forces finally clash.

Which goes badly for the Burgundians.

In the centre the Swiss steamroller the Burgundian pike at the foot of the hill.

On the road the Swiss brush the opposing enemy aside and continue on.

The view from the Burgundian lines.

The final assault on the hill begins.

With just the archers left the Swiss move to the foot of the hill but it's too late!. The game ends with one unit each on the hill so a (very) narrow victory for the Burgundians!. They have done what they were ordered to do and slowed the Swiss enough to allow for a proper defence to be organised... although they would not live to see it.

The final positions at the end of the game.

Hopefully I will have some more painted units to show off soon meaning I will have an excuse for another game!. Yay!....

...'till next time...

Tuesday, 23 March 2021

A small piece of Swiss 'diplomacy'

   I managed to grab a few hours to myself this morning to get a quick game in so decided it would be a good idea to test one of the rule sets I am planning to use for my Swiss Burgundian wars project. The rules in question being:

Ancient and medieval wargaming by Neil Thomas.

 Having played and enjoyed his One hour Wargame rules i decided to pick up a copy.  The rules seem pretty simple (not One hour simple but still) which suits me as one thing that I find puts me off games these days is needlessly complex systems. They also seem to be very customizable with each unit only needing a few pieces of information to make them work ( their type, armour and morale level) along with a few simple special rules go give them flavour. So I decided to get the table set up and chuck some units together to give the rules a try.

  In the rules forces are made up of 8 units chosen from a set list, I had enough painted units for four a side. Also in the rules you win by reducing the enemy to two units, I decided that I would play until one side was completely wiped out.

A valley on the Swiss border about to get far less peaceful.

Swiss pike march onto the valley.

Swiss crossbow swing around the left to support the pike.

  A bevy of Burgundians stand in their way.

The Burgundians push their archers forward and form up the pike.

The Swiss advance. One of the Swiss special rules is that they have to advance at full speed and always engage the enemy if able.

The Swiss van take heavy damage from the Burgundian longbows and artillery.

Speaking of artillery, in the rules they roll 1d6 attacks each time they fire. However if they roll a 1 they explode and are destroyed. Guess what happened...

The Swiss crash into contact.

Crossbow continue to pour shots into the Burgundian line.

With the archers minced the pike clash.

Which goes the way you would expect!. 

Before long the writing is on the wall for anyone present that happens to not be Swiss!.

The rules play really nicely. I have to admit the Burgundians had little chance once the cannon blew up as it had caused plenty of damage before that and the rest of the force was heavily outmatched. I think once I have painted up their Gendarmes they may stand more of a chance. Combat was nice and 'crunchy', units would stand long enough for it to feel right without dragging on. Artillery is fairly random in effect having a random number of shots which feels right to me for the period as it was pretty new at the time. All in all a nice simple set with plenty of period flavour. It does exactly what a lot of bigger pricier rule systems do with a fraction of the faff. 

...'till next time...