How’s your Hobby Desk Looking?

Club member Jeremey takes us on a tour of his Hobby Desk and current projects.

Jeremey's Hobby Desk

I’ve always had a curiosity about what other wargamers hobby spaces look like, and of course a lot on envy of those able to dedicate entire rooms to the hobby! But this year i finally got my hobby space close to perfect for the way I like to work and so i thought I’d share it along with mention of the projects I am currently working on.
Early in the new year I finally treated myself to a Bureau, I picked up a vintage 1940’s one from a house clearance. It needed a bit of TLC but i managed to tidy it up (it contained an awful lot of glitter, so I new the previous owner also used it for hobby stuff). I wanted a Bureau to enable me to close the desk to stop children and animals disturbing things I was still working on.

Let me take you on a tour:
1. First up we have an old box my wife bought me on a whim, this now houses all of my glues and sculpting putty.
2. The ubiquitous stationery desk tidy, I have two, one for files and sculpting tools the other my paint brushes. I actually bought the desk tidy’s to use them as 15mm sci-fi buildings but they were more useful as intended by the designer.
3. My desk lamp that gives of disproportionately more heat than light, making it perfect for speeding up curing of bits of sculpting while I’m working.
4. My dad’s old tool box from when he was an apprentice coach painter in the 1940’s, shame to let it go in the bin so I rescued it and now keep my hobby tools in it, like drills, pliers, craft knives etc.
5. The first of my project shelves, this one contains the sculpting I am currently working on for new Celtos Models. I’m working with Brigade Models to create the new version of the fantasy wargame.
6. Spare Celtos bits, in this draw are various existing Celtos models I use to ensure any new sculpting I do fits in with the scale and design of the current range.
7. Moving on I have some 15mm Medieval buildings I am making for my current Wars of the Roses army. They are made out of EVA foam, with real wooden beams and I’m filling the gaps with bathroom sealant to act as the wattle and daub. The final stage will be to add thatched roofs.
8. These projects are painting ones, first I have my final Wars of the Roses units, Welsh longbows, Welsh spearmen, English spearmen and Mercenary crossbows. Under that I have a number of previously sculpted Celtos miniatures that I need to paint up and photo for the rules. It can be a bit odd painting miniatures that you sculpted, especially since you cannot curse the sculptor for any fiddly bits 🙂
9. This shelf has the projects on it that have stalled, I’ve lost my mojo on them but have put them there in case i suddenly get the urge. Currently I have 6mm power armoured infantry and an alternative take on a rock elemental.
10. This is just a drawn containing, my finer files and bits of wire I use for armatures and creating cables and ropes. In front of the draw is a Stormtrooper glass I was given which was really hard to drink out of and so has become my paint brush cleaning pot.
11. And finally on this exciting tour of my hobby space the set of draws I keep all my paints, basing materials, bases and my bits box for scratch building.

I hope you enjoyed the tour of my hobby area, maybe some of the other club members will share their work spaces for comparison.

War of the Roses Battle – Neville Takes the Field

Sir Thomas Neville deep in the action

With both of our Wars of the Roses armies completed Stephen and I assembled on an unremarkable field somewhere in England for our first clash. Stephen took the role of the Lancastrians and recruited Andy to act as a lesser lord of the realm in control of his right flank. I’d gone for the Yorkists and ended up with the flags of the Earl of Salisbury and his son Sir Thomas Neville. In similar fashion I recruited Tony to the role of Thomas Neville also taking command of the right flank.

The Lancastrian Billmen and Men at Arms

The Lancastrian army formed up in a neat row extending across the battlefield with their archers on the flanks and their billmen and men at arms in the centre. The Lancastrians had no cavalry or artillery, however they had more archers and had brought some mercenary pikemen.

The Yorkist Army Advances

Across the field the Yorkists took a different approach forming up with their archers and artillery out front with the billmen and men at arms close behind. The Yorkists also had mounted men at arms as well as some light cavalry units positioned out on the flanks.

Lancastrian Archers take the High Ground

The first move of the battle saw Andy move his archers to a commanding position on the only high ground available.

The Yorkists Cavalry Moves to Outflank the Lancastrians

This move prompted me to move my cavalry out past the archers flank screened by a nearby wood. My intention was not to attack the flank but to try and get Andy to weaken his archers on the hill by dispatching them to deal with the now threatened flank.

Yorkists Under Thomas Neville Attempt to Maneuver in to Position

Meanwhile on the Yorkist right Tony had found himself squashed between my artillery unit and some woods. This would cause a number of problems for Tony during the battle as he was unable to line up his units to best effect.

Lancastrian Archers Move to Outflank

Seeing the difficulty the Yorkist right flank was in Steve moved his archers in range to pour missiles into the floundering Yorkists.

The Yorkist Artillery Starts to Bombard the Lancastrian Billmen

Apart from Steve’s flaking move and Andy moving his archers onto the hill, the Lancastrians refused to give battle. Seeing the danger on the flank and with the Cavalry feint having drawn some of Andy’s archers away, I push the artillery forward and began firing on the Lancastrian Billmen. The attack did not cause any damage but it had the desired effect, soon the Lancastrian billmen would be on the advance.

Yorkist Archers Gain the Upper Hand

Seeing the Lancastrian billmen on the advance I pushed my archers forward and engaged the archers on the hill. The dice definitely favoured the Yorkists destroying a unit of archers outright but taking some damage in return.

Battle Rages on the Yorkist Right Flank

As I prepared to receive the advancing billmen, Tony had managed to engage Steve’s archers on the Yorkist right flank. Unfortunately the Lancastrian archers stood their ground against attacks from the Yorkist billmen.

The Centre Units Close in for an Intense Fight

My archers managed to get a volley off against the Lancastrian’s before the two battle lines crashed together. Unable to move the archers had to join the melee and soon succumbed to the billmen, but I had billmen in reserve ready to fill the gap.

The Battle Lines Clash

The clash was pretty even with both sides taking hits. Out on the Yorkist right flank Tony’s archers had taken a beating but he was still determined to get his billmen into the fight. In the centre Steve still had his men-at-arms directly in front of my artillery and so had no choice than to advance into the oncoming fire.

The Lancastrian Men-at-Arms Charges the Yorkist Artillery

Although the Men-at-Arms had taken some damage they quickly overwhelmed the artillery leaving them to rampage behind the Yorkist line. Tony still had his cavalry in reserve but didn’t get the activation dice required to charge in and so the Men-at-Arms got the chance to destroy them in a subsequent charge. However Tony was more successful with his Mounted Men-at-Arms.

The Yorkist Mounted Men-at-Arms Destroy the Lancastrian Archers

Charging in against the Lancastrian archers Tony was successful in gaining some momentum on the right flank. But the Yorkists would then throw away a strong position with a number of cavalry blunders. First came my charge with my light cavalry against the archers I had drawn out on Andy’s flank. The charge saw the cavalry wiped out with no damage to the defending archers. Tony then charged his Mounted Men-at-Arms against the Lancastrian pikemen and suffered the same fate!

Return of the Yorkist Mounted Men-at-Arms from the Left Flank

With the main battle in the centre going the Yorkists way and following the cavalry blunders, I turned my Mounted Men-at-Arms around and galloped back to the centre. The battle was nearing an end with both armies at breaking point.

The Yorkist Right Flank was to Decide the Battle

With the help of my cavalry the Lancastrian centre was destroyed, and with Andy’s remaining units too far away on the Lancastrian right flank, it was up to Tony on the Yorkist right flank to carry the day. The Lancastrian’s still had some strong infantry units but Steve had failed to get the activations he needed to get them into the fight. Needing just a point before breaking completely the battle came down to the long drawn out melee between Steve’s archers and Tony’s billmen.

The Last Melee Between the Yorkists and Lancastrians

But the dice finally favoured Tony and the archers were utterly destroyed, handing victory to the Yorkists by the narrow margin of 29-32!

Battle Aftermath
This turned out to be a really good battle. Three of the players had only played 3 or 4 games of Sword and Spear before and for Tony this was his first ever play of the rules.
From the Yorkist point of view, the good parts were managing to draw out some of the Lancastrian forces with a cavalry feint, and a lucky result in winning the archery duel in the centre. Having the artillery also turned out to be a good move as it forced the Lancastrians to advance when they had planned to sit tight. The bad points for the Yorkists though were the poor deployment between the artillery and the woods allowing the Lancastrians to out flank the right hand side, and the poorly executed cavalry charges late in the battle.

From the Lancastrians point of view, the good parts were exploiting the poor enemy deployment and out flanking with archers. But the bad points were reacting to the feint and being unlucky with the activation dice later in the battle preventing them from getting more of their infantry committed against the poorly deployed Yorkists.

The war will no doubt continue with the Lancastrians out for revenge!

 

 

 

 

Wars of the Roses Army

At the start of my posts about doing a Wars of the Roses 15mm army I mentioned this was actually the first time in 35 years of Wargaming, that I have put together a complete historical army. Yes I’ve painted a force of 40 odd Dark Age warriors for Saga, but this was the first full army. While collecting and painting up this army I have been watching and listening to various Wars of the Roses documentaries and reading a number of books about the period.
It’s easy to see the appeal of doing historical gaming but I know when to stop over accuracy and just get on with a good game.

Earl of Salisbury’s Forces

For the game to come we will have two players per side, so I have the larger part of my army under the Earl of Sailsbury with a slightly smaller force under his son  Sir Thomas Neville.

Sir Thomas Neville’s Forces

On to the game, we are going to be using Sword and Spear. So stay tuned for the battle report that will hopefully be reporting a victory for the Yorkist cause.

Wars of the Roses Archers

Finally got the last of my Wars of the Roses units completed. This time it was the archers. As with the other units I did buy a number of different brands but ended up just going with Essex miniatures and Peter Pig for the unit commanders. Like the other units I wanted to avoid the uniform two rows of miniatures on a base and so for the fist units of archers (the Retinue archers), I created a clear front line with a archers milling around on the second row.

Essex Retinue Archers

I wanted a mix of archer types and did a couple of militia archer units again using Essex miniatures.

Essex Miniatures Militia Archers

When painting the militia archers I realised that all but one of the miniatures was in a shooting stance, I could not therefore have a second line, but I wanted the militia archers to look undisciplined, so put them in irregular lines on the base to look more like a mob.

With the archers done so was I, but my would be opponent for the planned Wars of the Roses game mentioned having some artillery. Entering in to the arms race I also put a unit of guns together.

Essex Miniatures Wars of the Roses Artillery

I do have plans to do some other Wars of the Roses units like spearmen, some Welsh and other mercenaries. But this will do for the first battle.

Wars of the Roses Cavlary

I finally got my Wars of the Roses Cavalry painted. Unlike the infantry I decided to stick to one manufacturer. When I started the project I got some old cavalry figures from a fellow club member and picked up some samples. What I found was a big difference in the scale of the cavalry. With mass infantry you can get away with differences in sizes, not everyone is the same size and so it doesn’t matter as much. But it was so obvious mixing different manufacturers for 6 mounted miniatures on a base.

15mm Wars of the Roses Cavalry from Peter Pig

I like the slightly chunky style of the Peter Pig miniatures and so was happy to go with them for my cavalry. I do like a bit of cavalry and so wanted to maximise my armies compliment. In Sword and Spear the army can only have two units of knights and so I also did a couple of units of Northern Boarder Horse. I’m really looking forward to getting these into battle.

Now all I have left to do is finish the archers and my Wars of the Roses army is complete. Unless I want more than two command units … hmmm

Wars of the Roses Camp

I was supposed to be working on my Cavalry and Archers for my Wars of the Roses army, but while attending SELWG last October I remembered I needed a camp for my army. You have to remember I don’t normally dabble in the types of wargame requiring a camp for the army. But the intention is to use the Sword and Spear rules and so I needed a camp.

A Suitable Camp for my Wars of the Roses Army

At the show some resin pieces from Baueda caught my eye. Normally I would probably have scratchbuilt the camp but I really like the scenery pieces and they were not that expensive. I went for a cooking set and a tent that would fit the period. To that I added a spare infantryman and a horse.

The base is MDF and I spread bathroom sealant mixed with brown paint on it to create the muddy road and to cover up the figure bases. After painting the figures I flocked the base and added a few tufts of grass and the odd rock. Painting the camp made a nice change as it was like a mini diorama and a good distraction from line after line of the rank and file.

Wars of the Roses Infantry

I’ve finally made progress on my 15mm Wars of the Roses army. This is the first time since getting into Miniature Wargaming some 30 plus years ago that I have put together an historical army.
As I mentioned in my previous post showing the Men at Arms I did not want this army to look like a set number of figures stuck on a base. I wanted an irregular rabble look to the units.

15mm Wars of the Roses Billmen from Multiple Manufacturers

For my armies main infantry I looked at suitable 15mm miniatures from Lancashire Games, Irregular Miniatures, Museum Miniatures, Tin Soldier, Magister Militarium, Donnington, Miniature Figurines, Essex and Peter Pig.
For the life of me I cannot remember all of the companies I finally settled on, I know for a fact I bought Peter Pig, Lancashire Games and Essex. But there are other manufacturers figures in the units.
I’m really pleased with how they came out and think I got the rabble aspect quite well.
Another bonus was cleaning up the figures and thinking I’d only done enough for 4 bases of 16 figures per base. But when it came to undercoating them I found I had enough for 6 bases, result!

Now onto the Cavalry and Archers.

The Wolf at the door

Long had the Welsh Warlord Owain the Wolf Tamer been sat brooding in his hall. Never far from his thoughts were the crushing defeats he had suffered at the hands of the Anglo-Dane Warlords Andraes Vilhelmsson and Erik Uhtredson. But with Vilhelmsson held up in his hall to see out the winter months and news of Uhtredson forging alliances with the wretched Northmen. It was time to go on the offensive. But wary of fighting prowess of his enemies Owain knew he needed support, and so he had dispatched offers of gold and glory to other lesser warlords before setting out on campaign.
As dawn broke across the land, the armies of Andraes Vilhelmsson and Erik Uhtredson marched boldly marched onto the field. No sooner had they done so when the Welsh war horns were joined in their challenge by those of Hakon Maddadarson the Hall Burner and his army of savage Norse Gaels.
Surprised by the Norse Gaels, but not surprised Owain would not have the confidence to face them alone, Vilhelmsson and Uhtredson concentrated their forces against the Norse Gaels with the aim of routing them off the field before Owain could bring the full force of his army in to effect.

The Anglo-Danes march towards the Norse Gaels

Although the Anglo-Danes concentrated on the Norse Gaels, the swift Welsh cavalry managed to get within javelin distance of Vilhelmsson’s archers, drawing first blood.
Welsh Cavalry Launching their Javelins

Over on the other side of the battlefield Uhtredson’s Fyrd charged against the Norse Gaels. Hoping for a decisive conclusion to the fight the Fyrd won the fight but failed to inflict devastating damage on the Norse Gaels.
The Anglo-Dane Fyrd Charges into Battle

Forced to retreat from the fight and with Vilhelmsson’s Huscarls closing in, Hakon Maddadarson strengthened his line for the expected onslaught.
The Anglo-Danes and Norse Gaels form their Battle Lines

Meanwhile on Vilhelmsson’s left flank the Welsh Cavalry were still picking off the archers, but not without suffering losses of their own. Seizing the initiative Owain pushed his forces hard to get within javelin range.
The Welsh Finally Threaten the Anglo-Danish Left Flank

With his left flank now threaten Vilhelmsson sent a unit of Huscarls to fend of Owain’s forces. Having been abandoned to his fate in on the right flank Hakon Maddadarson was beginning to realise the pact he had entered into with the Welsh was misguided. Uhtredson threw everything at the Norse Gaels, Dane axe armed Huscarls and the Fyrd charged in. The fighting was fierce but the Anglo-Danish attack seemed to just bounce off the Norse Gaels and they were forced to retreat.
Hard Fighting as Dane Axes Clash in a Bloody Melee to the Death

With the battle against the Norse Gaels not going to plan and the Welsh making gains against Vilhelmsson’s left flank the Anglo-Danes could see the battle turning against them.
But there was to be no retreat, lured to battle by the treacherous Owain, the forces of Vilhelmsson and Uhtredson would carve an epic poem this day. Launching charge after charge the fight against the Welsh ended with a wimper of pushing and shoving while once again the Norse Gaels proved to be a tough nut to crack.
Last Charge of the Anglo-Danes

The battle ended with the exhausted Anglo-Danes having been narrowly defeated, made even more painful by the knowledge that the Norse Gaels and done more of the fighting than the Welsh, who could claim victory having shed little blood that day!

Thoughts on the Game
I cannot remember which scenario we played but points were scored by causing casualties and points deducted if any units were still close to their own baseline at the end of 6 turns.
Myself and Andy were both using the Anglo-Danish for the first time with the 2nd Edition Saga rules. Facing off against Steve’s Welsh and John’s Norse Gaels. Each side had 6 points.
Andy and I decided to concentrate both of our armies against one enemy army to destroy it in detail and then move onto the other. The Norse Gaels deployed first and so that was our target. This left the Welsh out on their own and away from the battle for a few turns.
Being the first time a few of us had used our armies for 2nd edition a few mistakes were made. On a few occasions we were a bit lax with the movement rules and getting units into combat. The Norse Gael ability to raise their armour was exaggerated somewhat which contributed to the lack progress by the Anglo-Danes. I also found the Anglo-Danes a bit boring in 2nd edition. Some of their abilities appear to have been reduced, which I felt was unnecessary as they weren’t an unbeatable faction in 1st edition. But that’s enough of the excuses. The Anglo-Danes lost and so now must regroup and take the battle to the Welsh, whether they run cowardly to their new found allies or not.

Intruder Alert!


In November 1980 a now forgotten conflict started. Now you can re-fight that conflict at the Open Day. Jeremey will be taking on all comers, with this hard uncompromising game. Many show games are made in favour of the player, not this one. Expect to face humiliation as you try and get a high score against the relentless robots or Evil Otto himself. Can you clock up the highest score to be crowned Berserk champion?

Men at Arms on the March

I finally managed to get my first Wars of the Roses units done. Here we have the Men at Arms getting ready to go up against fellow club member Stephen. For my units in this army I wanted a real mixed up, unevenly distributed look. I’ve never liked the standard number of figures evenly spaced DBA style units. Despite 35 years in this hobby this is my first historical army and I’m clearly not a purist! But I’ve done some research, read several books and listened to a podcast on the history of England during this period, so I’m definitely putting the effort in.To get a good mix for the units I used miniatures from Peter Pig, Lancashire Games and Essex Miniatures (plus some others I’ve forgotten). I even chose some miniatures from the early 15th century to represent a few of the less wealthy lords and knights, still using their grandfathers armour.
Another thing I decided to do was not to  chose a side in the conflict. It was clearly a messy affair with allegiances changing as the conflict went on (or even during a battle!). Add that to the fact the armies had identical troop types I went for removable flags for the units and commanders. In the first picture the units are representing Sir Thomas Neville but after a quick swap they are now in the service of Lord Dudley.I think this system will work quite well and I intend on making a collection of flags, so regardless of who my opponent turns up supporting, I’ll be able to pick an opposing lord!