Rampant Lions

Stephen has written the following report on his Open Day game.

At the Open Day we got in three games of Lion Rampant, all based around the idea that the English were raiding the town of Sluys in Flanders.

The first game saw the English having to burn the town! In Lion Rampant you win the game by getting the most Glory, and you gain Glory by achieving your objectives and by also making Boasts. The English managed to set light to some of the buildings, which they gained Glory for, and also by achieving their Boasts – on this occasion that the English leader would challenge the French leader to a duel.
First game went to the English.

The second game was based around ransacking the town and getting away with as much loot as possible. In this game the English moved up quickly, but the French moved up their Genoese crossbowmen mercenaries who loosed their quarrels to devastating effect. The English had a poor time of it. Some longbowmen tried to make off with some loot but found the way to the ships blocked by some angry French knights.
Second game went to the French.

The third game was a decider. We re-played the ‘burning’ scenario with Mark and Alan from the Milton club taking command of the two sides. The English were slow to advance, which meant the French managed to move forward enough to protect the town. The English leader challenged the French leader to a duel, but it was ill-advised – the English lord was slain!

Third and final game went to the French, meaning the day had been a French victory.

First Line of Defence

Tony F previews an Open Day Lord of the Rings battle

The Rammas Echor was an ancient defensive wall around the Pelennor Fields, where the great battle was fought before the city of Minas Tirith during the War of the Ring. It was intended to protect the area around the city, which was mostly farmlands. If you’re not familiar with the books and have only seen the films you wouldn’t know anything about it, as Peter Jackson chose to omit it from the Return of the King (understandably perhaps, as it’s only really mentioned in passing). It was repaired and strengthened by Denethor II as the threat from Mordor became apparent, but was never manned in sufficient numbers – it was after all around 35 miles long – and fell quickly.

We’ve adapted a scenario from one of the Games Workshop sourcebooks, involving Faramir and a small number of rangers returning from the battle in Osgiliath and attempting to reach the relative safety of the wall. The defenders then have to hold the wall as long as possible.

I’ve built a section of the wall from insulation foam, with battlements cast in resin. The style of the battlements and colour of the wall are based on the Minas Tirith city walls seen in the films, although the walls are substantially lower (the dimensions I based on the size of Hadrian’s Wall). Taking a further cue from Hadrian, I added a small wall fort, just an enclosed courtyard with a couple of small buildings for the Garrison. A dirt track will lead to the front gate, with a more substantial road from the rear gate which leads off to the city. The area in front of the wall has been cleared to allow the defenders a good field of fire, with nothing but a few trees and rocks for cover.

Holding the wall is a company of warriors from Minas Tirith armed with swords, spears and bows. They also have an Avenger Bolt Thrower and crew on one of the bastions. Reinforcements are desperately awaited from the city, and whatever stragglers make their way back from Osgiliath.

Blunte’s Battery

Alan K is running a 28mm Napoleonic game at the Open Day using Two Fat Lardies’ Sharp Practice rules.

Spain 1809

The French have seized the village of Valdelacastro and its bridge. They have an artillery battery emplaned on the nearby heights covering the bridge and its approaches. Can Lieutenant Blunte, his Rifles and the men of the North Essex neutralise the battery, seize and hold the bridge?

28mm Napoleonic derring-do in the Peninsular using Sharp Practice.

Gaslands Race Day – Linton Arena

John Lambert previews his Open Day racing spectacular

Play the game that’s taking the Gaming world by storm!

Event 1 Death Race – Pick a team for a race to the finish. Crashes,explosions and low tactics guaranteed featuring Crowd favourite – Swampy with new gunner Tex.

Event 2 Arena of Death – Newly installed machine gun turrets kindly provided by the one and only MR Grant Rutherford. No one gets out of here alive, unless you are the last Driver standing of course!

Event 3 Try and Evade the Monster Truck – Squash, Crunch, Splat!
Free chrome spray available for all participants!


This mean machine enters the arena to the strains of Motorhead’s “Ace of Spades”. Is that a Machine gun or a minigun, “Well ask yourself Punk. Do you feel lucky!”

A 5 litre engine in a cut down Beetle with Nitro booster and hot start, what more could you want. See you in my mirror!

Well Judge, Jury and Executioner really! With Nitro Ram and Hot start the Judge is set to batter his way through the field

A Monster truck from the Mexico City Penitentiary. Only very rich convicted Drug Barons get to drive this Monster for the Monster truck smash.

Grant Rutherford has surplus stock of this model and what better way to showcase its capabilities than a live race day!

The Call to Arms

​Open Day update from Stephen

With barely a week to go until the Open Day I thought I would introduce my Lion Rampant game and some of the levies who will be fighting it out.

The game is set in 1370AD. The background to the game is real but the actual encounter is fictional. Flanders had remained neutral during the early part of the Hundred Years War, with a preference to the English. But in 1369 the Count of Flanders, who had no male heir, married his daughter, Margaret, off to the Duke of Burgundy which meant that Flanders fell under French control.

So the game is a hypothetical raid by the English on the Flemish town of Sluys, where a great naval battle had been fought in 1340AD at the outbreak of the war.

The game will have the English raiding the town on several missions with the French trying to stop them.

Here are some of the retinues that will taking part.

First up we have a band of brigands in the pay of the French. They are led by Sir Leopold Von Starkenberg, a disgraced ex-Teutonic knight, who now scours the Low Countries looking for a fight and someone to pay them. They call themselves ‘God’s Bloody Hooks’ and go into battle with the war cry ‘Gadzooks!’

Next is a contingent of Irish from Cork in the pay of the English. They are from the O’Driscoll clan and we can see that Niall O’Driscoll himself is leading his kerns on this raid.

No English army would be complete without longbowmen! These are two companies of archers from the East Riding Levy. These are experienced men – good yeoman from the shires and the backbone of the English forces.

The French garrison is made up of a lot of continental troops and this next lot are no different. They call themselves the Compagnia di Santa Maria and hail from Genoa. These are also grizzled veterans who have spent good time fighting in various battles.

This last retinue of English have a bit of a funny history. Sir Anthony D’Archer of Ambridge received his summons from King Edward but with harvest troubles on his estate he decided he had to stay and instead paid for his son, Thomas, to answer the King’s call. So Sir Thomas D’Archer is now in charge of the English forces.

To see how these retinues fair, plus many more beside, come along to the Open Day and join in the fun.

Vive L’Empereur

Another update from Andy … he has been busy !

To give myself some variety in my French Forces for the Maximillian Adventure (1861 – 1867) I have painted up some Artillery crew and Officers.

These are from Wargames Foundry’s Franco Prussian War (1870 – 1871) range; Foundry don’t do Maximillian specific artillery crew, but the FPW figures are close enough and preferable (to me) to the Crimean War (1854-1856) alternative.

Two of the Officers were painted up in Artillery uniform, these together with the six crewmen will give me the option of having two, four man gun crew in my French forces. The other two were painted as Infantry / Foreign Legion officers.

I used Games Workshop’s Chaos Black spray undercoat, followed by Vallejo acrylics. The flesh was base coated with Brown Sand, followed by Medium Flesh Tone.

The Artillery uniform is predominantly blue (Vallejo Dark Blue) jacket and trousers, with red trim (Vallejo Flat Red). Belts and gaiters are white, boots, cartridge box and scabbards are black.

Some of the artillery crew have slung carbines, these had Beige Brown woodwork with Gunmetal Grey barrels and metalwork.

The Infantry officers differed mainly in that the trousers were white, not blue.

Once the painting was done the blue coats and trousers were given an Army Painter Quick Shade Blue Wash, and the hands and faces a Flesh Wash.

The figure bases were done in the same way as the Mexican Peons in my last blog post and varnished with Humbrol Spray Matt Varnish.

I’ve previously painted a couple of artillery pieces for this game, but these are large field pieces. I also wanted a lighter piece, so bought a small mountain gun from Gringo 40. This had a very simple paint job. Black undercoat, Beige Brown carriage and Gunmetal Grey barrel.

That’s it for the French in Mexico for now, next on the painting table are some Viking Huscarls, but the French will get some Hussars before too long, they are in the pipeline.

Viva Mexico

Update from Andy on his French in Mexico project

I’ve just completed a small addition to the Mexican Juarista forces, eight peons mostly armed with machetes, apart from three with assorted firearms. These will form part of a “Tribal Infantry” unit for The Men who would be Kings rules.

These are from Wargames Foundry’s Old West range, and were painted in my usual simplistic style.

I used Games Workshop’s Chaos Black spray undercoat, followed by Vallejo acrylics. The flesh was base coated with Brown Sand, followed by Dark Flesh. Most of the clothing is plain white, apart from one figure in a bold red (Flat Red) shirt with green sash (Flat Green), and a couple with Beige or Deck Tan shirts. Sombreros were painted various brown shades, with an Army Painter Soft Tone Quick Shade applied once dry.

Firearms had Beige Brown woodwork with Gunmetal Grey barrels and metalwork. Sandals were painted Black or German Camouflage Black Brown.

Flesh was then washed with Army Painter Flesh Wash Quick Shade. The Red shirt and Green sash had similar washes in the respective colours, again Army Painter Quick Shade. The white clothing was left unwashed.

Bases were painted with Army Painter Banshee Brown, after a bit of a search I found this to be the closest match to the original emulsion paint I used for my Maximillian troops bases when we used them for the club’s show Game “Non Son Hombres Son Demonios!” in 2007 / 2008. Patched of flock were then applied using PVA glue.

Once dried they were varnished with Humbrol Spray Matt Varnish.

Middle-Earth May

An Open Day update from Tony F

Following on from my progress in March painting Lord of the Rings figures for my Ramas Echor Open Day game, I had a fallow April (the demands of Salute took up all my time that month). However, I was back in the saddle (literally) in May, with over a dozen figures on the painting table.

I’ve had a box of Swan Knights of Dol Amroth which I’ve wanted to paint for a while, and this game was the ideal chance to get them on the table. There are six altogether, which I’ve assembled as a captain, standard bearer, musician and three knights. I kept the horses and riders separate during painting to make things easier. I started by spraying the riders a dull silver and airbrushing the horses in Vallejo French Blue (I also masked off and airbrushed the riders’ flags and pennants in the same colour). The horse coats were then washed and highlighted with Citadel paints and the horses themselves painted in various shades of brown. The Knights were washed with Citadel Nuln Oil (black) and drybrushed again in a brighter silver, and details picked out. The barrel on the base of the catapult is a very old Peter Pig casting.

I’ve also finally assembled my Avenger Catapult, a resin Finecast model – this will be very handy against the Trolls and other large creatures from Mordor. Gondor warriors are all fairly monochromatic – most of the figures are covered in silver armour, and the bits that aren’t silver are mostly black. I painted the armour the same way as the Knights (Army Painter Platemail spray basecoat, Nuln Oil wash, Citadel Necron Silver drybrush), then painted any exposed cloth black with dark grey highlights, along with the shield. Other than that, their faces (the tiny bit you can see) were painted flesh and washed with a dark flesh wash, and I picked out a few straps and spear shafts brown and added a few gold details.

I also painted up three more plastic warriors of Minas Tirith and a metal standard bearer – these were already assembled and undercoated so it made sense to finish them at the same time as the catapult crew.

With just over three weeks to go, I have ten more figures to finish, which shouldn’t be a problem – however, there’s still the minor matter of the Ramas Echor itself. The first photo below shows the rough layout of the piece of wall I’m building – the centre section will have a gateway, and behind it is a small wall fort with a couple of buildings as accomodation for the garrison. The other two wall sections will have a bastion for archers or the Avenger Catapult.

This is a nearly-finished section of wall with the battlements in place. These are based on the Minas Tirith city wall design, which I’ve cast up in sections in resin before gluing them in place (the resin just happens to be exactly the same colour as the insulation foam that the body of the wall is made from).

Finally, I finished two half-painted figures which aren’t needed for the Open Day game. On the left is the Mouth of Sauron, who is a man (probably a Black Numenorean) in the service of Sauron. He’s been 3/4 finished for ages, so I didn’t need to do much other than finish a few details and paint his base. On the right is a Captain of Rohan, the mounted equivalent to the figure I finished a couple of months ago.

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