Extended Hours – part 1, Boney’s Final Days

The club’s next scheduled date on August 11th is unavailable due to hall refurbishment, so there is no meeting that day – we can all enjoy the summer sunshine instead.

However, as recompense we’ve arranged extended hours for the following meeting on the 25th – the club will be open until 7pm rather than the usual 5pm.

Two members have taken the opportunity to put on large games that day – in the first, Dave Bates will be running The Battle of Ligney, a 15mm Napoleonic what-if scenario set during the Hundred Days (or Waterloo) campaign.

The game concerns the battle of June 16th 1815, principally Napoleon attacking the Prussian army who were deployed along the Ligney, a small but marshy stream crossed by four bridges. As we know, Wellington was not involved as he had been busy with a banquet in Brussels. However, in this game we bring in the 2nd Anglo Allied Corps under The Prince of Orange from Quatre Bras. Napoleon’s staff failed to get orders to Marshal Ney – who had been at Quatre Bras –  until much later.

The game is Black Powder supplemented by play tested house rules, and will be able to accommodate up to 6 players.

The Saga Of Owain of Bangor – An Extract From The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle

Whilst conducting research at the Bodleian Library I stumbled upon the following extract. It was found in a loose-leaf manuscript with the hand-written title ‘The Bangor Chronicle’ but I think it should more properly find its home with the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle and so I have titled it ‘Chronicle J’.

It is a single, short, entry and I quote it here in full…

1070 – In this year there was a poor harvest. Such was the upset and worry this caused that many men did steal from their neighbour. The Norman lord, De Gislebert, sought loot and plunder rather than fair exchange and he took from the gentle people of Bangor their harvest so they would have no bread and would starve. It did happen that Owain of Bangor, upset by the distress this caused his people, took himself into the lands of Gislebert and took back the grains and chattels that had been taken from them. De Gislebert, learning of this daring raid, fell upon Owain and his men as they led their carts back to the lands of their fathers.

But Owain had his war banner, Wolf Tamer, with him and this did raise the spirits of his men. Despite the pitiful rain of Norman arrows the men of Bangor prevailed and they in turn did find their mark with their javelins and spear points. The field of battle did belong to Owain on that day.

And Owain took back the grain to his people and he passed it out to them. And they were grateful to him for this and they hailed him as Owain the Great. In his humility Owain did give prayers and thanks unto the Lord at Bangor cathedral and he thanked the Lord that he was able to give food and succour to his people though it did cost him the lives of his men and did cost him coin to do so.

Sniper in Ghillie Suit

In his third painting update, Andy goes undercover

I’ve had this figure knocking around the paint box for years, so decided it was time to paint him up. If memory serves he was a Eureka Miniatures figure sold by Ground Zero Games in the UK, but I don’t think they are still available.

He (she?) is wearing a Ghillie Suit, but that won’t help much given the somewhat upright pose, I’d have though being prone would be safer.

The figure was undercoated black and painted with a variety of brown and green patches, with a final drybrush to pick out the foliage strands of the Ghillie suit using the same shade of green as used for the base.

Wargames Illustrated Druid

Andy goes all mystical in his second painting report

This figure was free when taking out a WI subscription at shows this year and will likely appear in some Dragon Rampant games.

He’s a little taller than most of my dark Ages figures, but that makes him more imposing!

His overcoat is modelled as if made up of various patches sewn together, so I used Vallejo German Camouflage Dark Brown as the base, with a variety of other browns for the various patches. His under tunic and sleeves were painted a mid-grey and washed with a blue wash.

I used a mix of Medium Flesh Tone and Pale Sand for his skin, as I wanted a pale complexion.

His staff was painted Beige Brown and then washed with Army Painter Dark tone.

Dark Age Vikings

The first of a trio of painting updates from Andy

These are Artizan Design figures, six Hirdmen with two handed axes and two Hirdmen “with spears”. I bought these second hand from Colonel Bill’s.

The spearmen didn’t come with spears, so I gave one of the spearmen a standard, using a brass spear and a “Raven Standard” drawn up in PowerPoint; the other I decided to make a Jarl and gave him a spare sword from a Gripping Beast Plastic Saxon Thegn boxes.

The figures were undercoated black and then block painted in various shades of Vallejo browns, greys and greens. They were then washed in appropriate Army Painter washes, with the quilted leather armour getting a couple of coats.

The two shields were painted plain white on the front and transfers from Little Big Men Studios and Battle Flag applied before varnishing.

1809 – Clash of Cavalry – 6mm

This game was a clash between the French Confederation Army of Germany Reserve Cavalry Corps (2 division of cuirassiers and 2 of light cavalry) and the Reserve Cavalry Corps of the Austro-Hungarian Hauptarmee (one division of cuirassiers and two of mixed medium/light cavalry), set in 1809.   The orders of battle were historical for early May 1809.
This was a two player game fought to test out some changes to the cavalry part of the house rules for Army scale combat at yesterdays meeting.
The day ended with the Austrian Corps forced to retire in the last move, although inflicting a halt on their opponents as they did so – preventing a pursuit.
The figures are all 1/300 Heroics and Ros – ideal for large scale actions of this type. Around 1,000 figures representing about 25,000 real cavalrymen were used.
Our house rules use brigade bases for manoeuvre, with combats fought out at battalion/squadron level, designed for actions of corps/army size using several thousand figures – but capable of being completed in a single day of gaming.  The combat phase rolls up the combat outcome into a single dice roll representing the outcome of both firing and melee.  The focus in the game is on command and control and effective use of reserves.

Mine all Mine

For some time now I’ve thought that a mining community would make a good place for a medieval skirmish game. Control of resources is a vital part of any warlord’s secure hold and a mine would make a particularly valuable resource.

Carts on tracks going into hillsides is a bit Hollywood. In reality, a lot of early mines (and mines even today) are really about digging holes straight down into the ground and then lowering yourself down them somehow, whether by rope and winch, or electric lifts. It all adds up to the same.

I decided that I’d make several mineheads with different contraptions to lower miners and raise the ore. They are, of course, variations on a theme.

The main winch was made from dowelling.

Thick linen thread was used for the ropes to lash it all together. Brass rod was used to make hooks and metal work (actually, the winch handle was made from a thin nail), and the bucket was a resin item out of the spares box.

I had to make a decision about the basing of the winch. In reality this would be pegged to the ground. But I wanted to give an impression of depth, that the shaft was going somewhere. So I decided to mount them on a raised area that I would then texture. This would give some suggestion of depth and I could argue the mound was a spoil heap. This was made from a half-inch donut of expanded polystyrene.

The winch was then glued on to this and once this had all dried the styrene was then shaped. And when that was done it was all covered with some filler.

I made up a special rubble scatter mix from sand and broken up pieces of dried filler. I then slapped PVA glue generously to the mound and poured the rubble scatter over it, pressing it down firmly before pouring off the excess.

Then on to painting. It was always going to be a drab model – brown on brown. But once painted I thought I’d put a bit of static grass on it, especially around the edges, so that the piece blends in with the table.

And finally something to set the scene.

These mineheads were very simple to make and took surprisingly little time.

This mining colony will make a good, and different, setting for a raid scenario. Although these pieces were made to a medieval style, they are pretty universal well into the early modern period. Only with the industrial revolution did things change. They were actually made for an upcoming game of Dragon Rampant, so if you fancy having a go at some ransacking and looting then come along to the club and have a go.

The Saga of Iomhar MacAuley

John La continues the saga of his SAGA campaign following two battles against Jeremey’s Anglo Danes

War comes to the Isles

Winter has been kind, fresh recruits flock to our holy war banner, blessed by the Saints. Strong men from Steornabhag make up the most loyal retainers, wielding their great axes with strength and speed. Whilst travelling to market in Steornabhag, We were surprised to find the army of Beornsen blocking our path. Danish witchcraft perplexed our brave warriors as though they had drunk too much Uisge. The bravest of the brave, stout axemen of Talisker charged forward to remove the irritant bowmen, these cowardly men afraid of steel met the edges of mighty axes. What was this ! More witchcraft and sorcery or was it too much Uisge as the axes failed to meet their mark. Enraged our brave and mighty lads charged Beornsen himself who luckily survived the frenzied onslaught. A way had been cleared for our goods but Thornstein The Slaver’s path was blocked by cowardly bowmen. Single handed He took them on but the brave Slaver was finally overcome by the Milksop wretches. Beornsen was knocked to the ground from a challenge, badly wounded and he would pay dearly for this arrogant invasion of our peaceful realm.

Einar ‘Buttered Bread’ becomes a Man

Weakened by his ill considered attack, Beornsen’s lands were ripe for raiding. More new recruits had joined and our fleet of Birlinn’s was now three. We sailed east until we sighted Beornsen’s land. There was no resistance to our landing as the Danes fled in fear of our Mighty host. Beornsen’s men were waiting by ford to ambush us. More witchcraft made our mean hesitant but this time there was a steely determination. Beornsen’s best men and Beornsen himself charged the stout axemen of Talisker, steel met steel, steel met flesh in a whirring frenzy of axes. The fight finished with Beornsen in control of the ford and the waters ran red with the blood of brave warriors. Seeing Beornsen isolated on the ford, our viking cousins from Orkney issued a challenge and callow youth Einar ‘Buttered Bread’ was pushed to the front to take on Beornsen in single combat. Hampered by a serious wound, Beornsen failed to land a blow. Einar closed his eyes and swung his mighty axe, it shattered Beornsen’s helm, cleaving him in two, kicking the remains of Beornsen’s head into the waters below. Arise Einar ‘Skull Splitter’! whose reputation has spread far and wide across the lands. With the death of their impulsive Leader, the Danish resistance crumbled beneath a hail of javelins and axes. It had been a profitable raid and Ui Naill cousins from Donegal have joined our growing army. Much Uisge was drunk in celebration. We spend time planning and training as the nights draw in.

Meanwhile storm clouds gather to the south and east. Winter is coming.

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