Thursday 29 January 2015

Empire Handgunners (2)

Splashed some washes on at lunchtime.

So I'll be working on wood and metal this evening.

Wednesday 28 January 2015

Empire Handgunners (1)

So after a week of drinking and no painting in Swindon I finally picked the brushes up again tonight and set to on the Warhammer Empire army.
Following the Perry Brothers Bretonnians from the 5th edition starter set that featured in the Lion Rampant retinue I now bring you more Perry single piece plastic goodness in the form of these Empire Handgunners from the 6th edition starter set.
Great models, easy to paint, not too fiddly and full of character.
Painted in Hochland green (Foundry Forest green A and B) and red (GW Mechrite then Blood Red).

I'll apply some washes tomorrow and then hopefully I can crack on and have them finished over the weekend.

Sunday 18 January 2015

Lion Rampant Retinue Finished

Here's the finished Lion Rampant retinue, fresh from their successful blooding on Thursday night.

First the Men at Arms. All lovely Claymore Castings models.

Then a unit of elite Billmen, also from Claymore.

Then two units of elite archers. Using the very old Perry sculpted Bretonnian models from the Warhammer 5th edition starter set.

The bases are a mix of the Tajima1 tufts, some coarse turf and a few patches of static grass applied in the traditional fashion.
The tufts are brilliant. I think I'll be buying more. The small ones didn't look terribly different from the effect I got by using traditional static grass, but the medium and large ones really look different and better.
I think the big tufts might be overpowering on a traditional army (WAB, HC, WFB) but on a skirmish force like this they really add variety and work well.
I'm slightly torn on the basing. They look a little sparse to me, but less is more and James very kindly said he thought they looked good on Thursday night. I think I'll leave them for a while and see if they grow (ho-ho) on me before I add any further vegetation.

Friday 16 January 2015

A (big) Lion Rampant Game

Last night I was fortunate enough to be invited to go over to the Battlefront HQ in Nottingham to help playtest some rules for a big game of Lion Rampant. The idea is that a game like this will provide the climax to the forthcoming Lion Rampant gaming day and Dan the organiser wanted to test his ideas.
12 hardy souls duly assembled with our many and varied retinues. We diced for Leader characteristics and I received Sly as my "upgrade" allowing me to dodge any challenges. We then randomly selected our positions around the table.
One of the best things about wargaming events like this is the opportunity to meet new people and mix with those outside your usual gaming circle. So inevitably the random draw meant I was facing my good chum James across the board, with James to his left and John to my right from our Salute posse and Mark now of Great Escape Games, but who I know of old from our GW days, to my left. So much for making new acquaintances.

 Earl Morris parades about the battlefield ahead of hostilities

The scenario was a simple bloodbath affair, however the priority only shifted from one side to another when all the players on one side had failed (or completed) their orders. Initially this led to a bit of standing round for some people especially the two James' who Mark and I were facing who seemed incapable of passing more than a singe test each. However it did leave the opportunity for the exchanging of insults and other ribbing.

I deployed with archers on each flank and my Men at Arms and Billmen holding my centre. There was some questioning of the need to enforce the 3" rule, but Dan was adamant it should be applied - being as how it was part of the rules and everything. James opposite me had some foot and mounted knights, a unit of fierce foot, two units of bidowers and some Welsh spearmen - not all of whom he could fit on the board. As is the way with most multi-player games what actually happened was that we paired off against our opponents and broke down into several single games - although this wasn't quite the case in the centre where things got more mixed up.

 Commence pincushioning!

 Sir Eric leads forth the Kirby retinue

James started off the first few turns by failing to move very much. My more disciplined force pushed forward, with the men at arms trudging slowly across a muddy field. It took me time to get into arrow range - mainly due to the enemy failing to move toward me at all. Eventually however the bidowers and Welshmen came within range, and my expert archers demonstrated why they're quite feared by sending both bidower units fleeing and wiping the spearmen out.
At this stage elite archers  did seem a bit overpowered, but partly this was due to the absence of any scenario - they're quite situational and bloodbath suits them.

 Trim the hedge while you're at it lads

 Bit muddy this

 Welsh spearmen. A bit flimsy

At about this point Dan announced a change and we switched to playing by "table"  Mark and I versus the Jamesi (that's the plural of James) rather than waiting for the whole side to finish. This sped things up, but it did rather lose the feel of being part of a bigger battle.

 Mark's Rhubarb and Custard Knights

 Nice view from in here

These were lurking on my right flank. But John saw them off.

Flushed with success I pushed forward. Reasoning that men at arms were both better fighters and better armoured than the Fierce Foot I advanced on the wood they were lurking in. After the fierce fellas amusingly failed their charge I launched the MAA at them, only to be countercharged. The MAA duly hacked three to the ground, but suffered two casualties in return (James had his "lucky" green dice out again). We both held, but then repeated the fight in the following round, with the exact same results! This time both units broke - which was a bit of a blow.
Meanwhile my billmen were finding out that foot men at arms can be quite frisky and despite killing a couple were themselves battered and forced to retreat.
The panic caused by the death of my leader saw both the billmen and the archers on my right back away from the mounted knights.

 Advance, men, they're on the run!


Come on, there's only six of them

Cold steel meets frothing hot-head
Seizing his chance James launched his mounted knights at the bowmen - with inevitable consequences. Suddenly, from a position of dominance I was down to just two units and James' mounted boys had their danders well and truly up.


Fortunately my archers were able to eliminate the last of James foot knights, but were unable to prevent his mounted unit ploughing through the billmen.

 Like Agincourt all over again

Wish we'd packed the stakes
So it came to a final face off, my last archers against James' charging knights.
Twice the horsemen crashed home, but each time the archers held on, and their combat kills combined with arrow fire between was just enough to kill James leader and snatch me a victory.

Earl Morris gathers himself for a final charge!


It was a good fun and bloodthirsty affair. At first my archers were like a hail of machinegun fire, hosing down James' men, but a combination of better troops arriving and overconfidence on my part saw my men caught and cut down and in the end I was lucky to snatch it back.

Lion Rampant gave us a good quick game with enough of a medieval feel to satisfy. I'm keen to try the scenarios soon as I fear a diet of just the Bloodbath scenario will soon begin to pall. It was also good to get the casualty and courage rules right this time (Steve and I didn't quite play it right in our first game) it was much more brutal. I also thought the 3" rule to be a good one - it imposes a bit of unwieldiness on the formations which I think is appropriate and needed in a skirmish game for this period.

All in all a splendid evening out. James was as pleasant to play against as always and my new retinue looked super, even if I do say so myself.

Huge thanks to Dan for organising and to the Battlefront chaps for hosting.

Thursday 15 January 2015

To War!

A sneak peek at the finished Lion Rampant retinue, all securely magnetised into their Really Useful box.

Tonight they get their first ever run-out in a multi-player game of Lion Rampant with the White Hart crew (only my second ever go at the rules).

Hopefully some pictures and a report will follow shortly. And then some final shots of the finished retinue.

Wednesday 14 January 2015

Join the Tufty Club

Three sizes of tuft. 40 of each.

I decided I wanted to get down with all the cool kidz and start using some tufts.
I got some advice right here on the blog, but in the end did a little Googling and unearthed Tajima1 Miniatures.
They had a good selection of tufts and the price included postage and I remember seeing them recommended on a blog somewhere, so I thought I'd give them a shot.
Ordered on Monday afternoon and they arrived on Wednesday - that's darn good service in my book.
I ordered a mixed set of Moss Mix tufts as I wasn't sure what size I needed.
They looks splendid, so I'm looking forward to sticking a few on my Lion Rampant retinue.

Small on the left, medium on right.

And here are the retinue, about half way through having all their bases painted.

And again with bases painted and a few clumps of coarse turf added to a few.

Tomorrow should see the tufts added and then they'll be done!