Wednesday, 27 November 2019

Update Number Something or Other, or There Abouts

      Bored! Bored! Bored! And suffering from the trots....and not just of the verbal type. So what's a chap to do when he daresn't wonder more than 6 feet from the seat of ease? Well he seizes the moment and update his blog, between sprints, with all the wonderful(?) hobby related things he has been doing recently apart from rushing to the loo....anyhoo, more than enough info, to the update; what have I been a-doing, hobby-wise

     First of all, as you may have read a couple of posts ago, I attended the Targe Wargames show earlier this month and one of the things I got at the bring and buy there was the Warhammer Siege Defenders set; a thing of beauty and a joy to behold etc. 
     And just the thing for playing sieges with Lion Rampant. Previously the attackers in our siege battles held all the aces with his siege engines; now he won't have it half so easy...mwahahaha!!
     Now unlike the artwork on the box my efforts at painting it might not be a joy to behold however the kit truly is a thing of beauty; crisply detailed and almost leaps together on it's own....almost but not quite. It does go together very easily  after cleaning off what little flash there was. I was itching (no, dear readers, not another ailment, just a burning desire) to get this built and painted so everything else sort of went to the back burner....

My eyes lit up when I saw this set. Didn't even know there was
such a beast

Based and finished; Foundry man-at-arms for scale. I added the
bases mostly for stability, the rock and stone dropping engines
being top heavy but also so that I would keep the set together

Rats!! and big rats at that!!
All I need to do now is put together a crew to man these siege engines and I have some figures in mind for that.
    I also got around to finishing off a unit of foot sergeants from  Fireforge for my Lion Rampant forces. These chaps represent a unit of expert mercenary sergeants, long of service, tough, hard bitten and occasionally effective, led by their commander, Gilbert of Cockermouth (chap at the front centre in the blue, waving his big axe). Back story on these chaps to follow..... 

painted these Lion Rampant markers from Warbases 
     I also indulged myself at work and bought these sets from Colonel Bills Depot Battalion range. The photographer is for use in In Her Majesty's Name, the rest are for, surprise, surprise, Lion Rampant.....and Hail Caesar once we put together some more units for the Baltic Crusades 

      Stu at Colonel Bills also has these 4Ground buildings on sale. I have an addiction..I mean affection...oh okay, addiction for timber framed buildings so I indulged my addiction. As we, Danny and I, are exchanging mutterings about a Mordheim campaign (amongst many other games) I thought these might be just the job for a Mordheim themed table. Not your classic Mordheim table, mind you, this would probably represent a suburb or outlying village to the city of Mordheim.

     So whilst awaiting the super glue to dry on the siege defenders set I put the larger of the two ruins together, plopped it onto a base and threw in some cat litter (fresh and clean) and snapped wooden stirrers as rubble and smashed timbers.
     The other buildings in the photo are from Warbases and, after looking at them in the photos from my last post I realised they looked rather meh; somewhat bland and lacking in that certain something so I have tarted up the base a bit with a drybrush, glued on some flock, added a vegetable plot, a small tree and a bench outside the front door and it looks a lot better; a lot more interesting.

The finished timber framed ruin with a not very Mordheim
looking M5 Stuart for scale. This building can also be used
in the ETO 
     And speaking, well writing of the European Theatre of Operations I have added to my late war US Infantry/dismounted Cavalry. In this case 4 much needed LMG teams and a platoon commander and an intelligence officer (a handy wee extra for a platoon in Bolt Action). These are from Empress Miniatures and are stunning figures. Got quite a few more late war Yanks to paint but they are down the list at the moment as I feel I need a wee break from WW2 though that won't be for long, I guess, as there are plenty of kits looking at me longingly, desperate for attention.

Lt Tug McChord and his troops, ready for battling in the Bulge
     Finally, other bargains from Targe bring and buy include this fantastic book. Lots of lovely pictures inside as well as the uniform drawings, a sample of which are below.

     And in a further piece of good fortune I purchased these 24 Foundry Napoleonic Hungarian infantry for a tenner. I love Foundry miniatures, so much so I bought the book; well the Kevin Dallimore authored Foundry Painting and Modelling Guide; not at the bring and buy but on eBay. 

Wargaming porn. Well chuffed with this book
      Soooo, before I sat down to write this, with the ruined timber framed building finished and Mordheim (other skirmish games are available) on my mind I though I would see if I could put together a decent looking 4'x4' timber framed village using my cobbled mat as a base. Whilst I did this I decided to get out my ECW figures as they needed some fresh air and exercise. And then I decided to take a few photos.
     I had to set it all up on the kitchen floor as I don't possess a 4'x4 gaming board any more which gave me a good excuse to sweep the floor and get in the wife's good books. It also made it easy to take this plan photo.

...I have to admit I like it though I am tempted to buy Deep Cuts village mat in 4'x4' or even 6'x4' as this would give me a bit more variety for layouts. 
     However, that's a bit of wishful thinking, especially just before Chrimbo; this set up needs a few wee things such as a small paddock, some small fields or open grazing areas and a pond to break up the cobblestones a bit as well as more street furniture. These will have to wait though they should be fairly straightforward to put together. I would like one or two more timber framed buildings though; (see, told you I was addicted) as I think a row of buildings all joined together would look tiptop.

a fine selection of rules that I would like to use this terrain for
I've included Black Powder as I think it would be great to have
this set up on one of our big tables as an objective to fight over.
In reality it would probably be a bad idea but if I don't go, I
won't know, will I.
   That's all for this post (thank God, you cry! Don't you have a toilet to run too?), I have a game of Lion Rampant planned for next week wherein I hope to develop Sir Digby De Baqaill's background, especially his time in the Normandy campaign; no, not that Normandy campaign; the Normandy campaigns of King John when he, King John, tried to recover his lost lands in France. 
So for the moment; must dash!! Pip pip!! <cue sound of running feet and slamming doors>

Jimbob (who's feeling much better now, thanks :0D )

Sunday, 24 November 2019

Spreading The Word By Fire And Sword; A Lion Rampant Mini Campaign

     Well we, Danny and I, are back in the 13th century Baltic Duchy of Dannovia, for another game of Lion Rampant. Picking up on my last Lion Rampant post (which was, coincidentally, also my first Lion Rampant post; spooky eh?) we're continuing with our Baltic Crusades themed games.     
     Chronologically we're going back in time from the siege of the Castle Astrus, my previous post, to when the leader of my crusading force, Sir Digby De Baquille, first arrived in Dannovia to bring the light of Christianity to the pagans and, in the process, cleanse his soul of that unfeasably large sinful stain on his soul that he caused by being naughty in the extreme prior to setting off on crusade (and we're not talking overdue library books or serving cheap plonk to his guests here; no, much naughtier, but that's neither here nor there, let's get back to the plot).
     To achieve that return to the beginning, in a narrative sense, we chose to play the Sausages and Mustard scenario in which the attackers must burn the four objectives held by a detachment from the defenders force. This detachment must hold off the attackers till reinforcements arrive
     At the request of Bishop Bono of Bashir, Sir Digby has sent one of his most trusted and capable knights, Sir Hedley Grosse Tete, with a small retinue to flush out a nest of heretics in the small village of Spludge as they have been proving particularly resistant to the Word of the Lord. As a penance for continuing with their heretical ways and as a pointed suggestion to other communities in Dannovia that the Christian way is the safest way, it has been decided to burn down the village of Spludge. But it's one thing to say they are going to burn down the village, quite another to do it, as we shall see........

Sir Hedley Grosse Tete and his bold retinue

Eric Langenwanger, local pagan leader and his hearth guard
      Near the edge of the forest, Sir Hedley halted his retinue to await the return of his scouts. These had been sent forward to gather information of the defences, if any, of the small town of Spludge, a hotbed of pagans and heretics that Bishop Bono had been trying in vain to bring to Christianity. 
     The villagers had proven most unwelcoming to the bishop's emissaries; sending them back to Bishop Bono naked, shaved and daubed with sheep dung; a most distressing sight for the papal depute. He had, at the urging of Sir Digby De Baquille, agreed to adopt a different, more robust approach to the converting of these poor unworthies and consequently the thoroughly experienced Sir Hedley Grosse Tete and his men had been dispatched to bring Christianity with fire and sword to the pagans. And now Sir Hedley and his men had come to fulfill their mission. 
     The retinue, hidden by the gloom of the forest, didn't have long to wait before the scouts returned "Well, what news, Master Harry?" inquired Sir Hedley of the leader of the scouts. "Sire, the village is occupied. We saw a group of men armed with bows within the village" replied Harry Treadlightly, Sir Hedley's master scout. "Might not these men be locals; villagers, Master Harry?" Harry Treadlightly leaned on his bow and shook his head "No, sire, this is the harvest season, if you recall; all the men in the village would be away a-reaping; these men were relaxing; playing dice, drinking mead and making a nuisance of themselves with the local women folk from what we could see. They are strangers to these parts, I would wager my best hat on it, sire."   
     Sir Hedley pondered a short while for he knew how fond Master Treadlightly was of his hats "Tell me then, Master Harry, how many of these men; these stranger bowmen, are there? And tell me of the village; how large is it and how well defended it is? If indeed it is defended."
      Harry knelt down on the sandy soil of the forest floor and wiped a large area clear then proceeded to sketch in the sand with his forefinger "There's about a dozen bowmen, sire. The village; t'ain't a large place, sire....."

     The breathless serf was brought before a very bored Eric Langenwanger as he sat upon a stool by a fire in the longhouse of the wooden hillfort.
      Langenwanger was one of Lord Hardknakkas most trusted lieutenants and Hardknakkas had sent him and his men to garrison the hillfort to be on hand should the bothersome Christians attempt to bring their unwanted message to his lands and his people by force. 
     Being the time of the harvest, Lord Hardknakkas was short of men and, rather than levy the local populace to take the fight to the Christians and lose the harvest, he had sent some of his own men to act as a watch on the villages nearest the Christian territory from where they could react quickly to any further incursions by these unwanted visitors.
     "Well, what news, Gurth Lackarm? Is it the Christians?" said Eric. The one armed serf nodded "Aye, and this time it's not their holy men, Eric Woman Pleaser; they have sent warriors to our lands; you must come quickly! he continued. 
     At the word "warriors" Eric Lagenwanger leapt to his feet and reached for large axe that lay by his feet "Warriors!? By Odin' beard that's good news; men, to arms!! We have some guests to entertain and I don't wish to keep them waiting".....
Sir Hedley's force make the first move

Sir Hedley's mounted serjeant's trot boldly towards Spludge his archers, seeing the enemy within Spludge and just within
range, let fly their shafts 

Sir Hedley and his companions get carried away with blood lust 
and approach the village by the most obvious route, along the 
track, which makes them a too tempting target for the archers
in the village. They soon show their prowess by whittling down
Sir Hedley's companions

The Dannovians reinforcements arrive in the shape of two groups 
of mounted serjeants and two of ferocious foot. One group of 
pagan horsemen make a beeline for Sir Hedley. Sir Hedley's 
archers show how good they are by striking down three of the

The pagan archers hold the village and prove a nuisance to 
the Christian forces while the villagers worry about the BIG
barrel of mead they had brewed especially for the harvest 

...while a group of expert foot serjeants, mercenaries who
have joined the crusade, under their leader Gilbert of 
Cockermouth prepare to do battle with one of the groups of
Langenwanger's Fierce Foot.

Dannovian Fierce Foot reinforce the line 

Quickly forming schiltron, the spear armed foot serjeants brace
themselves for the charge of the mounted pagan horsemen

Fierce Foot and expert Foot Serjeants take a brief breather
before continuing to bludgeon one another

Events appear to be overtaking Eric Langenwanger as his troops
reach the battle before him and he risks being named Eric

In spite of their best efforts, Sir Hedley and his companion can't quite
close with the enemy archers. His own archers provide some respite
for Sir Hedley as they target the enemy bowmen and start to cut
down their ranks

Finally Eric Langenwanger and his fierce foot reach the
battle field...

....and charge the now depleted ranks of the foot serjeants, who
 once more manage to get into schiltron formation just as the fierce
Dannovians charge and in a decisively brutal combat Eric
Langenwanger's men are broken. As a result of seeing their leader
laid low, the rest of Langenwangers men desert the battlefield,
leaving Sir Hedley and his battered force the victors. 

With enthusiastic ineptitude the crusaders set about winning
the hearts and minds of the locals by burning down the village

     Sir Hedley knelt in the churned up mud in the centre of the village, head bowed, and gave up a brief prayer of thanks to the Almighty as first whiff of burning thatch reached his nostrils. In the village, his men also gave up a communal prayer of thanks to the Almighty for their victory and the capture of a BIG barrel of prime Baltic mead, surely a sign of the righteousness of their cause and of their damned good luck.

     And that, my friends, is how Christianity was brought to the pagan lands of the Grand Duchy of Dannovia.....or was it? No, it took many, many more battles, not a few of which I will chronicle herein so sticketh around.

     And that, my friends, was a cracking battle that could have gone either way but the crusading Christians got a couple of lucky breaks against a very determined foe. The breaking of Langenwanger's fierce foot clinched it as this took their losses to over half the total points of the retinue and forced the remainder to take courage tests which ended up with only one unit prepared to fight on but to no avail as they were outnumbered by something or other to one.
     Credit where credit is due, Danny's men came on in a rush with no hesitation in their ranks, eager to let their axes taste Christian blood, and I thought it was a forgone conclusion after I had failed not a few activations but luck and a belief in the righteousness of their cause (and the promise of free prime Baltic mead in large quantities) held my forces together and they triumphed...this time. I'm sure, judging from the steely glint in Danny's eye at the end of the battle, that there are harder battles to come.

     My thanks to Danny for hosting the game and being such a spiffing opponent. There will be more Baltic Crusading in the future. In the meantime I'm thinking to add some more characters to the narrative including Bishop Bono of Bashir and Lord Hardknakkas daughter, who apparently is as tough as Hardknakkas men or so Danny tells me; we'll see.

Pip pip,

Update Number Something or Other, or There Abouts

      Bored! Bored! Bored! And suffering from the trots....and not just of the verbal type. So what's a chap to do when he daresn&#...