Saturday, September 16, 2017

Fix Bayonets! Game Day

Spent the day at historic Fort Steilacoom near Puget Sound at the annual game day. Although games and attendance were a bit lighter than previous years a good time was had by all. I ran the First Battle of St Albans game using Lion Rampant in the morning session. The six players were great and enjoyed themselves. However, the object to capture King Henry VI was not achieved even though we played for about 3 hours. What I plan to do when I run it again at Enfilade! next year is to start the attackers a bit closer, as well as having less rough terrain for movement.
The Duke of York moving up along Sopwell Lane.
The Earl of Warwick leading a somewhat overly cautious advance between Sopwell and Shropshire Lanes.
View looking towards St Albans
The venue is the building on the left of the sign.
The building is Quarters 2, which is was Lieutenant Colonel Silas Casey's.
The historical marker for the fort.
Napoleon Cannon at the fort, which according to the placards were used in the American Civil War.
American Rampant using Men Who Would Be Kings by Kevin S.
A cool game run by the host of the event, Lawrence B. The game was based on
Puget Sound Indian War 1855-56 using Brother Against Brother rules. I ran a "squad" of Natives - twice - once before and once after I got them killed off.
First Nation guys lurking in the woods with US troops in skirmish line.
Canadian reinforcements.
Scott P's ACW game using Regimental Fire and Fury.
A WW1 Naval game run in the two periods - I think my buddy Damond ran it.
There were several other games going on in the two (morning and afternoon period), but I failed to get pictures of them, as I was busy running a game in the first period, and played in the Puget Sound game in the afternoon. Finally, there was a Bring & Buy, and I managed to pick up a book for a $5 donation to the preservation of the fort  - see below :)
Amazing what you can find in someone else's "trash."

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Perry WotR Double Arc Field Piece

Figuring it would look more balanced to have two cannon for the Bosworth game - one on each side of Richard III on top of Albion Hill - here is the second one.
Although the two cannon won't be a big part of the Bosworth game, artillery was present at the actual battle - at least in the opening stages. In fact, there aren't any "official" rules for artillery (or handguns, for that matter) in the main Lion Rampant rule book. The plan is to have the two Yorkists cannon to have a chance to make one shot each during the entire game. Thinking of them needing a 3+ for Firing, and hitting on 4+ with 12 dice each, with a max range of 36". After firing, they are basically done with the game, other than blocking movement - which can be fairly significant with the 3" between units rule for Lion Rampant.
The crew were painted using the usual method of starting with block painting, then brushed on Minwax Tudor (how inappropriately named!) Satin stain, and finally highlighting after spraying with Testers Dullcote. The artillery piece itself was given a wash of Vallejo Black and Flesh Ink - which allowed more control of getting the ink to settle in the grains of the "wood."
The artillery piece itself looks just like the one pictured in the Medieval Soldier book - the one with the Perry's in it.
Here's a shot of the pieces prior to staining/washing.
I'm "this close" to ordering a box of European Mercenaries as they were a good part of Henry Tudor's "invasion" force which participated at Bosworth.

Monday, August 21, 2017

First St Albans - Set Up and Troop Strength Assessment

As mentioned in the previous post, I've committed to hosting a Lion Rampant game based on First St Albans. Since this game was played out a few times in the past, albeit with slightly different troop compositions, I am fairly confident it will work. In the previous games, several mounted units were included; this time there will be only foot units. Also, the table size, due to the venue, will be 5X6' versus the earlier 5X8' tables. No worries for either changes. So without further babbling, here are some staged shots of what it could look like in close combat if all units were engaged.
As noted in earlier posts, I sold off all of the WotR figures I had, and recently replaced them with Perry figures (mostly plastics). Remembering the nice 4-Ground Mordanburg buildings - as well as the GW tower to replicate the St Albans clock tower, in storage bins was the motivation to rebuild the WotR collection.
The capture of Henry VI will be a victory condition for the Warwick/Yorkist rebels.
Some of the banners and standards, like those of the Earl of Oxford, were not present at this engagement, but I've included them to add some splash.

At first, I thought there were only enough figures for 5 players, but once I grouped them into retinues, it seems there are enough for 6 players. 6 players seems to be a good number, at least here locally, as it allows for buddies to sign up for games, as well as keeping the GM duties manageable.
The Warwick-York forces. Three retinues - the one on the left having three Foot MAA  units and two Foot Yeomen unit; the center one, Warwick's, with three Foot MAA units and three Foot Yeomen; the right retinue with three Foot MAA and two Foot Yeomen units. I'm thinking of grouping the Foot Yeomen units as Mixed Bows and Spears (Polearms) - giving the bows less range than Archer-only units, but more movement.
The slightly smaller Royalist forces. The retinues on the left and center having two Foot MAA and two Foot Yeomen units each; the retinue on the right having only one Foot MAA unit and two Foot Yeomen unit. Most of the bowmen will be in Archer-only units; giving them slightly better range - from their defensive positions within St Albans.
As far as painting goes, a Perry Double-Arc Field Piece is next. This will be used for the Bosworth game. Until the next post, best wishes to you all!

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Another Box of Perry WotR Foot Knights Painted

Finished painting these guys after taking a break in between painting their armor and their surcoats. Wanting coats of arms for both First St Albans and Bosworth didn't help as the two battles are decades apart. Ended up compromising by having a few from both battles, as well as generic Yorkist and Lancaster colors. This additional box allows for 7 more units of Foot Men at Arms with 6-figures each for Lion Rampant. Quite an economical way to add reinforcements.
The Earl of Oxford's blue boar standard, as well as the Duke of Buckingham's white swan standard, were both downloaded from the internet after Googling "Earl of Oxford standard."
The Earl of Oxford was not present at First St Albans, but was a respected commander in other battles, most notably commanding Henry Tudor's forces at Bosworth.
The guy to the Earl's right is Rhys ap Thomas, a distinguished Welsh soldier who also fought for Henry Tudor at Bosworth.
At the Battle of Barnet, the Earl's stars were supposedly mistaken for Edward IV's Sun in Splendor badge by Lord Montagu - leading to the Lancastrian's defeat.
Next up are the Earl of Northumberland (left) and the Duke of Norfolk (right), with men at arms wearing the livery of Lord Ferrers (red and white) and Lord Fitzwalter (blue). The 2nd Earl of Northumberland was killed at First St Albans supporting King Henry VI. The 4th Earl of Northumberland infamously failed to support Richard III at Bosworth. The Duke of Norfolk led Richard III's vanguard at Bosworth, where he was killed in action. John Radcliffe, Lord Fitzwalter, was killed fighting for the Yorkists at the Battle of Ferrybridge. The 7th Baron of Ferrers died at Bosworth fighting for Richard III.
The white swan standard of Humphrey Stafford, 1st Duke of Buckingham is next. He participated in Henry V's campaign in France during the Hundred Years War. At St Albans he negotiated with the Earl of Warwick on behalf of King Henry VI. Although wounded at First St Albans, he survived and later fought and died at the Battle of Northampton, still loyal to King Henry VI.
Finally, here are Men at Arms in generic Yorkist (blue and red) and blue and white colors. The latter being worn by several families, both York and Lancaster supporters.
On the gaming front, I've committed to host the First St Albans game at a game day next month at Fort Steilacoom. One of the local gamers is a member of the historical society there, and he hosts an annual gameday in one of the old officer's quarters. Wishing you all the best!

P.S. I had to re-post this entry as the font was too small - and I couldn't get it to update to a larger font. Apologies for the inconvenience.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Earl of Oxford's Yeomen

Ordered another box each of Perry WotR Infantry and Foot Knights. Here are most the infantry painted up as yeomen for a retinue belonging to the Earl of Oxford. Granted their livery coats should have a blue star (or boar), but I was too lazy to paint the badges. In fact, I have a pack of Citadel Six blue star "decals", but they are too fiddly for me.
The color of the livery coats is termed by some as "Tawny Orange." This is a kind of dull orange which I made by mixing Vallejo Game Color Orange Fire (72.008) and Bronze Fleshtone (72.036) - mostly because these were the closest colors in the starter pack I have. The color seems pretty close to what I would think "Tawny Orange" should be.
These are 36 of the 40 figures - broken down into three mixed units of bows and spears for Lion Rampant. The four other figures are the fully-armored guys who'll be used in Foot Men at Arms units along with the figures from the Foot Knights set.
In retrospect, I now wish I ordered the Army deal of 5 boxes of WotR Infantry - seeing how I painted up 4 boxes. Next time I start a project I think I'll go big - at least if there are "Army" deals like the Perry's offer.
The Foot Knights are pretty much done too, but the guys wearing the jupons/tabards need some thought. Hopefully have them done soon too. Best regards to you all!

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Rhys ap Thomas and John Howard, 1st Duke of Norfolk

These are the command figures from the Perry Foot Knights box. The figure on the left is painted up as Rhys ap Thomas, a Welsh supporter of Henry Tudor who fought at Bosworth. The figure on the right is painted up as John Howard, 1st Duke of Norfolk, who fought and died for Richard III at Bosworth.
The Rhys figure is supposed to be the standard bearer; the feathered sallet head is from the Light Cavalry set.
The arms for Rhys ap Thomas include a chevron with three black crows - which are painted for effect rather than accuracy. John Howard's arms are bit more elaborate: Quarterly: 1 and 4, gules a bend between six cross crosslets fitchée argent (for HOWARD); 2, England with a label of three points argent; 3, gules a lion rampant argent.
According to some sources, it was Rhys ap Thomas who countered the attack by the Duke of Norfolk in the opening phase of Bosworth.
Heraldry charges are painted for effect rather than accuracy.

These plastic kits are great for customizing with head and arm swaps.
Rhys ap Thomas was knighted on the field of battle at Bosworth and continued to be a loyal supporter of King Henry VII. The Duke of Norfolk was killed by an arrow to the face - after his visor was torn off fighting against the Earl of Oxford. Incidentally, the Duke was the great-grandfather of Anne Boleyn. According to Shakespeare, the night before the battle a note was left in the Duke's tent which read, "Jack of Norfolk, be not too bold, For Dickon, thy master, is bought and sold."

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

An English Army Arrayed (Mid to Late-15th C.)

“This knight…brought with him…men who had been hardened in certain civil wars which had raged in their country. They were huge feeders, and deep carousers…often unruly and noisy in their wassail. Though from a remote and somewhat barbarous island, they yet believed themselves to be the most perfect of men on earth.”
Just a group photo of the Perry figures recently completed. These are the contents of 3 boxes of Infantry and a box each of Foot Knights, Light Cavalry and Mounted Men at Arms. Also, a metal cannon and Yorkist foot command included as a freebie with the 3 boxes of Infantry "Army Deal."
Some close ups of the troops by type.
Foot Knights with the metal Yorkist Foot Command on the two center stands.
Mounted Men at Arms
Infantry with pole arms
Bows
Light Cavalry
Metal cannon and crew
Coincidentally, a book I won off of ebay arrived from England today.
Someday, I will need to playtest the First St Albans and Bosworth scenarios. However, after "counting the fighting men," so to speak, it appears a couple more boxes of foot should be added. Best wishes to you all!