Sunday, 20 September 2020

Hadrian's Wall, Vindolanda and the Roman Army Museum - the dangerous day out

   This is the last holiday blog post, which has purposely been left back until I had something painted to add to the bottom of it.

   Mid way through out trip we had tickets booked for Vindolanda and the Roman Army Museum, While I definitely recommend a trip to Vindolanda, it was the Roman Army museum that was the really dangerous part of the day. The museum is more of a kids interactive job than in depth analyse of how the army worked, but the uniforms and videos going on everywhere do help to immerse you.

   Then the rest of the day we visited bits of Hadrian's Wall, a small mile fort and Housesteads fort before settling down at Twice Brewed (a micro brewery/pub that serves roman named beers*) and before I knew it, I had a Early Imperial Roman army on order with Warlord Games** and then within the week or so, I'd ordered an Ancient British army as an opponent for it.

*Very much recommended

**Full confession this is the 3rd Roman army I have in my stock pile***

***I have no regrets

   With a bit of painting mojo having returned ****, I got stuck right into my first few units for my planned Boudiccan revolt period armies. All figures are from Warlord Game's range and I plan to use Lion Rampant but with the Rule Britannia modifications from Natholeon's empires as he allows for slightly bigger barbarian units.

****and a distressing amount of Osprey's ordered

As I have a lot more painting to do and a lot more confessions to build up to in the future, that's it for now.

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Thursday, 17 September 2020

The Second Skirmish at Much Dithering

    The weekend following the last game at Neil's house, I had a bit of an ECW buzz on the go, between the game and reading another couple of books in Michael Arnold's Civil War Chronicles (sold as an ECW Sharpe which it basically is), so I decided to put the motivation to a good use and crack open the 3rd box of ECW infantry that I had recently bought - the trip to Marston Moor was really dangerous for my wallet.

   This regiment would be painted as the Earl Of Northampton's Foote, a second Royalist unit as I have a second Parliamentary unit already bought as well. The Earl's greencoats fought at Hopton Heath which features in the second novel in the series and one that has given me a few ideas.

   With a new regiment of foote painted up - although missing their banner currently - it made sense for them to take to the field instead of Apsley's foote. This game saw much more combat than the last one with both flanks being hotly contested, but by the end of the game the Royalists had lost more men, but due to reinforcement rolls had more units on the board when we called it, so it's hard to say who actually had the victory.

The Royalist cavalry on the right flank did very little all game except move to hide behind their infantry when the Parliamentary troops moved up.

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Monday, 14 September 2020

The Skirmish At Much Dithering

    A couple of Wednesdays ago saw the first game of English Civil War using the Pikeman's Lament ruleset. The Earl of Essex's regiment of foote lined up against Sir Allen Apsley's regiment of foote at the village of Much Dithering. Both sides had 30 points, but with slightly different make ups based on getting sides to feel right - Royalists feel more right with an extra couple of units of cavalry - which left the Parliamentarians with the field gun and guard.

   In the build up to the game I had been frantically painting and these are what I got finished in time for the game;

A pair of mounted dragoon units - I still have the foot versions to paint and banners to put on.

A unit of flintlock armed shot - but using regular shot rules as I doubt on the scale we are looking at there would be much difference. The jackets match those worn by the cannon crew, so are from the same unit.

Something I've started doing - stolen shamelessly off my mate Neil - is do separate command for armies. While the rules say that one model in a unit from your army is nominated as the leader, some periods make more sense with a leader slightly detached from the fighting, e.g. a Napoleonic Colonel with aide du camp directing from behind while captains and lt's push units forward.
So I built a base for each side and tried to make each look like the right flavour.

   Then the skirmish itself. The village of Much Dithering is a quiet village, but as it is situated between two Royalist and Parliamentarian strongholds, it seems doomed to see action.

While we didn't get very far into the game we decided we enjoyed it enough to arrange another game the week after.

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Friday, 4 September 2020

Irish Reinforcements

   After nearly a month of barely picking up my paint brush, I've started to get a bit of motivation to actually paint stuff rather than just ordering new toys. I've got a few new projects to admit to at some point soon but first lets stay positive with some painting, in this case another couple of units of regular troops for my Dark Age Irish warband.
   I ended up ordering a second box of the Atlantic Miniatures plastic dark age Irish as you get two and a half units worth of figures in a box (for Lion Rampant) and ideally, I wanted 3 or 4 units worth and with them being so nice to paint that wasn't a hardship. With this box, I am now up to 4 regular units, a few extras to go with the wolfhound units and then a few extra spares in case of breakages in the future.

   Not the most exciting post ever but now I have stuff moving on my painting desk this blog should become a bit more active, like I said, I have confessions to make. . . 

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Wednesday, 19 August 2020

Battle of Stoke Field

   The last battlefield post in this sequence, this time it's the battle of Stoke Field, the last battle of the Wars of the Roses, with Henry VII defeating the Yorkist pretender, Lambert Simnel, and securing the crown for the Tudor dynasty.

   This battlefield has been partly built on in subsequent years, so is nowhere as impressive as some of the other sites we visited, but is well worth a stop in if you are passing through. Here are the pictures:

The (limited) view of the battlefield - I think there was a better view from the other side, but it was just too hot by that point.

The Red Gutter, the site of the Yorkist rout

   I've got plans for a post on Hadrian's Wall, Vindolanda and the Roman Army museum planned next me painting done.

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Monday, 17 August 2020

Battle Of Towton

   The battle of Towton was one of two battlefields that we had no plans to visit at all, until we saw they were on the way to the next place we were going anyway. Towton, fought in the War of the Roses, has the reputation for being the bloodiest battle on British soil and it was the first battlefield I've been to in the UK that wasn't just a field but was a trail of events and places. The sheer size of the battlefield is basically the overwhelming feature of it, something I've only seen at Waterloo before.

   So, again, trying to avoid being a bad version of Wikipedia, here are my photos;

Looking towards the Lancastrian deployment lines from the Yorkist lines

The field the action moved to

The climax of the battle before the Lancastrian rout and subsequent massacre

    I came away from this battlefield brewing with ideas. I have a few boxes of Perry WotR infantry in my shopping list as I think a box will do the bulk of a single side for Lion Rampant, but I'm going to hold off buying until I have a few more projects moving on. Going out is dangerous.

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Saturday, 15 August 2020

Battle Of Marston Moor

   Carrying on with the theme, the next battlefield we visited was Marston Moor. A lot of the battlefields on my list that I want to visit end up being a slightly blurred medieval but can't remember why the battle was fought in my head, but Marston Moor is a name where you know exactly what was going on. A big English Civil War battle with all the big names present.

   Again, I'm not going to try and compete with Wikipedia so here are some photos;

The Monument

Looking towards the Royalist Lines

Looking towards the Parliamentary lines

   Most battlefield visits leave me at least planning how I would refight the battle on the tabletop, for example after visiting Naseby I bought Pikeman's Lament and ordered my first box of ECW troops. After this battlefield I ended up ordering some Warlord Games Scots Covenanters which will feature in a later post - hopefully.

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