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Wednesday 27 June 2007

Converted West Wind Arthurian cavalry

The pic above is of the Mounted Picts, on stock horses from the pack, but with assorted round shields replacing the Pictish ones, and with Romano-British heads as I wanted these chaps to represent Northern Welsh (Gododdin, Strathclyde, Rheged, etc) from the late 6th/7th century. Nice, clean castings, good poses and a doddle to paint!!!

The following are the first three Romano-British cavalry figures. The first has a Saxon helmeted head, as they are meant to be 6th/7th century and therefore not so 'Roman' looking. Note the javelins (including the extra one in the shield hand on two models.) The shields are old First Corps Republican Roman Velites shields..perfect size for these cavalry models!!!!

The horses are from Foundry's Greek range and are extensively converted with Greenstuff leather straps and brass decorations, enhanced flowing manes and additional saddle-blanket sculpting. I like the effect. The horses really fit the poses of the models (very 'Welsh' with the javelin throwing poses) and I am looking forward to painting the others, some of whom also have converted Foundry horses, others who have Artizan horses sculpted by Ebob... watch this space!!!

Tuesday 26 June 2007

New Title...

Have re-titled this blog due to the fact that I'm wittering on about gaming as much as painting now...

Just thought I'd mention it... :-)

Monday 25 June 2007

A Successful Day!!!

First, apologies to those expecting an earlier post...fact is I was too knackered to do anything Sunday evening or yesterday after work...

So anyway, Struggle For The North was bloody fantastic! Best day's wargaming EVER!!!! Not only was the event marvellously organised and played in the true WAB spirit by each and every one there, but I DIDN'T lose all my games!! BONUS!!!!

However, being the utter pilchard that I am, there are no pics, as I took my mate's camera...but not its battery...DOH!!!!!!

So, battle 1: The battle of Winwaed. My Welsh allied with Trev's Mercians against Northumbrians...2000pts of the buggers, with 2 (yes..2!!!) units of nasty Gedriht sitting on a huge hill in the middle of a floodplain. Every time we wanted to move we had to dice to see whether the mud squelched and slowed us down. So my cavalry proceeded to find the only dry ground on the table and whizz round to enemy flank....only to get 'squelched' just as they reached the perfect position...bugger!!!!! However, this forced the Northumbrians to detach a large part of their army to protect said flank, allowing the Mercians to punch through the centre. Result: close-run victory to the alliance, despite the loss of the Mercian Cyning in one of the most entertaining and drawn-out challenge combats I have ever seen.

Battle 2: The battle of Strathcarron: Against the Dalriada Irish. This was my worst WAB defeat EVER... I had gained the services of the bard Aneirin for this game and my opponent gained a unit of renegade Northern Welsh foot. His army was vast, spreading right across the table from the huge impassable river n the flank to the swamp on t'other flank. So I decided to deploy all my cavalry next to the river, and collapse the flank while attacking with foot in the centre. (This of course after a 'single combat' at the start of the game. Which Aneirin lost to the Irish King's Champion - he's a hard bugger!!) Perfect plan...the Irish comitatus obligingly failed a warband test and presented their front to my Teulu and the flank to a tiern-led mounted combrogi unit. Now we were cookin'... So, everybody charged and...errr....killed nobody...ones and twos everywhere..obviously the Irish king challenged my Rex and wounded him..then the bloody Irish killed enough chaps to win the combat and I even failed two flee tests needing to roll 8 or less (sob!!!). Result, Teulu and combrogi flee.. Ensuing panic causes other cavalry to flee into the impassable river and thence get destroyed...Meanwhile, all foot combrogi bounced with similar atrocious attack dice (the Irish player also had some 'Chaos lord' in each of his units rolling 3 attack dice on WS4 which didn't help any!!!) By the end of turn 4, every Welsh unit had either been chased and destroyed or had fled the table and I'd killed 4 Irish models!!! The Irish player had by this time apologised about 15 times for the manner of his victory...but he was such a nice guy and I was having such a great day that even this monumental defeat didn't dampen my spirits. However, The Dalriada Irish are now Northern Welsh enemy number one....which made game 3 interesting...

Battle 3: Degastan - The Welsh allied with...the bloody Irish (!!!!) against Northumbrian Saxons. Again, 2000pts with 2 nasty Gedriht units. This Irish player was Duncan Macfarlane from Wargames Illustrated magazine - with an Irish army that seemed to be made up of weird goblin and Sassanid figures(!!!!???) Anyway, same plan as with Winwaed, spoilt by my foot combrogi's propensity to fail panic tests and flee right left and centre! However, the cavalry did their job perfectly, tying up the entire flank while the Irish fought, killed (and died...ha!!!) in the centre and other flank. Result: Close-run victory to the alliance!!! Hoorah!!!!!

And so it was over.... The Northern Welsh came 3rd out of 6, which I thought was a real result! I won 'best painted army' which was a genuinely proud moment ( I won that lovely Gripping Beast 'Sutton Hoo helmet thingy' that is going to take pride of place in the new figure display cabinet when it eventually arrives.) and then we were off home...knackered, but absolutely buzzing.

I think that what really made it for me was the scenario-based approach (great scenarios) and everybody's attitude. I don't think I heard a rules query all day and nobody did anything other than have a whale of a time. I've already posted numerous 'thanks' posts elsewhere...

Lessons learned:

1. I REALLY like Welsh armies...the skirmishy bit is fantastic... I may be purchasing yet more cavalry models to allow me to field an almost entirely mounted Gododdin force (my fellow Northern Welsh-er, Rob Coulman, fielded that force and was more successful than me...) I am definitely going to paint a foot Tuelu and work out a 6th/7th West Welsh army list as well...

2. Slings!!! Get slingers... In fact, any javelin or sling armed models that you can!! I now have 9 slingers on the painting table to add to my British kingdoms force.

3. Characters: Foot combrogi (especially against Saxon Duguth) are at a major disadvantage without an Uchelwyr, as they are down on initiative and if they flee are down to LD5..the Uchelwyr has I4 and Ld7 so at least he can help the combat and can give them a chance slightly greater than a gnat's bollock of actually rallying if they flee.

Anyway, if I get a spare moment later this week, I'll post some pics of the West Wind cavalry figures that I painted for this event. Am also converting a foot version of my Welsh Lord model who will take up my painting time along with my slingers next week. Then it's time to paint a unit of Musketeer minis Saxon Gedriht (I'm painting those on a commission basis for someone else, but I'll post pics here as they get done.) They look as though they'll turn out superb...bloody marvellous models (well done Bill!)

Right, breakfast now...then off for another joyful day at work....

Saturday 23 June 2007

Winning Streak....

Well, I took that Northen British variant to the club on Tuedsay and played against my mate Phil who is a DEMON wargamer!! He took a Saxon horde (using a variety of borrowed Vikings, etc, as he's a dyed-in-the-wool classical era player) which included something like:
18 Gedriht
3 x 19 Duguth each led by a Thegn
1 x 15 Geoguth
2 x 10 slingers

We played a straightforward pitched battle and Phil basically adopted 'panzer' tactics, rushing everything across the board to negate my cavalry superiority. I charged him with everything and the game then settled down to several turns of slogging, before each broke the other's right flank.

The game ended with my all surviving units (all my cavalry, his Gedriht and one unit of Duguth) breaking into skirmish formation . I managed to trap the Duguth between all 3 cavalry units and destroyed them in the final turn, giving me the close-run victory. So, against an all-infantry army, I did ok... (not sure if it'll always be like that though Bill...I share your concerns!!)

I feel that I played it well, although I had more dice luck than usual. Also, Phil may be a demon player with Macedonians or Carthaginians, but by his own admission, it all goes wrong when he tries to use barbarian type armies....still, any victory against Phil is rare indeed, so I'll just be happy that I won!!!

So, I now have 3 wins and a draw out of 5 games.... Looking good, although I fear that my opponents tomorrow may well be better versed in using Saxons, etc and that I may not end up quite as successful....Still, we'll have to see! I'll let you know how it goes.

Oh, and I'll post some pics of my latest light cavalry too...can't post today as the missus has just headed off for her hen weekend (we get married in 5 weeks time) and she's nicked the camera for that!!!!!

Hope to borrow a mate's camera for the event tomorrow, so I may have some pics of that as well...

Thursday 14 June 2007

Still painting...and stuff about my army for 'Stuggle for the North'

Just under two weeks to go until the 'Struggle for the North' in Newark and that second unit of light cavalry is coming on rather well. I must say that the new Picts from West Wind are rather nice...the horses are smaller than the carthorses that the Romano-Brit models come with and are nicely sculpted and posed. The riders are cool too. As they come wearing a tunic, a belt and a pair of shoes, they aren't rocket-sclence to paint, which is a relief!!! I reckon that I'll have them done by next Friday ready for varnishing on the Saturday and gaming on the Sunday!!!

Basically, the army will look something like this:

8 mounted Teulu accompanied by Rex and Uchelwyr ASB
8 mounted combrogi accompanied by a tiern
9 mounted combrogi
24 foot combrogi
23 foot combrogi accompanied by an uchelwyr
15 foot combrogi
9 pagenses

As you can see, I've gone for a cavalry-heavy force... I may need to drop a foot model somewhere, as I'd quite like to use 'finest horses' with the Rex along with his free 'mounted raider' (which the Tiern can also have...) As everybody is either light infantry or light cavalry, there'll need to be some 'ducking and weaving' to get a result, hence 2 units having 'mtd raider'...No idea how it'll work, but I'm quite excited at the prospect!!!
I'll be trying it out against a Saxon horde in few days time...we may try the Battle of Chester scenario because it sounds fun...

Monday 11 June 2007

Close-Run Victory..aaaahhhhh...that's better!!!!!

Played a cracking game against my mate Grahame last night. It was another rehearsal game for GB's Hot Lead...

Anyway, we played the 'surprise return' scenario and I was the attacker. If you aren't familiar with it, basically the attacker (with 1000pts) assaults a village held by a handful of peasants. The defender's 1500pts come on at a diced for point (Grahame's came on in turn 2-the best option for the defender!). Now, the nice bit is this. The attacker's force who break into the village and rout the perasants then dice to see if they loot or pursue. You get 100pts for capturing the village and 50pts per unit per turn spent looting or pursuing. Flipside is that any unit charged by the enemy while so doing are treated as fleeing...ouch!!! Other flipside is that looting units have to dice to reform..a LD test on their base unit leadership...hmmmm.

Anyway, I fielded 1000pts of Brit kingdoms, equating to a 10-man Teulu with Tiern as General and an Uchelwyr ASB, 2 x 20 foot combrogi, 8 mtd combrogi and 10 skirmishers. Grahame fielded a Twilight of Britannia army with bloody loadsa guys, including a large unit of allied Saxon Geoguth who he fielded as skirmishers. I attacked the vilage with the foot combrogi, each unit in 2 ranks to maximise attacks and entered the village straightaway-the luckless peasants made little fight of it!! Then Grahame's VAST army arrived...all on my left flank where my Teulu and mtd combrogi were posted...Luckily, he was so scared of my rock-hard Teulu, that his VAST attacking wing never launched an assault. So I kept looting!!!! Eventually, I had to stop, as the Saxons were getting close and indeed, Grahame's Saxons, on my right flank, destroyed a previously looting unit of combrogi in his 6th turn (after about 3 turns of combat!!) Despite a flurry of panics (my Teulu survived fleeing off-table by 1/2 an inch!!!) everyone recovered in my last turn. My mtd Combrogi destroyed his mtd milites in my 5th turn, but apart from a few missile casualties, that was it! So, a close-run victory to the Brit kingdoms!!! Yippee!!!!

Actually, it was a damned good fun scenario and I'll enjoy playing it at Hot Lead, although I reckon that most other generals would have been a bit more 'gung-ho' than Grahame, who, to be fair had not played against my Brit Kingdoms before and had heard horror stories about my Teulu, and he had only played one prior game with his army, so I got off lightly!!!

Tell you what though, these victories are a bit worrying...I've never been so successful with an army 2 wins and a draw out of 4 games....Wait til I get to Hot usual losing streak will surely return!!!!

Anyway, after a rather scrummy dinner of sea-bass with all the trimmings, I am off to paint some more of the extra 9 cavalry I need for my Northern Welsh Kingdoms army for the Struggle for the North day in Newark on 24th June...only two weeks to paint 6 light cavalry...not looking hopeful!!!! I hate painting bloody horses!!!!!!

Tuesday 5 June 2007


Just replayed that Roman Rd scenario as the defender against Carl's late Romans and got a right royal hammering... As I already knew, combrogi bounce off pedes with full kit who are armed with heavy throwing spears!!!

Luckily, my Teulu stepped in and salvaged 924 very welcome victory points, otherwise it would have been very embarassing!!! I still can't believe how good those guys are!!!!!

Am not at all sure how I'll play that scenario at Hot Lead if I get to do it as the defender, as it is a real pig...but still great fun.

On another note, am now painting extra cavalry ready for the Struggle for the North campaign run by Morris & Jones...have decided that if one is to play at Rheged or Gododdin, one might as well follow the heroic poetry and go with lots of chaps on horses...have no idea how it'll go as I've still not managed to get a practice game in and the event is only 3 weeks away. And my entirely light infantry and cavalry force is likely to face nasty Heptarchy Saxons in bloomin' shieldwall with nasty thrusting spears....and Picts armed equally unpleasantly...Oh well, I may have to just go with the flow and hope that 'captain cock-up' decides not to come out to play that day!!!!!!!

I'll let you know how it goes!

PS have painted the first of the (converted) West Wind Romano-British cavalry that will eventually be my Rheged Teulu (although probably not in time for the above event.) It looks great...will post a pic at the weekend....