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Wednesday 9 December 2009

Losing....and regaining....the joy....

Ok...I admit it!! I'm jaded...I lost the joy!! 3 solid years of painting Dark-Age/Early Medieval minis have taken their toll. That and running an Arthurain campaign at my club, where I experienced first hand both the best and worst of wargamers and their approach to gaming and to the humble efforts of others have just beaten me into submission!!

I haven't played a game since August (the fabulous El Cid campaign day at Newark) and I think it's actually a good thing. I've had time to stop, to read, play a bit of guitar, watch some cool DVDs and TV (Spooks...bloody marvellous programme!) and I experimented with the Army Painter dip as you saw on my last post.

So, what now? Well, I decided I really ought to pick up a brush again and paint something 'properly'. But I took one look at those half complete Welsh cavalry and El Cid minis and couldn't face them. So, you know what? I pickled up the Empress minis Zulu War Brits that I raved about last post and had a look at them. I filed off the gaiters, green-stuffed them a bit and then undercoated black. And slowly, I started to paint... And I got out my undercoated, but thus far unpainted Mordheim Norse warband and started the Jarl...

And you know what?? I'm starting to enjoy it!!! I'm not back up to speed by a long shot, but slowly, ever so slowly, the joy is returning!!! I've begun to put my thoughts in gear for my LOTOW adaptation for Colonial gaming and have bought the excellent new skirmish rules 'Triumph and Tragedy' and am eagerly awaiting their new Colonial supplement.

So, what does it all look like? Well, here are the first two Brits.... Next up, some rank and file Brits and that Jarl...

Wednesday 28 October 2009

Pathans (Thank Goodness for Dip!!!)

Hi All
Here are the first Pathans for my 'Legends of the Old West Alamo' adaptation set on the NW Frontier of India in the last quarter of the 19th Century. The models are by Old Glory (one of the best ranges they actually do!) and Castaway Arts. 6 models were painted about 5 years ago 'properly' and the rest have been painted with neat basecoat colours over either a white or off-white undercoat, metallics were washed witha 50/50 mix of black ink and water and then the models had a good brushed-on coat of 'Army Painter Strong Tone' dip. This has been followed up by a good blast of Testor's Dullcote.
The secret is to be REALLY neat with the basecoats and to choose the colours carefully!!

Photos were taken on the 'rockery' area at the back of my garden...perfect NW Frontier terrain!!!
I haven't painted the banner yet...

Basically, there will be three types of Pathan warrior in my rule set: Fighters, marksmen and Ghazi fanatics. They will be led by the following heroes: Senior Mullah (priest/war leader); Mullah (priest) and Malik (Tribal headman). Here you can see a unit of fighters supported by a unit of marksmen, led by a Malik. I have decided that all my marksmen models will be the Old Glory 'kneeling' poses for ease of differentiation on the tabletop.

Next up, 12 more fighters followed by a unit of Ghurka Riflemen for the Brits....

Monday 19 October 2009

Quick update...

No pics yet, but you'll all be pleased to know that I have 30 painted Pathans ready for this NW Frontier thang I'm planning... have 12 more on the go at the mo and anticipate them being done by middle of next week, then it'll be a blast of Dullcote so I can take piccies!!!

I must say that the 'neat basecoat colours and Army Painter dip' technique is bloody brilliant for this kinda thing. They actually don't look too crap, even without matting down the bright shiny gloss finish that the dip gives!! Ok, they aren't going to win me any prizes, but that ain't the point. It's about getting 160 odd Pathans painted and ready for gaming by about next Easter along with about 60 Brits/Indians to fight 'em. They look more than decent enough for that and are stil better than 90% of what you see on the cover of Miniature Wargames magazine!!! (Sorry MW...great articles sometimes, but far to many cruddy pics of relatively poorly painted minis...)

Actually, am very tempted to paint some of the Brits 'properly', as I succumbed to some Foundry and Perry models and some of Empress Miniatures FABULOUS Zulu war Brits - ok, so the latter ain't really NW Frontier, but they are the best Colonial Brit models since Perry's Sudan range and I had to buy a unit. They are so good, that Army Painter would almost be an insult...but having said that, it's all about time and getting them onto the table, so I may well end up biting the bullet and dipping...

I have also bought some Eastern buildings via EBAY from the Colonial Steamboat Company, which are of those when I do the Pathans...

Next job is to actually write up properly on the PC the rule tweaks for Legends of the Old West/Alamo that I'm going to use, along with the 'solo play' rules for controlling the natives... At least if I do that, I can get some solo games in playtesting before I take them to the wargames it stands, they are on about 15 sheets of dog-eared A4 where I 'jotted'...not good!! Can't possibly even play a solo game with those!!

Tune in in a week or so for the pics...

Sunday 13 September 2009

Still here...

Hi Folks
Sorry for lack of updates recently. Am in the middle of rehearsals for a Thin Lizzy tribute gig in October, so most of my limited free time will be taken up with that til then. However, I have undercoated 50 or so Northwest Frontier British/Indian trops and 150 or so Pathans ready for painting - am basically going to use Army Painter dip on them, as it works beautifully with the sort of colours I'll be using on these chaps, especially the Brits with all that khaki!!!

I hope to get the 1st Company, 67th Foot done in the next couple of weeks - well, it's only 12 models and, as there is minimal highlighting (only the black boots!) it's all single basecoat and dip, dip, dip!!! Might even get some of the Pathans done too just to see how they work out. Models are Castaway Arts for the Brits/Indians (plus Perry mountain gun) and Pathans are Old Glory and Castaway Arts.

The rules I'll be using are adapted LOTOW Alamo rules, using ideas 'borrowed' from Dan Mersey's superb article about a similar approach in a recent issue of 'Battlegames' magazine, plus some of my own additions. He has a fabulous non-player system for native hordes, so basically, as long as the scenario is sound, one can play it solo, or in a multiplayer format, all can be the Brits, which is cool!!! Anyway, it's all a bit 'in progress' at the mo, esp writing the additional rules down, but I'll keep you posted with ideas as they come and the playtests I intend to do for my 'additional' bits.

I will get back to 'proper' painting later in Oct with some more Arthurians and El Cid alongside the colonial stuff - I just bought some 'ballasteros' for my El Cid army, so they need doing, plus I want to finish my new mounted Welsh teulu and do some more Saxons/Franks...

Stay tuned...

Tuesday 18 August 2009

Age of El Cid Event - plus, 'Why I suck at WAB!!!!'

Well, what a cracking day!! Mr Morris & Co certainly know how to put on a gaming day!!! Thanks to all the Newark Irregulars for their input into the day...brilliant stuff!!!!!

So, how did I do? Well, won one, lost two: had a stinking cold and cough so felt like sh*t anyway, but fortunately, had such fun that the malady was easily forgotten once the gaming began, although by game 3 I was beginning to falter a bit!!!!

In the end, I won a prize for 'best painted characters' (GB models) and for being in the winning faction (lovely Almoravid Priest-dude on a wooden display stand.) So that was nice!!

I had 3 great opponents and played all 3 scenarios.

In my first game, I played Chris Payne (I think that was his surname) with his Andalusians playing 'Cattle raid' from Age of Arthur.

He had a well-chosen army and got off to a flying start by destroying the attacking potential of my caballeros in turn 1. He killed half the unit with his mercenary X-bowmen, reducing my potential for overlapping and flanking and for destroying his light troops.

My infantry gained hatred for this scenario, which was great, as I simply advanced them up to take on the Andalusian spearmen while manoeuvering for the killer charge with the caballeros hidalgos. Where Chris lost the game was in moving his own mercenary knights along the road - he should have stayed in position flanking his foot and threatening my charge. As it was, I charged his archers, pursued into his knights, won the successive combat and forgot I had ferocious charge!!!! Tw*t!!!! Anyway, justice won out 2 turns later and I broke his knights, pursued and killed them. In the ensuing panic, virtually his entire army melted away, leaving me able to capture 2 out of 3 baggage bases and win a mighty victory. Had it not been for hatred on my peones, it would have been different, as they held on most of the game, even when flanked by 24 more spearmen... Lesson there: Learn your special rules!!!

Game 2: Lee McColl and Christian Spanish. This was where it all went wrong. he had a superior, but smaller force - 2 units of caballeros hidalgos, 2 of caballeros, 1 unit of X bow and some slingers gained in the bonus card round. I gained Sudanese spearmen in the bonus card round.

I basically attempted a mass outflank on his right and he was right to be worried, as it seemed to be working. However, he cunningly countered my audacious move with caballeros on his left flank by charging them with foot archers. I slaughtered those, but, in the pursuit, hit his general's unit in the flank. I lost the combat and the caballeros fled, leaving me in trouble! What followed was typical me: he destroyed both units of foot with his knights (despite arming them with throwing spears) - the Sudanese FBIGO'd but panicked when the peones were destroyed and the pursuit of the peones hit the running sudanese by HALF an inch!!!!! My general failed his panic test by throwing double 6 so my best unit ran - it rallied, but failed another panic in the very last turn again on double 6- can't recall why... but they panicked anyway and handed about 600VPs to Lee to give him a 1450 to 91 pt mighty victory!!! He was embarassed and I was gutted! However, I know where I went wrong! I should not have pursued those archers, but got behind his knights... Different story then, I feel!!

Game 3: Against Chris Stone and his Almoravids. Now, his was an example of a brilliantly chosen army list!! It was designed to play well and to win without being beardy. He fielded 2 stubborn units of mixed spear and bow, each with 2 drummers and a Sheik (massive close-combat monster - 3 attacks each!!) One unit had a priest so gained hatred. He fielded his ASB and a Christian captain in a unit of mercenary knights, then fielded 9 Ghuzz horse archers (basically nomad cav -BS4, parthian shite...err...shot, etc) and 3 units of foot skirmishers. No general - as he said, why throw points away? He didn't need one!!!!!! Stubborn, hatred, ld 8 on the knights anyway....

We played apilledo and I defended (with nearly all cavalry!!!). It was a predictable mess. The Ghuzz shot me to bits. I did eventually kill them in combat, but my caballeros and jinetes were all but gone, so were easily panicked by javelin fire. My caballeros hidalgos charged his and killed 1 model!!!! He killed 4 back - I threw 4 save throws on 3+ and got 4 ones-like most of my dice on the day - couldn't hit, couldn't wound, couldn't save and couldn't pass LD tests!!!!! Luckily, they were not caught in pursuit and managed to inflict a slaughter in turn a couple of turns later - Chris suffered similar saving-throw hell and I ran the unit down. But it was all academic. I held onto one booty base, but almoravid spear with a sheik will eat peones for breakfast, so the other two got captured. Close-run victory to Chris, but another 50 VPs and he'd have won a mighty victory.

So, why was it all so bad? Well, more than my usual BIG share of ill luck - 2 failed panic tests on LD9 with throws of 12 against Lee ... Unbelievably bad save throws against both Lee and Chris S with my caballeros hidalgos, but more than anything, bad army choice. I only had 1 decent combat unit. I should have fielded 2 units of caballeros hidalgos and not taken the 3rd character. The foot were useless in 2 out of 3 games. The archers and slingers killed nowt in any of my games really and it was only 'hatred' that made the peones useful in game 1.

However, despite taking a tw*tting, I enjoyed the day immensely as it was such great relaxed gaming fun. I maintained my current average of about 30% victories in WAB. I am beginning to realise that the only wins I get these days is against those with less experience of the game - and even then I often lose. Against good players, I usually get utterly mauled because I never maintain a decent battle-line, I don't manage to support my units properly, I'm reactive rather than proactive and I don't think ahead enough. I also play with armies I like rather than with armies I might use effectively (assuming one of those actually exists!!) Also, I hadn't played with this army for about 5 years and then I only used it about twice in its unpainted state, so I didn't really know what I was doing!! Still, events like this need players like me...every event needs its 'cannon fodder' players.

I certainly won't stop gaming with WAB. I'd be just as crap with any ruleset. However, I will think more about my army lists in future!!! I got it about right at Hot Lead with a really good AoA Welsh army that was mis-matched against Shieldwall opponents in 2 games - against other AoA armies, I am convinced it would work well (assuming I used it well, of course!!) so at least I am beginning to think better about it!!

And here is a call to those folk who are good at organising gaming days...we want more El Cid!!!! It's a great period, especially if you don't allow the later lists with lances and sh*t... Now, who else around here can I persuade to buy a load of Almoravid or Andalusian models so that I'm not always forced to fight Carl's Christian knights when playing this period???

Saturday 15 August 2009

El Cid Army Update

Tomorrow, I go to Newark for a 'Morris and Jones' event set in the Age of El Cid. Consequently, I have been painting like a maniac to finish 1600pts of Spanish!!

Here are some pics of the Andalusian allied cavalry and some foot archers...

The Peones are currently on the varnishing table, with gloss varnish drying and awaiting Dullcote... If I have time I'll add them later. If not, it'll be next week!

Bretwalda: The finale

Well, Bretwalda is now over... Round 7 was the usual disaster I've experienced through most of the campaign. I played 'Mt Agned' against Pete's Romano-British and managed to lose a mighty defeat, largely through severe ill-luck, as Pete had several rounds of unfathomably good shooting that destroyed my skirmishers and reduced my Teulu to an ineffective mob...

So the campaign was effectively over. Phil and his Picts won it (no surprise there - he very rarely loses a wargame of any sort, especially WAB) The following week was the prize-giving accompanised by a final fun game. Here is the text I sent to the players before this final game:

Camlann - The Aftermath

“The battle of Camlann is over…Arthur and Medraut are slain, their warbands shattered, the survivors scattered.

Now, in the aftermath a few battle-shocked heroes and the pitiful remnants of their warbands scour the land, for, with such slaughter comes the chance for loot. Many famed artefacts are rumoured to lie in the countryside around the battle site. The right hero, with the right artefacts might even gain all that the great Arthur lost…”

This, then, is the scenario for Monday evening’s battle. Each player must provide a warband that meets the following criteria:

1 fully equipped major hero (Tribune, Tiern, Atheling, Mormaer, Curadh)
1 fully equipped minor hero (Decurio, Uchelwyr, Thegn, Champion, Toiseach)
Up to 72pts of comitatus warriors, (commanipulares, Teulu, Gedriht, Nobles, Fianna) equipped as you would normally field them please (so basically, that’s about 4 warriors…)
Up to 70pts of ordinary warriors (milites [NOT sagitarri], combrogi, Geoguth/Duguth, Pictish warriors, Ceithern) equipped as you normally field them, please. Romano-British players may swap up to 2 milites for sagitarri. Pictish players may swap up to 3 warriors for hunters. Irish players may swap one Fianna for a packmaster and may then swap up to 2 Ceithern for hounds. This gives an average of 9-10 ‘ordinary’ models for each player.
ALL warriors fight on foot.
Characters are newly-created for this game, so have no special attributes or items – this keeps the playing field totally level for all players in the campaign.

The game will use the basic movement, shooting and hand-to-hand combat mechanisms of WAB. However, ALL models move, shoot and fight as individual skirmish models. There are no ‘units’ as such.

When models lose their last wound to either shooting or hand-to-hand combat (most only have 1 wound , but heroes will have 2 each…) they are not necessarily dead, but a d6 is rolled and the following table consulted:

The force of the blow knocks the warrior to his knees. Place the model face up to show that it is knocked down. Knocked down models may crawl 2” in their movement phase if able to actually move at all (i.e. not in combat). Knocked down models in combat may not strike back, so stand a VERY good chance of being killed in the subsequent round, unless the opponent is fighting other models at the same time!! They may stand up at the start of their next turn, but may only move at ½ speed and may not charge or run (assuming they can move at all). They may fight and shoot as normal. From the next turn, they may do everything as normal, assuming they haven’t been hurt again, of course!.
The force of the blow knocks the warrior to the ground. He is barely conscious and can do nothing…nothing at all! Place him face down to show that he is stunned. If the model is still alive at the start of its next turn, the player may turn him face up to show that he is now ‘knocked down’ with all the problems that go with that! If he survives, that model can recover as explained above in subsequent turns.
If a model is a hero or a comitatus model, he is assumed to wear a helmet and therefore has a 4+ save against being stunned. If he makes the save, he is assumed to be merely ‘knocked down’ (see above)
5-6: DEAD!
The force of the blow hits a vital spot and the warrior is slain! Remove him from the game!

This potentially keeps models alive a wee bit longer and reflects the very ‘individual skirmish’ nature of the game!

The object of the game will be to collect ‘loot’ counters which will be placed on the board by the umpire prior to the game commencing. Each ‘loot’ counter will be numbered and the umpire will declare what it is and how much it is worth as a player claims it.

To claim a counter, a player only has to move a model into contact with it in its movement phase. (Any model that happens to be fleeing may not claim a counter!!!) The number is then revealed, with the umpire informing the player what he has gained. Of course, some counters actually are not ‘loot’ at all, but something a weeny bit more interesting/sinister!!! All will be revealed as the game progresses!!

If a model is slain (i.e. is actually ‘dead’), it drops any ‘loot’ counters it is carrying. Any enemy model in base-to-base contact may immediately pick it up in their next turn assuming that they have not been charged by another model in the interim. In that event, the counter is simply placed back on the table.

Any model may, for sake of ease of game-play only carry one loot counter. Loot counters do not impede the model from moving, shooting or fighting!

Andy will umpire – depending on the number of players, we may run 2 games concurrently, as too many players on one table in this sort of game doesn’t work!!!

Game Turn:

1. Initiative dice: Play will proceed in order of dice scores, high to low.
2. Compulsory movement phase (for all non-player stuff).
3. Each player now goes through the following in the order of the initiative dice:
a. Recovery phase of ‘knocked down’ and ‘stunned’ models (i.e. turn them over/stand ‘em up...)
b. Usual WAB movement phase
c. Usual WAB shooting phase
d. Usual WAB HtH phase


- There will be NO warband tests!! All models move and fight as the players wish!
- It is a fight to the death! There will be no leadership tests for losing models! Play continues until the umpire deems it a good time to stop, as he has no idea how long it will take to play each turn!!! Players may concede at any point if things are going awry for them!!Umpire’s decision on all things is final!!

There were only 6 players available for this game and I umpired. basically, we used an 8x6 table and placed thre small villages and church enclosure, various woods, a river, difficult groun, yada, yada and players diced for deployment, deploying 6" in. The table was coverd in 24 loot counters, face down. As a player moved in to contact, I revealed what he had 'found'. There were lots of cool loot, including Excalibur, the Cauldron of Herne, The Holy Grail, the Dragon-Sword of Hengest, plus treasure, etc, as well as ravening wolves, a bear, various peasants and skulking warriors. At the start of each game turn I rolled a D6. On a 4+, a random event occurred (of my choosing on the spot, actually) which included more wolves, peasants with waggons, wild boar, etc...

It was a fun game and the only changes I'd make would be to make the wolves and bears tougher, as they died too easily... As the game progressed, it sped up, as we simply allowed everyone to move in intitative order, then do their shooting and combat, otherwise it took too long to play a turn.

So...what did I learn from leading Bretwalda?
1. You can't please everybody all the time - lots of folk loved the campaign, but to others it was all wrong. I shouldn't get stressed by future, I won't get so up tight!!!
2. It's a lot of work!!! A LOT of work...
3. It WAS worth it for the vast majority of players who did enjoy it.

If anyone wants a copy of the full 'Bardic Chronicles' poetry booklet, request it in the comment section, with your email address added and I'll send it, but be warned, it is a 5 Megabyte monster as I put some photos in it. Same goes for the final game notes and loot counter list (much smaller files those!!)

Next project: Writing a 'Raiding Season' style campaign (see Age of Arthur for Raiding Season campaign) based on the heroic poem Y-Gododdin (using Rosemary Sutcliff's amazing 'The Shining Company' as inspiration...)

Wednesday 15 July 2009

Hot Lead

Hot lead on Sunday 12th July was, as always, great fun!

Round 1 was against Andy Cummings' Welsh. I had 1000pts against his 1500 and was attacking and trying to 'despoil' an abbey! He deployed a character and his Teulu leader in the abbey as per the scenario. I decided that the only course of action was to get my Teulu into the abbey as fast as possible, killing both defenders in the process. Once in, I had to be 'unmolested' for 2 turns to score 500 bonus points. It was a very close game! Andy killed or panicked all my army except the Teulu, but I kept the abbey and enough of his troops were running or dead at the end to give me a small victory. I was pleased with that! A good start and Andy is a great guy to play against.

Round 2. I was assaulting a defended river with 1500pts of Welsh against Paul Rebel, a Dutch gamer with 1000pts of Kingdom of the Isles Vikings. Paul is a really nice guy and the game was ok, but his army was the nastiest I have ever played!! At 1000pts he had frenzied hirdmen + berserker (with about 46 attacks each!) a unit of bondi led by a f***ing Godi (!!!) So, sh*t troops become unbreakable...great!!! And a unit of Gestir, plus a unit of thralls. You can guess what happened. I didn't know about the Godi so got embroiled there, the Gestir ate the Teulu for breakfast, chasing them down and killing the Welsh Rex. The Hirdmen never even fought! I did manage to get 2 units over the (very difficult terrain) river and score points and I even slaughtered the Gestir with combrogi (!!!!!????? Paul's dice failed him on that combat!!) but I got thrashed!! By Paul's admission, his army was 'a bit cheesy' and I have to say that it was a tad out of place in such an event. Paul came joint first, which doesn't surprise me, as, if his force that hard at 1000pts, what would the full 1500pts have been like? Please note: I'm not critcising him. Everyone is entitled to take what army they like, but I did feel that I was 'out-armied' rather than 'outplayed' and the fact that I even got 2 units over says a lot!! So, despite a trouncing, I was rather pleased at the outcome of round 2 considering what I was facing!!!

Round 3: This was 1000pts of Welsh against 1500pts of Shieldwall Flanders in the 'Sacred Shrine' scenario I played in last year's Hot Lead. However, unlike last time, this time I got trashed!! The combination of charging heavy armored milites plus armoured infantry led by the dux slaughtered my shrine guardians to a man. My teulu managed to kill a unit of spearmen and panic the light horse, but it wasn't pretty. My opponent was another Dutchman called Frank. He was a great opponent too and it was very encouraging to fight an army of Normans that actually wasn't Normans - no ferocious charge - but they didn't need it anyway!!! Dead Welshmen everywhere!!!!

So, three games played: one minor win and 2 defeats...hmmm...last place beckoning again..

Round 4: 1500pts of Welsh against 1000pts of Almoravids. They were arrayed in 2 giant units of spear/bow in a camp, with 10 berber horse prowling outside. I had to get my army standard into the camp to gain 400pts, with each additional standard counting 100pts if inside. Sadly, the camp was fortified, so all my attacks would need 6s to hit!!!

This time my opponent was again a Dutchman called Kees. He was the nicest opponent of 4 very nice chaps (which says a lot actually, as all my opponents were really splendid chaps!) and it was one of the most tense but most enjoyable games I've ever played. It went to the last throw of the leadership dice in his last turn before my Teulu finally broke in. He had destroyed 2 of my units and the remainder were all down to around 25% of starting strength, having repeatedly charged and been beaten back from the barricades. His poor use of light cavalry was his undoing, though, as he foolishly left them open to a charge only 3 inches from the table edge - feigned flight from THAT one and stay on the table :-)

To be fair, Kees threw several outrageous successful break tests and I threw a succession of above-average lots of 6s to hit throughout the game and he was in some ways unlucky to see it all fall apart on the last turn. I was unlucky in that a few failed warband tests saw me having to charge his general's unit from the front when I was actually doing a far better job of fighting to its flank only... So overall it all balanced out and I ended up with a win.

So, 2 wins, 2 defeats. I ended up about 3/4 way down the league table, which is decent for me. And as we all know, these events are not about winning, but rather are about enjoying a good game and I certainly did that on Sunday.

No pics this time, as I was too busy gaming to take photos. Darrell won the 'fave army' award - he was tied for first place with me and Martin wisely awarded him the prize. I've already won that far too many times and anyway, Darrell's Byzantine army does look rather magnificent!!!

I'll be back for Cold Steel in January...which army shall I take? Is it time to move away from Age of Arthur and try something else? Maybe...we'll have to wait and see.....

Wednesday 1 July 2009

Bretwalda, Round 4-6

Two posts in two days...what is the world coming to??

Anyway, here is the round 4-6 summary, plus the latest poetry...

Round 4: As Gavin had pulled out of the campaign, this left me having to field 2 warbands each week in doubles matches when everybody else played singles. So, in Round 4 I played Rob and Mark with their Saxons at the River Glein. Despite Loyalty and hatred, the main Teulu died to a man and I was unable to kill anything. Mighty victory to the Saxons. Shocking game: dreadful dice rolling and I was outplayed!!! Grim, grim, grim...

The Annals of Connaught
Darkness fell and the groans of the wounded and those about to die filled the air. Bloody slaughter it was - the last remnants of the Saxon host had gathered around their lord to make a stand on the hill. Conn'Ann and the Red Shields watched them satisfied that their men held the Roman buildings and had scattered the rest of the saxons to the winds. They wouldn't try coming down this road again! Conn'Ann had no use for buildings - he would take what he wanted and then burn it to the ground - let the ruins be a warning to all enemies of the fate that awaited them.

(Grahame Middleton, after a long and savage fight against Carl Fisher’s Saxons in the Old Roman Waystation scenario.)

Of The Fight At The River

And Uther did come to the fight at the river
Numberless the enemy host
From the Eastern and the Northern Seax
Heroic sword-song did come this day
In mighty carnage at the ford
Cut down, the dragon,
Cut down our lord
Carried from the field, sword red with the blood
Of a score score of heathen enemy.

May the bards sing of the courage of the Cymri
As death came among them.

All hail to Uther Blackheart
May his wounds heal
May his righteous vengeance
Smite all who oppose him.

(Andy Hawes, after a ‘right royal tw*tting' at the hands of Rob and Mark’s Saxons in the River Glein scenario…)

Round 5: pairing up with Rob, my destroyer from Round 4, against Richard Westley's Saxons and Reuben Turner's Welsh (the 'Faithless Warband of the Cymri'). We played Land Grab, my own scenario. I was lined up opposite Reuben and managed to catch him in a right old fix, my Teulu finally, for the first time in the campaign, doing what Teulu should do and killing all his Teulu, his slingers and a unit of combrogi. I lost about 8 models all game! Sweet! Rob did his bit too, killing virtually all Richard's army. Mighty victory of the mightiest kind!!!! That's better!!!!

Of The Second Fight At Duribrovae
Hail to Uthr the victorious,
Mighty lord of Cymri,
Protector of land and cattle,
His name is known across the land,
His praises sing through the mountains.

Death to the sons of Cystennin,
Faithless Warband of the Cymri,
Despoilers of women,
Craven curs,
May the bards ever sing of your treachery.

Hail to the Teulu,
Faithful Warband of the Cymri,
Protectors of their lord,
Of Cymri, land and cattle,
A hundred hundred fall to their spearsong

Of the Faithless Warband of the Cymri
None remains,
Spear song shatters their treachery,
Swift swords strike black hearts from the breast
For the carrion crow and the raven beak.

Hail to Uthr the victorious,
Mighty lord of Cymri,
Protector of land and cattle,
His name is known across the land,
His praises sing through the mountains.

(Andy Hawes, after his Welsh warband (allied with Rob’s Saxons) faced Reuben’s Welsh (allied with Richard’s Saxons) in ‘Land Grab’ and where Andy’s Teulu (comitatus) finally managed to kill something…errr…no…make that ‘kill EVERYTHING!!!!’)

The Annals of Connaught

Mighty was the valour of Niall the Bard. The enemy champion stood in the ford daring all before him. Conn'Ann put on his war gear to teach this upsart a lesson but Niall stepped forward begging his lord for the chance to show his skill at arms. The contest raged long and hard - blow for blow Niall struck before a cruel trick from his foe brought him down. What glory can the enemy gain from beating a bard? Songs will be sung of Niall and his courage that day whilst the name of the enemy is not remembered.

(Grahame Middleton, who ‘heroically’ sent his bard to fight (and die) in the single combat in the ‘Bassas Ford’ scenario which ended in a bloody draw!)

And so to Round 6 on Monday: Due to another person pulling out (sigh...) and two not being able to make it we played 'proper' doubles. - no using 2 warbands for me this week! Huzzah!! I was paired with Dan who was using Romano-Brits against Reuben (again!) and Grahame's Scots Irish, who are ridiculously effective in this campaign.

We played Cat Coit Celidon and we attacked. It was all going well until my combrogi, who had spotted a gap in the enemy line and were rushing forward to exploit it, failed a warband test and had to charge some slingers, who fled, leaving them open to attack from all and sundry. Despite suggestions that we really should avoid fighting and just get off table as per the scenario, Dan cheerfully walked into a stand up fight with Grahame's kick-ass Fianna....with predictable results!!!!

My Teulu then got embroiled in a slog with Reuben's, with my ASB killing his ASB in a challenge, my Uchelwyr fighting and killing his General and his Teulu dying to a man..well, one was left!! I then hunkered down in the far corner of the table so my general couldn't be caught and killed, thereby denying the enemy a mighty victory... Great game, but grim result!!

The Caledonian Forest
Hail to Uthr the Mighty,
Heroic lord of Cymri,
Protector of land and cattle,
His name is known across the land,
His praises sing through the mountains.

Death to the sons of Cystennin,
Faithless Warband of the Cymri,
Despoilers of women,
Craven curs,
May the bards ever sing of your treachery.

Cruel ambush in Celidon woods
In treacherous alliance with men of Connaught
The host of Gethin waits
Faithless Warrior
Son of a craven dog
May the bards sing of your cowardice

A warrior named Derfel,
Clad in gleaming iron in the front rank,
Wearing the brooch of his people
Sword reddened with traitor’s blood
Death to the son of Custennin,
May his spirit never know God’s Grace and Glory.

A warrior named Dogmail
Clad in gleaming iron in the front rank,
Carrying the Dragon of the Cymri
Death-dealing sword-song
Now the Faithless son of Custennin
Gluts black-beaked ravens in Celidon.

And the band of Uther returns to its people,
Roman allies avail them not,
Many Cymri lie forever in Celidon
Their bones bleach under Northern snows
Many the tears, loud the lamentation
May the bards sing to their memory.

(Andy Hawes, after failing to exit a single model as the attacker in the Cat Coit Celidon scenario and after virtually all Dan’s allied Romano-Brits had died after being suckered into fighting Grahame’s killer Fianna comitatus…Ugh!!!)

The Annals of Connaught

The enemy were spread across the fields and woods - the last remnants of those thinking themselves Roman were dead or fled - the Red Shields had put them to slaughter. Conn'Ann had relied on his allies to deal with the leader of the enemy alliance and valiantly they engaged the foe. Few of the enemy escaped as they were swept from the field but their base cur of a warlord kept his head as he ran away. Thus are destroyed all who would stand against the mighty Conn'Ann.
(Grahame Middleton - The same game from the victors’ point of view…)

Round 7 in 3 weeks...the final round!!! Watch this space!!

Tuesday 30 June 2009

Welsh Army for Hot Lead

Here are the latest photos of my Age of Arthur Welsh for Hot Lead. Some of the models you've seen before, but have had a shield repaint, using animals, spirals and Christian crosses to replace the very Romano-Brit designs I originally gave them (don't worry, I still have enough Romano Brit type infantry to field 3 units!!). The Teulu have been completed after I started them for my Bretwalda warband, so there are now 22 of those. I've also painted new banner bearers and a new muso for the foot combrogi.

I'm really pleased with the very 'Celtic' look of this army via the banners (I am REALLY pleased with the Teulu's raven banner...) and shield designs. The next stage (after finishing my El Cid army) is to paint a new mounted Teulu and mounted combrogi unit and some additional foot combrogi and skirmishers...lots to keep me busy!! I'll also do a 'painting spirals' tutorial for those who like that sort of thing, when I get a mo... It's easier than it looks, trust me!!!
Here's the 1500pt army....left to right:

15 combrogi; 20 Saxon allies led by a Thegn (my 'Franks' from the Cold Steel Romano Brit army!); 22 Teulu led by the Rex and ASB; 22 combrogi led by an Uchelwyr; 9 mtd combrogi. On the hill behind, 2 units of pagenses (and Scheltrum Miniatures' Arthurian fort!!)

Welsh characters...