Sunday, April 22, 2018

Haiti Insurgent Command

Two posts in two days that's not happened for a while it must be the warm weather.
After several weeks I finally managed to push these off the production line for the Haiti project.

I wanted to create a body of troops that had a hint of military gear about them so they could be mixed with the Freeman forces or Insurgent armies. A number of accounts talk about the slave armies carrying drums and african pipes and being largely unclothed, so these seemed to fit the bill.

The figures are from Foundry's Congo range, with a number of head swaps from Trent Miniatures.
I discarded a couple of the figures who were armed with more modern weapons, but add a tricorn and paint a sash and you have yourself some serious leaders to fight for a free Haiti.
The flags are home made as unsurprisingly no one makes flags for Haiti in 28mm or any scale to be fair.

They mix reasonably well with the existing collection and will be used largely for the slave armies but could mix in with the more uniformed Haitian troops should I need to combine forces to defeat the larger British or French forces available within the club.

Perhaps the new command might be able to secure a victory for the first time.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Saturday morning round up.

Somewhat late in posting I thought I would kick off the Saturday morning update with the Salute Loot. Rather restrained this year, but there seemed little point in adding to the lead pile when painting time has been so thin lately, however some good additions to the terrian stock first of which are some new palm trees from from the guys at

All hand made, I do need to file down or cover the underside as the mountings are not quite flush with the base in some cases. But they give a far better feel for the desert table and will cross over into any of the jungle settings which seems to be creeping into the projects of late.

I picked up a couple of swamps and Marshes from
They need some extra flock to compliment the ones I have already enhanced and will help fill out the games table for Ghost Archipelago.

Shrine Pack

Not technically a Salute purchase but when I aged another year the kids brought me the Shrine Pack from.
A great addition to the Russo-Japanese or Water Margin Project, over time I will base it up to match the existing collection.

On the figures front I picked up some additional cavalry for the the Haiti project together with a 4 Pdr for the French or Free Army with a few head swaps. Together with a company of Regulars, when I will get to these who knows?
I was pleased to hear that there are plans afoot to increase the range for Haiti with a pack of slaves with pike's, Spanish command packs and some Haitian personalities. No details on when but it sounds promising.

Hammerhead next weekend and the Wyverns are putting on a Flash Gordon game using the forthcoming Star Eagles rules from Ganesha Games, a kickerstarter project now several months behind. A quick and simple ruleset using the SOBH rule mechanism, as a backer of the project I have a draft rule set and they should be perfect for a number of short 45 minute games.

If you are around next Saturday stop by for a natter and stop Ming and his evil plans.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Salute 2018 - The Battle fo Varna 1444.

Great day at Salute yesterday, the 4.00am alarm call was a bit of a shock but the roads were pretty clear even if the dreaded Sat Nav figured central London would be a good idea.
We arrived with plenty of time to set up, good job given how many Ottoman's needed to be fielded.

Every year the standard of games and trade stands seems to get better and better, I did not get to much time to take a wander but most stands where 3 or 4 deep until well into lunch time.

Great to catch up with so many old friends and new, with plenty of interest in our offering the Battle of Varna 1444.

For those people unfamiliar with Eastern European history, Varna pits a large Ottoman army of 50 to 60 000 under the command of Murad II against the Papal forces of around 30,000 troops situated between lake Varna, the Black Sea and the steep slopes of the Franga Plateau. 
(We covered both including the snow capped mountains...)

The various accounts of the battle describe a fluid situation of cavalry charges and counter charges in which early Christian gains were reversed by flank attacks by Ottoman Sipahis and Akinci cavalry. At one stage a gap in the Ottoman lines enabled Vlad Dracul’s force (His dad before you ask :-) ) to charge through and plunder the Ottoman camp. 

Janus Hunyadi gathered the now disorganised Papal forces and captured much of the ground around the Ottoman centre in which the Sultan and his Janissaries stood behind a line of stakes. 

At this crucial point of the battle the young King Wlayslaws took upon himself to lead the knights of his Polish and Hungarian bodyguard in a frontal assault on the Ottoman centre. 
However, this vain attempt at glory resulted in him having his head cut off and impaled on a stake! 

After this the Christian forces started to disintegrate and many tried to flee across the River Devnya and were slain in the surrounding marshland. 

Would history repeat itself?

We were ready to go at around 10.00 am just as the doors opened and the eager punters rushed in.
All figures are from Kallistra's 12mm Medieval range and judging by how busy the Kallistra stand was it looked like we had inspired a fair number of people to take on BIG Medieval games.

Hussite war wagons at the ready!
Young King Wlayslaws with his Polish and Hungarian bodyguard in Blue.

Sultan Murad II behind his wall of stakes.

11.00 The Papal cavalry close on the front line of spear and bow of the Ottoman army, they should have been a mere bump in the road, but stuck around on the right flank to break up the initial Christian charge.

The Teutonic order was a different matter they and the supporting knights crashed through the Azab ranks.

The state of play arouned 1.00 pm the Azab front line has been swept aside but the mounted archers are taking a heavy toll on the advancing knights as their formation begins to break up and they are attacked on their flanks as they push forward.

Unfortunately for the Ottoman command archery fire alone was not enough and we had to commit our cavalry to stem the Papal advance, however as the afternoon ticked by and the crowds thinned so to did the Ottoman cavalry units.
The Christians had broken through on both flanks leaving Murad II surrounded behind his wall of stakes..... 

A bloody victory for the Christian's but alot of fun trying to change history.

Thanks to Paul and Sally @Kallistra who allowed us to play with their toys.
1000's of 12mm figures is a wonderful sight and pretty much played to conclusion in around 6 hours.
You can down load the rules for free from the Kallistra site.

Right time to sneak the purchases into the house and pretend they have been in the cupboard for ages.

Sunday, April 08, 2018

Dragon Rampant Chinese Style.

Mid-week gaming is back...
Gaming has been a little thin on the ground of late, what with the weather and a job which seems to have crept into game time despite the fact that I have cut my travel by over 3 hours a day.
Sometimes you just have to throw down some terrain and roll some dice....

Wednesday saw a return to the Water Margins of Yang Shan Po, with an encounter between Lin Chung and some of his 108 heroes vs local government official Kao Chiu.
Both sides looking to bloody the other and drive them from the table.

The village of shin wah - A treeless place largely due to the terrain box stuck at the back of the garage. Both forces would enter at opposite sides of the table with 24 points.

Kao Chiu leads a section of soldiers through the courtyard looking to get the drop on the slowly advancing outlaw Heroes.

With superior dice rolls the anti-heroes move forwards, Infantry, Temple Guards and Terracotta Warriors (they had to come out of the box at some point.)

Two units of men from Yang Shan Po charge forward looking to counter the march of the clay man.

Menawhile Kao Chiu is confronted by one of our heroes as he bursts from the side gate. As Lin Chung looks long urging his archers into action.

The cavalry have drawn the advancing infantry away from the middle of the table.
 Meanwhile Lin Chung advances down the main road looking to take on the government soldiers having around seen Kao Chiu off.

The light cavalry found themselves pinned on the table edge and forced back with little space to move they flee the table.

The final round. The Temple Guard are committed but are no match for Lin Chung. Whilst the Infantry are pinned in the alley way by the outlaw archers who manage to get a couple of good rounds off.

A great evenings gaming - Dragon Rampant is the perfect set of rules to pick up and put down and always gives a balanced game down to the final turn.
Now where did I put that 10 Point Dragon....

Monday, April 02, 2018

Haitian project - Shock Markers

It seems like ages since something came off the painting production line, so I thought I would ease myself back into with some additional shock markers for the insurgent forces in Haiti. They are from Foundry's Darkest Africa range, but will do the trick for the slave army.

They still need some extra flocking but will come in very useful, now I have my eye in, time to move on to the rest of the additional command figures.

I picked this fine looking fellow up from Gringo's 40 at Derby last year and figured he would make a great addition to Free People or French Forces. It depicts General Dumas but will be perfect as a 'Freeman' Officer. The lighting gives the impression that his tunic is a lighter shade of blue, but it is slightly darker in natural light as is the flesh tone.

Next up - Slave Standard Bearers.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

The rescue of Madame Biquette - Yet another desert outing....

With the mini-beast from the East blowing outside last Sunday, a chance to move to warmer climate for a few hours.

The Emir had taken a number of ladies captive and was holed up in the compound at the end of town, Claude Canard was attached to the rescue party ordered to rescue our ladies whilst the main party moved to meet up surpressing and locals along the way.

Town was deserted, the market stalls empty. The locals must have known that something was in the offing.

The evil Emir stood ready in case the French invaders tried something sneaky or fool hardy. With eight men watching the walls he knew they would be not be able to hold out for long, but he would take some of them with him.

The French split there forces with skirmishers and a section of regulars ordered to rescue the women, whilst the main column advanced up the table to support the assault groups.

Sensing the best move would be to get in quick before the locals massed, the French section appears from their ambush position and assaults the walls looking to defeat the Ottomans before they could call for reinforcements.

The French are beaten back losing several of their number for the loss of only one defender. The light company pour fire into the arab defenders hoping to force them from the walls.

Meanwhile the local arab militia are mustered and begin their adavance on the attackers looking to break the seige of the compound.

The militia fire off their first volley to no effect. Other locals appear from the out houses, swords in hand, they would have to remove the French in hand to hand.

Meanwhile at the north end of town the main body meets some angry locals. A solid opening volley provides them with plenty of shock to halt there advance.

The Emir's main force rushes forwards through the side alleys into the main sqaure. Only for their leader to be shot down just as he was about to launch the main attack. Had Claude just rescued victory from the jaws of defeat?

Breaking formation the French main force turns about and see's off the Ottoman cavalry as the action draws to a close.

The ladies might not have been rescued but the French were happy not to have been over run.
Perhaps next time....

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Now back to the more sensible stuff.

After a few weeks diverted off into the realms of fantasy.
I thought it was high time I got back to the serious gaming and pluging some of the gaps for Haitian Project.

So far I have a number of units for the insurgent forces and also the Free Peoples armies, but wanted to get them to meet somewhere in the middle as the wider plan would be to field enough troops to take on a full British or French Force, much of the narrative of the time takes about the slaves and freemen lacking in uniforms and very often any clothing...

Foundry do some nice Darkest Africa command figures that would do just the trick and with some spare heads knocking about from Trent Miniaures... Well time to get the clippers and drill out...

The bicorne's give me a few more options to mix the units up and the new casualty markers should always prove useful... To useful :-(

Hopefully I should get through these this weekend.