Monday, 30 November 2020

All The Queens Horses and All the Queens Men.....

Tonight's presentation is the first three of my recently arrived TAG (The Assault Group) 28mm Renaissance Miniatures - Queen Elizabeth the First, a noble advisor and a standard bearer. I have sourced a few potential coats of arms for 1580's Scotland via Google for the latter and have them printed off in colour but forgot to bring them home from work with me.

I think the TAG figures have come out well and I have already started on the next three, the Border Reiver/Militia mounted command. A bonus was when I went on line yesterday to check something on their website and found they had a SALE on - four foot for £5.65 rather than the usual £7 - plus free postage over £57 - so I have "invested" in one pack each of Reivers on foot plus a unit builder pack of 20 Calivermen and two packs of Calivermen firing - this will make up a nice substantial force of around thirty "government" troops to pursue the skallywag Reivers!

These are the three figures that come together in the "Faerie Queene" pack
The titular lady herself
The royal standard bearer
A senior advisor to the Queen

Very nice crisp sculpts which were easy to paint and I particularly like the style of the horses in this range - looking forward to getting some more of these done over the next few days!

Saturday, 28 November 2020

Three Mair Quines an' a Puckle o' Kye

Translation - three more girls and a few cattle! These are the last of my first batch of Fenryll figures - three maids doing the household washing! I have only created one washing line so far and will do a second to accommodate the rest of the hanging items the sculptor has helpfully provided with these three figures.

Secondly, I have a few black cattle ready to be "reived" when we finally get to playing a Border Revers skirmish. These are from a small English company called Serious Play and are specifically 28mm wargaming cattle. They are supposedly resin but are almost rubbery in consistency - not that its a problem, it was just a surprise after dealing with the resin figures from Fenryll. 

There are several different poses and at £3.29 for a pack of 3, they are the most cost effective cattle I was able to track down on the web. I have painted them entirely black to represent Galloway cattle, which seemed to me to be the most likely type of animals to be inhabiting the borderlands 450 years ago.

Wednesday, 25 November 2020

Some New Arrivals - Border Reiver Reinforcements

When I arrived home today after a very trying day dealing with demanding customers, I had a welcome surprise awaiting me, the box of figures I ordered from The Assault Group (TAG) about two weeks ago.

This consists of a unit builder pack of 12 Border cavalry, 4 packs of 3 figures, at a discounted price of £42 rather than £12 each, plus a £12 pack of command that includes "The Faerie Queen", Lizzie the First, and to round it off, two individual foot figures of "Bloody" Mary, Elizabeth's Catholic sister who succeeded her.

The reason for the latter is that if you spend more than £56, TAG ship free anywhere in the world - a pretty good deal when you look at the Royal Mail sticker in the top right of the box a note postage was £19.80! If you look it another way, the 15 cavalry figures only cost me about £35!

As I had always anticipated from perusing the TAG website, these are very nice, clean sculpts and will fit in very well with the existing Border Reiver collection. As they are listed as Border Horse rather than Reivers, I believe they are slightly more "military" in style and as such, will be used as a retinue of official "soldiers" accompanying Queen Mary in a visit to the Borders - which she did at least once in her short reign, hanging a goodly number of "naughty" people!

The sturdy pack that awaited me this evening

The contents unboxed

Border Horse command

Border horse with firearms

Border horse with lances

Border horse with swords

The Queen and attendants

And lastly, two of this figure, who can be used as "The Lady of the House" in my Pele Towers or Bastle House

Finally, as the Mary Queen of Scots movie starring Saoirse Ronan is now available on Netflix in NZ, I assume anyone in the world will have access to it - so if you have not done so yet, have a watch - I went to the cinema last year to see it on the big screen and thoroughly enjoyed it, although its quite a depressing tale when you consider she was only 18 or 19 when she was widowed and returned to Scotland from France....and all the shit that happened to her.....

Tuesday, 24 November 2020

Front Rank Miniatures - English Civil War Figures

After my previous post about our ECW game, several people expressed ignorance of the fact that Front Rank once upon a time had an ECW range, so I decided to pull a few of these old chaps out of their boxes for a little show and tell!

First up three different cavalry units, on the left a generic “Roundhead” unit (the very first ECW troops I painted circa 1992) in the centre the command stand for the Cuirassiers – Haselrigs Lobsters -  and on the right, more recently painted mounted dragoons.

Next three more cavalry types – floppy hat (Royalists) on the left, Pophams Horse (I think) based on an engraving in some church somewhere in England and the generic standard bearer on the right.

One of two artillery pieces I have

Three infantry stands showing some of the command and musketeer poses that were available

Dismounted dragoons who featured in the Friday night game

Three different regimental command stands showing most of the command options

Three different Parliamentarian regiment stands showing most of the pike options

Part of a Royalist regiment showing pikes and command

Command and musketeer figures from a Parliamentarian regiment

Three different Parliamentarian musketeer stands

Two senior commander figures


So that’s the lot – I presume that the sculptor at Front Rank withdrew these as they are not as dynamic as his later creations but to be honest, I always liked them and the pike pose of the guys standing with the pike straight up in the air is a more practical option for gaming than all the ones at present or push of pike

Sunday, 22 November 2020

Friday Night Game - For King and Parliament

On Friday evening, John, Andrew and I joined Julian for a game of For King and Parliament, the To the Strongest esque ECW rules we have recently started using. Chris had been supposed to join us too but that evil place called “the real world” intervened. The scenario came from a Black Powder book I think and was real a battle between Swedes and Catholic Imperialists but I didn’t record the name and my Covenanters substituted for the Imperialists – which is somewhat ironic given their Calvanistic Protestant leaning!

Andrew and I took the Covenanters, opposed by Julian and John with the formers Thirty Years War Swedes. We had a very long intermission for dinner meaning that we were nowhere near a conclusion as 10pm rolled around, so we checked the army morale coin count and the Covenanters won 13 – 10 (from 20 each starting point)

Its harder to kill units in the ECW version – light troops take two hits and the bigger units three, PLUS you only hit on an 8 for all combat, not 6 for close and 8 for firing as in the medieval version, hence the reason we had three plus hours of gaming with minimal casualties. We were also all pretty lucky with high card turning – quite often, three cards would result in two hits, then the other player would turn over two high cards to save both hits!

Here are a few images of the game

1 General view of the battlefield – Covenanters to the right.

2 One of my infantry units advancing with levelled pikes – mainly Renegade figures

3 I took the left wing of our command, opposite John

4 Andrew had the central battery, the main focus of the Swedes assault – these models are from Julian’s collection

5 The Swedes mostly had a small battalion gun attached to their infantry – restricted to two shots, they proved pretty ineffectual

7 Some of my Covenanters in Andrews command

8 A Swedish Yellow Regiment moving into a wooded area

9 A Swedish Red Regiment opposite the imposing grand battery

10 The Covenanters advanced slightly to align with their grand battery, then waited for the Swedes to attack

11 This tattered flag is the Aberdeen militia I believe and came from a Warlord Covenanter pack

12 My cuirassiers disorder Johns Forlorn Hope, attached to his cavalry brigade. These cavalry are historic, being original Front Rank figures painted 25 years ago and no longer in production, which I think is a shame, as the FR ECW range were very nice figures

13 Same melee from the Swedes perspective

14 on our right flank, Andrew and Julian engaged in a to and fro cavalry tussle, each losing a unit I believe

15 A unit of Scots cavalry – plastic figures from Warlord

16 Andrews infantry defending a hedge line – Renegade figures again

17 My so called Forlorn Hope (each cavalry unit had one) who in reality took on all comers for half the game!

18 The Swedes advance in the centre to assault the hill where the grand battery was stationed

19 The combat in the centre heats up

20 My valiant Forlorn Hope – in these rules, when fired upon, a unit that survives returns fire, Thus, all three yellow Swedish units plus the gun fired at the men in red – they passed the saving cards then fired back, causing two of their three aggressors to become disordered!

21 The guns pepper the advancing Swedes with round shot

22 Another cavalry melee between Andrew and Julian

23 The infantry still awaiting an enemy to fight!

24 Exchanging close range musketry in the centre

25 A final shot – one of the Covenanter units cracked under the pressure – but too late to change the result – a points win for the Solemn League and Covenant!