Saturday 23 January 2016

Hastings Ruminations I

It's been in my mind a little; the so called Feigned Flight of (initially) the Bretons.... was this the case?

With the distance of the years it's an almost impossible question to answer. There is however another intriguing possibility.

To set the scene. The Bretons have panicked and with this a general retreat of William's army is starting to take hold. Harold, thinking the time is right to strike the killing blow orders a part of his army to persue. This is a very plausible scenario and one that may well have taken place. It would certainly account for the persuit of one of Harold's flanks into the boggy ground where they were to be cut down, probably to a man.

This does of course raise another question; who led the advance? From what I've gleaned thus far about the battle Gyrth and Leofwine, the two brothers Harold had present at the engagement seem to have died at a different point in time to Harold. Does this imply therefore that they were not with Harold's Bodyguard of Huscarls but spread throughout the battle line in order to stiffen the resolve of the Anglo Danes? If so (and with the actual evidence or lack of that we have I know that it's a big if!) then one or both of the brothers may have said the counter charge.

It certainly sets my imagination away. I can see a command vignette of Gyrth or perhaps Leofwine leading the doomed persuit in my minds eye.

Wednesday 20 January 2016

Interesting Book on Kickstarter: The Battle of Hastings, Jacques Maréchal

Could be a very interesting read; dual languages in Frnch and English:

Bye for now.

Friday 15 January 2016

Haggis Rampant; Sausages and Mustard

Thursday gone at the club saw Mick and I, both playing the Islemen, line up against Neil's wily English with their Gascon Allies. The scenario we rolled was Sausages and Mustard which was going to be interesting as I was stuck with a slightly diminished retinue although I was lucky on the recovery rolls after the last game so I cannot complain! One of the main anxieties of playing the Iselmen, without introducing any unlikely allies I was stuck with one unit of Foot Men at Arms, Three Units of Fierce Foot and two units of Bidowers (and damn it! I'd bought the miniatures for a full Islemen retinue and I want to get them all painted up thus ruling out the prospect of me painting any more stuff for the campaign!)

The games are based upon who shows up at the club and then we decide by rolling dice who players who and what scenario it is that we play. Mick and I had to split our retinues with Mick taking charge with his leader and thus getting to choose his boast/s whilst I would not for this game. Neil fielded his usual trusty retinue including his Surfs aka Speed bumps! 

The Sausages and Mustard scenario is an interesting one as the attackers, ie Mick and I gain glory by burning the objectives by staying put at the building for one turn and rolling an 8 if a unit over 12 mini's and a nine if the unit is 6 mini's or below.

The Tempting Objectives in the Center of the Table:


Mick and I funnel our Fierce Foot Forward Past the Impassable Terrain to the Left:

A birds eye view of the early moves; Neil moves forward slowly but surely moving a unit of Spearmen/Yoemen into the center of the village. I think it's fair to say that the dice were at this stage kinder to Neil than to that of Mick and I.

Neil's Mounted Men at Arms and Gascon's advance down his left flank:

Our Fierce Foot  surge forward again leaving my trusty, OK not so trusty, Bidowers behind!

Surging forward to the village and to with pyromania in mind we set about trying to start as many fires as possible, which turned out to be a total of nil!

Neil's cunningly placed unit of Yoemen prove to be too much of a tempting target for my Wild Scots/Fierce Foot and although they were in Schiltron my guys decide that they have to go and are subject to their first Wild Charge of the game only to bounce and surge backwards becoming Buggered/Battered!

My Bidowers still stay on my baseline and steadfastly refuse to move. I get the feeling that there was some kind of Late Medieval workers thing happening in the ranks!

More potential pyromania dashed as we fail to start any fires!

And again!

All the while Neil was slow,y advancing his (very scary) mounted Men at Arms supported by their Gascon Crossbowmen along his left flank unmolested, creeping ever close to threaten what, if /my Bidowers had chosen to move would have been our right flank.

Here they come!

A panoramic of the threat of the Mounted Men at Arms and Gascons as they close in

What honour have these Mounted Men at Arms who seem to have my Bidowers in their sights?

As you can see, very little!

I should add that it was at this point where I was very tempted to keep running around the Impassable Terrain closely tailed by Neil's Men at Arms for comedy value! I'm pleased to say that I avoided such temptation and not for the fist time decided that discretion was the better part of valour and started legging it off the table! Deja Vous!!

And so it was that the enthusiastic but militarily effete Islemen failed in their collective venture yet again!

A Quick Snap of the Beginning of a Siege Game in the Next Room:


2mm (?) Regiments?:

Bye for now.

Thursday 14 January 2016

Hastings Demo; Baggage Vignette

This piece was, actually, believe it or not about ten years in the making! Roughly a decade ago I needed a baggage base for one of WAB Campaign Days organised at Gripping Beast GQ by Martin Gibbons (author of the WAB 2 Book).

I never managed to find the time to get it completed, in fact, only the flesh on the men and the horse were done. Everything else has been painted recently. It has been a real eye opener as to just how much my style of painting has developed in that time. Today, I use at least five layers of major surfaces and back then it looks very much as though three was the max, when it came to highlighting. also, the leap between each layer was more pronounced and this can be seen very well if one examines the faces.

The miniatures are a mix of Crusader and Wargames Foundry, from their newer range of Anglo-Saxons.

Overall, I think that the base looks a bit sparse and could have done with one more mini adding to help complete the story; another lackey struggling with the baggage perhaps? Unfortunately I didn't realise this until the last minute and because of my busy painting schedule I didn't have the time to paint up another mini. C'est la Vie!

The colours are muted as they always are these days except perhaps on the horse and faces.

Paints were a mix of all sorts, AK, VMC, WF etc.

Bye for now.

Wednesday 13 January 2016

Haggis Rampant; Fierce Foot Unit II

Or nine of them! The other three were featured in the Haggis Rampant; Islemen Men at Arms post earlier. I've got to admit to really enjoying painting this Islemen for Lion Rampant despite their tendency to disappear under a hail of arrows with alarming regularity!

If I'd had a little more time I would have decked out some of the Men at Arms and Fierce Foot in something akin to plaid, which although not in use at the time (in as far as we know) would have given them a certain flavour. I feel that this is something that I could get away with, like the Clan Cameron Livery which I have completely invented! In reality the checks of the time on the clothing were probably very fine in the weave and wouldn't be visible until one was very close.

I've actually still got a unit of Fierce Foot and two units of Bidowers to get painted up for the campaign but thankfully some Welsh Teulu that I had painted about ten years ago have been more than useful as stand ins for the rest of the retinue. The sharper among you may have already picked this up from the AAR's that I've posted.

Back to the Hastings Game tomorrow evening.

Bye for now.