Friday, 13 March 2020

A Return to WAB and Shieldwall

Until last evening it had been many years since I played a game of WAB. I was feeling quite excited having been invited to play in a 'Dark Ages' game using the Shieldwall supplement.  After having played Shieldwall WAB almost continuously for a few years at my old club in Edinburgh at SESWC I had reasoned that it would be like learning to ride a bicycle again and it would all come flooding back. Wrong! At the end of the day I was very rusty indeed.  Luckily Matt Boyd et al were at hand to walk me through the rules again. I was playing the 'mercenary' element on Jim's Norman army. Facing us was a very well equipped and seemingly large Anglo Danish force! The game was really a kind of run through for a display game that Matt, Jim Giles and Martin's Holy Island game that is hopefully due to make it's debut at Partizan in May this year. Fingers crossed for that. In case you had not guessed their display game will not feature Normans but Norse (Vikings). If the terrain they have made is anything to go on this will be one cracking display game.

As I was saying, for many a year, almost weekly, a group of about six or seven of us met at SESWC and battles it out with 2000pts worth of Shieldwall armies. There were Normans, Scots, Carolingians, Thematic Byzantines and Late Saxons. I have happy memories of some absolutely brilliant games, some nail biting some hilarious to the point of virtually rolling around on the floor. The WAB Shieldwall supplement is up there as one of my favourites but I have to say that my preference is for El Cid and Age of Arthur. For me the army lists are the most balanced of all the WAB supplements  without losany of the the flavour that WAB adds to Ancient and Medieval games. Still, Shieldwall is a great supplement and a lot of fun.

Without further ado.....

The Saxons started securely on a slight gradient overlooking the Normans. The skirmishers take time out practice on the of Celtic cross in place of the "hoary apple tree" that once stood in its place.

"Ut! Ut! Ut! Ut!"

"Twang" the Mercenary Serjeants start taking out the Saxon Skirmishers en masse.

A view from the left side of the Saxon flank as the Norman Milites advance at a trot.


The Saxon Huscarls (Toughness 4!! and in Sheildwall!!) prepare their lines of scrimmage as the Normans close with nought but belligerence in mind.

By now nearly all the Saxon skirmishers had been shot to pieces and legged it. A small but necessary measure on the part of the Norman Mercenary Crossbowmen.

With the last of them to be finished off with grim efficiency.

Duke Ivorclub (sorry, best I could do) has his man sound the horn for the charge!

Cruuuunch! The Norman knights clash with the Saxon Huscarls! (Did I mention they were Toughness 4 and in Shieldwall?!?)

The cream of Eangla londe reel from the Norman onslaught but recover and strike back with renewed vigour and malice!

A unit of Huscarls swings around and hit the Norman Milites in the flank; suddenly things start to look ugly for the Gallic speaking Norsmen on their rough cuddies!

Nothing in that rule book can save us now Jim!

All the while, my unit of Devroet had sat on the Saxon flank wondering if they had it in them to do any real damage. 

The Normans beaten to ghastly pulp by the Anglo Danish Huscarls wielding, wait for it..... their large choppers!

Great to see everyone in the other room still making a fist of it. 

Fist Rampant Action again:

Friday, 6 March 2020

Fist Rampant! Back at the Club.

It has literally been years since I attended my local club. There are many reasons, none of which involve the club nor any of our members I hasten to add, but to anyone familiar with my posts recently will have some idea.

There was a lot of excitement tinged with apprehension as I journeyed there with my camera stowed away in my bag. Will it have changed? Will there be a lack of old buddies. Indeed, in the  worst case scenario, would everyone be playing 40K or Age of Sigmar? :>) I am pleased to say that only my excitement was justified and although there were a few new faces around most of the long term members were there.

I arrived in the middle of a Fist Rampant Crusades campaign. Fist Rampant or Rampant Fist take your pick lol. Although I didn't roll any dice I did manage to take a number of pics of the action which was fine. To summarise, the forces of Islam reached the the objective, an oasis in the middle of the table whilst at least for the first few turns the Franks seemed to be having a difficult time of things in as far getting going. War is hell. Bad pun? Probably not my last.

What follows is in essence not really an AAR. I confess to feeling more then a little sheepish as it had been so long since I played a game of Lion Rampant that I could not even remember the rules! This is a bad place to be in ones head as Lion Rampant is certainly not WRG 6th Edition! I will be reading the rules again tonight if you are reading this Dave! The way in which Fist Rampant works is by taking the activation system from A fist Full of Lead which utilises playing cards which in turn allow for certain advantages and amalgamates this with the quirkiness and all out fun of LR framework. I will be able to explain this in more depth when i have read both rule sets again! By now you have probably guessed that I am not very beardy when it comes to rules!

Mick's Archers trundle forward

The Forces of the Prophet whistle onto the table towards their desired destination

And arrive in very good time

Trundle, trundle


Even the lowly foot soldiers steal a march on the Franks


Cough, wheeze.... "we made it!"

At last! Real violence!


Better late then never

All that effort for so little gain

One of the few bright spots for the Franks

I just love those old Gripping beast miniatures. Especially these Christian Spanish Jinettes who will be making an appearence en masse in my Reconquista game.

Again,  I just love these 'old' Gripping Beast miniatures
Memories of their discovery go back to a very old edition of Wargames Illustrated where they were featured in some kind of siege. Way before the WAB El Cid Supplement was more than an idea.

The Fist Rampant 'Players'

Thursday, 5 March 2020

Battle of Shrewsbury 1069; Interior Buildings II

This time just a quick post with a couple of Gripping Beast resin pieces from their Dark Ages range. Again, these pieces were bought many years ago and I just never got around to painting them up. They are pretty basic castings and solid pieces but this does not diminish the aesthetic look and will not hinder the game.

The upright wooden superstructure and outer structure of the pieces were painted using a craft paint that is more or less the equivalent of Vallejo Model Colour German Cammo Black Brown (perhaps a little lighter) and highlighted up using craft paint creams and finally with Vallajo Model Colour Ivory.

The thatching was done in exactly the same way but starting with a craft paint of a lighter hue and highlighted up a few steps higher in tone than that of the wood.

My Old Blogs Deleted! Just Add Water Lives On!


Just a a very quick post to let you know that my old blogs have now been deleted and any material on said blogs worth its salt have moved over to this Just Add Water blog.

I needed to concentrate everything into one journal as the divergence of having too many blogs to maintain was a bit of a pain. also, with the rise of social media such as Facebook, Twitter etc it made sense to have everything in one place.

The deleted blogs include:



La Journee

Shooting Leave

I Would like to ask a favour of anyone who has a link to any of my now deleted blogs; would you mind linking just Add Water up in your links list in place of the older blogs please? All the best bits are on here so most of the content is included here.

Battle of Shrewsbury 1069; Watchtower Interval!

The Normans within the Motte and Bailey at Shrewsbury in 1069 were safe and sound from the excesses of Eadric the Wild and friends. As added protection and to give early warning of any oncoming attack I am going to include a watchtower on then hill. The piece is too nice not to utilise! Though an imaginary scenario it is not inconceivable that in the three years since the Norman invasion, with much of England only nominally under control of William I of England that early warning outposts would be built to keep one eye open for potential trouble makers. In other words that's my excuse and I am going to use it anyway! :>)

The tower will be under the control on Eadric's Anglo Danish force and manned by his Welsh allies under Kind Bleddyn and Rhiwallon. More on the history of the revolt in a future post.

The tower was painted up in the usual way. The upright wooden superstructure and outer structure of the pieces were painted using a craft paint that is more or less the equivalent of Vallejo Model Colour German Cammo Black Brown (perhaps a little lighter) and highlighted up using craft paint creams and finally with Vallejo Model Colour Ivory. This time I tried having a darker tone on the thatch as I wanted some contrast between the 'painted' wattle and daub and the actual thatch. The wattle and daub is just Miniature Paints Earth (I don't know if they are still around[?]) and highlighted up with Ivory. The spikey bits on the parapets are Vallejo Model Colour Beige highlighted up again with Vallejo Model Colour Ivory.

Hopefully I will have a terrain tile ready at some point to sit these pieces of terrain up in a decent setting.