Monday, 31 May 2021

New Target. Swordpoint Medieval Tournament Swindon, September 25th and 26th

I was in need of a new target, something to aim for, something that fits my current projects and can be serve as a binary project along with my Italian Wars stuff. The Swordpoint Medieval Tournament Swindon, September 25th and 26th seemed to be the ticket.

Tournaments are not usually my type of thing, but a quick scan of the players listed and the event organisers seem to show that there is a lot of the ye olde WAB crowd in the running. If the WAB Campaign Weekends, of which I attended many, are anything to go by it ought to be a great deal of fun.

There are other considerations though; my mental health is the main one and of course the peaks and valleys of the pandemic are another. Both of these conditions being paramount in my attendance. I have to be very careful with my health in both of these matters. A year plus of continued isolation has really taken it's toll on me. All of it negative I am afraid to say. 

I have a nicely sized Hundred Years War English army that I could quite rebase for the event but having tried several times to get what I have, ie my idea of what an English Army looked like during the 1415-1430 time period to fit the Hundred Years War English list in the Medieval supplement I have settled on quite another army. That of The Spanish in Italy, during the Italian Wars. I will (of course) be basing my Spanish on the army of Gonsalvo Fernandez de Cordoba and the Battle of Cerignola 1503. This fits nicely into my Italian Wars project and potential display game, originally penned in as Fornovo 1495; I have found my interest gradually drifting towards the Battle of Cerignola as it is just so much more of an interesting scenario then the problematic Fornovo with the river Taro crossing the entire length of the battlefield. 

So just a quick update and a nice target for me to aim for. Just under four months to complete the army which so far consists of the following, all subject to change as I decide what to leave in and what to take out:

Swordpoint - Medieval - Spanish in Italy 1250pts

1 General Command Base
5 Captain command Bases (foot ands horse?)

6 Arquebusier Bases - 18 mini's
6 Arquebusier Bases - 18 mini's
8 Pike Bases - 32 mini's
8 Pike Bases - 32 mini's
6 mounted Men at Arms -12 mini's
6 light Cav. Mounted Arquebusiers - 12 mini's
6 Papal Provisionati - 24 mini's
6 Papal Provisionati - 24 mini's
1 Organ gun - Gun and 3 crew
1 Cannon - Gun and 3 crew

It is nigh on impossible to fit what /I feel would be Gonsalvo de Cordoba's whole force present at Cerignola in a 1250p point list. I think it would take a minimum of 2500pts and quite possibly up to 3000! Maybe even more. But, this as they say, is a start.

Sunday, 23 May 2021

First Stradiot/Stradioti Unit

So, after a delay due to illness, probably a cold again but who knows.....

The fist unit of Stradiots/Stadioti are table ready. All I need to do now is put my table together and make some terrain tiles but that is another story!

This unit is in the service of Venice and bears the Standard of St Mark. The tails of the banner have been cut off as, at least to my eyes, it would have looked way to big for a lightly armed cavalry unit. The Standard of St Mark is from Pete at Pete's Flags. Pete produces the most beautiful banners available from the mid Fifteenth Century Condottiero, The Italian Wars, the Tudor Wars of Henry VIII and the Wars of the Roses. They are all mini works of art and if you are at all interested in this period of warfare I highly recommend you pop over to the link above and check his work out.

I have plans for 36 Stradioti in six units of three bases, each base with two miniatures. The bases are simoly the same size as the pike bases but turned through 90 degrees to leave enough wiggle room to stagger the models.  Every second unit will be given a banner. The next one will be bearing the arms of Piedro Diodo which were very kindly supplied to my by one of his descendants in Northern Italy (I have stupidly forgotten your name; I'm really sorry- I had to delete some emails to avoid googlemail charging me for space so if you're reading this please contact me and I will happily add in your name). The third banner will be another Standard of St Mark with the tail removed again. 

The rules I'm planning to use are Furioso, available from Alternative Armies. If you plan on buying make sure you just get the core rules as the Italian Wars supplement is very fantasy based. Unless of course you are planning to field Da Vinci's weird and wonderful machines in which case go ahead and spend!

Camera Angled Slightly Above:

All the models were speed painted, not my normal painting regime as I usually taking with the brush but in an effort to get them on the table top as quickly as possible I decided to go ahead with the technique of basecoat, wash and highlighting where I would normally build up several layers from the basecoat. Hopefully they do not suffer too much from being hurried. 

Just Above Eye Level:

Single Bases- Base 1:

Single Bases- Base 2:

Single Bases- Base 3:

Friday, 21 May 2021

Gestir for Warhammer Ancient Battles


It was one of those moments, treasured if you like, when you come across an old picture whilst looking for something completely different. Gestir for Warhammer Ancient Battles. These must have been painted nigh on twenty years ago! They are all Colin Patten sculpts from Milliput(!) from very old moulds which managed to I pester Darren into getting Stuart to cast up for me. 

These warriors were as the name suggests these were "guest warriors" in another lords hall. Down on their luck but willing to fight in exchange for the patronage of a new lord. They were more then a useful unit to have on the table in WAB as they could be armed with two hand weapons and were Light Infantry; quite a powerful combination in WAB as they could manoeuvre well over difficult terrain and were a handful in melee.

To quote the section from the Warhammer ancient Battles, Shieldwall Supplement in the Dogs of War section:

"It was common for impoverished lordless warriors to visit the halls of the Jarls and Kings (Kunnungr) of Scandinavia where they would be maintained as a sign of the lord's wealth and hospitality. Such warriors would have accompanied their host when he went on campaign, and they would keenly fight to show their respect for their lord's hospitality. Unfortunately, they would sometimes find themselves in the predicament of fighting against the warriors of a former host. The most famous of such "guest warriors" were the Icelandic adventurers who flocked to the courts of the Norwegian Kings in the 10th and 11th Centuries."

A real blast from the past! 

Sunday, 16 May 2021

Swiss Mercenary Band Types for Fornovo

It has been a bit of a week. A few days ago I somehow inexplicably managed to drop a large heavy Jamie Oliver wok crashing into my right hand! It was not hot, but it bruised my hand and it was too damn painful to lift a brush up until a few of days ago. Then just to add to my misery and from out of nowhere, a somewhat vicious cold suddenly came on within a few hours. I am officially Clinically Extremely Vulnerable so the anxiety took over and would not let go. I have had my two jabs, about three weeks since the cold hit me so at east I would have some protection if it was indeed Covid. I did manage by doing an hour here and and hour there over a three day period to complete more "speed painted" Swiss. The irony of using the phrase "speed painting" is not lost on me but it was the same technique I used on the "speed Painted" Swiss I completed a few days ago so I am stuck with the label.

These chaps have been given the "mercenary band" treatment in terms of their dress as illustrated by Massimo Predonzani in the book, The Italian Wars Volume 1, The Expedition of Charles VIII into Italy and the Battle of Fornovo

I have gone for the something close to the garish mix of colour as seen on Massimo's illustration above. I am not yet sure whether I will add all eight miniatures to one base or sprinkle them around in the 64 figure unit with their more conventionally dressed comrades. They might look a bit odd sitting in their own base so probably sprinkled around un the unit?

This cold has quite a lot to answer for as looking at the pictures on my screen I have just noticed that I have failed to add any crosses to the hose or tunics. Luckily these fine fellows have not entered into the varnishing process so there is still time to potentially save their souls!

Monday, 10 May 2021

Stratioti! Last Evenings Painterly Doings

In keeping with my somewhat crazy aim of "speed painting" as many miniatures as possible as fast as I can, hopefully without losing too much by way of quality, for my Italian Wars Fornovo 1495 project I managed to get six more mini's painted and ready for varnishing. Six Stradioti/Stradiots to be precise. I already have the horse flesh painted for these ruffians so that's three bases of Stradioti/Stradiots vis a vis one unit for Furioso, at present a very likely candidate for wargames rules for my Italian Wars projects. Furioso being fast play and easy to pick up, which means the rules ought to be very suitable for a large  display game.  I say that with the proviso that due to Covid I have very annoyingly not played a game as of yet! The choice was really made after watching Ken of The Yarkshire Gamer blog fame's YouTube video series that covers the basics of the rules quite nicely. Well worth a watch if you are interested in the Italian Wars and are looking for a suitable ruleset. 

Another word on the Stradioti. I intend to have roughly six of seven units of Stradioit/Stradiots to represent the rough 2000 the Venetians employed during the campaign. At Fornovo they were sent on a wide sweeping flanking manoeuvre making it to the French baggage train and looting in extremis. They are even said to have made off with Charles VIII's own private pornography stash! Actually reputed to be prostitutes that Charles had slept with and had small portraits made as a keepsake. They certainly filled their boots with tons of extremely booty. 

Stradiots by Jorg Breu the Elder:

The heraldry on the shields was inspired by the brushwork of John Bianchi and some of the images in his Warhammer Ancient Battles, Vlad the Impaler supplement which had an excellent potted history o Albania and a great army list for the same including that of the famous military commander Gjergj Kastrioti Skanderbeg.

Pics of the six Unvarnished Stradiots:

Stradiots by Hans Graf