Saturday, February 27, 2021

Now showing...

It's been an annoying week in some ways due to computer problems. Last summer Windows 10 performed a MASSIVE update, my machine hasn't worked properly since and it's getting worse. Measures are in hand to rectify this, so on to other things.

I just finished this book - After Hitler: The Last Ten Days of World War 2 in Europe. It's a fascinating and well-researched work on the spluttering final kick of the Nazis. It has a lot of alternate ways to use late war figures and gear. Fancy deploying the German-equipped anti-Bolshevik 'Russian Liberation Army' against die-hard SS divisions in Czechoslovakia? Or play out a number of what if scenarios where the Western Allies - particularly Patton's army - decide to push as far as they can into Occupied Europe before the Russians arrive?

The Lion Rampant project moves on at a steady pace. I have the crossbowmen on the painting block now. I aim to turn out one batch which can pass for English in the employ of the Earl of Chester and the Bishop of Winchester (who had a talent for tactical deployment of such troops). Another will be French/Flemish.

Saturday, February 20, 2021

Six Knights of France

The next batch of figures roll off the painting block to join the retinues. 

I'll be the first to admit the fleur-de-lis designs on the shields and pennants don't bear close examination. I find my painting skills have declined of late. At least they're fine for the 'three feet rule' standard I paint to anyway. 

According to the retinue lists in the Lion Rampant rules I'll need as many mounted men-at-arms again for a French retinue, but the rules are highly flexible and you can field other warrior types easily enough. There are plenty of small actions mentioned in the book about King John covered in the previous post that have a different balance of types, especially crossbowmen.

Monday, February 15, 2021

First Barons War reading

Our local library reopened a few weeks ago, and whilst browsing the shelves I came across this title. King John and the Road to Magna Carta by Professor Stephen Church.

It's an excellent read, although I suspect Church has a sneaking sympathy for the embattled King John. The book covers the period from John's birth to his death from dysentery. His own father King Henry II gave him the nickname 'Lackland' because the then-two-year-old John wasn't a factor when it came to drawing up significant land grants for the King's children. As king, John lost his territories of Normandy and Anjou in what is now France to the wily King Phillipe, and spent a heap of treasure in various futile attempts to regain them. The taxation he inflicted upon England sparked the barons' revolt, the creation of the Magna Carta and John's eventual demise in the middle of a civil war. 

For the Lion Rampant player the book contains numerous ideas for scenarios in England, Ireland, Scotland and France. Not all conflicts involved major powers. Quite a few came from disputed inheritances, royal-authorised land-grabs and sheer opportunism enabled by a weak or weakened neighbour.Plenty of fodder there for a good campaign or series of linked scenarios.

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

More Serjeants

Another batch of foot serjeants rolls off the production line.

Now these are done I'm into repair-and-replace territory. Since I got these figures out to work on the air has filled with the soft patter of broken spears and lances falling onto the work table. Some of the things are so delicate now a mere glance is enough to break them. I have six mounted men-at-arms in the process of having their lances replaced. First off I cut away the sad remnants of the cast weapon then replace them by stiff wire. I have to use a spot of Milliput to rebuild the arms and hands holding them, but the end result is much sturdier. Once that's all done I'll give them a spray of black undercoat. 

I'm almost at the point where I can field a couple of retinues on the tabletop. Then I can get a trial game in. Watch this space...

Monday, February 1, 2021

Serjeants Twelve

The first batch of foot serjeants is complete and based up. The green bases look a bit too pale so I may go over them again.

Another batch of twelve serjeants is on the painting block now. So many of the remaining foot figures have broken spears, after painting the serjeants I'll have to go into repair and replace mode. Given how old these figures are and the sometimes rough life they've had I'm only surprised they've lasted this long.


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