Thursday 30 September 2010

Kallistra - 10mm Large Siege Guns

Hello all,
Who doesnt like to paint cannons? And super large impressive siege cannons? Well I do and these were bought recently from Kallistra - called Large Siege Guns. And they are truly large - quite impressive looking on the battlefield and ideal as representing the Heavy Cannons of Warmaster.

Quite satisfied with the paintjobs - as always great quality from kallistra although I would have preferred a bit more detailing of the cannons themselves. I tried giving one of them a transfer (think it was a veni vidi one) but am not sure if that worked - looks a bit bland.

Best regards,

Wednesday 29 September 2010

Irregular Miniatures - 6mm Two wheeled ox cart and oxen

Hello all,
I bought these a long time ago but didn't realise just how quick they would be to paint. Luckily I had them next to the paiting station when the disaster with the brown Vallejo paintbottle happened and as a result these were done in under half an hour. Two "two wheeled ox carts with oxen from Irregular Miniatures. In 6mm but works fin with 10mm as equipment carts etc - they have been wlaking behind the Master Gunner the last couple of battles - making sure his "special" gun powder arives safely.

Simple and nice figures, not a lot of details but for 50p for the two of them it is a pretty low price.

Best regards,

Tuesday 28 September 2010

New cheap 10mm Castle

Hello all,
While shopping for new fish for our aquarium I noticed this small castle in the junk box. It is actually really detailed once you look beyond the tacky paintjob and I think it might make a fine little 6 or 10mm castle.

So far I have given it a black shading on the walls and a new base - and it looks like it will turn out alright :-). More pictures later. But not bad for 3-4£ :-).

Best regards,

Monday 27 September 2010

The Next Generation of Wargamers...

Hello all - now this is a sight that warms the heart of an old wargamer: to see the next generation having fun with small minis and shuffling them around on the terrain.
My son (age six):

And before you offer critique regarding the cannons placed behind a hill - apparently these are able to richochet through the gap and almost all units on the enemy's side. Damn I wish mine could do that!
Best regards,

Friday 24 September 2010

Warmaster Battle Report - 3000p French Ordonnance vs Ottoman Turks & Teutonians

Hello all!
Tuesday night saw a huge game of Warmaster Medieval take place on the fair battlefield of Frederiksberg. Two massive armies (3000 points each) fought against each others - an intimidating French Ordonnance Gun Line with ten cannons against an unholy alliance of Teutonian Knights and Ottoman Turks with more than double the amount of Heavy Cavalry. Who would win and how many Teutonians would remain on the field - slain by French cannonballs? Hesitate not and read this account scribbled by your faithful chronicler....

French Heavy Cannons

Black Teutonians of Wales and Ottoman Turks

General: Uffe and Per
(G1) Sir William the Marshall, General [125 points],
(L1) Galahad the Pure, Leader [80 points]
(BK1-3) Templars of Brecon Hills, Brother Knights, Templars of the Virgin Lake, Templars Who Says Ni, Brother Knights [3x145 points].
(CK1-3) Knights of the Blessed Virgin, Knights of the Trinityand Knights of Sangreal, Crusader Knights [3x135 points]
(LH1-3) Riders of the Grail, Light Horse, Riders of the Cross and Riders of Ibelin, Light Horses [3x70 points]
(C1-2) Archers from Mull, Archers from Islay, Crossbowmen [2x45 points]
(S1) Okehampton Freemen, Hungry Horses, Spearmen - Pavisse [2x50 points]
(MoD) 3 Subject Infantry, Men of Doom [20 points]

(MG) Master Gunner [0 points]
(HC1) Holy Mary, Heavy Cannon [0 points]
(GO) Hell's Fiery Breath, Gun Organ [0 points]

(G2) Sultan Suleiman the Magnificient, General [125 points]
(L2) Bey Mehmet II, Leader [80 points]
(K) Kapikula [125 points]
(S3-4) Shepharis [2x115 points]
(HC2) Heavy Cannon [75 points]
(C3-4) Cannon [2x50 points]
(A1,3-4) Akincis [3x60 points]
(J1-5) Janissaries [5x60 points]
(A2, 5-9) Azabs [6x35 points]
(VI1-3) Vassal Infantry [3x25 points]

Total: 2975 points
Teutonian and Ottoman generals debating who is in charge
French Ordonnance

General: Kasper
(G) Charles III, General - Artillery Master [110 points]
(L1) Lord Louis II de la Trémoille, Leader [80 points]
(L2) Bartolomeo d'Alviano, Leader [80 points]
(L3) Gian Giacomo Trivulzio, Leader [80 points]
(OG1-4) Ord. Gendarmes [4x135 points]
(HC1-4) Heavy Cannon [2x75 points]
(C1-4) Cannon [4x50 points]
(OA1-4) Ord. Archers [4x45 points]
(SP1-4) Swiss Pike [4x70 points]
(A1-4) Argolouts [4x60 points]
(CS1-2) Cross. Skirmish [2x35 points]
(FI1-16) French Infantry [16x45 points]

Total: 2880 points (I don't know why I didn't use all my points - could have used more knights!)

French Ordonnance Deployment

Deployment + Scout Moves

All maps were created with the brilliant and free program BattleChronicle
The plan for the French Ordonnance was to blast anything that came into range with cannons and longbows and then to shoot any survivors even more dead. The Cavalry was held in reserve to be used as a strike force where ever anything seemed to threaten the lines while there were skirmishers and two units of French Infantry posted as bait on each flank - hopefully they could tie anything up or at least force them to charge away from the fragile gun line (or alternatively have serious command penalties and the threat of countercharges from the rear.
The Teutonian and Ottoman Armies
I guess the Coalition of Evil's plan was to attack on their right flank in force with all the Teutonian cavalry while the rest of the army held the French in place.
A bird's eye view of the battle
Hmmm, thats a lot of Cannons...

French Ordonnance Turn 1
A great first turn which really proved the superior generalship of the French (or luck, depending on which side you ask :)). The most important manoeuvre was to secure the gunline onto the hill in front which worked like a charm. Four cannons, a longbow unit with able support and four formidable Swiss Pikemen now held the hill and would be difficult to shift from their position. 
Elsewhere the skirmishers moved into position to hamper the enemys advance while the Ordonnance Gendarmes moved to the right flank to exploit its relatively lack of cavalry. This was also done in an effort to see if I could tempt some of the Teutonians to redeploy there and thereby waste a couple of turns. 
A big mistake was to position the Crossbows so they could be seen and thereby shot at by the Heavy cannons and the Turkish Cannon-battery - I completely forgot that Cannons have no problem shooting into terrain (I blame the weird German ecological beer).

Ottoman Turks and Black Teutonians Turn 1
A lot of orders were succesfully dispatched to their respective units - resulting mostly in a massive reshuffling of the Ottoman line. The Cannons moved into position while the cavalry made a bold move towards the flank. On the Teutonian end of the line the sole Infantry brigade moved forward while the Master Gunner decided to see just how far the Organ Gun could get before being shot to pieces. 
In the shooting phase the poor Crossbow skirmishers got to see the power of a heavy cannon and were blasted out of their cover, losing a stand in the process.

French Ordonnance + Ottoman Turks and Black Teutonians Turn  2
Note: I f***ed up here and forgot to end the French turn and go forward, so there is only one map for turn two - hope it is not to chaotic :-).
The French failed to move most of their left flank but managed to turn the heavy guns towards the only target available - The Organ Gun which was quickly destroyed by heavy cannonballs. On the right side the Crossbowmen moved away from the Ottoman Cannons and prepared to intercept any orders sent to the cavalry unit that was threatening the flank (note - I love using units for this sort of thing. A cheap unit like the Crossbows (35) can effectively hold up an entire flanking force due to command penalties as they intercept messengers - a true annoyance for the enemy).
The Argonauts moved away from the Ottoman Cavalry, the French took cover in the village while the Ordonnance Gendarmes moved further to counter the Ottoman flanking force.

Turn two for the Ottomans saw a further reshuffling of infantry while the Shepharis moved into a more threatening position. 
The Teutonians moved the Infantry brigade twice - gaining a brilliant defensive position in forrest in front of the Ordonnance's left flank.
All of the Cavalry also moved forwards, but slowly.
In the shooting phase a unit of Argonauts were blasted back by the Ottoman cannons (I had unfortunately positioned them just within range - another free shot and a dead stand to enemy fire.... damn). The Heavy Cannon and Crossbowmen shot and pushed back the skirmishing units on the Teutonian right - causing confusion but no casualties.

French Ordonnance Turn 3

Few moves for the French - the Ordonannce Gendarmes moved boldly forwards - gambling on catching the orderless Ottoman Cavalry.
 The Skirmishers on the left moved to draw the Teutonian Light Horses away from the gunline while a unit of infantry moved forward to bring the longbows into range of the Teutonian infantry.

 The concentrated shooting of four Cannons, two Heavy Cannons with crossbow and longbow support saw a unit of Teutonian Infantry (The Hungry Horses) disappear in a cloud of evil gunpowder smoke.
  Ottoman Turks and Black Teutonians Turn  3

Only a few moves this turn - a unit of Janissaries and Azabs moved forward to try and dislodge the Cannons by sniper fire. On the other flank the Light Horses did what they like best and charged forwards into the waiting Argonauts and Skirmishing Crossbows (Damn I hate those Light Horses! Maybe the best cavalry in the game...).
The combat didn't go according to the Teutonians intentions though: The Argonauts managed to save most of the feeble attacks and in return unleashed hell. The two units of Light Horses were reduced to a single stand, but with the Argonauts taking several casualties in return they decided to continue the combat into the next round to remove most of the Light Horse threat from the flank. The Skimishing Crossbowmen also surprisingly weathered the charge and pushed the Teutonians back, leaving them stranded in front of the firing line. The Crossbowmen choose to fallback into the rough terrain, saving them from further charges from the cavalry wing.

French Ordonnance Turn  4

With a furious roar the heavy Ordonnance Gendarmes flew around the forest and attacked the surprised Kapikula and Akincis. Behind them more French Infantry moved forwards while the Argonauts moved into supporting positions to kill any stranglers or to cover the knights retreat. The General Charles III moved up in front of his Ottoman counterpart, Suleiman the Magnificient, and dazzled him with his shining armour... A unit of infantry also moved forward on the central hill to participate in the forthcoming slaughter of the Janissaries.
This was swiftly done as four cannons and longbows wiped the advanced Janissaries away (actually they were pushed far enough backwards that they stopped being a unit). A long range bombardment from the central Heavy cannons also killed some Janissaries and disrupted their formation.
The Argonauts on the left flank killed the last Light Horse unit - but were reduced to single stands from each unit. One stand prepared to sacrifice itself in defense of the Gun line.
The shooting against the Light Horses in front of the line was unsuccesful as all commands to move the cannons failed as did the arrows and bolts that could have caused damage.
In the main Cavalry combat the supporting Akinzis were wiped out while the Kapikula lost but proved, with their four hits, a much more solid wall for the charging Gendarmes (all three units were reduced to two stands but the Kapikula had taken more damage so the combat was to continue in the next turn).

Ottoman Turks and Black Teutonians Turn 4

The Light Horses considered what to do for a split second before they took the bait and wiped a unit of Argonauts away and carried on into the French Infantry units behind it. 
They managed to push the cavalry back despite taking losses.
Elsewhere most orders failed due to the proximity of French forces with the Akincis being the only unit to move. They tried unsuccessfully to get into the combat and help their Kapikulaen comrades.
After the Ottoman Cannons had punished some French Infantry the combat between the Gendarmes and Kapikula saw more damage inflicted on each side, with the Kapikula actually winning but being reduced to a single stand, which carried on fighting.
The fight between Gendarmes and Akinzis was fought to a draw and the Gendarmes cleverly "fell back" into a position to threaten the flank of the nearby Sipharis units... (sneaky frogs :-)).

French Ordonnance Turn 5

In a not-so-clever move the French Infatry charged the Light Horses, who evaded into a much better position wherein they could easily charge the Argonauts next turn.
The shooting phase saw the Azabs destroyed as the Janissaries had been the turn before (Note: the Janissaries in this map should have been Azabs - but they were all dead so who cares :-)).
On the other flank the Kapikula were finally destroyed (though customers!) but the Gendarmes where heavily damaged and decided to consolidate with the Argolauts behind them.
A view from behind The French line
 The other Gendarmes choose to go the way of glory and charged the surprised and vulnarable Sipharis - a one sided combat that saw two stands destroyed. The combat drew into the next round as the Gendarmes had little room to withdraw into.
Battle Chronicler in action

Ottoman Turks and Black Teutonians Turn 5
In the final minutes of daylight the Teutonians decided that enough was enough and gave up waiting for orders and did what they had been trained to do - Charge! The Crusader knights flew around the forest and charged into the flankguarding French Infantry, the Heavy Cannons (Auch) and the Infantry block.

The Akinzis also decided to avenge the Kapikula but both sides proved to have spent most of their energy and the fight was undecisive without any casualties.

The remaining Light Horses destroyed the Argolauts without any difficulties. 
The Azabs in the city were called out to help their Sipharis overlords and although the Gendarmes managed to destroy the Sipharis they were pushed back and reduced to a single stand.
More succesful were the heavy Crusaders who killed a unit of French Infantry without breaking a sweat (although they lost a stand to four stands of infantry...). The other units reaped a bloody French harvest as they swiftly destroyed the Heavy Cannons and then went on to remove end the lifes of another unit of French Infantry and Ordonnance Archers - all done with out any real opposition (one stand dead in one unit).
 And with that the game ended - in a very undecisive position wherein the battle could go both ways depending on a few key combats.

Final Positions

The Final Score - "Bring out your dead!"
Ottoman Turks and Black Teutonians:
2x Light Horse 140
1x Spearmen (-Pavisse) 50
1x Kapikula 125
1x Janissaries 60
1x Shapiru 115
1x Akinzis 60
1x Azabs 35
Total: 585
French Dead

French Ordonnance:
2x Heavy Cannon 150
½+½ Ordonnance Gendarmes 135
2x French Infantry 90
1x Ordonnance Archers 45
2½x Argonauts 150
Total: 570

So after five rounds of 3000p we had another draw (well of course the French won - but with only 15 points in a 3000points battle that is as close as shouldn't be possible). As with the last game (35 points difference) this was really a draw. And a draw which could turn both ways. The Teutonian Brother Knigths still posed a serious threat, the Janissaries were still more or less intact and the crusader knights were deep inside the French Gun line. On the other hand most of the gunline was intact and still in great position, the Ottoman cavalry force wiped out and the Gendares in reserve were positioned for a great initiative charge into the flank of the Crusader Knights, meaning they would die next turn.
I think the positions at the end was slightly in favour of a French victory but both sides could manage to win the battle, with a bit of luck.

Why so close a battle (again)? I think we are now all very equal in skill and the game is just perfectly balanced. this means that when noone does anything bold (or stupid) the result will be a draw most often. And there were some other issues as well - this was the first real Gun Line that we have tried and we were all a bit puzzled as just what to do about it. The Teutonian and Ottomans chose to go around it (which took too long and could have turned  into a slaughter if the French Cannons had received orders to turn about) and to just look on in awe in the centre. W
e now agree that maybe it would have been better to have at least tried a two pronged charge - one flank and down the middle. Thsi coudl work we believe by sacrificing a unti or two of skirmishers each turn and result in a glorious charge at turn two-three or maybe four into the "soft" artillery line (avaoiding the swiss pike of course). If the charge made it there would be plenty of easy points to repay the lost points. I see no other way to handle the Gun Line.
As for the French - I think it is fun to blow things away but the static line is quite boring and actually ineffective - two-thrids of my army (Artillery and main infantry blocks) only killed three stands of infantry. They were avoided for most of the game and when units finally presented themselves too few guns could be turned to bear on the enemy. 

The only French units which really did anything this game were the Gendarmes who removed the Ottoman cavalry (though nearly dying themselves, meaning they gained little) and the Argonauts who bested the Light Horses.
As such although the French battle plan worked like a charm (and even better by charging deep into enemy territory) the static line meant that it couldnt reap anything worthwhile and was, to put it mildly, a bit boring to play. to watch two-thirds of the army just stand bored on a hill isn't my idea of a fun army (though shouting BOOOM, is quite fun :-)).
And the Artillery Master survived in the hands of the Teutonians once again.... Rats!

We hope you enjoyed this and if you have any comments or advice on how to disrupt a Gun Line or how to make playing one more fun please don't hesitate to write a comment and let us know!

Best regards,

Tuesday 21 September 2010

The Entire House of York Army

Hello all,
while preparing for tonights battle (wuhuuu!) I suddenly realised that I had almost all my army out of their boxes and that it was the perfect opportunity to get a "group shot" of all my 10mm Warmaster minis - the painted ones that is :-).
So it is with great pleasure that I would like to present my entire army which is roughly 3500p of Yorkian troops.
Front shot with the Commanders all smiling....

The Commanders
The entire House of York army

The Cavalry brigades
The Artillery - Enough to make any Imperial Guard envious...
The Infantry - the unsung heroes of any battle

Hope you enjoyed them - it has taken far too long to get these units painted but it is my one true hobby which gives me a bit of respite in my everyday troublesome life :-).

Best regards,

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