Sunday, 30 July 2017

Nap’ Rampant

Belatedly, I came across mention of Eagle Rampant (a Napoleonic Lion Rampant) and then Dragoon Rampant-Ditto but for the Peninsula War and subsequently Rifleman’s Lament based on The Pikeman’s Lament.  

All good stuff, so of course I succumbed.

A visit to the Bits Box and I was in business give or take a couple of discrete purchases.
While I pondered I realised these are the type of rules needed for the ’98 in Ireland.  First though I need some figures.  Khurasan have them, but they have not been released.  When they are ready I will be too.

Meantime, with only one Zulu unit left to paint my thoughts are turning to Spain.  Mr Mersey seems to have pulled off the DBA effect by creating an engine that everyone wants to use. 

Saturday, 22 July 2017

Zulus, 32 of them!

All Old Glory 15mms and based for The Men Who Would Be Kings.  These ones are the married warriors with head rings.  Nice figures I think, with a lot of variety.  They seem to be slightly smaller than the OG Ancients figures I have.  

The bag produced enough figures for three units of 16 figures with spares left over. Six figures are armed with a rifle.

I’ve ordered a bag of Zulus in full ‘uniform’ too.  That will give six units in all and should I want, a unit of skirmishers.  So in terms of the Impi a 1-4-1 formation for horns, chest and loins of the bull. 

They are quite time consuming to paint but worth it I think. You do have to glue the shields on.

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Did Alasdair Mac Colla invent the Highland Charge?

I’ve blogged about the Highland Charge before and so it was with keen interest that I read David Stevenson’s case that the tactic was invented by Alasdair.  Stevenson, a financial journalist by trade is author of Highland Warrior a biography of Alasdair, of Scottish Covenanters and Irish Confederates and a fair bit more.

To briefly summarise his case:

Mac Colla originated the Highland charge at the battle of the Laney fought in Ireland in February 1642 as this seems to be the first recorded incidence of it we have.  The tactic was enabled by the adoption of the musket, sword and targe as standard equipment. The abandonment of Cotun and Mail armour also resulted in a swifter closing speed.  The inspiration came from the traditional tactic of sword and targe armed Kern but substituted a volley from  the more effective musket for the less deadly shower of darts.

I find this interesting and think Stevenson could well be right.  The impact of a Gaelic charge was a serious matter.  Mountjoy, Elizabeth the First’s most successful general noted “When it comes to hand-strokes the Irish will usually prevail”.  That said the Irish tended to separate out their shot from their targeteers not least because the latter were drawn from the traditional military class.  Many of the Irish shot, better shots than the English says Mountjoy, were not drawn from the military classes and so were not all trained swordsmen. They therefore could have carried out the effective volley required but not the superior swordsmanship needed upon contact, nor for that matter did they carry targes.

Although the ‘New Scots’ Highland soldiers who fought alongside the Irish were dual armed we find them shooting with their bows or charging fiercely with two handed swords depending on the tactical situation.  I cannot think of a single incidence during the Nine Years War of the combined shooting and assault required by the Highland charge .  

I can note that some of the McDonnell’s of the Route are recorded as carrying targes in the time of Shane O’Neill.  It was a targe that saved Sorley Buidhe (Blonde Charles) McDonnald from being brained by a Galloglaich axe.

All of which suggests that the tactic was an innovation and one that might well lie with Alasdair Mac Colla of Clan Donald.

Monday, 17 July 2017

Four Sixes for China

Here is my Great Powers expeditionary force for China.  

First, we have the German Sea Battalion.

Next the elite Italian Bersaglieri.

Finally, some British Sailors.

With a supporting gun and crew. 

Four units in all, all costing 6 points and totalling the required 24 points required for a TMWWBK company.  So, a fairly dull decision to rate everyone as dependable, formidable regulars but OK for a first in period game.

In future games, I’ll make the Bersaglieri sharp shooters and the Sailors fierce.  I also have the figures for a Russian Company, Cossacks, Dragoons, Sailors and artillery.  I’ve yet to paint most of them but I think I will get them all done. 

I've also got a unit of armed civilians for defending Legations and the like.  The latter might well accompany a naval brigade for Zulu related fun at the Cape.  Chelmsford never came back... sort of thing.

All of the toys are all Old Glory 15mm should you be thinking of getting some.  

I finished a unit of Mongols too, to support the Boxers.  They are sold as Chinese Irregular Cavalry and, believe it or not, this is the only photo of them I've seen on line.

Friday, 14 July 2017

Chinese Court Yard House

If you’re interested in games set in China you probably lament the lack of good model buildings to put on the table top.  Most of us end up buying fish tank ornaments and using them.

There are some good Chinese wooden puzzle buildings that are just the job. Sadly, unless you visit China the price has tended to be very high.  I recall seeing £35.00 once for the traditional Chinese Court Yard House.  It’s a great model as you can see if you visit the Wargaming For Grown Ups blog (look under Tai Ping).

By now you must be wondering if there is a point to my rambling.  There is indeed, I have just taken receipt of the traditional Chinese Court Yard House model for which I paid the princely sum of £6.99-post free.  I bought it on ebay this week, look under Chinese Wooden Puzzles if you want one.

Thursday, 13 July 2017

An Irish Retinue for Lion Rampant

It’s great see all these old Steve Shaw figures finished and ready to use as I’ve had them for decades.  It occurred to me that with a bit of swapping round of unit types I can field an early version to tackle the Vikings and the Normans and as well as a later one.  Not only that but I can also produce an Islemen Retinue.  Anyhow here they all are: 

Monday, 10 July 2017

The Gloves Are Off

Yes, it’s the Boxer Rising using The Men Who Would Be Kings.  I have the figures, barring some Tiger Men soon to be provided by Blue Moon.  So how to rate them?  Something like this I think.

Tiger Men
Irregular Infantry, obsolete rifle, veteran, Free Actions Move and Skirmish. Twelve men at a cost of 5 points.

Kansu Braves

Irregular Infantry, well-armed, Free Actions Fire and Stand to. Twelve men at a cost of 5 points.


Tribal Infantry seems the best fit, Free Actions Move and Charge. Sixteen men at a cost of 3 points, or upgraded to fierce at 5 points.

Banner Men

Irregular Infantry, poorly armed, Free Actions Fire and Move. Twelve men at a cost of 2 points.

Metropolitan Banner Men

Irregular Infantry, well-armed, Free Actions Fire and Stand to. Twelve men at a cost of 5 points.

Unenthusiastic Irregular Cavalry.  Eight men at a cost of 5 points.  Or possibly veteran with modern weapons costing more.

Well drilled modern artillery at six points.

The good news is that I have nearly enough figures already painted to make a Company for each side.  My Boxers are based for Piquet Field of Battle where they act as village militia in the Tai Ping and Opium Wars. I might buy some more of them and base them for TMWWBK.  China fans will have recognised, indeed, probably own, one of the famous fish tank bridges that features in the photos.

Monday, 3 July 2017

More Jacobites

Roundway make a pack of Royal Ecossaises for the ’45, well I couldn’t resist, so here they are.

This probably means I’ll be doing the Irish Piquet’s too, Baggot’s Hussars and Fitz James’s Horse.

I now have three units of Highlanders based for TPL and intend having a fourth.  They are almost all from Roundway Miniatures (A venerable manufacturer of quality 15mm figures).

I thought they could do with some flags so I could tell them apart so I added some to the last bunch I painted.

I intend to try out big TPL using 36 points in three commands of 12-like brigades really.

Saturday, 1 July 2017

China Restored

The photos are back in the China posts, Manchu and Tai Ping.  If you missed them first time around you could give them a click using the China label on your right.

You don't often see these armies.