Sunday, 27 August 2017

Roman Lion Rampant update

I’m much taken by the Roman Lion Rampant concept and accordingly units are being painted at a fair lick.  It’s great to see stuff bought in the 80’s and early Nineties making it onto the table.  I’m tempted to look at reflecting Roman regular status by giving them a better ‘Courage’ rating at a cost of 1 point.  Maybe just for the Legions and Palatinate units and yes, this will make them expensive. 

Of course, the danger of over much tinkering with rules systems is that you unbalance the whole-so I’ll be mindful of that.  The table top will serve as the acid test.

First, here are the units that slot into the given Lion Rampant categories.  Two lots of Roman 'Bidowers', slingers and Legionary skirmishers.

Now some variants, distances reduced for 15mm.  Here I'm guided by Roy Boss's excellent work on Justinian's Italian Wars published by Montvert.  The hard charging Franks liked to say the Visigoths were prone to running away but really they were doing something else.

Unit Name: 
Visigoths Nobles
Points: 4

 Attack 5+
Attack Value
Move 5+
Defence Value5+
Shoot 6+
Shoot Value
Hit on 5+ Max range ‘3
Courage 4+
Max. Movement 5
Armor 3
Special Rules
Counter-charge, Skirmish, Evade

As far as I can tell you would find these fellows anywhere in the Diocese of the Gauls which includes Britannia. Hard hitting, charging cavalry with Kontos, or Contos if you are more used to a hard 'C'. 

Unit Name: 
Roman Lanciarii Cavalry
Points: 6

 Attack 5+
Attack Value
Move 7+
Defence Value5+
Shoot -
Shoot Value -
Courage 3+
Max. Movement 5
Armor 3
Special Rules

Here's a Roman unit of Moorish light cavalry which I'll field as expert mounted yeomen with javelin and an armour factor of 2.

More to follow.

Thursday, 24 August 2017

Project Round Up

You will have noticed I have a few small projects on the go.  I thought I’d do a quick round up to remind myself where I’ve got to.

French and Indian Wars
All done apart from two bases of abatis.  Though I’m tempted to add some French standard bearers in full uniform as opposed to waistcoats.

Jacobites ’19 and ‘45
A lowland/ English unit, the Irish Piquets and another unit of Highlanders to paint.

I have a Russian force to paint and I want some of the new Blue Moon Tigermen and Jingals.  I have enough ready for a game of The Men Who Would Be Kings.  I’ve also got a lot of Chinese scenery planned.

Chariots Rampant
Two Syrian chariots to paint and we are game ready. 

Nap' Rampant
Awaiting figures but a good start made.

Romans Rampant
I’m finessing the stats which is proving straightforward and searching out what figures I have to hand.  The latter is good reflection of later Roman realities-you field the army you can rather than the one you’d like to.  Luckily, I found an unpainted legion, well 12 figures, it wouldn’t have been a show without Punch.

Zulu War
Both sides are now done, cattle have been bought, painted and based.  I’ll stick some pics up shortly. 

Most of this is Dan Mersey's fault and I thank him for it.  Lots of lost projects revitalised there.

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Roman Rampant Notes

Here are some of the things I think should be included to reflect what we know, or think we know about the period.

Hun asymmetrical bows out shot anything else. No long-range deduction works for me as a means of reflecting this.

Some cavalry, armoured or not, were charging cavalry-to fight they charged straight in and hit hard. Unarmoured Men at Arms perhaps. Hit hard, die fast, try and avoid missiles.

Some armoured cavalry could both charge and skirmish depending on the tactical need.  Add the skirmish and evade function to their stats.

Some cavalry specialised in mass shooting.  Improve their shoot stat for initiating firing.  No skirmish or evade.  They trot into range and shoot.  Can counter charge if kontos armed.

Not all barbarian foot majored in the wild charge.  Some seem simply to have provided a stable support around which their cavalry operated. Schiltron rule seems to apply.

Barbarian comitatus were the equal of any Romans because they too were well equipped, highly trained and experienced full timers with high morale. One unit only in each retinue.

David Sullivan’s (see previous post) suggestion for pila/dart armed Romans will also work for Frank infantry with angon or francesca.

Other barbarians liked to throw things too when charging, short range only hit on a 6 otherwise treat like pila.

I’ll post some stats and suggest who they might apply to soon.  

Monday, 21 August 2017

Roman Lion Rampant

While we are on things Rampant I came across a mid/late Roman variant recently.  I thought it looked pretty good and indeed it attracted positive comment from Dan Mersey.  You can find the detail here on the author David Sullivan’s blog. Here’s the link:

Reading through the adaptation I was struck by how easy the Lion Rampant tool kit lends itself to reproducing the Drungus tactic of the Roman cavalry.  The latter was also favoured by the Visigoths and British of the Heroic age.

As it happens I have a bunch of suitable figures for this that are currently not doing anything useful.  So far, I've located a unit of Visigoth cavalry, one of cataphracts and another of clibanarii and two German warbands.  All need to be painted.  I'm sure there is other useful stuff stashed away somewhere too.

A lot of fun to be had here I think, expect more posts on this.

Sunday, 20 August 2017

100 Years War Progress

I recently spent a pleasant afternoon painting my 100 Years War collection, radio play in the back ground, you know the sort of thing.

Most pleasing of all I’ve managed to get my hands on some Steve Shaw medieval Scots courtesy of eBay.  I’m a big fan of Steve’s work and his figures are not easy to come by these days.  

What I wanted in this case was a Scottish contingent for my French and that’s just what I got-plus a couple of excellent Highlands and Isles command figures.

Here they are, rather heavy in Douglas’s, (dubh gl├ís = blue black) and Otterburn oriented but they will do the trick nicely.  As you can see they are equipped with long spears to front up a Schiltron as a unit of seargents led by knights.

I’ve nearly finished the English archers too and some Donnington New Era foot knights including the Ear of Oxford.

The big painting challenge is going to be the mounted knights.

Friday, 18 August 2017

Folorn Hope

General Hope Grant feels his orders are too restrictive, denying him the ability to act on his own initiative.  He does not want to inflame the Pandies by being seen to withdraw from engaging them.  That said he will scrupulously obey orders and can take great satisfaction in the retribution his column will deal out to the natives.

His force consists of:

Hodgeson’s Horse, a Sikh formation perhaps more committed to loot than battle. 

A British Battalion, still musket armed.

A battalion of Punjab Sikh's likewise armed with musket.

At his own request, he is accompanied by a single battery of artillery.

The guns will slow him down but could be decisive should he meet serious opposition.  On the eve of departure orders arrive requiring him to attend on Sir Colin Campbell immediately.  Bereft of Hope,  General Rose entrusts the mission to Brigadier Wilson.

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Rose’s Column

The great thing about wargame campaigns is that you can pick them up where you left off and let the story continue to unfold.  So after a lengthy break the Rani and her would be nemesis General Rose are up in arms once more.

General Rose has two units of cavalry one of Sikh’s and one of British regular lancers.

He is well provided for with two batteries of artillery.

His infantry consists of three battalions of British regulars and one of Sikhs and a Ghurkha battalion.  All of the British are armed with rifles giving them greater range than their opponents.

In his train are the engineers and pontoon boats essential to his mission and he is well supplied with rations for the journey.

Standing orders dictate the cavalry are to screen, probe and seek to detect any sizeable enemy presence along the route.  The column is to march each day before dawn to maximise speed. 

I bought and painted some new toys for the game which you will see as we proceed.

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

That’s the Impi Done

Six units in all, three veterans, three fierce, three married, three unmarried.  Wedded men are veterans all, as those of us who abide within the institution know.  

It is possible to adjust the stats further if you fancy having an elite regiment for example. Strictly speaking the younger men could move faster than the older lads but I hesitate to tinker with the movement rules.  As it stands Zulus, in TMWWBK, can always move and that should nicely reflect their speed.

I’ll use them in the traditional fashion formed up to represent the horns, head and loins of a fighting bull.  The horns will seek to turn the enemy’s flanks, the head will fix the enemy and absorb the punishment and the loins will deliver the coup de grace.

Maximising the use of cover is going to be important with these lads.

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Jingals in The Men Who Would Be Kings

There are no stats for Jingals in The Men Who Would Be Kings.  Of course, if you have Boxer, or Imperials or Tai Ping troops you want Jingals.

Right then, what do we know about Jingals?  Basically, a Jingal was like a big shot gun with a two- man crew.  At short range, it could be very effective at long range it was nearly useless.  It was though very mobile, a Jingal and crew could easily keep up with infantry.  They were often used from cover or concealment.  You can see two of them, mounted on tripods, front and centre, below. Sometimes there was no tripod with one of the crew resting the weapon on his shoulder instead.

I’m rating mine as follows: Irregular crewed weapon, 2 crew three dice each, range ‘3 (for 15mm), speed ‘3. A Jingal crews only defence against close quarter assault was to evade it so their free movement will be skirmish.  I’m thinking a cost of 2 points, possibly 3.

While we are on the subject Blue Moon 15/18mm have released a lovely bag of Jingals and crews under the title of Chinese Wall Guns.

Monday, 7 August 2017

General Rose’s Gambit

It was fair to say that General Rose had been unlucky so far.  The troops called him the accursed Rose. That he was plucky no one doubted and so when it was decided that the Rani must be taught a lesson his eagerly offered services were swiftly accepted.

It was a daring plan; a strong force would bridge the river protecting the Rani’s capital Krishnapur and establish a bridgehead on the far side.  This would be re enforced and then the city subject to storm and sack.

There were problems, patrols had been unable to penetrate the strong screens of Mutineer cavalry and intelligence was contradictory.  No one was sure exactly where the Rani’s main forces were.  The danger was that Rose would be caught on the march and the pontoons and necessary boats destroyed or immobilised through loss of draft animals.

Clearly what was required was a strong cavalry force to prevent the column being surprised.  With adequate warning, the firepower of the column’s guns and new rifles would see off any assault.

To help things along General Hope Grant would feint to the north dealing out retribution as he went.  Thus, causing uncertainty among the foe and perhaps making them divide their forces.  

If General Grant met with over strong opposition he was to withdraw.

Sunday, 6 August 2017

Reader, I succumbed

I mentioned in a previous Nap’ Rampant post that what I needed to do was to buy some French infantry, but what I wanted to do was to buy some British light dragoons and Vistula lancers.

Of course, I bought the cavalry. AB figures pricey but lovely and they come in the right amounts for this sort of game.  I ordered more French from Xan too.

Progress continues with the British nearly done.  Should you want to know if Old Glory and Campaign Group Miniatures 15mm go well together, they do indeed.  OG on the left below.

A start has been made on the French with a Baden unit completed.

Further poking around the bits box has produced a unit of Walloon Guards and one of Spanish light infantry.

I think that will do it for this project.  Famous last words of course.

Thursday, 3 August 2017

Zulu Stuff

I got a copy of Dan Mersey’s A Wargamers Guide to the Anglo Zulu War at a good price.  It’s a very nice, well produced affair containing pretty much what you would want to know. 

The tone is pleasantly conversational and as you would expect-informed.  Strangely, Dan does not mention his own splendid Men Who Would Be King in the rules round up towards the back.  Old fashioned modesty perhaps, anyway it doesn’t matter because you can clearly see from the historical material what inspired the thinking behind his ‘tribal firepower’ rule.  All in all, it’s a grand little purchase.  

The Impi, as you can see is coming on a treat.  Just one unit left to paint and then its horns, head and loins on the table.

Here’s a pic of the Old Glory Chinese Legation armed civilians handy enough for the Cape too.

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

More Nap’ Rampant

Well, the British force has taken shape.  It’s not too unlikely, a unit of line infantry and one of light from Campaign Group Miniatures- lovely figures and in stove pipe shako.  Next, two more units of light infantry from Old Glory.  Last but not least Highlanders and Rifles from Fantassin now available from Capitan. All from the bits box and all units up to strength.

The French proved more of a challenge and so I might have to put my hand in my pocket.  The bits box delivered a gun and crew, a French line unit and too few voltiguers (2), cavalry (4) and command (1).  I do have two units of Bavarians too and one of French grenadiers. Can I justify a unit of French grenadiers?  I suspect not.

So, I need to make some decisions and to set some boundaries to prevent this becoming a bigger project than it needs to be.  That said surely 36 points would prove more flavoursome than 24.

I’d like some British light dragoons in shako and some Vistula lancers but really all I need to do is to buy some French infantry from Xan Miniatures.

As a compromise, I’ll be haunting ebay while I dither.