Tuesday, 9 January 2018

The King’s Spears

The King’s Spears were Henry VIII’s immediate military circle of relatives, pals, favourites and aristos on the make.  An elite unit then, well equipped and capable in the field. I'd consider them a match for the French Gendarmes but of course there's only one unit of them.

These ones are converted Roundway 15mm English Knights.  The Roundway figures are very nice but were not quite flashy enough for this bunch.  I added plumes for man and beast, skirts and roundels all in Henry’s colours.  I’m pleased with how they came out and cannot wait for the command figures, also from Roundway, to arrive to complete the unit.  I added Milliput sabots, perhaps 2mm deep, before basing to raise their height to that of Essex 15mm French Gendarmes.  You can see some patches of gold on the armour of these chaps-it's sunlight streaming in through the window as I took the pics.

Here’s the conversion process in reverse should you fancy having a go at something similar.

The last of the big woolly coats gang are also done, archers this time and as you can see they are commanded by one of the King’s Spears who has dismounted for the job.  

We can only assume they have been given an important task.

Note the added bucklers, these boys will fight it out if they have to.  That said there is some evidence that the French considered the shooting abilities of the English archers had much declined from their lethal days of yore.  That's something to think about.

Friday, 5 January 2018

I’m Not Doing Maori-Here They Are

I decided not to do the Maori Wars.  I am interested, but the lack of suitable and readily available 15mm figures  put me off.  Also, while I’ve read a bit including some excellent blogs like this one 


I realise I don’t know enough yet.  The appeal of the Pa and the Haka still lingers though. Not least because I've met some interesting Maori folk in my time.

I have just bought a DVD of the acclaimed Anglo-Maori War film UTU!  I missed it first time around in the 80s but never lost interest. I'ts a German release and seems to be a first for region 2. It’s a good film by anyone’s standards. Naturally it made me think once again about my decision.

As it happens I have about half a dozen African figures from Irregular and they are currently without a project to call their own.  They all have guns and some sort of skirt or loin cloth. Of course I’m still in the grip of conversion mania – people are scared to enter the house in case they are immediately modified with Green Stuff.

Well, you can guess the rest, so here’s the before.

The finished figures will appear shortly once I've added feathers and Meres and such like and painted them.  Tattoos in 15mm, that will be interesting.

Now this does not necessarily mean I will be turning out Regulars and Rangers and Militia and more Maori for TMWWBK.  No, not at the moment-but you could say it is a significant step. 

The Maori were fond of the shot gun a trait they shared with the Xhosa who also liked a scrap in close country.  Shot guns aren’t much use at a distance but at close range they’re a hellish weapon. Tactically then the Imperials should endeavour to optimise their long and medium range fire power while the Maori should favour opening up at point blank.  

In terms of TMWWBK I think the Maori could be either Veteran Irregular Infantry with Field Craft at 6 points or Tribal Infantry but hitting when firing on a 5 rather than just a 6. That would be the shot gun effect and I’d cost such a unit at 4 points rather than 3.  So, around 5 units then. 

Such a unit would absolutely murderous in close combat so the trick would be to stop them getting too close.  If that means a major emphasis on scouting and occasionally firing blind into the Fern so be it.  Period flavour you might say.

Now speaking of the Mersey-Leck school of tabletop fun you may know that we can expect a new Osprey Rule Book from them in 2019.  It will be called Rebels and Patriots and naturally enough it's aimed at war in the Americas.  Here's a link to Michael's blog.


I've no doubt it will be very good but what excites me is that it's intended to cover everything from the French and Indian War through to the ACW-including the Mexican War.  Five minutes considering the Mexican Army and the 1812 British and you quickly realise we are going to have the official view on Nap' Rampant stats.

There's Ridgeway to consider too.  I'd decided not to do Ridgeway or Maori or the Cape Wars.

Wednesday, 3 January 2018

1513 in 2018

Happy New Year to one and all.

Here are the new boys for 1513 in 2018.

Some Kern for Henry’s expedition. I will field these as Bidowers in Lion Rampant terms which is how Henry used them in France. If I add another unit, and I might, they could be combined into a unit of Fierce Foot in an Irish Retinue.  The figures are from QRF’s Tudor range and I rate them highly as 15mm Irish go.  They have been modified with new or replacement shields and in one case a spear.

Next, we have some work in progress using some Roundway15mm English Knights as the basis for Henry’s elite King’s Spears.  As you can see I had a go at plumes, not as tricky as I had thought.  You can see the before and mid-way below along with one ready for high lighting. I think they are coming along OK.  One unit only of these and as you might guess they are the English equivalent of the Gendarmes.

I’m also part way through my second unit of Royal Archers you can see some 15mm Co conversions here.  For some reason I felt a burning desire for some English archers in kettle helmet, God knows why, its what we do I suppose.  Anyhow here they are replete with added quivers and new coats. I added a couple of bucklers too. The rest of the unit, like the command figures, will be QRF.

Now to France with two units of Adventuriers comprised of Essex, 15mm Co and QRF figures.

A fair few of them are conversions.

Last, but certainly not least, here are some of my Stradiots in French Service.  These fellows are from Mirliton and I think they are pretty good. Maybe the best Stradiot figures available.

So, there we are, everything is coming along nicely and I’m just about ready to put a game on.  All of which leads me to share an idle thought, is there any mileage in importing the Mounted Infantry category and rules from *The Men Who Would Be Kings into Lion Rampant to represent mounted infantry archers?

* Or the Dragoon one from The Pike Man's Lament.  Mind you mustn't over tinker.