Tuesday, January 1, 2008

The Dark Ages

Hairy men in chain mail… Who doesn’t LOVE this era! Someday I want to run a 1066 campaign weekend. Friday night – Fulford Gate (just to get warmed up), Saturday morning – Stamford Bridge (Harald vs. Harold!), Saturday evening – Hastings (Normans vs. Whoever won Stamford) , and on Sunday… Some battle where the winner of Hastings goes and thumps (or tires to thump..) some Scotts or Irish…

I’d also though I’d like to do an extended campaign using the simple DBA campaign system with a player each controlling the Normans, Norse, English, Welsh, Scotts, and Irish… and maybe one controlling “other franks”… Originally it was my intention to do this with 15mm DBA armies… but they’re gone now… and that’s okay because I’ve still got these 28mm guys, though I am far from owning the necessary forces for either of the above – I’ll get there someday…

Like my Successors and The English Civil War armies I am planning to use these with Warmaster Ancients (and maybe DBA or Warhammer Ancients) So I am using my new standard basing system for multi-figure bases - with any leftovers being based on washers for skirmish gaming or “change” for stands if I ever use Warhammer.

Alright, here’s what I’ve got so far…

(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version)

Two units of Saxon Huscarls. These are mostly Old Glory with a couple Gripping beast thrown in.

Now anyone that knows me knows that I think all points systems are BALLS – but I have to admit when approaching a completely new system I sometimes figure out what I was planning on making would be in points and compare it to the min/max limits at various point levels etc – just to see if things are way out of whack with what the designers thought appropriate for proportional amounts of various troop types… Well… None of these armies I have amount to more than 1000 points and Huscarls are listed as maximum one unit per full 1000 points… oh dear… Anyway that’s my 3x 4Bd all taken care of for a DBA Anglo-Danish army.

These are figures I modeled and cast myself. I think this was, in fact, one of, in not THE, very first figure I modeled. I have since re-mastered it with a separate (BIGGER) shield. They have to be re-based. I’ll use these as “Great Fyrd” in Warmaster Ancients. There’s 55 of them, with a few new command figures thrown in I should be able to put together 12 stands (4 units!).

Here’s what the re-mastered figure looks like – I don’t have any fully painted just yet. These don’t have my own shields – these were extras from the various Old Glory packs. Mine looks similar to the round one – very plain, round shield with a metal center bit… I forget what they’re called… I can cast piles of these any time I want… So when I get back into working on this project I’ll crank

Except for the two Harlequin/Black Tree Design figures these are again all home-casts that I could make piles of. There’s no Bow in either the Middle Anglo-Saxon or Anglo-Danish lists, just Psiloi… I think I’ll base these as I would 3Bw – four to a base – as Warmaster Ancients allows “Archers”. This will then make 2 units. I think I’d rather my Psiloi/Skirmishers have slings and/or javelins.

Assorted Command – There’s a mix of Old Glory and Gripping Beast here, maybe even a Halequin/Black Tree Design horn blower over on the left there.

Well I think I was thinking these would be Thegns in Warhammer Ancients. There are no Thegns in Warmaster however… so I guess it’s ANOTHER unit of Huscarls… When I finish getting them re-based.

So back when I started home casting those guys I ordered some Saxon command and some Huscarls from Old Glory Canada in Toronto. I figured the chain mail was a bit beyond my modeling skills at that point so I’d just buy them as I didn’t need too many. When my order arrived they has “accidentally” sent Saxon Casualties instead of the Huscarls… and a note that said “as of [two weeks before parcel arrived] we will no longer be in business”… I wonder if they just didn’t have the huscarls and just “accidentally” threw in the casualties “by mistake” so they wouldn’t have to issue me a refund check… ah well… they’ve been fun to throw on to stands, here and there…

Assorted Saxons to paint. Some Gripping Beast Thegns, some BTD fyrd or skirmishers, some of my own “generic dark ages spearmen”… not quite enough of anything to make a unit. Perhaps they’ll all get mounted on washers and be used in skirmish games. Well, not MY guys – I’ll just cast some more and make full units of them.

Assorted Dark Age Command – on the left are mostly Saxon, some Scotts below them at the bottom, an Norse on the right. I’m not so keen on the Saxon commander on the to left – he looks like he’s singing in a frickin opera! Ah well…

Again Two units of Norse Hirdmen when I only really need one…. (wait for it…) I think these are ALL Old Glory.

One unit of Bondi – all Old Glory, except for the horn blower which I think if from Essex…

These are ancient Citadel and Ral Partha figures I’ve been using as skirmishers – and will continue to do so! These will be based three to a stand and will make 2 units…. Once I paint up another figure for each unit…

Assorted Command – Old Glory, Gripping Beast, and Essex. Some will be added to unit stands of figures whenever I get around to painting them up… some may be based together on a big round metal washer to use as command elements.

Assorted odds and sods. Some may be added to unit stands other will be kept on single bases for skirmish games. These are Old Glory and some more really old Citadel Miniatures (which have recently been stripped and re-painted).

More old figures – the ones on the left are old Citadel, the ones on the right are Ral Partha. The Citadel figures will, at some point, be stripped, their axes repaired, and repainted and added to unit stands…

Ulfhednars and berserkers. I was a little surprised to see that you can have entire units of berserkers in Warmaster Ancients… I guess they had to include then somehow. Well these will be the beginning of one such unit. The Ulfhednars are from Gripping Beast, the Berserks are from Essex.

Valkyries – Wiking Varrior Vimin… I couldn’t help myself… The hottie in the center is another old, old Citadel miniature; the beauties flanking her are more recent Wargames Foundry figures.

Berserks and valkyries to be painted. The Valkyries on the let I have no idea where they came from… the Berserks next to them are from Old Glory, more Ulfhednars from Gripping Beast, and more Valkyries from the Foundry.

More odds and sods – Viking Raiders from Old Glory.

Remember when I said “wait for it”… Here’s why – THREE MORE units of Hirdmen…! I think at least one of these units I will disperse among the units of Bondi as “better off” bondi…

Here’s the rest of the Bondi – six units of them- with the dispersed hirdmen that will make seven to paint - for a total of eight.

The Scotts. These are mostly Old Glory with a few Gripping Beast cavalry thrown in. Lacking an actual Warmaster list I’ll have to BS something together based on the DBA lists and the Warhammer Ancients: Shieldwall lists.

The cavalry will probably be based three per base (rather than two for light cavalry/mounted skirmishers) as they all have chain mail and thus I figured they’d be some sort of Noble Cavalry like mounted thanes or Toisech from Shieldwall or the 3Cv in the DBA Pre-Feudal Scotts list.

I also have enough in this bin for two units of guys with axes and two units of gusy with spears. That’d be the 4Wb and 3Sp, respectively, in the DBA list. In Shieldwall I think I was planning on using them as Gall-Gaedill (Scotts-irish mercenaries) and Soer-chele, respectively. Not sure what they’re going to be in Warmaster…. Probably call them both “medium Infantry”

The only Scotts I’ve gotten around to painting so far. I thought I might use this as a General. But if I’m using three per base for the cavalry I’ll be two short…. I guess I could get another pack….

The Welsh. All I have is Archers right now, Sixty of them. They’re from Old Glory. Unfortunately for the time period I’m playing both DBA and Shieldwall list welsh archers as skirmishers. My plan for skirmishers was to base them 3 to a base. That would give me 20 stands – six units. Do I really need that many units of skirmishers!? Probably not. Maybe They’ll be leant out to other armies – or I’ll make an early feudal/medieval Welsh army as well and make a couple units of massed bow.

I’ll need some sort of light infantry for the Welsh. Maybe re-master my Saxon fyrdman with a barehead and a cloak… then cast hundreds and call them Welshmen!

The Irish. I have about two units of guys with two-handed axes and no armour. In DBA the Irish are pretty much all classed as Auxillia or Psiloi, with an option for some Blade… Comparing to Shieldwall I imagine the Blade would be the “Fianna” (or maybe some Norse mercenaries…?), the Auxillia would be the “Bonnachts”, and the Psiloi would be the “Kerns”. I think these lads will be the “Fianna” and classed as Medium infantry and maybe “warband”. For “Bonnachts” I’ll have to make myself some irish light infantry (which I’ll base four to a stand), and for “Kerns” some skirmishers (three to a stand) at some point…

I kind of like the idea of having a unit of Irish Wolfhounds… Not sure how historical that would be… maybe call them “skirmishers”?

The Sheep. I had this idea of running a skirmish campaign sort of based on Mordheim except instead of looking for shards of wyrdstone you’d be stealing sheep from your neighbors…

Here’s the painted Normans… Long way to go… The fully painted ones are old Wargames Foundry figures, the primed one is from Gripping Beast.

All Gripping Beast, not even enough for a unit.. Now that he dollar is close to the US dollar it might be time to order some Old Glory Norman Cavalry..! (…or find something I could trade to CVT for his!)

So tallying things up, here’s THE PLAN

1 General might get Crusader DAS-10 Personalities Harold and Tostig for this…
2 Eorls – Use some command figures I’ve got… 2 To Paint!
2 Chieftans? – Use some command figures I’ve got… 2 To Paint!
3 Units of Huscarls – DONE! (well… one has to be re-based)
4 Units of Great Fyrd – to be re-based
2 Units of Archers – to be re-based
6 Units of Fyrd – need to cast and paint!

General - Use some command figures I’ve got… To Paint (or re-base)!
Warlord - Use some command figures I’ve got… To Paint (or re-base)!
Cheiftan - Use some command figures I’ve got… To Paint (or re-base)!
4 Units of Hird – 2 Done, 2 To Paint
2 Units of Skirmishers – to be re-based
1 Unit of Berserkers – to be painted
8 Unis of Bondi – One DONE, 7 to paint!

General – DONE!
Warlord - ?
Cheiftan - ?
2 Units of
2 Units of Mounted Toisech (Medium Cavalry) – to be painted, need one pack of GB cav
2 Units of Gall-Gaedill (Scotts-irish mercenaries with axes – medium infantry)
2 Units of Soer-chele ( with spears– medium infantry)
2 Units of Eachraidh (Mtd Skirmishers/LH) Need to get GB 3xGBCEL-07 Unarmd Cav
Need to make generic spearman and cast piles for more Soer-Chele or Doer-Chele
Maybe I'll borrow a dozen or so welsh archers and call them bow-armed scottish skirmishers...

General…? Have one…
2 Units of Fianna (Medium Infantry) – need to paint
Need to make generic irish warrior with spear/Javelin for Bonnachts (light infantry – 4/base) and Kerns (skirmishers – 3/base)

Generals and Leaders – need to get…
6 Units of Bow-Armed Skirmishers… I have enough… just need to paint…
Need to make Generic Light infantryman and cast piles….

General – TO Get – Crusader DAN-110 William and Bishop Odo
Where to start…?
Need to get:
Knights – each old Glory bag would make one unit... four maybe…? The extra figure in each pack could be mounted singly as a Commander.
“Retainers”…? Mounted Skirmishers…?
Need to make: Spearmen – 2-4 units – have figures to use as command to paint!
Need to cast: Archers – two units…

Coming soon on Tim’s Miniature Wargaming Blog:
More taking stock…

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