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Friday, 28 October 2011

War of the Roses

Carlisle Castle

Bamburgh Castle


Here are a couple of photos of a unit of men-at-arms led by Rhys ap Thomas who supported Henry Tudor and fought for him at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485 against Richard III. The figures are Front Rank and Old Glory. I really like the Front Rank War of the Roses range and also have some Old Glory, Vendel and a few boxes of the lovely Perry plastics.

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Early Seleucid Army

For a change of pace and scale I thought I'd post some photos of my 15mm early Seleucid DBA army. I haven't played DBA for quite a while but I was thinking, how often the ease of collecting and painting an army, is a big factor for people starting out on particular rule sets. The fewer figures you need to paint and base, the more likely it is to be popular. The figures are Xyston, Essex and Gladiator Games. The Xyston figures are really excellent and actually have more detail than a lot of 28mm ranges!

Early Seleucid (II/19 a) DBA army

Seleucid Cavalry (2 x 3 Kn, 1 x 2 Lh)

Seleucid Elephants (2 x El)

Psiloi and Hypaspists (2 x 2 Ps, 1 x 4 Ax)

Seleucid Pike (4 x 4 Pk)
Another shot of the army

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Macedonian/Early Successor Elephants

Here are some Macedonian/Early Successor Elephants I painted earlier in the year but I haven't got around to adding the photos here. The first is an Essex elephant and crew which I really like. The second is a Tin Soldier elephant and crew which has quite a dynamic pose, but is over sized and worst of all, the ears are way too large for an Indian elephant. Aventine seem to have the nicest range of elephants around (of course you can never have too many elephants!) so I'll add to these when they bring out suitable mahout and pikemen sitting astride on one of their Indian elephants.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

First Game of Saga

Norman knights gear up for a charge

Last night my mate Rick and I played our first game of Saga using six point armies of Normans versus Anglo-Danish. I’d read the rules once, while Rick only had a quick gander at the cheat sheet. Despite this the game turns moved along fairly quickly with the inevitable interruptions to check sections of the rules. The basic mechanics of the game are fairly simple but anticipating you opponent’s moves and choosing the best options with fatigue, your Saga dice and battle board, are all things you probably won’t pick up straight away.

We deployed on opposite sides of the four foot by three foot board and the Norman knights, true to character, promptly charged impetuously towards the Anglo-Danish line, while the levy bowmen unleashed a massed volley on the unsuspecting ceorls to the right. The knights charged the ceorls in the centre but rolled poorly and one unit was forced to disengage.

The board with Normans on the left and Anglo-Danish on the right.

Norman warband
Anglo-Danish warband
The knights charge the ceorls in the centre

The Anglo-Danish turn saw a counter attack by the huscarls and warlord. After a bloody melee both units of the knights were destroyed but at great cost with many casualties among the huscarls and ceorls. The Anglo-Danish warlord was only saved by his special rule of resilience and the (VS = 2”) proximity of a unit of ceorls who were able to save his bacon by taking the hits on his behalf. The death of a warlord in Saga means the end of the game.

Norman knights fight to the death

Anglo-Danish warlord is saved by his ceorls

The remaining Normans were totally unscathed, and advancing towards the depleted Anglo-Danish force, shot with their crossbow men and levy archers. The Anglo-Danish although severely mauled in the previous melees, had no missile troops, so could not afford to sit back and be shot to pieces. They attacked but were running out of steam and the next few turns saw the last two huscarl units wiped out. At this point we had to call it quits before the two warlords could fight it out in a duel to the death.

Both sides had three units and their warlords remaining but the Normans scored 18 Victory Points (based on casualties inflicted) while the Anglo-Danish had only 13. Thanks to Rick for a fun game. I’m sure there were a few things we got wrong but all in all it was a very satisfactory introduction to Saga.

The Anglo-Danish try a desperate counter attack

The huscarls go down fighting

Final stages of the game

Tuesday, 11 October 2011


I received my copy of Saga last week and have now read the rules. They seem like a lot of fun and I'm looking forward to my first game. I haven't made much progress with my Picts and the addition of a six point Welsh army hasn't eased the congestion on my painting desk!

I have managed to finish off some Normans, many of which I painted years ago but I need one more unit. I actually have another unit of crossbow men somewhere but can't find them so will probably do some unarmoured spearmen as warriors. The figures are a mix of Crusader and Gripping Beast. I also have started on a box of the plastic Conquest Games Norman Knights which are really lovely figures.

Norman Warlord
Norman Knights

More Knights

Knights on foot
Warlord with his knights

Serjeants with crossbow
Levy bowmen
Warlord with five Norman units