Monday, 21 March 2011

Plastic Fury!

And the march of the plastic Tercio er marches on. After a couple of gluing sessions the armies now stand at (in Spanish/Very Civile Action terms):

Troop = 3 figures

The Spanish
2 Troops of pike
2 troops of shot
2 horsemen
A Captain on foot

The Imperialists
1 troop each of pike & shot with a Captain

The French
2 troops of pike
2 troops of shot
2 horsemen
2 Captains

2 troops of shot, 3 if I slot in a drummer
1 troop of pike

Taggart's Mercenary Company
1 Captain Taggart
1 troop pike
2 troops shot

Kleist's Mercenaries
1 Kleist
1 troop shot

I am now using the dreaded "pike at charge" arms - lets face it, they are going to be a complete sod to use given the pikes extend about 3" to the front. I am also running low on the plastic pikes (the metal ones are really nice but our cat once charged a brick of 28mm SAS figures, so pointy headed - frankly REAL 28mm pikes, fail on H&S grounds. As I have three whole boxes (Imperial, Swede and firelock), I have torsos to spare, its bases (I am using the small individual bases) and pikes I running low on.

Once Kleist has a troop of pike, its ho for the horse. 3 or 2 figs per troop? Either way, with 2 cav boxes to play with, most will have a cornet - so the horse will look nice.

Then, its over to rules. TPCs Spanish Actions/VCA looks like the favourite; I just need to cross reference ECW units to TYW/Mantuan War types. And of course, give it that "Flashing Blade" feel as well. In that context, the Swedes are chrome but once you are onto the Spanish Road, well it's hard to get off. On to Casale!

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Men In Tights

I was too young to understand the naughtiness of The Borgias when it first appeared on British TV back in the seventies. But something left a lasting impression and Renaissance Italy has always been an interest. Unfortunately the accepted picture of warfare in Renaissance Italy have been skewed by fatuous Edwardian translations of Machiavelli being repeated verbatim reinforced by post world war prejudice of Italian martial prowess.

Until now, there's only been make-do's for the Italians and the 'Medici Ascendency' in 28mm. Those figures that did exist were often tied up in packs with other figures, making it uneconomic. many years ago (Gauntlet era)  I ordered 28mm Mirliton samples direct from Italy - but the figs just let me down. Too Hinchliffe.

Now, with the Perrys and Assault Group combined I have the oppotunity to create something that's 80-90% there. I have quite a few Foundry (ex Citadel) heroic 25mm and the Perry European heads or armoured heads from the Mercenaries plastics pack would be ideal for creating the 'right' look for the figures I have.

I have just over £6 credit with Maelstrom which means I can get the Mercs pack for a £10. If I also buy one pack of European heads from Perrys and plan out any further purchases in stages over next three months I should have two skirmish forces by end of April and two small but complete Condottieri/Early Renaissance 'switch' armies by end of June/beginning of July.

I think the Assault Group Italian Arquebusiers are a must. I'll also get some of their Neopolitan Spanish as makeweights for one side and give it a Spanish flavour as and when required. Same too with Scots/ Early Tudor English.

Rules - agree, something fun - contingent based and use Song of Blades and Heroes for skirmish.


Tuesday, 15 March 2011

A Very American Civil War Sussed.

My alternative timeline America:

1) 20mm

2) No set background. The conflict occurs sometime between 1935 and 1941. I need no rationale other than it happened.

3) Not to worry about factions, their alliegences or rationale. Concentrate on wargame forces.

4) Mix and match forces as required by each game. America is large and diverse enough so different things could have happen in different states/seaboards.

5) Not to sweat the detail. The overall look is more important!

6) Of course there are interventionist advisors and military missions from other countries!


Monday, 14 March 2011

Plastics lead the way

So, I have been pottering with my TYW Warlord plastics - but first some more history.

I think I was 11 when I bought my first Minifigs - 3 from the Mythical Earth range, from a stamp shop in Cowes, IoW. My mum sent for the catalogue shortly after; then in a Model Shop in what seemed to be a front room of a house in Pontypridd, I bought a couple of Landsknechts, TYW halberdiers and Roundead foot with swords. Then I found some Renaissance Spanish in a model shop in Torquay. I identified them from the catalogue and thats where it all went wrong, because I got confused over the Renaissance period; my only reference was that France & Spain were at war then and I got that, the Flashing Blade. So, the French wore floppy hats (yes, very English Civil War) and the Spanish wore Morions. Now, those Minifig Spanish - they wore Morions! So, although they were really C16th Spanish, I didnt know any better. I just presumed the Spanish wore padded hose and breastplate, that Landsknechts wore slashed multi coloured shirts and the Cavaliers, floppy hats and that this all happened more or less at the same time.....some 35 years on and that idea has had a massive hangover, every time I look at say 1620's Spanish, I expect them to look a bit more 1580's.

This means my default was to think "Renaissance" not "TYW" or "ECW" and to visualise Landsknechts bashing the heck out of say Royalists. I'm over that now but it means that for nostalgia purposes, my historical references are all over the place.

Now onto Warlord. All my WL plastics have been bought from Jet Models in Caerphilly - a small local shop and the kind of place that is a joy to find, not a big discounted player but a local guy selling models to wargamers, train modellers and Airfix fans who live around the area. Apart from single figures or heads I am ordering from WL through Jet. Why? Because we use or lose shops like this; WL get their price anyway, its a question of who gets the markup. The guy in Jet or a player who gets a cut of Malifaux, Warmachine, FOW etc etc?

A bit of a push has led to a big increase in my figs - about a dozen spanish and similar french. I now have figures who look like the spanish infantry in Flashing Blade - morions and advancing musket at hip. Take a marching musketeer from the main TYW/ECW sprue and add a musket arm piece from the FIRELOCK box, add morion and OLE! A Spanish musketeer! I didnt add a musket rest as no one in FB uses them - heck, no one even reloads, they just recock the musket!

As to numbers, I have not a clue how these will work out in the end - though I'm aiming for Spanish Actions by Perfect Captain, so big volumes are not needed. And so, On Tp Casale!

Sunday, 6 March 2011

A return to Casale and don't spare the horses!

Well, yes and here we go again. What progress have I made in the Return To Casale? One glued up figure......but he is in a classic pose - sword down to side and hand on hip, looking a bit narked.

I have however had an idea re the rules issue. I want to recapture the feel of my early collection of minifigs; my spaniards were 1 officer, a sword & bucklerman, 3 arquebuses (2 of which were probably french) and a pikeman (who was swiss) -they all had morions, so to my mind they were Spaniards!!

That makes 6 figures -which is the exact number you need for a company base in FILE LEADER; so, i make up figs in multiples of 6 and use FILE LEADER. Or do I? What about the rules from The Perfect Captain, SPANISH ACTIONS? Thats OK for an army of 20 figures......Thing is, FILE LEADER also has horse in troops of 3 figures.

Perhaps FILE LEADER chromed up with the cards from Spanish Actions?