Wednesday, 28 April 2021

Liegeois Civic Militia

As a by-product of my big Swiss project, I ended up with a lot of Perry plastic minis that didn't look quite right for the land of mountains and superior hard cheeses, either because they are wearing gambesons or carrying bucklers or in the wrong clothing colours. Some of these minis are superbly painted by the likes of David Imrie and Lionel Bechara. It occurred to me that I could conscript them into the Burgundian army as the numerous civic militias of the Low Countries cities, who wore uniforms and marched to war under the banners of their guilds. They served the Dukes of Burgundy (and later the Habsburgs) with considerable reluctance and inefficiency.

n.b. You can click on the images for a close-up.

Unfortunately, I didn't have the right flags. At this point Mats Elzinga very kindly stepped forward and volunteered to produce a set of flags for the guilds of the city of Liege. I have eight guilds represented here. They all wear red except for the Meuniers (appropriately, the Millers) who have a yellow and black clothing theme, based on their guild flag. A few guilds had blue themes, perhaps a future project.

I found his flags were so pretty that I needed to paint more units in order to be able to use them all, so Shaun McTague very kindly painted up another 40 or so minis, which I highlighted. My chum Ian Notter flocked them- a considerable undertaking as they are very densely based in blocks of 16 and it's very hard to get in amongst the feet. I added tufts and flowers.

And here they are, all together! There are 99 minis, in all. I'm not entirely sure what I'll use them for, yet- possibly to fight a projected French army, since I rather doubt that they fought the Swiss (at least under their guild flags). But I'm delighted to own them. There are at least three or four lists in the To the Strongest! Medieval Army List book that I could use them in. I have told Mats that if he produces more flags for other cities (Antwerp would be really nice) then I'll make up some more units.

A huge thank you to Mats and everyone else who helped. I gather Mats will be producing the flags commercially, at some stage, they are quite lovely and without them I wouldn't have persisted with the project.

Tuesday, 27 April 2021

Plastic boxes

Last night I accidently knocked over a tray of round metal shields and they rolled all around the dining room floor. I was making coffee, and my wife very kindly volunteered to help pick them up, asking where she should put them. I said “Please put them on top of one of the plastic boxes.” 

When I came back in the room, I found them on the table, instead. I asked her why she’d not put them on one of the boxes; she said “I couldn’t see any plastic boxes.”

That’s why I love my wife. 😊

Friday, 23 April 2021

Burgundian pike

Here are some Burgundians that were painted form me some time back by Shaun McTague and Lionel Bechara. I highlighted and finished last August. They languished in the basing queue until chum Ian Notter very kindly flocked them last month, after which I tufted. I'm trying to clear the decks of mostly-finished units before a summer basing push.

The unit is a single block of pike, for use on a 20cm frontage. All of the minis are plastic Perrys from the Mercenary set, and I used the flags that come in the box- they are simple, but effective. The six bases are my FK&P6a's, which are roughly 60x40mm.

I'm a bit worried for these chaps- they are very heavily outnumbered by the Swiss they will end up facing...

In other news I'm told that the tables for the London GT tournament on Sunday 26th September are starting to run short, so if you want to come along, you'd better get your booking in sharpish! The event  is themed Rome and Rome at War. You can bring any army from the following chapters of the Ancient Army List eBook- we’ll use the edition published at the end of March.
  • Frogs around a Pond
  • Kingdoms of the East
  • Rise of Rome
  • Rome’s Empire
  • Any army between 300 BCE and 300 CE from “Across the Indus”
If you don’t have a suitable army, I’m confident that we can lend you one. I could tell you what army I'm bringing, but then I'd have to kill you. ;-)

Friday, 9 April 2021

More Stradiotti


I've just added a second unit of splendid Perry Stradiotti, beautifully painted for me by Shaun Watson, to my Venetian army, bringing my total to twenty. These formidable light cavalry bring a certain style to my army, in their top hats, and no baggage train is safe!

For To the Strongest! games at shows, they'll operate as two units of ten, on a 20cm grid. But at home or when I take them tournaments they will fight in smaller units of 3 or 4 on a 15cm grid. I've based them on my FK&P6 bases which I can fit together to make smaller or larger units.

My chum Ian Notter very kindly flocked these for me to match the original unit- so well, in fact, that I can't now tell which unit is which! I added the tufts and flowers- less is definitely more, when adding the latter.

I've not had time to post much, recently, but with Ian's help I am close to finishing a bunch more units so more posts will follow shortly.

Thursday, 1 April 2021

Swiss army progress

Here's the latest progress on the Switzers. Above, the vast majority of miniatures are painted, and most are highlighted and inked. There must be 650-700 of the blighters, the majority painted by Shaun McTague but some by David Imrie and Lionel Bechara. I even painted a few from scratch, and highlighted most of them. Later I'll need to add a unit of cavalry, some halberdiers and, of course, their Burgundian opponents.

Above and below are the four trays (roughly 500 minis) of mostly-painted minis. These are grouped by canton, but there's also a tray-and-a-bit of minis in non-cantonal colours.

Above and below are the 8 (of a projected 18) mostly-finished units. My chum Ian very kindly flocked them for me, he's a demon with a puffer-bottle!  I've not yet added tufts, that's the final stage.

So, I hear you ask "when will they be finished?" I've reluctantly decided to delay that step until the autumn, because I have an even bigger project to finish this spring/summer of which more, anon. So I'll be putting them all in storage boxes, to clear space, and trying to find a place to store them! In the autumn I'll finish them off and make a start on the numerous Burgundian army.

Wednesday, 31 March 2021

New version of the To the Strongest! Ancient Army List eBook released

I’ve just published an updated versions of the Ancient army lists for To the Strongest! The 280-page PDF includes 152 army lists including 12 new lists. Several of the existing lists have been revised, and a good deal of background information and quite a few additional images have been added.

Each list consist of a spreadsheet describing the army (example above). Most of the lists also include details of how the army fought and a historical background, and sometimes a picture of miniatures, (below). 

The new lists for March are are Kassite and Successor Babylonian Dynasties, Saite Egyptian, Old Babylonian and Old Assyrian, Urartu, Phrygian, Medes, United Monarchy Hebrew, Mannaian, Regnal Hebrew, Neo-Hittite, Aramaean City States and Lycian. 

You can find the army lists here; there's an equivalent medieval eBook.  Should you order the lists you'll receive updates every three months until the end of 2022, with new lists and additional material added each time. The eBook costs £9.99.

Friday, 26 March 2021

Marlowe to Maidenhythe FK&P scenario eBook

Today I've loaded up this exciting new scenario eBook, written by Robert Avery, into the BigRedBatShop.

The 66 page Marlowe to Maidenhythe scenario eBook is a digital file designed for the TtS! For King and Parliament English Civil War rules, but useful with other ECW rule systems, too.

It contains twelve free-standing fictional scenarios set around in the counties of Buckinghamshire and Berkshire during and shortly after the English Civil War. They tell the story of a series of clashes between Sir John Boulters (for the King) and Sir Christopher Grey (for Parliament). 

Each scenario contains a background briefing, separate briefings for each of the players, a deployment plan and orders of battle. 

The scenarios can be played individually or in sequence, as a campaign. Most of the characters and many of the units recur throughout the campaign.

You can buy it in BigRedBatshop:

Marlowe to Maidenhythe

Or, if you are in the EU, you can buy it from here:

Marlowe to Maidenhythe