Wednesday, 13 March 2019

Celtathon V

I've been posting less, of late, on account of all the basing I've been doing for my Mancetter 61CE Salute game. 

Above are the warbands for the game. The sharp-eyed will observe that five bases are still "blank" - I have just completed the 175 required minis but not yet based them. 

Here's a closeup. Each warband consists of around 36 minis (so there will be 650 in all). The minis are a mixture of all the larger Celtic ranges, particularly Renegade, Black Tree, A&A and Foundry. Many are conversions. Most were painted by Shaun McTague or Nick Speller, with some by Shaun Watson. I did some snagging and many of the shields. The bases are grouted and primed and, in a few cases, partially flocked. There's a heck of a lot of flocking to be done...

Here is a closeup of many of the blank bases. Each unit has two- a TtS!20F and a TtS!20G that fits across the back and can be angled or turned about to indicate disorder. You'll see I've chamferred the edges to give them a nice low profile, fitted magnets into the holes and primed them in an earth shade.

The slingers are mostly done, too, and you can see them here. The laager and the chariots are all complete. All in all, there should be around 900 Britons on the table, and perhaps 600 Romans. In the finest traditions of Salute, the glue will still be drying on the road to Excel!

If you are coming to Salute and would like to play in one of the two games (10AM and 2PM), please drop me an email at the address above left, and I will book you in. I also have a couple of free tickets that I can give to people familiar with TtS! who can play/help to run the games. I hope to see lots of you there! I won't be selling at Salute but if you'd like to buy anything from the BigRedBatshop now, and collect at Salute, that's fine- just let me know and I will refund your postage.

Thursday, 7 March 2019

The 2019 To the Strongest Worlds! Part III

Swiss civil war at Chalgrove
I thought people might enjoy some modest stats on the tournament!

List of the competing armies, in alphabetic order
Almoravid Berber
Caesarian Roman
Classical Indian
Early Crusaders
Early Feudal Spanish
Eumenid Successor
2 x Feudal English
HYW English
2 x Imperial Seleucid
Late Achaemenid
Late Romans (Western)
2 x Later Carthaginian
Later Italian Condottiere (Milanese)
2 x Later Italian Condottiere (Venetian)
Later Medieval German
2 x Middle Imperial Roman
Mongol Conquest
2 x Parthian
Polybian Romans
2 x Principate Roman
2 x Romano-British
Sultanate of Rum
2 x Swiss
2 x Tang Chinese
3 x Teutonic Knights
Wars of the Roses - Yorkist Pretender

Armies by type
10 Infantry armies (four or fewer hits-worth of mounted)
8 Cavalry armies (four of fewer hits-worth of foot)
24 "Mixed" armies- (the rest)

I have a few observations:-

  • The majority of armies are mixed.
  • Knights seem to be the new nomads- for the first time, there's a high proportion of armies drawn from the High and Later Medieval lists. This might be, in part, because I posted lots of pictures of my own knights in the lead up to the event.
  • Also first Parthian armies I've seen- probably due to the improvement to Cataphracts.
Scores on the Doors!
And finally, here are the top five armies- I think all five are "mixed":-

1st place   Chris Winter         Imperial Seleucid                              586.4 points
2nd place  Gareth Purchon Principate Romans                              580.2
3rd place   Colin Hoare         Later Italian Condottiere (Venetian)    570.0
4th place   Simon Miller (!) Later Italian Condottiere (Milanese)   552.2
5th place   Peter Anderson Late Achaemenid                              540.3
  • The winning army, Chris Winter's, was one of the few to include elephants, as screens, which he describes as his "ablative shield."  :-)  He reasons that elephants are stomping good value in a knight-rich environment.
  • I fought Gareth Purchon in the final round- a bruising draw - golly, Principate Romans are tough! The original TtS! army, and still one of the best.
  • I only briefly saw Colin's army- the cousin of my own- lots of lovely red flags fluttering.
  • I was astonished to be placed fourth- had a lot of luck. I really, really, like knights!
  • I played Peter in a tough game but was hugely lucky when four of his units failed their morale tests and ran away!
The event was generously sponsored by Keith of Aventine Miniatures. I ended up with one of the prizes, and have invested it (and more) in some lovely Huns, including this super baggage element

"Knight Fever" at the London Games Tourney
Should you wish to scratch your post-Chalgrove TtS! itch, or enter your first tournament, we are now taking bookings for a large Medieval-themed TtS! tournament as part of the huge London Games Tourney in Edmonton, London on Sunday 15th September. London GT is a huge event for the Warhammer 40K/LOTR crowd, with quite a sizeable historical contingent present, representing the various ancient rule sets. 

Knight armies are cheap and easy to build in these days of Perry and Fireforge plastics! If you don't have a suitable Medieval army (one from any of the three Medieval books), I (or someone else) might be able to lend you one- I plan to base a couple or three up. I'm also writing additional lists, currently Later Polish and I plan to add Lithuanian, Hussite and Spanish and hopefully more in the next month or so.

The details can be found at Knight Fever Details. You can book your place at Knight Fever Bookings- I already have, it was really easy! Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, 26 February 2019

The 2019 To the Strongest Worlds! Part II

Connor Truby I think, vs. Peter Ryding?
 Here are the balance of the photos that I've been given from Saturday's To the Strongest! Worlds.

Gareth Purchon vs. Barry Lee. I fought Garreth, later in the day, a tough and resilient opponent!
Peter Ryding, right, vs. ? Looks like a  nice compact line with a refused flank guard. I'd hazard that Peter outscouted his opponent and decided to kill one flank.

Roger Calderbank Tang vs. Alex Meyers with Imperial Seleucids

Rachel Winter vs. Simon Purchon

My own light cavalry crossbowmen- did invaluable service. It's really important to be able to disorder some opponents before committing the knights. They died to a man in the last game.

Me vs.Peter Anderson's LAter Acaemenids. An enjoyable game, with several reverses of fortune- I got lucky!

I think that's Howard Litton's Polybian Roman army (ex mine). I think Howard came second overall, which is remarkable in only his second tournament. Howard came all the way from the Isle of Arran. Sorry, I can't make out the opponent. 

We had the hall pretty much filled this year- might need to apply some creative thinking next year.

I really liked Jimmy Carter's vintage Swiss army. I covet a Swiss army of my own...

So the Worlds are over, almost 12 months to wait for the next one! :-(

On the upside, though, I can announce that bookings have just opened for a new one-day tournament, "Knight Fever", as part of the London Games Tourney on Sunday September 15th. This will be purely for armies form the three Medieval Books- if you don't have an army, but want to come, please mail me- or spend £60 with those nice Perry brothers and you'll be sorted in no time! Details are here- it's a Chalgrove-style event, it'll be fixed terrain for round 1 and optional terrain placement thereafter.  Apparently there are plenty of places and lots of free parking. This is where you can book.

Monday, 25 February 2019

The 2019 To the Strongest Worlds! Part I

On Saturday, we enjoyed a fabulous day of gaming at this years To the Strongest! World Championships, hosted by the South Oxfordshire Generals, in Chalgrove. This year we had 41 players who played an incredible total of 80 games between them, most are in the group photo, above. That's Steve Dover in the front who organised it, with help from myself, Tim Thompson and the South Oxfordshire Generals.

Here are some photos of the games, in no particular order, that have kindly been sent to me by Jason Collis, Jimmy Carter and Tim Thompson (along with a few of my own). All photos will enlarge if clicked. Apologies if I missed your name or got it wrong!

Lunchtme- the weather was glorious!
A pensive Andrew Brentnall, who went on, with great good humour, to win the Dead Elephant award.
That's me in the subtle shirt, attacking Gary Chapman's Swiss. Frontally. With knights. It could have gone worse than it did...
Shaun Jewitt- 100 Years War English. What a neatly laid out table! 
John Sharman and Khan Baz scanning the rules!
Rachel Winter- beat me last year, I gather she did well this year, too, but have no details yet.

This is a Civil War between two Later Italian Condotta Venetian armies. Small World! Must be Jan de Neve, and Colin Hoare. There were three Italian Condotta armies, including mine; this year knights are the new nomads!

Parthians, perhaps Peter Ryding's, vs. Romano British, perhaps Nick Abbott's?

That's all for now. Tomorrow I'll post the balance of the photos- lots more in-action shots! The rules used were, of course, To the Strongest v1.1a rules, with the Even Stronger v.7c amendments and 130 point armies. Later this week, we'll post a list of the armies..

Thursday, 21 February 2019

Knights to Chalgrove!

Last night, I finally managed to finish the basing of my army for Chalgrove, the To The Strongest! World Championship, on Saturday. I've photographed all eleven units.

Above are the Famiglia Ducale Elmeti, the household of the Duke of Milan. All minis are Perrys, the above were by painted myself and Lionel Béchara, with the flags from Pete's flags on eBay. N.b. all photos will enlarge if clicked.

Here are some Italian later knights, again by Lionel, who did superb barber-shop lances.All the bases are my famous magnetic wobbly-edged BatBases.

More later knights, again from Lionel. I gave these deeper bases to protect the lances.

Above, yet more later knights, painted by Richard Hampson-Smith. The standards are for the Bande Nere; I suspect that there may not have been many (or even any) such knights, but the standards are too good not to use.

Here is Giovanni delle Bande Nere, himself, with the last (fifth) unit of later knights. Interestingly it appears that the famous black bands may only have been so-named after his untimely, cannon ball-related demise.

Mounted crossbowmen ex Richard. The various lights will likely screen the advance of the knights.

More mounted crossbowmen, ex Richard.

Even more mounted crossbowmen, ex Richard.

Metal light infantry crossbowmen, from a chap in Sweden. 

Plastic crossbowmen, ex-Richard.

Formed crossbowmen; again re-touched and re-based minis, originally painted by Richard. I'm not quite sure what I'll do with these, yet; possibly a refused flank for the knights.

My favourite unit- Venetian spearmen painted by Richard Hampson-Smith, Shaun McTague and myself. These are raw, and likely to be used to garrison the camp. I'm aware that I need to separate the tails on the flag.

Above is the army list; it's not an especially subtle army but should do well-enough in a dead-on clash. As the army is entirely newly-painted, and I've not had time to play a game since November, I am not especially optimistic about my own prospects, but I aim to have fun!

Finally, here's a bonus unit, of Bande Nere pikemen. Unfortunately I didn't have enough points to use them, this time, but I plan to add supporting arquebusiers, post-Salute. I love the grim look of them.

So there we are, all done!

Can I take this opportunity to wish safe journeys to all forty-odd players who are attending the tournament, especially the brave Belgians and Howard who is coming down from the Scottish Isles! May none of your cards be Aces (except when playing me, that is.  ;-)  ).

Wednesday, 20 February 2019

Flocking day!

With the Worlds on Saturday, I am making the final push on finishing my army. Here it is, pre flocking; I decided to lighten the base tone before covering most of it with flock (go figure!!). This morning I am sitting in a sunny dining room, with Lynyrd Skynyrd blasting in my ear, applying flock. Life is good!

Tuesday, 19 February 2019

Larger laager

Not the best photo, but this is finished. This gives me four foot of wagon laager for my Salute Mancetter battle. I'd like eight foot, but four will have to do for now! You can see the rest of the laager, which was painted in 2015, here.