Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Maximus and Arthur

Newark Irregulars and BigRedBat proudly present...

Maximus & Arthur

Two battles from either end of the Arthurian era!

Around twenty years ago, we started gaming the Age of Arthur armed with Bernard Cornwell books, Foundry and Gripping Beast miniatures and boundless enthusiasm for an unpopular period. Games at Partizan always fired our imaginations. Our table this Sunday 6th September will feature two battles, separated in time by perhaps 150 years, featuring models from the collections of Steve Jones, Martin Hogg, James Morris and myself. I will be running the games using my ‘To The Strongest!’ rules. If you'd like to play (and haven't mailed me already) please drop me an email at the address on the left. We will run each game twice, AM and PM, lasting around 90 minutes or so. No previous experience of To the Strongest! is required.

Magnus Maximus against the Picts, c. 380 AD

Magnus Maximus, a Spaniard, was the first of a line of soldier-emperors to build upon a British power base.  In 383, he took an army from Britain, crossed to Gaul, and defeated and killed the Emperor Gratian.  Prior to his usurpation of the imperial throne, it is believed that he mounted a campaign against the Picts to subdue the area north of the wall, and it is this we imagine in this first game.  The villa is perhaps geographically unlikely, but nothing says ‘Fall of the Empire’ quite like a crumbling Roman estate…

Arthur against the Saxons: The Battle at Fort Guinnion, c. 530 AD

"The eighth battle was in Guinnion Fort, and in it Arthur carried the image of the holy Mary on his shield, and the heathen were put to flight on that day, and there was great slaughter upon them’ – Nennius

This game is a more conjectural affair following a traditional (if unprovable) theme of Britons vs. Saxons!  The warlord Arthur is giving battle to the invading Saxons of Cerdic somewhere in lowland Britain, near the Fort of Guinnion (forts and rivers being the most likely locations for battles in this period).  The Britons are bold, chivalrous and Celtic, the Saxons numerous, ferocious and unwashed: who will win?

The beautiful command stand above was painted by David Imrie and is the new pride of my collection! David used him as King Arthur, but I will use him as Magnus Maximus, the late fourth century usurper to the Western Imperial throne, who led the armies of Britannia onto the continent in an attempt to take Rome. David individually highlighted each scale on the barding... bonkers. I've merely rebased Maximus onto a round command stand as he will be a detached general in my rules.

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