Friday, 21 February 2020

Packing for Chalgrove

Tomorrow it is the 2020 To the Strongest! World Championships at Chalgrove, and here is much-sought-after Dead Elephant award! I am very much looking forward to catching up with all my chums, crushing their armies and hearing the lamentations of their women. ;-)

Wednesday, 12 February 2020

Whim writ large

Last year, I bought some Roman walls on eBay as a whim. I subsequently bought a load more from Dave Bodley at Grand Manner, who make excellent resin buildings, and chum Ian Notter has been filling the interior with Roman blocks. It'll be around 4' square, when complete. Hopefully we'll get it painted this summer, and on a gaming table in 2021.

A proper gateway! I have the gates, somewhere...

There are still a few more bits to come, but it already makes a statement.  :-)  Would make a good Bedriacum, perhaps.

Monday, 10 February 2020

TtS! Welsh Opens at Godendag

On Saturday, with Storm Ciara looming ominously overhead, a hardy band of TtS!ers travelled to Cardiff for the one-day Godendag tournament at Firestorm Games.

I will apologise in advance for the partial nature of the photos, I only managed to take pics of my armies and my opponents. Above is my completed Later Condottieri army (Venetian) that I'll also be taking to Chalgrove in 2 weeks. 12 units, 6 heroes and the camp. It's on my new fleece mat from Geek Villain, and very nice it was to play on, too.

Above are some of my new "Venetian" knights; I went with a red and gold colour scheme and one of Pete's super flags, from eBay. Below are some of my mounted crossbows, with a Bande Nere banner.

Above, Milanese knights, painted by Lionel Bechara, and below, the raw Venetian spearmen who typically guard my camp.

Above, part of a new unit of Stradiots, painted by Shaun Watson.

Here's my new fleece mat from Geek Villain. Saturday was the first time I played on it, and I was  very taken with it! It has a soft, slightly furry surface and a an intense green, which matched my hills very nicely. Has a nifty TtS! logo, too.  :-)

Above and below, Game 1, vs. Phil Sweeting. Phil had a Komnenon Byzantine army, very pretty! Unluckily for Phil, his Varangian Guard, with a general and army standard perished in very short order to some unlucky saves, yielding 7 victory medals, and it was a shorter gamer than it should have been.

Above and below, game 2 vs. Tony Horobin. Tony had a Marian Roman army, deployed very wide across the table. I slammed into it several times, but wasn't able to kill enough units to achieve a decisive victory.

Game 3 vs. Connor Truby. Connor had a splendid Carthaginian army, mostly Victrix, with super hand-painted shields. Out-scouting him, I was able to mostly avoid his left wing and clobber his right centre. Below, his right wing cavalry attacked my camp, which was valiantly and ably defended by my spearmen, in orbis, with the spiritual assistance of  my new cardinal.

....with two decisive victories, I found myself playing in the final against Peter Ryding. Peter is a formidable (and charming) player. He out-scouted me, out-deployed me and then dismembered my army from the right. It was very elegant; I could see he was much more familiar with his army than I was, with mine. A very enjoyable game, though, despite my loss! The highlight form me was using a stratagem in the last turn to ride one of his generals off the table, together with it's unit, which gained me seven VPs in total- four more than I deserved! This is the fourth successive final I've played in (Roll Call, Knight Fever, Glasgow and now Godendag), and the fourth time I've lost!

Above and below, the prizes; Roger Calderbank took the annual dead sheep award....

...and Peter, above, presented by Ty with the victor's laurels, with Tim Thompson (not shown) second, Sid Bennett third and me fourth.

Finally here's the group photo. It was a super day, I hope to be back next year!

Friday, 7 February 2020

Venetians to Godendag!

Here's my slightly revised Condottieri army for Godendag in Cardiff, tomorrow, and, later, for Chalgrove. I'll take proper pictures next week. It's a lethal 50/50 blend of extra heavy knights and light troops. The similar army I took around the tournaments, last year, did very well and I have a lot of confidence in this one! It's 90% plastic, so mercifully light, which is just as well as I'm getting the train.

If you are in South Wales and at a loose end tomorrow, pop in to Firestorm and say hello!

Wednesday, 5 February 2020

Reinforcements, Temporal and Spiritual

A quick work-in-progress shot of some new Venetian elements for my Condottieri army. I'll take proper photos later, when complete.

The knights in the front are partial repaints of an old unit, with new minis mixed in. To the rear are new stradiotti, beautifully painted by Shaun Watson, and likewise some super cardinals, on the left.

These are on a crash basing programme, as I need to finish them tomorrow, to take to the To the Strongest!  tournament on Saturday as part of the Godendag event at Firestorm games in Cardiff. If you are local, please drop by and say hello!

Tuesday, 28 January 2020

Stow-on-the-Wold Scenario published


The For King and Parliament Battle of Stow-on-the-Wold Scenario is a digital file, designed for use with the TtS! For King and Parliament English Civil War rules, but which could be adapted to work with other rule systems, too.

A sample page from the scenario booklet

Stow-on-the-Wold is a modest scenario depicting the last major battle of the First English Civil War, which occurred when the last Royalist field army, led by the valiant Jacob, Lord Astley, was brought to ground by a superior Parliamentarian force. It is a modest-sized battle with only 21 units. It will suit two to four players, or solo play.

The Royalist OOB
The eight-page scenario PDF includes a brief account of the campaign and the battle, reconstructed orders of battle for both sides, and a deployment diagram. It can be viewed on a tablet, or printed out and bound.

Sample page of unit cards
Also included are the For King and Parliament Battle of Stow-on-the-Wold unit cards, designed by Ian Notter. There are cards for the general officers, some of the colonels, and all the units that we have been able to identify as being present at the battle, or surmise were there. These can be printed out on card, and used, in conjunction with the scenario and rules, to re-fight the battle.

The scenario and unit cards can be purchased here.

If you are planning to re-fight the battle using For King and Parliament, you might also want to buy a 3' x 4' 10cm cross-grid plains mat.

Finally, the For King and Parliament ECW rules can be purchased here.

Thursday, 23 January 2020

Send us some more!

Here's another part of the Salute project. I have owned two old Vendel scythed chariots for some years but recently decided that I need a few more, and so here's a picture of the BigRedBat coach works. I have assembled cabs for two more Vendels and four newer Polemarchs (super models, festooned with blades!). Shaun McTague has painted all the horses for me, I just need to do a little snagging and assembly, and he can then paint the cabs for me, too. I've also prepared some Batbases with magnets and top-notch chamfering.

The title of this post comes from an incident at the second battle of Chaeronea in 86 BC, when the Romans"after repulsing (the chariots), clapped their hands and laughed and called for more, as they are wont to do at the races in the circus" (Plutarch, Sulla, XVIII.2-3). 

Friday, 17 January 2020

Florentine knights

As well as the new guns, I've also been putting some more knights together for the Italian Wars. Above are some Florentines; I put them on unarmoured horses, like to ones depicted in the "Rout of San Romano". The excellent Florentine flag is one of Pete's flags, from eBay.

Below are more plastic Perry knights, this time in charging poses. Most of these were painted by chum Lionel in France, who paints a mean barber's shop lance. :-)

The extra knights give me more options for fielding either more units for the 15cm grid, or larger units for the 20cm To the Strongest! grid. I'm also currently putting a second Renaissance army together for eventual play-testing purposes.

Thursday, 16 January 2020


Here are my first medieval artillery pieces, two Perry breech-loading field pieces. The one on the left is in Burgundian livery, and on the right in Italian style. I bought these minis part-painted, finished them off and based.

I have been plugging away at the TtS! Renaissance draft, again, recently. Guns become quite useful in the Renaissance where there can be some very promising targets! :-) I plan to build a fair old artillery park, including bombards, organ guns and some big French field guns.