Thursday 31 August 2023

Late Knight Progress


I'm close to finishing a couple of units of dismounted later knights (above) that, most unusually, I mostly painted myself. They are intended to be generic men-at-arms for those tricky moments when a unit of later knights is better off on foot (perhaps when there are nellies about!). The unit I fielded at Britcon performed rather well; in one game, cutting its way right through the heart of the enemy army.

These are all Perry plastics, with some slight conversions. The original figures I painted were a bit too "shiny" and well armoured, so I've mixed in a bunch of scruffier chaps in brigandines and riding boots with a selection of weapons including pole-arms and a few bows. I'll take a proper photo when they are flocked and bannered. For the banners- I'm thinking Wars of the Roses. Something heavily folded so one can't make it out particularly well, so it fits the generic concept. :-)

PS To the Strongest! and FK&P are both currently up for voting in the Yarkshire World Cup on Facebook- both votes ,are too close to call, at the time of writing. If you'd like to vote for either (or, indeed, for their opponents) you can find them here (TtS!) or here (FK&P).

Wednesday 30 August 2023

Rally Round the King!

Over on the Yarkshire World Cup of Wargames Rules poll, the King is in danger! Our FK&P rules are currently trailing a tantalising 40 or so votes behind the popular "O" Group rules, with only a little over a day to go. Can you help to save the King? If you've not yet voted, please vote here. Ask your friends to vote, too, please! If we make it though this round, I'll co-write another free scenario with Andrew Brentnall, and perhaps even take it to Salute!

Tuesday 29 August 2023

Every day, once a day, give yourself a present

I take Special Agent Dale Cooper's advice extremely seriously; here is today's gift-to-self, some rather splendid TYW cuirassiers from eBay. The flags are anachronistic but easily changed.

In other news, FK&P is up against the popular O Group rules in what must be the plucky bantamweight contender's most serious challenge yet on the Yarkshre World Cup of Wargames Rules, all votes most gratefully received!  It's going to be a really close one, I reckon, could go either way.

Lastly, there will be a friendly TtS! event at the Games Bunker in Weston-super-Mare on 28th October, details below:

To The Strongest – A Call to Arms

Unlike most competitive events this event is a casual day and is intended to help newer players learn the rules. The day will take the form of three two-hour games and there will be no restriction on army choice other than it may not exceed 135 points. Lists must be submitted no later than 20th October to

The scale is 25/28mm. We will do our best to keep regular opponents apart for the first couple of games but in the last you may have to face your nemesis! There will be prizes but not for the usual reasons, so we advise bringing your favourite army and not necessarily your most lethal!

10:00-12:00       Round 1
12:30-14:30       Round 2
15:00-17:00       Round 3
17:15-17:30       Awards

 What You Need To Bring
  • One 25/28mm army, of 135 points value
  • Markers to show the ammunition each unit has (eg. a unit of with bows has 3 arrows) - several D6 will do (you don’t need any dice to play the game)
  • Markers to show disorder
  • Markers or miniatures to show Heroes (most armies will have 2-5 heroes available in the army list), individually based heroic looking figures look good but a counter will suffice
  • Tokens or coins to represent how many victory medals your army has (up to 15 usually)
  • A scenic piece to represent your camp
  • Two decks of ordinary playing cards (remove the jacks, queens, kings and jokers into a separate pile, shuffle the remaining 80 cards well)
  • If you are able to bring a 6x4 Mat marked out with a 150cm square grid, could you please contact us to let us know. Please ensure it has your name on it somewhere or is easily identifiable.
Parking is available in our car park or on the street. Disabled access is not currently available to all event areas. Please contact us if you need more information.

Tickets are £20.00 each and are available here –


Monday 21 August 2023

More Britcon Photos


I recently posted some photos of one of my games at Britcon, here are some more. This game was against Robert Avery's veteran Imperial Romans; veteran because most of them were, but also because many of them were Minifigs! Above, I threw my army forwards whilst Robert tried to turn my left and threaten the camp.

However, the camp was well defended and the Romans tried to break the left of my battle line. Above a flank charge on my general and dismounted knights, which happily they survived!

One of my  pike blocks broke through. My trouble was that it was too hard to kill the legionaries- every time I disordered them, they fell back and rallied. Some rallied like this two or three times.

However every time they fell back, I took ground, until they became pinned against their camp and baseline. 

Above I'd been doing my best to pretend that the rampaging Roman cavalry unit behind my lines wasn't there, but it proved hard to ignore. Before it could kill a unit though, my knights managed to chop up a unit of legionaries to win the game. This was a lonnnggg game- over three hours - more like a siege than a battle- and I was lucky to win it! Robert has an account of the same battle, here. The longer Britcon game durations really help avoid frustrating draws.

In other news, TtS! is up against Black Powder in the Yarkshire World Cup of Wargames Rules tournament- at the time of writing BP has pulled ahead- we desperately need every vote we can find!

Saturday 19 August 2023

Two the Strongest!

An advance date for your diaries (tickets not yet on sale). Seven Dials club is the place I've been hanging out at recently, a very nice crowd! Later we'll publish details of army selection and how it'll work.

Thursday 17 August 2023

Kinky Boots and Studded Leather


...a headline that promises much but delivers, little. ;-) 

I've been sculpting more riding boots on some coustillier-types to accompany my dismounted knights of recent posts. I'm getting a little faster on the sculpting, and a little better, too. This is just as well because I'll likely need quite a few, later on, when I tackle the Burgundian mounted archers. I've also discovered that liquid greenstuff is quite good for building up the legs of the boot.

Ultimately I covet this unit of Charles the Bold's. I think it would be great fun to model, and might be pretty good on the gaming table; dismounted knights with 2HCCW, extra longbows, extra stakes, veteran. Want 'em! Not cheap, points-wise, though.

In other news... For King and Parliament is storming through the Yarkshire Gamer World Cup of Wargames Rules. There is still time to vote; hopefully it'll make it through to Round Three and looks likely to be matched against "O" Group in the semi-finals.

Tuesday 15 August 2023

Battles at Britcon

We had an absolute blast this weekend at Britcon. I cannot praise this event enough- the venue is superb, Sid does a great job at organising the tournament, and I enjoy Nottingham. The games were very friendly and there was enough tome to see most to a conclusion, and some of the armies were really beautiful. There were trade stands, too!  I attach some photos, below. I'm already looking forward to next year.

Before the photos though, the next round of the Yarkshire Gamer World Cup of Wargames Rules has begun, and For King and Parliament is up against Grand Manner, it's most serious opponent so far. It's very tight- just one vote in it- so any support for our niche period set with its hard to read font and renaissance woodcuts would be very greatly appreciated! You can vote here.

Here are some photos of my first game of the tournament, proper.

My Hapsburg-Burgundian deployment was the same in most of the games- a camp anchoring my right, with a bombard and crossbows in it, and a long line of pike stretching to the left. English longbows on the extreme left and Maximilian with  a bodyguard of dismounted knights to the right of the pike. In this game I had the stratagem to force march, and pushed my left forward. I was fighting Simon Purchon's Sassanids, he's a very tough opponent and I've rarely (if ever) beaten him.

You can see my line breaking up (above), as Simon shifted most of his strength against my left.

My right began to break up under a hail of arrows and lance-charges by cataphracts. 

Above, the noose tightening around my fortified camp. Assaulted from both sides, it was ultimately defended only by a bombard, which put up a valiant resistance in the face of attacks by no fewer than four enemy units!

Simon was well ahead after the first hour, but I managed to fight back and took a lot of medals off him before he was able to finish me off. This is what usually happens when I play Simon. Although I lost, I felt I'd put up a brave fight!  I'll show pictures of some of the other games, tomorrow.

Saturday 12 August 2023

To the Strongest! at Britcon ‘23

This weekend I’m at the Britcon tournament in Nottingham, kindly organised for us by chum Sid. After a refreshing pint of Britcon Ale and a natter, we launched into a warm up game, I played Robert Avery’s vintage Minifigs Imperial Romans.

Robert out-scouted me, and here is the view from behind his line. I was pretty despondent at this stage, because my camp (top left) was only lightly defended and my left wing had no one to fight!

Here’s the view of the backs of my army; mostly composed of reluctant (raw) guildsmen from the Low Countries.

Luckily I successfully made a whole slew of tricky diagonal moves and was across the battlefield before theRomans could get into my camp, which was surprisingly ably defended by a handful of scruffy crossbowmen, who turned the game by unexpectedly shooting down a cohort of veteran legionaries.

This (along with a shout of “Tax remission!” from the future Emperor Maximilian, who was valiantly leading a unit of dismounted Burgundian knights on the right) seemed to inspire the rest of the guildsmen in a general charge on the Roman camp. Poor Robert’s cards failed him at every turn; although most of the pike blocks were down to a single hit, he just couldn’t deliver the coup de grace to any of them.

…and finally I managed to kill the Roman general to take his last victory tokens. Luck had been with me at every turn of the game.

After the game we has a very nice meal at Wagamamas and put the world to rights! Should be a great weekend, nice people and a super venue with some great traders.

Thursday 10 August 2023

Looks like I'm going to need a bigger bag

I got the minis out of my cellar for Britcon, tomorrow, and it has dawned on me that I'm going to need a rather bigger bag than I'd planned! This will be a Hapsburg Burgundian army, built around a core of Liégeois militia that I've never used, and Burgundian pike, which I have. I had to use a few bits to proxy for pike and for German crossbowmen. Happily, it's a mostly plastic army, since I'm going to Nottingham by train!

Here are some previous closeups of the militia, who are very much the stars of the show. These are raw pikemen in TtS! parlance. Hell, they look good! The flags are for the different guilds and were very kindly made for me by Mats Elzinga.

Red Romans

To finish my yellow and black shield cohorts, I find I need to paint a few more legionaries in red (the colour of Mars) tunics, because I don't want the two units to be mostly in white tunics as it seems a little unmilitary!. These are they, still only partially blocked in after two nights work. Starting to paint 7 minis from scratch has served to remind me why I like to get Shaun McTague (or Redzed) to paint most my minis! I think it'll take 5 or even 6 evenings to finish these 7 minis, and I need 234 more to finish the two legions. :-/

In other news, I'm pleased to report that FK&P made it through to the next round of the Yarkshire Rules Tournament on Facebook- pretty good going for such a niche set! It'll be up against "In the Grand Manner", next.

Wednesday 9 August 2023

Late knights IV - Kinky Boots!

Last night I finished a third base (centre) from spare minis and repaints from the "reserves". I sculpted riding boots on a couple of minis in brigandines, they add a pleasing variety (one is in the second rank and thus largely out of sight). It wasn't quick doing the boots, perhaps 20 minutes a mini, but it'll probably get easier with time. I painted the coustilliers' armour to be less "bright." In the fullness of time, I'll probably add more coustillier types, and form a second unit out of the then-surplus knights (blended with even more coustilliers). I'll also mix in some knights in blackened plate, for variety, and perhaps a surcoat or two. I'm really pleased with them, it must be years since I (mostly) painted an entire unit.

Makes me wonder how the coustilliers might be armed when dismounted; perhaps light lances as when mounted, or swords? Or even the odd bow or crossbow?

Also makes me curious how they will do on the battlefield. I can't recall ever having used a dismounted knights before, in TtS. IIRC they cost 16 points (veteran later knights) which is a whole lot of points for an infantry unit, even one with a great save and choppers... 

I'm pleased to report that plucky underdog For King and Parliament is doing well in the Yarkshire World Cup- looks like it'll go through to the next round. 

Tuesday 8 August 2023

Late Knight Redux

I decided to go with the minimalist option of 6 knights per base, and they are ready for grouting. I might highlight the faces, I think I over-inked them, somewhat. This leaves me with a bunch of spare minis, so tonight I'll make up a third "command" stand, so I have the option for fielding the unit on either the 15cm or the 20cm grid. BTW, they are on FK&P13b bases- but I've sold out of those AGAIN! Just can't keep that base in stock. I'll restock at Colours in September.  :-)

Over on Ken's Yarkshire Gamers World Cup of Historical Wargames Rules tournament on Facebook, TtS! For King and Parliament is fighting tooth and nail against Hail Caesar - at the moment it has a slender (but narrowing) lead so any more votes would be greatly appreciated! It's really interesting to watch the voting, Sharpe Practice looks really strong. Alas, plucky outsider "By Fire and Sword" has been knocked out by Battlegroup.

Monday 7 August 2023

Late Knight Progress

The Britcon later knights are mostly finished, just a little snagging and basing to do. I'm agonising a little about the basing. Firstly, my mounted units are 18 strong so a dismounted unit of foot should have 18 or fewer minis, less than I'd usually put in unit- I'll probably go with 3 bases, just 6 to a base. Secondly, I suspect that at least half the minis should be less well armoured coustillier types, probably forming a second rank. I need to see if I have anything suitable in the "reserves", or I might just leave the task for the next unit. I'd welcome thoughts on this.

This week TtS! For King and Parliament is up against Hail Caesar on Ken's Yarkshire Gamers World Cup of Historical Wargames Rules tournament on Facebook. Will our niche set, printed mostly in black and white in a hard-on-the-eye period font, and packed with c.17th woodcuts, prevail against the glossy leviathan, like David did against Goliath? You decide!

Last week, To the Strongest! saw off Saga in round one and will be pitted against Black Powder in a few days time.

This week I shall mostly be finishing lists for the next iteration of the TtS! Medieval Army list eBook in Early September. It looks like there will be five new lists: Daylamite Dynasties, Bagratid Armenian, Rshtuni Armenian, Tulunid and Iqshidid Egyptian and Georgian. As you can see, I'm trying to polish off the outstanding lists, which mostly fall in the Western Asia chapter.

Friday 4 August 2023

Late Knights

The Britcon tournament is coming up like a train, and I realised that I urgently need a unit of dismounted knights for my army. Luckily, I found 20-odd prepped minis and am doing a rush paint and base job on them. Knights in full plate are relatively easy to paint, essentially inking over a steel primer, then faces, leatherwork and the wooden bits of the weapons, ink again and highlight the metal. I'm going to leave these as fairly generic later knights, later I'll build a few command stands, and I'll also do some specifically Burgundian knights.

Tuesday 1 August 2023

Herding Cats

I'm currently working on a Parthian army, but I've been enjoying the build stage (maybe it's the plastic glue fumes) and may be overdoing it. I have around 60 assembled and primed, so far, against a target 80. They are a mix of Gripping Beast plastic and Aventine riders on GB horses. Most will have steel horse armour, some will have bronze and some (the grey-primed) a fetching red. I hope to have at least 40 ready for the TtS! Open tournament in Edmonton on Saturday 13th October.  

Today I released the latest version of the TtS! Ancient Army List eBook; a bumper edition with two new lists and loads of updates with a lot of background material. It's turning into quite an encyclopedia- 164 lists, 331 pages long. I've already started work on the October release, which is going to be a Late Antiquity Special with lots of material about the Goths, Franks, Saxons and Vandals. If you've previously purchased the lists you should have received either a copy or a download link, if you've not yet purchased it, you can find it here.

In other news... my friend, the talented military historian Brent Nosworthy is pleased to announce the availability of an uncorrected, unedited beta version of his latest book, The Advent of Linear Warfare: Circa 1580 to 1648. This book traces the evolution of linear warfare first through the Spanish/Italian phase and its continued development next by the Dutch during the Nine Years’ War, then under Gustavus Adolphus’ leadership during the Polish-Swedish Wars, before assuming its final form under French leadership when they entered the Thirty Years’ War. It is available for free in PDF format for everyone who subscribes to Nosworthy’s Encyclopedia of Battle Tactics Patreon Page. Subscribers also have access to an ever growing number of highly detailed articles that analyse tactics and grand tactical issues during the age of muzzle loading small arms. I recently subscribed- got the book- less than three quid a month, money very well spent! You can find it here. 

Here are some Saleh Early Imperials that I need to finish off to complete last week's units. I am trying something a little different- grey primer and a white spray highlight from the front, as getting the shields properly smooth and white has proved to be both challenging and time-consuming.

Finally, some of you must have already encountered Yarkshire Gamer's World Cup of Historical Wargames Rules on Facebook. I say this with some confidence, because both the TtS! rule sets have made it through to the second round, where To the Strongest! is currently pitted against Saga, and For King and Parliament will shortly be head-to-head with Hail Caesar! It is an extremely silly idea to compare sets from different periods against each other, but at the same time a whole lot of fun. You can vote for TtS! or, indeed, any of the other rules systems (there is some really high-calibre opposition; not least Saga!) here.