A fairly good week, I received all the cavalry figures which I had sent for while ordering some buildings and a small mat. I have wanted to completely cover my 9x5 foot table with a gaming mat for some time, I don't want cloth so was stuck with two 6x4's to give me 8x5, you still with me? So I bit the bullet and got a 3x3 which I will cut to cover the last foot, yes, overkill, but it has been an itch I needed to scratch, it was either that or buy another table tennis table and I have now gone off that idea, at least until I see how much space I need for my pike blocks.
I have managed to finish the mounted crossbows in a couple of days and have now primed the 'light' cavalry in order to start tonight, maybe. The whole idea of the medieval 'Lance' has always confused me as I thought it a rather unwieldy way to organise troops, also its configuration depended on which country you were in, the use of mounted archer to describe someone who was not an archer didn't help either. What you have is a mounted gendarme full of himself and armed to the teeth with a slightly less armoured guy to back him up, and then a lighter follower behind him, bringing up the rear would be a couple of servants, one of whose job was to follow the fighters and help them out should they need it with maybe a new mount, a lance or maybe a cool refreshing drink. That's the gist of it at least.
I mention this as my two light cavalry units are quite different, the Foundry (Casting Room Miniatures) are proper light cavalry, with a light lance and minimum armour, the second from Steel Fist are more of the back up kind, well armoured, fashionably dressed and carrying heavy lances. As wargame figures I find the former a bit bland but useful, the latter are very nice but pain me with having to stick on the sword and scabbard along with the head, the horses are quite large and at first I thought a bit too elongated, but they look fine once primed. I have a unit of gendarmes but will give my thoughts on these later once I get around to painting them. I wouldn't mix the two in the same unit.
|Steel Fist on the left, Foundry on the right.|
|Steel Fist left, Foundry right.|
I will be ready to take to the field once these are finished and Julian is ready.
As you will have read I was not overly enthused with my ECW game using Pike and Shotte, so last night Stewart once again brought his lovely armies to the club in order to try Forlorn Hope, an old set of rules which we both just happened to have lying about. We kept things simple with three foot regiments and three cavalry squadrons a side, with each having one veteran unit and the rest trained.
I gave all my units an advance to fire combat order apart from the cavalry on the extreme flanks which I asked to advance to close combat being convinced that my cause was just and that it was politicians leading the other side. The infantry and guns of both sides advanced into flintlock range and started pounding away at each other, although pounding is rather grand a word for what was going on. I pushed my cavalry on and they thundered into their opponents on the wings, for a moment things were looking good, I had won one melee and my veteran gallopers although sadly drawing their combat were confident of turning things around in the second phase. But of course it was not to be, my winning troops were in turn pushed back and my veterans were charged in the flank by more lobster pots, they held but at that point with the infantry failing to make any headway we called it a day.
|The infantry meet up.|
|Lord Newcastle I believe, but could be wrong.|
Forlorn Hope was described as 'old school' and as an old wargamer the mass of tests did not phase me, but the mish mash way the rules were written did. I suspect back in the day many of the questions which came up between Stewart and I would have been answered but I doubt we could tap into this well now in the 21st Century. The combat results table was something which was incredibly daft and far more complicated than anything I have ever seen before. So we will not be seeing these rules again, Stewart professed he was happy with Pike and Shotte for a club game where time is limited and he agreed to sort out the evade rule which had been the cause of my breakdown. I will bite my tongue as his armies, once again, are a joy to play with. The game was further enhanced with a walk down memory lane in between the musket balls and the joys of the early days when wargaming was in its infancy.
|My gallopers having a rough time.|
|A very nice gun with excellent wood effect.|
I have been a bit remiss in my reading of late but eventually got through Alan Clark's Blitzkrieg: Myth and Reality, it was fine, but no myth busting as far as I could see, Alistair Horne's To Lose a Battle was far better and gave more of an insight into the thinking of both sides. I popped into an old fashioned book shop on Morecambe front which is bursting with titles, I should go more often, anyway I picked up Saul David's Operation Thunderbolt about the raid on Entebbe, and The First Anglo-Sikh War, I am halfway through the former and it is enthralling. I saw a YouTube piece about the Comanche and it intrigued me so I picked up Empire of the Summer Moon, it would seem that the old adage about keeping the last bullet for yourself is more of a health warning than you would think. It has also been a while since I picked up a graphic novel (comic to me), as it is difficult these days not to run into a new, ethinic, safe, diverse and eco friendly superhero, who I hope are bombing as much as their cinema counterparts, but I digress. I have a new Batman to read and am keeping it as a guilty pleasure for a dark night on my own (see what I did there, dark knight...)
Mapping has been busy, Tibet, Namibia, the Balkans in WWI and now the fourth volume of the Italian Wars, Simon Millar of To The Strongest fame is involved in that one, up next is the Arab-Israeli conflict.