Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Where do the forces ideas come from? Part 1

Jacobite Foot Guards and Grand Prior's Regiments - stalwarts of King James's Irish Army

Our Battle for Britain campaign has been running for a year now and in campaign terms we have come two years from the beginning of 1692 till the end of 1693. We've fought four major battles and twelve minor ones together with countless 'on paper' skirmishes and expeditions.

French Expeditionary Force in England 1692 - A tarnished reputation for commitment to the cause

 The manpower pool of the three Kings James II & VII, William III and Louis XIV are being stretched and squeezed meaning that new forces are being introduced frequently and the existing forces take the field in ever diminishing numbers. Some famous modern regiments have never got past their infancy before extinction - a great example being the Coldstream Guards.

Four years of war sees less than 1,000 Jacobite Irish Horse left in the saddle in England

Others have seen so much combat that they have be re recruited several times over. New regiments have bee formed and gained status and reputation.

Forces of the commercially powerful NGWIC made no impression in Jamaica in 1692

New factions ave been created through the every expanding geographic blast zone of the war. I often get asked where does the info come from? What is the source of one idea or another?

General Torres Cuban Spanish fought well in Jamaica but were betrayed by the Huguenots

Of course, much of it is imagination but mostly grounded in some germ of fact or an expansion of a historical activity or event which has bearing on what the campaign is about.

A growing menace - Sa-ki- mal: A death cult operating in San Dominique

For a year we have kept a variable sized pool of players from a core of twenty one in troops, money uniforms and causes.

English Creole infantry - fought in Jamaica and curiously, under a foreign flag in Tortuga.

As the war appears ready to enter its fifth year (and the campaign its third), I wanted to pick a few examples of the transient players, the new kids on the block and the die-hards who turn out for every scrap and struggle. It as observed during our most recent weekend that enmity  between various units runs deep.

Bitter enemies the Grand Prior's and the Danes - The Irish have the upper hand

 The example used was the animus between The Lord Grand Prior's Regiment and the Danish Garden til Fods - fostered and nurtured after the former broke the latter under a hail of fire at Badon Hill in 1692. There are of course many others.

Lords Dongan and Clare have two  ubiquitous hard fighting veteran dragoon regiments

Here is a little look at some of the stars and bit players of the campaign since it began in March 1692.

The Western Clans are temperamental but sought after allies for both Dundee and Stair.

More on some of the units in the next post.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Report from the Front

Action during the battle to capture Tortuga from Governor du Casse

I am just back from our latest Weekender epic continuing the campaign to control Britain and its associated colonial territories in 1693. I wanted to post up a glance at what we were doing before flying out to all points sandy tomorrow so, here it is!

The Jacobites last stand? Defending London from Prinz Eugen

We played five games over the weekend; one at Lochailort in Scotland, one on the River Chelmer in Essex, a third on San Dominique, a fourth at Epping and the last on Tortuga.

No, they are NOT zombies Jim.. they are Haitian Death Cultists

The Jacobites recovered hugely from some setbacks in April and have finished the campaign season with King James feeling that the crown is once more likely to look a little firmer on his bonce than on that of his nephew.

Glencoe was avenged at Lochailort when Clanranald massacred the Campbells of Glenlyon

The domestic scenarios although containing an adequate share of politics and intrigue were as nothing to the enormously complicated affairs in the tropics.

Surely this Williamite steamroller at Epping would be triumphant?

This time two new factions appeared - the Bourbon French and the Freeman Cutlers - a Privateer Brotherhood based on the real alliance known as the Brethren of the Coast.

Some of Lou Deemer's Fre man yo Kotla (Freeman Cutlers)

These pictures give a good idea of how the tables looked and with the collections of Bill, Colin, Les, Adam, Mark, Tam, Dave,Toggy and myself in play - we had a very colourful time.

Why were English Creoles fighting under the enemy flag on Tortuga?

The chaps seem happy to continue revisiting the period and are already suggesting scenarios for the next time we do it.

The baited hook - Sugar Plantations on San Dominique the target of the unholy Trinity

For now here is a little glimpse of what we got up to with more full reports including detailed batreps and campaign updates to follow over the next few weeks and months...

Friday, October 6, 2017

Ultimately a productive week..

Another batch of Haitians completed

It didn't start well with three of my holiday days being taken up with work and I thought my painting plan would go to wrack and ruin. Nevertheless, focus is the watchword and the tally for the week was
45 figures and 13 war dogs which I am pretty happy with. All completed on the terrace whilst the family were out supporting the local economy.

The somewhat equine canines from Trent at left of shot

As this was probably the last chance I was going to have to get some painting done for the forthcoming Dumfries weekend. I am glad I left the heavy planning to the last moment as due to unforeseen circumstances we have had a few call offs.  The paperwork can get completed on the flight back with final commands and scenarios being revised.

Somewhat rough work but, they are a rough crew

Looks like we will end up with nine players which is still a good number and will ensure the shenanigans continue unabated. At one point it looked like we would be running with fifteen which actually would have been very challenging not only from the organizational side but also from the perspective of space.

Needless to say, the remainder of this week was consumed in painting some additional ship's crews, Haitians and war dogs.

More scallywags to bolster the 50 already done back home

I have used the Celtic War dogs (Mastiffs and Wolfhounds) from Warlord which are very good representations and also the Trent Caribbean hunting dogs which I must confess are much less convincing as canine sculpts. They'll do for my purposes but I think they need a bit of a rework and the proportions and faces are very strange.
The ship's crews are being used for the Fre'm'yo nan kot la (Freeman Cutler's) Privateer faction and the Haitians for the Kil nam Lamno - indigenous Faction.  These will be active in the tropical theatre whilst we continue to tough it out in England with the more traditional troop types.

All good fun. My painting style for these was not the usual level of detail but more an impressionist look I was attempting to achieve with speed. It worked certainly from my perspective.

Nice city, I even got to see it

Adios from Murcia - Blighty tomorrow!

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

One afternoon in Murcia....

Two sessions work here 

I am way behind. I am so desperate to catch up that I decided to step up to the challenges of modern international travel. I carried a couple of dozen small bottles of liquid which may look to the untrained eye like something really dangerous, in a shoe box together with glue, knives and files through four airports in the space of four days to see what happened.

Trent Caribbean stuff originally designed for the 1790s but fine for my purposes

As far as I can determine my box was never opened! I had written some nice detailed messages in Dutch, Spanish and English on the box lid so maybe that did the trick. If not, I am probably more worried than ever now!

Needless to say, by Sunday afternoon I was determined to get something done! I chose a packet of Trent Miniatures Revolting Slaves for my Caribbean project and got to it on the veranda without light or magnifier.

I knew the Mail on Sunday had to be good for something

Listening to some old comedy shows on YOUTUBE I got the little blighters finished in three hours whilst also managing to prep up another seven for the next day. Alas the wheels have come off the bus today as it is 4pm and I am still working.. yes it is a holiday but the family are out, so, don't tell 'em!

Slaves with pointy sticks and other things

I didn't bring the varnish so I am going to wrap my little Trent chappies very well. They are due to fight in a jungle in Dumfries in about two weeks so I need to get a few dozen more done. If I can do a pack a day for the next 4 days I'll be happy. Four days in I have completed 23 and hope to get another eight done tomorrow. We have some very interesting factions for this 1693 campaign weekend including Haitians, Colonial French, Colonial English, Brethren of the Coast, a Huguenot Expedition, Creoles and a surprise! I have managed to paint (quickly) about 200 new models for this little sideshow and they fit well with existing regular army models making the whole thing pretty cohesive looking. I will do some unit features shortly and link this to the small actions version of BLB 3.

A huddle of the Revolting slaves!

So, let's hope fate is with me for the next few days and I get plenty more finished!

Saturday, September 30, 2017

See you at Crisis 2017! - Warfare discount offer for the show

Our intense GNW struggle at Crisis in 2014 or 2015

Toggy, Gwen and I look forward to our wonderful long weekend in Antwerp! This year we hear that a very large game featuring thousands (yes that is no exaggeration) of Warfare models will have a prominent place at the show. Nice publicity!

Gardes Francaises - Warfare Miniatures

We are offering a 10% discount for any pre-orders received before November 3rd.
These orders can be placed immediately for pick up at the show and includes all of our products - Figures, books, flags, gaming counters etc

All you need to do is email us at and let us know what you want. You can then pay by paypal or settle with cash at the show.

Naval action in the Baltic last at last Crisis or the one before 

Our first game at Antwerp - five or six years ago I think

We, travelling by sea will have a more modest but still pretty, Warfare effort from the Flanders theatre. We will have several new items with us in Antwerp including the GNW Generals, GNW Russian artillery and of course some copies of Donnybrook which is definitely experiencing a surge in popularity right now.

Renaissance Rules? - Donnybrook is a current flavour in the hobby!

We have enjoyed Antwerp for several years as these examples of our games attest.

Emma was a valuable member of the Crisis LoA team up till recently

Donnybrook Dark at Crisis - the Bokkerijders

We are also bringing our heavy artillery back to Antwerp!

Come and say hello to us and find out a bit more about the War of Three Kings due for release soon!

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Breaking the surface

The yin and yang of constant travel - herbal tea and cakes

No, I have not sunk to the bottom of the sea, missing without trace. I am acutely aware of my lack of blog output over the last week+. Unfortunately work commits have taken me around the square - London -Amsterdam -Stuttgart - Paris - London, by planes trains and automobiles meaning, naff all time to witter like a curmudgeon.

Things have been happening and so I thought it may be time to explain what is occurring....

Rehnskiold, Leijonhufvud and Stenbock

On the Warfare Miniatures front we will soon release our six BIG MEN from the Great Northern War: Leijonhufvud, Stenbock  and Rehnskiold for the Swedes and Menshikov, Shermetyev and Repnin for the Russians. The figures are currently being production moulded and should be available in October.

Menshikov, Repnin and Shermetyev

In addition, we are well advanced with our new Danes and Prussians which can be used across the period 1690 - 1720 with variants to suit the evolving dress styles. This makes official our first venture into the War of the Spanish Succession.

Sneak peek at the new Prussian WSS/GNW dolls

Further to these developments we have new lines of product coming, including Thirty Year War and English Civil War plus, contemporary troops from other theatres in that period.

Also coming soon with 6 horse and 9 rider variants for ECW/TYW

On the long awaited, Billy Bunter's postal order-esque War of Three Kings (Beneath the Lily Banners 3rd Edition) the book is laid out, we are currently proof reading and finish some artwork. It currently stands at a page count of 150+ and we are delighted with how it looks and plays as a rule set. We have trailed the game mechanics at Tactica, Carronade, Partizan I, Historicon and will do so again at Crisis in 2017. Following that we'll see the gates open on a backlog of other publications and pdfs which are awaiting attention.

We are back in the Caribbean in October plus England, Scotland and.. Flanders

Our now long running 1693 Battle for Britain campaign continues in October when we return to Dumfries to continue the power struggle for the throne of the Three Kingdomes. I believe at the moment we have around twelve of the regular characters attending and the shenanigans will doubtless continue.(well, I know they will because I have been particularly devious this time!).

Toggy's Danube summer hut

I've always like this Young Guard unit and it got to play this summer at Arcis sur Aube!

Apart from all this, Toggy continues to amass the 1814 Austrian Army on a one to one scale whilst collecting more wargaming objet d'arte in the form of wonderfully hand crafted buildings.

Great boost for Donnybrook in this issue - thanks Rik!

I have a couple of pieces due for ventilation in Wargames Illustrated over the next few issues but I suspect none will have quite the positive impact on sales that Rik's piece on Donnybrook had. Well thanks again Rik for a real marketing lift!!

This year's Tactica effort may well be further south and west than the Ukraine

We are hopefully heading for Tactica in 2018 and by then various other projects long awaited and unexpected should be peeking out for the gaming community to have a gander.

So, despite rumours to the contrary, I have not switched off my scrivener's angle lamp for the last time and will continue to agitate for the foreseeable future... right! Which gate is this flight boarding from...

one of the more remote airports I have had the pleasure of

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Solidifying the Ghost Army Part 7: Wounded Sentinels

The wounded sentinels in the raw state

The sentinels completed

Although the Ghost Army force has only four units each with two characters attached I added two extra demi-units in order to make the scenario work. The first of these are three sentinels, each supposed to be wounded and therefore rated as Drilled in the scenario.

Ralf Abrahamsson in the raw form with milliput ragged cape

This unit has no characters attached. Two of the men have captured and outdated Russian bandoliers for their powder charges.

Mikael Gabrielsson  of the Narke Varmland Regiment in his Russian cap

These sentinels are set to guard a small cart containing wounded comrades.

Johan Lund a survivor of Lewenhaupt's army from Lesnaya

All three sentinels have some degree of conversion work. Two are from the Streltsi musketeer pack with head swaps. One is a tricorned head from S13 whilst the other is a head from Cavalry pack WLOA45 which contains bareheaded Imperial cuirassiers.

During the production process - left hand base unfinished

Ralf Abrahamsson has a nasty, open head wounded 

His blanket has seen better days but is keeping the blood off his tattered coat!

The figure with the bare head has had a tattered blanket thrown over his upper body for warmth.

Johan Lund a Baltic soldier from de la Gardie's Regiment.

Lund has looted old Russian equipment and wears a Private Pike style scarf!

His clothes have seen better days

The third figure is from S1 with one of the removed Streltsi heads added and a little tidying up using milliput around the neck area.
Bertil Arnesson he also has a head wound

Rear view of  Bertil Arnesson

Arnesson was in the Narke Varmland Regiment

All of the attached heads on all conversions are drilled and pinned.

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