EXERT FROM APPENDIX 1 from Don Featherstone's Battles With Model Soldiers
(The book that got me started.)

"Nothing in these pages is a dictate, no word says you must or you shall do it this way. On the contrary, the book sets out from the very beginning to stimulate the reader to think for himself, and to use what he has read merely as a foundation for efforts and ideas which reflect his own temperament and character. Only in this way will he obtain maximum satisfaction from the hobby of battling with model soldiers."

-Don Featherstone 1918 - 2013

Saturday, August 19, 2017

The Adventures of Prince Micheal of Valdur: Episode 17

LADY KATHERINE RIDES HOME

Peace has reigned in Britain for nearly two years so Count Hubert has allowed his daughter, Lady Katherine, to travel north to visit her sister, Queen Lilian. Now she is being escorted home escorted by her brother, Duke Stephen. Her nephew, Prince Micheal leads an advance party of Valdurian knights. Suddenly:
From a small patch of scrubby bushes beside the road rise a line of Saxon archers and the lead knight is struck from his horse!

Wheeling quickly and drawing his sword, Micheal leads his men into the woods and cuts down the archer's Captain. These are no brigands though and fade back into the woods rather than running. 

As the main party arrives, yet more Saxons emerge from hiding and more arrows fly. Duke Stephen sends his sister and her baggage cart with its precious treasures, to the side of the road and starts to deploy his men. 

Hiding behind a low hill to the North Helgin the Saxon chief orders the horn sounded and his banner to be raised. Drawing his sword he leads his Huscarls forward to battle.


As the Duke deploys his forces across the road, both Micheal and  the Red Company chase the elusive enemy archers farther and farther from the column but cannot catch them! Suddenly a horn sounds! Behind them, the Banner of Earl Helgin appears over a hill while over the hill to their front rides a cluster of Pictish knights with Dearg Mor at their head. These are no Brigands! 

The Red Company and Prince Micheal finally catch the enemy archers and their arrows are soon paid for. Dearg Mor does not waste time on them though but leads his party at a gallop through the hole they have left in the Valdurian line. Across the field, the Green Company holds Helgin's first assault then falls back a little to buy time and let their archers shoot. 

Suddenly there are battlecries and a clash of steel behind the Valdurian lines as the Pictish cavalry sweep into the thin line of guards around the baggage. At the same time the great Bull Horn sounds again as Helgin and his Huscarls sweep forward. The Green company wavers and then breaks apart. Only the Captain, his squire and one brave warrior stand to face the onslaught. The Duke and his standard bearer join the fight as Lady Katherine hovers to the rear, ready for flight should the need come. Down goes the Duke's standard bearer but the two knights and a squire hold back the howling horde of huscarles. 
(ps: For Bluebear Jeff, RIP my friend, I promise I will paint the bottoms of the bases!


As a fresh band of Saxons struggles over the small creek the fighting clashes on all sides, Lady Katherine leads her baggage wagon and entourage back towards safety in case the worst should happen.

At every turn luck has seemed to favour the barbarians but the Valdurians are resolute. They fall back again and form a new line and their archers tear into the Saxon lines causing a number of fainter hearts to fade back from the front line. The rest pause, gathering courage perhaps before they advance again over the line of bodies. 

Finally, Prince Micheal at the head of the Red Company crashes into the flank of the Pictish cavalry.  The fighting is fierce but the end inevitable and as Dearg Mor is pulled from his horse Helgin gives the signal to retreat. Lady Katherine will be home for Sunday dinner.

20 comments:

  1. Phew ! that was close though ! , classic figures , like them a lot , Tony

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    1. It was indeed! When 2/3rd of the lead infantry unit took to their heels (8 dice for 4 or less to stand, 5 failures!) and then the Picts snuck through the line, I thought it was all up!

      Hard to find sculpting like that these days.

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  2. Rousing action and report... with more yet to come?

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    1. Indeed especially as I am planning on bringing a game to Huzzah in May.

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  3. Got me hooked. The image of Helgin and his Huscarls is particularly evocative (miss the old Elastolines). Always fun when games have that cinematic quality that lend themselves to such rich plot lines--complete with dramatic conclusions!

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  4. "Cinematic quality", I love that! This is very evocative of Hal Foster's comic pages, too. Excellent little game.

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  5. Bravo 'The Prince', Lady Katherine's most bold hero.

    How will Queen Lilian deal with the troublesome Helgin?

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    1. He's been a nuisance for 8 years now ( though not as far north as King Malcom's lands, mostly down here close to the wall).

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  6. What an epic charge, great pics!

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  7. A classic stirring Old School action - love it.

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  8. A fine chapter and pictures Ross. I like Helgin's batle flag!

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    1. One of those hasty last minute jobs in 2009 that worked out.

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  9. Magnificent stuff, Ross. There's something about those figures redolent of Gustav Dore and 19th century illustration.

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    1. Dore? Hmm, well maybe Foster was a fan? They certainly capture the feel and spirit of his artwork.

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  10. Magnificent table, beautiful miniatures, full of movement and action. Congratulations and cordial greetings from the far south. Carlos

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  11. Fantastic pictures - the figures with the winged helmets are just wonderful.

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