Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Make For The Bridge! We'll hold them off!

Previously, the Duke of Belmont, recently appointed commander of English garrison at Cheverie, aware of the constant threat of being besieged by the French, had sent out a foraging party under Captain Smith. A short way from the town, there was a stone bridge over the Petite Riviere Bleu where the Duke had established a permanent post. Once the returning party crossed the bridge, they would be safe but the Duke dared not risk more of the garrison beyond the bridge. 

When word came that the convoy was in sight, the Duke himself rode down to the bridge. All seemed clear until the advanced guard neared the little village at the crossroad and the calm was split by the roar of arquebus fire and clouds of smoke.  An ambush!  

Soon French cavalry and mercenaries appeared, the convoy would have to fight their way through. 

(Note: click on the pictures for a larger view)

Quickly Captain Smith deployed his cavalry to screen the convoy and sent some of his infantry to see if they could clear the road through the village. It was clear that the French infantry was arriving more quickly and in greater numbers than his escort could handle.

French cavalry was already deploying in the open fields.  He needed a new plan NOW! The speed of the convoy would be halved if they tried to move cross country but it was probably a better chance then trying to fight through the town.

Charge followed charge and the number of Lancers was smaller after each charge but the English archers seemed to be holding their own against the French light cavalry. There was a tremendous thunder of arquebus fire in the town but the French were being slow to notice that the convoy was avoiding the town and making the slow trek across the fields. They might pull through yet.

Now the English artillery opened up! The French must have worked through the town and be attempting to cut off the convoy from the bridge. Most of the English archers had finally been scattered by the French cavalry and only a few Billmen remained to guard the flank and rear of the slow moving carts. Well, it was beyond Captain Smith now to do anything but hold back the French lancers and hope for the best.

When Captain Smith awoke, he felt a tremendous sense of failure, but then he raised himself and looked around. His lancers were scattered, wounded or dead but to his surprise his French opponents were also out of action and the remnants of the French  light cavalry had pulled back.  All that remained of the rearguard were a few archers taking cover in the small Hamlet they had passed through earlier. Startled by another volley of artillery fire, he twisted around and to his amazement and great joy saw the convoy beginning to cross the bridge with a body of Billmen formed behind them, daring the German mercenaries to do their worst.

Mission accomplished.

Monday, May 27, 2024

Now The Hurley Burley's Done

 Now the battle's lost and won.....

Stay tuned, battle report to follow.

Sunday, May 26, 2024

Who Didn't See This Coming?

 If tomorrow is less busy than today, there'll be a battle report by Tuesday morning!

(click picture to enlarge)
For the curious: these are 40mm figures, a mix of homecasts and commercial figures. 

The landsknechts are a mix of plastic Elastolin and Merten figures from the 50's/60's and some metal figures from Doug Miller's superb metal range, (https://1525miniatures.net/shop/), and one of my own originals.

The English and the French light cavalry are homecast from my severe conversion of a Meisterzinn late 18thC casting to a mid-16thC master for drop casting. The horses are various Zinnbigade homecast horses and one Elastolin. Last but not least, the English foot and many of my not-yet-on-table Landsknechts were homecast from some of my first original sculpts, some 20 years ago.

To be continued.....

Friday, May 24, 2024

One Spring Day in 1547, On The Road To Boulogne.

 There's the bridge!  Looks like the Duke of Belmont is there to see what we've gathered.

I thought for sure the Frenchies would be between us and the bridge sir.

To be continued.......

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

A Traveller Brings News of a Battle

The battle has been played and blogged. 

For those who are interested there are 3 posts: (click to be taken there)

The Prologue

The Setup

The Battle

Up next: Henry VIII sends the Duke of Belmont to France.

Monday, May 20, 2024

Now The Hurley Burly's Done

 Now the Battle's Lost and Won.....

The sun is slowly setting but the Battle is not yet decided....

.... But not yet blogged. Report tomorrow on the Gathering of Hosts site.

Sunday, May 19, 2024

The Battle Has Begun.....

but has not yet ended........

I hope to finish tomorrow and post a battle report on my Gathering of Hosts blog.

Saturday, May 18, 2024


 There's nothing going on here but things are stirring over there

"Enemy in sight m'Lord"

The table is set, Battle will begin in the morning, and the bards should be telling the story by tomorrow evening. In the meantime there's a closer look at the distant obstacle and a bit more of info on my Gathering of Host blog.

Thursday, May 16, 2024

Coming Soon

 To a blog near to this one: Gathering of Hosts.

The Gathering of Hosts.

If all goes well, I'll have the battle played and posted by .Sunday evening (Atlantic Time)

Monday, May 13, 2024

What's Next? A Model of a woodpile!

A 1:1 scale wood pile as it happens...

Winter Is Coming!

But, don't worry, the work is coming along quickly and I can't do the physical stuff for 12-18 hours a day, so there will be hobby time as well. The  question is: "What next?"

Any requests?  All will be considered.....

Wednesday, May 8, 2024

At The End Of The Day

If I'd known this 3 hour game was going to take me 8 days to play, I probably wouldn't have started! However, I'm glad I did.  

Somewhere around turn 11 or 12 of 15, one US brigade has been shattered on the right and the 4th,  recently arrived, has deployed to fit through the woods between the batteries on the central hill, just out of  the photo. The Rebs are starting to think they may hold the line. 

The scenario was of the "Hold the Pass" sort. The Rebs started with a brigade of infantry (9 stands) , a cavalry brigade (6 stands) and 2 batteries (1 stand@). Reinforcements, consisting of another infantry brigade and 2 more batteries, were coming, sometime in the first 6 turns. The Yankees started with a cavalry brigade and a battery on table with another brigade of infantry or battery entering each turn, 4 infantry brigades and 4 more guns in all.  

The defender's mission was to hold the pass till dusk (turn 15).

Suddenly, the Federal artillery found the range and the Rebs were running low on ammo or were just plain tired and the remnants of the veteran Reb 1st Brigade, on the verge of breaking, was ordered to fallback into the woods as the sun began sinking in the sky. 

After a lot of thinking and trying and rethinking and so on, I ended up for the last 1/2 of the game with the sort of fast, simple game that I had wanted.  That the basics fit on one side of a page was a benefit but I'd be happy with two sides of a page. 

Suddenly, as the sun sank (2nd to last turn)  the Union artillery and infantry in the centre of their line, found the range and the Reb centre broke, taking the rest of their shattered division with them. 
The pass was open!

None of the ideas and mechanics were new. Some were revived, borrowed, simplified, and adapted from my "With MacDuff On The Frontier", or from my "Hearts of Tin", and some borrowed and modified from Lawford and Young's "Charge!" and some from who knows what dark corner of my memory.   
(Click here for one page Quick Reference as used today.)

I wouldn't be surprised if I end up trying a version for my 40mm home cast 18/19thC , not quite historical, armies, but, for now, the yard and garden call!  

Sunday, May 5, 2024

Another Turn, Another Adjustment

I do get some of the weirdest ideas when fishing about for new ideas for a new rule set. Ideally, I'd know what I want before I start but usually I only know that I want something different from what I had been doing, usually because the old rules were too finicky or too simple. accidentally favoured unusual tactics, took too long to reach a conclusion, or too little time.......etc etc....  Annoying when solo but really annoying and frustrating with guinea players.

Anyway, I got another 2 turns played after my outdoor chores were done (Winter is coming! but a few cords of wood are coming the day after tomorrow so I need to have a spot for a heap of firewood to be dumped.)

The fighting heats up as the afternoon starts to edge towards evening.

I kept getting the new turn sequence confused and it just didn't "feel right" so I rolled it back, trimmed some more old habits and failed new ideas and am ready for another go tomorrow.    

Thursday, May 2, 2024

Two Turns In A Day, Sweet ____(modified)

 Life! Well, I managed another turn (sighhhhhh..........)

*** It appears that some people had problems seeing the picture in this recent blogpost. If anyone ever has an issue, please either leave a comment or send me an email so I can investigate. (usually everything looks fine on my end). 

I have reloaded the picture by my usual way which I wasn't able to do last night. I intended to leave both pictures up but..... the computer was ahead of me and deleted the old one without asking. Oh well. Anyway, please do report any such things (after all even with toy soldiers, SNAFU happens.)

The infantry engage.
(Oi! Who knocked that fence over!?)
(I may have to base the fence sections)

Actually, it might have been 2 turns,....(about 15 min each including time for tweaking the still under construction rules as I go...). That's spring for you!