Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Yet More Lion Rampant

Jamie is home from university for the Easter break and that gives me an in-house wargames opponent.  We're going to have a try of Ronin later but first Jamie had his first go at Lion Rampant.

That meant getting out the Swiss and Burgundians again.  We played scenario A - Blood Bath, which is a basic line-em-up-and-fight job.

We have enough toys for a 24 point vs 22 point skirmish at present so as the Burgundians still have a disadvantaged leader (Guy de Gadbois has the Vulnerable trait), I gave the odd two points to Jamie in the form of a unit of Italian mercenary crossbow-armed bidowers.

I started off with, counting from left to right, bidowers with handguns, two units of pikes, a unit of halberdiers (Fierce Foot), and a unit of mounted crossbowmen on my right flank.

Jamie put his mounted men at arms on his extreme left, followed by the crossbowmen (bidowers), then his longbows, his coustilliers, his Irish Kern (more Fierce Foot) and finally another unit of bidowers.
The Burgundian coustiliers advance, flanked by the Irish.  The
mounted trumpeter is for decoration only.
The Italian crossbowmen move out of the wood.
The Swiss mounted crossbows took the first casualty of the game when the Italians shot at them.  An unlucky Courage Test left them Battered (shield marker).

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I'd decided to target the Burgundian longbow-men with my pikes.  They advanced, but not fast enough for my liking.  The left hand pike block found itself in a crossfire from longbows and Irish.

At this stage the Burgundian men at arms had, as usual, not moved.  My right hand pike unit got almost to within striking distance of the longbows and then decided to stop.

Meanwhile, the left hand pikes were charged by the Burgundian light horse...

... and chased them off.

On might right however, things were looking bad.  The Burgundian men at arms finally got going and my Swiss crossbows failed to evade.

The result was inevitable with the Swiss rapidly reduced to a single figure.

The pikes finally managed to contact the enemy archers...

They inflicted heavy casualties, routing the Burgundians, but lost one man in return.  This required a test for a Lucky Strike.  Would the retinue leader be the casualty?  Of course he would!

The resulting Courage tests weren't too bad but the writing was already on the wall.  Sadly, the wheat fields were deemed to offer cover but not to be bad going.  The Burgundian men at arms rolled superbly, killing four halberdiers in one turn.

And the Irish caught the Swiss hand gunners in the open and all but wiped them out.

There was nothing left to do but to declare it a crushing Burgundian victory and a win for Jamie in his first game of Lion Rampant.

So in three games of Lion Rampant the Swiss have lost three, really quite useful, commanders.  The Burgundians have consistently managed not to lose Guy de Gadbois despite his having the Vulnerable trait!

Monday, March 28, 2016

That Mystery Object Completed

And it is, as Andy Canham guessed, a grounded satellite.  It's my rough and ready interpretation of an American KH11 spy satellite.

The structure is a cardboard tube (somewhat narrower and more robust than a toilet roll inner).  It's been detailed with oddments of card, plasticard and scraps of plastic.  On each side are broken-off pieces of Plastruct H-beam that represent the supports of the solar panels that would have been ripped off during reentry. The drogue parachute is made from linen thread and PVA-soaked tissue paper.

It doesn't show in these pics but having built the basic structure, I cut off an angled slice so I could show the satellite partly imbedded in the earth by the force of landing.

I guess in reality such a gentle landing is very unlikely without a much larger parachute but, hey, it's only a game!

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

On the workbench - mystery object

In contrast to the rash of medieval stuff hereabouts in recent weeks, here's something a little more up to date.

I'm not going to reveal its identity at this stage but Rob Connolly and Richard Phillips will have a good idea.  It will be finished in a couple of days and will play an important role in one of the scenarios for Crisis Point in a couple of weeks' time.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Woo hoo, just what I wanted!

New from Gripping Beast at Salute:

Progressing my Lion Rampant in fifth century sub-Roman Gaul project just got significantly more affordable.  The only down side is that I'll end up with a mixture of nice wire spears from Sarissa and Warlord alongside chunky plastic ones from GBP but I think I can live with that.

Monday, March 14, 2016

On the Workbench - terrain

I've been lax about posting here of late. I try to get two posts in each week but i've not been meeting that frequency.  However, that does't mean I haven't been making progress.  Here are a few terrain items I've finished in the last couple of weeks:

These three lengths of fencing are from a box of plastic bits I picked up a year ago at Vapnartak.  The tree is part of a ridiculously cheap batch I got from a Chinese company via eBay.

The following are intended as Jump Off Point markers for Chain of Command.  The signs are from the Airfix Command Post set.  Additions from various sources including the aforementioned Vapnartak bits box.  The piece in the foreground features a wooden bow containing a Panzerscheck rocket. It came with some German AT troops I picked up second hand at Gauntlet.  Sorry, I don't know the manufacturer.

Next we have an updating of my old Hovels medieval houses.  For along time I'd been dissatisfied with towns that consisted of buildings plonked onto the plain battlefield cloth so I created a base with some yards at the rear.  The base is from hardboard and I've added a couple of spare, resin dry-stone walls.  The rest of the detail is scratch-built.

I'm particularly pleased with the cobbled pavement.  The cobblestones are red lentils!

And finally, some more of those Chinese trees.  Just right for placing alongside a road.  Some nice shade for marching troops.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Defending the Indefensible

No, nothing to do with a certain Saturday morning Radio 5 show; rather another game of Lion Rampant.

Andy came over on Monday evening for a last game before he goes into the usual two months' of political campaigning.  I'm pleased to say he'll enter the fray invigorated by a fine and crushing victory.  We swapped sides this time with Andy taking the Burgundians and me the Swiss.

I had 10 points of troops in the centre guarding the bombard (the game's "indefensible" objective).  The pikes (expert foot serjeants) formed the main strength and they were backed up by two units of bidowers; the Swiss hand gunners and the Italian mercenary crossbowmen.  The latter had switched sides since the last game.

We set up the table on the assumption that the Burgundians had somehow found their way behind the Swiss lines around a besieged town.  The rest of the Swiss force was coming back from beneath the walls to oppose this surprise move.

This game saw a first opportunity to use my new Swiss mounted crossbowmen.  Needless to say, their first foray would not be glorious.

Below we see the Burgundian force as it sweeps past and through part of the Swiss Camp.

The game began with most of Andy's forces advancing...

Though the mounted men at arms proved reluctant to move.

The Irish kern advanced on the right flank.

While the coustilliers moved up quickly on the left and the longbowmen advanced in the centre.

The coustilliers took early casualties in the crossfire from two units of bidowers while the pikes were soon battered by the highly effective long-range shooting of the Burgundian longbowmen.  As it happened we forgot to apply -1 for shooting over 12" range. The discarded heater shield beside the bombard is one of my homemade "battered" status markers.

The bidowers kept up a fierce fire...

...but to no avail.  The coustilliers charged in and quickly routed the weakened, battered pikes.  

On the next turn they moved into contact and Andy had won the game and 3.5 points of Glory (he gained half a point extra as his retinue was two points under-strength).

And what, I hear you ask, of the rest of the Swiss force?  What indeed!  I managed to roll 3 on my first pair of dice so moved no elements on turn one.  On turn two I moved one unit of bidowers before  rolling a second 3.  After that things got moving but it was too late.  None of the rest of my force got close to the action!

Despite that, I really enjoyed the game.  I'm still inspired by Lion Rampant and would like to produce more terrain items to give the table a more medieval look.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Archers' Stakes

I always try to have at least one new terrain item whenever I put on a game.  I knew that Andy and I were playing the Defending the Indefensible scenario from Lion Rampant on Monday evening.  The object to be defended was to be a Swiss bombard so I thought siege lines was an appropriate setting for the game.  Saturday I happened upon some off-cuts of hardboard so I thought I'd have a go at making some defensive stakes.

By Sunday evening these were finished:

A couple of hours' work spread over the weekend with bamboo skewers, tile grout and paint.

Pics of Monday's game will follow shortly.