Saturday, August 1, 2015

First St Albans - Lion Rampant AAR

Just finished another enjoyable game - this time based on the First Battle of St Albans. My buddy ran the royalists inside of the town and I ran the rebels led by the Duke of York and Earl of Warwick. The King's forces had six units - one mounted serjeants, two foot MAA's, and three yeomen with mixed weapons (bows and spears). The Yorkists had nine units - two mounted serjeants, three foot MAA's and four yeomen with mixed weapons (bows and spears). The terrain which included plowed fields, woods, hedges ditches and stone walls was supposed to slow down the Yorkists' advance - which it did but the shorter 12" range of the bows in mixed units were not favorable for the King's troops. The Yorkists ended up getting inside the town over the field barricades at the entrances into the town at Sopwell and Shropshire Lanes. Once inside their superior numbers decided the battle. During the AAR it was recommended to have the bowmen inside the town as separate bow units - giving them the better 18" range. Otherwise we both agreed the rules worked very nicely for the scenario.
Initial deployment by Yorkists forces outside of St Albans along Sopwell and Shropshire Lanes, the River Ver on the southern flank.
The king's men manning the eastern perimeter of St Albans.
View looking south with Shropshire Lane in the foreground.
Yorkists forces moving towards St Albans on Sopwell Lane.
King Henry's forces manning the eastern walls of St Albans.
Sopwell Lane in the foreground with Yorkists forces making good headway towards the town.
Yorkists boldly advancing upon St Albans - still out of enemy bow range.
The Duke of York pressing the attack on Shropshire Lane. Foot MAA soon to climb over improvised barricades.
Yorkists attempt to dislodge the defenders at Sopwell Lane with arrow fire.
Foot MAA bravely defend the town at Sopwell Lane.
Yorkists Foot MAA having breached the walls and barricades at Shropshire Lane engage in close combat with Mounted Serjeants. The Foot MAA got the better of the mounted troops, who had to retreat.
The outnumbered forces of the king failing to keep out the Yorkists, are overwhelmed and defeated.
 Yay! Now we can move on to a lasting peace!

Addendum: One thing which was found to be a bit brutal, harsh as the author puts it, is the Courage test required by units taking casualties, particularly winners of combat. There was at least one occasion during the game where a clear winner of combat failed their Courage test and was routed off the table. We made an on-the-spot house rule (at least for this game), negating the need for a Courage test for units which won their round of combat. We'll see if we keep this mod in future games.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

First Battle of St Albans - Setup for a Lion Rampant Scenario

Using available terrain, including the newly acquired 4Ground buildings, managed to setup a First Battle of St Albans scenario table. There are 9 units for the Yorkists rebels and 6 units with the king within the town. There are only three troop types for this scenario: Mounted Serjeants, Foot MAA, and Foot Yeoman with Mixed weapons (spears and bows). Hopefully will have this play-tested next weekend with the assistance of some buddies. I just wanted to see how the table would look with the troops and terrain on hand. Didn't use the guys with pikes and handguns, as I don't think they were used at this battle; also kept the mounted troops to a minimum.
Looking west towards St Albans. Shropshire Lane in the foreground and Sopwell Lane south of it. The River Ver in the distance.
View from the south with Warwick's forces in the center.
Not part of the actual game, but figured it was a nice opportunity to get the Earl of Northumberland in the picture.Riding out to negotiate terms to avoid battle. Unfortunately for the earl, terms were not agreed upon and he was one of the casualties in the ensuing battle.
Close-up of the earl as well as the line of defenses along the eastern side of St Albans. Note the Improvised barricades at the entry ways into the town. Plowed fields, hedges and ditches precede the old stone walls, parts of which date from Roman times - or so it is said.
Along Shropshire Lane, mounted troops carry the banner of the Duke of York. Units of Foot Yeoman with Mixed weapons and Foot MAA attempt to reach the town.
View from Clock Tower. The warning bell of the approaching Yorkists already sounded from it. Units of Foot Yeoman, also with Mixed weapons man the perimeter of the town.
Yorkists forces advancing upon St Albans between Sopwell Lane and the River Ver.
View looking towards St Albans along Sopwell Lane.
Map which the table is based upon.
An AAR will be posted as soon as the game is actually played.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

4Ground Mordanburg Backstreet and Thatched Roof Hovels - Completed

Completed the 4Ground buildings. Still need to mat down the thatched roofs with watered-down PVA, but the kits are built. The Mordanburg (aka Fantasy) buildings took about 30 minutes each as they had more parts. Mainly the extra work was timber framework is separate and then the plaster in between it are separate pieces; almost like a jigsaw puzzle. The thatched roof hovels are much simpler and took about 15 minutes each - not counting watered-down PVA work still to be done, of course. Appropriate minis are placed next to them for comparison. These aren't the largest buildings 4Ground makes, but they are a good size for filling up the table, IMO. They are sturdy and much lighter than comparable resin models.
Mordanburg buildings in front and the still furry topped thatched roof hovels in the rear.
These will be used for Medieval periods games too.
Very nice quality interiors too.
Looking forward to seeing how the roofs will look after the watered-down PVA treatment.
Multi-figure bases fit inside with no problem. Note: that is not Donald Trump's toupee on the left.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

4Ground Terrain - Super Fast Shipping to the USA!

Nothing 'bout painting, but just received an order of my very first 4Ground pre-painted terrain. This is incredible fast as I only placed the order on the 15th. The order was actually here three days ago - the 20th - but didn't know they sent it UPS requiring an in-person signature and no one was home. No problem, as it is a very secure method. The shipping was free since I placed an order meeting their £60 free-shipping deal. Haven't opened the kits yet, but plan to either tonight or this weekend. I picked up the "Backstreets of Mordanburgh" set and two Medieval thatched-roofed hovels. All should be welcome additions to my sparse collection of terrain - particularly Medieval.
Their inaugural debut should be an upcoming Lion Rampant game based on the First Battle of St. Albans. You know a little bit of Street Fighting Men going on.

Friday, July 10, 2015

SNLF vs. Kor (aka Ropen) of Papua New Guinea

”...it was the Japs [Japanese military] on the island who were attacked by the kor (ropen). They [Japanese soldiers] apparently shot several wounding them then followed them to caves and blew [blew up] the entrances. They called ships fire on the hills and pounded them for several hours.” - recounted by a resident of the Manus Island area of Papua New Guinea.
"Recover Able Seaman Mifune's body - he has a lot of rice balls in his pack!"
"Aim for the head! Toyota!"
"Duck! I mean Pterosaur!"
"I'm thinking Yakitori for dinner, guys!"

The pterosaurs are from an internet source called The Big Zoo Store. They're flexible rubber and were shaped in different positions using heat from a candle. They were painted a light brown color which are described by eye-witnesses. Sewing pins and needles are used to secure them to their metal washer bases.
The kor, or ropen, looking for light snacks.


Sunday, July 5, 2015

Special Naval Landing Forces - Warlord Games

Picked up a plastic sprue of six Warlord Games WW2 Japanese to see how they were. The sprue has several head, arm and weapon choices. One of the figures is supposed to be in the prone firing position, but he's been converted into a casualty figure laying on his back. They are painted up as Special Naval Landing Forces troops, who wore uniforms in the same basic cut as the Army, but in a green shade. The figures went together very nicely and were block painted and given a Minwax Tudor Satin stain. A bit of highlighting was added over a Testors Dullcote finish.
Vallejo Brown Violet with a bit of Green Ochre and Green Grey was used for the uniform. White was added to this for the highlighting.
Overall they are nice figures, especially with the choice of different part options.
WW2 uniforms take to the Minwax Stain process particularly well; a full force for Bolt Action would be a nice weekend project.
The image below shows them prior to painting. They're on plasticard to raise them before attaching them onto metal washers. The kit is supplied with round plastic bases for the five standing guys, but weren't used.
A Type 95 Ha-Go light tank may be added in the future.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Battle of Worringen - Using Lion Rampant

My fellow Hawaiian expat, Kimo, and I got in a nice Lion Rampant game today based on the Battle of Worringen. Kimo chose to run the Archbishop's retinue. This was Kimo's first time with the rules, and only my second time. No worries though as the rules are quite simple and easy to pick up. Here are some images of the game which ended up unhistorical as the Archbishop won handily over he forces of Brabant.
The Archbishop's forces cautiously moving towards the Brabantines. Note the carroccio which was designated the "Leader" model. It was activated for movement with a roll of 8 - which Kimo managed to do quite often. Otherwise it held no combat value.
The "Ferocious Serfs" having managed to reach the confines of the Worringen watchtower first attempt to secure it. Enemy crossbowmen reach the walls opposite the Serfs. They would've been a bit more ferocious with better Attack and Defence Values.
On the western side of the battlefield, the Archbishop's crossbowmen have taken up covered positions in the woods. From there they have already caused numerous Brabantine casualties. Note the Brabantine crossbow unit with white skull casualty markers and a red Battered marker - after failing their Courage test.
A view looking towards the Brabantine forces. Kimo was very cautious with his cavalry which had the Wild Charge rule. The plowed fields halved movement for cavalry, but not for infantry. Note the Serfs trying to stay out of enemy crossbow LOS by moving around the watch tower.
Berg infantry allied with Brabant moving towards infantry belonging to Reginald of Guelders. Note that the Bergers have taken casualties from the enemy crossbowmen hiding in the woods to their left. The Bergers chose not to attack them in the rough terrain - although, in retrospect maybe they should have. They ended up being routed off the field later on.
The Serfs allied with Brabant unwisely take on enemy crossbowmen. Three separate units of Serfs eventually were destroyed or routed off the table during the game. I should have played them historically - at the actual battle they held back until the Archbishop's forces were locked in close combat with the Brabantines.
Remnants of Berg infantry in close combat with Guelders infantry. As both units are classed as Serjeants, the Bergers who charged had a harder To Hit value than the defensive Guelders. The results were as expected.
Infantry of Julich having successfully formed into Schiltron receive the charge by Luxembourg infantry (allied with the Archbishop). Both have already sustained casualties from previous missile fire.
Mounted Men at Arms belonging to the Archbishop having been lured into a Wild Charge by a small unit of Brabantine Serjeants finally get into the action. Although in the defense, the Serjeants failed to hit enough of the enemy to take out a casualty.
After failing their Counter-charge roll, Brabantine cavalry receive Luxembourg Men at Arms. The Brabantines lost the round and ended up failing their Courage test and retreated.
The forces of Jan of Brabant having lost over half of their forces, the game was called a Victory for Siegfried of Westerburg, Archbishop of Cologne. The actual battle was a resounding victory for Jan of Brabant, but bad dice rolls (read failed activations) early on in the game really hindered deployment for the Brabantines. I had lowered the activation for crossbow Shooting from 7 to 6, and this seemed to make them a bit too powerful. Otherwise it was a nice game which flowed smoothly. Kimo suggested that the core rules would work very well for Samurai. Something I may do in the future.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Battle of Worringen Set-up - a Lion Rampant Scenario

It's been a while since my last post due to a heavier workload in June - as well as my 83 year old mom stopping by for a visit last weekend. The weather here in the Pacific NW has been very hot too - 80's and 90's F, and not conducive to painting and such pursuits. In spite of all this, I've been meaning to follow-up on the previous post with a Lion Rampant game based on the Battle of Worringen. So without further ado, here are a few teaser pics of the table just set up - in the living room with the only A/C.
Looking north with the Brabantine forces in the foreground. A watch tower on the outskirts of Worringen to their right. A tributary of the Rhine behind them. Walram of Julich and Adolf of Berg accompany the Duke of Brabant.
My buddy Kimo and I will play out this scenario on Saturday. One thing I became aware of was the need for a few  more pieces of Medieval terrain. I had to resort to using an Empire watch tower to spruce up the table.
Arch Bishop Siegfried of Cologne along with Henry of Luxembourg and Reginald of Guelders.
Brabantine forces reinforced with militia from Cologne
Cavalry bearing the standard of Henry of Luxembourg
The Arch Bishop of Cologne
Here is a map which the table is loosely based upon.
An AAR will be posted after the game.