Saturday 27 February 2010

Hedgeley Moor

The Battle of Hedgeley Moor took place in April 1464 and was one of the smaller battles of the Wars of the Roses, with just over 6000 men slugging it out. It followed a long period of peace following the Towton campaign. Lord Montagu was sent north by Edward IV to make contact with Scottish supporters at Newcastle. At Hedgeley Moor he met a rebel force under the Duke of Somerset. Morale was low in the Lancastrian camp. It was an untried force that had only just come togethr from stragglers and those recentley pardoned by the King. As Montagu advanced, Lord Roos withdrew from the field with his men. The rest of the Lancastrians stood for a while but as contact was made, their cnetre also buckled and ran leaving Sir Ralph Percy standing. He was on home soil and saw a heroic last stand with Percy being cut down. The Yorkists continued on their way unopposed until a firther clash less than a month later at Hexham.

John B came over to Chez Sean for a game on Wednesday. It was our first game of Bloody Barons together. Having played other RFCM games, the mechanisms soon became familiar and we had a right Royal ding dong. John in the guise of Montague really played a blinder and true to history swept away the Lancastrian forces under Roos and Somerset. Although Percy survived by the end of the battle he was cut off from any line of retreat and in reality would in all probablitiy have been captured.

Montagu behind his command at the sentre of the Yorkist line.
The Yorkists prepare for slaughter on the moor.

Facing the rather nervous Lancastrians with Roos closest to the camera.

Percy's command facing Lord Scrope on the Yorkist right.

John chose the yellow dice this time after having bad memories of the orange dice during a game of CWB. Not sure how this happened after one particular roll of about 10 dice. Had to take a picture though. Its evil magic I tell you. We need to find a witch to burn!

A shaky picture of Montagus command looking pretty confident.

The end. Percy is to the right of the wood with Monatgu about to fall on his rear. It looks bad for old Percy. Bottom right shows the Yorkist command under the Bishop of Exeter who swept Roos and most of Somersets command from the field.

We had a good game and a good laugh with some nice digestives to accompany the tea.
Last night we replayed the battle with young Jon, young Ben and Matt from the club with John B swapping sides. John played a blinder again and reversed history attacking forcefully with Percy and holding the line with Roos (commanded by Ben). Roos' command did eventually succumb but the rest of the Yorkist forces took a real battering.
We did find one frustrating aspect of the rules. Matt had a unit of Household fighting one of Johns retinue. John had the better of it after a couple of drawn combats, eventually whittling the Household down to 1 base which happened to be the Captain, which always saves on a 2+. Johns unit had 7 bases left, but the lone captain fought on for 3 turns, which seemed a little unrealistic. In this battle the figure scale was roughly 1:15, with one base of figures representing 40-45 men. So in effect we had 40-45 men holding off around 300. The rules say nothing about such situations and indeed there are factors for 1-2 base units. Admittedly saving rolls were passed, but with luck (ie not failing the 2+ save) this could have gone on for some time. We felt that after a turn of fighting, weight of numbers would crush the few men left in this situation.
There are two remedies as I see. When it comes to morale tests for 2 bases, you could increase the morale factor to 3D6 instead of the 1D6 it is now. The justification is that things are really bas at this point! At one base, morale is immaterial as if they pass their save they cant lose the combat which is then classed as draw.
Secondly (which I think we shall implement), if a a unit is reduced to one base, it is removed, being classed as having being swept away. A captain base is allowed one turn of fighting, so may take an enemy base with him, but at the conclusion he is also cut down. Justification for this can be found elsewhere in the rules where gun crew are destroyed on being contacted. Also a single base unit is not allowed to start a fight. I think this makes alot of sense as it seemed a tad silly having a lone base holding up a massive horde on is own.
As a counter point a bit further over a levy unit despite losing a combat three turns in succesion and having to roll 7-8 dice each time, managed to survive its morale tests very much against the odds. I have no problem with this, as the unit was being whittled down, but was clearly made of stern stuff and was determined to see the thing through! Of course on getting down to 1 base, we advocate removing.
Lisa is now away skiing for a week, and though I am at work all week, I shall be making use of the free time to paint lots of AWI.
More soon!

Wednesday 17 February 2010

Terrain company

Interesting that I consider myself well up on all things wargames product related, mainly thanks to the Miniatures Page. Came across this today which I have never seen before and I am particularly impressed by the flexible roads. If budgeting allows an order maybe forthcoming. Check them out at:

Peter Pigs new American War of Independance

Linky to the Peter Pig AWI range:-

This range is coming along nicely with new British Line firing, Generals and Artillery crew along with Dragoons.

An order will be placed for collection at Alumwell. I would order now but I am putting the final touches to the Towton game and I have the Indians and some British Line in hats picked up at York ready to be painted. This is signs of a more reserved purchasing structure for me. No point adding to the upainted pile until I am at least some way down those already bought.

The rules are coming along nicely, titles 'Washingtons Army'. They are very good!

Militairy Prints

With an interest in American Militiary history, Don Troiani has always held an appeal with myself. His pictures full of vitality, action and colour putting you at the heart of the action. His uniform depictions are also spot on and a great source of inspiration.

Here is 'Barksdales Charge, always one of my favourites.

'Bunker Hill'. A spirit of defiance in the eyes of the Patriots. One wonders what they are looking at?

Dale Gallons work is also up there but not quite as good as Troiani in my eyes.

Mark Churms' Bosworth

Samurai by Brian Palmer.

Often these prints offer painting inspiration and I would encourage those in a painting rut to use Google Images to stir them out of the doldrums and get a brush in their hand.

Friday 12 February 2010


Well the York show has come and gone. I shouldn't have gone really as I was still suffering from 'man flu' and felt thoroughly miserable all day and ended up leaving just before 2pm. If it wasn't for my preorder with Peter Pig I think I may have stayed in bed.

I also picked up a few bits from Irregular Miniatures, including a peasant on a mule! From the Lance and Longbow Society I got the Towton booklet which is a nice little red and from S&A scenics I got a white felt cloth for my Towton game.

I have now painted up all but the last few stands for Towton and plan on some trial runs for the guys who may be playing on the day. I have ummed and aaahed over how to represent snow on the bases of the figures. I didn't want a permanent snow effect as only Towton was fought during a raging snow storm. Salt is the answer as it gives a nice light covering of the base but comes off with a gentle shake.

The S&A cloth will have some areas of exposed earth/meadow sprayed on and the roads will be painted on. The opposing ridges will be represented by polystyrene beneath the cloth. The woods will be the plastic armatures from Woodlands scenics to represent leafless trees. Should all look very chilly. Pictures of a test run will be forthcoming.

More soon...

Saturday 6 February 2010

York Show

Tomorrow sees my annual trip across country to York. This is one of the best shows in the year. It certainly has come a long way since its days in the Merchant Guild Hall in the city centre which was always a bit dark and cramped.

A small preorder is in with my favourite 'porcine' figure manufacturer for the last few bits for Bloody Barons (for now!) and also a few more bits to keep the AWI collection ticking over. The Washingtons Ware rules are really getting me going. As you can see to the right handside of this page, I am reading 'Patriot Battles' at the moment which was recommended last weekend. It was written in 2007 by Michael Stephenson, an American hisotrian so I am expecting some bias, but so far it is a great read.

I didn't know for instance that Washington thought so little of his militia troops, whom history and the media have 'romanticised' as seen in 'The Patriot.' Also the reluctance of the population to take up arms and the spiralling bounties that various states were willing to pay to encourage the men away from their farms ($10 in 1776, upto $800 in 1778 in one example).

The numbers of troops Washington had available fluctuated wildly from campaign to campaign, falling s low as 6-7,000 and rising to no more than 35,000 at any one time. Stephenson claims numbers have in the past being greatly inflated, 95,000 in some sources, but his research seems plausible.

He also says that the British army was not the battle hardened force sometimes claimed, with most veterans of the French Indian War out of service by the time hositlities got under way in 1775.

Some interesting and challenging points of view. I am awaiting 'Almost a Miracle' which was recommended by Kevin Fischer last weekend too. The order is with Amazon as we speak.

I am suffering with a stinking head cold at the time of writing, but I am finding some solace in painting a few buildings picked up last year. Old English and Japanese mainly plus some walls and other bits. Nothing too taxing as concentration is lacking. Missed club last night more to save others from my germs than anything else.

Hopefully fell better comethe morning.