My son Jack and I finally got to continue the Kingmaker today. We decided to play out the siege of Alnwick as per the boardgame rules. The Yorkists (myself) captured Alnwick and with it Percy who was executed for his treachery.
The following moves saw both sides manoeuvring and building up their respective forces. I crowned Richard of York in York and summonsed parliament enabling me to shower several of my nobles with titles. In the subsequent move Jack crowned Henry of Lancaster in London.
With my strength building, I decided to consolidate my hold on the north, Wales and the south west. I sent Stanley, Talbot and Mowbray to secure Wales with most of the rest of my forces concentrating in the north. Jack in the meantime was building substantial forces in and around London.
With my 3 nobles meeting at Shrewsbury, Talbot and Stanley were ordered to take Hereford, a walled town to the south. Hereford was not as yet owned by either side but will resist the Yorkist aggression. So far so good I thought. With the offices and titles awarded to these nobles they will provide for a very powerful base in Wales. Under the rules I had sufficient forces to capture Hereford and the only danger to me would be if either of my nobles were named as killed in the event card. With only 2 nobles committed the odds were pretty good I would be ok. Event card drawn. Nobles killed - Talbot and Stanley! Jack almost fell off the chair laughing as I stared incredulously at the card. In one fell swoop my plan unravelled.
Jack seized on the opportunity presented by this blow to my Welsh forces and dispatched a strong force from London along with Edward of Lancaster to deal with Mowbray who was now holed up in Shrewsbury. Jack had considerably more success capturing Shrewsbury and putting Mowbray to the sword. He did lose one of his nobles in the attack, Hastings, Earl of Worcester.
Richard of York, incensed on hearing of the events along the Welsh border, lead a force out of York to deal with the Lancastrians at Shrewsbury. As Richard approached the town, Edward lead the Lancastrian force out into the field to confront the Yorkists. And so began the Battle of Shrewsbury.
An overview of the board at this stage in the game. Jack is concentrated in London and the south east apart from his force at Shrewsbury (middle left). My reduced forces are now either at Shrewsbury or in the south west where Pole, the Duke of Suffolk, will shortly be landing in Plymouth to join Berkeley.
A closer view of the Shrewsbury battle. My Yorkist forces will slightly outnumber the Lancastrians but not enough for them to be confident of victory.
I will certainly have to paint more figures before this game can be played and I have yet to decided on the rules to be used. I have my own Ancient/Medieval version of General de Brigade but it still requires a good deal of work and unless I can create a fast play version may not be practicable in the time we have available to play out the game.
I am therefore looking at others in my possession with Impetus and Sword & Spear being front runners. For now then Kingmaker will be stalled again but hopefully not as long this time.
Robert Fellows of 2D6 Wargaming has kindly provided me with samples of his new 1/285 scale Russian infantry due for imminent release. As readers of the blog will know, I am seriously impressed by the new Panther tanks produced by this company so looked forward to getting my hands on their new infantry range.
Before I launch into the review I should mention that I have added new label "Figure Reviews" where you will find this, my previous reviews of 2D6 Wargaming's Panthers, and any future reviews.
I have broken this review down into 2 parts. Part 1 is the review of the figures with Part 2 being how they compare for size and quality of other figure producers.
Fresh back from my break and it is time to review where I am at with painting the forces involved in the ECW Battle of Glastonbury.
Before I began my holiday, painting had ground to a halt for several days with the real world intruding. Unfortunately I have a few more days of the latter before I can really concentrate on painting and playing Day 2 of 'Seven Pines'.
The above represents all the cavalry I shall need for Parliament. There are 4 regiments in total with the 2 ready for priming being pretty much the maximum number of cavalry I like to paint in one batch. There are 54 here and I normally aim for 30 - 50. Infantry can be anything from 50 to 90. You often see on Facebook professional figure painters in particular, painting in batches of several hundred. I simply do not have the stamina! I can see the logic in that painting in such large numbers on a production line basis speeds output and I envy those capable of such a work rate. Personally I tend to find this becomes more of a chore and I have never been a good speed painter. Additionally, if you have a spare half hour it is more of an incentive to paint, say flesh, knowing that they can be completed in that time.
On another subject - during my holiday I took the opportunity of reading 'Hunter's Rage', the third book of 6 in the Civil War Chronicles series by Michael Arnold. The first book starts with the battle of Edgehill and the book I have just finished reading concludes with the battle of Stratton. The story revolves around 'Stryker', a hard-bitten veteran of the 30 Years War who fights for the Royalist cause. He writes very much in the Bernard Cornwell and Simon Scarrow styles and fans of those authors I am sure would find these equally as good. I thought the third book was the best of the 3 I have read to date and was utterly absorbing. Arnold interweaves fictional and real-life characters with skirmishes and historical events in the same vein as Cornwell and Scarrow. I heartily recommend these books even if the ECW is not your period. They certainly provide for wargaming inspiration with the potential for numerous scenarios including many smaller actions.
Next up on my ACW project is the Battle of Seven Pines, also known as Fair Oaks. The scenario is taken from the Fire & Fury Great Eastern Battles Scenario Book. Once again I shall be using the Guns at Gettysburg rules by David Brown.
Conversion is relatively straight forward. I simply replace a F&F stand, typically of 3 x 15mm figures, with a 6 figure stand of 6mm. The base frontage is 15mm, 60% that of F&F's 1" or 25mm.
This reduced the size of the 6' x 6' board in F&F to 3'7" x 3'7" or the closest for my boards of 3'9" x 3'9". The other change I had to make was the number of turns. Movement distances of 6mm figures in GaG rules are roughly 30% of the 15mm figures in F&F. It takes twice as long to cover the same ground and therefore the number of moves are doubled to that in the scenario.
Units in GaG are at battalion level and thus I introduced a few minor changes to reflect the fact that this will be at brigade level. Primarily around Brigade attack columns with a minimum of 2 stands in each of 3 lines to constitute such a column. Where brigades are too small to form their own attack columns they can combine with other brigades to form what is essentially a division attack column.
This is a two day battle with Day 1 consisting of 28 moves including 2 twilight moves. There is one special night move followed by 36 moves in Day 2.
The map shows the situation at 1.00 p.m. on 31st May 1862. The darker green represents wooded areas and the dotted line is the dividing line for the overnight turn. The letters around the edge of the map indicate entry points - more of that later.. X and Z are targets for capture. All streams are flooded preventing artillery from crossing. All other units may cross at any point but suffer a movement penalty. Any unit defending a stream against a charging unit receive a bonus +1 in melee.
The Parliamentary foote regiments are now complete for the Battle of Glastonbury. As can be seen they will be heavily outnumbered by their Royalist equivalents.
The 4 figure pike bases are ok so far. Not as fiddly as I thought they may have been. That said I probably would not want an entire army based in this way but all being well this should only affect a minority of regiments.
I apologise for the photo. With Seven Pines and all the associated clutter (rulebook, dice, QRS etc) taking up much of the available space, I have had to squeeze them into one corner of the ACW battlefield.
The Parliamentarian cavalry are now underway and with that the nice feeling that comes with a project nearing completion.