Wednesday 16 November 2011

Burgundian Ordonnance pikes

I have finally completed the first of two Ordonnance pike blocs; these have taken longer than planned, partly as I've not been working on them exclusively and as work commitments have been heavy and so not much painting has been achieved over the last 2 months (hopefully this will be rectified before the end of the year).
Most of the figures are Perry plastics, straight from the Mercenaries box with minimal modifications, with a few of the recent metal marching billmen added. I've not spent so long on detailing each figure as they are somewhat lost within a larger unit. According to the Burgundian Ordinances pikemen should have carried a buckler too, however I've left them off these and will add them to the other pike unit, to create a subtle visual distinction. I have aspirations to add another front rank of bases for them, using some of the advancing metal figures and a company captain, although I'm happy with the overall size of the unit as pike units can appear to lack the required bulk and depth sometimes (my Swiss ones will probably be at least twice the size of these).
Most wargame army lists for the period cite Charles the Bold's pikemen as Flemish or Lowland, presumably based on the use of pikes by such armies in the Burgundian territories earlier in the fifteenth century. It is not clear to me how the recruiting of each of the Ordonnance Companies related to geographic or regional boundaries. We do know that the duke contracted with mercenary leaders for specific numbers of troops to form Companies and that others would have been raised directly from lands within the dukedom, such as Flanders. Equally we know that companies comprised of different arms, such as pikes, crossbows, handguns etc and that certain territories were more likely to provide certain specific arms, notably England for longbowmen. Therefore it seems to me that on the battlefield company organisation would need to be sufficiently flexible to re-arrange the differing arms within the companies into larger fighting blocs of similiar types, i.e. pike blocs and handgun units and so a mix of nationalities could compose a fighting unit?
However, for this unit I've reverted to assuming that these are Flemish sourced troops and hence they display arms of Ghent, a flag of the stonemasons Guild for the city and the Burgundian arms. Painting and posting should speed up a bit now, as I have more free time, and will be starting on a halbard unit.


  1. thats one decent sized pike block simon, if the swiss will be twice that size their going to be great.. really good combinations their too, and you cant tell the rankers have been speed painted. one thing please do more group shots showing the army as its size progresses that would give us a sense of how they would appear arrayed on the field,
    keep it up

  2. Another outstanding unit. You've just got to love the Perry's for these plastics, and your basing sets them off very nicely.

    I'd second the call for an army shot, it should look very nice all together already.

  3. What a cracking unit, pike look especially good en-masse and the numbers you have there are just right for the effect. Excellently painted and i third that notion for a progress group shot !

    I'm guessing that you're at least half way, are you working to a listing at all?

  4. WOW ! Realy nice looking unit, very good work !

    Best regards Dalauppror

  5. Many thanks for the comments and as requested, i'll sort out some shots of the units done to date. This has made me check my progress and whichever way I cut it - either number of units or number of figures - I'm only about 1/3rd done. Theres a large number of mounted men at arms, and am waiting on the Perry plastic box for these.