Wednesday 9 September 2015

Berne Baby Berne - game pics.

My Burgundian army had it's second day in the field, along with the Swiss that I've done to date, at Partizan show at Kelham Hall last Sunday. This was my contribution to an informal group we've called The Bodkins, who've been formed with the intention of putting on medieval demo games.

The decision to put on a Swiss- Burgundian game was a relatively late one and so myself, Dave Andrews and David Imrie spent a rather frantic few weeks painting extra figures and basing up older ones. Our concern that we'd not have enough to fill the 10 x 6 table was unfounded on the day - when following set-up we realised that ideally we really could have done with a longer table to allow the contingents some tactical elbow room.

The final set-up looked as we'd hoped it would do - visually appealing with three large pike blocs and supporting troops for the Swiss Confederation, whilst the Burgundians put their mounted troops on the wings, with shot and pikes in the centre. Terrain tiles and trees were by Keith Warren of Realistic Modelling Services and the fortified church is a hand crafted model by John Boadle. Thanks to all those who have passed kind and positive comments on the game.

We played the game using Impetus rules and after a few hours the Swiss appeared to be getting the upper hand. They had advanced in historical echelon formation, with the massive vorhut looking fairly impregnable, despite being shot at and attacked by mounted men at arms. On the other wing Darrell Hindley led a heroic charge of men at arms against other pikes, causing casualties but being repulsed.

We have discussed playing a full game out, perhaps based closely on Morat, but that will have to be next year. In the meantime the Bodkins are continuing to plan and prep for a different historical mediaeval game. Pictures here include some borrowed from Darrell and 'Wargames Illustrated'.

and finally...some Bodkins....

Wednesday 2 September 2015

Swiss pikes (and a bear) for Partizan show.

I have been occupied for last few weeks with trying to get as many Swiss figures completed as I can for the demo game at Partizan this Sunday (6th September) at Kelham Hall. This means painting some additional command bases using Perry figures, and adding and basing up older Swiss figures that I never got around to completing until there was a need. These are the largely the Wargames Foundry models.

I have completed a Swiss pike bloc – so I now have two of similar size - these use most of the Perry pikes that I painted last year, as a rear row which just needed basing up to match the existing ones. The command figures represent the cantons of Zurich, Zug & Glarus, and Basle & Appenzel (who appear to have provided the bulk of the Swiss nachhut at the battle of Morat). All flags are by Pete’s Flags – these are ones printed on cloth. Some of the command figures have had minor conversions – some 
added plumes, a beard for the captain and a headswop or two.

I have also completed the bear of Berne – a recent Perry Miniatures vignette. Bears are recorded to have been kept in Berne from around 1513 and the bear pits still exist as a tourist site (although the bears can now access terraced enclosures along the river side). There is evidence that selected bears were taken on campaign by the army, as a symbol of the city’s power and wealth. One of Schilling’s illustrations of the Burgundian wars shows a bear attacking one of Charles’ troops at the battle of Morat, whether this is literal or another image of Bernese dominance is unclear. 

I’ve painted this one as per the bear on the cantonal flag, although most European bears of the time seem to have been brown (and probably slightly smaller than this model). I’m not sure if the accompanying soldier with the two-handed sword is there to fight Burgundians, or stick it into the bear should it not understand who it’s supposed to be attacking!

There are a few more Swiss halbardiers being based at the moment. With the figures provided by Dave Andrews and David Imrie, I hoping that the game should be both fun to play and visually appealing. I will post some pictures here next week – but if you do get to the show, please say hi.