Aut Cesar, Aut Nihil, Wargaming the Borgias.

Aut Cesar, Aut Nihil, Wargaming the Borgias.

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Groundhog Day!

When I started this second blog, it was to record me building up my new army of Cesare Borgia, in 28mm.
 As stated it was to replace an army I sold back in the 1980's. At that time I also sold my Burgundian army and John sold his Italian Wars army. These were all in 25/28mm and the money was used for us to buy into the 6mm ranges which we did in a very big way. Things as usual came full circle for me and I re adopted the 25/28mm.
 At today's game at the Durham club, John and I came face to face with a lot of our original armies that we sold. I must admit I was expecting the figures in the main to have been painted okay, but that they would have been of that time.
 Well John and I got a pleasant surprise when we viewed each unit that we had created nearly 30 years ago. If only their owner Shaun Lowery would sell them back to me, but of course he wont.
Shaun's army was a lovely thing to behold, and it fought pretty well.
 I can only apologise for the quality of some of the photographs, for some reason the camera is not performing as it should.

This was one of my original gendarmes for Cesare's army, at that time John and I used oil paints for the horses.

 The swiss were a mish mash of Connoisseur figures with the odd Vulcan thrown in for effect. [ Not the ones with pointy ears.]
  I can actually remember painting this giant standard, which in reality would have been impossible to hold.
  This artillery piece was never released by Connisseur, and was cast by Peter Gilder as a one off, luckily Shaun didnt realise how badly I wanted to walk off with it.

  I didnt actually paint these wonderful french mounted archers, but they were so beautifully painted that again Shaun was lucky I didnt put them in my collection.
  A Swiss pike block from the front,including painted eyes!

 Connoisseur mounted arquebusiers, with a Borgia standard, based on a stemma design.
  These lovely figures came from the original Wargames Holiday Centre in Scarborough.
  I hadnt realised that Shaun had even bought my tents!.
  So after drooling over Shaun's figures, how did the game fare? Well Paul and I were fighting together against John and Shaun.  We took the Papal side, Shaun and John the French. Success was not on the side of God it is fair to say, between Paul being unable to throw decent command dice, and me managing to lose Cesare in a suicidal charge it was fair to say NOTHING went right for us. The beauty! [frustration] of Pike and Shotte is the fact that the wargamer cannot rely on anything, you have to carefully consider your tactics and plan for the worst. Needless to say I certainly didnt.
 The plan entailed my infantry holding up the advance of the French gendarmerie under the command of John, whilst Paul commanding our best troops rolled up Shaun's flank and centre.
 What actually happened was Paul couldnt get his infantry to move very much, although he managed to turn Shaun's flank we had expended so much effort that Paul's cavalry command was exhausted. Meanwhile on my wing, I had managed to lose all of my shot troops which caused my division to be classed as spent, whilst my gendarmes had been hemmed in by a combination of pikemen and halberdiers. So naturally when Cesare decided to charge to undying fame, he didnt and copped a pike up his j#####y. Such are the vagaries of Pike and Shotte. Was it enjoyable? Debatable, because nothing went to plan. Was it a good way to spend a Sunday? Definitely.
 Do I want my old armies back? What do you think.    

 Shaun showing off his wargames credentials by wearing a vintage top, John meanwhile thinking about giving my Italians a good kicking.

Meanwhile on the Papal side, Paul is looking for the rule that says the Pope's blessing allows a re roll on a failed command throw.
 These gendarmes, belonged to John over thirty years ago, and they still managed to beat up my newly painted replacements.
  I had to include the rear shot of my Romagnol pike block, during the battle they managed to advance only twice before retiring from battle following the rout of their arquebusiers and the collapse of the morale of their division.

  These mercenaries managed to pin my gendarmes, negating their effectiveness [ That means I ballsed it up]

Saturday, 8 February 2014

The first company of the Black Bande using the new standards.

Pete of Pete's Flags fame very kindly created some conjectural company flags for the Italian Black Bande, after the death of Giovanni Medici.
 The companies went into mourning and adopted very sombre attire, coupled with new company flags.
The flags were described as black with devils painted upon them.
Which self respecting wargamer could not resist the chance to adorn their renaissance units with such flags.
Anyway, I held back showing the first company with their new standard until now.
The figures are from Pro Gloria,and are their new arquebusiers, the standard bearer is Foundry.
 Of course I will now have to have more companies, just to fly the extra standards Pete made.

 I deliberately didnt paint the troops in black, as eye witness accounts only mentions sombre colours, with black adornments on their clothing. Strangely enough that also included devils sown onto their clothing. Saying that for the next company I will probably go for mainly black clothing, shades of Quentin Durward.

Friday, 7 February 2014

Big Game This weekend, part two.

I seem to have been busier painting than I thought since the New Year.
 I was a bit short of light cavalry for Cesare's army, and knowing that he could afford the best that money could buy, I would have been surprised if he hadn't hired some stradiots from the Venetians.
 Anyway, these are my second unit of stradiots, these being the European types.
 Its difficult to plan a big game at short notice, but I hope that Sundays affair is a success. One of the reasons that I am keen to stage the game is that Shaun Lowery from the Durham group is expected to turn up with John and my old renaissance armies. I want to see how they were painted, and hopefully  compare them with now.        

I added a collection of Venetian standards just to pretty them up.

Big Game This Weekend.

Its been awhile posting anything. Here we are in February and not a pot washed.
 Anyway, I have arranged [hopefully ] a large renaissance game this Sunday at the Durham club.
 I just hope there are enough troops to go around. If not then I will probably just watch and offer up poor advice.
 I havent been sitting on my backside since the turn of the new year, and I have added some pieces to my renaissance armies. But firstly I have to show everyone! the flags that Pete has created for my Black Bande;
 I know Pete is a bit concerned that they are conjectural, but thats because he is such a perfectionist, but these are his best work for me. They certainly match the descriptions of the company standards of the Bande Nere as they marched towards their doom in Naples.
 I have been working on a few odds and sods for my armies, as I do like a wagon train;
 The pieces are Hinchliffe, and are my take on that wonderful photograph that appeared many years ago in Miniature Wargames.

 The shoemaker in green was painted by my opponent John, who always painted a mean Hinchliffe figure.

The organ gun, is a hodge podge of figures.
 This heavy gun is obviously Foundry figures.
                                       I had to paint this chap, he is a Games Workshop plastic Empire figure.
  This range of Foundry figures I believe has been discontinued, but I actually like them, although they
   lack the detail of the Perry castings.


Finally, John was selling off his small contingent of 28mm renaissance figures at York last weekend. I couldnt let these Old Glory gendarmes go. I struggled when I attempted to paint these figures, I knew John would make a great job of them. I am probably going to have more gendarmes than existed in the Italian Wars, but they are very colourful chaps.

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Pete's Flags.

I'm sure Pete from Pete's Flags wont mind me using his image of one of the flags I commissioned him to create using details from the wonderful book, The Black Bandes of Giovanni. Hopefully this will be one of the several that are believed to have been carried by his companies after his death. Additionally several of the officers of the bande were known to adorn their armour with images of the devil. Now how can any self respecting wargamer not have these in his renaissance army.
 Pete is a bit of a perfectionist and I cant recommend his flags enough. He has expanded into The Burgundian Wars  a major interest of mine many years ago] and the armies of Henry the Eighth. 
 Tomorrow is the first big show of my wargaming calender, the show at York racecourse. The weather doesn't sound to healthy, but I am really looking forward to the event.
 I do have a list of items to buy, but having checked my renaissance unpainted units, I dont think I will need any more figures, at least not in this lifetime.
 Anyway, well done again Pete.

Honour Guard of Cesare Borgia.

Honour Guard of Cesare Borgia.