Aut Cesar, Aut Nihil, Wargaming the Borgias.

Aut Cesar, Aut Nihil, Wargaming the Borgias.

Monday, 14 December 2015

All because of a Bear!

 When the Perry twins brought out their new Swiss renaissance command, which included a large bear, I jumped at the chance of buying one,[well actually I bought two] It was such a dramatic thing that wargamers need overcame wargamers common sense. I must admit that I have a lot of Swiss pike, so I didnt really need another bloc. But hey ho.
 Anyway, I started painting up the group, then realised that I was short of Perry figures to make up a large pike bloc! Luckily Christmas is nearly upon us, and my daughter has kindly stepped in to buy her old dad some extra Swiss. The photographs show how far I have got with the bloc. I must admit I have enjoyed painting these figures, and look forward to completing them after Christmas.

  I was scratching through Dave Thomas's spares boxes a while back, and found a couple of  Hinchliffe figures that I thought would make an extra Turkish command group. This is the finished piece, not brilliant, but I like it.
 Additionally I picked up some painted Hinchliffe mounted crossbowmen, at a very reasonable price from E Bay, so having had to paint only two extra figures, and then re base them, the troops are now ready to take the field in the new campaign season.

Sunday, 29 November 2015

Battleground 2015

  Yesterday, I attended Battleground 2015 at the University Campus in Stockton on Tees. A fuller report is posted on my other site. But in between staging a Seven Years War game and pestering the traders I was able to meet and talk to quite a few people. Included was the great Tony Runkee, painter to the stars [ well me actually]
 Tony very kindly brought me a piece he had been working on, which I had to have.

 Unfortunately the photographs are very poor, and do not do the subject any justice. The base is a lovely early renaissance gun and mantlet, scratchbuilt by Tony.

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Stand To ,Shildon 2015.

Today was Stand To at the Locomotion Railway Museum in Shildon. It was also the inaugural game for the full Ottoman Turkish Army.
  Its hard to classify Stand To as a Wargames Show in the true sense of the word, given that entrance is free [yes free] the majority of people who attend the museum, are usually there to see the trains, there is usually only a small number of traders and the venue is well lit and warm. [ The last bit is a bit of playful devilishness by me]  But actually I think the place is a very good venue because it is very well lit, the parking is good, and free, the cafe is also well run, although not the cheapest and the place does have stuff to see, ie very large trains.
The set up I chose was a battle between the forces of the Republic of Venice against the invading Ottoman Turks, during their war in Greece. The war ended with the Venetians losing a lot of their colonies. The rules used were Pike and Shotte, which fairly rattle along and take very little to pick up again after a long lay off.
I have to admit that John, Neil and Colin did most of the actual fighting whilst I attempted to give out handouts and explain history to young people who didnt have much idea about, well history. It wasn't that they weren't interested, because they were, its just that they don't have a grounding in a lot of  subjects such as history and geography. Still I think we did okay, and the public were genuinely interested in what we were doing.
The Turks are a difficult army to use, but also can be difficult to fight. John managed very well, me personally spent a lot of time being peppered with arrows by Akinji. The intention was for the game to be colourful, and hopefully interesting, without being taken too seriously by the players. I think we managed that.

 The centre comprising the Janissarys, finally got to move, but only when the battle was already over for the Turks.

I had to include the photograph below, as it showed the extent of Neil's dice throwing when his Spahis faced down a unit of Venetian mercenary gendarmes. No hits there. His unit duly fled after being bowled over. More bother for them 50 virgins.
 My command figure, which managed to 'blunder several times. So nothing new in that then. Anyway, I hope any person who attend the museum enjoyed what they saw, and hopefully the organisers can build on what they have started.

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Some Light Cavalry.

One can never have enough light troops in the Renaissance period, Well that my justification for painting some more Stradiots. I found! these when I was looking for a suitable horse for a command figure. Anyway they will be a nice addition to the Venetian contingent that I seem to have created for my armies. I initially wanted to make these figures, 'dirty looking' but somehow they ended up as clean and sanitised as their compatriots. The figures are from the Perry range.

Some more re painted figures from the figures I bought from Rahul. These chaps are Mini Figs, with some Lamming horses thrown in. Before anyone says anything, I know they are Indian types, but as a unit of light Ottoman cavalry they look acceptable to me.They are a quaint figure which somehow appealed.

Thursday, 20 August 2015

If I were a rich man.

 If I was a rich man, as the song goes, I would commission the top figure painters in Europe to paint figures for me. It wouldn't mean that I would myself stop painting, it would just mean that I had the wherewithal to have some extra beautiful miniatures from some really talented people.
 I am old enough to realise this will never happen, but I was also in the fortunate position to have a bit of spare cash [ if there is such a thing] to ask Tony Runkee to paint me a unit of TAG Spahis of the Porte for me.
 Ive banged on a bit about Tony in my other blog, but like all talented miniature figure painters he really knows about how to apply colour.
 Anyway I finally got my finger out and based the figures up. Naturally I am really pleased about how they turned out, Tony certainly put some effort into what is a really fine range of figures. The irony is that I have myself re painted/touched up a unit of Mini Fig Akinji, bought from an old wargaming colleague, Rahul Sarnak, naturally there is a big contrast between the two sets of figures, but I actually like the charm of the Mini Figs, and although they do look a bit like Hobbit cavalry next to my TAG Spahis, I really dont mind at all. Anyway thanks again Tony for some beautiful figures, now if only I got a lottery ticket every week.

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Family Commitments.

 I've been tied up with family commitments for the last couple of weeks, so my wargaming and more importantly my painting schedule is all to pot. Still I was able to sneak in a bit of work and finished these figures. The two figures with shields are actually Hinchliffe figures that I hadnt seen before, the shields are particularly well done, in fact Ive a sneaking suspicion that Peter Gilder used a metal button for the original master, but I may be wrong. Still they make a nice infantry command base for my Turks. The standard bearer was a damaged painted figure with a new flag.

 Next we have a Spanish pike block, courtesy of a lot of painted spares given to me by Jason Willaims when he was re basing his units bought from the late Mike Ingham of the Wargames Holiday Centre fame. The back ranks also contain some really good figures that John Reidy had painted and gave to me to use. So really a mish mash of figures, that looks pretty good in my eyes.

Honour Guard of Cesare Borgia.

Honour Guard of Cesare Borgia.