Tuesday, 30 August 2016

JR Miniatures Italian Medieval Tower

JR Mini's

They are a USA based company that produces lots of Resincast buildings and accessories. At this years Challenge I saw a lovely Italianate Tower in use in a 25mm Ancients Game. I took a picture of the tower for reference. No one I asked knew where it came from and I checked out all the usual UK suspects. It turned out that it was a JR Mini from their 15mm range of buildings. http://www.jrmini.com/shop/jrmini.php?m=product_detail&p=4204

JR Mini #4204 Italian Church Bell Tower
The UK supplier for JR Mini's is Magister Militum but they confirmed they could not supply it due to having major supply issues from the manufacturers after the range changed hands. So I ended up ordering it direct from the USA. I found it strange they called it a church bell tower which clearly it isnt as lots of Italian cities have built stand alone towers that are not connected to a religious structure in any way shape or form. I also ordered their #4205 Italian Clock Tower. This was on the 24th August and the package arrived this morning. I think that this was excellent service considering and only took a total of six days including a bank holiday here in England. The resincast moulds are certainly showing their age and it took me about an hour to clean them up sufficiently for me to be happy to prepare them for cleaning before painting. There were lots of excess resin on the recesses that needed careful removal with a scalpel. Here is the end result of my spending about 60 minutes cleaning them up. I will of course blog the final images once I have found the time to paint them. I just need to decide on the final look I want to create for them which may see me turning them into a six EE sized base for a BUA along with another building I have laying around waiting to be utilised.
Left #4205 Right #4204
Here is the finished Italian Church Bell Tower #4204

Here is the finished Italian Clock Tower #4205

Friday, 26 August 2016

Cilician Armenians Emerge From The Dark

Cilician Armenians Are Ready

CinC Essex Miniatures trio, CRU29, MOG1 & Unknown

Following on from my post of the 11th August I am happy to report that my Cilician Armenians are finally finished. I bought them off EBay on 1st August as a painted army consisting of 63 mounted and 248 foot. 

What was in the box of infantry
The painting on the infantry was to a reasonable standard but the mounted were not. There were ten elements of Ps O archers which were of no use to me so I managed to sell these on to someone in the club after adding magnetic basing to them and retouching their sides to blend it in which reduced my purchase price by £20-00.

Of the 63 mounted 12 of them went straight into my Early Armenian/Parthian collection after magnetic basing and edging as there was no way they were suitable to use as Bedouin being that they were Horse Archers. It was clear that the person selling this army have thrown together what ever mounted figures he could to create an army to sell. Of the other 51 mounted three were damaged beyond repair and 21 so badly painted they were only fit for stripping back to bare metal. This left me with 33 mounted that needed to be repaired and retouched whilst the paint stripper took effect. After comparing the numbers of figures to the list I realised that I was still short of suitable mounted figures as well as a smaller number of foot figures. I did a quick order to Essex Miniatures for £45-00 and got on with the repairs and removing lots of the infantry from their bases ready for rebasing once I have match painted the new missing figures I had ordered.

The army requires three generals and luckily I also had a trio of Museum Miniatures knights in my spares box which turned out to be perfect to use as the optional upgrade that the generals can be from Irr Kn F to Irr Kn O - more of him later. The army has an eclectic mix of mounted troops a lot of which are old Minifigs and some Essex Miniatures. I am unable to identify the Minifigs castings but after retouching the figures repainting their shields and adding some waterslide transfers I created I am very pleased with the overall effect. To finish off the generals I created some suitable Cilician Armenian standards.

The four generals including the Museum Miniatures trio on far left Irr Kn O & Irr Kn F

Three Irr Kn F elements Essex CRU29

Irr Kn F Essex trio on left, nine old Minifigs  

Eight Irr Kn F elements Old Minifigs

Moving onto the infantry contingent the DBM and DBMM list allow for 56 elements of Irr Sp I or Irr Ax O and 20 elements of Irr Bw O or Irr Ps O. I cannot see me ever needing to field this many Spearmen or Auxilia and have suitable casings in my Feudal collection to bulk out the army if necessary because I can rationalise this as them using some Crusader States infantry to expand out the army if pressed.

The army out of the box didnt have enough spearmen and archers so part of the Essex order contained more of these to enable me to create a uniform look to the army. I already have plenty of additional suitable auxilia to use for this army if necessary.

14 of the 16 Irr Sp I elements of Essex AEA17 Spearmen

12 elements of Irr Sp I Unknown make

Moving on to the large number of archers this army can have meant I needed to paint up lots more figures to match to ensure it didn't look like a mess of different troop types.

20 Irr Bw O elements Essex AEA18 Archers

20 Irr Ps O elements Essex AEA12 Archers

Next up is the Auxilia, the box contained a total of 22 elements. I decided that apart from some light retouching. repainting their shields and adding magnabasing that these figures were good enough to use almost right out of the box. The figures came in two batches, half of which included some figures wearing metal helmets and the other half without. I am unsure of their make so cannot at present add to them. Update been advised the Auxilia are a mix of Essex Miniatures CRU7 and CRU10 mix.

Apparently probably a mix of Essex Miniatures CRU7 & CRU10 figures

Finally there were a couple of spare elements in the box that were based up as dismounted cavalry. One of which is useful to use as a Irr Bd S General for when the Irr Kn O dismounts. They are not particularly well painted and I will replace them in due course with other figures in my Feudal collection. 
Irr Bd O Unknown maker

Sunday, 14 August 2016

EW DBM Tournament Third Round 2016 Game Report

EW Third Round 2016 Game Report

Today’s game was my third round game in the Essex Warriors Annual DBM Tournament.

I had elected to use Low Countries because it was a new army, I had not used it in anger before this year and I wanted something totally out of my comfort zone to test my skills and ability.

After my second round defeat I was drawn against Paul Brady’s Feudal English.

Our armies are unchanged from the first round games as the tournament follows the usual BHGS format of four rounds but fought over the course of the year rather than over a weekend. This allows players to make full use of the all day Sunday we have to play and means they get to play in a tournament which otherwise most of them would not have the chance to.

Paul’s army consisted of four commands organised thus:
C1 = 20 E/18.5 EE/6.5 D [25% = 5 EE] CinC
C2 = 15 E/17 EE/6 D [25% = 4.5 EE] Sub general
C3 = 20 E/17.5 EE/6 D [25% = 4.5 EE] Sub general
C4 = 14 E/13 EE/4.5 D [25% = 3.5 EE] Welsh Ally general
Army 69 E/66 EE/33 B

My army was as before:

The Low Countries have an Aggression of 0 compared to the the Feudal English Ag 3 with both armies being in a Cold Climate. We both elected to invade in the Summer.
I rolled Ag 0 + 6 = 6 which made me think I was going to be the invader. Paul then rolled a 1 to confirm this. The difference on the roll was a 5 which luckily meant there were no weather effects as it was 07.00 hours and I was the invader. Because of the way DBM terrain works based on available options on the defenders army list I decided to place a Rd and 2 x 1.5 FE of entirely steep hills to break up the table and give me something to try and anchor my line on. Paul then placed 3 x 0.5 FE Marsh and a single 0.5 FE bare gentle hill. Being a mainly infantry army I was seriously worried about ending up being outflanked on both sides because of the superior number of mounted Paul had access to in his list.

The terrain fell reasonably for me and allowed me to give some thought to a plan of attack. Paul placed his baggage and then I placed mine along with the TF fortifications in three separate groups As the list checker I knew what each opponents army list consists of so I always make sure they have a copy of my list as soon as we have arranged to play our game.

We then wrote out our command deployments. I deployed my CinC’s command across my front to take advantage or its ability to occupy the TF and the steep hills and deployed my two infantry commands slightly to the rear either side of the centre of my position.

Here are the armies as deployed before we started the first move.

I pushed forward as fast as possible with the aim of taking out his isolated commands in detail before Paul had a chance to moved his left flank commands knights forward around my open flank.

My knights were in the way so I had to push them over to the centre with a view of trying to take his Welsh ally in the flank but Paul was also advancing forward with his his foot archers against Guildsmen knights in my centre so I decided to dismount the knights as Reg Bd S are much more resistant to bowfire than Reg Kn I are.

I had a pair of mounted crossbowmen with were able to interfere with Paul's advance and allowed me to slow them down as I withdraw them into the gap between my left flank artillery redoubt and the pikemen.

It was at this time Paul rolled a 1 on his right flank command which meant that he could not hold it and because it was less than a move away from my infantry he could not move his full move. He elected to move his three right most knights forward their full move and let the other two go impetuous [this included his sub general for that command in the second rank.] He also moved over a single Cv element from his CinC command to try and protect his exposed flank.

This allowed me to push forward and contact the leading knight in my next turn with my Planconmen in two ranks supported by my Guildsmen pikes. I then killed the leading knight and this also destroyed the sub-generals element behind. I had already killed another knight which meant this command had now lost three elements including his general so Paul had a 50% chance of saving it on his next PIP roll. Paul then rolled a 1 which meant the command immediately broke and had to flee towards his baseline. This unlucky result meant Paul had lost a total of 17 EE in this command plus a couple more for the other commands out of the 33 I needed to break his army. [see below]

I then pushed forward with my other pike command into his small Welsh ally. The Welsh spearmen are tougher than I realised because of being Irr Ax X which meant they fought three deep but counted as Inferior to my pikemen. I eventually took out two elements from this command before he managed to turn my exposed flank with his Welsh ally general who then recoiled away from me.

Paul then let his CinC knights go impetuous and burst through his own archers who immediately fled to the rear and hit my pikemen frontally. I recoiled all of his knights and advanced to close against his remaining archers and using my superior combat factors and PIP swapping between commands started to peel off some of the archers and knights each turn.  In a couple of turns I had taken out sufficient elements to break his CinC’s command and with it the army.

One funny thing that happened, as far as I was concerned was that over on Paul's far left flank he advanced his Flemish Mercenary knights across the front of a pair of my artillery in the TF and I ended up firing at the rear element from behind its flank and rear with two Reg Art I which meant the CF was 4 v 2. This meant all I needed to do was beat the knight elemeent to force it to turn round and then recoil itself into the rear of the knight that had been leading it in the column and doing this resulted in my taking out two elements of knights.

It was a hard fought game and Paul had his fair share of bad luck and poor PIP dice which allowed me to take advantage of some of his minor deployment and combat errors. Had he been luckier with his combat rolling in the struggle between my pikes and his Welsh it could have easily turned into a defeat. We played for about four hours and I won 10 -0. We are using the BHGS scoring system which converted to a 31-1 Victory. I lost a total of 4 EE in the army and destroyed 14 of Paul's EE due to a combination of close combat and distance shooting.

I learnt a lot more about how to use this army and I am looking forward to fighting Andy’s Teutonic’s in the final round.