Tuesday 6 June 2017

Long time no post

Just recently I've been completely snowed under with painting commissions and other projects. 

One of the projects is a little bit of painting for a League of Gentlemen Wargamers weekend. These weekends, three a year, are for themed games and last November I volunteered to organise the one for late 2017. The game, because it is going to be one big game, is the Italian Wars; not a battle from the wars, but the wars themselves. I'm going to set up a multi table 'map' of Italy for everyone, playing the parts of Spain, France, Papal State, Venice, Milan, and so forth, to fight over. The table, perhaps 18 x 30 feet (plus walking spaces between tables), will represent Milan to Venice, the Alps to Naples. I'm going to be providing most of the troops for this monster so I thought I'd best get cracking painting some additions.

The latest additions are these:

Ten Archer cavalry. These make one unit and bring another up to full strength.
Figures are Old Glory. In the game I'll probably do cavalry in units of 6. Hopefully I'll have enough for about 50 units.
Four guns and crew - three light and one medium. The figures for these are from all over the place and include Foundry, Old Glory, TAG and Essex

I knew I'd find a use for those two Henry VIII figures - he liked artillery.
The multi-barrelled green organ gun is scratch built. 

The big barrels are by Playmobil.
72 Italian pike by TAG. I like these figures a lot. They are very easy to paint.

They also work well as Picard pike men.

Note I haven't done the changeable flags yet - and I'm probably going to buy them from Pete.
Pike will probably be in units of 24 for the LOGW game. 

All told I've now got about 800 pike men, including 144 Italians.
72 Landsknechts. 

You can never have enough of these boys and I'd certainly like a few more - I presently have 252 and I'd like another 100 or so.
 The figures are by Old Glory.
They have a certain charm and, their price (£26 for 30 figures) is very competitive, especially as you need lots of them.

They have plenty of variation of dress and they are well sculpted.
For Landsknechts they are also quite easy to paint, which is helpful.

Anyway, next up 32 arquebus and 32 Gendarmes to be followed by 48 halberdiers and 48 sword and bucklermen. 

Then I'll have to blow the dead moths out of my wallet and buy some more figures.


Caliban said...

Lovely work as always, James - especially the repurposed Playmobil accessories!

Big Andy said...

Nice really nice. You bring out the best in one of our best ranges. Andy OGUK

rct75001 said...

James wonderful to see you back posting and such a great way to return - love the Archer cavalry and the quite comment on having 50 units of 5!


Independentwargamesgroup said...

Only you could landsnects are easy to paint, and actually mean it. More brilliant units, well done.

BigRedBat said...

Hi James- good to see you posting again- I've had a bit of a lull, myself. Too busy! Your idea for the Italian Wars sounds wonderful. Best, Simon

Jonathan Freitag said...

Stunning work, James! Good to see you return to your blog.

Phil said...

Once again, wonderful figures...and pictures!

Oli said...

Great stuff James, I always love your Italian Wars posts. I think the artillery and mounted archers are my favourites from this set. I can't wait to see how the game/campaign plays out - the entire Italian Wars! Madness!

Clive w said...

Really nice to see your posts again

caveadsum1471 said...

More lovely renaissance stuff! The whole Italian wars sounds like a great idea, the TAG figures look particularly good.
Best Iain

Curt said...

Oooh, this game is going to be EPIC! Wonderful work James. I particularly like your Playmobil organ gun. :)

Geordie an Exiled FoG said...

Great Work

Robert Herrick said...

Freaking spectacular troops!

Gonsalvo said...

Fantastic troops. I love the idea fr a sort of "Snappy Machi" War-in a Day!

Steve Williams said...

They look stunning!

Steve Williams said...

They look stunning!

Colin Ashton said...

Very impressive indeed!


Thanks, everyone.

I undercoated 32 OG Italian shot and 16 Foundry Gendarmes today - to paint up at the weekend, with a bit of luck and a fair wind.

Jim Clarke said...

Figures look great. Will you be using Pike and Shotte for the games?


Jim Clarke said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Robert Herrick said...

Wow, paint all of those on a weekend? I really need to get cracking!


Because not all of the League of Gentleman Wargamers are familiar with the period or P&S rules, and there is no time for practice games, I'll be using a very simplified version of P&S. The LOGW are all well seasoned players, so as long as the rules format isn't out of the ordinary they will all catch on pretty quickly.

The rules will be u-go-i-go (French - Spanish, see below) by table. As each player will be in command of a single large battalia (i.e. one commander each), movement will be by unit without need for 'orders'. Each players will roll his command dice per unit he wishes to move (the command dice will be d8, d10, d12 depending on the commander's quality) and add it to a basic unit move rate. On a roll of 1 the unit will fail to move. I'll add a d6 inches for being in column, a 2d6 inches for being in column on a road. Wheels can be made as part of the start of a move, any wheels later in the move, ends the move. That means no need for confusing the issue with proximity, etc. Formation changes will take a move. Effects of terrain will be very simple move and cover rules.

The rules will use most of the P&S combat mechanisms. I'll also keep most of the special 'unit rules' as these add lots of flavour. At the start of the game each player will only have a handful of units to look after so the learning curve will not be very great in this respect.

There will be simple campaign rules. To make life easy, each player must declare for France or Spain, a bit like the boardgame Kingmaker. The possibility of 'Total Independence' will be governed by chance card - the possible treachery to both sides is always a nice to have. Players can change sides whenever they wish (like in Kingmaker) so no one can actually be destroyed in the game but, you'll lose victory points, in the form of revenue or units, every time you do so. Obviously France and Spain can't change sides but France and Spain can't be destroyed either, so these players can reappear at the 'border' if their force is destroyed with a new one.

Towns will have a value in revenue. Revenue collection will be governed by chance event - e.g. "Players collect revenue from held towns on table 4 now". Revenue can be used to buy reinforcements either by adding new units or replenishing casualties in existing ones - there will be no P&S 'Rally' order. Unused revenue (I'll use poker chips) can be kept in a war chest for use later, or as Victory Points at the game's end. Richest player wins.

There will be bonus VPs (in revenue) for completing secret missions - dealt at the start of the game and by random event throughout the game.

There will also be some very simple rules for spies. Players will get these as a chance event. They can attach themselves to enemy leaders (they can physically move about the place, as per officers, on the player's turn) and either reduce his 'command dice' or sabotage a unit he commands - inflicting a hit on 5-6 - each turn. They can also reduce the defence values of towns by 'opening the gates' or reduce revenue to zero when revenue is collected. Spies will be caught as a result of chance event - there will be a limited number possible, probably 3 - so the event will be "spy 2 (if in use) is caught, hung drawn and quartered".



I will also have an assassination rule (I do have a 'Lucretia Borgia' figure to use as an assassin) - Roll 5-6 kills a player's character with an 'army cannot move for 2 moves' penalty, roll 1-4 assassin caught and killed / removed from play.

And so on and so forth.

The trick is, in these multi-player games, to keep everything the players have to do as simple and fast moving as one can. The interaction of the players in large multi-player free for all games like these is usually more important than accurately representing every aspect of renaissance warfare. It only has to have the 'feel', the fun comes from stuffing everyone else or being handsomely stuffed oneself.