Monday, April 6, 2020

Making a Come Back.

A few years ago I looked at adding a 40mm Medieval/Fantasy version of the 5 Kingdoms to this blog but found that I was sliding towards trying to do the same thing in two scales at the same time which wasn't what I had in mind.

Since then, the 25mm version, lets call it the Middle or Second Age of the Land, has found itself but in doing so has shrunk to 3 Kingdoms  and I have far too many discharged 40mm soldiers hanging about searching for employment while many of them have been conscripted into my  Prince Valiant setting, unintentionally shifting it from being my sole, designated, skirmish game to yet another battle game, one which keeps trying to turn itself into Romans vs Huns.

Last week, it finally occurred to me that the homeless medieval portion of my spare plastic 40's would serve well as a base for the Empire's forces about 200 or so  years after the Second Age while my incomplete Turkish army, including the homeless Huns, would do well for Turanians of the same era.  Problem solved with no overlap and a reason to finish painting a bunch more of the figures in the cupboard as well as being a home for the homeless painted unit!

Let the Third Age Begin!

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Fighting for Hearth and Home

When word came from the Watchers that the host of Iron Men in the pass had taken the North East road, the Elder of Smawlton was quick to send word to Duke Bedwyr and to set the Villagers to barricading the village streets.

From behind their barricades the village folk watched the long enemy column crawl across the plain with a screen of horsemen scouting ahead. From the woods they could see a shower of arrows rain on the enemy's scouts who replied from horseback with their crossbows. Moments later there was a sudden clamour of screeching and howling as a group of Watchers  rushed from the woods only to be cut down by the horsemen and scattered. A brave folk but rash when their blood was up. Their attack was not in vain though, the Midlish column halted and began to deploy for battle. They had barely started forward again when thundering hooves announced the advance guard of the Duke's men rushing to meet the foe.

The Earl of Oxford urged his men forward, wanting to settle the local force before the inevitable arrival of the Duke. The veteran mercenaries in the wood were doing their job though and company after company of archers were sent back to face them while the light horse were ordered forward to screen the knights from the arrows of the Federate light horse. Eventually the deployment was complete and the Earl signalled for a general advance but it had barely started when trumpets and loud cheers announced the arrival of Duke Bedwyr.

As the Federation lancers rode on and deployed, a young warrior, glittering in gold from his old fashioned winged helmet to his stirrups, rode forward from the ranks.
It was the young chieftain, Prince Wyngnuht, 8th of his name, a descendent of one of the most gallant and least fortunate of the generals of old Valdur and said to be the spitting image of his ancestor and to have inherited his courage and luck. He raised his battleaxe, bellowed a challenge to the Earl, and spurred his horse forward followed by the whole of the Federation lancers.

Alas, the ordered ranks of the heavily armoured Midlish knights were not to be shattered by such wild charges and fully half of the lancers were scattered, leaving the bloodied body of the young Prince on the ground.

Muttering quiet curses to himself, the old Duke ordered his men and set them to foiling the enemy's plans.  He sent the Herdsmen to circle the village and harass the enemy rear while the rest of Lancers and Light Horse kept the enemy cavalry busy.

The Losses of the Federation cavalry continued to mount as charge followed charge interspersed with exchanges of arrows but the enemy cavalry made little progress. It appeared that the Earl preferred to keep his cavalry intact and leave the village to his infantry rather than risking the loss of yet more cavalry so early in his raid.

Those infantry were making little headway though. A prolonged struggle at the barricades was bloody for both sides but the packed ranks of spearmen were not best suited for attacking over such broken ground under a shower of spears, throwing axes, rocks and whatever else came to hand.

To the south, the mercenary Goblins had finally dispersed  the last of the Midlish rearguard and had advanced from the woods, adding their arrows to those of the Herdsmen who galloped past the enemy's flanks to trade shots with the Midlish bowmen. 

Both armies were near exhaustion as the sun sank towards the horizon and the town was not yet taken. The Earl knew that more Federate forces would be marching through the night to meet them and even if his army captured the town as dark fell, he had lost too many men and too much time for the raid to go farther. It was time to pull back into the pass and either entrench and call up reinforcements, or head for home.   

As the Midlish pulled back, the villagers spread out, bringing succour to the wounded. To the Duke's great relief, the rash young Prince, who had been his guest when word of the raid had come, was only wounded. He would live to ride again, hopefully at the head of his own people.

Tuesday, January 28, 2020


It has been a year since the Battle under the Tower (click)  but the villages North of the Great Pass still keep a wary eye out for the enemy.

Then one day in late January................

To Arms! The Enemy is at hand!

Monday, January 27, 2020

The Watchers in the Pass

The Free Folks that form the Northern Federation are not the only inhabitants North of the Mountains. Among the forests and craggy cliffs and caverns of the Mountains them selves dwell various non-human races which the humans are prone to call Goblins regardless of what they call themselves.

Prince August Goblins and Wargs, fresh from the mould. I'm pretty sure I can get some sharper castings with a bit of work but I was in the mood to add a few fantasy figures.

The mercenary companies that garrison many of the border posts and go on raids are raised from the larger races that dwell in the Eastern Mountains. However, there is a smaller race of hunters and trappers that lives in and near the Great Pass and it is these who have an agreement with the Federation to watch the pass and send word of threats in exchange for the right to levy tolls on those who use the pass. In time of war they have been known to send parties including their fierce Wolfdogs to scout for and fight alongside Federation troops and to bring home what plunder they may get. 

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

The Battle of Argentium Bridge

To the scholars and Wisemen of the Midlands, it is a Mystery that there are still Free Lands in the West who live without a King and nobles. As the long columns of Knights, spearmen and archers marched west under the banner of the Earl of Cowcross, their armour glinting in the sun, there was no doubt in their minds that this time, the Free Lands would finally be brought to order so that noble and merchant alike could show the wealth that it could assuredly produce.
The advance guard scouts ahead, crossbows at the ready. 
There may have been young nobles in the column who smirked at the sight of the small clump of spearmen arrayed at the far side of the bridge to Argentium. The bridge had been built by some foreign emperor long ago and was a solid stone structure but it was in the middle of nowhere as far as the Midlanders could see. The cry went up to move the advance guard archers aside so that the Knights could sweep these churls aside. 

Archers lined the bank while the advance guard of Tunstall Tower Archers  pushed over the bridge and tripped an enemy ambush.
This was not the Earl's first campaign in the West though and he called forward The Council's Soothsayer and asked him to roll the Bones and see what the Powers Above said. With much chanting and a few puffs of fragrant smoke the Soothsayer studied the fall of the Bones and told the Earl to send his infantry against this lowly foe. 
The Tunstall archers were unable to withstand twice their numbers of fierce hillmen but they gave a good account of themselves. Perhaps if the Mercenary handgunners were less heavily armoured they would have been in time to aid them.
The fighting continued fiercely with losses on both sides but the frustrated spearmen could not intervene until the enemy gave way or only the dead bodies of the mercenaries lay between them.
With the Archers and Mercenaries out of the way, the Spears pushed over the bridge but the soft ground on either side stopped them from deploying until they pushed the enemy back a little farther.
The Hillmen fought bravely, falling back occasionally before charging wildly in again with javelins and heavy battle axes but the hedgehog of spears pushed slowly forward. Eventually the slaughter was too great and a horn sounded in the rear. In a flash the way was open as the remaining hillmen ran back through the marsh where the Midlish foot floundered when they pursued.  Now, only the knot of Spearmen barred the way.
Ar last the eager Sir John and his Black Company crossed over with the Earl himself close behind.
Supported by showers of arrows the Midlish knights spurred forward,  Even once the narrowest defile was passed though, there was only room for two companies. Heavy armour protected man and horse but the hedge of spearpoints made it difficult for them to reach their enemies. As charge followed charge, more spearmen fell but the shadows soon began to lengthen.

The sun is setting. 

Many a Westman lay dead on the field but even more Midlish soldiers lay with them. Even if this stubborn knot of spearmen was broken, this was not a good place for a Midlish army to camp for the night while to attempt to push on through the woods in the dark would be sheer folly.

The Earl ordered his trumpeter to sound the Retreat and led his household back over the bridge.