Sunday, April 15, 2018

Salute 2018 - The Battle fo Varna 1444.

Great day at Salute yesterday, the 4.00am alarm call was a bit of a shock but the roads were pretty clear even if the dreaded Sat Nav figured central London would be a good idea.
We arrived with plenty of time to set up, good job given how many Ottoman's needed to be fielded.

Every year the standard of games and trade stands seems to get better and better, I did not get to much time to take a wander but most stands where 3 or 4 deep until well into lunch time.

Great to catch up with so many old friends and new, with plenty of interest in our offering the Battle of Varna 1444.

For those people unfamiliar with Eastern European history, Varna pits a large Ottoman army of 50 to 60 000 under the command of Murad II against the Papal forces of around 30,000 troops situated between lake Varna, the Black Sea and the steep slopes of the Franga Plateau. 
(We covered both including the snow capped mountains...)

The various accounts of the battle describe a fluid situation of cavalry charges and counter charges in which early Christian gains were reversed by flank attacks by Ottoman Sipahis and Akinci cavalry. At one stage a gap in the Ottoman lines enabled Vlad Dracul’s force (His dad before you ask :-) ) to charge through and plunder the Ottoman camp. 

Janus Hunyadi gathered the now disorganised Papal forces and captured much of the ground around the Ottoman centre in which the Sultan and his Janissaries stood behind a line of stakes. 

At this crucial point of the battle the young King Wlayslaws took upon himself to lead the knights of his Polish and Hungarian bodyguard in a frontal assault on the Ottoman centre. 
However, this vain attempt at glory resulted in him having his head cut off and impaled on a stake! 

After this the Christian forces started to disintegrate and many tried to flee across the River Devnya and were slain in the surrounding marshland. 

Would history repeat itself?

We were ready to go at around 10.00 am just as the doors opened and the eager punters rushed in.
All figures are from Kallistra's 12mm Medieval range and judging by how busy the Kallistra stand was it looked like we had inspired a fair number of people to take on BIG Medieval games.

Hussite war wagons at the ready!
Young King Wlayslaws with his Polish and Hungarian bodyguard in Blue.

Sultan Murad II behind his wall of stakes.

11.00 The Papal cavalry close on the front line of spear and bow of the Ottoman army, they should have been a mere bump in the road, but stuck around on the right flank to break up the initial Christian charge.

The Teutonic order was a different matter they and the supporting knights crashed through the Azab ranks.

The state of play arouned 1.00 pm the Azab front line has been swept aside but the mounted archers are taking a heavy toll on the advancing knights as their formation begins to break up and they are attacked on their flanks as they push forward.

Unfortunately for the Ottoman command archery fire alone was not enough and we had to commit our cavalry to stem the Papal advance, however as the afternoon ticked by and the crowds thinned so to did the Ottoman cavalry units.
The Christians had broken through on both flanks leaving Murad II surrounded behind his wall of stakes..... 

A bloody victory for the Christian's but alot of fun trying to change history.

Thanks to Paul and Sally @Kallistra who allowed us to play with their toys.
1000's of 12mm figures is a wonderful sight and pretty much played to conclusion in around 6 hours.
You can down load the rules for free from the Kallistra site.

Right time to sneak the purchases into the house and pretend they have been in the cupboard for ages.

Sunday, April 08, 2018

Dragon Rampant Chinese Style.

Mid-week gaming is back...
Gaming has been a little thin on the ground of late, what with the weather and a job which seems to have crept into game time despite the fact that I have cut my travel by over 3 hours a day.
Sometimes you just have to throw down some terrain and roll some dice....

Wednesday saw a return to the Water Margins of Yang Shan Po, with an encounter between Lin Chung and some of his 108 heroes vs local government official Kao Chiu.
Both sides looking to bloody the other and drive them from the table.

The village of shin wah - A treeless place largely due to the terrain box stuck at the back of the garage. Both forces would enter at opposite sides of the table with 24 points.

Kao Chiu leads a section of soldiers through the courtyard looking to get the drop on the slowly advancing outlaw Heroes.

With superior dice rolls the anti-heroes move forwards, Infantry, Temple Guards and Terracotta Warriors (they had to come out of the box at some point.)

Two units of men from Yang Shan Po charge forward looking to counter the march of the clay man.

Menawhile Kao Chiu is confronted by one of our heroes as he bursts from the side gate. As Lin Chung looks long urging his archers into action.

The cavalry have drawn the advancing infantry away from the middle of the table.
 Meanwhile Lin Chung advances down the main road looking to take on the government soldiers having around seen Kao Chiu off.

The light cavalry found themselves pinned on the table edge and forced back with little space to move they flee the table.

The final round. The Temple Guard are committed but are no match for Lin Chung. Whilst the Infantry are pinned in the alley way by the outlaw archers who manage to get a couple of good rounds off.

A great evenings gaming - Dragon Rampant is the perfect set of rules to pick up and put down and always gives a balanced game down to the final turn.
Now where did I put that 10 Point Dragon....

Monday, April 02, 2018

Haitian project - Shock Markers

It seems like ages since something came off the painting production line, so I thought I would ease myself back into with some additional shock markers for the insurgent forces in Haiti. They are from Foundry's Darkest Africa range, but will do the trick for the slave army.

They still need some extra flocking but will come in very useful, now I have my eye in, time to move on to the rest of the additional command figures.

I picked this fine looking fellow up from Gringo's 40 at Derby last year and figured he would make a great addition to Free People or French Forces. It depicts General Dumas but will be perfect as a 'Freeman' Officer. The lighting gives the impression that his tunic is a lighter shade of blue, but it is slightly darker in natural light as is the flesh tone.

Next up - Slave Standard Bearers.