Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Revival of the Essex Wargamer

A long time away from the hobby

It's been nearly five years since I last blogged on the site about the hobby, as we moved to a dedicated club website and proceeded from there.
A lot has happened since then, with my local club (SSWG) moving premises twice and having now settled in a new custom facility in Southend.
Personally, I have recovered from a serious injury, relocated to Richmond Surrey, and will be starting a family in May!

Since I moved away from the Southend area in July 2014, I have only had little experience of war gaming and had to enjoy my hobby though fleeting visits to the club, and seeing club members for the occasional weekend game.
This has made the games larger, whole weekend affairs which often struggle for conclusion in good time.
I had also lost the buzz on the painting side of the hobby too, struggling for time and focus on what to work on.
Even a visit to Salute in 2015 yielded little inspiration for something new (a friend and I dabbled with Freebooters Fate figures, but it hasn't stuck yet).

Every thing changes

On Christmas Day, I received an ominous text message from said friend, advising that he had received a box of the Perry mounted men at arms as a present, and that he would finally be doing a Wars of the Roses themed force for Lion Rampant.
Now that piqued my interest as I had tried, unsuccessfully, to enlist his help with our original Wars of the Roses project down at SSWG.
I needed someone to help on the Neville clan and called for help to muster the forces of Lord Fauconberg. However, they never appeared, and we campaigned without him.
I myself only mustered a paltry force to represent the personal retinue of the Earl of Warwick, based on the rules for A Crown of Paper.

The Storm Gathers

This was my opportunity to get back into some light gaming.  Lion Rampant is small in scale and after a cursory glance at the rules and Internet for example bands, I realised it wouldn't take too much effort to get such a force off the ground.
I wanted to ensure that whatever basing and force I created would still fit into the SSWG basing and theme from the ACOP rules, so my first task was to dust of my original retinue.
This gave me 1 base for Warwick (with men at arms and Warwick's heraldic flag), 2 bases of well equipped billmen and 7 of archers. All in all that was 12 men at arms and 21 archers.

The original host for the Earl of Warwick.

I had the spares from the first, plus a second box of Perry's Wars of the Roses infantry to use on bulking out my force.  After a day or two browsing the Perry's site, and in discussion with the revived Fauconberg, I ordered a box of the foot knights, which we would split 50/50.  This would bolster my melee contingent nicely.
I also ordered my own set of mounted men at arms, a breach loaded field gun, and the mounted character pack for York, Salisbury and Warwick.  Finally, to use as an objective for some scenario games, I also grabbed the wonderful looking bombard set.

Mustering the host

Now that I had the figures, I set about organising my retinues (as per the ACOP rules). This called for 40x40 bases from Victrix on which I would be basing 4 melee or 3 archer figures.

I already had Warwick sorted in theory, but I decided that as one of my two main nobles (the other being his father, the Earl of Salisbury) he deserved some more knights in his retinue.  I therefore set about replacing the two billmen bases with the heavier men at arms.
I chose to put the mounted Warwick on one base, along with a standard and one man at arms. On the other, there would be a herald and another 3 men.
These would slot in with the other base and make 3 bases of men at arms and 7 of archers for Warwick's retinue.

Next up was daddy, the Earl of Salisbury.  Similarly to Warwick, I chose to use the mounted figure alongside a banner and a man at arms on one base, and then a force of 4 men at arms on another.  I would then add 4 bases of archers to round out his retinue.

This left me with plenty of spare figures all round, so I decided to build out the first of the 4 (currently) planned "well wisher" nobles for ACOP.
These are lower tier nobles who will muster to the call from a magnate such as Warwick or Salisbury. As I wanted to build on the Neville clan for my theme, and with Fauconberg taken, I settled on Lord Abergavenny.
As a well-wisher noble, Abergavenny would again have a base of men at arms including a banner. To this I would add one of my already completed billmen bases, and 2 more bases of archers.

Once all this lot was completed, I'd have more than enough troops to run with a force for Lion Rampant, and well on my way to having a strong core to an army in A Crow of Paper.

Lion Rampant

The force I have planned is basically the example army for late English from the LR book.

1 x foot men at arms (6 figures)
1 x expert foot sergeants (12 figures)
2 x expert archers (12 figures each)

The men at arms unit would be the stands for Warwick and Salisbury with them mounted for effect only. My foot sergeants would come from the other melee bases I had, with Abergavenny leading. Finally, I would use any of my numerous archer bases to build out the missile troops in the list.

In conclusion

With that settled, I just needed to build, paint and base my force.  I then decide that I should get back on here and write about it.

To that end, here is the first post in my reawakened wargaming experience.  Plenty more to come on this Wars of the Roses project in terms of the painting of this force, and hopefully a few battle reports to come too.

That's all for now,
Simon "the Kingmaker" :-)

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