Arrow Barrow and more!

The launch of ‘Never Mind the Billhooks’ has caused plenty of excitement and prompted me to add a few more pieces to my army. I was still three figures short of completing my Cavalry contingent, which gave me a nice excuse to go shopping at the Perry’s…

Salisbury, Richard of York and Warwick

Salisbury, Richard of York and Warwick

The three mounted figures complete two units of eight mounted Knights and give me a spare mounted commander to lead my light horse or another Ward if required. The pack that I choose contained models of Richard, Duke of York, Salisbury and Warwick.

Warwick, the King Maker!

Warwick, the King Maker!

I particularly liked the Warwick figure and decided that he would be one of my commanders. I painted the horses using the tutorial from Art Master Studio on you tube. It’s a bit long winded, but very good. I actually followed along when it came to painting the dapple grey that Warwick is mounted on. I used exactly the same colours listed in the video and the other ‘triples that Toby suggests also work really well.

Warwick turned out quite nicely so I decided to give him leaders base and a standard bearer. I still have half a box of Perry plastic WOTR infantry, so it was a simple assembly and paint job, following my usual process. I used a photocopy of the flag in the instruction sheet.

Warwick and Standard

Warwick and Standard

I had also ordered a wagon from the Perry’s with the idea of using this to represent the ‘Extra Arrow Supply’ special event card. It would make a nice piece of battlefield scenery regardless. Assembly and painting this model was very straight forward and I went for a functional plain wooden finish for the wagon. I used Vallejo ‘Old Wood 310 with a few washes and dry brush coats to bring out the detail.

Perry Wagon being based

Perry Wagon being based

Wagon completed!

Wagon completed!

Whilst chatting to Andy Callan about the subject he pointed me in the direction of a picture in the Osprey ‘English Bowmen’ which showed a soldier re supplying the troops with a barrow of some description. I thought that it would be fun to make something similar – an Arrow Barrow! If you click on the link below, arrows (2), you can see the picture and Andy’s notes!

arrows (2)

I used a figure from the Perry’s set and did a bit of minor converting. The pose was pretty close to someone wheeling a barrow so the only changes needed to the torso was to carve away a bag that was in the way. I then used an Archers hand for the right side and a bill mans hand for the left side. I had to do a bit of re positioning and filling but it all went together quite well.

Arrow barrow under construction

Arrow barrow under construction

As for the Arrow Barrow itself, I just used some scrap plastic card, a bit from my spares box for the wheel (A shirt button with the holes filled in would have done the job!) and some plastic rod and strip to build something that looked like a medieval wheel barrow. I’ve no idea how accurate it is!

Ready for priming

Ready for priming once the filler is sanded down!

The load is made up of the canvas arrow bags that come with the Perry’s Light Cavalry set that I had spare in the bits box. One of my friends remarked that they looked like marrows…I quite like the idea that Baldric was sent to get arrows and came back with marrows….’Baldric run and get some arrows’.

Wagon and Arrow barrow completed!

Wagon and Arrow barrow completed!

Next up, I started work on the ‘Hidden Ditch’ special event card. I thought that it would be a nice terrain piece regardless as to whether I used it in Bill hooks. I’ll show you how this project went in my next blog!

THE COMMERCIAL BIT

Almost all of the paints, miniatures, bases, basing materials and anything that you are likely to need for your hobby are available POST FREE from my shop here:

ARCANE SCENERY

Perry’s WOTR plastic range are here, including some nice army deals!

PERRY MINIATURES

You can see our range of Evergreen plastic strip and Rod here:

EVERGREEN PLASTIC

Valejo plastic filler is available here:

FILLERS

MDF bases can be found here:

MDF BASES

You can find all the Vallejo Model colour paints here. If you don’t want to browse, just enter the paint number into the shop search bar;

VALLEJO PAINTS

Happy Modelling!

 

Stokes Field- The Prequel

At last, I managed to get a war game in before the latest lockdown! I joined up with Andy Callan, his brother, Ian and Mark Lodge of Jacklex miniatures for a full day and evening of wargaming this past weekend.

One of the battles that we fought during the weekend was a War of the Roses battle using the Never Mind The Bill Hooks rules. It seemed sensible to use the latest scenario that Andy had written for Wargames Illustrated, issue 394, ‘The one about the ‘Englishman, Irishman and the German’. It is based on a fictional scouting encounter just prior to the main event at Stokes Field, the final battle in the War of the Roses.

I’ve mentioned that both Andy and myself live in Bingham, just a few miles down the road from the village of East Stoke. I have visited the battlefield on a number of occasions, most recently,  just a couple of weeks ago. I doubt that things have changed very much over the intervening centuries since the battle. The River Trent may be more constrained by it’s banks now but follows a similar route. The hedgerows may have changed but the lie of the land will be much the same.

Stokes field - the view to Hoveringham and the Trent

Stokes field – the view to Fiskerton and the Trent. It’s possible that the rebels camped in the far field to the right of Fiskerton (the white dots on the left of the picture!) the night before the battle.

Ideal Marching country - not so good when you are running from cavalry!

Ideal Marching country – not so good when you are running from cavalry!

It looks like an ideal place for a battle as there are no major obstacles or hills, just a typical piece of gently rolling English countryside. You can see for miles in some spots, particularly as the ground rises away from the Trent above East Stoke. The view can be deceptive though. There are enough rises and folds in the ground to hide an army and some places where the land falls sharply is treacherous, if you are not careful. What was a minor inconvenience when you are advancing in good order would be a death trap when retreating in panic. A good example is the so called ‘Red Gutter’ where the rebels were cut down as they routed.

The drop down to the 'Red Gutter'

The drop down to the ‘Red Gutter’

The Red Gutter at Stokes Field

The Red Gutter at Stokes Field

I think that the above picture shows the entrance to the ‘Red Gutter’ – an enclosed lane at the base of the rising ground behind the battle field, on the retreat route to the safety of the Trent crossing at Fiskerton.

And so onto our game. We more or less followed the orders of Battle and additional special rules that are detailed in the article, with Ian and Mark playing as the loyal Lancastrians and myself leading the rebel Yorkist alliance!

The deployment

The deployment

I deployed my mixed contingent along the ridge line with the Irish Kern skirmishers holding the village, the archers and Gallowglass holding the centre and the German hand gunners in cover in the woods. Out of shot, Lord Lovell was leading the light Horse protecting the flank of the village. Facing them was a powerful force of Bows and Billmen as well as a unit of light horse and a group of skirmishing archers.

The Lancastrian army, a strong force of Bows and bills were massed on the baseline with their light horse facing mine. In the maneuver phase I decided to redeploy my light horse and moved them across to the right flank where there was more room to  threaten the Lancastrian foot units. I decided that the kern were well placed in the village to defend the left flank. A protracted movement phase then continued, where the Lancastrian light horse advanced to the village and then withdrew without causing any consternation. Meanwhile, Lord Lovell had led his light horse to the far right flank of the Lancastrians and supported by the now advancing German hand gunners caught the Lancastrian bows and bills in some confusion. The Light horse charged home into the flank of the Lancastrian’s, routing them and their leader from the field! Game over with out even resorting to the cards!

We started again. This time the Lancastrians were not going to be caught by a sucker punch  and they advanced to use their superior archery force to beat back the rebels!

Game number 2! The Lancastrians aren't messing now!Game number 2! The Lancastrians aren’t messing now!

This game was more of a match, with Lancastrian Archers wiping out both units of kern skirmishers, daunting a block of bows and Gallowglass and whittling down the rebel army. Once again, Lord Lovell and his light horse were able to save the day with a rather dodgy counter charge through Lovell’s own evading skirmishers…On reflection, the counter charge should not have happened, as whilst it wasn’t explicitly against the rules, it certainly pushed the spirit of them. With Lord Lovell on the loose again, the Lancastrian flank was tied up, allowing the Gallowglass unit in the centre to force a charge home against the bills and bows there.

Memorial at East Stoke Church

Memorial at East Stoke Church

Whilst vulnerable against archery, the Gallowglass are formidable in combat and they were able to carve through the centre units of Lancastrian Bows and Bills causing enough casualties to collapse the Lancastrian army morale. Another very close victory for the rebels. Unfortunately, as I became more involved in the battle, I forgot to take pictures! However, after a post battle VAR check, over a beer or three, the general consensus was that although the Rebels were deemed to have won on the night, a review of the match play meant that at least an honourable draw would have been a fairer result!

Story board from the battlefield

Story board from the battlefield

In the post battle review, the counter charge by Lord Lovells light cavalry had certainly influenced the out come of the battle, perhaps unfairly so. Also mixing English bowmen and Irish Gallowglass in a block, whilst again, within the rules, is probably stretching things even though they were obliged to follow the ‘Brexit rule’ to check if they could pass through each other! It’s a point that will be addressed in the expanded rules and I wont cover it here. That said, the lack of initiative and undue caution by the Lancastrians caused many of their own problems. There were opportunities to kill off units that were just not taken. The archery proved to be dominant in the early stages of the battle but some units ran out of arrows and perhaps Mark was a tad unlucky at one point when rolling 30 dice needing a 5 or 6, he only managed 4 hits…Damp bowstrings I think!

Great fun though – next time I’ll take more pictures!

THE COMMERCIAL BIT

 

Almost all of the paints, miniatures, bases, basing materials and anything that you are likely to need for your hobby are available POST FREE from my shop here:

ARCANE SCENERY

Perry’s WOTR plastic range are here, including some nice army deals!

PERRY MINIATURES

Happy Modelling!

 

Never Mind The Bill Hooks Scenery

I’ve still yet to start gaming and to make matters worse, my figures for NMTBH’s are on loan at Wargames Illustrated, so I cant even play a solo game! It’s all a bit frustrating, particularly now that the rule set is out in the public domain and other people appear to be having great fun with it! The upside is that the Facebook page and blogs have been a source of inspiration and there have been some great ideas out there to ‘borrow’. One of these is a custom arrow storm counter. It’s so obvious, I cant think why we haven’t made them before but we just relied on a dice next to the unit. Functional, but not so pretty!

Arrow counters

Arrow counters

So as a side project I made up enough counters for my four archer units. I had some micro dice from a kids game in my stash. I also had a couple of spare command frames from the Perry’s WOTR infanty that have the spare arrow groups. It was a simple matter of combining these with a 25mm round MDF base to make the counter. I just covered the base in Milliput and whilst it was still wet, pressed the dice into it to get the correct sized dice cavity. To keep the dice from being covered in Milliput, I wrapped it in cling film. I then pressed in the arrow group from the Command frame.

arrows on the Command Frame

arrows on the Command Frame

Once that was done, it was left to dry, spray primed and then a thin coat of Vallejo dark earth texture paste was spread over the base to tie everything together and a bit of ballast added for extra detail. I then painted it with my usual basing paint, added some Green Flock and tufts to finish. The arrows were painted with Iraqi Sand for the shafts and white for the feathers.

Hidden Ditch by Andy Callan.

Hidden Ditch by Andy Callan.

The next diversion was inspired by Andy Callan. He decided that it would be fun to have some scenery pieces to represent some of the special event cards so that we could add them to the table if they were played. Andy had made a piece for the ‘Terrain Advantage’ card – a hidden ditch. Andy had also added a touch of humour – a couple of Coots swimming in it! The picture above is stolen from Facebook, hopefully Andy wont mind!

A new cart for my Army!

A new cart for my Army!

That started me thinking that perhaps a marker or piece of terrain for the special event cards would be good fun and an excuse to add to my collection. The ‘Extra Arrow Supply’ prompted me to order a cart (I already have one, but any excuse…) to load up with extra arrows so that it can make an appearance on the table if called for. I also liked the idea of making a terrain piece full of arrows to represent ‘Fauconbergs Gambit’. All I had to do was to make some arrows.

Evergreen Rod & Strip for arrows

Evergreen Rod & Strip for arrows

I had some Evergreen rod that looked about right – pack 211, .040″ width. With hindsight, it is a bit on the thick side and a slightly smaller diameter would have been better. But I used what I had rather than wait for the better solution. To make the arrow flights, I again used Evergreen strip, this time .040 wide by .010 thick – pack #102. I cut the strip into lengths about 3mm – 4mm long and then using a sharp scalpel blade cut them into triangles. It was a bit fiddly but surprisingly quick to do. I then used Tamiya liquid poly to coat the top of the rod and using the point of the scalpel, picked up a ‘flight’ and attached it to the arrow shaft. Once three flights were attached, I clipped the arrow off and started on the next one. Again, it sounds fiddly but once I got into the rhythm, it only took 30 minutes or so to make over twenty arrows.

Arrow production line!

Arrow production line!

I then had a spare MDF base that I covered in Milliput and simply pressed the arrows into the milliput. Again, after priming, Vallejo textured paste was used to tie everything together and cover any imperfections and the usual paint scheme followed to finish the arrows and terrain. I’m not sure whether I will get to use it in battle, but it will be fun to slap that piece off scenery down, along with the card, if I get the chance to play it!

Testing the arrows layout!

Testing the arrows layout!

The finished piece - Missed me!

The finished piece.

So I am now thinking of other little additions to make in between my other painting projects. My version of the hidden ditch is already in the planning stage, and the ‘False Colours’ or ‘Treachery!’ cards could be represented by a flag with the Stanley colours on them! I also need to make some tents to hold my Army Morale markers, so that should keep me busy for a while. I quite like the idea of the symbolism of adding something to the table when playing the special cards. However, I think that taking a water spray bottle to represent ‘Sudden Heavy Rain Shower!’ may be a step too far….

New gaming pieces fr NMTBH's

New gaming pieces fr NMTBH’s

THE COMMERCIAL BIT

If you have yet to get your copy of Wargames Illustrated, including the free copy of Never Mind the Bill Hooks Rules set, we still have some of stock at the time of writing. It’s available, post free here!

WARGAMES ILLUSTRATED ISSUE 393

But it’s selling quickly so don’t hang around!

Almost all of the paints, miniatures, bases, basing materials and anything that you are likely to need for your hobby are available POST FREE from my shop here:

ARCANE SCENERY

Perry’s WOTR plastic range are here, including some nice army deals!

PERRY MINIATURES

You can see our range of Evergreen plastic strip and Rod here:

EVERGREEN PLASTIC

Milliput is available here:

FILLERS

MDF bases can be found here:

MDF BASES

You can find all the Vallejo Model colour paints here. If you don’t want to browse, just enter the paint number into the shop search bar;

VALLEJO PAINTS

Happy Modelling!