In which I blog about my miniature wargaming and whatever else takes my interest!

In which I blog about my miniature wargaming and whatever else takes my interest!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Some Early Medieval Figures

I have several medieval armies.

As I mentioned here, Medievals were my first lead wargames armies, replacing all the Airfix plastic Napoleonics and Rocco Minitanks of my youth.

I started with late Medievals, mostly 15th century but some 14th century creeping in as I found figures or had maybe read a book about the Hundred Years War. My interest was rather flighty, bouncing from the Swiss-Burgundian Wars, to the Wars of the Roses to the German Empire and Hussites. But mainly I just like sallets and gothic plate armour.

At the other end of the spectrum I also like chain hauberks, conical helmets and Norman style kite shields. So I've also built an 11th-12th  century, early Medieval army. Not quite dark ages but they could take on some Vikings in a pinch if they had too. The overgrown family squabble between Stephen and Maude or the many small campaigns of Henry II or Richard I as they built the Angevin Empire gives a lot of scope for battles and skirmishes and raids. Pretty great history to read too.

With this army I am indulging my desire to build an Imagi-nation though; the Duchy of Mantovia ruled by Good Duke Raymond and his Duchess Isabelle (who is a patron of minstrels and generous to the poor). They do of course have enemies. Fulk the Bastard, who is the Duke's illegitimate son from a youthful indiscretion, is always rebelling to try and take over, aided by the nefarious Cardinal Berengar and assorted bands of mercenaries.

So here are a few pictures of part of this collection. The knights shown above are a mix of Old Glory First Crusades and Norman milites.

Foundry civilians. The noble and his lady.

Some 'Medieval baebes'. Foundry and Reaper castings.
Here is one of my companies of foot sergeants. Gripping Beast figures. I have a few companies of Old Glory mailed spearmen as well and one company of unarmoured foot. I really need more unarmoured spearmen. Lots. I'm wondering what the new Wargames Factory Saxon fyrdsmen would look like with kite shields. Other foot include crossbowmen, some old Ral Partha 'Scottish archers' which I got second hand from an old fantasy army and a bag of Old Glory Welsh spearmen. I imagine the Duchy of Mantovia to have some fairly mountainous regions and these rugged peasants are stalwart supporters of the Good Duke. Or they could be scruffy bandits hired by Fulk with the promise of loot too. Who knows? Tricky place to live in, the 11th century.

The fellow below is from the Old Glory Crusades Command pack. I think he's supposed to be the Grand Master of the Templars. I've done him as the evil Cardinal Berengar, who is constantly intriguing with Fulk the Bastard against Duke Raymond and the goodly folk of the Duchy of Mantovia. So he quite often hires my small Saracen army (see them in action here as the Wazir of Pakora's army on the North West Frontier) and The Black Company.

The Black Company can be seen in some of the shots in the recent Away Game. They were a bunch of second hand random dark ages figures I got with some pretty awful paint work. I had gotten them to be Varangians for a planned Byzantine army that never really got off the ground and almost got rid of them. But my friend Rico had a blast using them as a scruffy band of mercenaries, so I gave them a good black wash to cover the dodgy painting, added some other random figures and painted their shields and banners black. They now form the core of the Fulk's army and boast two companies of armoured foot and a squadron of knights.

The Duke is supported by the Bishop and an Abbess plus assorted other characters whom I need to get in front of the camera someday.

Since this project has a strong Arthurian theme I'm open to allowing small amounts of appropriate Medieval superstition and magic to creep in. Once they're painted Fulk will have the support of three witches (who will either inspire their own side or cause morale tests on the other side) and I did this figure as the Green Knight. He's a Games Workshop Rider of Rohan Royal Guardsman. But his armour looks archaicly gothic enough to look like he's spent a lot of time hanging about in an enchanted pool. I haven't actually used him yet, but someday he will appear near a water way to challenge all comers to single combat.

And finally there's the Fool who faithfully follows his liege, the Troubador "Golden Knight" around. The Lays of Mantovia are on the Top 10 play list at all the banquets. Perhaps the Medieval Baebes will record it someday?
He's a Games Worskhop figure from their old Bretonnian line.

I based these with a lot of singles thinking skirmishes are the way to go to get more characters into play, but I'm not sure. I may rebase the infantry and cavalry on the big 40mm squares. I'm still pondering it, individual characters could be added to a game with big multi-figure stands too.

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