Thursday, September 29, 2011

France, 1460

Recently I did a little 'Alternate Wars of the Roses' historical update and covered the Yorkist regime's tenuous position. They are, however, at least in power in England. What of the Lancastrian court in exile, the pro-Beaufort faction around the Duke of Somerset and the Queen Margaret of Anjou?

Over in France, the exiled queen and her supporters have their court in Koeur-la-Petite, courtesy of the French King. (This is Charles VII - currently down sick with a leg sore, a fever, and the host of other ailments that shall soon see him dead.) What are the French doing sheltering the Queen and the under-age heir to the throne on England? After all, not so long ago little Prince Edward and his nobles would've been at war with the French to conquer the place. Well, there's actually some very good reasons for the French to do all they can to help the Lancastrians.

The chief Lancastrian magnate is the Duke of Somerset Edmund Beaufort, who lost against the French at the tail-end of the Hundred Years' War. Given the choice between the able and belligerent Edward Plantagenet running England, or Edmund Beaufort - the man whose one indisputable military skill is the ability to lose wars against the French - it's pretty clear who they'd choose.

To the forlorn and cash-strapped court in exile of little Prince Edward then, who is currently 6 years' old and in the care of his mother the Queen plus the Lancastrian nobles like Edmund Beaufort, Duke of Somerset and James Butler, Earl of Wiltshire. We shall turn our ears from the widespread rumours that either of these two might be the actual father of Prince Edward - such talk is merely vile Yorkist propaganda!

Edmund Beaufort is now 53 or 54 - pretty old to still be galloping off to war. Luckily his son Henry is 24, and in his prime to carry on the Beaufort cause. Also filling up the overcrowded court is the aforementioned Earl of Wiltshire, plus a list of the other minor & major nobles that fled following the defeat at Lawford Heath. The notables are the Duke of Buckingham & the Earl of Devon, plus the powerful Percy Earl of Northumberland.

Not all Lancastrians are abroad, however. The Earl of Pembroke & Viscount Beaumont also fled in 1459, but these two lords have returned to take advantage of the Yorkist amnesty that tried to patch up the rupture after York's death, giving some legitimacy to Henry VI's rule under Yorkist 'guidance'. Not that it'll do the Yorkists any good, as both are die-hard Lancastrians and will rise as soon as 'the French Lords' return to England.

The Lancastrian plan to retake the throne is simple. Northumberland and Somerset will head north to Scotland, and cut a deal with the Scots - military support in exchange for the city of Berwick being handed over to the Scottish crown. Once they invade and the Yorkist clique are distracted northwards, the French Lords with the Queen and the Duke of Buckingham shall land in the south to liberate Henry VI in London. With that, the Yorkists shall be crushed between the northern and southern invasions, delivering England back into the hands of Henry VI, Prince Edward, Queen Margaret and Edmund Beaufort.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

New WOTR Figures!

The final (as it is now visualised) part of my Wars of the Roses armies have been ordered, and arrived! Perry have sent the latest of their figures, pictured above. Chief among them are three boxes of archers' stakes, to allow some field defences to be built (they were particularly popular according to the military thinking of the day.) Some, however, allow new units to be fielded.

I now have two bases of Currours (or Scourers, depending on your inclination) to give the armies a little bit of a mounted element. Everybody would usually fight on foot, but having some light horsemen is handy as they seem to have been used primarily for scouting, and also the odd ambush.
Lastly, I have also gotten myself some lead men at arms. These add some variety to the plastic ones, but mainly they replace the six figures I modelled as banner-bearers to follow the leaders about. The six I removed for that needed replacing to give me the desired number of bases, as otherwise I was slightly short on potential command-bases. One final, major, painting push could see me there!

Sunday, September 18, 2011


It's been a little while since I posted, and there are also various projects on the go. So, I thought a round-up to update everything would be a pretty good idea:

Wars Of The Roses
I've found the 'mass-painting' method of progressing things is excellent, and so I have proceeded further down this road. I can now report that all weapons have been painted an appropriate wood-colour. I don't know why it should be so, but for some reason the thought that my WOTR project has no longbows or bills to paint any more really does make it feel like it is almost over!

Seven Years' War
On my other blog primarily, but I have a new campaign up and running at long last. It's being done along DBA lines, to make it a bit more 'zippy' and quick, which I think is what's needed most.

Waterloo in Plastic
The first batch of figures in the Anglo-Allied army is undercoat-sprayed and painting is now underway (although secondary to WOTR, for now.) Also need another batch of Ebay reinforcements to do the entire Anglo-Allied army, as I seem to have gravitated to this first. I'm also now thinking of 'Black Powder' as my main choice of ruleset.

Board Games
My game of Barbarossa to Berlin (B2B) is finished successfully, but lots of notes now need to be sorted out. I'm going to try and do a game (possible Paths of Glory) as an 'in progress' report to show how it might be done. I'll need to get some maps drawn up for noting progress of the game, so this should hopefully come shortly.

Desert War
The next battle between the Afrika Korps and the Eighth Army has been fought - and is a rather dull draw. I was going to post an account, but it turned out to be lots of head-on pounding which makes for very poor game after-action reports. Still, I made use of some modelled defences, in the form of minefields and entrenched units. I'll put up the pics to show these, shortly.

That's it, for now at least!