Saturday, May 27, 2023

Phoenix Models Norman Spearmen in 25mm

A friend gave these 25mm Phoenix Models some time ago. Thet are suitable for any number of armies. I orginally painted them up as mercenaries for a later Byzantine army but they fit equally well into my Norman collection. Historical Phoenix minis are hard to come by so they occupy a unique place in my collection. I use them in Lion Rampant games.

Friday, May 19, 2023

The Sword Brethren of the Livonian Knights Versus Nevsky's Rus in Lion Rampant 2

The era of the Baltic Crusades has become an era of  interest to me. My friend has painted up Mongols for the period and I have Livonian Knights and Nevsky period Russians.

Doing the Baltic tribes and Danes\Swedes for the period are on the agenda as well.

The figures in this game are all Zvezda and Strelets in 1\72 plastic, painted in a toy soldier retro fashion

This is my first attempt to play the Five Battle Campaign from Lion Rampant 2. I'm playing solo. After I set up the five armies per side I made a rough system how to fight out the battles.

The first game was with these forces. 

Livonian Knight (LK OB)

2 Units of Elite Cavalry

2 Units of Heavy Cavalry

2 Units of split Light Infantry 

30 points

Russians (Rus OB)

2 Units of Dvor Elite Cavalry (one unit is motivated)

2 Units of Druzina Heavy Cavalry

1 Unit of Cuman Light Cavalry

1 Unit of dismounted Druzina Heavy Infantry

1 Unit of split Light Infantry

1 Unit of Skirmish Infantry

36 points

Victory Condition

The Russians are on their way to reinforce another Russian force. To do this they had to run a diagonal gauntlet across the board between two Livonian Knight forces trying to intercept them.

Terrain placement was diced for and there is quite a lot. The way it turned out there are a number of bottle necks. The stream and hedges are all obstacles. The terrain favored the Russians because of the obstacles but favored the Livonian Knights given the bottlenecks that the Russians had to pass through.

The Russians are supposed exit the board to reinforce another army. The knights are supposed to stop them.

The Livonian Knights also know as Sword Brethren were split into two equal wings each of one Knights (Elite Cavalry), one of Sergeants (Hv. Cavalry) and one split Light Infantry (1\2 crossbow, one half spearmen). Each wing had a leader in the Knight unit

The Russians were divided into foot and horse contingents. The foot contingent was ordered to take the village and control the bottleneck thus protecting the flank of the horse contingent.

The horse contingent was ordered to run the gauntlet along the stream to eventually exit the board. To win 18 points had to exited. A failed activation for the Russians did not end their turn. That turned out to be critical. It was offset a little by assigning a leader to each of the Livonian Knight wings.

The Game

Wednesday, April 19, 2023

25mm Scruby Queens Rangers

 The Queens Rangers were a Loyalist (Tory) Regiment that fought in the American War of Independence.

It may the best known Loyalist unit. Late in the war it became part of the British Establishment as British Regulars. After the war, members of the regiment were settled in Ontario, Canada due to the hostility of the victorious American patriots (rebels depending on your point of view). The regiment still exits as part of the Canadian Army (Queens York Rangers, I think.)

The regiment was unique in many ways.

First it was a descendent of the famous Roger's Rangers from the French and Indian War, although the regiment's most notable officer was John Graves Simcoe and not Robert Rogers who initially raised the unit.

The regiment consisted of ten companies of infantry and one troop of light cavalry called hussars. Another troop from the 16th British Light Dragoons were often attached.

The regiment was organized as a "light corps" similar to the converged battalions of British Light "Bobs" that were so effective in the war.

Reenactors in the Uniform of the Queens Rangers

In addition to the line companies that functioned as light infantry the regiment had an official light company and grenadier company just like the British line infantry regiments of the period.

From the Osprey book on American Loyalist  units.

In addition to the line companies, the light infantry company and the grenadier company the regiment featured an additional Highland company pictured above. The Hussar troop is also pictured but other renditions show the green uniform to be much darker.

Most Loyalist units began the war in green uniforms to distinguish them from the British red. Many changed over to red during the war on the basis that they were subjects of the crown and should have the same status as regular British units.

The Queens Rangers were one of the exceptions and they retained their green uniforms throughout the war.

My collection featuring the Queens Rangers is limited to 12 infantry figures and 6 hussar figures. I intend to add the Highland company, a troop from the 16th Light Dragoons and possibly more line companies for use in Rebels and Patriots skirmish actions.

The Scruby line was limited but at the time they were first produced they represented a sincere attempt to have war-game units in distinctive uniforms.

By today's standards Scruby's are small 25mm figures. Although the height is close, the "bulk" is not. 

I have no problem mixing them in separate units with the old Musket Miniatures 25mm AWI or Airfix or even Irregular Miniatures of 20mm AWI. 

I enjoy the old Scruby figures because I think they have a classic look to them. I also gloss coat them for the same reason.

The troop of Hussars. It's debatable how many men the troop could actually put in the saddle but the unit is too unique to ignore!

My "battalion" of infantry.

I was ablate obtain a Kings and Queen's color from Maverick flag in the UK.

Monday, April 17, 2023

Musket Miniatures "Light Bobs" in 25mm


These are 25mm "Light Bobs' from Musket Miniatures. At one time Musket Miniatures was Stone Mountain and the owner produced a line of 25mm AWI and 22mm ACW. A new owner (many years later) bought the molds for the AWI and ACW. The ACW are still available but for some reason he has not done anything with the AWI. It's too bad because they are little gems and compatible to Scruby in separate units.I have about 75 mostly unpainted that I picked off eBay

Saturday, April 8, 2023

David's or Solomon's Hebrews

 A friend asked me to post some pictures of my 1\72 Hebrew Army. The figures are from the excellent Caesar set.

I organized the army initially for my version of DBA, although for looks purposes I like to use double stands. The lists I used were from DBA, Meshwesh and whatever else I could find at the time.

A few years ago there was a fan site for DBA that provided some basic paint guides. I used some of them for my army.

Chariots were a problem since Caesar, nor any one else made a 1\72 chariot for Hebrews. I reasoned that a Hebrew chariot probably was not much different than an Egyptian chariot or Mesopotamian type. I settled on the Caesar Mitannian set for the chariots.

The DBA lists allow for quite a few Hebrew variants between an early list and a late list. I settled for the list that seemed to be the army at the height of the Israelite united kingdom under David and Solomon.

Two of the Mitanni chariots. Very nice miniatures!

This isn't actually a unit. The set comes with biblical characters. On the left is Samson with Moses on the far right. My guess is the female character in the center is the only female judge in the Book of Judges. Deborah inspired Barak the Israelite general to wage a successful war against a Canaanite kingdom. To Deborah's side a priest uses a shofar (a horn) to call his countrymen to battle. A bodyguard of 3 spearman complete the little diorama.

This is my command chariot.

One list allowed for Phoenician (Tyre) archers. I think the three archers on the left are from the Caesar Philistine set. The other four are from the Hebrew set. Most lists allow Hebrew archers to be massed.

Philistines were a frequent enemy of the united kingdom but they also served as mercenaries under David and Solomon. The Philistine Caesar set is also an excellent set.

These are simply classified as light foot. Israelite armies were primarily militia and their arms and armor could vary quite a lot. On the far right is a slinger. I will be painting a unit of slingers as it was a common Hebrew weapon. I wish the set would have included a young David with a sling and a giant Goliath!

These figures were left over from the Mitanni chariot set. They serve as David's "might men" and whatever served as the small standing army under David or Solomon. Later Hebrew armies would look a bit like Babylonians or even Assyrians.

This figure was the only shielded figure included in the Caesar set with is too bad. Although militia (Gibborim) many would be equipped as light spearmen. The set as a whole is excellent and fills a niche. Most of poses could be used in the Jewish wars of the Maccabees and later in the revolts against Rome.