Saturday, August 30, 2014

Yet More AWI Flags

Ok... eight more American sheets for the AWI...

1. The Carolinas

2. Virginia

3. Maryland and Delaware

4. New Hampshire

5. New England and Massachusetts

6. New York and New Jersey

7. Connecticut

8. Pennsylvania and Rhode Island

There are four categories:
1. Known Regiments - these are famous... Green Mountain Boys, 7th Pennsylvania, etc. Ironically these are often famous because they were captured!
2. Known State Flags - these are documented for specific states, but the regiment is unknown.
3. Known Flags - these are known designs, but unknown regiments - they may have been either Continental or militia flags. When present, they may be used for any state, not just the sheet the on!
4. Fictional - Completely made up following conventions of the period... obviously these may be used for any unknown unit.

There were hundreds of flags and most are simply unknown. Some designs (or possibly the same actual flag) seem to have been carried by more than one unit, further complicating the issue. These sheets cover many of the known flags and should provide plenty of continental and militia flags for unknown units. If they prove popular, or we get specific requests, I will add more...

Of course you will soon be able to find these in the LoA shop.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Tales from Turkey Part 5 Siege of Constantinople/Byzantium

Rebuilt section of the walls of Byzantium
Continuing on from the last post which focused on the epic Siege Panorama of the Ottoman attack on the Asian shore of Constantinople I'd like to share some shots of interesting exhibits relating to the siege and capture of the city. A bus tour leaving form the Golden Horn (a river channel running into the heart of the city from the Bosphorus) takes a route around long sections of the city's walls. Some are in the original condition and other sections like that in the photo above have been rebuilt. Compare the picture above with another shot of the panorama below. The stone colours match!
Compare with the rebuilt section above.

Long sections of the walls remain in the condition they must have been in after the siege was over. I have no idea whether the Ottomans rebuilt what they destroyed in the siege. The shots below are from sections of the walls which seemed to be still damaged. 

The length of the wall sections is impressive and the sections photographed here probably ran for 2-3 miles. These are on the European Shore pointing north and west from the city centre. Istanbul is one of the world's mega cities and the modern metropolis has extended massively beyond the ancient-mediaeval mega city of its day.
Use Google Maps on Earth view/street view to get a sense of the scale of this ancient wonder.

A model which caught my eye in the museum seemed to show Ottoman ships travelling overland around the city! Apparently a huge wooden roadway was built to move the ships and avoid Byzantine attacks from the sea during the blockade. This is military thinking sans frontieres!

This wonderful display above had me both fascinated and confused as there was no English display boards. The wooden 'motorway' curves around the city walls on the European Shore. Notice the huge curtain wall on the Asian Shore facing the Bosphorus itself. The Turks seemed to envelope the city which must have involved hundreds of thousands of troops.
Sultan Mehmed II seen below was the man who took the city for Islam in 1453. The modern name of Istanbul was only officially adopted when the modern republic of Turkiye was created under Ataturk in the 20th century.

Above can be seen one of the massive chains used to block the channel of the Golden Horn in war time. It was dragged across the mouth of the channel to prevent ships sailing in.

I left this section of the museum with an enormous respect for the builders of the city and its conquerors. The museum provides a wonderful window into the past.

Next time in tales from Turkey.... mannequins and weapons of the Ottomans including captured Imperial ordnance.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Warfare Miniatures Great Northern War Range :Musketeers marching in tricorne

This code will I suspect, be the mainstay of many battalions. It has good variety but keeping the theme of a battalion advancing under orders.

We have used three dollies for this code. The left arms are separates which allows the figures to be modelled with the weapon at slightly different angles in order to create an even more realistic appearance.

We have created 2 musket variants one with the extra long Swedish bayonet fixed and the other without. The sword and bayonet frog arrangement can have the sheathed bayonet socket cut off if the bayonets are fixed on the muskets.

Equipment includes the field haversack.

Several different iterations of this combination will not only provide variation within a unit but also between units.

Monday, August 25, 2014

New Horse & Musket rules from League of Augsburg

Large Williamite battalions deployed for battle
These rules have been developing for quite some time and I can hear some of you ask 'Why do we need another set of rules for the period from Wordtwister?' Very good question! Beneath the Lily Banners works very well and has proved a good seller and popular so am I potentially loading up to shoot myself in the foot?

Here is the answer:

Beneath the Lily Banners is a grand scale rule system which suits big actions and can be adapted for smaller battles. Donnybrook is a skirmish set of rules pure and simple. There is to my mind at least, a middle ground where battles were significant but not large. Killiecrankie, Sedgemoor, Newton, Dromore to name but a handful.

Jacobite gun position high on a hill top
Although I love the symmetry of BLB units and the standardization of their size I recognize that often, regiments were of differing sizes in a battle. I have experimented with larger units before but rarely within the context of a game. They have usually been completed for a painting competition or similar. I have a hankering to paint larger units and play around with the frontage and depth to create even more interesting variations.

Creating more period flavour within a rule system has also been an ambition I have long harboured. With all this in mind I have finally got the new rule set to the play test stage.

King James's Foot Guards hold the key central position
It is for small actions with a maximum of 8 units per side but normally 4 to 6. It is played on a 4 x 6 or 6 x 6 feet table (normally). It works on the same card driven principle as Donnybrook. Units can vary in size from 6 to 60 models. BLB units in your collection can be used 'straight from the tin' or, you can add an extra couple of stands if you like. Units could represent companies, detachments and troops or battalions and squadrons.

Other basing configurations are easily accommodated. Game length is ideal for club night as will be seen from the several play test examples we show you over the next few months. The rules have a name but that won't be shared just yet. In terms of use the rules will fit without modification from the Thirty Years War right up to the AWI but the core period they are aimed at is 1660-1746.

Hard fighting Danes press the enemy right
The system combines the fun and flavour of Donnybrook with serious decision making about formations, using pikes and bayonets, tactics and leadership. The pictures accompanying this introductory post show some moments from a play test game set in Ireland in 1691. The table is larger than the norm only because this was the first game we had played for months, my garage had been flooded out and the clean up operation prompted me to use extra tiles on the table to stop them lying on the floor which was drying out.

We kept our feet dry and had a great game with Bob as the Jacobite commander and Dave as the Williamite. We'll share the game action in the next couple of posts.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Tales from Turkey Part 4 'The walls of Byzantium'

Byzantium has even in its rich sounding name, a sense of mystery about it. Anyone who has read anything about Byzantium or the Byzantines themselves cannot fail to be impressed and at the same time disturbed by their history and customs.
Looking towards the European shore. Janissaries prepare to attack
The name has disappeared from maps and replaced by Istanbul but the Turks seem proud of its pre Islamic heritage as well as conquering it in the name of their religion.
The Sultan at a breach in the Asian shore walls
After more than 1,000 years of tumultuous history pre Ottoman, the giant city fell to the Turks in 1453 following a great siege. This is commemorated in the army museum with one of the most impressive panorama displays I have ever seen.
Notice the Imperial banner on the walls and infantry in foreground
Although more modern, it is easily a rival to the Waterloo panorama in terms of size and scope. It is not contained in a rotunda but rather in a great sweeping curve which must be over 100 feet in length.
Looking east on the Asian shore
The panorama is as combination of background painting of incredible size and detail set off by mannequins, cannons, trenches and equipment all in 3D lying in the foreground.
Carriage - less siege gun on the ground
Monster gun of the period outside the museum

It is best to let the panorama speak for itself so enjoy this wonderful piece of military art. In a further post on the siege and aspects relating to it I will show some wonderful artefacts as well pictures of the walls as they are today. The rebuilt sections are truly remarkable and the original undamaged sections even more impressive. To my mind the city is equal in splendour to Rome itself if not more impressive in many ways.

Next time, some wonderful models of the siege.

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