Monday, May 30, 2016

Bits and Pieces - Historicon 2016

Clarence Harrison - Work is winding down on preparations for our Historicon game. I still have two squadrons to paint which will be the work of a few weeks. I have a couple of brigadiers to paint, a few small terrain bits to add, and I still have a 2x2' section of the board to finish, but I took time out last week to dig into the little extras that add an extra layer of detail (and fun) to a tabletop game...

First up, to the left is a sign for the famous Penny Burn Mill. The graphics for the sign was produced on the computer and I glued it to a thin sheet of balsa and built a frame around the face with more strips of wood. The base is a pair of washers filled with green stuff that I sunk the post into. The result is very bottom heavy and difficult to tip over without a substantial bump!

Next up are civilians - I think these are all Foundry models, but I may be mistaken as they came out of one the numerous bins I have stored around and were not purchased recently. It's fun to break up all of the rank and file with a few colorful characters, speaking in this case of their personalities rather than the hue of their clothes! The first is a shepherd and his flock. There is a quiet corner of the table where I happen to know no models should be entering and little scenes like this add life to the table... and maybe if Barry and I get bored, the flock turns into roaming rough terrain!

The second set of stalwarts is the miller (of Penny Burn Mill) and his bully boys. Where do the big man's loyalties lie - with James or Billy? Again they might not amount to more than scenery or they could be up to no good and it may change from game to game as we are running the thing six times over the course of the convention. I suspect no two games will end up the same!

If I run out of things to do, I may add a few more characters to add to the confusion...



There are two camps on the Jacobite table edge. I have a pile of tents that would work fine on their own to delineate the camps, but that's a bit boring. It's much more interesting to strew a bit of detritus around as well. Like the civilians above, I'm not sure where all the crates were from, some are Tabletop World, but the wagon is from Warfare Miniatures. It's also no accident that the wagon is based exactly the same size that I need for the artillery park of one gun in Beneath the Lily Banners! The baggage might end up as tempting targets for the Williamite Horse, possibly even over the objections of their officers.



The next vignette is a pair of sappers, hard at work to fortify the Jacobite position. The models are from Dixon (which fit in great with the Warfare Miniature range, BTW, while we're waiting for Barry to commission some). These models have no use in the game for the convention (that I of know of yet) and are meant to be another part of the camp scenery. The base will make a great marker for engineers in future games of Beneath the Lily Banners.



There's more, but we'll save some details for Historicon... Speaking of that, if you're planning on signing up for one of our games, the Thursday and Sunday slots are full, but there are still some spaces available on Friday and Saturday!

Not long now...

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Another peek behind the curtain - Donnybrook - River Foyle

slipping past the Jacobite guns (it was dark.. but not in my kitchen)

This scenario involved a daring mission by moonlight up the River Foyle by Captain Adam Murray and an intrepid band of Derrymen as they attempted to transfer some messengers towards their comrades in Enniskillen.


Ahoy! Boat loads of Jacobite dragoons sail up the Foyle

The action mostly takes place on the water as Jacobite dragoons try to intercept and capture Murray's men. Having sailed up river to deposit his messengers Murray meets the enemy mid stream on the inbound journey. I haven't laughed so much in a long time.


Man! They have a fleet of dragoons!

To see Toggy Murray go from an attitude of 'this is a mission impossible' to, my God! 'I might actually win this' was very funny. The action involved a multiple collision with men leaping from boat to boat to try and get to the fight taking place in one of the Jacobite interceptors which had been boarded by Murray's crew.


Ramming speeeed! Murray crunches into the Jacobites and leaps aboard

This 6 or 7 turn melee involved men being shot, stabbed, clubbed, thrown overboard, jumping overboard, shooting their own officers for ordering shots into a melee, desertion, drowning and possibly crimes against cabin boys!


Countless men are now in the river or lying dead in the bilge

It was a no holds barred piece of player creativity as they threatened to murder crewmen, coerced enemy combatants and generally took desperate measures to try and achieve their missions.



When the mission was going well and Derry boats were full

In a 25 turn game (yup you read that right) the bold Toggy Murray almost succeeded in escaping after killing the entire complement of about 3 enemy boats and holding loaded pistols to the heads of the remaining enemy sailors.

Roger? Are you a cabin boy? Murray escapes with mascot


In a final bid for freedom Murray, sergeant and one of the boy scouts were grounded less than a boat's length from liberty. We assumed they tracked across country back to Derry.

WTF.. Jacobite Gerry cries tears of disbelief as Togwit trudges overland to Derry

The Jacobites were not in a position to pursue.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Partizan.. a fistful of 17th/18th century gaming

Storming Athlone 1691 - from Mark Shearwood

For the first time in 20 years I was not able to actively contribute to Partizan. Instead, I decided to make a visit to see the show as a punter.

English Town in the hands o the Williamites

The Danes move up to cross by pontoon bridge

view from the west bank of the river

English soldiers in English Town

I spent about three hours at the show and enjoyed the new venue and the quality very much. Although many shows are starting to feel the same - barn like venues with a very high noise level, the light was fantastic and the games were of very high quality.

what is there to say but WOW!

Dutch ships of the Line

Different angle of the battle line being cut


What became quickly apparent was that the 17th/18th century is not any more a backwater of wargaming, well at least in the East Midlands!

Grimsby's Gigantic WSS meat grinder

I saw two ECW games, one Ireland 1691, one WSS, one 1660s Naval, one AWI and one SYW! It may have been the case that there was not a single Napoleonic game although I cannot be certain.

Andy's DONNYBROOK ECW skirmish

Mark Shearwood's Siege of Athlone 1691 was a spectacular effort and I was delighted that Mark used Beneath the Lily Banners as the rule set, Warfare Miniatures figures were on the table and Warfare/Quindia flags and unform guides were much in evidence.... full house!

Another view of Andy's game

An additional bonus was a very pretty ECW Donnybrook game run by Andy Bowes and friends - lots of fun and beautifully presented.

Innovative game of the day - clothes pegs and wood carvings

The asset rich Grimbsy Group had a very impressive WSS game with big battalions which appear to get chewed up and spat out in dramatic fashion allowing them to finish massive games in an evening.

Raw materials

A real favourite of mine was an awesomely presented ship for ship naval battle in 1/200th scale simulating Anglo-Dutch action somewhere in North Sea/English Channel.

The way forward - all flat packs apparently


Going back to Mark's game, my understanding is that it was a solo effort making it even more impressive.

Final word to Mark's Athlone!


I am very pleased that for once, the hardy perennials of Napoleonic, WWII, ACW and Ancients were placed in context with the scope of another critical period - ours!

Hope you enjoy the pictures.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Russian Big Wigs of the GNW #2 The General



This vignette feature three figures. The hat waving general from WLOA48 a senior officer from WLOA54 and a Russian musketeer from R01.



I use some interesting pieces of dead wood to create the fallen tree effect. You may also notice the two cannon balls and ploughed up ground to the front of the tree.



This is buckshot supplied by a friend.



I was very pleased with this piece of work and will copy it for my own collection as this particular piece now lives in the Imperial capital - Vienna


Monday, May 16, 2016

Uniform Guides and Warfare Minis Free Post offer!

Clarence Harrison - One of the most common queries on the Fighting Talk Forum in relation to the periods covered by Beneath the Lily Banners centers on painting our little men. Wargamers are obsessed with details of a bygone age that most historians thought unimportant. What color coats did the Huguenots wear at the Battle of the Boyne? What kind of hats did Jacobite dragoons wear? Which Hamiltons were at Derry? What color socks did King James II's guard have? What... color... socks...

I've asked these questions myself in the few short years I've been involved in collecting armies for the period. Barry has been asking these questions for over twenty years. Often time the answer comes down to 'we just don't know'. Well, that is not very satisfying for the wargamer trying to collect the Danish Brigade in the Ireland campaign. So we go about collecting scraps of information from a dozen sources trying to piece together some idea. Here's where it gets fun - the sources don't always agree.

Some books are out of date simply because of... well, the date they were compiled. A lot of work went into these and they used the best available information at the time, but new research provides revelations all the time. Sometimes we find things are wrong because the original observer identified the wrong unit at this or that battle. We find out the error later, again by new research, but if you only have the first book, you have no idea. Why the hell isn't there something out there that brings all of this stuff together?

Now there is.

The League of Augsburg and Quindia Studios are very proud to present The Wargamer's Guide to Uniforms of the Battle of the Boyne. This is a series composed of bite-sized PDF's, each focused on a collection of units in a different part of the battlefield.

B01 - Williamite - The Cavalry of the Right
B02 - Williamite - The Infantry of the Right
B03 - Williamite - The Infantry of the First Wave
B04 - Williamite - The Danish Brigade
B05 - Williamite - The Infantry of the Center Reserve
B06 - Williamite - The Cavalry of the Left
B07 - Jacobite - The Infantry in Defense of Oldbridge
B08 - Jacobite - The Cavalry of the Right
B09 - Jacobite - The Infantry of the Center
B10 - Jacobite - The Cavalry of the Left

G01 - Artillery (covers both sides)
G02 - The French Brigade in Ireland

These are not blow by blow accounts of the battle - there are plenty of great sources out there for that. The PDF includes as much information as we could find - details on uniforms and flags, weapons and equipment, organization and command... When sources don't agree we tell you that. When we had to draw conclusions, we tell you that too, but we try to tell you why we made the decisions. Now, we haven't bothered with the shape of pockets or the number of buttons. These are meant for wargamers to use as a guide for painting their armies - though I'm willing to bet there's some cool stuff for history buffs too!

These are only the first series of many. The plan is to cover each theater comprehensively, starting with the war in Ireland - the Battle of Newtown, the Siege of Derry, the Ballyneety Raid, the Storming of Athlone, the Battle of Aughrim. Once we feel we've done justice to this we will move on to other areas.

Barry and I are extremely proud of these products and exciting about producing more. Undoubtedly, just as with old texts, new research will appear over the next months and years. Some of our educated guesswork will be disproven or on the odd occasion, be validated. That's ok. Use these to fuel your own research and let us know about it!

These PDFs are now available in the League of Augsburg shop!

Each PDF is 3-6 pages for ₤2, but allows the wargamer to just focus on the aspect of his collection he needs more information on. The entire series for the Battle of the Boyne comes in at exactly 50 pages and for ₤20, saving ₤4 if you order as a set!


You can download a sample, D03 A Wargamer's Guide to the Uniforms of the Williamite Infantry of the First Wave at the Battle of the Boyne free!

Oh, and don't expect all of the units on the table at Historicon to match this guide as I painted many of them BEFORE we started the project. Wish I'd had something like this..

And by the way.. For the next calendar month to support the massed assembly of your forces for the Irish War, Warfare Miniatures will deliver POST FREE to anywhere in the world including the UK any order with over £45.00 of figures included in the order value.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Historicon 2016


Clarence Harrison - The table is still a work in progress, but it's almost there! Online registration is now open for Historicon 2016. As loyal readers know, Barry and I will be running a BLB game many times over the course of the event...

Commander of Sallies: The Battle of Pennyburn Mill

Thursday 1300-1700
Friday 0800-1200
Friday 1400-1800
Saturday 0800-1200
Saturday 1400-1800
Sunday 1000-1400

Embarrassingly, the presenter is listed only as Clarence Harrison because I registered for the table and they tell me that's how it works. Barry Hilton is ignominiously listed as Assistant GM! I think we all know how the ranks are arrayed when it comes to running BLB games (six games is probably more than I played in all of 2015).

No need to avenge the slight, for I'm going throw out a teaser in that Barry Hilton will also be a Guest of Honor for Historicon 2016! Breaking news because it's not up on the site and I'll let him tell you more about that when the time is right.

So if you are planning to make the trip to Historicon this year (July 14-17) and want to sign up to participate in our game, head over to the HMGS page and register before all of the slots are full!
GO, GO, GO!

If you DO register for one of our games, be sure to respond below to let us know!

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Uniforms of the Foot Guard Regiments

King's Regiment of Footguards


Often in regimental museums little space is given to the early part of unit histories. Perhaps a plate or some sketches, occasionally a musket, hat or coat.


Scots Regiment of Foot Guards


Not so the regiments of Scots and English Foot Guards!

Coldstream Guards


In their museum plenty of space is dedicated to the first 50 years of their existence. Lots of original documents, facsimiles, plates, equipment, mannequins paintings and explanation are on display.


King's musketeer and Coldstream pikeman

different view


Effectively the three regiments of Foot Guards are the nucleus of the British Army and they have been involved in almost every campaign since 1660 in some form or another.



a grim visage


These pictures show some of the fine pieces on show in the museum.

Coldstream Guard

Monday, May 9, 2016

Derry's walls part 8 -tragedy,triumph and the use of interior lighting

coffee stained concept sketches probably done in an airport


Well, with one serious piece of real estate to complete I ran into the long grass. I have been keeping my options open all the way through this project but with the last building I had several make or break decisions to take.
The Big Hoose before all the joins are cemented in


These included whether to have an elevated main doorway requiring steps, which direction should the main door point, was there to be enough space on the roof to accommodate models, would I build a stairway from the wall battlements up to the roof, should I build a dramatic arch through which troops would pass as they moved along the wall (two arches actually as they would need ingress and egress).

Flawed design - the 6mm Foam core effort suffered from warp factor


I made several design sketches for this building and on paper all of them looked pretty credible. When it came to building them I learned the limitations of 5mm foam core. Thus far I had stuck to 10mm foam core which took the plaster well, didn't have any peeling on the card coating and showed no warping despite liberal dollops of wood glue and plaster followed by layers of emulsion and dry brushing with final ink washes.

pre fab assembly of the rejected design with exterior stairway


I had used a piece of 5mm foam core to face the armoury with no ill effects and in order to avoid very awkward wall finishing and painting later, decided to preassembled and paint two of the four faces of this new building.

Pre- Fab wall sections ultimately rejected


Therein lay the problem and although I did a high level of finishing work on both I realised after leaving them overnight that I had to redesign two faces of the building, scrap what I had pre built and rebuild at least one face in 10mm foam core.

Now, this is better 10mm foam core with interior floors going in



This was not a heart rending choice as I fully understood the quality implications for the whole project if I sold myself short here. I added about 4 hours work as I had to redesign the main door wall, re cut the windows and doors, re cut the window grills, make new doors ad window shutters and then re stone the wall.

configuring all of the exits


The days of gazing at the building partially assembled made me realise that steps up to a door facing onto the street would make the whole building too shallow. Turning the main entrance to face the big stairway up to the walls also made the use of a raised doorway impossible because this would have made the access to the large stairs too tight to get figures through without damage to the model or the figures.

Interior wood panelling from foam core, matchsticks and cardboard


I was able to defer the assembly decision until very late as I then moved on to what became the most ambitious part of the entire build project so far.

Building an interior gallery before sealing up the inner wall


In my mind this building was either an inn, a grand private house or an official's residence such as a magistrate, governor, military officer or right merchant.

Chimneys from map pins.. unpainted plaster is ugly


I dismissed the upper stairs and arches as both created a myriad of problems elsewhere. I opted for a design quite unexpected in the end and realised very late that I had to build external chimneys very late in the build. Justification for these came in the form of some reproduction buildings at the top of Glasgow High Street where, beside the city's oldest remaining house -
It's a fake! 21st century building of a 15th century building


The Provand's Lordship a replica period building has been erected and has convincing external chimneys which are built proud of the walls and begin on the first and second stores. As the PL is dated to the 1470s and its shape is not dissimilar to what I ended up attaching to the Derry construction I feel quite comfortable with my choices.

The lights in Derry were never so bright!


Despite about 12 hours of work there is still much to be done with this piece and I have only started to show the construction of the roof which as I built it I was only starting to see the possibilities of.

roof lighting panel - now swapped for tasteful orange lamp glow

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