Saturday, 25 January 2014

Netherport watch update

Finally got a bit of time to do a bit more work to the Netherport watch. Looking at the photos there are a couple of things that need tidying up, especially a couple of the shields (I rushing to get done as the family were due back and I yet to put the dinner on!) and obviously the bases are needing finished but apart from that I reckon they are mostly done. How's the rest of your warbands coming along? Are you still hesitating? Come on, no point waiting, we all want to see your stuff!

Thursday, 23 January 2014

More cool history stuff!

I quite enjoyed writing my previous post about the shenanigans of personalities in Medieval Europe, so I thought I'd write another one in order to inspire everybody's Fantasy Fluff.

Sir John Hawkwood

'an Italianized Englishman is the devil incarnate'
Sir John Hawkwood is the classic Englishman on the make. He was an ordinary english soldier fighting in France. He may have been knighted by the Black Prince but more likely he simply assumed the rank when his service finished after the treaty of Bretigny. Thousands of French, English and other soldiers were simply left unemployed by the peace. So they did what they did best, they made war. The Free companies roamed across Europe with the sole intent of making as much money from their own little private wars as they possibly could. The largest of these companies the imaginatively titled 'Great Company' fought against the Pope down near Avignon before eventually selling their services to various states and despots in Italy. 
Eventually Hawkwood rose to lead his own 'White Company' (the title of an Arthur Conan Doyle novel based on his exploits) who became one of the dominant Condottieri companies in Italy. If you are unfamiliar with the Condottiere then just think about the fact that none of the city states had a large enough native armed cavalry to out do their rivals. In order to maximise their military effectiveness the used the one asset they had plenty of, money. They bought the services of heavy cavalry companies to fight in against other cities. Obviously that meant buying the services of more mercenaries than their rivals, leading to an ever expanding market in mercenaries. This essentially led to a situation where the tail wagged the dog, the companies could threatening to go and fight for the enemy unless their pay was doubled or rewards in land were given. Other cities secretly paid the mercenaries to swap sides or to fail to fight and the whole situation descended into a complex web of pay and counter pay where the Condottieri were raking it in! Hawkwood earned so much money that he bought estates in the Romagna and in Tuscany. Eventually he became the commander in chief of the armies of Florence in the wars against Milan (Florence obviously had the most cash!). Eventually he retired in Florence, was given a pension and citizenship and died quietly in his bed. Not bad for an illiterate tanners son. The picture above is from fresco that the people of Florence paid for in the cities cathedral!

Jan Zizka

  Zizka is a bit of a hero in the Czech republic and there is a massive soviet era statue to him in Prague. Way back when he was around that part of Europe was known as the Kingdom of Bohemia and in the early part of his career he fought at the battle of Grunwald/Tannenberg against the Tuetonic order. He is really comes into his own during the Hussite Wars. These were a series of wars fought by Sigismund (King of Hungary, Bohemia, Croatia and Holy Roman Emperor!) against a christian sect who followed the teachings of Jan Hus who Sigismund had tricked and had executed. What essentially followed were 3 attempted 'crusades' by a european monarch against his own subjects, accusing them of being heretics. Jan Zizka was responsible for building a rag-tag mob of peasants into an effective and formidable army that stood against the mighty nobility of the Holy Roman Empire and managed to repeatedly defeat them in open battle. Zizka used wagons as mobile fortresses, linking dozens together into bastions on the battlefield that were then manned by Hussites armed with crossbows, handguns and flails. At the start of the wars Zizka was seen on his white horse weilding is mace directing the hussites in battle. He had lost an eye earlier in his career and during the first anti-hussite crusade lost his remaining eye. However he still led the Hussite army successfully for the next three years even managing to invade neighbouring Hungary (although was ultimately unsuccessful). His tactics and doctrine are seen as the start of the end for the superiority of the Heavy Mounted knight and the first successful mass use of firearms on the battlefield. 


How do you see the influence of these two being used in a Warhammer game?

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Cheeky purchase

While reading the Judge Dredd story 'the cursed earth saga' I suddenly had a burst of memory from my childhood. Mainly that the killdozer in the story was actually a toy made by matchbox. 5 minutes on evilbay later and I'd bought one! 
And another vehicle that came with it. (I think I may have been a little drunk again ;)) Thing is that I didn't even do any research about scale but from what you can see above it's not actually too bad! 

I've also done a bit of work on the Nether Port Watch. 
Undercoat on, flesh on faces and flag made (it's not glued on yet so that I can take it off and paint it. I reckon I'm going to go with green and off-white to stick with the not-Edinburgh theme but I'll also put a heart in the design ;)

Cheers for now! 

Friday, 17 January 2014

Felderberg Nether Port Watch

Here is where I've got to so far, I managed to do head swaps on all the men at arms figs and I've given the commander of the watch a haircut so that he looks far more respectable. 

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

How do you start Oldhammer?

Something that came up during this whole 'Is Warhammer dead?' kerfuffle is the underlying suggestion that Oldhammer is a little bit elitist and that the 'scene' (you can tell some of spent out late teens as indie kids!) is kind of off-putting to people who might otherwise want to join in. In the Warhammer RIP? thread on the Oldhammer forum there was a moment when I thought we were going descend into a 'you're doing Olhammer wrong!' kind of argument. I hope we can sail away from those kind of dangerous waters. The last thing I and many other members of the community would want is for the whole idea to disappear up it's own po-faced fundament!

Monday, 13 January 2014

Truth is stranger than Fantasy

This is the post I meant to write before I got all ranty in the previous one. Basically it struck me that a lot of WFB is based on a slightly hazy look at European history. The Empire is obviously based on renaissance era Holy Roman Empire (roughly analogous to The period covered by the late Italian Wars to the start of the French wars of religion), Bretonnia is based on 13th century France roughly the early hundred years war (mixed with a whole load of arthurian legend clap-trap) and apart from a smidgeon of Spain (Estalia), a cartoony look at Italy (Tilea), a miniaturised Netherlands (Marienburg) a fleeting glimpse at the Balkans (Badlands) and the whole of Eastern europe being squished into one state (Kislev) thats your lot!
What the whole Death-of-white-dwarf hoo-ha made me think of was that there are so many great characters and stories from the medieval european monarchies that it would be great to port them into WFB and see if they inspire Characters, Armies, Scenarios and Campaigns. Forgive me if you've heard of some of these people as they aren't particularly obscure and let me know if you spot some random Warhmmer fluff that might be inspired by them already. Some of you may know better than me. I'm not a fluff junky!

So who do we look at first? I wrote up a list earlier on today but have left it lying at work so let's start again.

Cats and Pigeons all over the place!

Well that certainly put the cat among the pigeons! It seems that GW's decision to axe the venerable White Dwarf magazine in it's current form (not officially announced yet but I have been given the nod that it is happening) has left the Oldhammer world (and presumably the rest of the warhammer fantasy web fandom) in a frenzy about the possible death of Warhammer fantasy itself.

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Not Quite the Full Orc

I haven't managed any painting this week so far. That's what going back to work will do for your painting mojo! Boo! to having to work to earn money to spend on shiny mini's!
On a more positive note, after an additional 3 hour post full teaching day in service training event, I came home to find some figures waiting in the letterbox that I don't actually remember ordering! Some Musketeer miniatures, specifically the Aella and bannerman plus some archers. I think I might have been a bit pissed some time about new year. Nevermind, I was thinking about getting them anyway! WooHoo! They are going to be for my saxon/ goth warband for Dux Britinarium. If any of you are thinking of getting into this game then might I be cheeky enough to suggest that you check out the sales section on the Oldhammer forum as I have a huge number of figures suitable for playing it that I'm trying to offload (a Hail Caesar project that never got past painting the first unit!)

Anyway, that's not what I wanted to talk about. I thought I'd have a blether about one of the warhammer races from the time of 3rd edition that really fascinate me. Half-Orcs.

Friday, 3 January 2014

Pirate. Done.

101 uses for modelling tools - No.2

While fishing around in one of many bags of mini's I came across this fine looking chap. I was originally looking for a companion for the god professor but I was suddenly overtaken by the urge to convert!
This chap is a Pirate from Foundry and as I looked at him I started to think about the old days of Rogue Trader where all mini's were fair game and imagination and creativity were the name of the game. Why can't this be a Rogue Trader or a Pirate? Let's Rogue-ify him!

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Obligatory New Year Post

It seems that at this time of year, the in thing to do is to write a long and rambling post about what I've achieved in the past 365 revolutions of the planet and then make some pledges about what I want to do in the next 365 ( it's not a leap year is it?). So who am I, a mere blogging tadpole, a typing younling to refuse this annual task?

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