Tuesday 26 July 2022

Empires at War - Haitian Revolution Buildings 3


I've gotta admit, I really do like these Empires at War buildings, this Spanish Farm could be used for virtually any period set in the Mediterranean or Spanish speaking country or colony.

My farm is quite obviously in Haiti or Santo Domingo as it was called back in the late 1700's.

I was going to base this up as a set model, but changed my mind and will have it separate, that way I can change it round and use it in different ways.. 

Its only a small farm, but makes for a great defensive position.

All the roofs come off to hide your troops in.

A very handy item all for the measly sum of £22.50
Well worth every penny in anyone's book!

Wednesday 20 July 2022

The Battle of Whetstone 1471 - A WotR batrep


The happy, pi$$ taking Steve and Lee celebrating my bad luck. More on that soon.
I thought this just had to be the first photo in my battle report on the Battle of Whetstone, a fictitious battle that could have occurred the day before the Battle of Barnet in 1471.
You can read Lee's report on the game here. If you haven't already.

OOB (Stolen from Lee's Blog)

Yorkist Army (King Edward IV)
(Centre) King Edward IV (+Standard) (Ray)
Mounted Men at Arms, Retinue Archers, Shire Archers, Men at Arms, Retinue Bill
(Left) Richard Duke of Gloucester (+Standard)
Men at Arms, Retinue Archers, Retinue Bill, Shire Archers, German Pikemen
(Right) Sir William Hastings - Lord Hastings (+Standard)
Men at Arms, Retinue Archers, Shire Bill, Shire Bill, Light Gun+4Crew

Lancastrian Army (Warwick)
(Centre) Richard Neville - Earl of Warwick (+Standard) (Lee)
Mounted men at arms, Retinue Archers, Foot Men at Arms, Retinue Bill, Shire Archers
(Right) Henry Holland - Duke of Exeter (+Standard) (Steve)
Men at Arms, Retinue Archers, Shire Archers, Shire Bill, Welsh Spearmen, German Pikemen
(Left) John de Vere - Earl of Oxford (+Standard) (Lee)
Men at Arms, Retinue Archers, Retinue Bill, Shire Bill, Light Gun+4 Crew

The set up

My left
Men at Arms, Retinue Archers, Retinue Bill, Shire Archers, German Pikemen

The centre
Mounted Men at Arms, Retinue Archers, Shire Archers, Men at Arms, Retinue Bill

My right
Men at Arms, Retinue Archers, Shire Bill, Shire Bill, Light Gun+4 Crew

I was given a slip of paper from Postie saying that I had to be aggressive and be seen to attack by turn 4, or I could be in trouble.

The village of Whetstone, 3 miles south of Barnet.

I had a simple plan, attack on my left supported by the centre, while my right would defend and hopefully keep the Lancastrian left busy, mainly because there was a large wood separating them from the rest of the army.
Simple eh?

The traitor Warwick and his pals.

We were just about to start the battle when Postie pipes up about "the fates of men"
Here we go, I thought.....
We both had to throw 1 D6, if the Posties Reject sign  (a 1) comes up, it could be a sign of treason among the ranks.

So what do I go and throw?
I then throw another one with the same poxy dice, which means one of my units will swap sides.I had to throw the morale or under for each unit, the first unit that fails will join Warwick.
I threw for all the troops on my right first, as I had two lesser Shire units and they would be the least loss. The bloody lot of them passed.

But my German Pikemen didn't!!!
They were one of my better units as well

The traitorous German mercenaries line up against their former paymasters

And to make matters even worse they did the right thing (for them) and placed them opposite the flank they had just left. It was a 5 v 5 fight, now its a 6 v 4 fight and I'm supposed to be attacking!!!!

I won the dice for first move and fire, so peppered all along the Lancastrian lines, on their turn the did the same. As well as pushing forward, after the debacle with the German mercenaries, I said out loud that I'd be defending from now on, so that made them come to me, I was still going to attack, because I had to, I just didn't know how?

At the end of each turn a dice was thrown, the winner would get to pick a card from Posties deck, there were 12 cards. He wouldn't tell us what it was for, we kinda guessed, ( i hoped) it would be another unit. We never managed to pick the right Joker card. A unit of 16 Villagers would have appeared out of Whetstone on one of our sides.

Even though I was outnumbered I moved forward on my left

One archer unit failed its morale and was pushed back.

We both carried on shooting at each other in the centre.

I then moved up my Mounted Knights, believing they wouldn't be able to shoot at me with their archers, (because of a previous ruling). Postie though, changed his mind!

Not liking the look on my left, I tried to close the gap, wheeling round, to try and form a line.

With my original plan in tatters, I moved forward on my right, Lee did the same. Our archers traded fire at close range.

A side view of the battle from my left.

Steve's dice rolling was pretty awesome, he destroyed my archers covering the Duke of Gloucester's men at arms.

Lee shot some of my mounted Men at Arms, so I pulled them back off the hill.

Things were going better on my right, I destroyed Lee's archers, but I was still weaker than Lee's battle, he had a unit of Men at Arms, a Retinue Bill and a Shire Bill, when I had a Men at Arms and 2 x Shire Bill.

As I won the first move I took a chance and charged, as we were so close, Steve's units were caught standing. Altough Postie allowed their archers to charge my flank? Which I thought was a little weird as they didn't start in my flank, so therefore shouldn't have been a flank attack?

Everything else is going tits up, so what the hell.

I lost my archers on the right of the hill and moved up the Mounted Men at Arms.

We moved up to face each other for a charge next turn.

Back on the left, I lost nearly all of my dice because of the flank attack and was smashed by Steve brilliant dice rolls.

I lost my other archer unit, things are looking really bleak!

So I called an end to the game and withdrew back to London.


Well what can I say, things would have been different If I hadn't lost the German pikmen to treason, but with the way Steve was rolling, they probably would have still pipped me to the post.
There were a few strange decisions from Postie, that in the end did me no favours what so ever. But hey ho what can you do? Well done to Steve and Lee.
Will I ever win a game again?

Friday 15 July 2022

Donnybrook - Ottoman Cauldron Bearer Party - Warfare Miniatures


The Janissary Corps were once the mighty army everyone feared. They were the ultimate power machines, to such an extent that in certain cases even the Ottoman sultan, who was in command of the janissaries, did not dare to challenge them. Turcophobia in Europe has deep roots in their campaigns conquering the Balkans and beyond. Of course there were times they did not like things going on in Topkapı Palace, or did not find their privileges satisfactory, or simply did not agree with the sultan and made their own coups, but with a difference: With a cauldron and a ladle!

 The Ottoman infantry was structured around a hearth and a kitchen. The soldiers were young Orthodox Christian boys selected between the ages of seven and 14, and trained and educated to become members of the army. The name Janissary is Yeniçeri in Turkish, meaning the new soldier. They were the chosen ones; the Ottoman lands were routinely scourged to find the brightest, the strongest and the most attractive boys who would be eligible to be a good janissary, the new soldier. This system of collecting boys (called devşirme in Turkish) started in the 14th century, when the Ottomans were conquering more lands in Anatolia and Thrace, and there was an ample supply or slaves to be turned into trained troops. This collecting or enslaving of Christian boys was not much challenged by their families. On the contrary, many were willing to give away their boys (though they were converted to Islam and circumcised), as it meant a social advancement, with a possibility of becoming a high-ranking statesmen. 

The best of the best would be assigned to the palace as elite guards, eventually some lucky ones becoming grand viziers or governor generals. Even remaining an ordinary janissary guaranteed life, as they were paid regular salaries with occasional bonuses. The janissary organization was based on the model of a kitchen. High-ranking commanders were called çorbacı, the soupier or soup maker; perhaps soup was the core of the Ottoman cookery. Other military ranks were designated by culinary terms: Aşçıbaşı, the chef; karakullukçu, the scullion; çörekçi, the baker; gözlemeci, the griddle bread maker, and so on. The entire corps was known as ocak, the hearth of fire, and was commanded by an ağa, the master. The emblem of the whole janissary corps was a cauldron called kazan-ı şerif, the honorable cauldron, and the janissary headgear was ornamented with a spoon. 


Important decisions were taken while gathering around the sacred cauldron, including the scary decisions like starting a rite, or in today’s words, a coup. In such a case the cauldron would be overturned, the soup spilled and the cauldron turned to a huge drum banging with the beat of the ladle. No sultan would ever want to hear this thunderous sound of the cauldron and the ladle for sure! With this historical memory, a riot or upheaval or any uproar or a protest even within a family is called “raising the cauldron” (kazan kaldırmak) in Turkish language today.

This great looking set "Janissary Cauldron Bearer Party" are from Warfare Miniatures and can be found here, for the princely sum of £8.50

Sunday 10 July 2022

Empires at War - Haitian Revolution Buildings 2


The next two building in my Haitian Revolution collection are 2 Storerooms. Again I decided to paint the doors on one building, this time though using a dull blue/grey.

Storeroom B on the left and A on the right.

I do like the addition of the small fenced area on B, its a firewood store without any firewood in it!
That'll soon be remedied

The plastic roofing sheets are a little shiny, so to darken them and add a little life to them, I painted on some Army Painter Strong Tone, slightly watered down, then dry brushed a lighter version of the red/brown. Then dotted a few green and yellow spots, to look like moss. This toned down the shiny effect no end.

My favourite part of these two buildings are the stairs, again I chose the red/brown colour and painted over in the same method as I did on the roofs, I think they came out looking rather good!

Both these models can be bought for £22.50 each.