Saturday, October 31, 2020

Breton compaignie d'ordonannce archers Guerre Folle, the Mad War 1

The Breton Guerre Folle -Mad War

My next medieval project will be the Breton Guerre Folle, or the mad war, it will be part of our "walk the Battlefield in the morning, Wargame in the afternoon" wargame holidays here in France. 

the battlefield tour is here Breton War

The "Mad War" was the struggle of major feudal lords against centralised royal power. As part of these power struggles, in 1484-1485, Louis II of Orléans tried to seize the crown supported by Francis II of Brittany and a certain number of border lords of Anjou-Maine and Normandy, attempting to depose the regent, Anne de Beaujeu. On 2 November 1485, the Peace of Bourges suspended the hostilities for eight months.

The second phase commenced June 1486 to November 1488, is sometimes called the War of Bretagne (Brittany), this is the period I will concentrate on as all of the major clashes and sieges occur within 1 hour of L'Hotel de Hercé-French Wargame Holidays HQ. 

The first army I will build will be the Bretons, along with the Gascon, Béarnaise, Aragonese, English, Castilian and German Mercenaries, followed closely by the French, Swiss mercenaries along with Germans and Italians. The armies will focus on the field battle of Saint-Aubin-du-Cormier in 1488. I predominantly will be using the Perry range of WOTR plus the mercenaries pack along with some other bits and pieces from other manufacturers

My first unit off the table is done is Breton archer Skirmishers based for Impetus, the figures are Perry Plastics. 



More Gaulois Aulerci Diablintes XIII

Gaulois XIII

Adding more Gaulois to my local tribe the Aulerci Diablintes, with another 40 close to completion in the last week or so I am close to painting the entire 220 miniatures I purchased for the project, I have also refurbished 30 odd old glory, and crusader Gauls which I will use as allies of my Caesarian Romans.

While on Holidays we visited the Oppidum at Gergovie, so i will do a short post on it next, it has a great museum (like most french museums) with some fabulous short explanations of the siege and battle.



Friday, October 30, 2020

28mm HUGE Castle -Chateaux build Part 1

Huge 28mm Castle/Chateau Epic Build

28mm Castle Project Part 1

Last week at French Wargames Holidays Phillipe and I joined forces for an afternoon of working on the new 28mm Chateau terrain. This terrain board is based on Chateau Sant Suzanne which is a famous medieval hill top defensive Chateau and town. This very early circa 1060AD stone castle dominates the valley and the pass north from Maine into Normandy. Most famous for its siege by William the Conqueror in the 1059s and the 1080s which became the only Chateau in Maine he could not capture.

Saint Suzanne is only 30 min from French Wargames Holidays and is one of our top destinations for visitors, being listed as one of the most beautiful villages in France. It really captures the reason why such a castle controls the landscape as far as the eye can see....

I have spent a lot of time planning this piece as I want it to be able to swap out the fortifications over a lot of periods, I have already started filming and will post it on Youtube in stages so you can follow what I am thinking and planning. I really want it to be very versatile options will include:-A Gaulois oppidum, of either the Aulerci Diablintes or Cenomani (Le Mans) the first siege in the 1st century BC (of which only the roman siege camp remains outside the walls and burnt remains on the dig)A Carolingian Fort and watch tower, based on remains that was found during the archaeological digs from the 6th century-9th century.10th century stone Donjon and timber Motte and Bailey walls, the chateau was sieged William the conqueror during his wars with his son and the duke of Anjou. And again during the Plantagenet wars of Stephen and Matilda and then again during Richard the Lion hearts rebellion against his father Henry and finally by Arthur of Brittanys Claim to the crown over John Lackland.15th century Hundred Years War being sieged three times in the period.Wars of Religion sieged by the duke of Mayenne against the Protestants.possibly also used as a big mountain for 20mm WW2 Swiss-Normandy hills (Domfront to Flers ridge) or large mountain 28mm games for French Revolution or Napoleonic Games.
For scale the terrain piece will be 1.50m long x 1.2m wide, and about 50cm high. The board will be broke into the upper Chateau and the lower town, with permanent pieces that lift on and off for ease of storage, plus with additional pieces could have a mountain grass land on top or even perhaps ruins for landscape games.
Some pictures for inspiration

The planning of the layout begins.....

wish me luck


Sword Beach reloaded!

Sword Beach Reloaded Rapid Fire

Due to Covid we thought we would have no Holidays this year, a fellow wargamer and saviour came along, Paul and Stella offering us to holiday with then down south in the Massif Central on the edge of the Alps. Paul and I have similar collections in the same scales 28mm Napoleonic, Ancients and 20mm WW2 and use the same rules, I guess we have chatted on forums over the last 15 years or so, but had never met face to face. 

I think Paul’s collection of 28mm Napoleonic collection eclipses mine by quite a lot and you will find him regularly posting on General de Brigade and Rapid Fire forums. We decided to conduct a Sword Beach game using the Rapid Fire rules from the D-Day scenario book. Paul has a huge collection of ships, including large destroyers down to the landing craft and support ships, and a lovely table set up for D-day landing scenarios plus the specific funnies for the landing along with the Sherman DD tanks, and the normal French villages etc. 

I elected to be the attacking Brits and Paul the defending Germans. The scenario calls for the capture and destruction of three of the bunkers and hard points along the beach plus one inland, a very tough ask. 

the start line!

The initial landings go bad with a lot of the leading tanks hitting land mines and either destroyed or heavy damaged. 

some of the landing craft are also hit with artillery on the way in

another heavy damage.......the story of the game for me lots of 1s and 2s rolled

half of the DD tanks made it ashore only to be brewed up by the AT guns

A second vehicle pushes pas the first only to hit another mine!

I managed to get all of my landing craft ashore unscathed but the unloading of the funnies was problematic with each one hitting a mine and being disabled or hit while still on the boats in the counter battery artillery fire. In the end only one made it up the beach. The Shermans wading ashore three were swamped and three made it ashore, all either getting taken out by mines or AT fire not a good start!  

Next turn Paul makes sure of the funnies destroying the heavy damaged ones with AT was one of those days.........
the infantry make it ashore relatively unscathed

On the left I land two companies to take on the left bunker complex

On the right another two companies, these guys do get cut up a little in the crossfire

 The infantry stormed ashore and surprising took very light casualties, however the remaining tanks were all knocked out except one which i leave covered by the other two tanks and await support

more infantry reinforce the right, plus some support elements arrive including the naval landing party arty observors 

 Again I lose the supporting tanks to mines!

but the infantry clear the trenches and with grenades destroy most of the hard positions by the 5th turn on the right

murder in the centre, most of two companies are cut down by MG and artillery fire, I managed to get one tank forward with a bridge alsmost making the wall.....

landing party is ashore finally radio contact and shelling begins....although very few targets

Finally on the left the commandos arrive in force to take on their objective

the commandoes make short work of the position, fabulous grenade work again clears the way

meanwhile a patrol boat moves in for close fire support

Finally we clear the right, at this stage we call it a draw, I am in control of the beach, but failed to have enough turns to capture the inland bunkers, still a good game, we nearly restarted in the fifth turn as I had lost all of my armour by then except one vehicle........a great time never the less.

I have never really been a fan of actual landing games, but really enjoyed this, it really was a spectacle. Paul is planning a visit to mine place in the spring to play either on my Pegasus Bridge table or Arnhem...or something else we shall see!



Thursday, October 15, 2020

Building Boom 8

 This week clearing my desk of part finished ww2 buildings and touching up damaged ones from our move to France, about thirty odd resin buildings were damaged in the move only two really were knocked around a lot. This railway shed was painted quite poorly when I purchased at a yard sale around ten years ago and after vusiting Paul on Holidays I seen his completed one so I decided to add it to the painting line up. I finished it on Monday and had a chance today to photograph it. It does need some scatter railway pieces near the door which needs to be completed. Really happy with my result. 

This completed piece was a gift from a wargaming mate Philipe for my upcoming ww2 city destroyed table for my crossing the Mayenne river scenario, a welcome addition. 
At the end of the month my focus will completly move to WW2 for a while as I need to complete some more pieces for my lofty goals for this year. cheers matt