Thursday, November 12, 2020

More work on my Byzantines

I've been chipping away at my Byzantine project.  

Command stand- Perry Armenian infantry command.

Spears and archers- all from the Fireforge plastics range. 

The archers- again Fireforge. 

Turcopoles- Perry miniatures. 

Armenian or Frankish cavalry- again from the Perry Crusaders range. 

Perry mailed sword and axemen which will be used as Frankish allies or Varangians at a pinch- until the Fireforge kickstarter arrives. 

I was pleasantly surprised at how well the Fireforge and Perry ranges go together. The Perry's have a reputation for being slighter builds than many of the other popular 28mm ranges and truth be told they are slighter than the Fireforge range but height wise they are close and the two ranges do work well together.


Sunday, November 1, 2020

Seljuks and Byzantines

 A few more pictures of the armies so far.

The Seljuk and Byzantine forces

The Seljuks- all Perry Miniatures

Medium cavalry

Seljik light horse

Archers and light infantry

The Byzantine force


Armenian/ Frankish cavalry

Byzantine Skoutatoi (Fireforge) and Frankish crossbows (Perry Miniatures)- I will use the use the crossbows till I get my Byzantine archers done.

The Byzantines prepare for war.


Saturday, October 31, 2020

Dragon Rampant- Crusades

 Personally I prefer Dragon Rampant to Lion Rampant and so will be using that with the new Lion Rampant- the Crusader States supplement. 

Last week's game vs Ian showed to my that my current cavalry bases (10cm deep) are a bit unweildy so have decided to use the Impetus standard 8cm deep bases as the standard for my cavaltry units. I popped down ot the bach for the weekend last night and got to work rebasing some of my Crusader cavalry to act as allies to the Byzantines (until the new Fireforge kickstarter is released anyway). 

The frank or Armenian cavalry- all Perry miniatures. 

And of course they need enemies so also got work on rebasing my Muslim/Seljuk  cavalry to match- all from the lovely Perry range. 

And to go with those I've been updating the basing on my other units. My light horse were already painted the same base colours just added static grass to tie everything together. 

I'll try to post a few more pictures tomorrow.


Monday, October 26, 2020

Start of the Komnenan Byzantines

 I always enjoy doing s bit of research when embarking on a  new army which I have little knowledge of. A Byzantine force has long been an army which has been on my radar for my Crusades based games. The release of the new Dragon Lion Rampant: The Crusader States, was all the inspiration I needed to get this force up and running at last, well that and the new fireforge kickstarter from earlier in the year which I happily backed.

 The Komnenan Byzantine Army   

The Byzantrine (aka the Eastern Roman) Empire survived many centuries after the fall of the Western empire and its army was one of the most powerful and effective military forces in the world. However, the army over the centuries the army did dcline and the disaster at the Battle of Manzikert in 1071 destroyed much of the professional standing army (the Tagmata) which had provided the core of the Byzantine army. At Manzikert, units tracing their lineage to the Roman Empire were wiped out, and the subsequent loss of Anatolia deprived the Empire of its main recruiting ground.  not only that but the Empire was facng addiotnal threats posed by the Norman Kingdom of Sicily, the expansionist activities of the principality of Dioclea (Duklja) and by Pecheneg (Patzinak) raids across the Danube.

The death knell of the traditional Byzantine army was at the Battle of Dyrrachion in 1081, where Alexios I was very heavily defeated by the Normans of southern Italy. However,  in time Alexios was able to slowly rebuild the army and restore the power of the Byzantine Empire. The new army had a core of units which were both professional and disciplined, elite units such as the famous Varangian Guard and other foreign mercenary regiments, not to mention units of professional soldiers recruited from the provinces. These provincial troops included kataphraktoi cavalry from Macedonia, Thessaly and Thrace, plus various other provincial forces. Alongside troops raised and paid for directly by the state the Komnenian army included the armed followers of members of the wider imperial family and provincial aristocracy. 

The rise of the Komnenan army coincided with the rise of the Crusades in Western Europe and the Byzantines were to prove to be allies, rivals and enemies of the Crusader states.  

The first units:

2x units of Skoutatoi, spear armed infantry

I need a couple of units of misile troops,  some Frankish knights, a couple of units of both medium cavalry and  lighter cavalry to round the force out but at least it is under way. 



Saturday, October 24, 2020

Dragon Rampant- Dwarves and Elves vs Easterlings

I drove up up Chrsitchurch today for a game of Dragon Rampant vs Ian. Our biggest game to date, 2x 36 point commands per side.

Easterlings- Command A

·       1x Easterling General (Elite Foot)

·       2x  Heavy Infantry          (Heavy foot)

·       2x Spears           (Heavy foot)

·       2x  Archers         (Light Missiles)

Command B

1x Easterling General (Elite Riders)

2x Easterling Cavalry      (Heavy Riders)

2x Easterling light cavalry            (Light Riders)

4x Dunlending allies       (Bellicose foot)


Ian ran


·       3x archers-  

·       2x elite foot

·       1x elite foot + wizardling


Dwarves (defending the hold)

·       1x elite foot

·       3x Heavy foot

·       2x Ents (greater warbeasts)

Ian had set up a table and come up with a fun scenario which made for a tactically interesting game. Half the dwarf force were defending their mine/stronghold, capturing the fortress would be 5 glory points for the Easterlings. The rest of the dwarf army would arrive as reinforcements;  the elven host sent to relief their dwarven comrades would arrive from the opposite long table edge.

The game would end when one side or the other was down to a total of 8 units left on table.

The two Easterling commands would arrive from the two sides. Each unit needed to move onto the table.

The dwarven hold- one of Ian's new peices of terrain. Friggin awesome!

Dwarves and Ents arrive on turn 1 to relvie the hold. 

2 units of Easterling infantry and some light cavalry are the only things that arrive on turn one for the Easterlings. 

Turn 2 more cavalry arrives. 

A view from the battlements in the hold

Ents move forward to engage the Easterling infantry- the two units of ents (warbeasts) were both bloody tough!


On the Easterling left flank the cavalry learned to hit the ents before they hit them! 

Eventually the ents were vanquished but not before one unit of medium cavalry units was destroyed in the process. 

Most of the game ended up a swirling melee to control the top of the hill

After about 10 turns the Dunlendings finally arrived on table- having stopped for an extended tea break, bellicose foot? My arse!

Easterling spearmen dend the hill from the dwarves. 

The dwarf general plants his stnadard atop the hill. None shall pass!

End game, the dwarves have all but been slaughtered on the hill, only the general and one unit i the stornghold are elft but alas, too little too late. 

The dwarves breath a sigh of relief

final reuslt, with glory quests was 7-3 to the dwarf/elf alliance- hainvg destoryed 9 units for the loss of 8 + completing both of their quests. 

A really entertaining and fiun game and even at 72points per die the game flows well. It was a fun scenario that Ian cmae up with and resulted in a very interesting tactial game, wth my Easterlings trying to block the elven reinforcements while they Dwarves sallied out to take battle to the Easterlings. 

Ian has been making some very cool terrain for his Middle Earth games. 


Not a good shot but the mine goes though the mountain. 

The coolest mountains I've seen on a table in a long time, really adds the dimension of height to the table, cleverly done too. 


Thursday, October 15, 2020

A bit of an update

Another couple of months with very little done on the gaming front. It's been a bit of a busy year but not when it comes to gaming. I took on a new job at the start of the year and have also restarted my masters in social work from scratch (having to repeat a few papers I've previously passed which has been a tad annoying -not to mention expensive!)  which has meant I've been pretty busy between work and keeping on top of my studies at the weekend. not only that but my wife works shift work when she has evenings free we try to spend them together even though we are living apart and so all sorts of priorites have made it a struggle to get engaged in gaming projects. However, potentially there is light a the end of the tunnel. I've just finished my last couple of university assignments for the year and so to celebrate am planning on taking a couple of armies up to Christchurch for a game of Dragon Rampant next weekend.

Also, a new release has caught my eye. Lion Rampant Crusades. The Crusades have always been a gaming interest of mine and so  I have ordered a copy of this update for Lion Rampant and am looking forward to it arriving and am keen to get starting on Byzantium force started for it. 

Actually this is a bit of a potential project since I backed Fireforge's Byzantium kickstarter earlier in the year and have been planning on getting an army suitable for the Crusading era painted so I've ordered some of Fireforge's Byzantium spearmen to get the project underway. 

I am also looking forward to the Fireforge kickstaarter arrivng, hoepfully at the end of the year. I especially like the look of the Varangian guard and Cataphracts for both for historical and my Middle Earth inspired armies. 


So hopefully in the next wee while I'll have a battle report or two to report on and some progess on this upcoming project.