August 19, 2018

Crossing the Shannon - July 15, 1690

In the period between the Battle of the Boyne (July 1st, 1690) and The Battle of Aughrim (July 12th, 1691) a variety of smaller engagements took place in central and the south west Ireland.

This scenario is a fictitious encounter placed against the backdrop of small raids, sieges and low level actions which characterized the year following the Battle of the Boyne. Scenario Background King William’s multinational army is now in the ascendant in Ireland and the Jacobite Army of King James is restricted to the western counties of the island. An advanced guard, five small brigades of the Williamite Army, has come across a small Jacobite force which is attempting to transport plundered light cannons and other baggage across the River Shannon at a narrow ford. A small force of enemy troops is occupying a farm immediately in front of the advancing Williamite column obviously to act as a rearguard. No other enemy troops are visible, but rumors of the vaunted Jacobite cavalry have greeted the advance at every village and there might still be infantry on this side of the Shannon as well...

This game is inspired by the scenario included in the first edition of Beneath the Lily Banners (published 2008) and will be my offering for the Guns of August. It's been modified to suit my collection and several details altered to take into account the likely participants would be new to the rules. I want to be able to fight the game to a conclusion in the time allotted so troops will start a little closer together to get the action underway. I also changed the crossing from a ferry to a ford because this terrain is the beginning of a new direction for my efforts going forward. I wanted a river that would be more flexible for other tables than the 12-18" wide span I would have wanted to make a model ferry seem necessary. I'll get around to building a wider river when I design my tables for the Boyne..

The Guns of August show is at the Virginia War Museum in Newport News, VA on August 24th-26th. I will be running two games on Saturday at 10am and 2pm and another game on Sunday at 10am. There is no pre-registration for the event, so if you'd like to play in one of the games, just come on by - the scenario can be played by two or up to seven, but I'll find a command for you if we end up with more.

I'll have a report on the show and hopefully AAR's next week...

August 15, 2018

Guns of August 2018


The static grass I use comes in sheets, so once the glue is good and dry, I can feather the edges and blend it in to make look a little more natural. That's it... I'll post another pic of the finished table with all of the rest of terrain in place this weekend...

August 6, 2018

Guns of August 2018

It's been quiet around here, but I've not been idle - just haven't had the time to do any proper posts. My games are officially scheduled for the Guns of August show at the Virginia War Museum in Newport News, VA. On Saturday (August 25th) I'll be running games of Beneath the Lily Banners at 10am and 2pm and again on Sunday (August 26th) at 10am. My table is in the main hall, across from the M-5 tank! I'll also have copies of the new BLB book, The War of Three Kings, as well as Donnybrook and Republic to Empire for sale at the table.

Speaking of the table, remember how I said I already had the boards I needed to run the scenario I've chosen - Crossing the Shannon? Well, somehow I decided they wouldn't work, so I'm building a brand new 4x8' table...

I'm trying something new, using 2-inch thick foam tiles, rather than my usual wooden boards. These are what Barry Hilton has used for the League of Augsburg games for decades. I'm using a mix of 2x2' and 2x4' sections. They won't be as tough as my old method, but my brother suggested painting the sides with a few coats of white glue before painting them which will give much more durability. They also won't be anywhere near as heavy as my old boards as I can easily carry the whole stack in one trip.

Barry's boards are painted and flocked, but I used my normal method of a felt-backed grass mat for the main layer. I just glued the mat to the foam and trimmed the edges flush when it was dry. With the method, you never need worry about the grass falling off and leaving bare patches!

This is a very fast way to make a table. I glued all of the felt in one evening. The river and roads were carved in another and covered in joint compound. The rough texture (my usual coffee grounds) was added this morning and the glue will be dry to allow the first coat of earth paint to cover all of the white areas this evening. Not bad for three days work. This week I'll finish the painting, including the river and add additional static grass and other ground cover. The last step will be adding resin into the river bed, probably next weekend.

I love building terrain and I think I really like this combination of materials. There has been zero warping of the foam so far. I'll reserve final judgement until after I see how these stand up to a weekend of gaming.

More later...

June 27, 2018

Crossing the Shannon - The Guns of August 2018

My work schedule has been crazy recently and I realized I was never going to be able to finish the Limerick project I had planned for The Guns of August (maybe Historicon 2019). Rather than give up on the idea of attending, I set out to find a different scenario to run.

While sorting through scenarios, I stumbled on the map for 'Crossing the Shannon'. This game appeared in the first book Barry and I did together - the original version of Beneath the Lily Banners! I already had all of the terrain I needed for this game and that will make sorting out the rest by August dead easy.

Hmmm... I was also surprised to find out I had almost all of the models I needed too. When Barry and I were designing the book and decided to include a scenario, I remember advising we make it a small one. Mr. Hilton's idea of a small game was 25 units... over 200 infantry, 72 cavalry, and 9 commanders... bloody hell. What surprised me was that I had MORE than that now. There are only a couple of things I need to paint and I could get away without most of them by tweaking a few things, but since I now have the LUXURY of time I do want to add them.

NOT the actual forces listed below, just a large part of my current collection...
(Commander rating: Plodder or Competent, roll a die to determine)

1st Brigade of Foot - Brigadier Baron Tom Grimm of Wedgewood
Garden til Fods (Veteran - Elite) All Musket
Funen (Drilled) All Musket
Jyske (Drilled) All Musket

2nd Brigade of Foot - Colonel Griggs, Lord Tilden
Converged Dutch Grenadiers (Drilled - Elite) All Musket
Hanmer’s (Drilled) Regulation
Brandenburg (Drilled) All Musket

3rd Brigade of Foot - Brigadier Bates of Doug
Mitchelburne’s (Raw) Regulation
Irish Regiment of Foot (Raw) All Musket (haven't decide which regiment)

1st Brigade of Horse - Colonel Treakle of Richmond
Danish Horse Regiment (Drilled) 3 Squadrons Bullet
Schomberg’s Regiment (Drilled) 1 Squadron Bullet

2nd Brigade of Horse - Colonel Harrell of Southland
Wolseley’s Horse Regiment (Raw) 2 Squadrons Blade
Wynne’s Dragoon Regiment (Raw) 2 Squadrons

Total Force: Commander in Chief, two brigadiers of Horse with 6 squadrons of Horse and 2 of mounted dragoons, three brigadiers of Foot with eight battalions (16 units total).

I just need paint a pike stand for Mitchelburne’s Foot and another brigadier! You can never have too many of those anyway...

(Commander rating: Competent or Skilful, roll a die to determine)

Brigade of Foot - Colonel Johan McDarius 
Irish Foot Guard (Drilled - Elite) Regulation
Lord Grand Prior’s (Drilled) Regulation
Clanrickarde’s (Drilled) Pike and Shot

Brigade of Horse - Colonel Edward Harrison
Life Guard of King James (Veteran) 2 Squadrons Blade
Tyrconnel’s Regiment (Veteran) 2 Squadrons Blade

Detached Commands
Dongan’s Dragoon Detachment (Raw) On Foot
Hilton’s (Raw) Pike and Shot

2 Light Guns (Raw if crew are found) Limbered
1 Field Gun (Raw if crew are found) Limbered
2 Wagons/Carts

Total Force: Commander in Chief, one brigadier of Horse with 4 squadrons of Horse, one brigadier of Foot with three battalions, one independent dragoon battalion and one independent battalion of foot (9 units total).

For this force I need to paint a pike stand for the Irish Foot Guard and at a couple of wagons or carts. I also need to build two ferries or rafts. I may also need some more civilian models or other single models milling around the river.

So, these are subject to change, but I this will be close give or take a battalion or squadron. I'll do a full scenario presentation AFTER the show in case some of you reading this will be playing. Of course, if you have a copy of BLB1 you can always look it up, but I've altered bits to make it fit my needs.

May 26, 2018

The Guns of August 2018

It's official.. I will be running several sessions of Beneath the Lily Banners/The War of Three Kings at the Guns of August show...

When the PEL becomes available I'll have more details, including how you can sign up to get in on one of these games...

May 16, 2018

Interview: The War of Three Kings

This interview was recorded right after 1672 game using Nick Eyre's wonderful collection at WI headquarters. The game featured a numerically inferior Dutch Army taking on the mighty French during the infamous Rampjaar (Disaster Year).

Dan Faulconbridge of WI allowed a dodgy character to ramble on about the rules, why we made certain decisions and future developments from Warfare, WordTwister, and Quindia Studios.

May 6, 2018

Wandering Around Ireland, Part VII

After trekking up and down both banks of the Boyne, we set out to find the point where the Jacobites mounted a desperate rear guard in a walled graveyard on the crest of Donore Hill. It's not on the map. We pretty much drove around the hill and tried various sheep tracks (Barry called them roads...) that led in the general direction of the peak. After several wrong turns, Barry stopped to talk to an older gentleman who was out in his yard. He pointed us up the road 'a ways' where there was a sharp bend. A closed iron gate barred a gravel side road. There was no sign for the graveyard, nor was there a 'NO TRESPASSING' sign (in America you might be taking your health in your hands by wandering through a closed gate). Naturally, in the spirit of our fence climbing we opened it and proceeded up the hill.

We did indeed find the graveyard. From the crest of the hill, you can see all the way to Oldbridge.

Bob, Barry, and Paul awaiting the Williamite horsemen... The graveyard is actually raised above the crest of the and is surrounded by a stone wall. I always wondered how a graveyard made such a good defensive position, but it makes much more sense to me after walking around it.

There's that fancy new bridge across the Boyne. There is a steep drop beyond that hedgerow. This probably the direction King William and his troops approached from initially.

This would have been a formidable obstacle, especially to horse. I love that brooding sky...

Standing inside the graveyard, looking down on the fields...

There was the remains of a tiny chapel in the center of the graveyard.

A second stone outbuilding flanked the only gate. It's unclear if this would have been part of the wall in 1690, but it makes a great detail to add when I get around to building a model inspired by Donore Hill (it is now where the caretaker stores his lawnmower)! The road (there's that word again) stretching away behind the jeep leads to the iron gate.

West of the graveyard is an old quarry and the caretaker believed it also might be the site of an unmarked graveyard where criminals, unwed mothers, or others denied burial on consecrated ground were laid to rest. 

The view to the north...

I took two score pics of gravemarkers, but I'll just post the one. Many of these have deteriorated beyond any chance of reading them.

This was a fantastic stop and I'm glad we went looking for it. Between the views and the inspiration for a great model I have yet to build, it was one of the highlights of the trip. Thanks to Paul for taking this pic of the three musketeers...

One more post to go... the bridge at Duleek!

April 30, 2018

The Walls of Limerick, Part III

I've made some progress on my project for the Guns of August show this summer. It is August 24th-26th and I am definitely attending, though I will only be there Saturday and Sunday. The plan is to run the game twice on Saturday and once on Sunday. I have more detail to do on the walls of Limerick, but some of that will be easier do once the models are attached to the tiles. Before doing that I wanted to build the glacis and covered way that had been constructed outside the walls. The photos aren't great because the expanse of white foam fought all efforts to get decent contrast and the results are a bit over exposed, but you can get the idea.

The gabions are plastic kits of Renedra Limited. These come in halves which worked out perfect to model the fort because I wanted them half buried in the front wall.

The glacis will be a longer slope when I break out the filler to blend all of these features into the board. Multiple layers of texture and scattered debris like buckets, spare timber, and fascines will all be added at some point. However, my next step is to turn my attention back to the walls, fixing them permanently to the tiles and adding another layer of detail to them.

Luckily, these two tiles will represent the bulk of complex modeling. I need to make six more tiles, two with smaller trenches and one with a river shore, but they should be quick work after these. The remaining tiles are pretty much flat and open. I also need to build a small redoubt for a gun that stands just outside the gate and a larger one for the Yellow Fort.

I've also started the expansion of the units I'll need to put on the game at 1:15 or 1:10 give or take... this means standard infantry units of five stands rather than three, though my Danish Guard will weigh in at SEVEN stands! Luckily, due to the fact that a standard two-stand squadron in BLB actually represents two squadrons at the normal scale, I have all of the horse I need to cover the squadrons I'll use for this game.

Twelve more models to go for this battalion... more soon!