May 30, 2016

Historicon 2016

Work is winding down on preparations for our Historicon game. I still have two squadrons to paint which will be the work of a few weeks. I have a couple of brigadiers to paint, a few small terrain bits to add, and I still have a 2x2' section of the board to finish, but I took time out last week to dig into the little extras that add an extra layer of detail (and fun) to a tabletop game...

First up, to the left is a sign for the famous Penny Burn Mill. The graphics for the sign was produced on the computer and I glued it to a thin sheet of balsa and built a frame around the face with more strips of wood. The base is a pair of washers filled with green stuff that I sunk the post into. The result is very bottom heavy and difficult to tip over without a substantial bump!

Next up are civilians - I think these are all Foundry models, but I may be mistaken as they came out of one the numerous bins I have stored around and were not purchased recently. It's fun to break up all of the rank and file with a few colorful characters, speaking in this case of their personalities rather than the hue of their clothes! The first is a shepherd and his flock. There is a quiet corner of the table where I happen to know no models should be entering and little scenes like this add life to the table... and maybe if Barry and I get bored, the flock turns into roaming rough terrain!

The second set of stalwarts is the miller (of Penny Burn Mill) and his bully boys. Where do the big man's loyalties lie - with James or Billy? Again they might not amount to more than scenery or they could be up to no good and it may change from game to game as we are running the thing six times over the course of the convention. I suspect no two games will end up the same!

If I run out of things to do, I may add a few more characters to add to the confusion...

There are two camps on the Jacobite table edge. I have a pile of tents that would work fine on their own to delineate the camps, but that's a bit boring. It's much more interesting to strew a bit of detritus around as well. Like the civilians above, I'm not sure where the crates were from, possibly Tabletop World, but the wagon is from Warfare Miniatures. It's also no accident that the wagon is based exactly the same size that I need for the artillery park of one gun in Beneath the Lily Banners! The baggage might end up as tempting targets for the Williamite Horse, possibly even over the objections of their officers.

The next vignette is a pair of sappers, hard at work to fortify the Jacobite position. The models are from Dixon (which fit in great with the Warfare Miniature range, BTW, while we're waiting for Barry to commission some). These models have no use in the game (that I of know of yet) and are meant to be another part of the camp scenery. The base will make a great marker for engineers in future games of Beneath the Lily Banners.

There's more, but we'll save some details for Historicon... Not long now!

May 16, 2016

Uniform Guides

One of the most common queries on the Fighting Talk Forum in relation to the periods covered by Beneath the Lily Banners centers on painting our little men. Wargamers are obsessed with details of a bygone age that most historians thought unimportant. What color coats did the Huguenots wear at the Battle of the Boyne? What kind of hats did Jacobite dragoons wear? Which Hamiltons were at Derry? What color socks did King James II's guard have? What... color... socks...

I've asked these questions myself in the few short years I've been involved in collecting armies for the period. Barry has been asking these questions for over twenty years. Often time the answer comes down to 'we just don't know'. Well, that is not very satisfying for the wargamer trying to collect the Danish Brigade in the Ireland campaign. So we go about collecting scraps of information from a dozen sources trying to piece together some idea. Here's where it gets fun - the sources don't always agree.

Some books are out of date simply because of... well, the date they were compiled. A lot of work went into these and they used the best available information at the time, but new research provides revelations all the time. Sometimes we find things are wrong because the original observer identified the wrong unit at this or that battle. We find out the error later, again by new research, but if you only have the first book, you have no idea. Why the hell isn't there something out there that brings all of this stuff together?

Now there is.

The League of Augsburg and Quindia Studios are very proud to present The Wargamer's Guide to Uniforms of the Battle of the Boyne. This is a series composed of bite-sized PDF's, each focused on a collection of units in a different part of the battlefield.

B01 - Williamite - The Cavalry of the Right
B02 - Williamite - The Infantry of the Right
B03 - Williamite - The Infantry of the First Wave
B04 - Williamite - The Danish Brigade
B05 - Williamite - The Infantry of the Center Reserve
B06 - Williamite - The Cavalry of the Left
B07 - Jacobite - The Infantry in Defense of Oldbridge
B08 - Jacobite - The Cavalry of the Right
B09 - Jacobite - The Infantry of the Center
B10 - Jacobite - The Cavalry of the Left

G01 - Artillery (covers both sides)
G02 - The French Brigade in Ireland

These are not blow by blow accounts of the battle - there are plenty of great sources out there for that. The PDF includes as much information as we could find - details on uniforms and flags, weapons and equipment, organization and command... When sources don't agree we tell you that. When we had to draw conclusions, we tell you that too, but we try to tell you why we made the decisions. Now, we haven't bothered with the shape of pockets or the number of buttons. These are meant for wargamers to use as a guide for painting their armies - though I'm willing to bet there's some cool stuff for history buffs too!

These are only the first series of many. The plan is to cover each theater comprehensively, starting with the war in Ireland - the Battle of Newtown, the Siege of Derry, the Ballyneety Raid, the Storming of Athlone, the Battle of Aughrim. Once we feel we've done justice to this we will move on to other areas.

Barry and I are extremely proud of these products and exciting about producing more. Undoubtedly, just as with old texts, new research will appear over the next months and years. Some of our educated guesswork will be disproven or on the odd occasion, be validated. That's ok. Use these to fuel your own research and let us know about it!

These PDFs are now available in the League of Augsburg shop!

Each PDF is 3-6 pages for ₤2, but allows the wargamer to just focus on the aspect of his collection he needs more information on. The entire series for the Battle of the Boyne comes in at exactly 50 pages and for ₤20, saving ₤4 if you order as a set!

To promote our game at Historicon and to kick off these new offerings, we are going to offer a sample D04 Wargamer's Guide to the Battle of Penny Burn Mill (yep... not even listed above... see we are already hard at work on the next series) free for a month. You can download this PDF at iii and get a good look at what we are offering.

Oh, and don't expect all of the units on the table at Historicon to match this guide as I painted many of them BEFORE we started the project. Wish I'd had something like this..

And by the way.. For the next calendar month to support the massed assembly of your forces for the Irish War, Warfare Miniatures will deliver POST FREE to anywhere in the world including the UK any order with over £45.00 of figures included in the order value.

May 14, 2016

Historicon 2016

The table is still a work in progress, but it's almost there! Online registration is now open for Historicon 2016. As loyal readers know, Barry Hilton and I will be running a BLB game many times over the course of the event...

Commander of Sallies: The Battle of Pennyburn Mill

Thursday 1300-1700
Friday 0800-1200
Friday 1400-1800
Saturday 0800-1200
Saturday 1400-1800
Sunday 1000-1400

Embarrassingly, the presenter is listed only as Clarence Harrison because I registered for the table and they tell me that's how it works. Barry is ignominiously listed as Assistant GM! I think we all know how the ranks are arrayed when it comes to running BLB games (six games is probably more than I played in all of 2015).

No need to avenge the slight, for I'm going throw out a teaser in that Barry Hilton will also be a Guest of Honor for Historicon 2016! Breaking news because it's not up on the site and I'll let him tell you more about that when the time is right.

So if you are planning to make the trip to Historicon this year (July 14-17) and want to sign up to participate in our game, head over to the HMGS page and register before all of the slots are full!