8 February 2017

House Paege infantry

Here's two more units for House Paege. One of bills, one of bows.

None of these are in livery colours. Thus both units can easily be re-assigned to other houses just by swapping out the flags. Most of my units are in 'neutral' colours like this. However, I have made sure to gather as many models in red and black or dark grey here, which matches the Paege sigil well (two entwined snakes, red and white, on a black field).

House Paege don't appear much in the books to be honest. They are loyal to the Tullys and Robb Stark, and a Ser Robert Paege is a friend of Edmure Tully. Later they bend the knee to the Iron Throne, and one Garrett Paege actually is appointed squire to Jaime Lannister. Read about them on the World of Ice and Fire wiki here.

1 February 2017

House Vance infantry

Here's two units of infantry from House Vance

Some of them are in white-and-black livery, though a lot of them are in 'neutral' colours. I'm pretty pleased with the overall mix of colours.

One of these units is of twenty models, the other of sixteen. Put side-by-side, they look great as one large unit. This works well with the rules I'm using - basically units can easily link up like this and act together as one, and support each other in combat. Attacking a long battleline of units with smaller numbers isn't a good idea.

There are two Vance families in A Song Of Ice And Fire - the Vances of Wayfarer's Rest, and the Vances of Atranta. These units are from the former. During the War Of The Five Kings the Vances are one of the families loyal to Riverrun, and by extension Robb Stark. They see quite a bit of action during the books. Presumably they also sided with the rebels during Robert's Rebellion. Read more about them on the World of Ice and Fire wiki here.

These mixed units give lots of opportunities for interesting models in the central 'command' blocks - leaders, standard bearers and men-at-arms.

20 January 2017

House Mooton infantry

Next up, House Mooton of Maidenpool. I've again got two units, one of bills and one mixed unit of archers and men-at-arms. 

Whereas my Tully units are all in red-and-blue livery, most of my other units are in neutral colours so that they can be re-aligned  to other houses just be swapping out the flags and a few other models. In the case of these Mooton units, a few are in red and white livery. I might well paint up some more in red and white sometime in the future, but for now most of the models in these units aren't tied to any one house and can be re-aligned or otherwise re-organised as I see fit.

House Mooton are a fairly powerful house from the Riverlands, though they don't get up to much in the books. Jaime and Brienne travel through the town of Maidenpool, which is sacked several times during the War of the Five Kings, and later Brienne passes through again by herself whilst the town is being rebuilt post-war. She catches a brief glimpse of Lord William Mooton, but otherwise no characters from this family appear. Curiously they are never mentioned as being among Robb Stark's Riverland allies - perhaps they stayed neutral in the conflict due to Maidenpool being close to King's Landing and far away from most of the fighting? However there have certainly been many famous names from House Mooton in the history of Westeros, and they have played their part in many earlier wars. More details can be found on the World of Ice and Fire wiki here.

Again these are mostly plastics from Perry Miniatures. There are a few bodies and heads from their Agincourt range mixed in with the Wars Of The Roses kits. There are a few metals in there too, and three of the archers are metals from Crusader Miniatures.

16 January 2017

House Tully infantry

Well the most logical place to start is with House Tully, the ruling house of the Riverlands. I have two units in the Tully livery of red and blue - one of billmen and one mixed unit of archers and men-at-arms. These two units should give you a good indication of how the rest of the project is configured.

Most of my units are configured in this way - three ranks for billmen & pikemen, and two ranks for archers and mixed archer / man-at-arms units. I think seven or eight wide is a good size for the polearm blocks, and for the archer units a frontage of nine or more looks good (this is actually my largest unit of this type, being eleven wide).

I like to select and pose the models so each unit has a consistent look throughout. All my bill units are thus modelled to be advancing / marching. The back two ranks mostly have weapons shouldered, whereas the front rank have weapons levelled or are otherwise in combat poses. As they are closely packed on 20mm square bases, I have to be careful not to try and squeeze too many 'action poses' in. More interesting models find their places in the front rank. I really like the look of the various polearm blades en-masse.

My mixed units consist of a central 'block' of men-at-arms or billmen, with two 'wings' of archers. I have the archers in shooting poses. There is a 10mm gap between the ranks, which gives room for more interesting models in the central command block (and means the second rank of archers aren't shooting the first rank in the back of the neck). The unit leader and standard bearer go in the second rank.

Almost all the models you see here are from Perry Miniatures. Mostly plastics, with a few metals in there too. However the archer unit does feature four from Crusader Miniatures, and two of the men-at-arms (including the commander) are from Steel Fist Miniatures. I'll be doing separate posts about these companies and what I think of the sculpts later on.

I use two different flag sizes - 20mm and 30mm square. The smaller ones are for most units, whereas the larger ones are reserved for commanders. In this case the Tully commander and his retinue of men-at-arms is in the archer unit. I also have a spare model with a 20mm flag if I want to field the commander independently and keep this unit as just archers.

These Tully flags are from Flags Of War, though I should note I haven't used them exactly as they came. I scanned them, did a quick edit and re-printed them. Basically I just added the same rippling effect that I've used on my own flag designs (which you'll see later). On re-printing them they came out not so bright and vivid as they first were, which is actually good as they now fit in better with the colours I've used on the miniatures. I did check with Iain from Flags Of War if this was ok - he was cool with it! I'd highly recommend his products.

15 January 2017

Returning to an old hobby...

After a long time away, I have returned to the wargaming hobby. This blog is to track the progress of my project, The Riverlands At War, which combines my interest in the late medieval period with my love of the Song Of Ice And Fire books by George R R Martin. Martin's fantasy world eschews over-the-top magic and simplistic good vs evil conflicts for an infinitely more complex (and realistic) setting. This is just how I like it, as I've become increasingly disenchanted with the usual swords-and-sorcery clichés over the years, and these days find real world history much more interesting.

My vision of Martin's world is going to tone down the fantasy elements even more, focusing on the dynastic rivalries and civil wars of Westeros rather than dragons and such. The arms and armour will be that of my preferred era, the 15th century. To be honest this is much closer to a historical project than a fantasy one, and I imagine should appeal to strictly historical gamers as much as fantasy fans.

The setting
I've chosen to focus on one area of Westeros - the Riverlands. Due to its central location, this region always seems to get involved whenever there is any sort of war, and it usually suffers badly for it. Since the Targaryen conquest it has been ruled by House Tully, but prior to that its history has seen a myriad of different families claiming overlordship and fighting amongst themselves. I will be basing this around the time of Robert's Rebellion, which saw the Tullys join the houses Baratheon, Stark and Arryn in rebelling against the Iron Throne. However I won't be restricting myself to this war, and can use this project to represent any number of wars fought in the Riverlands.

The miniatures
I'm using Perry Miniatures almost exclusively (their fantastic Wars Of The Roses and European Armies ranges), though some sculpts from other manufacturers will pop up every now and again.

The armies
My collection will feature loads of different Riverland houses, including Tully, Bracken, Blackwood, Mallister, Vance, Frey, Piper, Darry and many others. These can conveniently be fighting each other or be united in all sorts of alliances, meaning what I am building is one large Tully-led army which can be broken into smaller opposing forces for games. Most miniatures will be in 'neutral' colours and can be assigned to different houses as needed, giving me plenty of flexibility. Allegiances will for the most part just be designated by flags.

The game
I'm aiming for massed battles featuring hundreds of models on the table. Going against recent wargaming trends, my models are will all be individually based on 20mm square bases, giving me unlimited options on how units are formed (it will also free them up for small scale skirmishes as well). I'm going to be using a ruleset of my own design. It began as a modified Warhammer Ancient Battles, but I've made several big changes to how things work so that it now stands up by itself (I think!). I'll go into this in more detail at a later date.

So if you're interested, subscribe to this blog! Coming up soon I'll be sharing some pictures of the completed units I have so far.