Tuesday 28 March 2023

Bosworth Battlefield Tour

Just a brief follow on from Sunday's video where I discussed my recent trip to explore the Bosworth Battlefield site. I mentioned that I had a car tour planned out because I would never be able to walk the whole site. If you are interested in replicating my little tour of the site I have attached a copy of my route and itinerary. 

For clarity of why I took this route, it's worth reading this tour with my plan of the layout of the battle based on current evidence. 

It should go without saying to be respectful of the countryside and those that live and work in it. I found spaces to pull over so I didn't block access roads and footpaths, but there are some locations (such as Fen Lane itself) where there is no safe place to stop. If you are able to pull over and leave your vehicle please keep to the footpaths. The best advice remains "leave nothing but footprints, take nothing but photographs". 

Hope that's helpful. 😃

Sunday 26 March 2023

Lay of the Land

I recently visited the site of the Battle of Bosworth and explored the nearby Heritage Centre and some of the surrounding villages. Walking the landscape, combined with modern OS maps gave a very clear impression of why the battle took place where modern archeological evidence suggests it took place.

Sunday 19 March 2023

My D&D Origin Story

My other passion, beyond wargaming, is roleplaying games. In particular, I have been a D&D player for over 40 years and from the very earliest days I have painted miniatures to accompany my games. If it were not for D&D I probably would never have become a wargamer. So do you have a similar backstory, or was your entry to historical wargaming more 'traditional'?

Friday 17 March 2023

The French at Bosworth: Philibert de Chandee & Bernard Stuart

This isn’t the end. It may well be my last entry to the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge, but my quest to paint both sides for the Battle of Bosworth is by no means over. Indeed, after a weekend away visiting the Battlefield (and buying more books) I have added to my OOB and I have even more to paint!! But first, this week's entry is the ‘French’ contingent in Henry's army under the command of Philibert de Chandee.

De Chandee of Brittany was in command of the French mercenaries in Richard's army and played a significant part in the battle. These were experienced soldiers, fighting in a continental style that had not yet been incorporated into the English army of Richard III. Chandee was Knighted by Henry on landing in Milford Haven. It was these experienced troops, many of whom were Pikemen, who turned the fight. In some sources the long pikes of these troops stopped Norfolks Vanguard from moving forward, enabling Oxford to outflank the king's line. Alternatively, it was the bodyguard tactics of the pikes that saved Henry from Richard's final cavalry charge. Whatever the truth, it must have been significant because de Chandee was made Earl of Bath by Henry after the Battle. I have modeled these units with Crossbowmen rather than bowmen and as such, these are skirmish units of fewer men. Chandee himself commands Foot Knights/Men at Arms and Pikemen.

Next, we have Sir Bernard Stuart. As his name suggests he was a scot and in his role as Lord of Aubingy he was an ambassador between Tudor's allies in Scotland and the French court. He commanded Scottish troops who had been based in France and in my OOB he fights in De Chandee’s Battle. He fought many more battles for the King of France and King James IV made him a member of the Order of St Michael. He died in 1508 in his homeland of Scotland, aged fifty-six.

Up to this point, I was within sight of completing both armies. However, I was very aware that the army I had for Richard was not big enough and so I would have to add some extra units to give them the numerical advantage they had over Henry. I have just had a very interesting weekend away visiting the Battlefield of Bosworth, including the excellent visitor center on Ambion Hill. I also visited the Richard III center in Leicester and between them learned a lot of new stuff and came home with an armful of new books. One of these, Nobles and Knights Profiles by Bob Pritchard has been very useful and I have already amended my OOB to beef up the King's army. I have several more weeks of painting ahead of me, long after the Challenge has ended, but safe in the knowledge that the majority of the work has now been completed.

My Revised Order of Battle for Bosworth. The units indicated in yellow are yet to be painted but as you can see, the majority of the project is completed. 

Incidentally, I hit my Points Target easily last week. It's not my highest result for a Challenge, but I knew I had a busy few months at the start of the year and if I had set a higher target I surely would have failed. As it is I consider 700pts plus to be a very respectable total, and I've got the majority of my Bosworth project completed into the bargain.

I will get everything out in the next few days and take a big group photo of what I have completed. Then with the Challenge wrapped up the next challenge for me is to keep the momentum going and get those last units completed. I want to have a game on the table by August for the anniversary of the battle and I need to start playtesting the rules and I have some terrain to build. 

Sunday 12 March 2023

Mark TWO Eyeball

For the miniatures painter, there is little more aggravating than poor or failing eyesight. But age comes to us all (whether we like it or not) and sooner or later, most of us will need to upgrade the Mark 1 eyeball.

Wednesday 8 March 2023

Random Terrain. No thanks!

[This video was published at the weekend and I forgot to press Publish on the post! It's generated quite a bit of conversation in the comments, so I wanted to make sure it also appeared here]

The use of random terrain generation in wargames creates ugly and illogical tables that make my head hurt! My inner Geography nerd wants to cry out in horror when I see terrain dumped on a game's table without any apparent thought. Escarpments where none should exist; towns that are not anchored on terrain features like crossings or roads; and rivers that appear to run uphill, I've seen them all.