This was a wee bit of a find. 1.5 Euro entry fee, a laminated six page guide in English - up a back stair inside a restaurant in the 'Assassin's Creed' castle of Monteriggioni - but, I loved it!A series of vignettes from the 1st Crusade and Capture of Jerusalem to the Teutonic knights, Landsknechts and the dreaded Swiss coming to town in Siena - it was all good stuff.I definitely got a hint of anti-Islam in the writing in the guide which emphasized Saracen atrocities but seemed to conveniently ignore any shenanigans perpetrated by the knights of Christ but I've seen the reverse kind of historo-agitprop in Istanbul so, all's fair.The mannequins and vignettes of the crusaders ranged from 1291 till the 15th century. There was even a full sized horse in livery!I had fun trying on the coif but in temperatures of circa 35 degrees I passed on the full chain mail vest.I thought, for a tiny museum in a historically significant but not particularly accessible location it was a little gem.Bearing in mind that across the
Rough mock-up shot of Garrison Point Fort in 1667. Van Ghent's squadron attempting to sail past.My ideas for the Medway Campaign 1667 involve it being conducted by map, in 1/2400 scale and finally, in 28mm for small land and naval actions.I thought I would begin building the small scale terrain with the first significant defensive work encountered by the Dutch.On the north western tip of the Isle of Sheppey is Garrison Point Fort. It appears that the settlement of Sheerness grew directly out of the fort's location at the mouth of the Medway and that the first dwellings were probably houses or more likely shacks, for the few labourers who could be found to work in this inaccessible site. Apparently workers were so hard to find that often less than six were working at the same time building it! This may account for the fact that it was incomplete when the Dutch attacked.Position of Garrison Point Fort and the mouth of the MedwayMany fascinating aspects of this place can be woven into the campaign. It appears it
The final part of a piece on one of the country's forgotten Lions...An appraisal of England’s fire eating general Cutts probably did not get into the heat of battle at Blenheim but his commanded a large body of the army.Cutts on the table topIn a skirmish game John Cutts would be a fearless leader with a nose for danger. Fond of impetuous charges, close combat and impossible odds. A character who scorns death and needs no morale tests. He will win or fight to the death trying. As a colonel leading his regiment whether that be in Ireland against the Jacobites or Flanders fighting the French, he should count as a talismanic figure adding both combat and morale bonuses. Particularly in offensive situations, Cutts should add the highest possible command modifiers if attached to a battalion.As a brigadier or major general he should continue to add top level modifiers where directly attached to a unit. His wider command ability should perhaps model a man who finds it difficult to change tack when confronted wi
The second part of my piece on Lord John Cutts of Gowran.An appraisal of England’s fire eating generalEnglish hero - for sure, Subject of Swiftian satire - definitely!What he did bestHis speciality was leading assaults into the breach. Many of his wounds were received in such situations. He seemed to gravitate towards peers and superiors with a similar disposition to his own. One such, Thomas Tollemache, a rival of John Churchill and another fire-eater, died after being hit in the groin by a cannonball during the disastrous Camaret Bay amphibious landing. Cutts himself performed insanely reckless feats there yet, lived to tell the tale.Man on the make - Cutts at 24 leading Transylvanian locals against the hated TurksBeing point-man or any man for that matter, during the storming of a breach was generally recognized as a suicide mission. It was a task normally assigned to an army’s biggest, baddest head-bangers – the grenadiers. Tooled up with flintlock muskets, bags of hand grenades, hatchets, occasionally be
This article appeared in issue #379 May 2019 or Wargames Illustrated. I am publishing it on the blog in three parts as it is fairly long.An appraisal of England’s fire eating general John Cutts painted by Wissing around 1687, aged about 24Who?Like many notable men of his era, John Cutts is difficult to define in terms of good or bad, wrong or right. If considered only by his military deeds it is easy to be seduced and never get beyond the evocative sobriquet of Salamander - the man who can be found where the action is hottest and the danger most parlous. For wargamers, this may be enough. A Hector on the field of battle with more tales to tell in a single life than many others combined. Job done.Read about his political career and the portrait loses some of its lustre. Driven by chronic financial problems, the story of a wheeler-dealer, schemer, and petitioner involved in countless intrigues emerges to cast shadow across a previously sunlit vista. A hero who became the subject of Swiftian s
Well, it was a thought that had been floating around my head for a while. I had some vague ideas about how I might scratch build a defend-able 'wagon barrier' but had never gone practical with it.No time like the present - about a month or so till Partizan so nothing like a little pressure to focus the mind.How many? (it was a question to self).. four? six?... how about twelve? OK. That's settled, oh, and some portable defences to cover the gaps between too, yeah, fine.I didn't have a plan but I figured if I left one side off the Warfare Miniatures open wagon WLOA905 and built a wooden wall on the other side that the flat bed would provide a good firing step for singly based models without the wagons appearing too enormous and down scaling the battlefield.My materials were simple: stirring sticks from the coffee shop, super glue and the wagon kits from Warfare.. I have access to a few of those.The design was a suck it and see but actually has turned out to be both relatively easy and practical from a gaming p
This game caught my eye at Claymore.On inquiry, it was explained as a mid-17th century Ottoman incursion into the Ukraine.The figures are from Irregular Miniatures. I was taken by the striking nature of the set up and although very Old School in form, the subject matter and unusual visuals created an appealing show spectacle.Banners are interesting too!I thought Blog visitors would also be taken with the set up and it might stimulate some scenarios and painting.I am not sure who the 'captain' of the Durham ship was but I did see Matt and Dave J at the table.Thanks chaps, both captivating and novel.