Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Battle of Lund 1676, Terrain

This is terrain for the Battle of Lund project. It is my attempt to create a typical Scanian farmstead. Used an old towel to create the roof. The rest is coffee sticks and foam board.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Battle of Lund- The De Croi Regiment

The battle of Lund 1676 .....more Danes

This is the regiment De Croi. Named after it's commander,Charles Eugène de Croÿ, a mercenary from Brabant. His soldiers were also mecenaries(mainly Germans).

 De Croy would later on command a Russian army at the battle of Narva in 1700. Once more he fought against the Swedes and once more was defeated. The battle of Narva was the end of De Croi's career. He died as POW.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

American Civil War/ Joshua Chamberlain

The American Civil War has always been one of my wargaming interests. Now and then I keep on building on my collection. As the collection of civil war units grows the need for commanders grows as well.  In this case I found that I long ago bought a couple of miniatures First Corps Figures that were supposed to depict certain characters from the Civil war.  The miniature drawing the sword is supposed to be Colonel Joshua Chamberlain. Chamberlain was the officer that led the 20th Maine at the Little Round Top, during the battle of Gettysburg.  Now I am not certain that this looks like Chamberlain, but it will do fine as a generic depiction of a Union colonel or general.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Battle of Lund 1676 - The Danish Weyher regiment

I have been involved in project to recreate the battle of Lund 1676. Though this project is more or less compleated I have some difficulties to leave all together. Thus I decided to paint up the Danish Weyher regiment. If I am not misstanken this is a mercenary regiment mainly recruited among Germans. In any case the period is always interesting and will paint a few more of these. The battle of Lund was fought during month of December(the 4th of December) and that explains why I use snow flock on the bases. In actually there was no snow on the ground that day, just frost, but this looks a bit more dramtic and interesting.

A despatch from the Italo-Byzantine front

A battle was fought somewhere in the Italian south. As usual the Byzantine nobility just could not keep the peace, even among themselves. After all the winner would be a possible favorite of the Emperor or even becoming an Emperor himself. 

The stage was set when Basil Faultopolous attacked the shrine of St Enigmatus( the patron saint of all unfathomable causes). As true Byzatine he of courage knep that a set of holy bones comming from a saint or a holy man of some kind would give him great powers, great powers he needed to conquer the title of Katepan( head of the Byzatine controllers areas in southern Italy).

St Enigmatus shrine, a late Roman contruction now in ruin, was in the hands of his worst enemy - The Despot of Epiros, The Fist of Anatolia and all decent mothers threat given towards wicked children, Bardas Castroulous.  Though sent by the Emperor many years ago to give Law and order to the province Bardas had followed his black heart and spread terror and grief in southern Italy ever since his arrival. Bardas'ambition was identical to that of Basil. The main difference was that he(Bardas)long ago stopped giving the Emperor his due.

Basil, the braggard did not move his troops fast enough to seize the shrine without letting the whole of Apulia know about it. Thus the black guardian of the shrine was warned about the things that was about to happen and managed to send units to defend the shrine.  A group of Varingians( including a guard unit) waited for Basil's troops to arrive. Instead of a neat bloodless capture of the shrine it all turned into a battle. 

 The defenders of the shrine

The basic situation on the battlefield was that Basil's forces intially outnumbred the defenders of the shrine. If captured fast enough the defenders would not be reinforced. Intially it all went according to the plan. The defenders of the shrine were hard pressed and their numbers shrank as the arrows rained down on them. Especially the horseriders of Basil's army was quite effective.
Bardas Castroullous was trying to stem the tide. However he soon felt himself in the middle of a an untangable situation, his own cavalry fell in droves. Soon he had no retinue.

The intial attack on the shrine stalled however and the reinforcements that Bardas Castroullous was hoping for eventually found it's way to the battlefield. This new troop included new guardsmen and Norman knights.

The balande tilted. Basil had to face the Norman knights and the onslaught of Varingian guardsmen. Basils second in Command fell as an arrow struck the fearless norseman Skoglartoste. Basil himself attacked with his Cataphracts, but could not stop the combination of Normans and Varingians. The battle was in the end lost. Bardas Castroullos, the wicked man from Antolia keep his price. The bones of a saint most holy were in the hands of a man destined to become the next Katepan.....or so at least the wicked man thought ......

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Byzantine Bewildered - Dramatis Personae

A Short biography of two of the main characters involved in our South Italian Campaign using the Lion Rampant rules.

Basil Faultopoulous
Basil is an ambitious officer of the Byzantine army of George Maniakes. He commands part of the Tagmatic and Guards units sent to Italy by the Emperor, together with som local forces of the Theme of Apulia.

Basil is quite a skillful soldier but is hampered by his lowly birth, as the son of an inn-keeper. The real problem is really his complete lack of social tact, of which he is totally unaware.
Basil is far more at home in camp with his soldiers than in the lofty social circles he yearns to join. This is all very disappointing to his wife Cybil.
Basil is constantly trying, and failing, to ingratiate himself with his superiors. This is especially damaging in the intrigue-ridden Byzantine political environment, where so much depends on personal relationships with powerful people.

He has so far been saved from the full consequences of social gaffes by sheer military skill. His one real ally is another misfit; Toste the Varangian commander. Other Byzantine commanders are wary of Basil. While skillful in purely military terms, his unpredictable political and social behaviour is deeply suspect.
Basil's goal is to be made Katepan of italy, gaining huge personal prestige. Not to mention financial reward.
He desperatly hopes that if he gains such a lofty position, his wife Cybil will finally stop nagging him. Her recurring theme is that they might as well open a sea-side inn, as his army career obviously isn't going anywhere.
Basil is nominally loyal to George Maniakes, but is perfectly willing to switch sides or strike out on his own.

Toste is literally an old-school Viking who has served in the Varangian Guard for years and risen to command his own unit. Now in his 80s, he is still a formidable fighter, although constantly complaining about the frailties of old age.

Toste has spent several decades in the extremely dangerous career of being a Viking.
He and his men ascribe his survival and success to his spiritual connection with a Valkyrie called Skaugul, from whom he gets his nick-name. Toste is the only one who can actually see and converse with Skaugul, but he claims that he gets advise and encouragement from her in return for sending many enemies to Valhalla.
He and his men are firmly convinced of his supernatural connection with Skaugul. They have seen Toste make too many counter-intuitive but correct decisions in battle to doubt that he really is guided by something. In reality, the something is probably his vast experience, rather than any spirit guide.
Skoglar-Toste's goal is simply to gain glory and riches by sending enemies to Valhalla. He talks frequently of retiring, but probably won't.
During his time in Italy he has befriended the Byzantine commander Basil Faultopoulous. Toste will fight at his friend's side unless Basil does something that Toste regards as dishonorable by the standards of Toste's own peculiar code of honour.

Historical note: Toste is a half-historical, half-mythical person. He is mentioned as a great warrior in Harald Gråfälls Saga, and might have been the ancestor of some later Swedish Kings. He did go on Viking raids and was well known, but there is no record of him ever going East to join the Varangian Guard, even less anything about being active at age 80. Not until now, that is.