Hey people, it's yet another historical plog for yet another historical project of mine! After all kinds of 40k things in my past, the Thirty Years War and some quick detours into ancient Greece and World War 2 (a plog on that is soon to emerge), I thought I should get into the thing that clearly was THE in-period to do in 2011/2012 - Dark Age wargaming. Of course the main thing that generated all the buzz around this usually dismissed period in terms of wargaming was SAGA, Gripping Beast's historical, game-y skirmish wargame.
By the buzz it created it seemed like everybody was playing it all of a sudden, and not only with a Dark Ages background. People made up battle boards for samurai games, napoleonic skirmishes and even variants for modern scenarios such as Afghanistan.
Anyways, my gaming pal has a few people who are interested in Dark Ages wargaming and got me hooked on the idea as well (the fact that he gave me a box of Gripping Beast Thegns and a blister of Foundry characters helped too ). My part in the whole scheme of things will be playing Anglo-Saxons (or Saxons in general for the purpose of other time periods). So I did what everybody does in this situation - read up on the stuff. I got myself the Osprey book to go with the period and of course I got myself a different ruleset to SAGA because having one set of rules for one period is a completely bogus concept, right? So I got Too Fat Lardies' Dux Britanniarum, a set of rules I've been looking forward to read into since the release. As all of their games it put the focus on command and control and "keeping things together" on and off the battlefield. Timescalewise it's set a bit earlier than the Saga supplement which has the Anglo-Saxons but never mind. What it does have is a detailled campaign system, scenarios and lots of "recruiting and keeping your shield wall together". I'm really, really looking forward to giving that one a try.
I was also shown the amazing pictures from the Arthurian age supplement for Warhammer historicals (Shield Wall?) and I have to say that those flags really cought my eye. Beautiful stuff.
With this project I'm back to 28mm wargaming I guess and I have to say that I'm very much looking forward to painting 28mm minis again, at least or myself. Commission work I do is mostly 28mm as you know and I love it of course but painting minis for myself is always a bit different. So let's start this Saga of Sigur's Saxons with some pictures of hardly painted miniatures!
First, here is a WIP picture of the first batch of ten Tegns ["Thanes"]. They are Gripping Beast's plastics and were pretty fun to put together. Those guys were the main fighting force of the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms. They were a sort of lowest nobility in the way that they were given land to reign over and often collect taxes and such in exchange for fighting for their king. Other than with "real" nobility, their status was not heritable, at least not early on.
The main weapon were the spear and the shield. Axes and swords weren't uncommon but way less widely used in war and often were a sign of status and social standing, especially swords.
Here's the rest of the Thegns from the boxed set. In total you get 44 models out of the box along with "command unit" options such as horns, cloaks and those pretty windsock standard things. Flags were also in use.
These are the characters I got along with the plastic fellas - really characterful sculpts and I'm very much looking forward to painting those. It's four fighter characters (very individual and all kind of "ealrier" looking than the plastics which all come with chainmail shirts and helmets), a christian priest or missionary and a fair maiden.
The Anglo-Saxons, other than their cousins from the mainland, didn't consider fighting from horseback proper war. Horses were used as means of transportation but there were no real efforts to set up cavalry forces or breed warhorses until much later so this army will mostly be on foot. I'll try to add some mounted figures as well just for a change and to mix up things a little.
So that's the starting force. All the minis are assembled, based and primed. My next step would be trying to get the first batch done as a sort of testing ground and then apply the same style and colour schemes to the rest of the army. After these models are painted I will try to get my hands on the recently announced upcoming Dark Ages Warriors box by Gripping Beast so I get some less armoured looking guys I can set up as Levy troops. In terms of Saga rules, Anglo-Saxons benefit from a horde-like approach to things, favoring big units and some stuff to give levy troops a bit of a boost.
Hope that you'll join me in this saga and that I can give you numerous updates on this project!