Wednesday, 24 February 2016

All change on the Project front.

I had forgotten how awful the soft plastic of 1/72nd scale really is. It is a long time since I worked with this scale and after working with metal and hard plastics for the last few years, I simply could not motivate myself to actually paint them. First of all one of the horses was minus a tail, it was not in the box, which was shrink wrapped, so it must have broken off prior to being packed. Then when fixing them to pennies with blue tack, I managed to snap two of them off their bases. The spindly little legs just came away.

The upshot is I chucked the whole lot back in their boxes in disgust and have gone back to 28mm. If I do attempt a Hundred Years War army, then it will also be in 28mm. All my 1/72nd scale will be going up for sale on that well known auction site.

So, with that project thrown out of the window, I am returning to my English Civil War, or more correctly The Wars of the Three Kingdoms, armies. I am going to add the Montrose Irish, Scottish Covenanters and Highlanders to the ranks of my English regiments. There are also three or four more boxes of standard infantry to build and paint as well.

Today, for the first time in months, it is sunny and actually quite mild, so the metal figures from two of the packs were duly taken outside and sprayed with a light grey primer. The Montrose Irish are all metal but the Covenanters are just a standard hard plastic infantry pack, with four specific to them, command figures in metal and some bonnets as opposed to hats favoured by the English.

The box set of Montrose Irish.

The four command figures.

'Mac Colla' and his two bodyguards. They are a blister pack and don't come with the box set.

Sixteen musketeers to allow for two sleeves of eight.

Six pike men who will along with the command occupy a centre base between the two sleeves of shot.

As mentioned earlier, the Covenanters are the standard plastic infantry set with a bag of four metal command and bonnets.

The four command figures, include a piper.

So a return to a project that hasn't been touched for a year. Also the pleasure of dealing with metal and hard plastic.

Monday, 22 February 2016

Next project and a diet update.

First of all the great weigh in was done this morning after exactly one week on the diet. The result is I have lost five pounds! Really pleased with that, just another thirty to go. I realise I probably won't lose that amount every week, but it really has given me a lot of encouragement to continue on.

Now for the next project which is a whittling down of my stash. I have quite a few boxes of 1/72nd scale figures, some of which are for the Hundred Years War. A few figures had been painted a few years ago and then boxed and forgotten. So I have dug them all out to paint up.

First up will be...

A dozen or so English Longbow men that need completing.

Two boxes of French knights, still in their shrink wrap.

Contents of each box.

One command sprue.

Three common sprues. Two boxes equals 38 mounted knights.

It also contained the instruction sheet.

And rules for the long defunct 'Age of Battles' rules that Zvezda used to produce.

Friday, 19 February 2016

Turn Four of the Wars of the Roses Battle.

After a major mistake in turn three, in which a unit of light cavalry, not only wiped out a unit of heavy mounted knights, they also gave pursuit and killed Richard III! I had missed a line in the rules that stated 'light cavalry can only attack skirmisher units to the front', so the brave charge was actually illegal and as such Richard and his knights live to fight again.

So the position at the end of the turn.

The Lancastrian light cavalry have maneuvered in front of their spear men. 

Looking down the table, Lancastrian foot knights are in melee in the centre as are bill men on the far right flank.

More foot knights are advancing on the Yorkists in the centre.

The heavy mounted knights with their respective kings attached are jostling for position in the coming fight.

This unit of Lancastrian archers have already inflicted three kills on the Yorkist spear men, one more casualty and they will rout!

Foot knights in melee in the centre, with help rushing forward.

On the other flank bill men exchange pleasantries!

Another Lancastrian unit of bill men are attempting to close to assist.

This unit of Lancastrian foot knights have routed.

So the battle rages on, the Yorkists on the ridge look as strong as ever, but casualties on both sides are taking their toll.

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

A resurrected project.

When I first got back into the model soldier painting and wargaming hobby after close to 50 years away from it. I didn't realise how much the hobby had changed. My initial purchases when returning of course were the 1/72nd scale of my youth. A lot more pricey now! I used to get them for two shillings a box (10p).

I hadn't really considered wargaming at that time and was really just wanting to paint up some troops for fun and relaxation. One of the periods that has always interested me greatly was the Hundred Years War, though to be honest all Medieval periods float my boat. With access to the internet, I was able to browse the now huge range of 1/72nd scale figures, it seemed any era was now possible, even obscure conflicts I had barely heard of.

I ordered a number of boxes with the HYW in mind and at the same time bought a Miniart Castle and Fortress, the idea being to combine the kits to make a bespoke castle. Along with them were a battering ram and other siege equipment, though I was unable to get my hands on a Zvezda siege tower for this period. I must look again for one of them.

I had been painting up some Napoleonic's in the same scale and fancied a change was the main reason. I already had some Crusaders and Saracens painted up, and some Greeks and Persians, this project would fill a gap in my armies.

I did paint up a few English archers, foot soldiers and mounted knights, but then I was attracted to new shiny things, not only that, but a new scale too. I discovered 28mm and was immediately hooked and a new journey began. The HYW project shelved for future times and the whole lot boxed up and forgotten.

My goal this year is not to buy any new shiny soldiers, but to complete everything that I have already. Part of that of course is my stash of 1/72nd scale figures. I am currently coming to the end of my current project, 28mm Wars of the Roses, the last box of figures are currently on the painting board. I was going to return to completing my 28mm English Civil War armies, as I have the Irish and Scottish contingents still to assemble and paint. However, I have also been playing with two sets of rules that I am thoroughly enjoying, namely Lion Rampant and Sword and Spear, both perfect in their own way for the games I want to play.

So of the numerous boxes of 1/72 I have selected the ones relating to the HYW as of course I can use those two rule sets with them. A change of scale will also make a pleasant change too. So here are some photographs of the next project.

Two boxes each of Zvezda knights for either side. Miniart French knights and Burgundians.

Some boxes of infantry for both sides.

With the castle in mind, I had also bought some specialists.

A stand of English mounted knights.

Some close to completion, archers. (must sort out those mould lines)

Finally, some foot knights and men at arms.

So the next armies for the two rule sets are already in stock and awaiting a splash of paint. Add to that the building of the castle and I am in business for a few months to come.

Monday, 15 February 2016

Diet Challenge - Day One

A mixed day to say the least and a few things learnt.

I had a piece of the baguette for breakfast, warmed in the oven so that it smelt and tasted as if it was freshly baked, no butter of course, but it was lovely and went down well with my cup of tea. Much better for me than my normal two slices of buttered toast.

Lunchtime saw the 40 pence can of soup opened, it was not great, but it was edible and with a chunk of baguette was filling too. At that price I wasn't expecting Heinz standards, so it was acceptable.

Dinner had me opening the tin of store brand meat balls, also 40 pence. The contents looked and smelled like dog food, a dip in of the pinky finger confirmed that the contents were awful! I have never tasted canned dog food, but reckon this must be close to it. In fact it is worse as I put the contents of the can down for my dog, and he refused to eat it!

The Fusilli of course was fine, not much to go wrong with pasta, so I mixed the sachet of sweet chilli and garlic sauce in with it for what was actually a very tasty and filling meal. Had I put the meatballs in too, it would have been inedible, for me at least. I still have a piece of the bread left and will save that for breakfast tomorrow.

I didn't buy anything today, as of course, I already had my supplies in. I shall shop again tomorrow. I have now re-discovered what I already knew, you get what you pay for. This dieting is going to be hard enough without trying to survive on the cheapest end of the food market. So the budget idea is out of the window, I at least want to be able to enjoy whatever food I get.

Thanks to everyone for posting on this blog, I am going to follow some of the suggestions and please feel free to suggest other ideas too. They will be gratefully received.

I weighed myself this morning and I am fifteen and a half stone, (210 pounds for US readers, 98.4 kg in metric for Europe). As I am only 5 feet 9 inches tall, I guess that makes me fat in all countries! I would like to lose two and a half stone (35 pounds, 16 kg.)

I shall report back on tomorrow's adventure.

Sunday, 14 February 2016

Diet Challenge ??? Intro and Day One menu.

Something totally different for my blog which may or may not interest anyone else. But as it is my blog then I shall record it all here. Please feel free to skip these entries if you wish.

Readers of my blog will know I have an ongoing heart condition. I need a bypass operation to replace two veins that are completely blocked, meaning the two that are still working normally are having to do twice the work. Not good, and if not corrected means a fatal heart attack within five years.

A lot, if not all of the fault lies with my lifestyle choices during my 62 years on this planet, so the first change I made was to stop smoking in June last year. It has been a success and I can now move on to another challenge, losing weight. I am overweight, another factor that is not helping my overworked heart, so as from tomorrow, Monday 15th February 2016, I shall be starting a diet, the first time I have ever attempted to lose weight. However, dieting is pretty boring and no doubt means spending a lot of time being hungry. I can't do much about the latter, but can certainly make the former a little more interesting.

I have set myself a challenge of only spending £3 a day on groceries to live on. It would be easy to splash out on weight watchers type prepared meals but I don't want to go down that route, too easy and boring. I want to gather ingredients of my own choice and prepare my own meals within a tight budget. To me that is far more satisfying and will motivate me to keep going.

So today, I wandered to the supermarket with three pound coins in my pocket to see what I could pick up for day one tomorrow. It was a shock too. I pretty well know the price of foodstuffs and knew my budget wasn't great. I wanted to be able to purchase enough for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I had intended to buy a box of Quaker Oats to sort my breakfasts out for a good few days, but the price of £2 scuttled that idea. I had no idea porridge was so expensive! Add to that a small bag of sugar at 45p and my budget would have almost been blown!

Yes I could go down the route of spending my budget of £21 a week, meaning I could get in lots of stuff in one go, but sticking to the £3 a day means I have to think about each day carefully, more interesting for me.

I will share with you my supplies for day one.

 I bought five items and have some change to add to the next days budget.

The five items.

Breakfast: A piece of baguette.

Lunch: Scotch Broth Soup with another piece of the baguette.

Dinner: 100g Fusilli mixed with meatballs and the sauce, also any remaining baguette.

I had wanted to buy a net of Tangerines but they were 80p, so just outside my budget. I hope to get them tomorrow as I want at least one piece of fresh fruit everyday. The Fusilli will also last a few days too, giving me a base to work with.

My only luxury will be cups of tea, I cannot function without that! However I don't take sugar and can happily drink it without milk, so I will just be taking a hand full of tea bags out of the household supply until such times as I can actually purchase some within budget.

I will weigh myself tomorrow morning and then every Monday morning afterwards, to see if I am indeed losing weight. I will also keep this thread of my blog going, more for my own record but if you find it interesting then I am more than happy for you watch my progress.

Saturday, 13 February 2016

The Saga of Yolare - Part Three.

The saga continues...

A Mother, a Manipulator, a Murderess.

Agnes Foxe sat silently on a chair beside her husbands bed. The Thrang of Rudston was dying, she knew he was, he had become increasingly ill with stomach cramps over the last half year.
Exactly the same period of time that she had been lacing his wine with poison. Just a little here and little there, enough for the drunken oaf to slowly deteriorate. Her twin sons Benedict and Luke sat opposite her on chairs placed at the other side of the bed. The boys were soon to turn sixteen years of age and were her pride and joy, Benedict, the elder by 30 minutes, would make an excellent thrang when the time came. Too young at present, he would have to wait a further two years, and those fools of the thrang host, her husbands most faithful knights, would debate who should be ward until that time.

What they didn't know was that she would be the boys ward and in effect would be the de facto thrang. Of course they would argue and grumble, but in the end would have no choice but to accept, she was after all the thrang's widow. She had to stop herself smiling, sounded so good. The younger twin, if her plans came to pass, would also find himself a thrang too, not of Rudston, but there were lots of dominions in Yolare ripe for the taking, especially along the Eastern side.

Her brother Ralph was the Thrang of Wheeldale, further up the coast and the two dominions combined would be by far the most powerful force in the land. Her father had betrothed her to join together the two families. The Foxe's in the South and the Lytton's in the North. Sadly her father had died of the plague soon after the wedding, she had loved him dearly and even forgave him for marrying her off to this pig!

But Agnes had schemed well, even the two boys sat opposite were not the sons of of the dying thrang, he didn't know of course, not that he took any interest in them. She had seduced Andrew Daye, one of her husband's thrang host soon after arriving at Rudston and it was he who was the father. Ironically, he had no idea either.

But Andrew was a very useful ally, trusted by her husband and high ranking in the host, she would need all his help and influence to achieve the position which she believed was hers by right, ward of the future thrang. Eventually of course the handsome and exciting Andrew would have to be disposed of, but for now he still had a purpose to serve... for now!

                                                                             * * * * * * * * * *

A Taxing Problem.

Richard Pierrot watched the column move away down the Knapton Road, like a huge snake as it slithered here and there, searching for good footing in the fast melting snow. It was another glorious Spring day, At last this terrible Winter is surely now over, he thought. Looking around he noticed the house roofs were now virtually clear of snow, where before only tops of walls could be seen, the snow was now in decline and the countryside was once again beginning to show its normal features, that had been hidden for so long under a white blanket.

He had no spare supplies to give to Owen and Guy, times were hard for everyone, but his mind had been mulling over how he may be of help to the two young men. The snake was now almost out of view and he returned to his hall. He would gather his host and tell them of his idea and seek their views, after all a good thrang always consulted and rarely ever took a decision that would risk men's lives, without first listening to those very men.

One day later, Guy and Owen with the column in tow, turned South East, leaving the road to Knapton. The convoy would strike out across country before crossing into dominion of the Thrang of Knapton. They would still be passing through his dominion of course, and it would take another full day before they entered the dominion belonging to Owen's father. Both hoped their passage would be peaceful and unseen other than by the odd farmer or two. By leaving the road prior to entering Lovell's dominion they hoped to remain undetected by scouts and spies.

They were wrong!

At that very moment Godfrey Lovell was learning from spies that they had left Burn Howe the previous day and were indeed heading South toward Knapton. He dismissed the news bearer and smiled to himself. He knew they would be unlikely to actually pass through the town and take the road to Egton Low Moor, but just in case, he would leave a small garrison here to block entry to Knapton. He would take the rest of his force North East, as that was the obvious route the runts of Thorngarth and Egton would take, in an attempt to slip through his dominion unseen.

He had also learned that the escort had been increased by men of Thorngarth, no matter, the Egton men were simply shepherds with spears and longbows, no threat to his better trained men. If it came to a fight, which he very much doubted, his men would have little trouble crushing this invading army. He smiled again, yes invading army, it justified anything that happened out there in the snow. He had simply been defending his dominion from an unprovoked attack! Right was on his side no matter what happened. The day was getting better by the minute. He went off to look for Luke Brann his banner bearer, who should have the troops ready to move immediately. He would ride his horse, but sadly the snow prevented his host being able to charge into any battle that might ensue, simply too dangerous for man and horse in the melting snow. No they would have to dismount if needed and fight on foot.

Guy saw them first. He halted the column and rode a few paces forward, Owen beside him. He pointed to a line of moving shapes far in the distance, directly in their path.

'I am hoping that is a herd of cows, but somehow I doubt it.' At that moment, sunlight reflected off metal being carried by the tiny black dots.

'Not unless they are armed with bills and spears.' replied Owen. 'It seems Lovell was expecting us and intent on blocking our route, damn him!'

'That force is similar in size to our own,' said Guy, leaning over the neck of his horse and peering into the distance. 'If it comes to a fight we will at least be evenly matched.'

'A fight!' Owen looked shocked, 'He wouldn't dare to attack us surely?'

'Why not? We are in his dominion with a large number of armed men, he would claim to be in the right and was simply defending his land. Though I believe he will avoid battle and just demand a portion of our supply train as payment for a free passage.'

'That makes him no better than a common thief or robber! Owen was furious, 'These supplies are for my father's people to survive, he is having none of it.'

'Well we will find out soon enough,' said Guy, ' two horsemen have left the group and are heading this way. I suggest we ride forward to err...greet them.'

Owen and Guy rode forward to a low stone wall, its top now free of snow but the sides still hidden in a drift. Godfrey Lovell and Luke Bann sat upon their horses at the other side of the wall.

'I am Godfrey Lovell, Thrang of Knapton.' Godfrey swung an arm in a sweeping gesture about him. 'Why have you brought an army into my dominion?'

'It is hardly and army, my lord. Just an escort for a cargo of food and fodder that is to be delivered to the Thrang of Egton Low Moor.' replied Guy. 'In a few hours we will be out of your dominion.'

'Ah, you must be the son of Walter de Cobham, you look very much like him, from what I remember. It is a number of years since I last saw him. Did he send you here with this invasion force?' Godfrey nodded in the direction of the column, now stationary.

'My lord, the words almost choked Owen, we are not invading your land, merely passing through a small part of it to allow us a speedy journey to my home. My father's people are starving as are what remains of our sheep, we are in desperate need of these supplies, which accounts for our haste.'

'You must be Wadham's runt,' sneered Godfrey, looking Owen up and down. 'I would have thought your father and his miserable little dominion hardly warranted such an effort.'

Owen's hand moved to the handle of his sword, but before he could say or do anything, Luke Brann moved closer to the wall, his hand also resting on his sword.

'Not a very good idea young sir,' Luke said quietly, for you would be dead before that fine sword of yours left its scabbard.'

Godfrey shook his head in mock disdain, 'Oh dear, first you bring an invading army into my dominion and then you threaten to draw your sword on its thrang. Now I may be mistaken, but so far your actions appear to be, shall we say, less than peaceful.'

'My lord,' Guy spoke up before the situation worsened any further. 'We have explained our reason for being here, why the escort, not an army is with us, and you have insulted my companion, his family and his people. You have brought a force out here with the intention of intercepting us and preventing our progress, you must have a reason for going to all that trouble. So sir, what is it you actually want?'

'That is what I like to hear, a man who understands the position in which we find ourselves. The problem is, and the reason I have had to travel out here, is to collect the taxes due for transiting my dominion. The last two Winters have been harsh, why my people too are starving and a little of what you are carrying would greatly help them in their need.'

Guy had expected this and if the demand was reasonable, he would convince Owen to part with a small part of the load to allow them a trouble free passage out of Lovell's dominion.
'Exactly what would be the cost of this tax my lord?' he asked.

'I am not a greedy man,' Lovell gave an unconvincing smile, 'so I think a payment of three out of every five mules a fair price, for entering my lands with armed men and threatening violence on my person.'

Even Guy was shocked at the price Lovell was demanding, he wasn't prepared to pay such a high cost, never mind Owen!

'That my lord would make our journey pointless, with the majority of the supplies never to reach their intended destination.' Guy kept his voice low and controlled, his eyes never leaving those of Godfrey Lovell. 'The price is too high and you must lower it substantially if a deal is to be struck.'

'What if I refuse to lower my demand?' Lovell replied, though he was becoming increasingly wary of this boy, who may just be confident enough to challenge him and his assembled force.

Guy looked at Owen, the latter gave the merest of nods, no words were needed.

'Then my lord, we will forced to push our way through both you and your assembled troops, by force of arms if necessary. These supplies will get through!'

Godfrey was taken aback by the young man's words. He had intended to drop his price to two out of every five mules, which he thought they would grudgingly accept to continue their journey, he had badly underestimated the determination of de Cobham's boy. Damn him! He could not drop the price now after that threat, it would be seen as weakness on his part and that could not be allowed to happen. The boy would probably demand that he accept just one in five! Lovell cursed under his breath, he had now backed himself into a corner in which he would have to give battle, something he had not intended. The forces were fairly evenly matched in numbers of men, but surely his troops were better trained and more experienced than the contingent from Egton, though he knew the men of Thorngarth would be the equal of his own.

Godfrey let nothing of his worried thoughts show on his face.

'Your heads will be the only items delivered to Egton Low Moor, they will not eat a grain of the wheat that you carry and when this snow clears, I shall march into that wretched little dominion and put Wadham to the sword! Your path is blocked, I will await your attempt to clear it.' he almost spat the words out before he and his banner bearer trotted off back to their own troops.

Guy and Owen silently watched them go, each contemplating their first ever taste of action, then they too turned their mounts and moved off to form up their men for battle.

                                                                              * * * * * * * * * * * *

Turn Three of the Wars of the Roses battle.

Some more photos of the Wars of the Roses battle being played using Sword and Spear rules. This is the position at the end of turn three. The Lancastrian foot knights strike into the Yorkist centre and the light cavalry of Henry engage in combat with Richard's heavy knights.

Looking along the Lancastrian lines, this is the second wave, making ready to advance under the watchful eyes of Henry.

The spear men on the Yorkist right flank await their turn as the Lancastrian foot knights crash into the Yorkist centre.

Lancastrian archers loose off against Yorkist spear men.

A melee in the centre with the Lancastrians suffering losses.

Bill men move up on the Lancastrian right flank.

At the very far end a cavalry melee resulted in the destruction of the Yorkist heavy mounted knights and in the pursuit, King Richard III was killed!

King Richard and his mounted knights are off the board.

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

The Saga of Yolare - Part Two

Continuing the saga, please be gentle, I am not a writer, I just enjoy scribbling.

A Venture begins.

The following morning a blue sky with barely a cloud greeted the residents of Thorngarth, the bone piercing wind and and sleet of the previous days had disappeared as if it had never been. A warming Sun shone down, and even at this early hour water dripped from roofs, trees and battlements, as the snows began to melt.

In the castle courtyard it seemed like a disorganized, noisy chaos, human voices mixed with the calls of animals. Loaded mules, horses and men filled the open space inside the castle walls and towers. Guy de Cobham and Owen Wadham, the eldest sons of the Thrangs of Thorngarth and Egton Low Moor, sat on their mounts wearing full armour, each had a mounted banner man beside him carrying the respective colours of the two dominions.

Owen's father had virtually stripped the granaries and barns of Thorngarth to load upon the now waiting supply train. He had kept barely enough to keep his people fed until this years crops could be harvested and hunters could get out into the fields and woods, to take some of the abundant game that inhabited his land. His good friend Richard needed those supplies desperately and he, Walter de Cobham, would never let an old friend down.
He looked up at the two young men and smiled.

'See, even the weather has changed for your journey, though the melting snow will probably prove as difficult going as was the wind on the journey here.'

Owen grinned back.

'I will take melting snow and the warm Sun on my back every time my lord, your kindness in providing so much as well as troops to escort it, can never be repaid by my father and our people, I understand now why he instructed me to come directly to you.'

Walter nodded and shook the boys hand followed by the hand of his son. He stood back to allow the convoy to move off before giving one final piece of advice.

'The two of you will decide the best route to take, going via Garthdale will add extra days to your journey, but would be safer. Try and give the town of Knapton a wide berth, stay well off the road, head South East until you hit the road into Egton. Godfrey Lovell is a tyrant and hates me dearly and would love nothing better than to take what you carry. He knows you will have to return through his dominion and no doubt has men placed to watch, and possibly even intends to intercept you. That is why the extra men are with you, hopefully you will not need to use them!'

After final farewells, the convoy moved off, spear men, archers and bill men, mixed in with heavily laden mules passed out of the castle gates and down the hill to the town. The people were out in force to cheer and wave as the men and animals passed by. Some wept, as their son, brother or husband, now in the contingent from Thorngarth moved by. At the head of the column rode Guy and Owen, each fully aware of the responsibilities that their respective fathers had placed upon them.

The Sun did indeed warm their backs as they left the town on the road to Burn Howe.

* * * * * * * * * *

Wise Words.

The prophesy of the Thrang of Thorngarth came to pass. The melting snow, now an ice cold slush that made walking treacherous, was causing man and beast alike to slip and slide on the road. The snakelike column had taken to trudging along beside the road, where although the snow was deeper, it was firm enough still to take their weight. The Sun had continued to shine and its warmth cheered the men, though their feet were cold and wet.

In the late afternoon of the third day, the column entered the town of Burn Howe, much smaller than Thorngarth and nor did it have a mighty castle standing like a sentinel on a hill. However, Richard Pierrot, the Thrang welcomed Guy and Owen into his hall as honoured guests, the men and animals also being found accommodation in houses, barns or simply pitching their simple tents in the grounds of the hall.

The people of Burn Howe had not been spared by the Winter either, their stocks too being very low both in food and fodder. The dominion was a mix of agriculture and sheep farming, the latter being the mainstay, and like Egton, they had lost numerous sheep to the bitter cold and snow, though not on the same scale. Richard was full of admiration for the gesture Walter had shown to Richard, explaining that even though Guy's father was one of the richest and largest landowners in the whole of Yolare, he would help the poorest and smallest of his neighbours. It was a great pity other thrangs did not have the same attitude. After a modest but filling meal in the hall, Richards wife and daughters left the men to talk.

'So do you intend to head south on the Knapton Road?' Richard asked as he gestured to three chairs placed by the fire.

'That is our plan my lord,' Guy replied stretching his long legs out to allow the fire to warm his feet. 'It would be safer, but longer to go by Garthdale and then head south on the road to Egton Low Moor. We do not have the luxury of time.' He went on to explain his father's instructions for bypassing Knapton and staying off the road.

Richard stroked his dark beard between his thumb and forefinger before replying.

'Lovell will know you have entered his dominion the moment you set foot across the division between his lands and mine. He takes little enough notice of the division anyway, his people, spies and troops are continually to be seen within the boundaries of my dominion, though he challenges anyone who crosses into his. I have no doubt, just like your father, that he will attempt to disrupt your journey.'

'But we are simply passing through!' snapped Owen angrily, 'It is the most direct and so the quickest way to my home, why should he interfere in something that does not concern him?'

Richard waited for the young man's anger to subside, placing another log onto the fire, sparks flying up the stack as he did so.

'One day you will become Thrang of Egton Low Moor,' he said quietly. 'Your word will be law, ultimate power lies in your hands, how you choose to administer that power within your dominion will not be challenged or questioned. Both of you have fathers to be proud of, noble men who are both warriors and wards at the same time. It is a lonely and difficult job, trust me I know, and the two of you will learn too in the years ahead.
Lovell is cruel, callous and rules his dominion by fear, he is not alone either, other thrangs are just as bad if not worse. However, it is his dominion and you are passing through it, and not just as a humble traveller but with a small army!

'But my lord, the troops are merely for protection of our supplies, we mean no harm to anyone or anything in his dominion.' Owen answered, 'Surely he must know that?'

'Indeed he does, of that I have no doubt,' Richard continued. 'He probably has no need of what you carry, but will probably demand a portion of it as a right of passage through his land. It is his way of showing your fathers that he is the power in his own dominion and they can do nothing about it, lest of course they declare war on him.
He will cause you trouble simply because he can and will certainly enjoy it at the same time. A way of testing two future thrangs, your strengths and weaknesses are what he will be looking for, a chink in your armour that he can exploit at some future time. How you deal with him when the time comes, will tell him all he needs to know.'

The two young men gazed into the fire, deep in their own thoughts.

                                                                    * * * * * * * * * * 

I hope you enjoyed this installment, please call back to read the continuing Saga of Yolare.

Monday, 8 February 2016

Wars of the Roses battle using Sword & Spear rules.

Having a lot of fun learning and attempting to teach the rules on my You Tube channel, however, I have a few photos of the action at the end of Turns one and two.

The Yorkists are holding a ridge line in the centre and the Lancastrians are advancing to meet them.

King Richard with his mounted men at arms moves out onto the flank.

The Lancastrians have a unit of light horse leading King Henry and his mounted men at arms.

Lancastrian archers, spearmen and foot knights advance in good order.

On the other flank, bill men advance to attack the Yorkist line.

The Yorkists defend the ridge line.

End of Turn Two sees the bill men get ever closer and Yorkist spearmen step forward.

The other unit of bill men need to catch up!

Lancastrian light horse advance toward the flank of Richards mounted men at arms, whilst the Lancashire troops continue to advance.

Arrows rain down on the foot knights, but they survive without loss.

Yorkist foot knights taunt their foe.

Having a lot of fun with this set of rules, they are ideal for solo play.