martedì 11 aprile 2017

Lion Rampant - Armies on the cheap #3 Late Middle Ages

After the Hundred Years War, in Western Europe the armies were largely homologate. French kings issued Ordnance to regulate the earlier feudal armies, the first step toward professional armies. The Burgundian duke Charles the Bold, followed this trend. An other factor of uniformity was the availability of large bodies of troops, left unemployed by the end of the war. Some of them became mercenaries, giving birth to the "Free Companies". English longbowmen could so be found all across the continent, together with the Swiss and Flamish pikemen. During this period the transition toward the prominency of infantry in the battlefield is almost concluded, with increasingly larger blocks of pikes opposing the heavy cavarly. Nevertheless the latter still had an importantant role.

In Italy the fighting cities (now became Signorie), massively employed mercenary Condotta, led by Condottiere, usally a minor noble (or not in the line of succession) devoted to warfare to gain glory and wealth. There was a core of heavy and light cavalry, but included also many infantrymen. Sometimes more infantry was provided by the countries who hired them.

The last big conflict of the medieval age were the Wars of the Roses: a dinastic war between Lancaster and York for the throne of England lasting between 1455 and 1487.

We own to this conflict the wealth of 28mm plastic miniatures we can use to represent almost any war in western Europe during the second half of 15th century. This time I'll deal only with one manifacturer: Perry Miniatures. Let's see what their range offers. In Italic the description taken from their website. The boxes cost 20£ each, and can be found here.

Plastic Wars of the Roses Infantry 1450-1500, bows and bills (40 figures). You can build up to 30 bowmen, up to 18 billmen and includes 4 fully armoured command.
The most specific "English" set, especially for the billmen. Anyway, as I stated Longbowmen could be found as mercenaries all across Europe.

'Mercenaries', European Infantry 1450-1500, pikemen, crossbowmen and handgunners (40 figures). You can build up to 12 crossbowmen (with pavises), up to 12 handgunners, up to 18 pikemen (12 of which can be converted to polearms) and includes 4 command figures.
The most useful - generic armies: using this box you can depict almost any infantry for any army of the period.

Mounted Men at Arms 1450-1500
This box contains 12 mounted Men at Arms that can be used for most European armies. There is seperate horse armour for mounts if needed and 7 different horse heads (25 in total). The Men at Arms have 14 right arm options and 12 head options (per 4 riders). There are also lance,sword,mace, warhammer,axe and standard pole/spear options.
Here you must play attention to the heads: there are at least two style of helms: one is well suited for Italian armies, the other for German knights, which include a wealth of mercenaries employed in Bohemia, Hungary, Germany (of course), Baltic states, Transylvania and East Europe in general. They can also be split between Knights and Sergeants, if you decide to place armour only on some horses.
Foot Knights 1450-1500
The box contains 38 multi-part plastic figures, 17 flags, unit bases and infomation sheet.
 This box is a little tricky: I don't think many players need so many Foot knights, at least if you're not playing WotR. Especially if you consider Lion Rampant, in which the Foot Men at arms are depicted as units of 6 models. Of course, some could be deployed as particularly armoured billmen, but my suggestion is to split this box between two or three gamers.

Light Cavalry
The box contains 12 plastic horsemen that can be assembled with light lances, crossbows or as mounted archers. It also contains parts for command figures, banners and historical infomation.
It's a very useful box, suitable as Mounted Yeomen or Mounted Sergeants. As the knight box the usefulness is increasesd by the fact exactly that exactly 2 units may be made from this box.

Even if the majority of the boxes allows us to make 40 miniatures, where most Lion Rampant armies would need 42 or 48, the Perry twin allow us to buy single sprue from the WotR range (only the infantry commands) allowing us to round up many units.

Luca's Italian Condotta Infantry from European Mercenaries box

Example List

2 Mounted MAA @12 points
1 Foot Sergeants @4 points
2 Foot Crossbowmen @8 points

This list for example needs just two box: European Mercenaries and Mounted Knights. They can represent a fairly generic Italian Condotta.

My Colleoni Mounted  MAA from mounted knights box
3 Foot Sergeants @12 points
2 Crossbowmen @8 points
2 Bidowers @4 points

Here you would need 2 European Mercenary boxes.

"Split list" 

Done splitting the boxes between two players.

War of the Roses (or Free Company)
1 Foot MAA/Mounted MAA @ 6points
1 Expert Sergeants @6 points
2 Expert Archers @12 points

If you have a friend and buy 2 Wars of the Roses Infantry and 1 Mounted/Foot Knight boxes, you can each field one of this army.

Alternatively you can field them with one Wars of the Roses Infantry, plus the command tow left over and one single sprue of commands.

German Armies
1 Mounted MAA @ 6 points
1 Mounted Sergeants ± Crossbow @ 4 points 
2 Foot Sergeants @ 8 points
1 Crossbowmen + pavises @ 6 points

Needed: 2 European Mercenaries (1 per player), 1 Mounted Knight, 1 Light Cavalry.
Germany was divided into a number of cities, leagues and feudal entities, often at war between them, against the enemies at the borders as Hungarians, Danish, Burgundians, Flemish (can use the Swiss list), French.

More list will follow...

3 commenti:

  1. Nice looking condotta and mounted MAA, lovely kits.
    Best Iain

  2. Good read, We also made a Lion Rampant Renaissance campaign.
    il blog:

    e la pagina della campagna: