Welcome to the Blog of a Skirmish wargamer! I hope you enjoy reading it!

All my rule sets are freely downloadable from our club website's Downloads page

If you need to contact me my E-Mail address is richardbradley5@gmail.com

Thursday, 31 March 2011

Oliver Cromwell

Last Saturday, I was out with relatives rather than gaming (sigh!) but I was pleasantly surprised to end up sheltering from the inevitable rain in the Discovery museum in Newcastle (upon Tyne).
They have a gallery of Armour,Weapons and pictures celebrating the Scots Covenanter attack on Newcastle during the English Civil War at present.

Much to my surprise and delight, they also have Oliver Cromwells death mask, warts and all!

Here are a few pictures....

Sorry they arent the best pics, The exhibits were in glass cases and the area was dark!

Hope you find this interesting?

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

New Rules Version!

Hi there!

I have just redone the points system in the Medieval Skirmish rules used in the game below!

These are available at: Sword and Dagger rules, version 1a

I did the last version in an attempt to steer players into choosing more typical troop types armoured in a typical way.
This was a mistake! - I have realised the points system did not work so well for some lesser known forces, so I have simplified it and made the points more relative to my perceptions of how good the figures are in a game.

I hope this works, and I humbly apologise for my gross error!!

If you feel you need anything else adding or changing, in any of my rules, please contact me!

War is hell, isn't it!

Sunday, 20 March 2011

A Percy!, A Percy!

(In the period before the conflicts known as the Wars of the Roses, in northern Yorkshire especially, members of the Percy family, related to Henry, Duke of Northumberland, were in low level conflict with the Neville family, based in Cumberland and Westmoreland)

Sir Richard Percy stood watching the low, rolling ground ahead of him. Despite the smell and noises of his retinue men around him, Richard could still, just, make out the tell-tale clanking of the Nevilles coming down the valley.

 To the left, he could see the banner of the De Lacy family, most of who supported Richard, Duke of York, it is true, but Hugh was related by marriage to the Percies, and was loyal as they come...

 His retinue had many well equipped Men-at-Arms, but was lacking in Archers. Richard had placed him in the most hilly part of the battlefield where archery would be less of a danger. Additionally, Hugh lacked battle experience.....

 Behind the lines was a friend of the Percies, a certain Edmund Blackadder......

 Richards own men were mostly from his personal retinue, and well armed. several times they had bested the Nevilles, but the Retinue had shrunk since the last battle to provide forces elsewhere.

 At last, the Nevilles came into view, Richard realised he had been holding his breath, and let it out slowly. Yes, they had split their forces. This could work to his advantage. Perhaps the Neville commanders did not get on?, no, that would be too much to hope for...

 The main Neville force seemed to be going for De Lacy, hmm,-- plenty of lightly equipped archers and Scourours, with a fair number of Billmen. De Lacy would probably need some help.

 The Nevilles marched towards the Percy positions, the sound of clanking arms and low voices was becoming clearer, they were almost within a bowshot now...

 De Lacy and Richard, upon a signal, moved forward to take their prearranged positions, atop two low hills...

 De Lacy sent some archers into the valley,  - Richard could do nothing but watch in horror as dozens of clothyard shafts decended like so much snow and slew several of Hughs men.

 The Yorkists had deployed against the hill De Lacy was on, and made the most of the opportunity to shoot.

 The remaining De Lacy men gratefully took cover behind their hill, shaken by their first experience of an arrow storm.

Sir Laurence Catterall, leading the Yorkists against Richard, split his forces against both the Percies on the hill and those Richard had placed in a wood at the valley head.

Richards archers advanced and shot some shafts at Laurences forces, and the archers in the woods shot at the Yorkists threatening De Lacy...

Seeing De Lacy lose his archers, and seeing a lot of shooting going into his archers in the woods, Richard withdrew his men into cover, rather than fight an uneven fight in the Nevilles favour.

Sir Laurence had pulled back himself to the edge of some woods having taken little damage from the long range Percy shooting.but seeing the Percies fall back began again to advance.

The De Lacy forces, having regained their composure, now moved further up their hill - being careful to stay out of sight of their archers!

Sir Richard himself,-in cover- moved to the front of his archers position to await the Nevilles advance.

Having let the nevilles come closer, and seeing the De Lacy archers return to shoot...

Sir Richard advanced his archers to shoot, splitting his fire against both bodies of the enemy.

De Lacys crossbowmen, having fought bravely but caused little hurt, rejoined the fight.

Sir Laurences billmen began to fall to Percy longbowmen, evening the odds with Sir Richards men-at-arms, ere they meet...

Despite their losses, Sir Laurence commited his Billmen to an attack.....

...Which Sir Richard personally countered with a ferocious charge. The fight was fierce and confused.

While overhead the archers on both sides engaged in a fierce and bloody exchange of arrows.

On the De Lacy side the arrow fight was finally turning in the Lancastrian favour, and the Yorkist archers, taking severe losses,  began to flee...

They retired from the field, covered by their remaining archers, and the cavalry, which had done nothing but stand and watch the battle.
Sir Laurence, who belatedly had neared the melee his billmen were losing, decided to break off when he saw his ally retreat.

The Percies did not pursue, Sir Richard was exhausted after fighting in the melee, and was still weak after his wound in the last battle. He was heartened, however, to see the retreating Yorkist leaders apparently arguing and threatening each other as they withdrew!

Hugh De Lacy  - Phil
Sir Richard Percy - Richard
Sir Laurence Catterall - Lawrence
Sir Ralph Neville - Ian

The Rules were our own, freely downloadable from our club website: Link


Thursday, 17 March 2011

The lay of Gunnar

This was the third and final battle in the saga of Einar and Gunnar. The history and previous battles are available to view at:

1st battle: http://blog.tynesidewargames.co.uk/2010/06/viking-game-29th-june-2010.html

2nd battle: http://herkybird-richardbradley.blogspot.com/2010/11/einar-strikes-back.html


Einars little band of fugitives are trying to escape a vengeful Gunnar, who is trying to get blood-vengeance for a murder by Einar Scumbagga.

Einar is on a headland, awaiting a ship to escape from the pursuit, he needs only a couple of weeks before the license to kill him (1 year) expires.

Gunnar has located Einar, thanks to an informer, and has cut off the headland.

Vengeance beckons.....

The warfield was wooded
with many dark places
for Einar Oath-breaker
to hide from his foes
but no trees would stop
Gunnar's long quest for justice
Gunnar strong warriors
 were well armed with spears
they moved down the headland
in search of the guilty
the wolves would feed well
on Einar's bare bones
Forgrim, Trygge's brother
stood on Gunnar's left
his horses and bowmen
would help in this fight
this Olaffson feared not
the coming sword-song
Guthrum, Einar's kin
 was placed facing Forgrim
Doom-laden warriors
they raised the war-cry
they took no great part
in their kinsmans fight.
Guthrum sent slingers
to tarry with Forgrim
they lost in the battle
with Forgrims archers
Guthrum took shelter
from this arrow storm.
Einar own warriors
sharpened their weapons
Fell men were they
and knew battle well
they well guarded Einar
for he was their kinsman
Gunnar marched forward
the trees slowed him not
keen for swift justice
Gunnar, Ring-Giver
hastened to battle
his axe at his side
Forgrim moved forward
horn in his hand
he would call Gunnar
if he saw Einar
Forgrim went bravely
to battle his foes
Forgrim sent warriors
eagle eyed bowmen
they wounded their enemies
Guthrum the craven
fled from their fury
and went seeking cover
Einar moved forward
his purpose was clear
to cleave a way through
and escape Gunnar's trap
Einar called for Thor's aid
he and his sea wolves.
Gunnar sent warriors
to move behind Einar
and ambush his force
and weaken his strength
they moved in the trees
all hidden from view
Einars men turned
and charged their tormentors
they fought with them bravely
then drove them back
but Gunnars brave men
did not flee from the fight
Einars men assailed
Gunnar's brave warriors
they knew they must win
or die in the trying
Einar stood ready
to make his escape
Gunnar sent forward
slingers to face them
Einars men shot them
and forced them to flee
the slingers withdrew then
as Gunnar had planned
Gunnar deceived them
Einars fell warriors.
Einar pursued those
 pretending to flee
 Einar stormed onwards
and into their trap.
Gunnar came forward
and saw craven Einar
stood with his Berserkir
his archers sent arrows
but Einar escaped them
Gunnar's axe waited. 

Thorgrim came summoned
by Gunnars horn signal.
Their horses leapt forward
their prey lay before them
they cut off  all chance
of doomed Einar escaping.
Einar looked grimly
he now had but one chance
He must murder Gunnar
or die in the trying
he summoned a fury
 likewise his Berserkir
Einar charged bravely
but Gunnars axe bit him
his berserkir were no help
they went hunting archers
Einar strong sword hand
clove Gunnars shield.
Einar Scumbagga
continued the battle
 swift as an eagle
his sword descended
but he won no glory
for Gunnars axe slew him
The end of the battle
at Gunnars bidding
quarter was given
much blood had fallen
no more was needed
the great feud was over

The players:

Einar: Phil    Guthrum: Lawrence   Thorgrim: Ian    Gunnar: Richard

Hope you liked it? -- I did this one very different - in the style of an epic Viking poem!
But as you can see-I am no Skaldir!!

Einar died in ignomy
and burned up in the flames
I'm sure his figure will return
in more of our war-games!

However! - If you want to see Einar's view of this battle, then go to: Link