Sunday, December 27, 2009

Disney World - Days 1 to 3

Before the end of the year, I need to memorialize our Disney trip, while the memories and details are still fresh.

The basics of the trip were a Sunday to Sunday 8 day 7 night trip, with the intention of staying on the Disney property the whole time. In general, with the age and temperment of the kids, we were looking to do as much of the various parks as we could, knowing that we couldn't push the kids too hard. A warm forecast the first half of the week meant that we should be able to mix in pool time to wind down after time in the parks.

Sunday 12/13 - Day 1
We have booked a late morning flight on Southwest so that we do not have to get up at dawn in order to get to the airport. This is going to be a long enough week without having to start day 1 at 5am. With no desire to leave a car in the airport garage for 8 days, and not wanting to impose on anyone for a ride, a private car picks us up at 8am for the short ride to the airport to catch our 10:55am flight. It is about 40 degrees in Philly as we leave, and I know the forecast in Orlando is 80's for the first few days; we are all anxious for the warm weather. We get checked in and through security very quickly and arrive at the gate to wait. The girls are very excited about the flight, although both are also nervous. Grace has never flown, and Julia has not flown since she was about three or four, so she has no real memory of it.

Soon enough we are on the plane, take off, and Philadelphia drops away below us. Grace is mezmerized, and handles it like a trooper. Instead of being scared, they are both thrilled. The 2.5 hour flight to Florida is uneventful, and the girls are well behaved. Stepping off the plane, we are met by a blast of warm humid air, which feels great. We are going to be depending on Disney for everything on this trip and do not have a rental car. We find the Magical Express bus to Disney, and off we go. Part of the service at the deluxe class resorts is that Disney handles your baggage for you and delivers it right to your room without you ever seeing it or touching it. Being a worrier at heart, I am somewhat skeptical, but they do this for a living, right?

It's almost 3pm when we arrive at the Beach Club resort, and we all love the look of the place. It only takes a few minutes to get checked in and pick up our meal plan vouchers and other assorted paperwork. We have beaten our baggage to our room, as it was expected that we would, so we have some time to kill before the kids are able to swim, which is all they can talk about. We walk around the property, specifically checking out the pool, which is hard to describe, but is a series of interconnected "lagoons" and "streams", some of which have sand bottoms and "beaches". Very cool. Now the kids really want their bathing suits.

To stall, and since we haven't eaten much all day, we find a nice little bar in the hotel to grab sandwiches and drinks. Good food, but also the first sticker-shock moment of the trip. Disney certainly requires that you have a degree of emotional detachment from your money in order to not go insane. Hey, exorbitant as it is, we budgeted for it, right?

The rest of the day passed quickly, with luggage arriving, girls swimming, another light meal in there somewhere, and ready for bed. With all four of us in one room (two queen beds), I was concerned that nobody would sleep. It would necessitate that the girls be up somewhat later than they normally would, and Amp and I go to bed earlier than we normally would - make our schedules meet in the middle. On the first night, Julia was little congested and slept fitfully, which made it a little difficult for all but Grace, who can apparently sleep through a tornado...

All in all a good start.

Monday 12/14 - Day 2
Everyone was a bit tired from yesterday's travel and getting used to sleeping in the same room, so we let the kids sleep in before rousing them and getting them ready for a day at a park. Especially in deference to Grace, you pretty much need to start a Disney trip at Magic Kingdom, so after donuts and coffee in the hotel room, off we went. Everything looked beautiful with the holiday decorations, and the girls were very excited. I don't think Grace quite knew how to react to the size of everything.

We took things at a leisurely pace, and did much of the back part of the park, while also enjoying some of the stage shows and holiday themed street performers. In the Mickey's Toontown Fair section, Grace rode on her first rollercoaster, the Barnstormer, which is also the first rollercoaster that Julia ever went on when we were here in December of 2003.

The only downside to the day is that Julia is still not feeling one hundred percent, and we are worried that she might get worse before she gets better. She is able to keep up, but is not having as much fun as everyone else.

After leaving Magic Kingdom, we have time for an hour in the pool before having dinner at the Cape May Cafe in the hotel. Before turning in, we spend an hour or so strolling the boardwalk around the lagoon that contains our hotel, the Yacht Club, and the Boardwalk Inn. Bed by 10:20pm.

Tuesday 12/15 - Day 3
Julia is feeling mostly better today after a pretty good and pretty long night sleep, which is a great relief. Morning and afternoon are spent at Animal Kingdom, which is both Amp's and my favorite park.

High for the day was around 87 degrees, so after Animal Kingdom, everyone wanted to go back to the pool and relax. We ended up eating a simple dinner at the poolside grill.
The highlight of the day was the evening's Christmas party at Magic Kingdom. The lighting, music and fireworks were just spectacular, and the parade was a huge hit with the kids. Picture taking was difficult, but that's to be expected.

Two exhausted kids got to bed near midnight and fell asleep quickly. Yay!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas recap - 2009

Well, the kids made it through another one without bursting into flames. Much excitement, tearing of wrapping paper and squealing in delight. Good stuff. The girls were very pleased with their gifts. Julia got all things Pokemon, and Grace was very into girly things this year - makeup, hair stuff, etc...

On the food front (a critical component of the day), dinner was a simple yet classic herbed beef tenderloin roast with shallot and red wine reduction, green beans, and ridiculously rich scalloped potatoes, all washed down with a light chardonnay while cooking and a spicy red Vacqueyras while eating.

Personally, I got some nice clothes which I wanted very much, and a few books. On the history side, there was Michael Mallet's Mercenaries and Their Masters; Warfare in Renaissance Italy, and a reprint of F.L. Taylor's The Art of War in Italy, 1494-1529. Very much looking forward to digging into these. On the cookbook front (I love to cook and have a pretty nice cookbook collection), I received Jacques Pepin's More Fast Food My Way, and Madhur Jaffrey's From Curries to Kebabs, Recipes from the Indian Spice Trail. Pepin is my hero; he is a master of technique, and in recent years has put out a number of books that concentrate on simple good food, the kind of recipes that can be made on a weeknight. Several of his recipes from Fast Food My Way, the predecessor to this book, have become routine go-to recipes in our house. We also love Indian food (and need to make it more).

There is one other Christmas gift coming for me that I am very excited about but will likely not get here for another week or so. I will post pictures when it arrives.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Happy Holidays 2009

No, I have not dropped off the face of the earth. The family returned from a week in Disney World (Orlando Florida) last Sunday, and between that and the requisite (and rushed) Christmas preparations, things have been pretty hectic. I will get back to the blog over the holidays, and hope to have some time to paint at least a little bit in between glasses of wine. In the meantime, here are a few pictures of the Lyons clan at Disney.

Tuesday evening. My girls at Magic Kingdom at night during Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party. The lighted castle was a sight to see, with the lighting colors rotating through a variety of pinks and purples. Spectacular fireworks later, of course.

Tuesday, Hollywood Studios. Julia and Grace were pulled out of the audience during the High School Musical 3 street show, and got to participate during one of the dance sequences.

Tuesday, also Hollywood Studios. Again, Julia and Grace got pulled out of the audience to do a little dancing as part of the Disney Pixar Block Party Parade, which is that park's big parade down the main street.

Monday, Magic Kingdom. Julia and Mom go for a ride on the Snow White Carousel.

Happy Holidays to everyone, of whichever type of holiday you choose to celebrate (or not). I hope the holiday season and the new year find you and your families happy and healthy. Cheers!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Miniatures Planning - HYW To Do List

I have everything in-house that I need to complete my base army, I just need to finish some painting and other miscellaneous tasks. Items needing completion:
  • 24 foot hobilars are primed and need painting. This will add 8 stands, or two units of 4.
  • 30 foot men at arms are going into a Fernando order that will go out this week. This will add 10 more stands (I base my foot knights at 3 per stand even though they are close order so that you can see the nice paint jobs better - quirky personal preference...).
  • 20 stands or so worth of archer stakes need to be made as a scratch building project.
  • Base painting and flocking needs to be completed.
  • A few specific banners need to be ordered from the Flag Dude.

From a pure quantity perspective, I should probably have more longbowmen, but I have 20 or so stands of Wars of the Roses militia longbows that can stand in if I need to put together a larger than usual game. Other than the anachronistic helmet here or there, it is hard to notice the difference in figs.

Again, I have everything I need to finish the French, I just need to complete the painting. Needing completion:
  • 30 foot men at arms are going into the Fernando order. With some of the command below, this will add 12 stands, or three units of 4.
  • 10 foot command are going into the Fernando order.
  • 30 pavisier spearmen need to be painted. I'll do these. With 2 command, this will add 8 more stands.
  • 18 or so mounted men at arms need painting. I'll do these as well. Six more stands.
  • Base painting and flocking needs to be completed.
  • A few specific banners need to be ordered from the Flag Dude.

For extra quantity here, I would add more men at arms (foot and mounted) if the mood struck, but they shouldn't be necessary for all but the largest game I would run.

Allied Troops
It's always nice to have an assortment of other troops to be able to add into games for variety beyond just the basic main sides, so to this point I have small contingents of Spanish, Germans and "generics". Needing completion:
  • 4 Spanish jinetes need painting to finish a pack. This will add two more stands.

Beyond this, I don't really need anything else, although I will probably do another pack of Spanish knights to get them 3 more stands and be able to do three units of 2, rather than the simple 3 stands I have now.

As far as buying more figs, if anything I would probably just buy a single pack of this or that (whatever struck my mood) on occasion in order to add a unit or two. This would be a nice position to be in, because it would allow me the flexibility to paint whatever seemed fun at the time rather than painting out of necessity.

Looking at it logically like this, it all seems very manageable, especially given that I am going to be sending out some of the work to contract painters.

Miniatures Planning - English Hundred Years War

Much like the prior post on the French, this is a muster of the English host. The picture shows the assembled masses, with the French muster in the distance. Everything on this side of the left to right road is part of this army.

In the front rank are 7 single leader figs, 4 single banner bearers and a general stand for King Edward III. One of the leaders is Edward Prince of Wales, the Black Prince. (most need flocking)
  • The left-most column is 12 stands of dismounted hobilars (need flocking).
  • The next two columns are 24 longbows (9 are complete, the rest need flocking).In the center are 17 Scots spearmen (need flocking).
  • Behind the Scots are 10 stands of Welsh longbowmen (bases need painting and flocking).
  • To the right of the Scots are 15 foot men at arms including general stands for the Black Prince (on foot), Warwick and Salisbury (need flocking).
  • On the right are 4 stands mounted men at arms.

In the far background and far right distance are some allied troops:

  • 3 German mounted men at arms plus a single leader figure (need flocking).
  • 8 spearmen in 2 blocks of 4 each (done). These are Scots figures but have shorter spears and were painted in 2 uniform blocks to represent mercenaries from wherever, or just generic spearmen.
  • Behind the pavises in the back are 8 stands of crossbows. These are representatives of a mass of crossbowmen from the "Liegnitz - Mongols in Europe" range that look so generic they tend to stand in as crossbowmen from whatever period I need. For later periods, Wars of the Roses crossbowmen serve the same purpose. I have not bothered to get crossbowmen from this specific period, and may or may not at some future point. Not a priority...
Well, it's off to "Brunch with Santa" soon for me and the gang, so goals and plans will have to wait for later, but at least this finishes documenting the current state of the HYW project.

One last picture - what the other half of my table looks like a the moment, backdrop removed. This is why I need a backdrop for pictures...

Miniatures Planning - French Hundred Years War

I suppose the first thing that needs to be done when contemplating the remainder of a project is to take a moment to take stock of where you are. With that in mind, I took down the France 1355 game, putting all the French on one side of the board and all of the English on the other. I then pulled out all remaining figs that weren't on the table, regardless of their state of completion. Only bare metal figs stayed off table. Everyone else mustered for review.

The picture at right is the result. Keep in mind that where named general stands and single leader figures have been made, I am doing the personalities for Poitiers (1356). General stands where noted have the correct banner, other banners are a mix of HYW flags from the Dansk website or Flag Dude. [links at right]

In the front is a general stand for King Jean. It needs one more fig and then flocking. Next to the King is a single stand carrying the Oriflamme sacred banner (needs flocking).

In the second rank is a priest stand and 4 single leaders and 3 more single banners. Some need re-basing, all need flocking.

In the "main body":

  • At left is a column of 10 stands of Breton bideaux light infantry (complete).
  • Next come three large blocks of pavisier spearmen, totalling 18 stands (complete).
  • In the center are three columns of dismounted men at arms, totalling 22 stands. These include general stands for the Dauphin Charles, the Duc de Bourbon, and the Comte de Brienne. (1 stand needs a banner, 3 need flocking).
  • At back left, behind the pavisiers and bideaux are 9 stands of militia infantry (need flocking).
  • At right are 9 stands of mounted men at arms (complete). This includes general stands for Marshal Arnoul Audrehem and Lord Douglas.

Behind the French right are the Spanish. They include:

  • 3 jinete light horse (need flocking).
  • 3 mounted men at arms (complete).
  • 10 light infantry (need base painting and flocking).

In my next post, I will catalog the English, as well as detailing my end goal and how I plan to get there.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Wargames Terrain - Painting a Backdrop

One thing I have noticed as I have been taking pictures for these blog postings is the number of times there is clutter in the background. My gaming table is a 6' by 8' table that I built myself, with a raised lip around the edges (to hold in terrain boards etc) and shelving underneath for storage. Often for smaller games, I will clear off the near half of the table, making a 4' by 6' playing area, and leave the other half heaped with a multitude of stuff.

Functional, but not great for pictures. I decided I needed a backdrop for a view block, so tonight I taught myself how to paint a crude landscape. I have a largely unfulfilled interest in model railroading, which mainly consists of reading some of the magazines. At one point a few years ago, I picked up many of a series of instructional DVDs that Model Railroader put out. One of the things I remembered seeing was a multi part series on how to paint a basic backdrop. I found the DVDs, watched the two episodes on backdrops, and had a go at it.

The resulting backdrop is a spliced-together foamcore board 6 feet long and 20" high. Foamcore is basically two sheets of heavyweight cardstock sandwiched around a 3/16" foam center. The sky was painted first in a series of light blue shades getting lighter toward the top. I left some of the brushwork uneven to give the effect of a hazy sky without going for the puffy white cloud look. I then roughed in the rolling hills with various shades of olive green, brown and gray, blending clumsily as I went. Lastly, clumps of woods were added in by roughly dabbing in blotches of greenish-gray. The result is clumsy perhaps, and is certainly not fine art by any means, but I think it will serve its purpose well as a first effort. (I am already wondering how to paint in the hint of a little village nestled between two of the hills in the background - but that would probably be pushing my luck...).

All painting was done with cheap little bottles of acrylic craft paints from Michael's, a craft store chain (Folk Art brand paints at $1.29 per small bottle). I already had these paints, but probably wouldn't have had to spend more than $10-12 if I had been starting from scratch and purchased wisely. The whole project took less than 2 hours from beginning to end, and probably half that time was mulling over blended shades of paint... mixing... pondering... mixing...

The backdrop in place behind the remnants of the recent France 1355 game:

A wider shot showing the effect of dropping it down the center of my table, hiding the junk behind it:

I probably will not leave well enough alone, and will either try to make this one better, or do another one with what I have learned in doing this. Altogether, fun and useful. Hmmmmm. Maybe I could be a landscape painter... Ooooooh, shiny......

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Miniatures Planning - December 4, 2009

After letting some thoughts percolate for a while, and having gotten in a good Medieval Warfare game in the meantime, I have decided that my next project will be a two-pronged approach to complete both my Hundred Years War and Wars of the Roses armies.

I will work on finishing the HYW armies myself. Preliminary review would have the following still needing to be completed:
  • Make about 20 stands of archer stakes for my English.
  • Paint 30 English dismounted men at arms.
  • Paint 30-40 French dismounted men at arms.
  • Paint 30 French pavisier spearmen.
  • Paint 24 English foot hobilars.
  • Paint 4 Spanish jinetes.
  • Paint 18-20 French mounted men at arms.
  • Order specific banners from the Flag Dude (see link in Links section).
  • Finish flocking and seal coating all the bases.
  • Maybe make some more movement trays.

This would finish all the HYW fig stock I have on hand. I don't really need to buy anything else, so if I can get this painting done, I will be able to run a game that will pretty well fill my 8' x 6' table. As a bonus, many of these figures will be able to serve double duty in my upcoming Ottoman project, such as Nicopolis 1396, which included many western Europeans.

Finishing the War of the Roses project will be a partial cop out - I am in the process of prepping a batch of figures to send to Fernando Enterprises in Sri Lanka. This will primarily be retinue archers and billmen in specific livery colors. In the 2 months or so that that order will be in progress, I will try to complete my HYW painting. If I can keep to that time table, or close to it, I will be in a good position to paint the remainder of the WOR cavalry and leader figures myself in late winter/early spring 2010.

If all goes well and I give myself 3 months for each project, I should be done by the end of May 2010.

Battle Report - France 1355, Part 3 of 3

Situation end of turn 9. Casualties are beginning to mount for the English side, while 3 French foot men at arms units are advancing in echelon in the center (one is partly obscured behind the hobilar unit on the hill). English shooting continues to be miserable, with a penchant for going low on ammo. French crossbow fire is outdueling the longbows. In the foreground, the English cavalry losses continue to mount, with two of the three units near losing a stand and fragmented as well.

Situation end of turn 10 (below). The calm before the storm. The English have continued to edge backwards to form a better line on the second set of hills, while the French take the opportunity to spend their orders organizing themselves for the final push to come.

Turn 11. The French onslaught. The French, having gotten organized in the prior turn, launch an all out assault all along the line, and in a display of fine dice rolling, have won every melee. The English are being pushed back, the French are following up, and the last couple of uncommited French foot units are coming up in support. With no remaining reserves to speak of, the end has come for the English. Nothing remains but for the Black Prince to order the general retreat and save what he can for another day.

I think the game served its purpose - Dave and Ryan had a good introduction to the rules, and I had the opportunity to work on some of the finer details. There were a number of things I left out for simplicity, some things I flat out did wrong, and some nuances we missed. Most were minor. The bigger ones were:
  • I purposely ignored the option of going "Frenzied", which would have helped the French cavalry especially, as irregulars (French knights) can attempt to go frenzied, while trained troops (including English knights) cannot.
  • We did Retreats wrong, which is an easy fix, but changed the way some melees worked out. Basically, we got the retreat part right and the pursuit part wrong, which allowed units to get away from being stuck in close combats that they were losing when they likely would not have been able to.
  • In a case of bringing baggage along from another rule set, we mistakenly played that units moving more than half cannot shoot. In reality, any amount of movement incurs the same penalty (a +1 die roll modifier) but does not prevent shooting. This would have helped the English throughout the game, as adjusting their lines caused their longbowmen to lose turns of shooting when they shouldn't have.

All in all, a fun game, and has decided for me what my immediate future plans are. More on that in the next post.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Battle Report - France 1355, Part 2 of 3

Turn 5 (below) saw the consolidation of the respective armies' positions, with the English setting up a defense and the French preparing to come to grips. The cavalry battle continues to rage in the foreground, with additional English mounted men at arms trying to hold off the more numerous French. With the French being handled brainlessly, they are wracking up more losses than the English, and are in danger of losing their numerical superiority. In the center, the longbowmen holding the central hill decide that discretion is the better part of valor, and beat a hasty retreat from the advancing French foot men at arms. The men at arms gladly advance to take the hill without a fight. A unit of foot hobilars moves up to block the men at arms, but for the time being, the hill belongs to the French. In the distance, Breton light infantry advance out of the woodlot to test the defenses on the far flank. In keeping with his horrible shooting, it was somewhere around this time in the battle when the aforementioned Breton light infantry were Arrow Barraged by Ryan's longbows at close range. He need 8 or less on a d10 to hit, and rolling four dice came away with 4,9,9,10, for one lousy hit (and went out of ammo in the process).

End of turn 6 is shown below. The cavalry battle in the foreground is going well for the English at this point, having sent a few French units fleeing. With more French in the second line, the English grip their lances a little tighter and wait for the counterattack. Elsewhere on the field, there was much shooting, or in the English case, much missing. In the center, the valiant hobilar unit threw itself into the French men at arms, hoping to buy enough time for a more solid defense to be organized behind them. The fates smiled on the brave English, who fought the French tin cans to a draw, clogging up the middle for another turn. Time was not looking like it was on the English side however, as more blocks of French men at arms and spearmen were converging on the English lines.

Turn 7 (below) saw the tide in the cavalry battle began to go against the English as the greater French numbers began to wear them down. In the center, strong units of French dismounted men at arms were closing fast.

The situation at the end of turn 8 is shown below. Due to time constraints, this is the last turn Dave and Ryan were able to play, although part 3 of 3 to be posted soon has another three turns that I played solo the next day. As can be seen in this close up of the center, French men at arms are driving back the English, with more coming up in support. It is fair to say that the ineffective shooting of the English longbows was a key to the French success to this point. Instead of being weakened in any substantial way by longbow fire, the French men at arms were charging into the English lines virtually unscathed. The English conversely had been getting plinked away at with some success by the crossbowmen in French employ.

Tomorrow I will try to post the conclusion of this game, along with a recap of what we did wrong (it was a training exercise after all), what I intentionally left out of the game/rules for simplicity's sake the first time around, and what we learned. All in all a great way to spend a Friday evening. Thanks Dave and Ryan!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Battle Report - France 1355, Part 1 of 3

The day after Thanksgiving, Dave, Ryan and I got together for a fairly impromptu Hundred Years War game using Saga's Medieval Warfare Rules. I have played the rules at conventions and like them a lot. I have never taken the time to learn them as thoroughly as I should, however, as it is easy to let the gamemasters at the cons lead you through things. One of the main purposes of this game, other than to get together and push some figs around, was to work on getting us up to speed on the rules, with the hope of bigger things to come.

As an aside, thanks to Jeff Ball, Bruce Taylor, Perry Gray, and the late Terry Gore for all the wonderful games at the HMGS shows over the years. I would strongly urge gamers to support Saga - good games and good guys!

I decided that we would do a Hundred Years War battle between the English and the French. For purposes of this as a learning exercise, I made the scenario a meeting engagement, which would probably be unusual for the period, but would work well for our intended purpose. My thinking was that it would be good to have a few turns where Dave and Ryan were getting used to the basics of the Orders system and maneuvering their units around without having to worry too much about the combat mechanics. Dave would command the French, Ryan would command the English, and yours truly would assist Dave by commanding the French cavalry (which would consist intentionally of marching my cavalry onto the battlefield and hurling them at the nearest English with no prep or planning - hey, what could be more historical!).

The initial set up is shown below, from the French side. A French infantry command is moving onto the field to the right, and a second infantry command is moving through the village in the near center. The third French command, under Audrehem, Marshal of France, would be composed almost entirely of mounted men at arms, and would arrive in the following turns left of the village. The lead elements of the English army, under command of Edward Prince of Wales, crown prince of England, "The Black Prince", can be seen moving to occupy the central hill in the middle distance.

Situation end of turn 1, from the English side, is shown below. The French, showing blatant disregard for English archery, are pouring onto the field as quickly as possible in column. Mercenary crossbowmen lead the advance of the French left (from this view), while more crossbowmen and pavisiers pound up the road in the center. Dave is gambling that the mass targets of being in single stand column are worth the risk in order to contest the central hill as soon as possible. English longbowmen deploy to cover the hill while Scots spearmen move up in support. In an occurance that will become comically repetitive before the night is over, English archery is ineffective.

Situation end of turn 2, from the English side, is shown below. English longbowmen have begun forming a battle line anchored on the central hill, while the Italian mercenary crossbowmen in French employ advance in swarms, pavises in tow. French infantry support in the form of dismounted men at arms and pavisiers continue to pour onto the field. The lead elements of the French mounted nobility, led by Marshal Audrehem himself (yay me!), can be seen approaching from the upper right. The Duke of Suffolk, commanding the English advance guard, sends word to the Black Prince to advance with all haste. English archery is ineffective, to Ryan's chagrin.

Situation end of turn 3 is shown below (English to the left). It is clear that the battle for the central hill will dominate the attention of both commanders. The English have formed a solid line, while the French have their hired crossbowmen at the fore, pavises in place, to try to duel with the longbowmen. The French foot continue to arrive and form up for the inevitable mad rush at the English. The lead elements of French men at arms hurl themselves wildly at a large block of Scots spearmen, with predictable results. Pointy sticks 1, horse riding tin cans 0. Ryan shoots again and...misses...a lot. A unit of English men at arms can be seen at lower left.

Situation end of turn 4 below (English to the left). At the bottom of the picture, the French men at arms insist on continuing to charge everything in sight, regardless of the wisdom of doing so. Results are predictably bloody to both sides, but more so to the French (this was actually intentional insofar as it was both historical and really fun!). In the center, the French foot mass for an assault on the hill, a fight that will take many lives in the ensuing turns. French crossbowmen continue to peck away at the English, while the English longbowmen miss everything in sight. A clear pattern has developed at this point that Ryan will win every close combat random die roll and continue to be unable to hit ANYTHING while shooting.
I will post part 2 of 3 as soon as I can. In retrospect, there were some things that I was intentionally skipping over in the rules in order to simplify things, and some things that we clearly did wrong (or just didn't know better). I will recap all of this at the end. The important thing is that me, my brother and my nephew were having a few beverages of choice and having fun spending some quality time together.
Maybe in part 2, the English will be able to hit the broad side of a barn while shooting. Or maybe not, Ryan...
On reviewing this post, a few things are obvious. First, I need to finish the bases on these stands - simple green paint looks ugly in good resolution photos. Second, the flags carried by many of the English units, from the Flag Dude (see favorite links), are so much nicer than my French flags printed off the internet. Lastly, I need a backdrop for photos so that you don't see the mess that is the other half of my gaming table...yuck. Amateur hour!