Sunday, 29 December 2013

Elizabethan Small Wars: Part 4: Irregular Wars - Mere Irish

I've been collecting 15mm figures for my Irregular Wars 'Mere Irish' Battle. 'Mere' is today a slighting term but originally meant 'pure', i.e. it designated the native Gaelic Irish. Galloglass and Kerns are compulsory in the army list before 1600 and Pike and Shot after 1600, but all types are usable across the divide. In 'set piece' battles there are 5 additional options which take the form of x1, xD2 or xD3 etc companies. So for any option you have to allow for more units than you might actually get to field on the table.

I'm currently planning the following units. Each unit is a company/base. Most of the figures are Khurasan Renaissance Irish, but others will be conscripted where required. I decided in the end to go with the standard 30mm square bases as I felt that larger bases would crowd the battlefield too much and alter the game. I could increase the playing area to compensate for larger bases but I want to keep the game compact and not too demanding on painting time.

2 Pike
2 Shot
3 Galloglass
4 Kerns
4 Horse
3 Bonnachts
3 Kern marksmen
2 Redshanks
1 Priest

I was also going to add some Spanish Targeteers but I think I'll postpone that and do a whole 'Spanish Expeditionary Force' Battle once Khurasan have released their Spanish range. For each extra Battle, you add a foot in width. Given that my club like multiplayer games, it will be good to be able to deploy a couple of Battles per side.

Pike. All Khurasan. The end figure is an ensign from the command pack.
Shot and Kern Marksmen. The first five figures are Khurasan. The others are Minifigs which are rather heavy by comparison so I won't be using them.
Galloglass. All Khurasan.
Kerns. I'm depicting these as javelinmen. The first three are Khurasan. The next three are from the QRF Tudor Wars range. They are good figures and mix well with Khurasan IMO. The last figure is Viking Forge. It's slightly heavier but passable for mixing. Obviously, there is a little flash to remove and some spears need straightening.
Horse. All Khurasan. I decided on the more modern type rather than the mediaeval-looking ones in mail.
Bonnachts. I'm depicting these as axemen. The figures are all from the QRF Tudor Wars range.

Redshanks. Viking Forge via It's a pity they're all in the same pose, but I wanted mailed Redshanks and these were the only reasonably-priced source.

Priest. This figure is from the Peter Pig pirate range and is obviously modelled on Father Jack Hackett.

I've photographed the figures using my new light box and an overhead daylight lamp. The tracing paper gives a very grey cast so I'm aiming to replace it with white tissue paper.

My camera is a Canon PowerShot A590 IS. I used a mini-tripod and set the camera to aperture priority, but I don't really know what I'm doing yet. I use the camera for snapshots. Maybe I need something better, but my first priority is to improve the use of what I've got. The pictures were adjusted using Auto Correct in Microsoft Office Picture Manager and rotated in Photoshop to make them more level.

Pikes. If there's one thing I can't abide it's bendy pikes. I'm therefore replacing all pikes and similar with these excellent 50mm wire spears from North Star. Luckily the Khurasan pikes are not moulded on so I don't have to cut them away or drill holes. At least with 15mm and above it's practical to replace pikes. It's not really practical for 10mm and certainly not for 6mm which rather puts me off doing pike armies in those scales.

These pikes are genuinely sharp and will discourage other players from squashing my figures. In a previous life my ancient figures were notorious for their pins and piano wire spears, but they've been out of action for a long time.

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