Sunday, 17 May 2020

Dragon Rampant: The Trolls/Orcs

I continue to plough through my Rampant armies adding filler to the bases. Here is another of my Dragon Rampant warbands which has recently had the bases levelled as part of the Great Lockdown Leap Forward.

Following Poul Anderson's world, these are Trolls but they're equivalent to Tolkien's Orcs (who Tolkien sometimes called Goblins). Anyway, to avoid confusion for other wargamers, I will probably have to start calling them Orcs and reserve the name Trolls for larger figures, a couple of which are also featured below.

The figures come from various manufacturers. It's been a while since I bought them, but I'll do my best to identify them. Their physiognomy is similar (I avoided very pig-like features) but clothing styles differ. I'm confident the divergent styles will be brought together once I get some paint on them.

These larger Orcs (Reaper) will provide the Troll King and units of Bellicose and/or Elite Foot.  It's now common to assume that Orcs should be violently green-skinned. Anderson's Trolls and Goblins are both green, but Tolkien visualised his Orcs as swarthy and 'Hunnic' in appearance. I'm compromising on this by painting my Trolls (Orcs), Goblins and giant Trolls in a light olive green, but Hill and other Giants will be completed in human skin tones.

The mass of Trolls/Orcs will be fielded as Offensive Heavy Foot. Some of the more weedy ones may be drawn out as Scouts. The most appropriate Trolls I originally found were the CP Models Orc clubmen but it's a very small range, so I also ordered all the Reaper figures I thought would do, and then added some from a new range by Elite Wargames. I also bought some newer armoured Orcs and Orc bowmen from CP Models but these are disappointingly crude and lumpy designs and I won't be using them.

These Half-Orcs (ex-Grenadier from Mirliton) will be Offensive  Medium Foot. I looked at the Grenadier Orcs but they were anatomically very extreme and I think Trolls and similar are most sinister when they are closer to human form.

There are a few bow-armed figures scattered amongst the various types. These will be ignored or used to indicate units additionally armed with missiles depending on how I want to field things.

Ogres (Otherworld). Great figures but the spear arm on the lower right one was a devil to fit.

Various opportunistic Nasties as Troll/Orc allies. Front row: A Witch (Magister Militum) with Rat (Eureka) flanked by two large Trolls (North Star). Back row: An archetypal 'Fairytale' Giant and a Fantasy Viking-style Frost Giant (North Star OGAM).

Wolves (various manufacturers) as Lesser Warbeasts. They do look a bit puny now, especially next to my wolf-riding Goblin cavalry.

Saturday, 9 May 2020

Dragon Rampant: The Elves

Clockwise from bottom left: Elf King, Champion,
Companions, Shaman, Enchantress, spearmen,
swordsmen and archers. The figures will
have a variety of greens and reds etc added.
As I said before, my 28mm Elves and Trolls (Orcs) for Dragon Rampant were to be based more on Poul Anderson's The Broken Sword than on Tolkien, but in actuality I've been restricted by what was readily available in the form of models.

My Elves are 'old school' Grenadier miniatures now sold by Mirliton in Italy. They're obviously Celtic rather than Viking (as I originally conceived), but they're lovely designs and the castings are very clean.

They were previously photographed in a game but I’ve since expanded their ranks and added filler to the bases.

Despite the Celtic look, organisation is still posited on Viking lines so there are Huscarls (High Elves) and Bondi (Wood Elves). I prefer to deploy the archers amongst the spearmen so that every single unit in the warband has a sting. This really unsettles opponents!

There is also a Grenadier Shaman (Druid) and a Reaper Elf Enchantress.

Friday, 1 May 2020

The Pikeman's Lament: My 1671 Spanish and Buccaneer companies

Devoid of the usual May festivities I’m devoting this not-as-merry-as-it-could-be month to work on a range of Rampant armies. My overall minimal aim is to level the bases with filler, and get them all undercoated and base-coated while we wait 18 months for a Coronavirus vaccine or herd immunity.

To kick off, here are my 28mm companies for The Pikeman’s Lament based on the Buccaneer attack on Panama of 1671. The Buccaneers are flintlock-armed veterans, the Spanish firelock-armed militia.

The figures are mainly North Star and Blood and Plunder.

The Spanish (1): Back row: Mounted Captain, Gun and crew, Horse. 
Front row: Lanceros, Pike.
The Spanish (2): Three units of matchlock-armed Shot.
The Spanish (3). Front row: Captain on foot with some extras. Indian scouts as Commanded Shot. 
Back row: Armada de Barlovento (Marines).
The English: Four units of flintlock-armed Buccaneers with their Welsh leader, Henry Morgan.