Sunday, October 23, 2016

WE ARE FIVE YEARS OLD! Warfare Miniatures at school age

Forwards! Get that guy from Warfare Miniatures!

When I decided to take full ownership of Warfare Miniatures in 2011 I had little idea what lay ahead. I never possessed an intention to get involved in the engine room of wargaming much preferring the less complicated view from the upper decks as semi-passenger and idle commentator.

The very first code WLOA1 which happens to be our best seller

Below decks in the bowels of the ship there is a lot of unseen work which gobbles up your time and to a certain extent appears to produce nothing tangible at the end.

Skane War Swedish Life Guards

The interaction with the creative team, distributors, shops, artists, customers and trade publications takes a huge amount of time. I have often had the crazy thought 'just what could I do with this business if I had all my time to devote to it?' but, I realize this is as previously stated, a crazy thought.

Turning great sculpts into..

I remember Nick Eyre once saying to me, 'you'll never get rich as a figure manufacturer' and I believe that to be true however, Warfare Miniatures has become a self sufficient and profitable enterprise with the capability to continually support its own expansion at no financial risk. That is success by my definition and means that all projects begun will be completed.

The Quindia Flag range has helped hugely in establishing our credibility

From a modest 9 codes we have expanded to 143 in the space of five years and with superb support from our main sculptor Clibinarium and our casting partners, Gwen and I have managed to build a sustainable hub of 17th centuryness to supply our loyal customers.

This was definitely a good idea Gwen - thanks

Our plans are to continue growing and modifying our offer but remaining firmly planted in the centre ground of the 17th century/early 18th century.

The wagon range has been a winner

The GNW is expanding at a steady rate with cavalry for both the Russian and Swedish armies being sculpted now. New Russian infantry have been recently released and the Swedish gunners will shortly appear in the shop. We are refocusing on the Grand Alliance period with new mounted dragoons appearing shortly together with brand new codes and ideas.

Some of my favourites.. the French to be revisited

Shortly we'll have a limited but very special offer as a thank you to everyone who has made Warfare a success and I hope some customers old and new will avail themselves of it.

Another aspect of the range customers seem to dig

Suffice it to say, owning a figure company was a surprise. I agreed to take it on mostly to help out a now sadly departed friend who started the whole thing - Spencer Warner. I am sure Spence would be very proud of what has been achieved from his original idea and would have been coming up with a huge number of new ways to serve the wargaming community had he still been with us.

There are also some hidden gems

A big thank you to Clib, Leon, Dave, Steve, Clarence, Adrian, Andrew, Bob, Bob, Dave, Gerry and Gwen all of whom have made super contributions to keeping the show on the road. I also thank the small investor group who got behind the Great Northern War range and helped turn an idea into something quite special.

Finally, thanks to all of our very loyal customers and I can truly say they are worldwide from Japan to Czech Republic, Ukraine to Australia, Sweden to the US.

OK, I've convinced myself, I'll give it a bit longer

We are selling to 27 countries which means there is wargaming interest in the backwater of the 17th century in a lot more places than might be imagined!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Warfare Miniatures R11 GNW Russian pikemen at the charge

R11 Pikemen at the charge

These chaps are wonderful. With their pistols tucked into the waist belt and looks of determination on their faces I enjoyed painting them very much.

They will fit into a firing line and an attacking battalion equally well. Examples of both will appear on the blog soon.

For now just enjoy..

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Swedish Command S11 and S12 - painted after 18 months

Swedish Command Marching S11

Well, yes the models have been available for 18 months and maybe they have not sold as fast as other codes because I never got round to painting them and putting these nice versions in the shop!

Senior officer - possibly the colonel
No nonsense Sergeant
Elegant Drummer
Open handed Colour bearer
The second colour bearer

Both are for use with marching battalions with code S12 ostensibly for a karpus wearing battalion. Officers in the Swedish and Russian armies seemed to avoid the peasant style headgear, opting for tricornes.

S12 Command marching - drummer and NCO in karpus

The two drummers contained in these codes are wonderfully detailed and were very enjoyable to paint.

Sergeant in karpus

The drummer is a fine lad!
Could equally be and Ensign


Ensign or Colonel?

I will revisit a special Drummer feature post sometime soon.

Snuck in from S20!!

The combinations available with swords, standards and polearms mean the command packs are particularly versatile and able to be swapped around on command bases.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

GNW Early period Russian musketeer

nice pose and elegant, slender sculpt

I like this figure. I like its slender upright look and the detail on it is fantastic. It was a test sculpt and has not gone into production. I have no idea what the demand would be for it nevertheless, I am painting myself a couple of units of the type right now.

figure from various angles

I am experimenting with different uniform combinations and may end up with a battalion in which each company has a different colour combination.

messing around with colour combos

I thought I would let the community have a butchers and see if there is any interest in the model.

will probably combine these in the same unit

The top layer of the uniform coats is Pale Sand.

I thought the combination of colours worked here

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Battle of Reunion Concluding Part - Bob's view - The Williamites speak out

Toggy walks us through his conclusions about BLB3, the Reunion Priory scenario and gaming with an army composed entirely of Raw Williamite troops....

A hard fighting Enniskillener from Warfare Miniatures

An eagerly awaited game with Barry and Dave and another chance to play test the latest version of BLB which we had briefly played at Claymore in August.

As usual a very simple looking table, a ruin centre stage and two armies facing off against each other.

I gravitated to the Williamite side of the table, just to make a fuss of  one of Barry's cats, a decision that would have dire consequences for the future King of England.

From the Enniskillen Museum - soldier of 1689 photo by PA.

After a brief chat about the terrain, Barry told Dave and myself about the fantastic martial abilities of the opposing forces, I can only wonder how happy I must have looked when my entire army was graded as raw, the sushi of late 17th century warfare.

After this initial shock, Barry then told us that there were no superstars in Dave's Jacobite force, just a couple of drilled horse squadrons and the Duke of Berwick's horse guard and the Kings Foot Guard, both drilled elite. As my force was approximately 25% larger and most of the troops were similarly matched I thought the Williamites could walk away from this battle victorious.

Hamilton's Regiment - they ran when Tiffin's broke in front of them (collection of BH)

The plan was to get a unit into the ruins and defend then try to use my superior numbers to gradually wear down James' army. Initially this got off to a good start when a unit of horse rode down the Jacobite dragoons, who dispersed into the Irish countryside never to be seen again. This was a new mechanism in the rules, where the charging horse unit goes up one dice level which enabled them to cause a few casualties and win the combat. Dave did the rest with poor dice for morale.

These Enniskillen troops fought hard but were broken by the dynamic Berwick (Painted by Peter McCarroll)

However this was to be the high watermark for this rag-tag army of recruits, for despite managing to get a unit into the ruin, the lack of fighting ability of these raw troops, which is very well replicated by having to score 6 on a D6, was their downfall. The Jacobite force had just enough trained troops to cause a steady drip of retreats and routs, although by no means did the raw troops collapse completely. In fact under the new amendments it was quite easy to keep full brigades in order, until casualties became quite high.

James' Foot Guards managed to take the ruin and Berwick's Life Guard fought to the last man to destroy the Williamite horse & dragoons on the right flank, meaning that when the Williamite Foot started to leave the field the battle was won.

A dragoon horse holder - could be from either side (painted by DOB)

As mentioned the new rules have several new ideas for BLB players, but tie in with Donnybrook and give a fast paced game which is definitely BLB based. A very enjoyable game, which all of us felt would have ended with the same result, but a lot quicker if using BLB2.

Looking forward to the next game, Barry says I can have one unit of raw/elite troops this time.

Ed: Only if you are a very good boy , eat up all your strawberries and desist from taking pictures of trucks.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Normandie - October break some nice stuff

One of the two completed casements at Pointe du Hoc

Occasionally on the blog I will include some non period specific items because they are interesting and are worth sharing. On my fourth trip to Normandy in the last 13 years I revisited some places which have become familiar to me.
The grave of Michael Wittmann and his crew

How I could have missed this on two previous trips? Look at how worn the ground is!

The German Military Cemetery at La Cambe was until 1948 a US War Graves site.

In particular I wanted to find the grave of Michael Wittmann and his crew in La Cambe German Cemetery. I had visited twice before but never thought to look for it. As you can see from the pictures it was difficult to miss for a couple of reasons. The very peaceful cemetery at La Cambe was until 1948 a US war graves site until the American Servicemen were repatriated for burial at home. The crosses do not mark graves but plot numbers. All German graves have flat stone markers with two men buried in each. There are some exceptions with multiple remains interred together such as Wittmann's plot. The earth around Wittmann's grave was trodden bare and his plot was one of the few but not the only one with flowers and candles. However wrong the cause he espoused, it is clear that he is still recognized by many as a heroic soldier.

Bomb or 15 inch naval shell hole? Chris Hilton down a 20 foot crater at Pointe du Hoc

Despite the titanic bombardment many bunkers remain intact. Inside of a command bunker
View across the apocalyptic Pointe du Hoc position from the west

An open 155mm gun position - they didn't have time to complete all of the casements

The German gunner's perspective. Ground level view from an MG cupola towards the cliff edge

Intact Forward Observation bunker right on the cliff at Pointe du Hoc

German view of 060644 - Pointe du Hoc FO HQ looking to England

FO HQ from the cliff edge. Looking into the slit which the last shot looked out of

The Rangers came up here using rocket propelled grappling hooks fired by hand!

Looking west, Utah Beach around this point - taken from Pointe du Hoc

Looking east - around this headland - Omaha Beach. Taken from Pointe du Hoc

We wanted to visit Pointe du Hoc again to marvel at the lunar landscape and the site of the daring assault by the US Rangers. On a beautiful autumn day we crawled and climbed for about 90 minutes marvelling at the place. As someone in our party said. Why would anyone want to fight a war on a day like today? Very true.

Bloody Omaha looking west towards Pointe du Hoc

Following the surreal experience at Pointe du Hoc we took in the beautiful, peaceful, clean and gentile stretch of beach which was Bloody Omaha. Humans transform tranquil pieces of the planet into hell and then after a while they revert back to what they always were.

Bloody Omaha looking east towards Arromanches and the British attack zones

From our base in the former home of Bishop Odon of Bayeaux, half brother to William the Conqueror we are perfectly positioned to do some more exploring. Tomorrow It will be the Chateau Riviere which I can see across the fields about three miles distant. It was once a major fortress owned by Odon's descendants. It was inhabited until 1698. It was a German munitions dump in 1944 which was fought over and dynamited before the American's could take it. Now it's a stork sanctuary!

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