The Royalist Army - Part 1
After what seems like an eternity this past couple of years I have finally decided that I must get back to doing some of my own projects and look ahead to whatever time I have to play wargames in the future. After much deliberation with what projects I should pursue and which I should sideline I found myself wondering about my favourite wargames period. This took me back to where it all started for me and that was the English Civil War and indeed the Battle of Naseby 1645, a battle which more or less ended the Royalist cause and gave control of England to Parliament.
During the summer of 1983 I caught a train and travelled to a shop in Stafford town centre that sold amongst other things, wargames figures. I was hoping to buy 15mm Minifigs Wars of the Roses figures back then but they only sold them in 25mm scale and the only 15mm figures they had were either Napoleonics (which I already had in 20mm plastics) or English Civil War, both being from the Minifigs range. I liked the sound of Cavaliers vs Roundheads (as I thought back then) and duly bought £25.00 worth which at 7.5p a figure was a fair amount back then, and I spent £5.00 on a little Osprey book about the Battle of Naseby written by Stuart Asquith and Peter Gilder. After that my love for the ECW period grew and although the figures have long been sold off I have replaced them with a massive amount of 28mm ECW figures from most of the current manufacturers around.
Anyway back to the plot, I have recreated the battle before at least three times in 15mm and mostly enjoyed the game although I have always wanted to do the battle in 28mm and felt that having built up a massive amount of figures over the years I would really like to do this sometime soon as it would focus my efforts on some of my own figures/armies with my free time. Although the rules I use have changed many times and my understanding and knowledge of the period has grown I still have that Osprey book and I still think that it is a very useful aid to wargaming the battle.
For a start off I need a pretty large table this being around 18ft wide and 8ft deep given the unit sizes and dispositions. The depth is a bit troubling as who can reach to the centre of an 8ft deep table, but I have a work around for that so a 6ft deep table will suffice with an extended depth where the Royalist reserve is. The terrain is fairly simple with only Sulby Hedges required as a main building project. The armies weren't overly large unless you count the cavalry which numbered at least the same as the infantry, so all in all about 500 foot and 650 horse, with maybe 4 small field guns. This being based upon my own mostly standardised unit sizes. As for rules I have several sets that I could use which all equally give a good game, so no real problems there. I do already have a 12ft wargames table but cannot reasonably fit a table of 18ft in my house, however a marquee tent and outside table could easily be doable in the garden which perhaps would be quite nice really.
For me the easiest place to start is the Royalist army, I already have most of what it takes to field this so it is well worth looking at this in detail and then assessing what I need to paint or finish off to field the army in full. So, starting off I need to look at the commanders and see how they are looking.
Firstly, King Charles I.
This vignette of King Charles I and his standard bearers I painted a few years ago and very happy I am with how it turned out. The model of Charles is a Wargames Foundry figure with a Warlord Games plastic sword attached and he is seated upon an Old Glory horse with some additional modelling work to add length to the mane, all of which was inspired by the Sir Anthony van Dyck painting. The Royal Standard Bearer is an Old Glory cuirassier and horse with the addition of a metal arm and plastic flag pole from Warlord Games. The King's Gentlemen Pensioners Standard Bearer is another Old Glory cuirassier and horse with the addition of a plastic flag pole from Warlord Games. The flags of course are from my own Wargames Designs collection. Looking at it now I am less happy about the Woodland Scenics fine turf grass scatter as it looks more suitable for 15mm scale figures so I will redo that with a course turf scatter at my convenience.
Next we have the irrepressible Prince Rupert.
This lovely little vignette was painted for me as a gift many years ago and represents Rupert on his way to Naseby. The figure is of course from Warlord Games and really does look great, but I do have a few other versions of Rupert and would love to see him with a personal standard bearer. So maybe I should paint one of them and see which one I like best, also I do like the Empress Miniatures version which has Rupert in a Montero cap which is apparently from an eyewitness account.
This is an Old Glory figure of Prince Rupert converted to sit upon a Plastic Warlord Games horse. This is a nice enough figure but maybe requiring the bulky sword blade to be replaced with a nice slim plastic blade from Warlord Games.
Sir Bernard Astley.
This is again another Old Glory ECW figure and horse, and I do actually think it is indeed supposed to represent Lord Astley, either way it is Lord Astley in my army, it also doubles as Sir Jacob Astley but don't tell anyone. I think maybe one or two foot figures added to the base and he will look fine.
Sir Marmaduke Langdale.
I wanted him to look like a no nonsense sort of fellow so I chose a simple Essex Miniatures horse sculpted on a saddlecloth and converted a Trent Miniatures miscast Lord Byron and a head from I think, Redoubt Enterprises. He certainly looks the part and just needs a suitable standard bearer to go on the base with him.
Well that's it for the main commanders, I now know what I need to do to finish them off to the standard that I require so expect an update fairly soon.
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Stephen Wylde BA (hons)