Sunday, 3 February 2019

The 'Mercenary' Theme is Now Up! ...and Curt's 'Mauvais Garcons', Mercenary Captain and Great Gun

Hi All!

The 'Mercenary' theme round is now up in the gallery page, so please head over to the gallery and enjoy all the entries.

This round the theme is 'Mercenary' and we have wide spectrum of interpretations of the topic from medieval Flemish mercenaries, and modern contractors to 40K Kroot and Star Wars villains. It's a panoply of all things avaricious and dangerous.

After you've enjoyed in the gallery please take a little time to vote for all your favourite entries.

Again: Blogger has a glitch dealing with large uploads occurring over a short period of time. So, when you advance to view the next submission it may skip one or two ahead. Yes, it's a pain. Anyway, the way to ensure that you're seeing all the submissions is to use the list of posts on the right sidebar to advance through the list of entries. 

My entry for the theme round is  a doughty, if somewhat hapless unit of French pike being led in by their mounted German mercenary captain and supported by a great gun.

The French, with a few notable exceptions, were not especially renown for fielding effective pike formations. Where the Swiss cantons and German landsknechts had the pike market pretty much sewn-up, the French expertise lay more in their heavy cavalry and artillery. From reading David Potter's 'Renaissance France at War' it was not uncommon for inexperienced pike French formations to acquire foreign mercenaries, who, being more seasoned in the profession of arms, helped steady the ranks. 

The French liked to muster their troops from particular provinces or townships, which gave each unit a bit of 'local colour'. For example, men from Picardy, led by the reported libertine Mssr. Monclou, were known as the mauvais garcons (literally translates as 'bad boys). A bit of a rude chap himself, Monclou was executed in 1523 for his 'depredations' during campaign (not especially surprising when your employer is the Pope, but there you have it).

Last year, my good pal Millsy was kind enough to paint up a schwack of Perry plastic pike for me so I could field another unit for my Italian Wars collection. After the hurly-burly of the summer, and being distracted by other projects this autumn (I'm looking at you 'Titanicus'), I've finally managed to get this mob flagged, pimped-out, and based-up to roll with my other units.

This pike block is nothing but a top-heavy delivery system for my brazen grasp at a few meager theme points from the mounted German mercenary I managed to paint up. This is a Perry-sculpted figure from the Wargames Foundry range of Landsknechts. I love these figures as they are so wonderfully characterful and satisfyingly hefty. The Perry's did a great job in sharply defining the puff-and-slash of the clothing which makes them really fun to paint.

It always seems to take me an age to get the figures placed in some kind of sensible arrangement, and since I like having my pike blocks bunched in tight, I found that I was a few figures shy to fill in all the bases. Not a problem! I estimated the space I needed to fill-up and then printed a few gabions on the handy-dandy 3d printer. In the end I'm happy with the overall look of the unit, slightly broken up, weaving their way around a line of light fortifications.

Both of these units I've based in an autumnal theme to match with the rest of my Italian Wars stuff. (Thankfully I keep a 'hobby recipe book' as I have a bad habit of bouncing between periods and always, always forget how I did things - so it helps keep things straight in my noodle.)

Millsy also painted me a trio of gunners as Curtgeld last year. And so like the pike, I've been holding on to these until the Challenge to get them matched up with an appropriate gun (this one being an old chestnut from Warhammer Fantasy (RIP)). As I had a spare gabion left over from the pike unit, I popped it on the base for a bit of visual interest.

For points? Only the gun, the mounted mercenary and the banners count, so let's place it at 25 points.

I want to thank Millsy very, very much for the brilliant figures - they're a wonderful addition to my Italian Wars collection. Thanks again mate!

Okay, folks! Have a great week and start thinking about the next theme round: 'Water Feature'.