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The Barons War – Free book adventure

The Barons War – Free book adventure

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Project Blog by dugthefug1644 Cult of Games Member

Recommendations: 373

About the Project

In March 2022, if you were part of a gaming club Footsore were giving away single copies to clubs of The Baron's War Rulebook. (Until they run out try this address... [email protected]) Got one of the free rule books for my club. (Thank you Footsore Miniatures & Games.) I think we will probably try the Dark Age Conquest supliment version of the game first because I have a painted Saga minis collection I can point up. That likely route to playing hasn't stopped me starting to kitbash a retinue from fantasy and Dark Age sprues to be playable in the actual Barons War period around 1215.

This Project is Active

Galwegian Retinue Completed

Tutoring 1
Skill 3
Idea 3
1 Comment
I wonder whether a 500 pts list in this game should be more elite. I think that the de Percy retinue matches this one fairly, but am conscious that only one side has knights beyond the leaders and this seems important though this is without playing the game yet.I wonder whether a 500 pts list in this game should be more elite. I think that the de Percy retinue matches this one fairly, but am conscious that only one side has knights beyond the leaders and this seems important though this is without playing the game yet.
I am already considering the changes I might make to progress to a 750 pts list without vere playing a game. I realise that this could all have been a folly if I don't like the playing aspect of the game. I enjoyed Test of Honour, I have found an interest for the Barons' War era so I hope there will be a hook in the game that continues to hold my interest.I am already considering the changes I might make to progress to a 750 pts list without vere playing a game. I realise that this could all have been a folly if I don't like the playing aspect of the game. I enjoyed Test of Honour, I have found an interest for the Barons' War era so I hope there will be a hook in the game that continues to hold my interest.
I will probably add small Wargames Atlantic Irish shields to the spearmen here and unit the two spearmen units and add some foot nights to build up this force.I will probably add small Wargames Atlantic Irish shields to the spearmen here and unit the two spearmen units and add some foot nights to build up this force.
I will definately find a way to send the archer galowglas back to his three fellows and make them a veteran unit as I build the retinue in points.I will definately find a way to send the archer galowglas back to his three fellows and make them a veteran unit as I build the retinue in points.

Spearmen - padded out the list

Tutoring 0
Skill 3
Idea 3
No Comments
The last of my Antediluvian Miniatures purchase are painted up and my 500 PTS is painted.The last of my Antediluvian Miniatures purchase are painted up and my 500 PTS is painted.
Painted in the same fashion as my shield adorned group of 4 I think I may just add some small shields to these guys in future and lake them a unit of 8Painted in the same fashion as my shield adorned group of 4 I think I may just add some small shields to these guys in future and lake them a unit of 8

Percy procrastination

Tutoring 4
Skill 5
Idea 5
No Comments
I should be finishing my first retinue. Instead I found an excuse to build and paint these fellas. De Percy crossbowmen from FireForge Games.I should be finishing my first retinue. Instead I found an excuse to build and paint these fellas. De Percy crossbowmen from FireForge Games.
Keeping the yellow and blue theme and keeping them a little cleaner than the other force.Keeping the yellow and blue theme and keeping them a little cleaner than the other force.
A head swap from a Frostgrave Soldier sprue seems a touch small, but variety is fun.A head swap from a Frostgrave Soldier sprue seems a touch small, but variety is fun.

Shield designs - The command group is completed

Tutoring 5
Skill 5
Idea 5
No Comments

I asked the below on The Barons’ War FacePage.

“I don’t mind if things stray from the historically accurate. It’s a game. Acting out a skirmish that never happened this way with toy soldiers.

That said… We know perhaps what the Knights and Barons had shield designs and colours wise because of the snippets of heraldic history from the age… But would the retinue have the same shield design as their lord, or would there be a distinction. I know the colours on their tabards etc. would help link them to their lord, but what about shield design?”

The consensus was that the knights often kept their heraldry strictly to the head of the family / strictly to the person earning their knighthood, but occasionally sons of the Lord / Baron.

The heraldry conventions hadn’t been as formalised as it was later in the period and apparently uniform tabards that matched your Baron’s family colours etc. were also a way off being a convention of war.

The Douglas battle cry was “A Douglas, A Douglas!” which suggests to me that you had better shout who you are for fear of being stabbed by your own side. That the name carried an element of fear that would perhaps make a less determined combatant find someone else to fight or somewhere else to be.

Archibald of Douglas with his pennant and foot sergeants. Archie holds the three star shield, but his men have an additional black band to show they are kin or trusted retinue but they are not The Douglas.Archibald of Douglas with his pennant and foot sergeants. Archie holds the three star shield, but his men have an additional black band to show they are kin or trusted retinue but they are not The Douglas.
The lion rampant on the blue field is a Lord of Galloway device and there seems to be evidence that if you didn't have a shield of your own family, or something provided from your Baron's armoury, you could carry something related to you region. (That's my excuse and I am sticking to it.)The lion rampant on the blue field is a Lord of Galloway device and there seems to be evidence that if you didn't have a shield of your own family, or something provided from your Baron's armoury, you could carry something related to you region. (That's my excuse and I am sticking to it.)
The black stripe is enough of distinction for me. The Douglas clan didn't really get the distiction of the Black Douglas / Red Douglas distiction until later in the era, but it allows me to have fun and keep close to what I was doing before.The black stripe is enough of distinction for me. The Douglas clan didn't really get the distiction of the Black Douglas / Red Douglas distiction until later in the era, but it allows me to have fun and keep close to what I was doing before.

Starting with the enemy. De Percy Mounted Knights

Tutoring 9
Skill 9
Idea 9
1 Comment
I tried some freehand diamonds and found it tough. I have plenty of practice to come, so fingers crossed.I tried some freehand diamonds and found it tough. I have plenty of practice to come, so fingers crossed.
I looked up Percy hereldry later in the period and found fish as an emblem so tried my hand at some pike/salmon type fish.I looked up Percy hereldry later in the period and found fish as an emblem so tried my hand at some pike/salmon type fish.

Spearmen - mail males - Antediluvian Miniatures

Tutoring 8
Skill 8
Idea 8
No Comments
These turned out great.These turned out great.
I hadn't seen the shields when I bought them. Enjoyed the freehand on this one.I hadn't seen the shields when I bought them. Enjoyed the freehand on this one.
Now that I know they have the shields I can add those against their point cost when I go to build higher point retinues with what I have.Now that I know they have the shields I can add those against their point cost when I go to build higher point retinues with what I have.
I am enjoying the weathering on this project. Not sure why poor Angus deserved such trauma to his eye. Perhaps he'll die before the story is properly told.I am enjoying the weathering on this project. Not sure why poor Angus deserved such trauma to his eye. Perhaps he'll die before the story is properly told.
Very cool pose drawing his sword. I might have to get more of this style of minis. Very nicely sculpted.Very cool pose drawing his sword. I might have to get more of this style of minis. Very nicely sculpted.

Painted galowglas

Tutoring 7
Skill 8
Idea 8
2 Comments
These guys were easy to paint up. Grey primer. Dark washes and then added the base colours, weathering, touchups, done . Finding that you do lose some time washing early, but I really like that you see a lot of details clearer as you start to pick out your base colours. These guys were easy to paint up. Grey primer. Dark washes and then added the base colours, weathering, touchups, done . Finding that you do lose some time washing early, but I really like that you see a lot of details clearer as you start to pick out your base colours.
Grey Seer highlights and Nulin Oil shadows gave me the grimdark I was looking for.Grey Seer highlights and Nulin Oil shadows gave me the grimdark I was looking for.
I think I used Army Painter Pure Red and then a new Vallejo orange red as highlight. (New to me, will update with name).I think I used Army Painter Pure Red and then a new Vallejo orange red as highlight. (New to me, will update with name).
I usually try to draw in all the lines of my plaid, but for this one I added some red and white dots and at a short distance it looks more interesting. Up close it doesn't look as great, but I am content. 😊I usually try to draw in all the lines of my plaid, but for this one I added some red and white dots and at a short distance it looks more interesting. Up close it doesn't look as great, but I am content. 😊

Dürer Galloglass

Tutoring 7
Skill 8
Idea 8
No Comments
Had to look up the sketch that inspired the sculpts I picked up from Antediluvian Miniatures. Was fascinated by the odd helm being worn by the spearman and wondered how to paint it.Had to look up the sketch that inspired the sculpts I picked up from Antediluvian Miniatures. Was fascinated by the odd helm being worn by the spearman and wondered how to paint it.

I had always heard about galloglas / galloglass warriors from Ireland and the fact that they fought in the same styles and with the same gear for centuries. The Dürer Galloglass sketch has been one of the few sketches taken / survived of this fearsome, much sought after mercenary warrior class but much later in the period. Thankfully nothing about their look stands out as late medieval so they will give my retinue the Galwegian Irish Scots flavour I was hoping for.

Antediluvian Miniatures Dürer GalloglassAntediluvian Miniatures Dürer Galloglass

Galwegian Archers

Tutoring 7
Skill 8
Idea 8
No Comments
Fun mix of minis and I think the scheme drags them together. Fun mix of minis and I think the scheme drags them together.
A commenter on Facebook had this to say A commenter on Facebook had this to say "Alwyn could not hit the broadside of a barn, but he had ways to compensate for that :D" I usually name my own minis, but Alwyn was christened for me.
Primed with Halfords red primer then hit with different washes and Contrast paints and they look similar enough to the Bretonian in the group to keep unity.Primed with Halfords red primer then hit with different washes and Contrast paints and they look similar enough to the Bretonian in the group to keep unity.

When I look to swell my ranks to a higher points game I think these archers will get a few more men, remain green, but Alwyn with the huge sword will be added to my foot sergeants with double handed swords instead. With more points to play with that unit can be pushed up to veteran perhaps so they pack more of a punch.

Painting the mounted sergeants.

Tutoring 8
Skill 10
Idea 9
3 Comments
Painting the mounted sergeants.
These are painting up OK. I think grey horses are typical in the era. The shields are a touch too grubby given that they are mostly out of the mud in their saddles.These are painting up OK. I think grey horses are typical in the era. The shields are a touch too grubby given that they are mostly out of the mud in their saddles.
The tan / off white is made up of steel legion drag, zandri dust, morghast bone and wraithbone. Not all mixed together or layered with all of them, just selected and the lighter colours supporting as highlights depending on what area I am painting.The tan / off white is made up of steel legion drag, zandri dust, morghast bone and wraithbone. Not all mixed together or layered with all of them, just selected and the lighter colours supporting as highlights depending on what area I am painting.
Grey Seer for the main body looks nice amongst the tan of the others Grey Seer for the main body looks nice amongst the tan of the others
I am adding different horse colours for variety. Not sure I enjoy painting horses, but it's a necessary evil.I am adding different horse colours for variety. Not sure I enjoy painting horses, but it's a necessary evil.

Ideas behind the forces

Tutoring 7
Skill 8
Idea 8
No Comments

The de Percy family stood against King John after the Magna Carta was clearly not being upheld by the King. With my initial primary school level understanding it felt like the Magna Carta ended the war, but in actual fact it only really represented an armistice. The fact that promises had now been made and not upheld only seemed to add fuel to the fire. The conflict erupted again, now almost as a duty and a requirement to uphold the signed pledges made, rather than just disagreements and grumblings of discontented Barons.

The Scots under William fought on the side of John previous to the Barons’ War. Alexander II seemed to lean towards the side of John also. The lands of Galloway though technically still autonomous at the time generally followed the line of their larger neighbour. King John called upon the Lords of Galloway to fight against the Welsh in conflicts before the Barons’ War but I haven’t seen much about them fighting in the Baron’s War. The Lords of Galloway had interests in lands in Ireland, ruled over some of the isles between Scotland and Ireland and appeared to be admired militarily.
My excuse for pitching these nobles at each other is partly the later feud the Douglas’ and Percy’s had and partly the scale of the game. These are literally just 25 to 50 men against 25 to 50 men encounters and each unit is not trying to represent a regiment, just the 4 or 5 men in each unit. So can I game in the gaps of history and say that a rouge Galloway laird, The Douglas family not yet established as one of the powerhouse families of this era, chose to take a small retinue into de Percy lands to upset the apple cart and technically support King John as an old ally of theirs? I think so. And could de Percy, in open warfare with the King, strike out in a small way against his Gaelic / Scots allies so long as it didn’t incite a wider conflict in the North? I think so.

Turns out... That individual Earls / Barons had their own shield emblem etc seemingly each generation, but all themed to the hictoric choices the family has used before.Turns out... That individual Earls / Barons had their own shield emblem etc seemingly each generation, but all themed to the hictoric choices the family has used before.
... And their men would be dressed differently so that the leader stands out from the common rabble. People fighting in the era would no doubt see the colours and emblems and recognise which liveries were linked with which barons.... And their men would be dressed differently so that the leader stands out from the common rabble. People fighting in the era would no doubt see the colours and emblems and recognise which liveries were linked with which barons.
Antediluvian miniatures sell some nice Scots and Irish sets from the era and I used those to give that Scots / Irish flavour that I want for this retinueAntediluvian miniatures sell some nice Scots and Irish sets from the era and I used those to give that Scots / Irish flavour that I want for this retinue

List Building

Tutoring 6
Skill 6
Idea 6
2 Comments

Slinger Levy.

Tutoring 5
Skill 8
Idea 8
1 Comment
Slinger Levy.
Using some Slingers from a Saga project plus a couple of ones just for Barons' War.Using some Slingers from a Saga project plus a couple of ones just for Barons' War.
Stolen from an Irish Saga force.Stolen from an Irish Saga force.
Love the smell of plaid on a project. Smells like victory.Love the smell of plaid on a project. Smells like victory.
Slinger Levy.

Kitbash mounted sergeants

Tutoring 5
Skill 7
Idea 7
1 Comment
Making a start. Kitbashing fun. Conquest Games horses, Gripping Beast Dark Age Horseman bodies and maces and heads from FireForge Foot Sergeants and Conquest Games Knights.Making a start. Kitbashing fun. Conquest Games horses, Gripping Beast Dark Age Horseman bodies and maces and heads from FireForge Foot Sergeants and Conquest Games Knights.

Bits box gift - part deux

Tutoring 7
Skill 9
Idea 10
2 Comments

Another bits box find. The body is from an unknown source. (Though had a suggestion that it might be a Bretonian peasant of some kind). It had several studs on the surcoat which seem to be more of a Hollywood convention rather than something historical. I clipped and trimmed off the studs. The arms connect at the elbow not the shoulder which is not typical amongst most of my collection of minis. The helmet is from an Oathmark Human sprue. With little chain mail on display I chose to paint his chest to look like a leather tabard, but the suggestion is that there’s mail beneath his puffed out clothes.

The shield is from a NorthStar kit. I realize now that finding him a scabbard would help him look a bit more believable.The shield is from a NorthStar kit. I realize now that finding him a scabbard would help him look a bit more believable.

Bits box gift

Tutoring 7
Skill 10
Idea 9
No Comments

I asked if this mini was in the right era for Barons War on their FB group page. I was reminded that the Perry twins sculpted the GW Bretonnians and they would typically leaned into the historical side of fantasy in their minis. Most people said he fits in fine, but perhaps the helm is a bit ahead of it’s time. I now wish I had more of them, but this was a one off find in a friend’s bits box. They were letting me forage through their bits box because they wanted to lend fresh parts from kits I have never had to feed my love of kitbashing. I think I still have Conquest Games plastic Medieval archer minis spare to flesh out my first lists and hopefully blend fine with this fine fellow.

Bits box gift

First ideas, first kitbash

Tutoring 8
Skill 9
Idea 10
No Comments
The sergeant on the right has the kettle hat helm, arms and shield from the Frostgrave Soldiers sprue and the body of a Frostgrave cultist.The sergeant on the right has the kettle hat helm, arms and shield from the Frostgrave Soldiers sprue and the body of a Frostgrave cultist.
NorthStar Frostgrave Cultists bodies have some great multi layer clothing that look like medieval surplus/ tabards. The poor knight on the left has a Wargames Factory / Warlord Games head and the arms with mail are from a Viking Gripping Beast sprue. The shield is from a NorthStar Soldiers 2 sprue.NorthStar Frostgrave Cultists bodies have some great multi layer clothing that look like medieval surplus/ tabards. The poor knight on the left has a Wargames Factory / Warlord Games head and the arms with mail are from a Viking Gripping Beast sprue. The shield is from a NorthStar Soldiers 2 sprue.

The idea to get a game going in the Barons War era was with a poor warband from Galloway with a mix of Douglas Ferguson livery. And a Northern England contingent to face them. Galloway was in many respects it’s own Kingdom separate from Scotland and as such a volatile region.

Apparently Galloway was very Irish Gael in this period, with links to Man and Dublin. Sources such as John of Furdun mention Alexander “raising an army of Scots, Gallowegians and knights from the borders.” Unfortunately that is as much detail a they mention.

But in actual fact… “Thankfully” that is as much detail as they mention, because this gives me license to game in the gaps. I can Have a small group of Galloglas for some flavour and some big axes. Some of my early (maybe part Flemish by some accounts) Douglas Scots ancestors as knights and a few sergeants with the Galloway lion shields. Some levy and archers to pad out the list. Joy. I think a plan is coming together.

My Lord for a Scots force. I painted up this Footsore miniature a while ago. Meant to be James The Good Douglas from the Bannockburn era, but he's in the fashion didn't change a lot from the 1200s to the 1300s.My Lord for a Scots force. I painted up this Footsore miniature a while ago. Meant to be James The Good Douglas from the Bannockburn era, but he's in the fashion didn't change a lot from the 1200s to the 1300s.
Galloglas perhaps? Some Dark Age Footsore minis I painted for my Saga Irish force.Galloglas perhaps? Some Dark Age Footsore minis I painted for my Saga Irish force.

The book arrives

Tutoring 7
Skill 8
Idea 9
No Comments
Started talking to Peter about his huge Barons War collection and the retinue options with Dark Age. Really helpful and got some ideas flowing.Started talking to Peter about his huge Barons War collection and the retinue options with Dark Age. Really helpful and got some ideas flowing.

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