giovedì 30 marzo 2017

Lion Rampant - Armies on the cheap #2 Feudal Age

Hi again! This is the second "on the cheap" post. Today I'll focus on the Feudal Age, a period between 1066 and the start of HYW (arbitrary decision).

Plastic brands and boxes

Conquest Games Norman Knights (15 for 20£),  Norman Infantry (44 for 20£) and Medevial Archers (28 for 20£). 
Of course Norman type soldiers represent the "standard" knights for 1000-1100 AD, so they can be used for Imperial Germans and Early Crusader (1st Crusade for sure), just to name two. Both Infantry and Archers offers (especially the latter, they have a good choice of hedgears) a good add on for dark age figure types listed here.
Conquest Games also sells some resin converting kits, heads and shields allowing you to field your Norman Knights as Sicilian Norman or Andalusian Norman. The latter could easily work for early Crusader or Western Byzantine mercenaries. One kit costs 5£ for 6 heads or 6 shields. I think for Sicilian Norman 6 heads + 6 shields could suffice for a conversion.
This producer offers discount on multiple boxes purchase.

Hät Miniatures they are often overlooked, but they produce a small (by any means) range of 28mm labeled miniatures. They are very small, more 25mm, though, so I wouldn't mix them with any other producer. The mounted troops seems to be pretty fair on scale (still both have definitely more human like proportions, so they look "strange"). The details are of lower quality too, still their cost is so low they should be took into account. Their Napoleonic are way better, I have some and I appreciate them. The ranges of our interest are from El Cid Series: Spanish heavy and light infantry, Andalusian and Almoravid heavy and light infantry and cavalry. Spanish command and cavalry are under construction. I won't analyse each box, but the infatry one usually consists of 32 models, the cavalry ones 12 models, both with some variety, but they are casted in one piece (less the weapons and shields for infantry). The cost should be around 13-16€ per box. So if you don't need big deep details to sculpt and are prepared to wait for Spanish Cavalry and have smaller figures with about 40€ you should have plenty of figures for each army. (See my lists below)

Gripping Beast in their plastic range we found three boxes of Arab figures: 
Arab Spearmen and Archers: 40 models (up to 16 archers, 16 javelinemen or 40 spearmen) - 22£
Arab Heavy Cavalry: 12 models - 22£
Arab Light Cavalry: 12 models  - 22 £
These models could go from the Arab invasion to the late crusades, could work as mamelukes against the Ottoman (the Heavy Cavalry) and for the Ottoman itself, the Light Cavalry and the Spearmen and Archers. So 10/10 for usefulness. Maybe they could even represent Andalusians (instead of using Hat models, but I'm not enough into Reconquista Spain for this). The Arab Light Cavalry box allow you to field the models also as Turcoman, I think they could be used until 19th century Turkish army or Russian (Tatars?).

Eccentric miniatures (just for knowledge) have some old school plastic foot knights (16$ for 16 miniatures) and longbowmen (10$ for 8 archers). A lot of pieces for any single soldier. Interestingly they offer separate torsos, legs, weapons, all casted in plastic.

Fireforge Miniatures is the winner brand for Feudal Age, lets see their range (in plastic):
Teutonic and Templar order (specular): they both feature an Infantry and a cavalry box. The first is 24 foot (spearmen and crossbowmen) for 27€, the latter 12 knights for 27€.
Men at Arms: the "generic" western medieval soldiers for 1200-1350 (Communal wars anyone? Later Crusaders). Here you can find Foot Sergeants (awesome mix of 48 crossbowmen and spearmen) for 39€, 24 medieval archers for 27€ and two boxes of knights/sergeants (main difference the horse barded or unbarded).
Mongols see here, useful in a lot of roles, and essential to confront your Teutonic knights.
Russians: the only plastic box is for the infantry: 25 soldiers (mixed weapon, axes, spears, bows, swords) for 27€. Closing an eye could be used as Byzantine in the 11th century. It's a real pity the rest of the range is casted in resin.
Scandinavian: the last release from Fireforge involves these fantastic post Viking Scandinavian Infantry 25 models (as usual spearmen and bowmen can both be built) for the usual 27€. This are armoured models, more suitable to represent Leidang mixed formations of heavy infantry and archers provided by commoners/free farmers to their ruler.

Perry Miniatures they offer a nice HYW range and one from WoTR. I'm going to analyse the latter on a separate post. For HYW there are three boxes(20£ each):
English Army 1415-1429 (36 models, for 12 foot men at arms and 24 longbowmen)
Agincourt French Infantry (36 infantrymen with spears, polexes, swords, crossbows and 6 dismounted knights)
Agincourt Knights (36 dismounted knights/men at arms, 18 English and 18 French, but entirely interchangeable for most Western ountries of the period).
Bear in mind this range is slimmer and a tad smaller than Fireforge range, so I advice caution in mixing infantry from this two manifacturers in the same unit.


1 Mounted MAA @6 points
1 Mounted Sergeants @4 points
2 Foot Sergeants @8points
1 Archers @4points
1 Bidowers@2 points

Conquest Games, one box per type (knight, infantry and archers) is all you need.3 boxes.

Norman Sicilian

2 Mounted MAA @12 points ->one Conquest Games Norman knight box
2 Yeomen + mixed weapon @10 points -> GB Arab Infantry (Arab Subjects)
1 Bidower @2points -> GB Arab Infantry (Arab Subjects)

+Conquest Games converting heads (5£, if you wish)


2 Mounted MAA @12 points
1 Mounted Sergeants @4points
1 Foot Sergeants @4points
1 Crossbowmen @4 points

Here you can go either with Conquest Games Norman for early Crusader, or with Fireforge for later. Of course Holy Orders are also aivalable.

Arab (Seljuk and Fatimid)

One box per type of GB plastic arab and you can do almost anything :)

El Cid Spanish

1 Mounted MAA @6points
2 Mounted Yeomen+Javelins @6 points (Jinetes)*
2 Foot Sergeants @8points
2 Bidowers @4 points

For the knights and the sergeants use Conquest Normans. The Norman Infantry will provide the heads (attention there are not extra heads in the box!) for converting the GB Arab Light Cavalry into Spanish Jinetes. You need to swap the head with an occidental like one and to replace some shields with adargas (TAG sells packs of 10 for 4£, you need at least 6). For the bidowers use whatever you like, GB dark age with javelins, GB dark age archers, Conquest Medieval Archers. You might also find suitable heads  for Jinetes. I wouldn't bother with Hät Spanish infantry, it's very similar to Conquest Norman and decisively small.


1 Mounted Sergeants* @4 points
2 Mounted Yeomen+javelins @6 points
2 Foot Yeomen @6 points
1 Archers @ 4points
2 Bidowers @6 points 

If you want to give Hät a try, it's the perfect list. Historically they're more accurate than GB.
Otherwise you could use just their cavarly (which is slim, but almost correct sized) and GB Arab infantry.

Berber (Almuravid)

1 Mounted Sergeants* @4 points
1 Mounted Yeomen+javelins @3 points
3 Foot Yeomen @9 points
1 Fierce Foot @4 points
1 Archers @ 4points

Same. I need a brave reader who tries out Hät miniatures and post them here!! (Possibly comparing them to GB infantry).

Communal Italian Army

1 Mounted MAA @6 points
1 Mounted Sergeants@4 points
2 Foot Sergeants @8points
1 Crossbowmen + pavises @6 points

Here you can achieve one army with just two Fireforge Boxes: Sergeants at Arms and Foot Sergeants. With small changes (Mounted Sergeants + crossbows) you can probably represent an Imperial Army as well. 

HYW English

2 Foot MAA @12 points
2 Expert Archers @12 points

This is the famous one box army, can be made using exactly one Perry's English Army box.

HYW French

2 Mounted MAA @ 12points
2 Foot Sergeants @ 8points
1 Crossbowmen @ 4points

Here one Fireforge Mounted Sergeants (barded horses) and one Perry Angicourt French Infantry or Fireforge Sergeants would suffice.

...other ideas could be Mongol (from Fireforge boxes), Russian (you lack appropriate cavalry, but you could try converting Conquest Norman with Fireforge Russian bits + dark age archers from GB).

The following lists have been kindly suggested by Dalauppror and offer a different taste of the period and a good way to use the new Fireforge Post Viking Scandinavian Box.

Swedish ledung army ca 1100-1250

1 foot men at arms @ 6 points (hird of the leader) 
3 foot serjants with mixed weapons @ 18 points

 Total 42 minis. I.e. exactly 2 boxes of Fireforge Post Viking Scandinavians.

Danish ca 1100-1250

The Danish mounted serjants would have crossbow and the Danes would not have as much mixed formations like the Swedes. During this period in the Danish Army there was a great use of German mercenaries.

1 mounted/foot men att arms @ 6 points (knights/noble men) 
1 mounted Sergeants + Crossbowmen @ 4 points (germans) 
1 Crossbowmen @ 4 points (germans) 
1 foot serjants @ 4 points (germans) 
1 foot serjants with mixed weapons @ 6 points ( Danish ledung) 

For German mercenaries Fireforge Men at Arm series boxes should provide suitable models, so you need one Foot Sergeants Box, One Mounted Sergeants and one Post Viking Scandinavian box.

5 commenti:

  1. Excellent post Very helpful, thank you.

  2. Sorry to preempt your post! That covers a lot of manufactures thanks for that, Perry plastics have got to be the best imho.
    Best Iain

    1. I really like Perry, too! They will be the main topic of the next post: Late Medieval - Early Renaissance period!

  3. My favourites are the FireForge because I like the slightly exaggerated proportions.
    Perry are very nice, indeed lovely, but are too anatomically correct for my taste :)

    1. It's all a matter of taste! I'm more keen about the Perry anatomic view, but I've never disdained any model on my gaming table!