Sunday 12 February 2012

Duchess of Cheddar 1, vile skeletal hordes 0

The resolute little chaps from the Grand Duchy of Cheddar had their first tabletop outing in HotT form on Friday night. Led by Tamasin, the current Duchess of Cheddar, they faced off against an evil necromancer and his undead hordes... litterally. My opponent used 12 elements of horde along with some vulture flyers, a couple of riders and a magician general. I was being quite cautious - not really knowing how my rats would fare, and as a result he kept bringing back his hordes as they were mowed down by Bodmin's artillery and the shot sleeves of the two regiments of foote. In the end, we stopped keeping a tally after the 17th element of hoard had been destroyed - I think the total was around 26. I got the point eventually and went in for the kill. Both the derigible squadron and Sedgemoor's Mechanised Cuirassiers were lost, but van Squeek's lads were able to close on the necromancer and take him down. No historians were present on the field to take an official record, but here is one artists impression of the course of the events:

After the good start to their war record, and a little encouragement from Leon and the guys over on the Pendraken forum, I've also decided to enter them in the Pendraken painting competition (over HERE). Below are the official entry images.

Saturday 4 February 2012

The Grand Duchy of Cheddar

Grand Duchy of Cheddar
The Grand Duchy of Cheddar was carved out by Mad Prince Lodwijk the Indestructible, an enterprising but illegitimate son of Cornelius V the Fruitful, Rat-King of Jarlsberg. A nation proud of its traditions, all of the Cheddar grand dukes have chosen not to marry, but maintain harems in honour of their illegitimate origins. The son considered to be most able is designated to succeed his father although the act of succession must be ratified by the assembled rats of the Cheddar army. The mother of the heir-apparent is bestowed the honorific title of duchess and becomes titular colonel of one of the foremost regiments of foote.
The duke, his harem and the army rule the duchy from Cheddar Hall, an immense labyrinthine warren, luxuriously appointed in gold and crimson cloth as befits the ducal residence. Although it is mainly situated below the West March, Cheddar Hall has tunnels which emerge in all of the Four Marches. These form vital thoroughfares through which the hinterland is policed and supplies are extracted from the rural serf-rats.
The reign of the current duke’s grandfather, Tarky II the Small, saw the beginning of a military revolution in Cheddar with the introduction of black-powder weapons and the creation of a small body of regular companies to guard the duke and his harem. His successor, Lodwijk IV the Efficient, father of the current duke, expanded the army, creating permanent regiments. However, it has been the long reign of the eighth and current grand duke, Philip II Desperaux, which has seen the most dramatic military reforms. The infantry have been formed into mixed-arms (pike and shot) regiments of foote, the aristocratic cuirassier squadron has been mechanised in the latest steam-powered armoured carriages and a new airborne dirigible squadron has been developed to provide air support.
Unfortunately, the strengthening of the army in recent years has led to discontented stirrings among the dispossessed serf-rats of the duchy. This is especially clear in the wilds of the East March where a mysterious religious figure known only as the Ayatollah of Gorgonzola is thought to be gathering a zealous following in opposition to ducal rule.

The Grand Army of Cheddar
Sedgemoor’s Mechanised Cuirassiers (The Black Caps)
1x Behemoth @4AP
Erasmusen’s Dragoons (The Greens)
1x Riders @2AP
Duchess of Cheddar’s Own Regiment of Foote (The Buffs)
1x Spear @2AP
2x Shooter @2AP
van Squeek’s Regiment of Foote (The Squeeky Whites)
1x Spear @2AP
2x Shooter @2AP
Bodmin’s Gun Battery (Bodmin’s Browns)
1x Artillery @3AP
Ducal Dirigible Squadron (The Blews)
1x Airboat @3AP
Cheddar Hall Harem Guards (The Pinkies)

Tudor and Stuart Ireland Conference 2012

The second Tudor and Stuart Ireland conference has just been announced for 30 August- 1 September 2012 at UCD, Dublin ---> official page HERE.

I wasn't able to get to last year's conference, but 27 of the 50 or so papers were posted online as podcasts which made for some very interesting commutes to work for a while there. I believe they are still available, and well worth the look (or listen...). They are still available for free HERE.

Seleukid BUA

The sad news of more civilian deaths in Syria reminds me of how much I have always enjoyed my time there. In a very small (literally and figuratively) homage, I present my Late Seleukid BUA and a couple of scenic photos from Syria and Antioch in Turkey.

The base is cut from cork tile, the buildings made from Fimo - including the golden bull modeled by my wife. The temple and altar are situated on the highground above the agora which is provided with a colonnaded stoa  and council buildings. It was first used at MOAB last year but I'll certainly try to use it more throughout this year.