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Breaking Lances

       "I remember my first joust. It looks far worse than it feels!"
            ~Sir Ector

54mm wooden knights are about to smack down!

So... this is a thing...

I actually started making knight Wooden models about 2 years ago as an idea for Christmas ornaments, which got me started noodling with some rules ideas, but  then put it down for other had multiple requests for jousting rules, got the itch and started the project back up again. The big push was I  had a deadline for my friend Drew Williams D&D game that needed a tournament; nothing like a deadline, eh?   Behold- Breaking Lances!
A custom piece with the arms of a friend in the SCA

Breaking Lances

Breaking Lances is a quick playing set of jousting rules, recreating the fast paced and awe inspiring engagements of knights charging at each other with lances couched, shields up, and horses thundering down the field.
 These rules are an attempt to capture the quick moment to moment reactions timing and counter reactions needed to get your lance on point to gain glory by breaking lances on your opponent, and possibly dismounting him.  All for the glory and honor of the joust! Or the favor of a damsel; or the ransom money- those are good too!
Early version activation placards  show hit locations when lances are crossed!
 Scoring jousts in medieval times (and later) had a set of standards for scoring.  Geoffroi de Purelli is credited with writing a manuscript detailing the rules of jousting during medieval times. He wrote it in the year 1066. Purelli later died during a joust. Tournaments basically made their own rules. Thus, the weapons or styles of combat may vary from one tournament to another. Knights adapted depending upon which tournament they were participating in. As history has given precedent, in Breaking Lances, in order to get a more “game play” feel of the action, I have foregone the standard lists scoring system and embellished a bit.  

A Breaking Lances tournament playtest.
After each player plots, they move in for the hit!

These rules are designed to be played at “convention level “meaning that you can pick them up, learn them very quickly and get stuck in (pun intended) the game. The more you play, or the better you know your opponent, the more bragging rights you will have.  Breaking Lances also features a tournament system that allows players to win favors, and gain skills and fame.
The trumpets sound. Mount your horse, check your feet in the stirrups, grab your lance and off you go!
Designs are inspired by old manuscripts, in particular the Codex Manesse
From the Codex Manesse

The Models

Like all of my Wooden soldiers, I look to the period I'm doing and the art of that time to inspired the look. In the case of knights I have a really rich source in the Codex Manesse. Scores of awesome "portraits" of knights on their horses, including barding, heraldry, colors and Crests.  

After playing around with a few scales, I landed on 54mm to be the most rewarding. It has a great table top presence, the detail comes out nicely, and the jousting run needed fits on any table top nicely for games. 
views of both sides of the knights. The lance is adjustable

Currently the models are 5 pieces including the base. I'm looking to release these with a "heraldry" sheet similar to my Galleys Guns and Glory! flag sheets, where you can cut out the painted shield, checkered stripes, smaller shields to decorate the Caparison barding, etc. 

Well, that's quite a bit of blathering. My goal is to have these, the rules and everything you need to play on sale, come December. 



Totally forgot to post a picture of the winner, Sir Ryon of levitt! He won a Wooden knight, and of course, bragging rights! 


Pacifcon Day II: the Attack on Stretchenheim

" We have just been given an insight into the Gryphonberger's mind and soul. It will be most   valuable, provided we do not die from it."
     ~ Baron Fossmeisterhaus  

The guns were deadly behind their gabions

Attack on Strechenheim

1704: The Grand Duchy of Hypzig brings its grand army to bear on the city of Stretchenheim.The Baron of Gryphonsberg, in alliance with Stretchenheim forces have  built up defenses, ready to beat off the aggressors. 

Grenadiers and guns. A tough nut to crack.
not the most in focus, but I liked the shot.
The city of Stretchenheim. Buildings designed by Jaye Wiley.

The Advance Commences 

Undaunted by the defenses and guns, and the fact that the enemy was near equal in strength (because I was sleepy and forgot to move troops around before the battle started) the Advance commenced, with their guns giving what fore into the enemy's ranks.
Counter battery as the troops advance.

General advance along the lines

The right flank, Captain Fosslings own regiment, deftly use the woods for cover

A brave Sally is successful

  As the attacking army of Hypzig advanced they were sallied against on both flanks by the defenders. the attacking right flank repelled and destroyed the sally, but the right flank, coming out of the woods were caught with their hands in their pockets (a challenging thing to do in this day and age, with big cuffs and low low pockets) and after a good 3 turn dust up, were destroyed with the loss of 2 flags.

A brave sally from the right was twarted. The left did much better.
 After that, the attacking line was not strong enough to push the attack- and the flea market had opened up, so morale tests were taken all around. The defenders of Hypzig were victorious! 

Behind the magic

 A couple of shots behind the magic" to show off how I shot the backgrounds. The lighting in the convention was not the best, and in retrospect I should have had the lads stand a good pace away from the table with the backdrop. That being said, fun was had by all. Thanks again to everyone who participated and came by to chat- and thanks again to Stanley Stinnett for painting over 50% of the troops on the table!


The battle of Woodenstadt: Pacificon

                                        "No, pointier there- and there, and there.." 

A good view of the battlefield, with yours truly at the end.

Pacificon: the Battle of Woodenstadt

This year at Pacificon game convention I decided to run two large Wars of the Imaginations games with my 54mm woodens. I used a bastardized and simplified version of Warmaster, which for the most part worked very well. It was definitely a grand spectacle, and the games garnered players of all levels. 
Medals that I gave out for valor and dumb luck rolls.
Baron Fossmeisterhaus signals the advance!
Cavalry hold the right flank
Back view of the Empress V's forces.

A question of size

One of the unforeseeable issues I ran into was me thinking that a 6 x 9 foot canvas mat for the game table/ field  would be  adequate. After all, it was huge in my patio and back yard when working on it. Of course once you get to the convention and start putting all the troops on it, it was about 3 feet shy of what I really needed, so troops were a bit cramped. But as one must do with all battlefields, we took a look at the ground, adjusted ranks and moved forward.

Dead cart holds casualty markers

This unit took 4 casualties from cannon fire. The drive back dice show a rout!
The Stretchenheim forces advance as if guided by giant hands.

The whites of their eyes?

It occurred to me as I was putting this blog post together that I shot a lot of pics from the "commander's eye view"; that is to say, you're seeing a lot of the backs of the troops.  I'll need to remember that for the next battle!  
Mid battle- a terriffic clash of cavalry and grenadiers!

Baron Griffonsburg's troops flank the princesses right flank.


All in all the rules and players gelled, and the final turn had both sides losing enough for their bottle check, but then the Empress' troops lost one more battalion to a clever use of cannon and a flanking charge.   Awards were given to the player who had captured the most flags, and one to the player who rolled the most poorly!   

At the end of the day, the spoils of war were taken by the victors!


IR Pallandt Finished

IR Palladant

Once again a bought commission saves lives.
Ahoy bloggers!
 I've been torn away from my blog and table top gaming for a spell as I've been quite busy at work. More on that later.  I'm back in the saddle and feverishly painting and preparing for Pacificon game convention, upcoming in a week, where I'll be running two large Imaginations battles.

The Unit Formerly know as Pallandrome

The unit in full. Again taken with my phone. Need to get that camera fixed.
When I started this unit, I was parodying my pal Saxon Dog (aka David Imrie)  and a unit he was painting in 28mm. I ended up making my own flags at first, but then thought- Ooh why not contact Iain Duncan at Flags of War and see if he can make me some Imaginations scale flags. Iain was super accommodating (had nothing to do with  one upping the Dog, I'm sure...) and sent me over some beautiful flags poste haste!

Long story short, I've finished the unit before Imrie, so am posting first! Sure he may have painted up a couple of other armies in the mean time...
New bases with scrolls to place unit names. And those lovely Flags of War Flags!

This was a fun challenge, and I hope to do more of this type.


As mentioned next week is Pacificon game convention here in Northern California. The South bay Game Group of which I am a proud member puts on several splendid historical and fantasy games at this con, and I strongly encourage you to come and play.

Under coating with a flat earth type color.
For the bigger battles I am to run, I needed a new larger game mat, so have one in progress. This guy is 6 x 9 feet. The green is a bit more on the blue side that I would normally use, but matches well with the color from the rattle can that I've been using on my bases.

While at it, I started work on a new photo background for my friend Stanley (which can be seen in the above shots).
More WIP. Second color on. Next is some drybrushing.

I also painted up a photo backdrop on 100% rag paper

That's all for now- back to the painting table for more adventures. In the mean time, keep your paints wet and your Series 7's sharpened to a point!


IRC Palindrome: the unit so far

I haven't had much time to paint  in the last month, but when I do I'm having fun working on these fellows.  I'm doing them in tandem, and inspired by my good pal the Saxon Dog, who is working on a unit of his own, which you can see by clicking on his name.

I painted the brown on the bases to match the dogs, but needed some reference, so added this.

Looking forward to getting these lads done, so I can finish up my frostgrave band.



54mm Imaginations: Regiment Palindrome WIP

                                                            "Have you got a flag...?" 
                                                                             ~ Eddie Izzard

 IRC Palindrome

 Colonel Rodney "Rod" D'Or's Palindrome Regiment
Note the scroll on the units base, for the regiment name
that's a new thing I'm now doing.
The first stand of my IRC Palindrome, adding to the ImagiNations "famous regiments" roster for an article I'm writing.

 This unit was totally inspired by an other historical unit that my pal Saxon Dog has been painting and posting on his blog   which you can see by clicking the link. I'd thought I'd mimic him, and see if I could catch up with him. This is one of the pics he posted.
The inspiration!
Evolution of a flag 

The Dog used the famous Flag of War flags made by Iain Duncan. Iain is sending me some scaled up versions of his cool flags, but in the mean time, I need at least one. Here is the process in which I made my flag for the Palindrome regiment.  The ram is indicative of the duchy of Fossburg from whence the unit comes. Fossburg's two major resources are fine gun stocks and prized sheep.

blue pencil sketch
Here the flag is outlined with a sharpy
painted version before cutting. Note I changed the shield pattern.

I've also been working on a design of a new medal of order: The Moldy Fleece.
More on this later, but here's the line art.

 Cheers, and thanks for taking a gander!