Welcome to my wargaming blog,
I'm Dave and live in Morpeth, Northumberland in the UK.
This may or may not be a regular thing, we'll just have to see how it goes.

I am a painter/collector of figures first and a wargamer second. My thrill in this great hobby of ours is to place that final well researched & painted unit into the cabinet. The actual gaming with the figures is an important but secondary experience, we all like to win, but it isn't the be all and end all of it, being with good friends and having fun is.
Hope you will enjoy reading this blog as much as I will writing in it.
Just to remind the visitor to scroll down the various pages and click on 'older posts' to see more.

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Otterburn 1388, the demo.

Well, four years after completing the armies I have actually re-fought the battle for which they were painted up for. That isn't to say these lads haven't been on the table before, they've been beating the doo dar out of each other for quite awhile but not in a re-fight of the battle of Otterburn 1388 (for more info on the battle look under the 'Medieval' label at the top of the home page on this blog).
What finally clinched it was getting round to painting up the resin tent models I got from Ainsty castings as I'd been looking for suitable scruffy looking medieval types of tents for quite a while before I came across these. Classic medieval 'jousting type tents were of course no use for marauding Scot's who even if they got their hands on them would only have cut them up for clothing! So scruffy tents it had to be.
The figures shown here are a mix of Old Glory and (I think) Ebor Miniatures. Claymore castings hadn't started producing their range when I researched and painted  this lot and I must say that even given my annoyance when putting them together (see the last post) I have found them good to paint and pretty accurate in their research, but more of that in the next post when I will put up photos of the finished items.
So on to the pretty pictures, I stayed very historical, pretty much making Hotspur and his chaps do what they did and having Douglas appear on his right flank, so the result was always going to be the same given the circumstance. Some may say why re-fight and do the same things as the men on the day, but that's what I wanted so that's what I did. No one else was involved so what the hey!
I based the game on my (and Charlie Wesencraft's) research/interpretation, with the battle taking place on the high ground just north of the village itself, Hospur haring off with his battle and the archers et al trying desperately to keep up. I'm sure that if he had shot up the Scots for a while then (as usual) things would have been very different, but he wasn't called 'Hotspur' for nothing!

The battlefield with the village of Otterburn in the centre, Sir Henry Percy (Hotspur) on the English right just behind the village heading towards the (only) visible Scots on the hill and Sir Ralph Redman on the left about to destroy what he thought was the main Scots camp on the flat ground beside the river Rede.

English stragglers doing their best to catch up.

The Scots camp, this was actually the camp followers and baggage area, Douglas actual camp was on the hill behind the wooded area in the top picture so Redman was attacking in the wrong place, he and his men naturally found this particularly easy and revenge was sweet but they contributed virtually nothing to the actual battle where Hotspur had to fight on unsupported.

 Scots archers, they didn't have many but the few they did have were just as good as the English.

Redman's battle advancing towards the Scots camp.

The view from Hotspur's position emerging from the village of Otterburn, this was the only Scots force he could see (the Earl of March's battle), so being the man he was he went straight at em!

 Hotspur's battle with some archers lagging behind.

Douglas battle after having marched round the right flank of Hotspur's force, he was screened by a dip in the ground and the trees to his front. His standard is in the centre of the picture.

The view from his position as he approaches the English flank.

The Scottish reserve.

The situation just before contact.

Hotspur's battle charges uphill, slamming into the stationary Scots of the Earl of March, the fight is hard and bloody, the English forcing the Scots back when Douglas's flank attack comes in on the English right.

Redman pushes through the Scots camp slaughtering everything in his path.

The Scottish reserve arrives.

The end is nigh, a general view of the field as Hotspur's force begins to break up, Douglas is cut down just as victory is secured while Hotspur along with many of his retinue is captured later to be ransomed for huge sums of money.

All the Knights, Esquires etc have accurate livery and were there at the battle, everything on these figures was hand painted as when these lads were done there were no flags or transfers for this battle so everything had to be researched through (if possible) original sources (again see the Medieval label at the top of the page for details. However if people are interested in this particular period (and remember this will cover Humbleton Hill 1402 and Shrewsbury 1403) then for all my reservations regarding the fitting of weapons to some of their figures I wouldn't go much further than claymorecastings they carry a full range plus standards/transfers and their figures paint up well. they will of course mix in well with Old Glory for a bit of variation.
I hope this has been informative and entertaining as it's an encounter that I have a particular fascination for, plus it's local, just up the road actually.


  1. Thank you so much Dave for these beautiful pictures, these armies are stunning! Love the non combattant units and the camp too...great!!

  2. That's just grand; the whole thing really, right down to the table and terrain. What rules did you use? I didn't notice you discuss them in the post.


  3. Thanks Phil, very kind.
    FMB - Crusader rules, a sort of Warhammer ancients without the crap and scaled for armies rather than 'heroes' with their various skills/attributes etc, altogether less complex. Medieval is the only period I use them for though as most of the rest of the lads use the Hail Caesar rules.

  4. Wonderful looking game. Thanks for sharing Dave.

  5. Not half bad at all that man! - there was a certain lack of sheep on the table- it was fought in Northumberland you know!
    Baaa !
    do we get to see that at a show?
    or even in the pub!

  6. No not this week and there is no meeting the week after as someone else has the room booked.

  7. Andy, I've offered to put on a display game at your show each time for the last three years but none of them wanted it. Seems a shame as I have always felt that display games enhance shows so much.
    Neal, what's with this foreign banter after each post? I'm still learnin English ye na.

    1. Dave- How come ?is there some inter-club politics I don't know about- this is the first I've heard of this. As you know I only pay the bills !
      But Oteerburn should be there if I have any say in the matter.

  8. I'd show you on PMT but I've used the new uberstifle on that alleged Argentinian who keeps posting all those bloody links and always signs off "Amicalement". You must remember Tango01 ?

  9. Great looking game - terrain and figures topnotch. I am inspired to use my roads in future game scenarios too!

  10. Wonderful battle report and great looking armies. It is satisfying when you finish a project and can get it out on the table to use. Perfect!

  11. Great looking game. Visited Otterburn last fall so your miniatures & terrain bring back good memories of a great trip.