Saturday, 24 April 2021

Rheged Beware! The Irish Raiders are Here... Part Two!

 It’s been a bit of a slog getting the rest of my Irish Raider Warband based this week but, finally, the job is done!

Having said that, I think I’ll be going back over some of them at some point, because the edges of some of the bases are looking a little sparsely covered. I decided years ago that I would apply a watery coat of modelling glue over the flock once it had dried, to prevent it wearing away too quickly; if you apply this glue wash too soon the flock appears to contract and leave the edge of the base showing through. The lesson I’ve learned this week, is to be a bit more patient when basing!

However, on with the parade… all the infantry in my warband are from a box of Wargames Atlantic Dark Age Irish Warriors (40 hard plastic figures, although 10 of them are canines for some reason, for just 25 of our Great British Pounds) and the cavalry are metal figures from Footsore Miniatures. Conveniently, Footsore cavalry come in sets of four and are currently £12 a set. I’ve not painted much metal recently and I struggled to get the paint to stay on the horses, but it was worth the effort, and the cost, to get figures that are clearly the real deal!

The main body of the warband are the Raiders. There are three Groups of six Raiders and they differ from Warriors in that they are harder to kill but, are more susceptible to Shock. They require a “6” to die, but gain Shock on a roll of 3, 4 or 5! They will withdraw from the fray when they have more Shock than men remaining in the Group and they have a definite proclivity for looting!

If you’re not keen on skirmishing troops, then this is probably not the army for you! As I mentioned in Part 1, this warband has a Noble specifically included to command the skirmishing infantry and there are two Groups of four javelin armed figures for him to lead. The skirmishers are the same figures as the Raiders but without the shields.

When you’re raiding foreign parts, you sometimes have to improvise and a convenient rock can be just as effective as a pointed stick.

The final Group of infantry are four missile troops armed with slings. You can only make four slingers from the Wargames Atlantic set, so that fits in perfectly for your Irish Dux Britanniarum warband. The slings provided in the box are the best I’ve ever encountered… they look as though they could do some serious damage, being substantial weapons with a hefty lump of rock about to be hurled at the opposition.

At this point, the Irish Raider Warband deviates significantly from their Late Roman and Saxon counterparts with the inclusion of mounted warriors! First up are the Skirmish Cavalry, which essentially operate in the same fashion as the foot skirmishers. They move faster but evade from contact in exactly the same way.

The Warband is completed by a Group of Noble Raider Cavalry, which are Elite troops and, unlike Raider Cavalry, don’t have the option of skirmishing. They lack the hitting power of Shock Cavalry, but they will attempt to exploit weaknesses in their opponent’s morale and will get an extra D6 in close combat for each point of Shock on the enemy Group.

My Noble Raiders are Footsore metal figures, but I decided to give them shields from the Wargames Atlantic box, in the hope that they might look as though they belong to some kind of noble brotherhood; a sort of Irish version of the Knights of the Round Table!

Back at the beginning of this project, I couldn't decide whether to put this warband together or use the figures I had ready to make a Saxon Warband. I’m glad that I made the decision I did and went ahead with the Irishmen, but the Saxons are still waiting in their box and, at some point, that will be my next Dux Britanniarum project.