Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Interview with the Chaps who are PENDRAKEN a big name in a world of little men.

Following the success of my interview with Fabio at TB Line, and the fact that the wargames press give 6mm and 10mm wargaming little...neh! NO! coverage so we wont see our questions answered any time soon in WI or WSS to name but two.I e.mailed Leon at Pendraken to see if he and Dave would like to give an interview,and they kindly said yes. So I sent the questions via e.mail over to Pendraken HQ and here is the finished article in all its glory....Enjoy.

Jason-Hello Leon and Dave, first of all thank you for taking some time out to answer some questions for Grandscale wargaming...

Leon-No worries!

Jason-Okay first things first, why, when and where was Pendraken born?

Leon-Dave started off by building a casting machine, and then contract casting for Wild Geese Miniatures. After 6 months or so, he decided to start our own company, with our first range being a load of Fantasy we got from Iron Brigade. Over the years the whole family has become involved in some way, shape or form! It was 1992 when it all started, so 2012 will be our 20th Birthday!

Jason-Why did you decide on the 10mm scale for the miniatures you wanted to produce?

Leon-Dave wanted to do mass games, but with some personality to the figures, as opposed to figure blocks. The first armies he had were for the FPW, with a couple of thousand on the table. The other benefits were of course helpful, with the figures being more detailed than 6mm’s, and much cheaper than 15’s. Add to that the amount of N-scale railway stuff about, which also fits in quite easily, and it was the ideal scale.

Jason-I know that your ranges are very large but for those that don't know, what ranges of miniatures
are currently available from Pendraken?

Leon-As the moment, we have over 3000 products in 10mm scale. We cover everything from Ancients right through to Vietnam, with almost everything in between. Some of the ranges, like our SYW, AWI and FPW are some of the most comprehensive available in any scale I think.

Jason-Can you say what ranges and products are next and what's the future for Pendraken?

Leon-Our two big ranges this year are the new Napoleonics, and the League of Augburg range. The Naps are being done to cover 1809 (Wagram to be specific) but will expand out from there eventually. The League of Augsburg range is being done by the extremely talented Clibinarium, of Late Roman and AWI fame. Other ranges currently in the works include the 1st Schleswig-Holstein War of 1848-51, a revamp of our Republican Romans, and all kinds of other bits and bobs!
We released 327 new products in 2010, so we’re aiming to beat that this year! We’ve managed 250 so far, so we’re well on the way!

Jason- As I’ve already mentioned Pendraken have some of the most varied ranges available to the 10mm wargamer, what do think makes a good 10mm miniature and how do you decide what range will be next?

Leon-There are a lot of things which make a good figure, proportion, detail, accuracy, etc. but it’s a hard question to answer. Really it just has to ‘look’ right, and be up to the standard we’ve set ourselves in recent years.
The design schedule has in recently been put over to the fantastic members of our Forum. They make the suggestions, other members add their votes, and then the most popular items get priority in the designing queue! Over the past year or so, our Forum has been responsible for dozens of new items being added to our ranges, and the system has proved effective.

Jason-The Pendraken trade stand is a familiar sight at most of the wargames shows across the UK and the show reports that you post on your forum have some renown, so how have you found the shows so far in 2011 and for you which is the most enjoyable.

Leon – It’s hard to pick just one out of the calendar! I like all the Scotland shows, as it’s always a friendly atmosphere north of the border. Derby is cool as a weekend away, and a bit of socialising; Salute is madness, but has a ‘big time’ feel to it; York is a great start to the year. And of course our local pair of Smoggycon and Durham are great events too!
Dave – I like Triples, as it’s not too far to go, we can stay overnight and spend a bit of time with other traders/friends. And this year we had a good curry!

Jason-TB Line have started to produce a set of war games rules 'Anticamente', and Ive heard a whisper Magister Militum may be looking at starting a set. So with rules solely for 10mm gaming a little thin on the ground is this something Pendraken may look at in the future?

Leon-Definitely, this is one of our main aims over the next 12 months or so. We’ve got a rough idea of what we’d like to do, but it’s finding the time to get something into motion.

Jason- With a lot of your time spent running Pendraken do any of you have time to play war games?

Leon-Not so much anymore. Dave does try and visit a friend a couple of times a year for a game, but the business takes up all of our free time!

Jason- For anybody who hasn't seen your miniatures or products can you give us the web details and links where these could be found?
Leon-Our website can be found at www.pendraken.co.uk, where you can see some of our latest news and of course buy all of our shiny goodies! But for all the latest updates, pics of the latest masters, etc. you can head over to our Forum: www.pendrakenforum.co.uk. We’ve got a great bunch of friendly and knowledgeable members who are always willing to help other folk, so I’d definitely recommend it to anyone who is into, or thinking of getting into, 10mm gaming.

Jason-Once again thank you Leon and Dave for taking time out and answering my questions for Grade Scale wargaming.

Leon-No worries, thank you for promoting the 10mm scale through your blog, and for running the ‘Best 10mm Manufacturer’ poll each year. We’re going for the hat-trick next year!

A Dark Age Journey from DBA to Hail Caesar via Warmaster.

I'm not getting a great deal of gaming in at the moment so with the 10mm ECW project still in the thinking process. My thoughts have turned to what Ive got left in 10mm to paint.Ive had a big bag of Pendraken Dark age chaps the 'Anglo Saxons' for ages with some units painted and based and others not seeing the light of day Ive just lost the motivation to paint vast amounts of Warband.So Ive decided to spur me on that I can make two DBA armies out of some of the figures then hopefully this will motivate me into painting more for a Warmaster army then on to an Hail Caesar army, that's the plan.So first off will be the Anglo Saxon and a Dark Age Welsh armies for DBA.

Saturday, 16 July 2011

More photos of La Navas de Tolosa 1212, Hail Caesar Battle report.

Heres some more photos of La Navas de Tolosa 1212, Hail Caesar Battle report.These were taken by Steve(Yorkie) so they show the game from the other side.Thanks for the photos Steve.

Friday, 15 July 2011

La Navas de Tolosa 1212, Hail Caesar Battle report.

Last night I had my first game of Hail Caesar, as mentioned in earlier posts it was to be a recreation of La Navas de Tolosa(more or less) fought on 16th July 1212 so we weren't far off date wise.So off I went to my local club Coppull and Chorley Knights,CACK for short :-). Even though the club has loads of great scenery I took my own boards, scenery and both armies for that dusty Spanish plains look. The army lists used, again are the ones posted in an earlier post (for those that want to know the lists used),the only changes we made were we dropped the turcopole from the Spanish/crusader western Europe alliance army and added another unit of Berber Spear to the Almohades,we also took the 'Drilled' option off the Mercenary spear.My opponent for this one was to be Steve(Yorkie)of 'Little Legions' Blog fame( for those that haven't seen his Blog here's the link http://yorkie.6sided.net/, give it a look its one of the best Blogs about)
So in the company of a gamer like Steve and a rules set like Hail Ceasar I knew I was in for a great game and I wasn't disappointed.The victory conditions for this one where for the Christians to take and hold the hill in the centre of the Almohade line and for the Almohades to take the Christian camp/baggage within six turns.What follows is a brief report, sorry for the vagueness but it was our first game and we where taking photos,so details taken down were a little non existence.(click the photos for a close up of the action :-)Sorry for the quality of some of the photos,I will be getting some better ones posted shortly)
So on a HOT and dusty Iberian plain both armies lined up and with the shouts and cries of "for god, Alfonso and Spain!!" the Christian army advanced,apart from the left flank which stubbornly held its ground.
With the shouts and cries of "Allah the one true god!! may god be with us!!"
the Almohade left and right flanks advanced whilst the centre stood firm.
The Spanish centre advanced,its left flank still refused to move and the knights on the right flank moved only once,crossbows in the Spanish centre shot and hit a unit of Berber spear at the foot of the hill causing a hit.The Almohade right flank moved to hold the Spanish left at bay and hoped to take advantage of the open Spanish center the light cav moved but the heavy cav failed its command roll to take the center. The mercenary crossbow shot at a unit of Hospitaller knights and sent them back disordered,the Spanish advanced in the center but failed to make it to the Almohade line, the knights on the Spanish right flank charged the Mercenary left flank of the Almohades, this left flank was hard fought for a few turns until the Spanish knights finally broke through.In the centre the Spanish faltered resulting in the Almohades Breaking through and on the right the Almohade cav eventually crushed the Spanish left,so with the Spanish camp/baggage in sight and one combat and move away. Then the Christian knights smashed the Almohade left flank and took the hill and pushed the Almohades off the far side. With this final move the game was over.Here are some photos taken during the battle showing the action described above.Steve also took some photos which I will post as soon as i have them.
Here's a picture of the Knights diving the Almohades off the hill top you'll notice that the thundering hooves made the camera shake:-)
Hail Caesar is a great game I would recommend to anyone, give it a go you will not be disappointed,Warmaster has always been my game of choice,but the king is dead long live the king.

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Hmm? Help needed from fellow Bloggers.

Recently for some reason Ive not been able to post comments on blogs that I'm following(sorry chaps),it doesn't happen all of the time and sometimes it posts my comments as anonymous? Has anyone any ideas what the problem may be?

Jason.

Monday, 4 July 2011

Hail Caesar,La Navas de Tolosa 1212

After further reading,research and the painting of some more units of Berbers, my Andalusian army has become Almohades with some units Andalusian mercenaries.For my first game of Hail Caesar I will be using the army list as posted previously with a few more Berbers and I'm going to re fight the battle of La Navas de Tolosa fought on 16th July 1212 as best as possible.This will fit in very nicely with the armies Ive got, as the Christian army comprised of various Spanish contingents and also non Spanish which included Templars, Hospitallers and western European knights.

Here's a few pictures I found to whet the appetite.