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Showing posts from 2024

Earl of Castlehaven’s Regiment of Horse

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The first unit of Confederate horse leave the painting table, with a healthy pinch of conjecture as to their equipment, uniform and cornet. James Tuchet, the 3rd Earl of Castlehaven, viewed himself as an Englishman, and as such volunteered to help suppress the Irish rebels during the outbreak of the Irish uprising in 1641–42. Unfortunately the fact that he was Catholic caused a sense of distrust amongst the pro-English side, and he was arrested and incarcerated in Dublin Castle. He managed to escape and fled to Wicklow; on arrival at Kilkenny, the headquarters of the confederate Catholics, he was persuaded to accept a command in the army, and was appointed general of horse under Sir Thomas Preston, 1st Viscount Tara. Many believed at the time that the Earl of Ormonde had engineered the whole situation, in order to bring Castlehaven over to the rebel side. The regiment of horse would be raised in late 1642; and may have numbered not much more than a single troop. Day to day command of t

Alatriste (2006)

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 What? Another excursion into cinema? Afraid so. Once again I take a look at 30YW set motion pictures. "Alatriste" is a Spanish language epic, starring that well known Spanish actor Viggo Mortensen. Mortensen plays the eponymous hero, Captain Alatriste, a C17th Spanish Sharpe type character. The film condenses a number of novels into just one story. It starts during the Dutch Revolt, returns to the Netherlands for the Siege of Breda, terminating at the Battle of Rocroi. In between the battle scenes, Alatriste falls in love with an actress, and is hired to assassinate the Prince of Wales (the future Charles I), and the Duke of Buckingham. Expect a lot of sword fighting. The film has very high production values, costumes and sets are wonderful, and the battle scenes are excellent; the film was reported to be the second most expensive Spanish film made. The film has a good plot, there's a genuinely good story being told here (Twentieth Century Fox, have apparently secured th

Pike and Shotte: Epic Battles Version

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Along with their new range of 'true15mm' Epic sized figures for the Wars of the Three Kingdoms/Thirty Years War, there's also a new version of the Pike and Shotte rulebook. Let's take a look inside and see what is different... The young pretender Now before I begin, what do I expect from the new rulebook? Different pictures, layout, distances (movement and ranges), the errata and some of the 'new' rules from the supplements being incorporated into the main body of the rules. What don't I expect? A major revamp of the rules. They ain't broke, they don't really need fixing. The odd tweak maybe, but nothing major.  The original, and still the best? The most obvious differences are size and price. The original rules are hardback A4-ish sized and cost £35 (supplements are an extra £25 each). The Epic version, A5-ish, softback and £22. A different cover, in keeping with the Epic box set artwork, and the photos of beautiful set pieces of 28mm sized miniatu

The Last Valley (1971)

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The 1971 film The Last Valley is set during the Thirty Years War, so why does it appear in a KeepYourPowderDry post? Well, there's only so many times that you can watch Cromwell and By The Sword Divided, so I have cast my net on the other side of the Channel for inspiration. The film stars Michael Caine and Omar Sharif; a young Brian Blessed co-stars as a short-lived, shouty man who meets his end in a midden. "You're only supposed to blow ze bloody doors off" The film starts with Omar Sharif's character, Vogel, in search of food and lodging, but his journey takes him through a landscape similar to Bruegel's painting "Triumph Of Death". After much wandering he stumbles into an idyllic valley which appears to have escaped a visit from the four horseman of the apocalypse. Cue, Michael Caine's band of mercenaries arriving in the valley. Caine plays 'Captain' a German soldier - you can tell he is German as his helmet looks like the illegitimat

A Very Big Number!

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To celebrate the hit counter passing a very big number, here by way of a thank you are some 'snaps' from Holly Holy Day 2024. I didn't take my camera with me this year, just my phone.  I was intending to post these earlier in the week but unfortunately a popular Nantwich café decided to serve me a milk latte rather than the soya latte I had ordered, and as a result I was rather poorly for 48 hours.* * I did contact the café when I had recovered to explain what had happened, food allergies can be fatal, I was just ill for 48 hours. I wasn't fishing for compensation, or wanting to sue them, just point out the importance of getting things 'right'. When they eventually replied they were very surprised that it could have happened, staff training blah blah blah, and they hoped to see me again soon. They want me to visit again after the very unpleasant 48 hours that they caused? Not on your nelly! If you enjoyed this post, or rather, liked the pictures, great. Thanks f

Donald Featherstone's "Wargaming Pike and Shot"

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Today's post takes a look at wargaming royalty, Donald Featherstone's book on gaming the pike and shot period. I picked up a first edition (1977) from a certain online auction site for a fiver, which seems to be a bit of a bargain. So what is inside? The briefest of brief introductions to the period, followed by 15 scenarios. If I was new to the period I would be very disappointed with the introduction, as it does not really sell the period to me. There are no descriptions of arms or tactics. I don't know about how 'accurate' the 13 other scenarios are, but the English Civil War scenarios are reasonably acceptable, albeit succinct. Each scenario has two maps; there are no other illustrations or photographs.. The most amusing part of the book are the appendices. In the 'rules' section, the late Mr Featherstone, is somewhat acerbic about all but those rules from the Wargames Research Group and one D.F. Featherstone. I wonder if Mr Featherstone and D.F. Feather

Steel Fist Harquebusiers on Foot

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Bit of an eye candy post today; where I take a look at Steel Fist's new harquebusiers on foot pack . For those of you new to KeepYourPowderDry, or the Civil Wars in general, you might be wondering why anyone would want dismounted cavalry. In a nutshell regiments of horse joined in the besieging of houses, but as horses weren't particularly useful when attacking a house, their riders dismounted to fight. They were often in the first wave of assault troops as their buff coats and armour afforded them considerable protection (in comparison to infantry). Plus it also gave them a share of any spoils if the assault was successful. For more information about the role of harquebusiers in sieges, and a look at my existing assault parties see here . So what comes in pack ECWF 09 and are they any good? For your money you get 12 dismounted cavalry figures,, 4 with swords raised, 4 with pistols, and 4 with carbines. Beautifully sculpted, as always. In the past my small orders from Steel Fis

Good Day for a Hanging

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Well, obviously, it is never a good day for a hanging, but how else was I to title a post about C17th capital punishment other than to utilise the title of the 1959 American B Western film? Or movie, as our continental cousins would have it. In the C17th if you had been really bad* you were condemned to death. If you were rich you had your head chopped off; if you weren't rich or noble, then it was an appointment with the gallows. Gentle reminder, despite what Hollywood insists, witches were hung - they were not burnt at the stake. My victim has green breeches ties at his knees, a not so secret sign that he supported the Levellers. Was he involved in one of the many Leveller led revolts of the Army Newly Modelled? Was that what led him to his appointment with the gallows, a victim of military justice? Hallmark Miniatures make a man in C17th dress hanging from a gallows,  something that I have kept adding to my basket and then removing every time I'd been placing an order at Mag

Leicester

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The ECWtravelogue finally gets around to visiting Leicester, well known home of malcontents who like to bury royalty in car parks. The Magazine Gateway aka Newarke Gateway Leicester was a Parliamentarian stronghold pretty much untroubled by the King until the dying days of the First Civil War; that is not to stay nothing happened here, there were a number of skirmishes between the opposing forces around the Thurcaston Road bridge and inside St Peter's Church; but it wasn't until May 1645, when the King's Army attacked the town (to draw the threat of the Army Newly Modelled away from Charles's capital of Oxford) that Leicester saw significant fighting. The Guildhall Rupert deployed his artillery outside the town, prior to demanding that the garrison surrender. The garrison rebutted Rupert's request and the assault began at 3pm on 30 May 1645.  The garrison normally consisted of four companies of foot under the command of Colonel Theophilus Grey, and about 200 horse