Showing posts from February, 2024

Earl of Castlehaven’s Regiment of Horse

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)

 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

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)

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!

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