Sunday 3 April 2016

English crusaders meet the Rus in the Balkans

When Bob saw my WOTR armies he reminded me (this implies I knew in the first place!) that there were 1,000 English knights  at the battle of Nicopolis in1396. That was about 50 years earlier than my figures but Bob pointed out that there was a crusade in Hungary and the Balkans in the 1440/50s. Historically the Turks would have outnumbered any European crusaders but since we had not tried the rules we decided to try a smaller action.

So English crusaders moving through the Balkans came across a small village which they intended to loot. A small Balkan force tries to stop them. These are Bob’s Rus figures but he tells me that he has seen illustrations of this armour and helmets accompanying Sigismund’s army. All of the Rus figures are by Irregular Miniatures.

 The Houses of York and Lancaster join forces to take on the Rus rearguard.

The Rus forces occupy the village and surrounding countryside

The English heralds sound the advance

.... they also draw the attention of 'the Duke' the other half of Kitten Force

Clearly with a name like 'Duke' it was necessary to inspect the English forces to ensure all is in order before the advance.

A quick inspection of the enemy forces before being evicted!

My archers screened the advance of my infantry.  

My knights and light horse advance to drive away the Rus heavy cavalry and horse archers on the right flank.

The Rus heavy cavalry in the village decided to try to drive off my archers by charging down the road.

My archers fall back behind the infantry who do serious damage to the cavalry but lose the melee and then to top it all fail a morale test and rout!

Better luck on the wing were my cavalry best the Rus cavalry and their dog!

The engagement of the cavalry on the flank and the defeat of the Rus cavalry in the village provides the excuse for a general advance on the village and the remaining Rus infantry.

This assault draws out the final unit of Rus Horse archers,  my archers retire behind the pikes and the horse archers fire a volley and decide discretion is the better part of valour and turn tail.

With my cavalry having broken the Rus Heavy Cavalry and their best infantry engaged, the Rus light infantry retire and leave the village in my hands.

A cause for more trumpets!!

I got terribly excited and bought lots of these Perry figures when they first came out and lovely they are too. In fact I double ordered and wound up with more figures figures than I had intended.  WOTR in 28mm was a 'new period' for me. Once I had finished gluing, painting and basing, it struck me that I didn't have any rules.  Somewhere in my loft I have  couple of hundred 30 year old Robin Hood and Sheriff of Nottingham airfix figures and the same problem, never really used.

In the olden days I had used the WRG rules which spanned Sumerians to Medievals and so got them out and realised I couldn't make 'head nor tails of them', so all the figures went into boxes.  I then moved them around the loft to the point where I was going to get rid of them having never used them. I got all of them out on the table, more to show, as you do, and to remind myself what I had, Bob was just coming for a chat and a coffee but brought some of his Rus with him so we turned it into the game above. This explains the unequal size of the armies.  

Bob suggested we try a set of free rules he found on line called 'Metalsmashing' (available from  They are simple, quick and sort of give a feel for the period. 
Some of the ranges are a bit short and the melee could be a little clearer, nothing that a Biro can't sort out, but they gave an enjoyable game in a couple of hours without too much brain power.  What more can you ask?


  1. Fantastic looking armies, and beautiful trumpets!

  2. Nice report! I agree with Phil about the armies and the trumpets. Very cool!


    1. Hi

      Glad you both liked the game, your comments are much appreciated.

  3. Great looking game! Duke is cool.

    1. Hi Rodger, thanks for the comments about the game. Duke 'Cool'...hmmmmm, there are other words I might use on occasions!