15mm Crusaders and saracens??

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Re: 15mm Crusaders and saracens??

Postby bvandewalker » 05 Oct 2015, 18:45

Well, they aren't hobbits, arms are a bit short (guess they are true 25mm as opposed to 20mm boxes), but they look workable with WGF etc. I will definitely consider the Han troops further.

Evoker wrote:Id like to get off of metal counter parts for 15mm. Like Bvandewalker said, we all know there are 15mm metal romans. To expand on that, there is metal for pretty much every period. My point for this whole thread is to get past metal and go into plastic. I don't know where everyone else comes from and goes for gaming, or scale preference, but my argument for 15mm is I believe its the smallest scale that holds the highest level of detail. With 10mm you can field more on the table than 15mm, but the quality of the sculps goes down and the models become harder to see the smaller they get. 15's are small enough to be able to field a large army, but they are detailed enough that they don't have mush face syndrome. I would just like to see the plastic treatment for this scale. Specifically for historical, pre Napoleonic. May they be ancients, dark age, medieval, Renaissance, which ever, I just want to see the guys like me who are into 15mm be able to get their hands on plastics. I originally went with crusaders and saracens because I figured it would be a popular thing. I'm sure ancients would be more popular but early crusades would be a nice change of pace from ancients. Some of the stuff that 19th century miniatures (old glory 15's) has, like the swabian infantry "mind you those swords are pretty much like noodles", aren't the best looking models in my book. They work, but a more modern product would be nice.


Back on topic, I have heard that the arguments against 6mm detail are actually not true and the man in question had the painted mini pics to prove it. that said most of us do not have the god like painting skills to pull that off. ;)

If you really want crusaders era troops, it would still probably be smartest to go with a set up like the one I suggested earlier: light on the armored troops, heavy on the unarmored (basically 1 to 2 nobels/knights, 5 to 10 men at arms, lots of pilgrims/peasants/unarmored troops per sprue) for both the crusaders and Saracens sets. the reasons for this are:

A. in real history, that is general setup of most armies from the dark ages (if not earlier) until Fredrick the great shows up (basically).

B. you don't really need two factions per box since most people will want to focus one faction or the other for their army projects.

C. A good number of people will buy more than one box with this setup (this is the most important point from a manufacturing view).

D. if they sell, other factions like the Byzantines, Russians, Africans, Spaniards and Persians can be done in the same or similar fashion (maybe even a few lost in the mists of time fantasy factions like orcs). The only factions that it might not work for are the mongols and more knightly order focused factions, for those the cavalry will take up most of the sprue: Five heavy Armor cavalry troops, ten additional cavalry troops (mounted foot Sargents for the orders, mounted archers for the mongols), the rest of the sprue (if there is room) should be infantry (foot knights and men at arms for the orders, levy troops for mongols).
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Re: 15mm Crusaders and saracens??

Postby 1classybadger » 05 Oct 2015, 19:48

I'll just bring up how the FoW people set up their plastic sprues.

One sprue is set aside for company level assets, Captains, mortars and medics. this is about half the size of the regular sprue. the rest of the sprues are set up to be one platoon each.

so, what might work, is one sprue, for the armored noble men, then the rest for the average soldier
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Re: 15mm Crusaders and saracens??

Postby bvandewalker » 05 Oct 2015, 23:28

That isn't really necessary for the Slash and stabby eras after the fall of Rome, as I said before the standard smallest force (not counting bandit gangs) was generally one heavily armored noble usually mounted (IE a knight or foreign equivalent), 5-10moderatly armored henchmen usually on foot (men at arms, squires), and all the unarmored peasant conscripts said noble can muster and they were almost always on foot.

The average "soldier" on the battle field was generally of this last category and armed either with a weapon from his feudal lord's armor or tool from their civilian life (axes, hammers, farming implements, hunting bows, etc.). ;)

Anyways you could easily fit at least one such 15mm force on a single sprue, possibly 2 (2 horse mounted nobles, 5 men at arms each, divvy up the peasents equally or not), if you keep the bases separate just by eye balling the current WGF 15mm plastics (you could play skirmish level games with just one or two sprues). ;) :D

the only reason to do another sprue is for ducal or kingly level commands which should probably just be sold separately as single sprues you can add when you want to build a big army (you can do different commanders with their unique house guard forces that way for the various factions ;) ), specialists like spies and medics should either go with such a sprue or be placed with the siege engines, which should be a separate set. ;)
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Re: 15mm Crusaders and saracens??

Postby wmyers » 06 Oct 2015, 17:40

bvandewalker wrote:That isn't really necessary for the Slash and stabby eras after the fall of Rome, as I said before the standard smallest force (not counting bandit gangs) was generally one heavily armored noble usually mounted (IE a knight or foreign equivalent), 5-10moderatly armored henchmen usually on foot (men at arms, squires), and all the unarmored peasant conscripts said noble can muster and they were almost always on foot.

The average "soldier" on the battle field was generally of this last category and armed either with a weapon from his feudal lord's armor or tool from their civilian life (axes, hammers, farming implements, hunting bows, etc.). ;)

Anyways you could easily fit at least one such 15mm force on a single sprue, possibly 2 (2 horse mounted nobles, 5 men at arms each, divvy up the peasents equally or not), if you keep the bases separate just by eye balling the current WGF 15mm plastics (you could play skirmish level games with just one or two sprues). ;) :D

the only reason to do another sprue is for ducal or kingly level commands which should probably just be sold separately as single sprues you can add when you want to build a big army (you can do different commanders with their unique house guard forces that way for the various factions ;) ), specialists like spies and medics should either go with such a sprue or be placed with the siege engines, which should be a separate set. ;)


Are those numbers of a single armoured noble and 5 to 10 henchmen on foot and the rest peasants a game scale? (i.e. 1/30 - 1 figure representing 30 actual people)
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Re: 15mm Crusaders and saracens??

Postby bvandewalker » 07 Oct 2015, 00:07

wmyers wrote:Are those numbers of a single armoured noble and 5 to 10 henchmen on foot and the rest peasants a game scale? (i.e. 1/30 - 1 figure representing 30 actual people)


No they represent what I thought should be on the sprue body count wise based on what I have been told for years by several real world historians and history buffs who studied the medieval eras (immediately after Fall of Rome to the late Renaissances).

Basically in real life history for every heavy noble cavalry soldier (such as knights) on the battle field there was also approximately 5 to 10 moderately armed and armored foot troops that were his cronies back home (such as men at arms) and anywhere from 50 or less to (more often) a hundred or more unarmored conscripts who normally worked on said noble's land (basically any peasants the noble could muster).

Essentially it is a local feudal militia or levy, the interesting thing about it is that it was virtually the same or a very similar setup everywhere in the world for a long period of time. Larger armies of the time where often made up of several of these militias called together by a ruler of a nation either to defend nation, conquer neighboring nations of the same faith, or to go on Holy wars against a foreign faith group.

Now I had thought that one could do such a levy on one WGF sized sprue quite easily, and after looking at the US army sprue I think one could fit parts to make 2 small militias (all it would take is two knight types and 10 man at arms types).
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Re: 15mm Crusaders and saracens??

Postby wmyers » 07 Oct 2015, 20:07

bvandewalker wrote:No they represent what I thought should be on the sprue body count wise based on what I have been told for years by several real world historians and history buffs who studied the medieval eras (immediately after Fall of Rome to the late Renaissances).

Basically in real life history for every heavy noble cavalry soldier (such as knights) on the battle field there was also approximately 5 to 10 moderately armed and armored foot troops that were his cronies back home (such as men at arms) and anywhere from 50 or less to (more often) a hundred or more unarmored conscripts who normally worked on said noble's land (basically any peasants the noble could muster).

Essentially it is a local feudal militia or levy, the interesting thing about it is that it was virtually the same or a very similar setup everywhere in the world for a long period of time. Larger armies of the time where often made up of several of these militias called together by a ruler of a nation either to defend nation, conquer neighboring nations of the same faith, or to go on Holy wars against a foreign faith group.

Now I had thought that one could do such a levy on one WGF sized sprue quite easily, and after looking at the US army sprue I think one could fit parts to make 2 small militias (all it would take is two knight types and 10 man at arms types).


As a real real-world historian (with university degrees to validate my claims) I question this number.

I had thought what you were stating was that battles would have very few troops to them (ala Saga games).

A set of figures that is all inclusive of all the troop types needed might be a good idea. Something that is very different from what companies do today.
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Re: 15mm Crusaders and saracens??

Postby bvandewalker » 14 Oct 2015, 03:03

wmyers wrote:As a real real-world historian (with university degrees to validate my claims) I question this number.


Well, I suppose the "more often" might be a bit of an exaggeration and maybe later on in the 11th century there may have been a bit more 50/50 chance of protection body armor of the leather and padded variety going down the ranks (really doubt it though since both would still cost a lot for the time since clothing in general costed so much that most people had only one set of cloths :shock: , armor does not grow on trees kids ;) , and both are questionable things to put faith in, particularly when you could get good helmet and shield that you know works instead, just saying :| ).

But what I have been told is that on average there was 3 to 10 unarmored combatants for every individual in armor for any army on any given battlefield in the world at that time (sometimes less than that average, other times more, I think have heard some say 5 to10 or 5 to15 per armored soldier, again armor does not grow on trees, it was probably rare for protection to go beyond helmets and shields given costs) , and if you have a problem with that number you can take up with pretty much every historian and re-enactor who has been on or held a panel and/or demo on the subject of medieval era warfare at any of the following Sci-Fi cons I have attended within the last 5 years and more than one of them had university degrees on the topic as well :lol: (would have done 15 years or over my whole life but the last 5 years are the ones that I can remember clearly going to those panels :oops: ): Loscon (all of them), Conjecture (all of them), Baycon (I think 2012 and 2013, I get years wrong sometimes), and Worldcon (lonestar and the last one).


wmyers wrote:I had thought what you were stating was that battles would have very few troops to them (ala Saga games).

A set of figures that is all inclusive of all the troop types needed might be a good idea. Something that is very different from what companies do today.


No, they tended be "a hundred men each at least" affairs except for very localized level stuff like bandit raids (of course it did depend a bit on what part of the world you where in, Germany had lots of little rival robber barons small scale skirmishing with each other all the time and plagues could shrink smaller combatants in what amount to gangs ;) ).

Yes :D if you fit all the basic troop types on one sprue (which is what I was suggesting) and have 3 to 5 of said sprue instead of adding bases you can have a nice little starter army box (at around $20 to $25 I would definitely buy 2 box like that and be tempted to get a third), and for siege engines and the specialized troops (the ones you don't need an army of like siege specialists and Character commands) you do them as single sprues that one can buy separately for 5 or 6 bucks. ;)

Edit: The reason I suggest ditching the bases is two fold:

First it is cheaper to do one sprue molds and I for one would rather have figures than bases.

Second we don't know what they are planing on using the set for, there are tons of games out there that use different bases (even for straight 1/100 scale gaming) and even diorama people might find an interest in such a set. :o
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Re: 15mm Crusaders and saracens??

Postby 1classybadger » 21 Oct 2015, 00:34

in a move that will shock and horrify many. I have to agree with Bvandewalker on the bases thing. 15mm bases, whether for units or single troopers are easy to find and even easier to make. theres no need to include them. as for the armor. what I had always been taught is that Professionals (I.e Household guards, mercenaries) actually spent a great deal on arms and armor, all the way through history. these would make up the core of an army and were generally the standing force of the day. in the top third of any force, you would see the heavier armors, the middle third, would have leathers and gambesons. and the last third, who were mostly suppourt troops and archers, would be lucky to have a helmet
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Re: 15mm Crusaders and saracens??

Postby bvandewalker » 28 Oct 2015, 02:38

Yeah, we don't really need bases in the set. I am actually considering/planning on using some used up gift cards for diorama bases for some of my 28mm command options (samurai and yokai/orc marching bands) plus some 20mm cannons for the TXWI and later MAW, if I had 15mm figures I would think about doing the same for them (or making really small skirmishing .

As to armor I am just saying from what I have learned in general it was more like in one fifth of a medieval force had armor of any sort most of the time, sometimes less (I am talking head count, not organization which I think is what you are talking about), I think the unarmored section was a bit more than just range troops, they also had pikes, spear and shield troops, and (as mentioned before) motley armed militia.

What you must remember is that a soldier needs to maintain and carry his equipment, so while a full set armor maybe a sign of a truly great mercenary it also
means he has a pack horse (possibly a cart) to carry it around and probably a page or two to maintain it (probably more in the case of and armored cavalry man plus another horse), of course all that costs money not counting post battle and natural wear armor maintenance costs. Rust, rot, moths, anything that can go wrong with armor and tends to do so, and fairly quickly, this was before modern enhancements like stainless still and scotch guard, and even with those in play medieval style armor has issues, this is also true of weapons which had a greater tendency to break (your hitting stuff with it what did you expect to happen after a while).

So even in the case where you stripped all your armor off a corpse, it still going to cost you a lot just to maintain and carry it from one battlefield to the next, which is why armored mercs got payed more, it was to maintain their armor.

While you are right that house guards would almost always have armor they tended to make up a very small, all be it key, contingent of a force (and they had sponsors ;) ). Most mercenaries (unless they were house guards, because a lot of house guards were mercenaries) probably did not wear full armor in fact it was probably only the lucky veterans who survived multiple battles that would get an armored shirt (counting padded and leather, which have their own set of issues like being made in an era without patient laws, and yes that is important :shock: ) or breast plate if they had anything beyond a helmet and shield, and even then armor wasn’t always worn. Take the Catalan company for example:

http://byzantinemilitary.blogspot.com/2 ... ntine.html

Also I am pretty sure most of the Swiss didn’t have armor at the start of their military carriers since they started out as peasant militia armed with pikes and halberds, I know the Kerns and later Redlegs didn’t have much of anything in the way of body armor protection, I think the Scottish pike didn’t have any, a number spear troops like the Welsh went without armor and a lot of mercenaries started out as runaway peasants.

In the Ancient era the only mercenary forces noted for armored troops to my knowledge were the Greek hoplites, Samaritan cavalry and maybe some other middle easterners like the Hittite/Cainite tribes. While there may have been other armored ancient mercenaries I don’t know about, the most common mercenary soldiers where Celtic warriors and from what of I hear it is debatable whether they even wore clothes most of the time ( the ones I have the most info about didn’t that's for sure) and many of the others types were either light unarmored skirmishers of one sort or another and/or light horse cavalry of one sort or another (if you look at the barbarians sets in the Might of Rome line, that is probably what most mercenaries looked like at that time )
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Re: 15mm Crusaders and saracens??

Postby 1classybadger » 28 Oct 2015, 15:24

this is why I used the term "Standing force" a campagining force would undoubtedly fill its ranks with peaseant levies I am not denying that. however, the core of both forces would be the heavily armed and armored social elites and their chosen men. some of these men would be disperessed amongst the levies to act as NCO's and to stiffen the line. as for mercenaries, most of the ones who went unarmored were low level pandits and escaped serf with little chance to armor themselves. however, more veteran troops would probably not hesititate to spend more on their kit. you can't be paid if you've kicked it after all
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