Siege warfare was predominant in the middle ages. Forget about the battles with massed ranks of knights, men-at-arms and spearmen — for each of those there were hundreds of sieges. The next few articles will offer suggestions for gaming siege warfare – covering miniatures, defences, fortifications (model castles, etc.), reference books, a glossary of terms, and (hopefully) wargaming rules. For this first article we take a look at 25/28 mm scale miniatures.
There are a few manufacturers currently offering quality miniatures:
OldGloryMiniatures.com is one of two on-line representative for Old Glory (one of the stalwart manufacturers of wargaming miniatures). Check out their Dark and Middle Ages catalogue for Siege Equipment (OGSE).
The models on offer include a penthouse and ram, trebuchet (counter weighted beam and sling stone throwing engine, see illustration left), a 7″ tall siege tower, an onager ( stone throwing engine dating back to Roman times), a crow (crane used to hook ladders and men scaling the castle walls or to pull men hiding behind cover), as wells as palisades or mantlets, and incendiary wagons.
The illustration of miniature trebuchet is courtesy of Old Glory Miniatures.com, please note that this picture is copyright protected.
Essex also have a range of siege equipment. Miniatures are tailored to the end of the Roman Empire with different forms of catapult, or to the latter part of the medieval era when gunpowder first appeared (Edward I used gunpowder at Stirling in 1304, and guns were later used against the Scots by the English in1327).
For post Roman siege there is a bolt thrower (for anti-personnel fire) and a stone thrower (for walls). For the late medieval period there is a sapper’s mouse (large wheeled mantlet), a penthouse and ram, scaling ladders, an organ gun, and a bombard.
The largest range of miniatures and accessories is provided by IrRegular Miniatures. Models cover the range of siege engines used from the early days of post-Roman Empire to late medieval and the use of organ guns and bombards. They also have a great selection of figures and vignetteslisted under ‘figures’ below.
The siege engines on offer include the usual penthouse and ram as well as a general purpose penthouse, scaling ladders, a wheeled siege tower (this one is 6″ high), a stone thrower, a large counter-weighted trebuchet, organ gun, and a bombard.
A siege can be enlivened by the use of sappers and miners:
Old Glory have a pack of siege engineers (from the Hundred Years War collection).