Sunday, 13 December 2015

1588 - phase one

The first phase of this project is to get two posses up and running. The two that I am focusing on are an English posse and a Spanish one. This makes sense considering the background to 1588.  You've already been introduced to a couple of the characters, but here is a little more info about them.

The Seething Lane Special Agency
Recruited by Francis Walsingham, these men are chosen as field operatives in defence of the realm against the most insidious threats to Her Majesty. They are tough, brutal, intelligent and utterly loyal, ready to do their master's bidding. They have no official titles or status, operating in the shadows.
The man responsible for the recruitment of the Special Agency
The Captain of these men is Henry 'Harry' Charlton. The last of five sons born to a relatively impoverished border family, he was the scapegoat when the March Warden needed to deal with two families after a raid ended in bloodshed. Some rumours say that he wasn't actually a scapegoat, but was indeed the culprit. Either way, he was shipped off in 1572 to be a 'volunteer' with the English in the Netherlands at the tender age of 16. There are those that say that he became involved with a Flemish girl, and that her murder by Spanish troops left him with a lifelong hatred of Spain and the Counter-reformation.
The Spanish at work in the Netherlands
He also caught the eye of Sir Philip Sidney, whom he saved from an assassination attempt. It is believed that it was Sidney who brought Charlton to the attention of Francis Walsingham.

Alongside Charlton is his friend, Owain Williams, who came to be in the Netherlands through very similar circumstances to Harry. A small man, Williams is incredibly skillful with a main-gauche, and there are few who can survive a duel with him.

Amongst the party is also Jeremiah Godley, a big, dour Puritan, dressed in black and given to talking only in recited Biblical verse. Fervent, powerful and utterly loyal, he is also a total killjoy during drinking sessions. This means that no-one in the agency likes him very much, but they do respect him.

There are times when a female operative is absolutely imperative. The agency can call on the talents of Alice Ryddell. This auburn beauty is deadly with a rapier or dagger, happily dispatching any enemy she comes across. She is also highly intelligent and a superb undercover operative.

Nicholas Stark-Raven is not as formidable as his colleagues in hand to hand combat, but his knowledge of the occult and alchemy make him invaluable.

Alongside these personalities are a number of Men of the Shadows, tough brawlers and wily operatives.

His most Catholic Majesty's Avanzada
Infiltrated into England to stir up local resistance to Queen Elizabeth; carry out sabotage, espionage and assassination missions; and protect the Jesuit Priests operating throughout the land, the Avanzada are some of Spain's most trusted and skillful operatives.
The enemy!
Their leader is Hernando Garcia Ferrero de Leon, a veteran of Lepanto and the Army of Flanders. Although of humble birth, Garcia was made a commander of men. The promise of nobility upon his return from a successful mission in England is a key driver for the man, as is his insistence that God is on his side. It is said that there is no finer swordsman in all of Europe.
Lepanto 1571 - Garcia is on the third galley from the right at the rear of the picture
With Garcia is Jose Lopez, a big brutal man who swings a halberd as though it were a fine rapier. He exudes an air of menace.

Gonzalez Esperito is a man of great charm. The archetypal spy, Esperito's suave tongue hides the fact that he is just as swift with a rapier.

Padre Ignacio is a Jesuit Priest who has also been known to be quite handy with a dagger when necessary. His presence can spur on the Avanzada in combat.

Accompanying these characters is a mixture of Spanish veterans and Catholic English supporters.

So these are the two posses I've come up with so far. As I paint them and tool them up for whichever rules I decide to use I'm sure their stories will develop and change, but I have a foundation.

Phase Two will see the introduction of a supernatural warband - witches are a definite, and probably a necromancer or vampire lord. But that is for the future. I'll get Phase One complete first.



  1. This sounds awesome, Natholeon,and as I've just bought "Galleys & Galleons" myself, I'll be watching this project with great interest :-)

    1. I'm looking forward to trying out some ship to ship combat. I'm going to try and get them painted before Xmas.

  2. Now *there's* a backstory!

    Nice one, looking forward to seeing more of this project!

    1. I'm sure there will be more, but I ran out of creative juice.

  3. Nice looking characters and a great project...

    1. Thanks Phil. Now I'm just waiting on getting the figures. Postie hurry up!

  4. Some very interesting characters indeed. Looking forward to more!

    1. Cheers Rodger. I'm reading some historical fiction to inspire me in the meantime. Come on those figures!

  5. Fantastic start to some great adventures!