Friday, 20 July 2018

Le Duc on the Road - Part X(b) - Cahir Castle (the rest of it)

I teased with pics of the 15mm scale Cahir Castle siege diorama a few weeks ago; now, being the raging completest that I am, here's the rest of it.

The castle is one of the largest in Ireland, on an island on the River Suir in Tipperary, in Cahir town centre. It was constructed by Conor O'Brien, Prince of Thomond in 1142, and would become part of the Butler family estates (so called because they made a fortune handling the wine imports ('hic) and were of Anglo Norman descent,  and who would found the influential House of Ormonde, which would be influential when it all went pear shaped in the C17th).

The castle was sited on and near an earlier native fortification known as a cathair (stone fort), which gave its name to the place. Like most castles, there is a central ward/keep, then later outer walls were constructed.
Granted to the powerful Butler family in late 14th century, the castle was enlarged and re-modelled between the 15th and 17th centuries. It fell into ruin in the late 18th century and was partially restored in the 1840s.

Essex besieged it in 1599, before losing his head to Elizabeth's rage. Murrough O'Brien (Lord Inchquin - who, if I remember my history, changed sides 2 or 3 times during the English Civil War's resultant rebellion in Ireland - and was a distant relative of the castle's Norman builder) . It was surrendered to Cromwell in 1650.

Of note is the fact that parts of Excalibur were filmed here, as well as Barry Lyndon (before Mr. Kubrick was 'asked' to leave apparently...they were clearly turbulent times). The Tudors has also recently had parts filmed here. Not Game of Thrones however (probably too expensive for 'em when they can get cheap extras in N.Ireland grumble...grumble).

A scene from Excalibur. Along the same walls as above...

You can try getting in using this method, but to be honest, it's easier just to pay a few Euros ...

Outside the castle stands a fish statue. Now you see an ode to salmon. I clearly see an H.P.Lovecraft inspired idol to an ancient fish god!

Get on with it mate. This water's bleedin' well freezin!

There is a replica sword in the stone for Excalibur fans, and large grounds to keep the kids occupied.

 Outer ward from the entryway.

 Some massive vistas inside and a great tour. You can see why movie directors love it.

The rebuilt Great Hall.

The original keep, and there are excellent plans and sketches outlining the rebuild and original state of the building.

You can see why this place gets used for making movies.

One of only two working portcullises (portculli ? ) remaining in Ireland.

The 'kill zone' on the way in, with plenty of murder holes and offset arrow slits.

One of Essex's cannonballs, that remains lodged in the wall of the keep from 1599.

 Wonderful joinery. Clearly five axis machining at work here (ok - not the original).

 I made them an offer on the table. Excellent for gaming.

Nice architecturals on show throughout.

 The back of the pic above gets used by the 'Prussian Army' in Barry Lyndon. Now if this were Field of Battle, they would never move in such an orderly manner for me?!?!  Harummph.

 Classic view from the way in.

 ...right slap bang in the middle of the town...

A great visit and the castle is in superb condition; recommended - especially so when you consider the great diorama shown last time.

 'Are those buggers trying to get in without payin' Da?'
(I need very little encouragement to include pics of Cherie Lunghi - and yes, that bloke was in Star Trek.)

Sunday, 15 July 2018

More Maurice

It's been a while since we tried Maurice, what with all the FoB recently.
So, with Pete coming over to try out some more historical wargaming, it was time to give it another spin.

As usual - a great game where resources have to carefully managed and husbanded. Do I rally? Do I charge? Can I afford to move those reserves to the left - all the while, while morale is whittled down. 

The late C17th troops were still at hand, so a relatively simple task to get them on the table.

Use of the 'That's Not on the Map' card, early on.

Disruption markers clearly brought to the battlefield by unscrupulous private contractors - known as 'Disruption Cabbages' during this game due to their particularly 'to scale' resemblance of said vegetable. Who said there was no comedy in these games?

Allied troops await the French attack. They have more elite units, but if the Allies can out maneuver or use cards judiciously...

The French cavalry is forced across the hill.

 Cavalry clash on the French left.

Allies reach the cover of teh fields, and manage to hold through timely rallies.

Elite French cavalry takes a chance and charges home, but falters badly against lucky Allied muskets.

An allied unit pushed into the fray through use of a timely 'confusion' card. It doesn't last long.

 Cavalry of both sides surges across the battlefield (I even remembered the 2BW rule this time).

 And rolling 4 sixes together always helps!!!

The Allies begin to outnumber isolated pockets of French troops.

 ...and the French morale is eventually broken.

Another great game of Maurice and a nice contrast to other rules.