The Battle of Verneuil 17 August 1424

The Battle of Verneuil 17th August


Sunday, 29 August 2010

Bedford's Battle

Here we have Bedfords Battle for the WAB army that accompanied me to Havok! at Gripping Beast HQ, Evesham. The first unit I will be putting together for The Battle of Verneuil demo game will contain many of these miniatures, if not all of them. I think Simon and I have settled upon the idea of using Impetus, with some modifications, as it is probably for the good that we keep the rules simple as we are hoping to be chatting with a few folks as we play the game!

As the unit is based for WAB it gives me an opportunity to talk a little about the composition of the stands and what prompted me to paint up the miniatures in the manner that I have done. As I have said before long the mini's will be based for Impetus..... I'm thinking of 60mm by 60mm bases as this fits with other rule systems like Foundry's Medieval Warfare, and as many Medieval wargamers will know, it is not always easy to find a fellow enthusiast that plays the same rule system as one another. I will be adding another 60x60mm base in order to make the units 180mm wide as this will look much better on the tabletop and will make no difference whatsoever to the way in which the rules operate.

As you can see from the pics above featuring Bedfords stand, his heraldic attire is not in what you might expect from the third son of Henry V and the uncle of Henry VI. As will be explained later, in an indepth introduction leading up to and including the battle, Bedford made a great deal out of Heraldic Pageantry prior to the battle in a dramatic display designed to bring a strength through unity and a sense of purpose to the army. He wore a surcoat combining the white cross of France with the red cross of England in order to convey the message of union between the two kingdoms and that Bedford alone had the right to bear this coat of arms. I have painted him up with the white cross of France quartered with the red cross of England instead of superimposing the images as is suggested in de Waurin's account (you will hear more about this chap later). Bedford is a from Perry miniatures as are most of my collection. The actual mini is taken from their French High command at Agincourt on Foot pack and is the Duc de Orleans figure. His heraldry was beautifully sculpted on to the miniature by Michael Perry which in this case was actually an impediment to getting the effect I wanted! So, I took a Dremel to the heraldry (yep, you heard me! A Dremel) and carefully ground off his coat of arms. This was smoothed down by hand with a needle file before priming.

Next to John of Bedford stands John Talbot, known for his prowess in battle and his daring. There is only one chronicle that indicates his presence at the battle but I have included him as the rest of the 'cast of characters' were present and there is no reason to suppose that such an important figure would not be in amongst the action. Talbot wears his heraldic coat of arms and wields a vicious poleaxe as appropriate.

The musician advancing behind Bedford and Talbot wears the Lancastrian livery of Bedford. Musicians of this type would have had a limited but important role on the battlefield, indicating where the banners were, at what pace to advance etc. It has to be said that once battle was joined they may have become superfluous.

This brings us onto the next base. Sir Henry Tilleman was given the right to bear Bedfords Heraldic banner. Tillemen was over 70 years old and had been active in the Black Prince's expedition to Spain and fought at the Battle of Najera, 1367! Bedford, by honouring Tillemen was making a deliberate link to the past and the Battle of Najera, which recalled the days of the Black Prince as a commander of renown enhancing the martial prowess of his army. Of the two other knights, one wears a surcoat and is evading a blow, perhaps as a feint, wielding his poleaxe. The other advances without bearing his arms as was often the practice of the English at that time.

Next I'll be taking a look at Fastolf and his retainers as pictured in the unit at the top of this page.



  1. Don't tell me you've painted these patterns by hand - that's magic!
    Enjoying the historical bits as well, please keep them coming. Here once again the importance of symbols resp. symbolic acts in former times is shown. Great research!


  2. Great start to this Blog! Love the painting and the history!

  3. This is looking to be of great interest in terms of both painting and content. Long may it continue as my knowledge of the HYW is sparse to say the least.

  4. Very nice indeed Darrell, great inargural post - historical context and great pics. Looks like we may have several 'Bedfords'avaiable - I'm working on a non-fighting vignette myself right now!!

  5. I'll echo everyone else and say I love the painting and the history text!It's about time you made a blog I can follow!:-)


  6. Really nice work Darrel ! I hope we can play together one day !



  7. Chaps,

    Thanmks very much for the positive initial responses- all very encouraging stuff :O)

    @Sire Godefroy, all the heraldry is hand painted as are the banners. At times I wonder what is going on in my head LOL!!

    @Painterman, we could start the game with the pageantry at Ivry :O)


  8. Jolly well painted as always young man:-)

  9. Hi Darrel

    Very good indeed. Obviously I love the subject, and look forward to see you presenting your sources for this battle. Lovely heraldry on Bedford, didn't actually know that he quartered the French and English crosses on his coat.

    Keep up the good work. Won't forgive you this time if this project is not brought to completion ;)

  10. Alex(?),

    I seriously have my doubts that Bedford actaully did quater the red cross of england and the white of France. I wanted to make a reference to the Pageant at Ivry, designed to spread the message of unity and to appeal to the soldiers sense of history and destiny. De Waurin makes a bit of a point out of Bedfords attire at Ivry as exemplified in the moment he asked an English soldier what it all meant and being certain that he wrote the soldiers answer down.

    @Jason, nice to see you here.