10 January 2013

Flemish Mercenaries and Who's a Clever Boy Contest

This is my 5th submission to the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge. The minute I read about these Swords for Hire on the Gripping Beast website, I wanted them. This is one of the things I like about SAGA; small units, different characteristics......easy to add points to your war bands.

These were primed white and then block painted, followed by The Dip, and then some highlights. The shields are all hand painted.

Well what to do with them, I can not really see the Flemish going to Vinland, so I had to think of something different. Myself and Nicolas at Nowhere to Lead Soldiers have been discussing what war bands to do next for SAGA. We have come up with a plan and I have chosen my new warband and soon will be ordering the figures. These Flemish mercenaries will be the first warrior unit for this warband. Point 1, shall we say for my secret SAGA project.

So I thought let's have a Who's a Clever Boy contest. So a Clever Boy should be able to guess what my new warband will be. There is a clue in the photo which should allow you to narrow it down to 2-3 choices very quickly. I can also say that their uniqueness to the warband is a second clue.

So question 1: What is John's new SAGA warband?

I think this might be an easy one, so I thought I would also add a second part to the contest. This is for a Really Clever Boy!

So question 2: What is the unifying feature about this specific unit and why is this so?

Maybe a little tougher, but who knows.

So the prizes, well I have to paint a Samurai for Curt so I thought I would offer 2 further Samurai (or Dark Age/Napoleonic figure.......your choice) as prizes. I am not a great painter but I can put together a presentable tabletop quality figure for you. But more importantly, you will become forever immortalized on my blog with an individual post devoted to your cleverness with a beautiful self-submitted photo of yourself (or whatever photo you would like to substitute for yourself).

ps I will have to ban Iannick, Nico and Curt from question 1 as I believe I have discussed my plans with them, but question 2 is open to all.

Answers can only be submitted to the comments section of this post and the first correct one wins. The answers are very specific and of course I will be the final judge.

Oh yes, right, here are the photos......



  1. I had to get some of these for my Viking, great sculpts and really fun to paint.

    I don't have guesses for your questions I'm afraid! I'll blame the fact I only have the core rulebook :-)

  2. Brilliant! I'm painting up some Conquest Games Norman Infantry which are very nice sculpts too ;)

  3. Great looking figures John, as for the questions I'd say Q1. Has got to be El Cid's army of Aragon? Q2. Now this is difficult.......the only thing I can think is you've painted 1 figure with the red and yellow stripped colours of Aragon, and you've also a figure with 3 crescents on his shield. Therefore a Muslim. So they are a multi religious unit?

  4. Well Ray, you are close on Q1 but not correct. Q2 Not really close but your answer is certainly interesting.


    Feel free to try again.

  5. Hhmm?, well its gotta be the army of Valencia then? I'll have to have another think about Q2?????

  6. Well Ray, not so close this time. I believe the yellow and red stripes on the shields are throwing you off. I am no expert but the Aragonese coat of arms has horizontal or vertical striping, not diagonal.

    Since there appears to be little interest aside from yourself and I want someone to win, let me help a little.

    SAGA warbands are usual tribal over a geographic area.They are made of of units of hearthguard, warriors and levies.

    Here is a big clue, there are 13 official SAGA warbands, but there are also some unofficial warbands with Battleboards, some published and some not.

    I also gave another big clue in the Q1, ie. this specific unit is unique in the warband I am planning. They are mercenaries but something else makes them unique.

    Now Q2, I believe you identified the unifying feature of this unit, but not why. Some googling with the appropriate two words will give you the answer.

    Good luck Ray, and to others who may read this.

    I do really want to paint a couple of extra figures.


  7. Nice, always love to see some Flemish mercenaries as I'm Flemish! So not biased at all but excellent paintjob and hopefully they will lead you to glory.


  8. I think I may have Q2 but I'm going to defer for Ray's guess... The lad needs a treat.

  9. Fair enough Curt, we will see what happens, but I am curious if you got it. Maybe tomorrow if no one has yet answered correctly.

  10. Catalan company Almogovars?

  11. Nicely done figures.

    The army you are building is going to be Strathclyde Welsh. These will be the only foot troops in it.

    Unifying features - They all went to the same cobblers. (Their shoes are all the same colour)

  12. Cordoba or Granada?

  13. Very, very close, what was the region that comprised these cities called.

  14. Hurrah!!!!

    We have the correct answer, congratulations.

    Q1: My next SAGA warband is from the Al-Andalus The major clue in the original photos being that the Flemish Mercenaries were photographed in an arid terrain. And their uniqueness as discussed was that they were the only Christians in a Moslem warband. Piece of cake right.

    You will be recognized in my next post and a miniature once painted will be sent on.

    So David Kufner is a Clever Boy.

    So who will be a Really Clever Boy and answer Q2?


  15. Darn it, close but no cigar....I should have checked in again......:)

  16. Okay, I'll give Question 2 a go.

    The unifying element of this unit is their shields. The leaf-shape design denotes them as coming from the western coast of Europe where this shield was prevalent (Western France and the Low Countries especially). In the late Dark Age/early Middle Age Flemish mercenaries were in high demand and fought with Tostig at Stamford Bridge, with William the Bastard at Hastings and of course were present in many conflicts within the Mediterranean.

    There you go, my rudimentary guess...

  17. Well, not exactly right but very close. The unifying feature is the shields. If one was to google "Flemish shields" and look at images, you would find an chart with shields of families from Flanders (what is now Flanders and Picardy in Northern France) who sent fighters to the crusades. These are the shields patterns which were chosen for my Flemish Mercenaries. Two Samurai to you Curt.

  18. Very cool John. Yep, those Flemish boys did get around, didn't they! (and I'll happily take another samurai from you but can he be a Flemish figure instead?)