At Ballamoy I introduced several new non-combatant pieces as part of the game. They provided some of the reason for fighting the battle and added an interesting dynamic (basically a moving terrain feature) that could and did mess with the movement of the combat pieces. I haven’t done much yet with the various unique pieces having special capabilities and effects. This is not a new idea ( think D&D games) but continues to appear from time to time even in historic ECW wargaming.
Most recently Stephen Wylde has been presenting various characters at his blog along with some great ideas about how to employ them in M&P games. He has several character pieces (both individual and vignette) some of which are expansions of ideas in Pike & Shotte, and others quite unique. Probably I am going to take up some of these ideas at some point in the future.
Meanwhile here is a brief description of the various civilian pieces that appeared at Ballamoy:
Piece one (1) is a clergyman with a couple of his flock carrying buckets and a sack of something. They are perhaps hurrying to bring refreshments to the fighting men or simply fleeing with valuables from the church. The preacher carries both a Bible and a half pike – thus prepared for any eventuality.
Piece two (2) is an elderly gentleman and his lady wife accompanied by a rough-and-ready retainer armed with a pitchfork.
Piece three (3) is farmer with his wife and one of their sturdy sons. The men are armed with farm implements.
Piece four (4) is an elderly gentleman leading a donkey which is laden with his valuables. He is accompanied by his two doughty daughters (whose husbands are away to the wars). One of the ladies is armed with a pistol while the other holds a half pike.
Piece five (5) is an itinerant barber/surgeon in a straw hat. Traveling with him are two serving women who carry his collection of instruments.
Piece six (6) is another farm family. The farmer carries a good fowling-piece, while his wife carries a baby in swaddling clothes. They are accompanied by their bond servant armed with a stout felling ax.
Piece seven (7) is also a farm group. The woman carries a heavy sack over her shoulder while her men folk advance at the ready with various farm implements.
These were mostly made by modifying several of Pendraken’s SYW civilian figures along with some of their peasant figures from different time periods. A few heads, arms and implements got switched around along with application of green stuff here and there. The babe-in-arms, for example, was made from green stuff and tissue paper.
I’m going to continue to play around with figures of this type since ultimately I’d like to have more farmers, herdsmen, drovers, and a variety of tradesmen.