Monday, May 04, 2015

The Song Dynasty - A another distraction.

Inspiration for a new project can come from a  number of sources..... not just the fumes from the undercoat spray..... 
Whilst waiting for paint to dry on the latest compound for the Chinese village I got to think about what other periods it could be used for.

I have played quite a few games of Dux Britanniarum and Songs of Blades and Heroes recently which has given me a taste for all all things sword, shield and bow..... Why not combine all three?

Having purchased a selection of buildings from Curtney's Miniatures I tempted myself with a few packs from their Ancient Chinese range - bad mistake......

A new Project is born.....

Why the Song Dynasty?
Until now I really knew little about Ancient Chinese history, the basic facts gives a rich background for any wargamer.

The Song Dynasty had emerged from the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period and fairly rapidly subdued the majority of China. They entered a protracted war with the Liao Dynasty that was to last for over 20 years neither side striking a major blow in the protracted war.

In the Song court the warring faction thought that the Liao could have been defeated but the peace party prevailed and the policy of a further invasions was dropped. The policy divided opinion within the court. The lack of offensive military action resulted in a military decline which would make future defence more difficult.

The Liao became increasingly settled and unaggressive, so that when their subjects, the Jurchen, revolted the Liao armies crumbled. The Song tried to take advantage by occupying the land they had previously claimed but this led to war with the Jurchen. This time, the Song lost all of their northern territories. The period before this is therefore known as the Northern Song, the period after as the Southern Song.

The Jurchen estabished a  new dynasty known as the Chin or Jin. There were a number of wars between Song and Jin including a massive waterbourne assault by the Jurchen across the Yangtze. 

Having repelled the Jin. The Song faced the first of numerous Mongol incursions.

Facing constant wars on its borders the local government officals implimented a series of unpopular taxes on the population which resulted in numerous clashes between warring factions and government troops..... 

Perfect to sneak in a little bit of 1970's nostalgia for the Water Margin.
A Chinese classic novel detailing the trials and tribulations of 108 outlaws heroes dedicated to fighting tyranny in feudal China and their leader Lin Chung and his clashes with the local government official Kao Chiu. 
Plenty to get my teeth into over the coming months....

So while I wait for paint to dry on the latest Chinese terrain piece a bunch of Song Infantry to hold back the invaders and keep the population in their place.

Song dynasty Armoured Swordsmen and Halberdiers from Curteys Miniatures.

Early research suggests that their was little in the way of formal uniforms so I went with a yellow and light brown theme to give them a sense of uniformity and separate them from the civilian levy.

More to follow.


  1. Ah, the Water Margin brings back many happy memories...:)

    1. That's the trouble Steve - I want to keep it historical but there is strong pull towards fighting the evil Kao Chiu.

  2. Looking good Stu, it's been nice watching this project grow .
    Regards Furphy .

    1. Working on the major compound as we speak.....
      Should be ready for the first outing next club.