Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Epic Fail Charles le Temeraire

My Epic Fail is Charles the Bold aka Charles le Temeraire aka Chuck the idiot, last of the Valois Dukes of Burgundy.  The figure is Perry Charles the Bold figure that comes with their Burgundian Cavalry Wing army deal, which was my birthday present last year from my wife.  He has been kicking around in my lead pile since then, because I was loathe to paint up such a complete doofus.  However, Epic Fail seems to about cover it.

In picking a subject for this theme I was reminded of the scene in the film the "Producers" where Zero Mostel discards the idea of a broadway musical based on Kafka's Metamorphosis as being "not weird enough".  OK let's cover off the Epicness of Charles' Fail, to see if it's epic enough.

  1. Charles inherited the third most powerful European country, the Duchy of Burgundy.  It was a patchwork quilt of fiefs from the Upper Rhine to the Low Countries, and it was fabulously wealthy.
  2. He put together what is considered the first Renaissance Army using a combination of shot, shock and foot and hiring the best mercenaries from across Europe.
  3. This army as WRG puts it, remains popular with warmers despite losing 100% of it battles.  Yes that right it's an 0-fer army.
  4. He picked a territorial battle with the Swiss, who roughed every other power up badly.
  5. The way he failed on the field of battle.  Battle reports speak of poor reconnaissance, overly complex battle plans and failing to consider what happens is the enemy does something different that you expect.
  6. His cavalry strong army got surprised by massed pike columns three times in a row.
  7. He died in the final battle.
  8. For extra points he left no heir but an infant daughter.  Now in Scottish history this is a regular rite of passage, but the Scots have a national identify where us the Duchy of Burgundy had none.
  9. As a result the third most powerful European country simply ceased to exist.  Yep, the French got the actual Duchy of Burgundy and the Empire got the Netherlands and "poof" it was gone.

So let's sum this up.  Builds the "killer" army, designs the "can't fail battle plan" and then goes about losing every fight badly by failing to get the basics right.  Yep he was a wargamer and we've all seen him on the table, or possibly been him on the table.

Ok back to the mini.  Charles is a Perry specialty metal, his standard bearer is a combo of a Plastic Knight and the Plastic "light" cavalry set.  I wanted to avoid the standard "Blue and white with red cross" look that screams "Burgundian Ordinance" so that I could use the figure as a French commander in the Italian Wars.  Swiss illustrations show Charles in Gilded Armour with Red surcoat so I went with that.

And I found a livery for Burgundian Guardsmen that was 1/2 black and purple with a white cross for his standard bearer.  The flag is paper, printed at home and a standard Burgundian banner.


  1. Lovely work on this one Peter, and I certainly enjoyed the history less (about an era I know nothing about) very informative. Great entry imho :-)

  2. Chuck sounds a bit like a lot of Wargamers I've met... Only he's a lot better painted.

  3. Replies
    1. Thanks Conrad. I think there's a big of the Temeraire in all if us...

  4. Great post and beautiful paint job!