Sunday 30 July 2017

American Civil War Game

When I woke this morning it was a frosty -2 degrees C. For us in Auckland that is pretty cold, but a cold frosty morning for us usually means a fine sunny day, and that is exactly what we got. So on this stunning day we locked ourselves indoors and played an American Civil War game.

We had six players and the scenario was a simple one with the Union forces charged with controlling a crossroads at game's end.  A single Confederate infantry brigade, heavily supported by an artillery brigade and a cavalry brigade held a position dominating the crossroads. They could expect reinforcement by two infantry brigades. The Union had two infantry brigades and a cavalry brigade on the table, with another infantry brigade expected as a reserve.

Not going to to too much detail, but the two Union brigades attempted to drive off the Confederates from their position before reinforcements could arrive. But they found access the Confederate position difficult. A strong attack was repulsed and much of the Union centre collapsed. 

On the Union right six infantry regiments, five batteries and two small cavalry regiments faced thirteen infantry regiments, three cavalry and four batteries. The Union troops put a desperate fight, the artillery in particular,  and drove off all of the Confederate cavalry and five infantry units, before numbers took their toll and the Union troops were driven from the field.

On the Union extreme left the fight continued, but the end was nigh. The Confederates scored a decisive victory.

Friday 28 July 2017

Russian Napoleonic Horse Artillery

This is the penultimate unit in my Russian Army of 1812. My phrasing of that sentence " Russian Army of 1812..." is deliberate because I have in the back of my mind to do a small number of units for a Russian force from an earlier period - with the flat top kiwer and the big bushy grenadier plumes - that can still be used in 1812 because many of the regiments did not receive their new uniforms until after the 1812 campaign. But for now this is pretty much it.

As I mentioned in a previous post these figures are from Front Rank. The figures are great castings: sharp with the usual highly defined detail that you expect from Front Rank, although the figures poses are a little stiff.

My disappointment with this set is with the guns. The wheels are just too small and the gun looks a little too squat - another three milimeters on the diameter would have made all the difference. But they are what they are and since the horse battery should not be brigaded with the line batteries, the difference may not show. Of course the day after I ordered the Front Rank figures the greens for the Perry horse artillery showed up on their Facebook page.

The final unit in this army, the hussar regiment, has been ordered and should be here within a couple of weeks.

Sunday 23 July 2017

The Ekaterinoslav Cuirassier Regiment.

This week's effort has been around the second of the cuirassier regiments for the Russian Napoleonic army, the Ekaterinoslav Regiment.

All that remains of the Russian collection now is the horse battery, that is in transit (and should arrive in the next few days) and a regiment of hussars.

Wednesday 19 July 2017

Napoleonic Russians

This week’s main focus has been the first of two regiments of cuirassiers for my Russian Napoleonic collection.


This regiment is the Gloukhov Regiment. The figures are Perry miniatures again, a mix of the charging with swords raised and shouldered figures. The horses are good solid beasts, as heavy cavalry horse ought to be.


To a some extent I was dreading these because of their white coats, and I sometime struggle with white, but I needn’t have feared. The fact that the blackened cuirass covers most of the torso dramatically reduces the amount of white that has to be painted – it limits the white it to the arms, coat tails and the gauntlets.


The dark blue facings on this regiment caused me some problems with the trumpeter as I have not done that great a job on the lace down his sleeves. Nonetheless I am quite pleased with the overall effect. They look suitably menacing.


Also completed this week is the third of the artillery batteries required for the army. In many 1812 formations the divisional artillery consisted of two field batteries and one position battery. By 1813 the number of batteries was generally reduced to two. The field batteries (and horse batteries for that matter) consisted of eight 6lb guns and  four 10lb howitzers. The position batteries contained the heavier 12lb guns and 20lb howitzers, in the same numbers as the light batteries. In my batteries I have used two models; one gun and one howitzer.


Again these are Perry miniatures and what wonderfully meaty guns these are. They really look the part of heavy guns.


I have one more battery to do for this army and it is a horse battery, which I have ordered from Front Rank – rather annoyingly I noted just after I had placed the order that the Perrys have horse artillery on the workbench! Oh well…


For now it is back to the second cuirassier regiment, the Ekaterinoslav regiment.

Sunday 16 July 2017

First Carlist War Battle Report

Today's game was supposed to be an American Civil War action, but the week has been a busy one and the opportunity to plan was limited. This combined with the fact that I woke up late this morning and didn't have time to sort out the armies saw me change the ACW game to a First Carlist War affair, plainly and simply because in could very quickly grab the two storage containers from my study cupboard. We used all my Carlist War figures

For the game a Carlist force of 13 infantry battalions, four cavalry squadrons and two guns were charged with covering a road leading back to their heartland. Against them was an Isabelino force consisting of four guard battalions, one light battalion and 9 line battalions, three cavalry squadrons, two field and one mountain guns. The Isabelino forces were supported by components form the British Auxiliary Legion (BAL) and the French Foreign Legion (FFL) - a battalion of British Marines, two battalions of a BAL infantry, a squadron of BAL cavalry, a rocket troop and a detachment of royal artillery, four battalions of the FFL, a squadron of cavalry and a mountain gun.

The FFL and BAL troops advance

The Isabelino right flank

The quality of the troops would be essential to the game. Of the Carlist infantry one battalion of Navarese guides was rated elite, six battalions were rate trained and six raw. The cavalry and the artillery were rated trained. The Isabelino guard and FFL infantry were rated trained, the Marines elite, but all other infantry was raw. Of the Isabelino cavalry, the BAL cavalry was raw while the rest were trained. All the Isabelino artillery was rated trained.

The Carlists chose to deploy six battalions and the mountain gun in a village in the centre if the table with the remaining forces on or behind the hills to the rear. The Isabelinos came from two directions, the FFL, BAL and a brigade of five Isableino battalions on the left and the remaining troops on the right.

The Isabelno Cavalry

The guard advance 

The village became the centre of the action, quickly drawing the two raw brigades and two batteries of the Isabelino troops into a desperate fight with six Carlist battalions. The Carlist drove off ten Isabelino battalions before being driven out themselves.

Above and below, the Isabelinos advance on the village

Meanwhile on the left flank the FFL and BAL faced up against a mixed Carlist force, and on the right the Guard and the cavalry faced off against the Carlist Cavalry, three battalions of infantry and the field battery. The fighting on the flanks continued all day, but the final collapse of the village marked the end of the game.

Wednesday 12 July 2017

Winter Village - Part 3

Due to another flattening of the lead pile I returned to the winter village that I commenced last month. This, regular readers might recall, is for a future Great Northern War project. The simple nature of the structures will enable their use in any winter theater in Eastern Europe and into Scandinavia from the 16th Century right up to the Second World War.

This second batch of buildings consists of four structures. The first two buildings are a variant on the  two that were completed earlier in that they are dwellings.

I still have to complete the base on this one.

The other two buildings - a farm house and a barn - are in ruins. 

There may be one more structure in this series, perhaps it will be something to work on the next time that the lead pile flattens out.

In the meantime it is back to the Napoleonic Russians with work commencing on two cuirassier regiments and a position battery.