Sunday 29 April 2018

Retreat from Moscow Game

Today's Sunday game was a Retreat from Moscow battle. The basis of the game was the same as the game I ran back in October last year, the details of which are here

The game was huge fun, with four players taking the role of various French units trying to escape the pursuing Russians that were programmed, but played by me. The game differed from last October's game in that the French approached by two roads that merged into a single road at a village to exit the table. To make matters worse for them, when they reached the village they heard that the Emperorwas approaching  from behind them and that their prime purpose was now to get the Emperor off the table.

In short, depite the appearance of many Russian units (most of which were "recycled" when they were driven from the field), the French managed to get the Emperor off the table although they lost three infantry and one cavalry units to the Russians. Perhaps the darkest moment for the French was when a small unit of Old Guard grenadiers were dispersed by a ragged group of Russian peasants!

The figures are from the excellent Perry Miniatures range.

So the photos in no particular order...

Cossacks and dragoons harrass one of the French columns

Those peasants arrive

In the village

Russian jägers, with the peasants nearby, engage a French battalion

Cossacks swarm around the village

A Russian battery enters the fight

A brave French battalion

A broad view of the field of battle

The Emperor escapes

Thursday 26 April 2018

Woodland Indians II

A concerted effort in the last week has seen the completion of the remaining 36 Woodland Indians.

Add to them the rebased Front Rank unit from 20 years ago... get the whole 60 figures – 12 Front Rank and 48 Warlord. 

I think the make a pretty formidable warband.

Friday 20 April 2018

Woodlands Indians

As a bit of a break from the British in Egypt – largely driven by the fact that I have painted all the figures that I have on hand for that project – I have moved on to some Woodland Indians.


I bought these last month when Warlord Games had a 30% off special on them. My main use is for the War of 1812, but secondary uses for the French and Indian War and the American War of Independence are also envisaged.


These are from the Warlord plastic set that they took ownership of when they bought the Wargames Factory ranges. The set consists of three sprues each of 8 bodies, plus a huge variety of arms, heads, headdresses, weapons and pouches. There is more than enough variety to make every figure in the box different. In fact after assembling all 48 figures I don't think one is the same as any other.


When I first unpacked the box I thought the figures looked a little too slender, but once they assemble up they look OK and paint up just fine. My only complaints are that there is no option for a standing firing figure and that the necks on the figures are a little too short - a another half millimetre would have made all the difference.

Nonetheless the paint up easily and here are the first of what will eventually be four units. A fifth unit, utilusing some Front Rank figures painted some twenty years ago, will join the other four when they are re-based.

Readers may remember from my last post that I have set a standard for basing my armies of six infantry figures to a stand and for Napoleonics (into which the War of 1812 can be levered) the base size is 45mm frontage and 40mm depth. From the start I expected to reduce the number of figures on the indians' stands to five, but I quickly found that because of the highly animated poses of the figures that it was impossible to fit more than three figures on the base without them looking ridiculously crammed. The obvious advantage is that the nine and a half stands that would have been possible with five figures to a stand has increased to sixteen stands with three per stand.


Sunday 15 April 2018

The 11th Light Dragoons

For some time now I have been using three stands as the standard for my units. I started this with the Austro-Prussian War armies and have continued it through the Russo-Japanese War, WWI, Crimean War, Carlist War and Wars of the Roses collections. The number of figures on a base varies only slightly – I use three figures on the early 20th Century stands, where the formations are more open, but for the other periods I use six figures for infantry and three for cavalry. For the six and three mix works out well because all the ranges I have bought recently have been from manufacturers who sell their figures in packs of six infantry or three cavalry.

The physical size of the stands can differ with the period. Most have 50mm frontage and 40mm depth (although the Russian Crimean War stands are 40mm x 50mm to represent the fact that the Russians generally used narrow, deep formations). The Napoleonic armies (Prussians, Russians, French and United States) are on slightly narrower bases, 45mm x 40mm to match with others in the group. The Napoleonic ranges also vary in unit size, being of four stands, not three, again to fit in with the long standing standard unit size we have chosen for play within the group.


Left to right above a stand each of Austrians from 1866, WSS Bavarians, Carlists, British Crimean, Russian Crimean, French Napoleonic.

When I started the Egyptian project I thought long and hard about unit size. Since no one else in the group is collecting these armies I can use the three stand approach.


Looking at the various historical sources the “fit for service” strengths for infantry units on both sides varied radically from 700 men through to less than 100. The cavalry strengths were equally varied, with the British suffering from a severe shortage of horses – so  much that in the first month of the campaign less than one-third of their cavalry had mounts (of the 1,101 light dragoons listed in the returns of 8 March 1801, there were only 320 horses). The bulk of the British cavalry fought dismounted.


So my question for the Egyptian campaign was whether to  try to capture the varied strength of units. And the answer is on the whole no. The exception is the British cavalry. Here I will create three mounted units and two dismounted units, each of two stands. Which leads to the point of this post

with the first unit of British in Egypt cavalry – the 11th Light Dragoons - passing in review:


Mounted (using the Perry plastic Light Dragoon set)


Dismounted, and armed with muskets rather than carbines, using the metal figures.


The other units that will follow will be the 8th and 26th Regiments, but I still need some more figures to complete these units so it may be a while before they shuffle onto the parade ground.

Saturday 14 April 2018

The 13th (1st Somersetshire) Regiment of Foot

It has been a bit of trying week. A significant storm hit us on Tuesday night taking out electricity twice in three days (limiting painting time as a result), causing some minor damage to my roof, but major disruption to my days trying to get a reliable tradesman to come and fix it before a fresh storm hit us last night. But it is all resolved now and the painting schedule is back on track with the completion of the 13th Regiment of Foot.

With a history dating back to 1685, this regiment served in the first Jacobite uprisings in Scotland, Ireland, the War of Spanish Succession, the Anglo-Spanish War, the War of Austrian Succession, the “Forty-Five”, in the Carribean during the American Revolution and the early stages of the French Revolution, before being sent to Egypt in 1801, where it served first in Craddock's Brigade then later in Doyle's Brigade.


Shako Plate of 13th Regiment in 1812, with the Egypt honour at the top.

Again I have done this unit is round hats.


This is the ninth infantry unit of this British in Egypt collection and is the last of the infantry units in this batch of figures. Another six units will be ordered towards the end of this month to complete the infantry contingent.

Sunday 8 April 2018

War of Spanish Succession Game

Today's regular Sunday game was a War of Spanish Succession extravaganza in which an Anglo/Dutch/Austrian force took on a Franco/Spanish/Bavarian force. The scenario was a simple one both sides were to annihilate the opposition.

The opposing commanders had to plan thier battle and issued orders to thier subordinates, who could not vary from these orders unless they received instructions from the CinC. By chance each commander deployed completely opposite to the other, each deploying their cavalry on their left and infantry to the right.

The Bavarians and Spanish deployment 

The English lines

The French artillery

The Austrian and Dutch deployment 

The Franco/Spanish cavalry deployment

The French started the game, advancing a brigade against the Austrians.

The Austrians moved to counter the French advance.

While the Bavarian and Spanish moved to control the right flank

The Franco/Spanish cavalry waited an opportunity to advance.

The English lines advanced unopposed at a very leisurely pace.

The English guns deployed

The Austrians and French drew closer...

...then clashed 

The French infantry stumbled...

...and two battalions on the left of the line were driven off and disoersed.

The English, Dutch and Austrian cavalry arrived opposite the Bavarians. 

They attacked the Bavarians...

...breaking one of the Bavarian battalions, but were halted by the Bavarian second line.

The English cavalry then attacked the second French brigade, but were beaten off.

But a gap opened in the Franco/Bavarian line that the Austrian cavalry rode through eventually dispersing the French artillery.

Meanwhile the Bavarians and Spanish drove off the rest of the English cavalry and took control of that flank.

In the centre the remnants of the French cavalry pushed back the Austrians, but could not break them.

Soon the remaining Austrians destroyed the last of the French troopers.

Belatedly the English formed up on the French left and advanced.

On the Franco/Bavarian right the Bavarian and Spanish, now free of the English cavalry formed up to face the distant English line.

Here the game ended with both armies having turned each other's right flank. The French, Austrian and Dutch commands and all the cavalry were all but destroyed.

Here the game ended. Neither force managed to destroy the other.

Below are the final positions.