Sunday 30 September 2018

World War One - East Africa

Today we played a World War One in East Africa game.

The scenario had a German command of eleven companies, supported by two field guns, two mountain guns and six heavy machine guns retreating before a Empire force of twelve companies, six heavy machine guns and one field gun. 

The Germans had to retreat across two rivers, each of which had a single crossing point, to a plantation at one end of the table. Their objective was  to get as many troops across the second ford as possible at the end of the game. 

Four companies plus two machine guns were around a farm at the  opposite end of the table to the plantation. Six companies, three machine guns, the two mountain guns and one field gun were posted on a hill between the rivers. A single company, a machine gun and a field gun were posted at the plantation.  

Looking up the full length of table from the plantation.

The Empire force consisted of  four battalions. A South African battalion and two Sikh battalions deployed near the  farm while a battalion of British infantry with two machine guns would arrive between the rivers.

The Germans stole a march on the South Africans and Sikhs, slipping away across the first river without taking a single casualty, while between the rivers the Germans took post on the hill.

As the German Askari from the farm made their way through the thick bush, the British battalion pushed forward and engaged them. One Askari company faced the attack while the others raced away towards the second river crossing.

The Askari and one of their machine guns were overrun, but at great cost to the British company. A second British company dashed forward and engaged a unit of German Schutztruppen, but the Germans drove them off.

But when the Schutztruppen tried to drive off the supporting British machine gun, they were held in check. The British had time to regroup and drove off the Germans.

The South Africans in the meantime came up through the bush (somewhat belatedly) and took up the fight from the exhausted British.

The Germans were now streaming back to the second ford, but the Empire forces were closing fast. The two Sikh battalions formed up on the reverse slope of the hill ready to storm forward.

The Germans reatreated across the second ford and formed up around the plantation.

But the action had cost them dearly - five Askari companies, two mountain guns and a field gun were lost. The loss of heavy equipment was particularly crippling for them. The Empire force lost three companies, although several others has taken significant losses.

Here a very enjoyable game ended.

Saturday 29 September 2018

The 5th Hussars

Today I completed the 5th Hussars, the second (and last) of the hussar regiments for Burthe’s 8th Light Cavalry Brigade of Pajol’s 2nd Light Cavalry Division at Borodino.

I like the mix of the dark blue dolman and breeches, with the white pellise and yellow lace.

The second brigade of this division, Desirat's 7th Brigade, will contain two regiments of Chasseurs a Cheval and will be completed in November.

Wednesday 26 September 2018

French Napoleonic Horse Artillery

The weekend saw the completion of the painting of five Horse Artillery sets that will represent five batteries for the 1812-13. One battery will be assigned to the infantry Division, while the other four will be shared by the four cavalry divisions.


Again the figures are Perry Miniatures and are the last artillery sets needed for this collection.

Saturday 22 September 2018

More 1812-13 French

The arrival of a couple of boxes of Perry plastic French infantry has allowed me to complete two more battalions started two weeks ago.

The first is the 5th battalion (and final), 48th Regiment.

The second is the 3rd battalion, 15th Légèr Regiment

Also riding out of the uniform store are the general officers. There are five groups here covering the five divisions (1 infantry and four cavalry) that will make up this collection. The group representing divisional command consists of two figures while the brigade command are a single figure.

Friant’s Infantry division

de Saint-Alphonse's 2nd Cuirassier Division

Defrance's 4th Cuirassier Division

 la Houssaye's 6th Heavy Cavalry (dragoons)

Pajol's 2nd Light Cavalry Division 

Finally some support material for the next Napoleonic project arrived.

Monday 17 September 2018

Napoleonic Game

Our regular Sunday game (over the last weekend) was a Napoleonic game.


It was a largely adhoc setup designed as a straight up fight. A Franco/German force consisting of two French infantry brigades, with cavalry and artillery attached and supported by a similar sized Bavarian and Wurttemberg force, took on a Prussian division and two Russian divisions. Deployment was done by dice roll per command, the highest score deploying first, then the next highest and so on. Each command could deploy up to half way across the table and any opposing deployment had to deploy a minimum of 600mm away. In the end no one deployed up to the halfway mark, everyone wanted some manoeuvre space.


On the Franco/German side the French held the left, the Wurttembergers the centre and the Bavarians the right rear, while the two Russian divisions held the right (opposite the French) and centre (against the Wurttembergers) and the Prussians the left.


Action commenced with the French moving to attack the town on their left hand side of the table. They intended to drive through the town and then swing their cavalry wide against the Russian right. They quickly occupied on of the large built up areas, only just beating a unit of Russian jagers into the place, but when the Russians occupied the other two areas of the town a lengthy firefight started amongst the buildings that would last most of the day.


Action on the French front continued with the Russians pushing forward to drive them off. After some initial success the French musketry against the dense Russian formations began to tell and their advance began to falter.


In the centre the both side stood relatively stationary either side of a broad ridge. Finally the Russians moved toward the crest, ready to march over and engage the Wurttembergers. The Wurttembergers were up to the challenge and crested the ridge, opening fire on the Russian columns. A epic clash between six battalions on each side was on the cards. Before the Russians could return the fire, the Wurttembergers seized the initiative and charged forward.


In the resulting combat the Russians repelled two attacks, but two of their own battalions were driven off in flight and two others were pushed back down the ridge. Despite thier success the Wurttembergers now found themselves in an awkward position. Their forward brigade was largely scattered and out of control of their general. When the inevitable Russian counter attack came the Germans scattered to the wind. 

However, the Wurttembergers had done enough damage to the lead Russian brigade for the Russians to give up the ghost and then dispersed, as did another of the Russian brigades on the right, surrendering the town to the French.

The Bavarians and Prussians exchanged long range fire, but were not seriously engaged.

Meanwhile the French continued to grind away at the Russians to their front and soon cleared that front of Russians. The French now dominated the flank of the remaining Russians in the centre.

The end was near for the Russo-Prussian command. The Bavarians were finally stirred into action, advancing agianst the point of junction bteween the Prussians and Russians. One of the Bavarian battalions facing the Russians was badly cut up, but their musketry of their other battalions cut into the Prussians and they began to recoil. When the second Wurttemburg brigade came forward there was little that the Russians could do but take it on the chin. Two of the Russian battalions were easily routed, but the other four held their ground and pushed some of the Germans back. The fight see-sawed for a turn and while the fight continued one of the Prussian brigades gave up the fight and quit the field. 

Then in one turn the Wurttembergers, the remaining Russians and one of the Bavarian brigades dropped below their brigade morale level and quit the field. This left a single Prussian brigade on the field against the French and a single Bavarian brigade. With this collapse on the Russo-Prussian side, army morale collapsed and the remaining troops quit the field.

Tuesday 11 September 2018

9th Hussar Regiment

In previous posts I have admitted to my hussar addiction. I have also admitted to a bit of hussar remorse – that feeling of “OH WHY…” as soon as I start to paint them.


This unit of Perry Miniatures plastic French hussars, for my French 1812-13 project certainly feeds my addiction, but I didn’t get the remorse this time…in fact I really enjoyed painting them.


Many people are put off by the assembly of plastic figures, but they don’t cause me a problem. Perhaps it is because I take care not to assemble more figures that I can paint in the next sitting, which is usually three figures, so that the assembly does not become a chore.


These figures assembled really easily and painted just as easily too. I made it easier for myself by painting the pelisses separately and gluing them on after the rest of the figure was completed. Not having to work around a cast pelisse made the work so much easier and pleasurable.


I have another unit of hussars to do for what will be Burthe’s 8th Light Cavalry Brigade in Pajol’s 2nd Light Cavalry Division at Borodino. These figures are enroute and should arrive sometime this week.

Thursday 6 September 2018

French 1812 Infantry

It has been a busy couple of weeks on the painting table since we go back from holiday. In that time I have completed three French 1812-13 battalions and started another two – 83 figures in all.


Now in fairness I had done 42 figures before I went away, but simply had not based them up.


First up is the 2nd battalion, 15th Légère.


Next is 3rd Battalion 48th de Ligne.

Finally is 4th Battalion 48th de Ligne.


The 3rd/15th Légère and 5th/48th are waiting for the command figures to arrive – next week I hope.


Meanwhile passing through the uniform store at present is a regiment of hussars, the 9th.