Sunday 30 January 2022

Travelling South…Again

This weekend is the Auckland Anniversary Weekend (each province has its own local holiday - most do not coincide) and as we did on Anniversary Weekend last year we have headed south again to Central Otago to continue our epicurean exploration of the region. I know we were here just a month ago, but with Omicron predicted to explode in the community within a week we were at first  a little hesitant to go then figured this could be the last chance to get about freely for a while and the wine was calling. 

In truth it is a part of a cunning plan on my part to convince her indoors that this would be a place to retire to. She seems to be warming to the idea and is already suggesting that we should come back for her birthday in May…I love when a plan comes together! 

So here we are eating our way around Queenstown, Cromwell and Wanaka, visiting various wineries along the way - and collecting a number of bottles to go back with us…sure glad we packed lightly.

A pleasant view of the vineyards in the Gibbston Valley

An even more pleasant view of the barrel room at Peregrine Wines where my credit card took a bit of a hammering.
And the result of the hammering.

I have also had some time to catch up on reading, with Andrew Limm’s “Walcheren to Waterloo” a very different view of the  British expeditions in the Low Countries, and Douglas Murphy’s  “Two Armies on the Rio Grande: The First Campaign of the US-Mexican War” to reacquaint me with the details of that campaign.
Back home tomorrow, back to painting….and work 😩

Thursday 27 January 2022

Terrain Tiles and Swedish Artillery

I have been working quite steadily on my terrain tiles over the last couple of months and have now completed 68 of the 73 planned. 

While many of those are plain tiles or plain with roads and not that impressive to show here, the watercourses and marsh sections are worth showing.

There are nine stream sections, that differ from the river sections by width and the fact that they twist and weave a little more across the tile.

Then there is the tile that allows a confluence between river and stream.

The various sections can then form something like this

The other significant ‘water pieces’ are the marshes of which there are three. There are limitations with these in that the 300mm square tends to constrain the shape of the marsh, making them look a bit pizza-like, and this may result in me making another two pieces that allows the marsh  to spread over two tiles that allows it to expand and contract a bit more realistically.

When connected to the stream pieces a series of marshes might look like this:

Completed over the weekend are two more Swedish gun sets and this pretty much completes the artillery for this collection.

Tuesday 25 January 2022

A New Project

I have embarked on a new project, although some might consider it an extension of my AWI projects from last year.

This project is to collect a small French force to support the American forces we have in vast numbers and also to fight the British in the Caribbean. The idea was to raise a force of three battalions, one squadron of cavalry and battalion gun, plus some command figures. You may have noted that I used the word “was” near the start of the last sentence, and that is because even though I haven’t even put a brush near the first infantry unit yet, I have decided to expand the force to six battalions. This is largely because I have thought of an interesting game that would require a minimum of six battalions.

This first batch contains the command, a gun and the cavalry.

The command set comes Witt seven foot figures and one mounted  figures and I have broken  set into three groups:

  • Generals Rochambeau, Chastellux and the Duc de Lauzun

  • The Marquis de St Simon, an engineer officer and a topographical engineer

  • A commissaries ordinnateur passing a message to a mounted ADC.

And the whole glittering group together.

Next is the battalion gun, with a crew in fatigues firing a Swedish 3lb gun. This has to be the simplest uniform I have painted in years.

The last item in this batch is the hussar squadron from Lauzon’s Legion.

As I was completing these I was reminded of a post from a few years ago when I admitted my hussar addiction and it made me wonder just how many units of hussars do I have? Well quite a few actaully. There are these (6 figures), for the Napoleonic era four French regiments (45), one British (6), one each Russian and Prussian (24), Crimean War two British (12) and two Russian (18), Austrian-Prussian War two Austrian (36), Prussian (12) and WWI German (6).

Finally with Omicron creeping it’s way into our communities and the horror of further restrictions (no lockdown or provincial borders closed this time…hopefully) and expected disruptions to supply chains it was important to stock up on a few important items.

Saturday 22 January 2022

Nyland Dragoon Regiment

This is the second and final cavalry unit of the Swedish Army in Finland collection. Final because only two regiments served in the theatre.

The Nyland Dragoons had a pretty revered history, being one of the original eight Swedish cavalry regiments raised in 1618. Later it assumed the title of the Nyland and Tavastehus Regiment because of it’s region of recruitment.

It was engaged in the Thirty Years and in the Great Northern Wars fighting at Poltava then surrendering at Perevolochna. Re-raised snd converted from cavalry to dragoons, it was divided in 1791 with the  Tavastehus companies forming the third battalion of the Tavastehus Infantry Regiment and the Nyland companies forming the Nyland Dragoon Regiment.

In the orders of battle for the war with Russia the regiment was broken into squadrons and attached to the different brigades. The regiment was disbanded in 1809.

Thursday 20 January 2022

Back to the Prussians

With the completion of the ACW cavalry I fluttered back to the Franco-Prussian War Prussians, to work on the 1st Westphalian Infantry Regiment No. 13 that forms part of 25th Brigade, 13th Division, VII Corps, First Army.

Raised as the 1st Reserve Infantry Regiment at Königsberg in 1813 the regiment participated in the Wars of Liberation, fighting at Luckau, Köninshorn, Hagelberg, Grossbeeren and Dennewitz. It was employed in the Hundred Days Campaign, but was not present at Waterloo, engaged instead in Alcase. In 1817 the tegiment moved to the newly acquired province of Westphalia and took the title 1st Westphalian Infantry Regiment based at Münster.

Deployed in the revolts of 1848 and engaged in all Danish War of 1864, including Düppel, the regiment served in western Germany during the 1866 campaign under von Goeben against the Federal forces, fighting at Dermbach, Kissingen, Aschaffenberg and Gerchsheim.

In The Franco-Prussian War it was engaged at Colombey and Gravelotte, then later in the Siege of Metz. 

In the Great War it served entirely on the Western Front, suffering 4,213 casualties during the war.

This is the 1st Battalion and I have left standard pole is bare because the standard had largely disintegrated in 1866 and I have made a broad assumption that after that campaign they were completely gone. 

Next on the painting conveyor belt is some more Swedish cavalry.

Wednesday 19 January 2022

ACW Game

Last Sunday we had a large ACW game, involving seven of us. 

I fought on the Union side and we had five infantry and two cavalry brigades, supported by ten batteries. The Confederates has six brigades of infantry, one of cavalry and I think six batteries.

Dominating the centre of the table was a large hill that we planned to occupy early in the game and thus my cavalry brigade of five units plus a horse battery, was placed opposite it with the objective of taking it quickly then holding it with a dismounted force until the infantry could come up in support. To my left would be two infantry brigades, to my right three brigades and on the extreme right the other and much smaller cavalry brigade.

The right of our line

My cavalry brigade ready to advance

Our left, the Iron and Irish Brigades

When the balloon went up the my cavalry was off like a rocket, up onto the hill and three of the five regiments dismounted, with two mounted to the rear. To my right two infantry brigades pushed forward at the double and caught the Rebels by surprise.

The cavalry taking position and skirmishing with the Rebels

The brigades on my right driving forward

Thanks to some artillery support the cavalry was able to hold its position with some ease against the Rebel infantry and the position on the hill was never really threatened.

To my right the action developed into a hard fight., but our lines held.

On my left it was a harder fight and the Rebels pushed hard, overlapping the left flank.

But in the centre two Rebel regiments gave way under the relentless fire of the Union batteries. This gave the cavalry an opportunity and they remounted and set out to exploit a large hole that had opened up.

Two Rebel batteries were ridden down and the brigade formed to flank the infantry threatening our left.

On the extreme right the cavalry brigade found itself on the wrong side of the river and was forced to redeploy.

While Berdan’s Sharpshooters held their own in the woods.

Here the game was called. Oddly I don’t recall what the umpire’s decision was, but the game could easily have run for another couple of turns and if it had I think the battle of the left would have come to a decisive outcome as both of the infantry forces were in danger of collapse. The cavalry too could have had a field day against the rear of the Rebels there...but it wasn’t to be.

All that said I was pleased with the way in which the dismounted cavalry rules worked, although the cavalry were not pressed hard in the fight due to the heavy artillery support.

To close out here a few more shots from the game