Sunday 30 October 2022

English Civil War Game

Today we played an English Civil War game. I played Robert Bertie, 1st Earl of Lindsay, in command of Royalist force. My briefing was as follows.

In September 1642, King Charles I’s party is travelling south from Nottinghamto Oxford where he hopes to support his army in its attempt to drive Parliamentary forces from the city. 

The king’s party is protected by a small mixed force commanded by Robert Bertie, 1st Earl of Lindsey

The Royalists have spent the night at Claydon House, Buckinghamshire, the home of Sir Edmund Verney who would become the king’s standard bearer at Edgehill later in the following month.

Lindsey’s forces include the following:

Horse:  Prince Rupert

Sir Richard Astley’s regiment (large)

Sir Charles Gerard’s regiment (large)

Marquis of Winchester’s regiment (standard)

Sir James Shaw’s regiment (standard)

Foot: Sir George Digby, 2nd Earl of Bristol

Prince Rupert’s regiment

Lamplugh’s regiment

Stradling’s regiment

Dragoons and independent musketeers: Sir Marmaduke Langdale

Sir Henry Washington’s company (standard)

Sir George Strachan’s company (standard)

Colonel Rogers’ company of musketeers (standard)


1 field gun

At daybreak, following an excellent evening enjoying Sir Edmund’s hospitality, the king and his party are preparing to leave when an observant dragoon reports the presence of a party of, presumably hostile, horsemen outside the Boar’s Head Inn to the southwest

Lindsey immediately gives orders for his force to deploy in case the horsemen’s presence across the valley indicates the arrival of a much larger and potentially more dangerous force.

At the commencement of play, Lindsey’s forces are deployed as follows:

  • The horse is off the table behind Claydon House;
  • The foot is encamped near the woods to the east of Claydon House;
  • The dragoons and musketeers are camped immediately north of the barn/stables;
  • The artillery and baggage are outside the front entrance to Claydon House as is the king’s coach.

Lindsey’s imperative is to protect the king and, if possible, to ensure that his force is able to forge its way through any opposition in order to join the rest of the Royalist army outside Oxford.

The table, looking towards the Oxford road, Clayton House and the King’s entourage can be seen on the extreme right.

So how did the game go? Well not quite as planned.

Above and below the King and his entourage prepare to depart

Dingy and Langdale formed up and moved towards the tavern.

Near the mill Digby came under fire from the Parliamentary guns.

The Royalist horse charged the dismounted Roundhead dragoons…

…but despite all the advantages in their favour were beaten off! Another attempt by the Royalist horse against some Roundhead cavalry were similarly beaten off, until finally two units found the Parliamentary flank and gained the upper hand.

By this point the Royalist forces had reached the bridge with the King’s coach, but further passage was blocked.

The Parliamentary forces closed around the carriage only to find that the King was not in it, having taken to his horse and made his way around the enemy forces.

Here the game ended. The King had escaped into the Oxfordshire countryside, but Lindsay’s force was all but destroyed.

And so a few extra images..

Tuesday 25 October 2022

AWI Artillery

“How much!?” asked Bob, standing there with his armed folded and his face full of disbelief.

Simon took a deep breath and said, “ten cents…ten cents a bale.”

“Ten cents for a bale of hay!” Bob shook his head. “That’s a cent up from last week. These fuel prices are out of control!”

Simon nodded, “yep, we’re in the wrong dang business!”

Well that’s what I reckon these two are saying, because I was reading an article the other day about the economics of the American Revolution and it appears that it seems inflation was a problem then as it is today, with an average of 4.3% across the years 1775 and 1783, peaking just under 30% in 1778.

I have been a little slow with the posts this week due in part to some sickness last week and then a couple off days in Sydney where we took in a show and did a little shopping…well I didn’t do much shoppin…or indeed any.

Today have managed to complete the basing of two of three gun sets for the AWI Americans That cleared the painting table last week. 

First is a six-pounder with limber.

Second is the gun team loading a howitzer, along with their ammunition wagon (at the back of which Bob and Simon are having their discussion).

The third set, another six-pounder and limber, will follow in due course.

Tuesday 18 October 2022

AWI American Mounted Officers

 The weekend saw the completion of the mounted officers for the American AWI collection. There are six figures in this set.

I decided to use four figures as brigadiers and the two in the  as the  higher command. The rather ‘robust’ chap on the white horse will be the brigadier for the New Hampshire regiments, hence the green coat.

And the higher command.

Next, some AWI guns.

Saturday 15 October 2022

The Tver Dragoons

The second regiment in the Napoleonic Russian cavalry expansion is the Tver Dragoon Regiment. Recruited in the vicinity of Tver, northwest of Moscow, I have not managed to find much in the way of history of the regiment prior to 1800. I can find references to it fighting in the Seven Years War, but cannot determine any service in Peter the Great’s army.

The regiment fought at Austerlitz and in 1812 formed part of the 15th Brigade in  of the Cavalry Corps of Tormasov’s 3rd Reserve Observation Army.

In the century following the Napoleonic Wars the regiment saw further service in the Crimean War and the Great War.

With the completion of this unit the I will take a break from European conflicts and flutter across the pond to North America again where a few mounted officers and some artillery for the AWI need some attention. But rest assured there are more Allied cavalry to come.

Wednesday 12 October 2022

Dinner with Davé

Nine years ago we took a holiday in Europe, spending six days in Rome, six in Venice and six in Paris. It was a fabulous trip, the success of which was unquestionably attributed to the incredible amount of research her indoors undertakes before we head off on these expedition.

When we got to Paris we were in a hotel in Rue de Richelieu, just around the corner from the Palais Royale (and very near the fabulous model soldier shop “Les Drapeau de France”).  It was not the most impressive hotel in Paris, but it wasn’t expensive, it was clean, quiet and for people like us that like to walk when we visit foreign cities it was just a few hundred metres from the Louvre and gave easy access to other locations of interest, either on foot or by Metro. While the hotel had a breakfast bar it lacked a restaurant, but who needs to dine in hotel in a city of 1,000 restaurants, right? As a part of her research, her indoors had noted twenty or more dining options of interest within a relatively tight radius of our residence.

One of those places of interest that we decided to give a go was a Chinese restaurant just a few doors down from the hotel under the name ‘Davé’ (pronounced Dah-VAY). It’s street frontage was rather plain with a very 1960’s hippie/psychedelic looking sign above the door and oddly for a Parisian restaurant there was no menu or hours of trade displayed.

We had no idea if we needed to book a table so we just wandered in through the double doors, pushing past a heavy velvet curtain into the plush interior of red and gold. The walls were covered with hundreds of photographs of the the rich and famous. In my initial glance I caught sight of images of David Bowie and his wife Iman,  Leonardo DiCaprio, one of the Kardashians, one who I thought looked like Scarlet Johansen and some faces I recognised but couldn’t put names to.

The maître’d asked if we had a booking and when we said no seemed a little confused about what to do with walk-ins like us and consulted with a man we soon came to know as Dave, the owner. Dave said he was booked out, but could fit us in if we were early diners which we were, although at 7:30 we would consider that late-ish (but then again no self-respecting restaurant in Paris opens until after 7:00). We sat down and he said he would be with us shortly. There was no menu and no wine list on the table.

Dave soon came back and introduced himself as Dave Cheung, a native of HongKong whose family had emigrated  to France in the 1960’s. We chatted with him for a while about where we were from and what we had seen. He was a very amiable chap. He explained  that his restaurant had become the haunt of the Paris fashion set, in fact he really only opened for a few weeks a year around the Paris Fashion Week (and we were in the middle of Fashion Week) and that was why the walls were festooned with photos of the famous and fashion icons.

He then told us there is no menu. Instead he talks to us, gets to know what we like or don’t like then based on that and what is available in the kitchen he serves what he thinks would suit, along with a wine match. So we discussed that I can’t eat seafood and her indoors in gluten intolerant and he said OK and went away. Shortly after a very nice bottle of wine arrived, a Chablis if I recall correctly, followed by two entrées. Delicious and plentiful. Then the main courses came, then dessert, all equally delicious.

As the time ticked past 8:30 the restaurant was beginning to fill up and Dave seemed to be in his element - these were clearly his fashion customers and he flitted amongst them easily switching languages between French, English and Cantonese. We figured that we should honour our early diners pledge and readied to leave. I said to her indoors that this was not going to be a cheap dinner and I headed to to the counter to pay. Davé came across asked if everything was OK and we had a bit more of a chat. There was no bill, he just did some sort of quick mental calculation and came up with a figure. Expecting a huge bill I was pleasantly surprised to find that the price was no higher than any other Parisian bistro. Dave shook hands, wished us well and we went on our way. It was a lovely dinner and he had been a charming host.

We were back in Paris in August 2018 and were keen to visit again, but the place was closed. Apparently Dave had retired in February of that year and just shut up shop.

So what connection does all this have with a wargames blog? Absolutely nothing…aside from the fact that we were reminiscing about that evening as I was painting the last few figures of the Tirailleurs Algériens. I thought I might be able to forge some sort of vague link between the Tirailleurs and Chinese food, but nothing really…then again, two companies of the 2nd Tirailleurs, along with each two from the other Tirailleurs regiments, were formed into a composite battalion that participated in the Cochinchina Campaign from 1858-1862, an operation that marked the commencement of French colonisation in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, and Davé’s cuisine was listed as Chinese/Vietnamese…a tenuous link for sure, but it seemed a good enough excuse to write about that memory - you know, our brush with the rich and famous in Paris, not that we actually saw anyone rich or anyone famous, of course.

And so to the toys, here is the third and final battalion of the 2nd Regiment Tirailleurs Algériens.

And here are all three battalions of the regiment.

Saturday 8 October 2022

Prussian Dragoons

The second unit in my Napoleonic Allied cavalry expansion is the Brandenburg Dragoon Regiment, No 5.

I have done these, as I will do for all three of the Prussian dragoon regiments that I am doing in this expansion, in the Litewka, or full coat. I have done this unit with three stands of dragoons and one of mounted volunteer jägers. In 1813 there were many thousands of volunteers that joined the service and if they had a horse and could ride, they were grouped into mounted volunteer jäger detachments and many were attached to existing regiments, adopting the same facing colours as the regiment to which they were attached. A second dragoon regiment will also have a detachment of mounted jägers, but the third will not.

The regiment in line with the jägers on the left.

I decided to do the Brandenburgers because they had black facings and it makes a nice variation from the red facings of many of the regiments. Future regiments in this expansion will have one with white and one with red facings.

I quite enjoyed the simplicity of the mounted jägers - dark green with black belts - and if there a any figures left over when I have done all of the figures I may create one or two independent squadrons of jägers.

The mounted jäger detachment (and I just realised when I see this image that I forgot to paint the metalwork on their bridles doh!)