Friday, May 30, 2014

Defensive Behaviour.. building fieldworks with Warfare Miniatures accessories. Part 2

Under attack from 18 French battalions at Neerwinden
I didn't want to build integral to terrain boards preferring the ‘place on top’ option. I knew that I would incorporate artillery and infantry positions. I knew there would be plaster and glue involved but beyond that nothing was sketched or planned. It was just an idea I carried around in my Noggin!

The utilitarian dinner mat- an endangered species in my house!
The start point was a gun position constructed on one of my favourite pieces of household detritus – the old dinner place-mat. I have used these as a foundation many times. The first and it seems well remembered iteration, was part of what brought the League of Augsburg into a more prominent focus within they hobby way back in 1994. Then, I constructed a French four-gun position on two dinner mats which featured in WI#98. Alas, in a moment of madness I sold it at SELWG about 10 years ago! - what a dipstick.

Dinner mats Inc.. another Hilton meal will be unsupported
I reprised that design about 2005 with a Russian GNW position which can be seen in Beneath the Lily Banners. In the interim I built several small redoubts on the same base material together with various command vignettes, a gallows scene and other pieces of table candy. Those cork table mats are really modelling gold. Cheap, the right shape and not prone to warping, they are wargamer friendly items which should be sought out and horded at every opportunity!

Gun gin WLOA925 on yet another size of mat!
With this project I wanted something which was both self-contained and modular. By that I mean each piece could be a stand along feature but if several were built, they would all fit together to create something grand. Once started I found the ideas for the next piece flowed freely. Having at one point put together the basic construction of three sections I remember distinctly brushing my teeth before bed one night and getting the flash of a great additional idea!

The breach section under construction
 A breach! Do a breached section! I went to sleep that night with thoughts of how that might look. This is a fairly common feature of my wargaming meanderings… over active mind!

This series of articles shows the process of building and painting the defensive line. Neerwinden was the short term application but I had my mind on Russian defences for the Great Northern War as the backdrop to the whole project. 

In part 3 we'll get to the messy bit... constructing the defensive line.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

WARFARE FEATURED CODE: WLOA152 Maison du Roi Pikemen

The Pikemen were the first of the Maison du Roi codes to arrive. They have proved popular and that is all to do with the realism that Clibinarium has managed to capture in the sculpts.

The poses are natural and speak of confidence and experience. The slightly disdainful expressions on the faces of each figure convey their self belief - Invincible on the battlefield!

The different hat shapes and hairstyles add to the individuality of each model. They are easy to paint with well defined detail and natural body proportions, a consistent feature of Clib's sculpting.

They look well en masse and at a pinch could appear in other French units apart from the Miason du Roi.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Bloody Aughrim July 12, 1691 - refought by the LoA Part 16 Heroes & Villians: The Jacobites

And the last words on this marathon series must go to the victorious Jacobite Army..

Where do we start?

There were valiant regiments on both sides and there were regiments who should have known better!
We had generals and brigadiers who gave their all and more. There were great men who did not live up to their reputations and were great men no more.

Here is a pick list of the Heroes and Zeros from Bloody Aughrim
Abercorn's capture the colours of Brewer's Regiment
The Earl of Abercorn's Regiment
This strong regiment was at the heart of the Jacobite defence on the northern(left) flank. They operated as three separate squadrons which between them put in 5 charges. The first squadron broke, destroyed and captured the colours of Brewer's Regiment after the Englishmen had repulsed a charge from Galmoy's Regiment. The 2nd squadron charged and destroyed the Royal Fuzileers cutting them down to a man. The 3rd squadron fought two squadrons of Oxford's Blews repeatedly at the causeway beating them off twice until they themselves were wiped out. Around half of the 2nd squadron were still active on the flank as the sun set. TOTAL HEROES

Pierce Butler's men ride to glory and Hamilton's Regt go down

Lord Galmoy's Regiment
Galmoy's defended the left centre south of Aughrim village. Their glory moment came when the crashed into and flattened Hamilton's Regiment of Foot mercilessly cutting the Ulstermen down. A second charge  into Brewer's Regiment was repulsed with heavy loss. Part of the 2nd squadronwas active until very late in the battle. TOTAL HEROES

Run Rabbit run! Kilmallock's chase the Earl's men to an early Bath!
Lord Kilmallock's Regiment
Kilmallock's Horse caused mayhem to the enemy. They performed five charges and were active for an extended period of time from midway through the battle until the dying moments. Their 1st squadron chased off the Earl of Bath's Regiment. The 2nd squadron rode down and destroyed Stuaert's Regiment of Foot.A desperate charge late in the battle routed Wolseley's famed Enniskillen men and perhaps saved the flank. At their head, Pierce Butler led a final sacrificial charge which destroyed the remnants of the regiment but stymied another valiant effort from the enemy right wing. TOTAL HEROES

St Ruhe watches the Guards volley Langston's
The King's Foot Guards
Mention must be made of the King's Foot Guards who endured hours of bombardment from Ginkel's positional guns without being able to fire a shot. Casualties were so heavy the two battalions had redeploy several times to try and gain respite from the pounding. A brave advance by the 2nd battalion against Bath's Regiment was driven back by musketry and cannon fire. St Ruhe himself steadied the Guards. By the time the 2nd Battalion was able to deliver its first volley around 41 turns of the game had passed and they had sustained 60% losses. Their first fire, a devastating close range volley at +15 factor shredded Langston's victorious cavalry who had just destroyed Lord Gormanston's Regiment less than 30 paces in front of St Ruhe himself! The Guards saved the commander without a doubt. The 1st battalion with 80% losses could take no more and left the field just as darkness fell. DOGGED AND DETERMINED

Lord Creagh addresses his regiment before the battle
Lord Creagh's Regiment
Despite being armed only with pikes and being rated as Recruits, Creagh's men performed mightily. In the front line on Kilcommodan Hill they endured the wrath of Ginkel's heavy artillery for hours passing test after test. In the desperate climactic stage of the battle they sacrificed themselves by attacking down Kilcommodan Hill into the teeth of Kirke's and Erle's Regiments. At that point they themselves had sustained 66% losses. They broke under the fire but not before seeing the enemy line disintegrate as both Erle's and Meath's Regiments fled. This was the final act and so they performed the last charge of the day. Recruits no more! TRUE GRIT
Grace's march off to reinforce the northern flank
Edward Grace's Regiment
Grace's performed two great acts in the battle. Despite their inexperience, a devastating volley threw back the Dutch Regiment Brandenburg who were ascending the slope of Kilcommodan Hill in the centre of the line late in the morning. They stood for awhile but were moved with Lord Louth's Regiment to shore up the left wing late in the battle. Here, they also delivered a timely volley which broke up a cavalry charge by Langston's disorganised squadrons. COOL UNDER PRESSURE
O'Brien's fight till the last (right of shot)
Captain O'Brien's gun battery
A field gun commanded by Captain O'Brien did magnificent work most of the day until the gunners were all killed by vengeful counter battery fire from Dutch guns on the lower slopes of Kilcommodan Hill. O'Brien's gun singularly did more damage to the Huguenot, Dutch and Danish infantry than all of the musketry of the entire Jacobite right wing. These civilians died by their gun in the early evening.TOTAL HEROES.
Lord Dongan's Defend Attibrassil bridge
Dragoon regiments of Lord Dongan, Colonel Lutterell & Colonel MaxwellThe three regiments who defended the line of the Tristuan stream must be mentioned. They bore the brunt of the attention of three regiments of Dutch Guard cavalry as well as Danish infantry and Irish dragoons. Their losses were crippling and they fought hard and long for the ground. DOGGED AND DETERMINED
Dillon's finally break and are cut down by the Gard te Paard
2nd Battalion Henry Dillon's Regiment
The battalion had the unenviable job of defending the approach from the Attibrassil bridge. The withstood two charges from the Gardes te Paard before breaking under the third attempt. No shame for theses fine fellows! FULL OF FIGHT

SPECIAL MENTION: The detachments of commanded shot who lined the hedgerows to the front of Kilcommodan Hill did much to break up the rhythm of the Williamite attack. One particular detachment on the southern end of the hill continued to pour fire into the enemy despite being surrounded and with many enemy units between them and the rest of their army. They did not run or surrender but went down fighting.
Fighting till the end.. commanded shot harass the Huguenots
And the Villians......

On the Jacobite side there were relatively few villains. The chief bad guy was of course Patrick Sarsfield who, having been shot at leading the Life Guards in a late charge turned and fled. He deserted his army in the very moment of their victory to a huge wave of boos and hisses!

As he galloped from the field Sarsfield took with him Simon Lutterell's Regiment of Horse who whilst themselves fresh and of good quality simply turned tail and left the field with their brigade commander. What a bunch!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Defensive Behaviour.. building fieldworks with Warfare Miniatures accessories. Part 1

4 sections completed and photographed at home
Barry Hilton - I am not a precision model maker. I don’t work from plans other than pictures floating around in my head which I then try and create by modelling them (often imprecisely). My attempts are not always blessed with success but experience over about 20 years of ‘try-outs’ has shortened the odds allowing some more than passable output most of the time.

Since 2012 Warfare Miniatures has demanded huge amounts of my time which in previous years would have been utilized for painting and modelling activities. What this means is that when I do get a chance to build or paint, the project is short, intense and managed to a deadline such as photo shoot, book launch, figure release or wargaming event.

At CARRONADE 2014. This didn't take too long to build!
WLOA919 Gun screen and ladders
I commissioned a range of products aimed at filling gaps in the wargames market for siege and engineering accessories late in 2012. These bits and pieces were the result of suggestions from friends and Fighting Talk forum members.

The wish list was paired down and organized into a brief to a designer who created to my mind at least, a top quality selection of very useful items to be used in siege type games or for dioramas and general table dressing.As each new item was production moulded and released I barely managed to paint up a sample for the online shop. No ‘big picture’ evolved incorporating the various individual pieces into something cohesive. I was frustrated by this but ultimately it was a good thing that I waited.

WLOA920 Fascines loose and racked. - heavily used!
When finally I decided three weeks before the Falkirk club’s Carronade show in May 2014 to build a section of the Grand Alliance army’s front line from the battle of Neerwinden 1693, I knew roughly what I wanted it to look like.

I had no plan, I had no idea how many components I would use. I did however envisage a heavily fortified breastwork with the appearance of ‘substance with haste’. What I mean is; it would appear thrown up quickly but would be difficult for an enemy to take it by force.Once I started, I just kept adding to it! In part 2 you can learn more about the process and the components.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Swedish Cavalry Regiments - GNW - industrial scale production Part 2

3 squadrons charge whilst another regiment awaits orders
Although my interest in the Great Northern War started in 1991 when I was introduced to the period through the collection of a gaming friend, never in the intervening time have I felt that games played in the period had enough Horse.

The new officer figure looks well as an unhorsed cornet
Those early games were played with Prince August style semi flat 30 or 35mm toy soldiers. I recall they were home cast from lead flashing or something similarly toxic. I have since heard through a chance meeting with another gamer who participated in those games that much of the collection has now been scrapped due to an inadvertent act of kindness going wrong. A new display cabinet was purchased for the owner who duly stored the troops therein. Unfortunately the cabinet had been treated with some chemical which reacted with the lead causing a severe attack of lead rot! Much of the collection was damaged beyond repair and thus was consigned to history.. but I digress.

Deep bases allow for creative positioning of officers
Back with the dearth of Horse thread... the evolving GNW collection will model the balance of forces correctly. Even at this early stage I have bitten the bullet and started to paint en masse. Swedish regiments were large - at full strength up to 1,000 men. In BLB terms this calls for four squadron regiments. This has prompted me to model several regiments the beginnings of which can be seen in the photographs of this post.

I needed an excuse to use some of the recent excellent flags for Poltava created by Clarence too. Although these will ultimately be swapped out they look good on these regiments right now and give a great impression of how the Swedish Army will look as I expand it.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Bloody Aughrim July 12, 1691 - refought by the LoA Part 15 - The musings of DOB

Each of us had a slightly different take on the battle, even those on the same side! Dave's reflections were somewhat longer than those of Bob and Gerry... must be the Irish poet in him!...

Dave O'Brien- Here are my reflections of the game but because it was fought over three separate days over a period of three months some of the opening memories are as correct as I can remember, especially the second day as I was seriously ill.
Some of Dave's collection on the right of shot

Barry and myself took command of the Jacobite forces, my main reason being they were the force I had painted up and had never gotten around to using in anger. We split the army in two with me commanding the right flank and Barry commanding the left flank and both of us taking turns at rolling for command percentages. Our initial discussion on tactics was that we would remain on the defence and let the Williamites suffer casualties trying to force us away from the hedge line then the hill which was our main defence position before launching a counter attack with our cavalry.

 I commanded three infantry brigades, two cavalry brigades, a brigade of dismounted dragoons, three small units of commanded shot supported by a field gun and two light guns.

Our plan seemed to be working well especially on my flank where Gerry who was facing off against me struggled to remove my commanded shot from the hedge line. I managed to combine their shooting with support fire from my artillery both of which were surprising successful because of a series of 6’s on my dice rolling which meant he had to take morale tests and a series of 1’s on his dice rolling quickly saw his Huguenots breaking and causing further panic on the troops around them. On the other flank Bob commanding the Williamite left flank soon showed Gerry how it should be done and his fire power quickly drove off Barry’s commanded shot. Gerry followed Bob’s lead eventually destroyed my troops holding the hedges and advanced towards my dragoons defending the marshy ground and river line.
To give credit to Gerry he quickly regrouped and advanced all along the line and sent in his Danes but they quickly ran into trouble against my dragoons mainly due to the fact that he was disordered by the marshy ground as well as moving which meant the any return fire was ineffective. At this point things were looking good or so I thought until I happened to glance to my left to see that Barry had suddenly decided to launch all his cavalry in an all out attack on Bob’s forces, what happened to our agreed plan to sit on the defence? It’s amazing how in such a large battle you can become focused on your own situation and suffer blindness on what was going on elsewhere, the real fog of war I suppose. It was around this point that my dragoons suddenly found themselves under pressure from what turned out to be Gerry’s dismounted Dutch dragoons of the Guard but we had to finish up for the day.

Brandenburg broken. Dave's figures in the foreground
Day two of the battle was a late start as I was working which meant we weren’t going to get a lot of gaming done which was just as well as I was suffering from a serious chest infection.
The pressure continued on both flanks with Barry managing to keep Bob at bay but was quickly losing what little cavalry we had on that flank while Bob had two or three cavalry brigades sitting in reserve. On my flank my dragoons were now suffering serious casualties from the superior guard shooting plus he could bring more fire power to bear and once one unit had to take a morale test and failed their rout caused the others to test and they were soon joining their comrades to the rear with the Dutch Gard te Paard close behind on their heels.
The position in the centre was holding up due to accurate shooting from my field gun who managed to score hits virtually every move and poor dice rolling for morale held up the front troops with the reserves piling up behind. We were also helped that Bob drifted his infantry across to his left to try and make room for his cavalry to advance, the downside for the Williamites was that this forced Gerry to advance frontally against the marshy ground slowing his advance and allowing me to switch infantry over to my right to plug the gap left by the fleeing dragoons. I also had my two cavalry brigades over on that flank but there was little room for them to manouevre and they were starting to come under fire from the guard dragoons who had now crossed the river so I was forced to pull them back from the river line and find some room for them to deploy for counter attacking.

Because I was under severe pressure on my flank I again missed what was going on on Barry’s flank but it certainly seemed to be thinning out rapidly of infantry and cavalry, even the King’s Guard infantry were suffering severely from the fire of the Williamite artillery. My attention was quickly brought back to my flank as my new infantry flank was about to be charged by the 1st squadron of the Gard te Paard as they thundered over the bridge into the 2nd battalion of Dillon’s Regiment who were prepared to defend against cavalry and easily saw them off especially as they were in column to charge over the bridge. They did the same to the 2nd squadron which charged in two moves later but were then caught disordered by another squadron of Garde du Corps and cut to ribbons. Their brave conduct obviously inspired their comrades as they all passed their morale tests for seeing a unit destroyed. It was at this point that we had to finish for the day but everything was still to play for and should be resolved on the third day.

The third day saw me in better health and ready for what was going to be the crux of the battle although sadly Barry’s dice rolling got us off to a bad start by rolling no movement allowance just as O’Brien’s cavalry were about to launch a counter attack against the now disordered Garde du Corps who were having to rally in position, fortunately I had infantry supported by a light gun whose shooting destroyed the remains of the squadron and forced the other one to retire. The dutch Gard Dragoons were also forced to take a morale test from shooting casualties and promptly broke, the ensuing series of morale tests that Gerry had to take went disastrously wrong with an unbelievable number of ones on his dice rolling and suddenly virtually the whole of Gerry’s flank was either routing or in retreat.

 Now was the time for a counter attack so I launched Sarsfield and his cavalry brigade across the swamp to ride down the enemy infantry but once the Lifeguard were ready to charge the curse of Gerry’s dice seemed to effect mine and move after move I kept rolling 1’s which gave Gerry time to rally up some troops and suddenly my counter attack wasn’t looking such a good idea. My attack went from bad to worse as I eventually managed to get the 1st squadron of Lifeguard to charge led by Sarsfield himself but he received a bullet through his hat and promptly fled the field followed by Luttrell’s cavalry who disgraced themselves on their first outing. Fortunately the Lifeguard did their job in the charge and broke another unit and now I had the two squadrons of Lifeguard behind Gerry’s flank, isolated but still a threat which he couldn’t ignore forcing him to use what little troops he had left to swing this was and that to avoid a flank charge.

On Barry’s flank he had somehow managed to cobble together some sort of defence which Bob’s cavalry was reluctant to charge so the final through of the dice was left to Gerry’s final cavalry unit which I think were the Gard Dragonders(actually Dave it was the Danish Horse of von Donop) who launched themselves uphill in the centre of the battlefield against De Boiselleau’s regiment which was ready to face horse and promptly broke the cavalry and brought an end to the game as their was virtually nothing left of the Williamite army while Barry and myself still held onto all out positions, had two squadrons on their flank and I had a number of units that still had been uncommitted to the battle.

Highlights of the battle for me were my commanded shot, dragoons and the field gun who fought against heavy odds and inflicted more than their fare share of pain on the enemy. Dillon’s battalion did a stunning job of shoring up my right flank at the most dangerous moment and destroyed two squadrons of the Dutch Gard te Paard. The villains of the peace have to be the 2nd battalion of McKellicut’s regiment who fled the field after suffering only one casualty but the biggest culprit has to be Sarsfield and Luttrell’s regiment who did likewise without suffering any casualties.

Would I change anything if we fought the battle again? the only thing I can think of is some more space behind the Jacobite lines to allow the cavalry to have room to change positions or even have them off table and able to come on where the player wants. Other than that there is nothing I would change which would give us such a stunning battle where the advantage seemed to switch from one force to another with every turn of game. We used a variation of the order system which allowed us to use brigades instead of units when it came to movement allowance, I thought for such a large game it would take too long counting how many battalions, squadrons and artillery pieces there were every move and the brigade system seemed to work fine, or perhaps it was the calibre of the gents I was gaming with that meant there were no issues.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Swedish Cavalry Regiments - GNW - industrial scale production Part 1

3 squadron Abo och Bjorneborgs in action in Poland
Toggy, Gerry and I had a conversation recently about painting miniatures and our attitudes to the task. A visit to various fora focusing on the subject will tell the story in full. At one end of the scale you have the block paint and dip brigade who just want to get the figures on the table. At the other end of the continuum are the artists who take 5-6 hours+ over one 28mm miniature. Of course they'll never build a regiment let alone an army but we marvel nonetheless at their skill with washes, glazes, dry and wet brushing, et al. You've got to ram your stake in the ground somewhere and although I greatly admire and aspire to the craft so expertly exhibited by these masters it conflicts directly with my need to have large quantities of painted figures available at short notice for article photo shoots, Warfare Miniatures range promo shots, rule books, wargaming weekender and home gaming.

Add in the complication of a travel heavy and time sucking day job and the equation does not balance. So my painting for many years has been a compromise between juggling mass production with the little touches I have always enjoyed when creating something for the table.

I've used the infantry officer as a dismounted cornet here
Have limited options focuses the mind and when I decided recently to get the jump on the Swedes I prepared to paint 4 x 24 man regiments of Horse. The catch is, I was going to do this with only the single available trooper model as the bulk of the force. The officers and trumpeters were easy. There are many legitimate options from the extensive Cuirassier range. There are 11 different command sets and about 7 of these are usable for senior cavalry officers and trumpeters.

Gabion from the large gabion set WLOA928 released now
Of course, we're bringing out lots of Swedish cavalry but I wanted to get a start as 50% of my Swedish Army will be Cavalry and Dragoons so painting needed to begin now.

No conversions on the trumpeter and officer. Arm option on NCO
This post highlights some of the individual bases and squadron shots. The next post(s) will show how these have built into regiments each of 4 squadrons.

Cuirassier Command used for these Livgarde till Hast
I like the look achieved even with a single casting option. It is interesting to remember that when the bulk of my fairly substantial Grand Alliance/GNW collection as composed of Foundry figures there was only a single trooper option offered. So, from that point of view we are only revisiting ground very successfully covered for many years. Well, for now. Soon the options will open up exponentially.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Bloody Aughrim July 12, 1691 - refought by the LoA Part 14 - Reflections of three commanders

How we viewed the battle in brief. The post match interviews in the tunnel to use the sporting idiom. Quite differently as you will see in terms of result!

Bob (Commander of the Williamite Right)

So it was decided, a game between Christmas & New Year, just an afternoon with friends on Ireland's bloodiest battlefield.How little we knew then.
Aughrim, a battle none of us fought before, Barry had spent a couple of days there up to his camera lens in mud, getting the lay of the land and we had read Mike McNally's excellent book on the battle.
So we arrived to see some great terrain laid out & proceeded to place about 1,400 miniatures on it. I remember thinking there are so many figures we will never be able to manouevre the troops, then as Gerry and I took on the roles of the Williamite command it dawned on us why the Jacobites chose this position, because there was no room to manoeuvre on the real battlefield.
As we started the Williamite advance towards the last Jacobite army, it became a real struggle to cross bogs, hedges lined with commanded shot, guns placed to rake advancing infantry, but slowly we gained territory.
However this came at great cost, the Coldstream Guards taking the hedgerows, but being so badly cut up they routed off the field, Erle's Regiment taking massive casualties, yet still attempting to charge with only 3 figures left ( I think they will be being upgraded in our next encounter).
If ever a wargame mirrored the real battle this was it, there was even a dice throw to see if an artillery round would kill St Ruhe, but that would just have been too surreal.On both sides the carnage was great, though some troops chose not to see action, but rather run from the field as craven cowards and in reality who could blame them.
And so after the best part of 20 hours gaming we all drew breath and decided that both sides had fought each other to a standstill and a favourable draw to the Jacobite's was declared.
This was a most memorable game, in terms of visual appeal, historical accuracy and just plain fun, virtually every turn had ups and downs for both sides and the game hung in the balance for the entirety.
Can't wait till we do it again.

Gerry (Commander of the Williamite left)
From the left wing of the Williamite forces and looking across to Kilcommodan Hill and the Jacobite lines, you could see it was going to be a hard slog.I had my dismounted Dragoons advance on the far left towards Attibrassil bridge whilst the Huguenots and my smaller Danish Brigade advanced toward the hill.
The Dragoons did well initially clearing Dave's troops from the approaches to the bridge and allowed me to advance the Guard Cavalry to be able to charge across the bridge. In the ensuing melees I managed to spectacularly lose both the Gardes du Corps and the Gard te Paard  completely.
Meanwhile, as the Huguenots and Danes were advancing forward, Dave's field gun began to cause havoc. Both brigades took casualties as they advanced. Between the bridge and the edge of Kilcommodan hill was where I had deemed the weak point in Dave's line. I reckoned if I could break through there it would split his forces in half and give me a good chance of routing him. What I hadn't given enough thought to was the marshy ground between the bridge and the bottom of the slope. It absolutely slowed my advance and as my troops were halved in movement and also disordered because of the terrain, they became easy pickings for Dave's musketry. The Huguenots having advanced decided today wisnae their day and headed for the hills. To be fair they'd taken pelters on the way in and decided it wis somebody else's turn now. The Danes were made of slightly more sterner stuff and managed to crawl their way through the bog. However by the time they'd got to the other side they took a couple of musketry volleys and turned tail as well.

Having managed to get the Huguenots turned around and sorted out I then advanced them on the very left flank, with the larger Danish brigade in the middle, and the remnants of my smaller one stuck on my right. Things were going swimmingly well, as my guys advanced. My field gun was causing casualties, Dave was looking concerned (but then he always looks concerned when Barry's on his side!!! :-) )
.... And by this time we were well into our third gaming session, Bob was arriving late today, and the young Master Donohoe was C in C!  What could go wrong???? Pretty much everything actually!!!!

Between receiving a call from Bob asking if it was worth him still coming over, and the 30 minutes it took him to get over, my whole left flank had a complete morale collapse. One of the Huguenot regiments took casualties and routed, causing loads of other morale tests which, surprisingly, I managed to fail every single one. Dave then decided to come on the counter attack with his cavalry. Patrick Sarsfield himself leading from the front.......not!!!!!.......he managed not once but twice to throw a one with his dice to charge......and Sarsfield threw his toys out the pram and went home.....taking Luttrell's, I think,with him.......funniest thing I saw all day.

Anyway......we pretty much called it after that.......a Jacobite Victory.......although the Williamites still had a few decent brigades, we'd have wrecked them trying to push the Jacobites off the hill. All in all an excellent game, played in the best spirit, with good friends and cracking banter. Well worth doing again.

Barry (Commanding the Jacobite left wing)

It was an extremely close and hard fought battle. A very high number of cavalry against infantry charges. The Jacobite defence was I think well handled and controlled. We suffered badly from a lack of good artillery. I believe we used our Horse well on both flanks and made the best of the infantry available. It is difficult to see what else the enemy could have done. I think their caution on the northern flank was understandable and meant that when the Jacobite Horse was spent they themselves had insufficient infantry to support their own Horse and thus were checkmated. The scenario seemed very well balanced from a gaming point of view. Genuinely exciting, full of action, unpredictable and with buckets full of surprises. I felt it was a pretty clear cut Jacobite victory when placed against the historical context and potential repercussions for each commander. Of course the Jacobites had hung on rather like Wellington at Waterloo but without the ability to pursue their beaten enemy. They had lost about 40% of their infantry and 80% of their Horse was spent but the field was theirs. Ginkel's army was organizationally in tatters and from his reputation's perspective the result was arguably even more dire.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Warfare Miniatures Gardes Francaises

Having failed to paint more than eight figures for the famous Gardes Francaises in nearly eight months I changed tack to paint a further 19 in a week.

The short term incentive was to have a battalion ready to display at SALUTE 2014 whilst the medium term objective was to prepare the centrepiece for a Neerwinden game we are taking out on the show circuit in May.

I wanted the unit to look powerful and large and chose to add extra models to each base. The three musketeer stands all have 7 models whilst the pike stand had 6 models.

I used a pikeman as an additional sergeant on one of the musketeer stands. Very unusually for me I used 30mm x 30mm standards for these shots. The reason was simple.

For the gallery shots in the Warfare shop I didn't want the standards to overpower the individual command models(WLOA154). Having prepared the smaller standards it was an nice experiment to shoot the unit with the smaller sized standards.

I intend to replace the smaller sized standards with my usual 50 x 50mm style after SALUTE.

The Gardes had six battalions and were the finest infantry in Louis XIV's massive army. They fought in many major battles.

One of their 'moments' was the crucial breakthrough at the Battle of Neerwinden in 1693 when four battalions together with three of the Gardes Suisses smashed through the battered Allied defensive line.

The Gardes are shock troops and every French Army should have some!  

Monday, May 5, 2014

Tales from Sverige Part 7: Army Museum GNW trophy room

Can't remember which this was! Not in the trophy room though!
There are several trophy rooms in the Stockholm Army Museum. The Swedish Army seemed to like collecting the abandoned possessions of its defeated opponents.

Vastmanland Infantry flag
Michael told me the 'volcanoes' on the flag of infantry regiment Vastmanland are not volcanoes. They represent the fire of foundries or smelters in the region which was known for iron work. Although the flag appears yellow its field is of course white.
An example of the electronic display boards which accompany the trophies
This post is low on narrative and high on pictures. Where some interesting fact or conversation took place I have added some commentary.
Saxon flag
No, you didn't read the above caption wrong. This is I think the flag used by a regiment of Saxon prisoners in Swedish service at the battle of Fraustadt!.
Beautiful guidon of the Swedish Life Dragoons
Needless to say the detail will be passed to Mr Clarence Harrison who will in time I suspect produce some new flags for your delectation!
Russian Infantry flag

Camp marker pennon Danish Garden til Fods
This flag appears to have been lifted from a camp of the Danish Foot Guards. It would have marked the battalion's camp position.
Russian cavalry pennant
In the meantime I trust these will stimulate the imaginations of the wargaming community!

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