Saturday, January 31, 2015

Warfare Miniatures Scots Militia 1680-1719

H002 Scots Militia in mixed dress
Scotland has seen more than its fair share of conflict over the centuries. Often the violence has not been on the massed battle scale but sized more conveniently for we 21st century hobbyists who like our games more in the bijou style!
A Highland laddie signed up for the Militia
From the post Restoration unrest involving the Covenanters, through Highland rivalry, civil disturbance, Argyll's Rebellion damp squib, the Jacobite campaign of 1689, the Glencoe incident in 1692, Rob Roy and the '15 on to the lesser known 1719 Spanish intervention and battle on a mountainside, Scotland offers much fodder for small to medium sized games.
Highland or Lowland dress - trews could be painted tear-tain
Of course battles like Killiecrankie and Sherriffmuir although modest by European standards are interesting and resaonbly large. Dunkeld involved about 5,000 men in an urban inferno and Cromdale, Drumclog and Bothwell Brig all offer interesting wargaming options.
Leven's? Kenmure's? Argyll's? Cameronians?
To fill yet another gap in the figure market Warfare are offering this interesting pack of mixed dress Militia. Some men are in clearly military cut clothes whilst others wear a mix of Highland and Lowland dress or simple Highland garb. The constant across all five models is the matchlock musket.
Give him a red coat and he could be in Flanders
These models could turn out as a Highland chief's hearth guard, a city garrison, volunteers in a new or poorly equipped militia regiment or armed civilians.
Interesting Highland variant could be a Clansman too!
We'll feature them in action on the table as time goes by but they are now available as code H002.

Designed by an Englishman in the Highlands Mr Steve Shaw!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Building a Wargames Army 101, Part 4 - The Jacobite Cavalry

Williamite Cavalry - My plan for the Jacobites includes eight
squadrons of horse to oppose these fine gentlemen. Of course, as with many units in this period,
a quick flag swap could see most of these units pressed into service for King James II!
Clarence Harrison - Here are my plans for the Jacobite horse and dragoons. All of the models will be on galloping horses - no standing about for the cream of the Jacobite army!

Lifeguards Regiment (2 squadrons)
Scarlet coat with blue cuffs trimmed in silver, buff waistcoats, blue trousers, silver buttons and hat lace. Officers had scarlet cuffs and trousers. Some may have cuirass. The saddle cloak was scarlet trimmed in troop color (1st scarlet, 2nd white, 3rd yellow, and 4th blue)

I'm going to paint one stand for each troop so they will have different trim on the saddle cloths. I'm also going to mix in a few cuirassiers for variety.

Tyrconnel’s Regiment (3 squadrons)
Red coat with white cuffs, buff waistcoats and trousers, silver buttons and hat lace. The saddle cloak was red trimmed in white

Parker’s Regiment (2 squadrons)
White coat

Sutherland’s Regiment (1 squadron)
White coat

I can't find definitive reference for what colors Parker's or Sutherland's regiments wore. On page 84 of Michael McNally's Osprey campaign title, Battle of the Boyne 1690, he mentions

"... the Enniskilleners reputedly charged Donop's white-coated Danish cavalry, having mistaken them for a Jacobite regiment, possibly Parker's or Sutherland's." 

I'll decide on their facing colors and other details when I get there (unless a kind reader has any insight before then).

Lord Dongan’s Dragoons (2 squadrons)
Red coats with blue cuffs, blue waistcoats and trousers, silver buttons and hat lace, mounted and on foot

Lord Clare’s Dragoons (2 squadrons)
Red coats with yellow cuffs, yellow waistcoats and trousers, silver buttons and hat lace, mounted and on foot

We have no concrete proof of what these two dragoon units wore and there seems to be some debate on the matter. Most Irish horse and dragoons were clothed in red before 1690. As I mentioned in the last article, the French supplies arrived only shortly before the battle and it is unknown how widely distributed the new gris-mesle coats may have been at this time. These were probably infantry coats as well so it is possible the dragoons were never reclothed. While a case can be made for either coat, I chose to paint Lord Clare's Dragoons in their old uniforms because there are a lot of white and grey among the other mounted units. They would have likely been in a sorry state, but for table top presentation I plan to keep them uniform with the addition of a few different hat colors. Lord's Clare's Dragoons are sometimes named as the 'Yellow Dragoons' so it seems safe that their cuffs were yellow.

The next stretch of articles for this series will likely be more sporadic and posted as I finish units or decide to post 'in progress' updates. I am going to attempt to maintain focus on this army, but won't promise on the rate in which future articles appear. However, a blog is a wonderful motivator to continue on a project so hopefully I won't get sidetracked by some other shiny period!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Warfare Miniatures GNW Range 2nd rank Musketeers charging in Karpus

2nd Rank charging in Karpus
This code was down to Clibinarium taking the initiative and designing a set of models to compliment the front rank charging code. When he showed me the sculpts I was blown away particularly because I had requested they be done!

I chose to paint the red in a rather dramatic scarlet shade to create high impact. The Swedish uniform is both simple and elegant. Painting these models was a real joy. I used a black undercoat and built up using the well known layering method.

The variety of dolls used in the sculpting of this pack give it a really varied look but the common theme is the movement and realism of the anatomy.

This code has cast incredibly well with the muskets and bayonets being wonderfully formed and proportioned.

It is planned to make the codes available both as individual packs and as boxed regimental deals.

The haversack slung over the right shoulder is not regulation dress but rather campaign equipment.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Building a Wargames Army 101, Part 3 - The Jacobite Infantry

Clarence Harrison - Here is the initial goal for my Jacobite infantry. I also want to point out that this wasn't originally done for the blog - this is actually the process I use to get organized for a new project. By making a plan it is easier to see what models and paint you need and devise a realistic timeline.

For instance, I know from experience that I CAN paint and base one BLB battalion per week without too much stress (that doesn't always mean I WILL). Seven battalions could be seven weeks or let's call it two months. That lets me look ahead to know when I'm going to want the cavalry on hand... Nothing diverts my attention sooner than wanting to paint and not having the models (hmmm.... while I'm waiting for my LoA horse, maybe I'll paint a few Vikings/Napoleonics/WW2/Space Marines... then I'm out of 1690 for the rest of the year).

Irish Foot Guards (2 battalions)
Red coat, blue facings, red vest, red trousers, red stockings, gold buttons and lace
Rear pike stands (total 4 stands each), models at rest

I plan to use the Warfare French infantry models for this unit. There is absolutely no evidence that they were clothed any better than the rest of the army, but as the king's guard I want them to stand out a bit so I'm employing wargamer's license - they are my toys after all!

Earl of Clanrickarde 
Grey coats, red or grey facings, grey trousers, white or red stockings, silver buttons, mixed hats and a few civilian coats in brown, officers in red coats
Central pike stand (total 3 stands), models shooting, apostles

According to troop returns in October 1689, Clanrickarde had a high ratio of pike to musket compared to other units in the army so I am going to model this unit with the pike stand in the middle of the unit. I also want this unit to have a bit of a ragged appearance so I'm going to mix in a few civilian coats and other variation of equipment.

Earl of Antrim
White coat, red facings, white vest, grey trousers, grey stockings, silver buttons and hat lace, officers in red coats
All musket (total 3 stands), models advancing

I rarely use pure white on wargame models, but I want Antrim's to stand out from de Boisseleau's below (they have the same cuff color) so I will make an exception. I also decided to paint the trousers and stockings darker to provide more contrast for the coat.

Marquis de Boisseleau (2 battalions)
Light grey coat (gris-mesle), red facings, white vest, white trousers, white stockings, gold buttons and hat lace
Rear pike stands (total 4 stands each), models marching

French supplies for the Jacobite army in 1690 eventually saw most units clothes in gris-mesle, a cloth flecked with blue threads that varied in color from white to pale grey. The default color of turn backs in the French army was red unless the colonel of the regiment paid to replace them. The Battle of the Boyne falls in the middle of the transition. Lord Boisseleau's regiment was at the docks when the supplies arrived (they helped unload them) and he outfitted his troops straight away.

Irish Militia
Civilian dress - grey, red, or brown coats
All pikes (total 3 stands), models at rest, mounted officer on central stand

Some accounts of the battle cite six battalions of Jacobite foot and some seven. However the books that mention seven battalions don't name them all. The discrepancy could simply be wrong or perhaps the seventh battalion was unremarkable in action or dress. I decided to paint a militia unit of all pikes inspired by one of Barry's units:

Up next week - the plan for the Jacobite cavalry!

Friday, January 16, 2015

Warfare Miniatures GNW Range more news - front rank Musketeers charging in tricorne

Swedish infantry in tricorne Front rank charging
A very dramatic code full of the energy and menace of a Swedish infantry charge. I chose to avoid the expected Blue - Yellow combination so associated with Swedish troops and go for something a little more prosaic.

lunging with intent
These models are painted in shades of German Field Grey, Khaki and Khaki grey with washes applies in some cases to soften the look.

The angle of the tricorne is realistic
Troops serving the Swedish Crown were known to wear grey either with coloured facings or in plain coats. The war lasted 20 years and by the end Sweden would have been completely ruined financially.

Another fine pose
In such circumstances it is almost inevitable that plain, cheap uniforms in the ubiquitous undyed shades of the period were seen.

Running into the charge
Some Finnish units had grey uniforms as regulation.

A different shade of coat
The poses for this front rank code convey the aggression of a Swedish infantry attack. The long, well formed bayonets look particularly fine.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The Troop - Recreating the period in 'real life' size

Now this IS impressive! Bonnie Dundee's braw laddies!
The Troop is a multi-period cavalry re-enactment group specialising in the portrayal of British cavalry from the English Civil War through to the Great War. In that time The Troop has appeared at numerous events in Great Britain, Spain, the Crimea  and South Africa.

In the last couple of years Alan and his comrades have concentrated on Great War centennial activities ,the lead up to Waterloo 200 and, of most interest to our blog members, events commemorating the Restoration period, Monmouth's Rebellion and the Williamite Wars.

Monmouth's Life Guard with carbines
To that end in 2013/14 The Troop undertook cavalry displays in those guises at Kelmarsh Hall, Norton St Phillips and Killiecrankie respectively. 

At the George Inn Philip's Norton/Norton St Philips
Plans are afoot for 2015. The Killiecrankie commemorations are confirmed for the weekend of the 25th and 26th of July.

The chaps have also been invited to be a part of the Sealed Knot's 330th Anniversary event at Sedgemoor on the 4th and 5th of July in their 1685 Royal Dragoons guise.

Warfare Miniatures Monmouth at the George! WLOA22
Alan Larsen has been kind enough to provide this wonderful peek behind the curtain and allow us to marvel at the authenticity of his group's efforts.

The Royal Horse Guards ride down the Lyme Independent Company
I know Alan visits the blog occasionally and I am certain he'll be delighted to know that the previous post was one of the most popular items we've had up over the last 6 months will lots of hits and many 'Likes'.

The Rebels attack! From a recent game soon to be featured.
I for one hope Alan continues to provide us with such dramatic eye candy!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Building a Wargames Army 101, Part 2 - The Williamite Army

A portion of my Williamite collection
Clarence Harrison - this is simply an overview of the army I already have. You can hop over to the Quindia Studios blog to see all the how's and why's of this force. Here is the goal I set out for my Williamite collection...

Garde te Voet (2 battalions)
converged grenadiers

Wolseley's Horse (2 squadrons) 

De la Meloniere
Schomberg's Horse (2 squadrons) 

Garden til Fods
Donop's Horse (1 squadron)
Juel's Horse (1 squadron)
Schested's Horse (1 squadron)

2 battalion guns
2 field guns

A Dutch brigade deploys near a farm somewhere in the embattled Irish countryside.
This will give me most of the front line foot units at the Boyne and the most often mentioned units of horse from accounts I've read - a very respectable force of twelve battalions of foot and six squadrons of horse. I managed to finish all of these minus two Huguenot battalions and Schomberg's second squadron of horse, but I hope to add them soon.

A few notes:
The number of squadrons for horse is Beneath the Lily Banner units, not historical organization. Those units listed as one squadron end up with 4-8 models (which will be 6 on the game table) when historical strengths are rendered at 1:35. Those with 9 models or more were granted two squadron status.

The ideal number of battalion guns for Beneath the Lily Banners is no more than one per brigade. Most of my games will be played on a 4x6' or 4x8' table so two per side is probably enough. My crews are painted fairly generically so I can use the battalion guns for either side and assign guns as needed for the scenario.

Some of the units will work for either side with a quick flag swap (see here) - one of the beauties of the period!

The real reason King William III was asked to come to England!
sorry... I just couldn't help myself... he was sitting on the shelf next to the table where I was shooting pics...
I'd like to go back and paint the rest of the Danish brigade, add some of the second line Dutch and English infantry, and some more horse for Williams crossing, but I also want to get in some games so I thought I should paint some Jacobites first!

Next week we'll take a look at my plans for the Jacobite infantry.

Friday, January 9, 2015

A gap in the market? Scots Regulars in bonnets from Warfare Miniatures

Code H1 Regulars in bonnet
I have seen many (and done many) conversions over the years to model Scots regular troops of the 1680-1715 period. An occasional manufacturer has had a go at modelling these troops but until Steve sent me these wonderful figures I had always felt there was a real gap in the market.

Standing firing pose
What could they be used for? Scots Regulars or Militia units who kept order during the 'Killing Times' also known as the Covenanter Rebellions. Equally, keeping the peace amongst squabbling Highland clans or hunting down outlaws such as Rob Roy MacGregor offers excellent small game or Donnybrook opportunities.

At the ready pose
On a larger scale and moving into the Glorious Revolution period many Scots units are reputed to have worn the ubiquitous bonnet such as The Earl of Leven's (25th)  and Lord Kenmure's both of which fought at Killiecrankie. Some sources say the famous Cameronians (26th) wore the bonnet with hodden grey coats.

Loading pose with optional pointing arm as Sergeant
During the Flanders campaigns it is likely that at least one of the Scots regiments fighting with the Dutch wore blue bonnets. This is likely to have been one of the units formed after 1692.

Another use for these figures is the infamous Earl of Argyll's Regiment, those Campbells responsible for the Glencoe 'incident' the legacy of which still taints William III's reputation in Scotland (together with his interference in the Darien adventure). And, there is another use for the figures.. Darien and Scotland's colonial ruination in the jungles of Panama.

Kneeling and giving fire pose
As if this all wasn't enough there are the numerous Scots county or city Militia companies or even a potential trip across the sea to Ireland where these men could maybe even be used for some Ulster Scots volunteers on either the Jacobite or Williamite side. Men of Carrickfergus perhaps or even the notorious Redshanks of McDonnell!

Cocking musket pose
Many of the models in the militia pack could easily slip into a regular unit. They are now available in the Warfare shop.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Republic to Empire

Just a quick note to announce that Republic to Empire is now available in PDF form. As with BLB you can order hi-res and lo-res versions. What you choose depends on your preferred method of viewing. The lo-res version is designed for fast viewing on tablets and laptops. While you CAN print this version, the resolution won't be great. The high-res version looks great on tablets and PC's, especially on HD monitors, but may be slow to load. The hi-res version is designed to allow you to print sections (or the whole book if you want, though with ink prices these days it would probably be cheaper to order a book)! You order your copy in the League of Augsburg shop today!

'The superb presentation and wonderful pictures might lead the casual observer to believe that Republic to Empire is the equivalent of a coffee table book – a visual spectacle to be admired. And so they should be but there is far more than that! The rules are very well researched, clearly explained and most importantly, eminently playable. They are admirably suited to big battles but also to smaller games. Barry has introduced mechanisms designed to reduce the all seeing and instantly reactive abilities of the wargamer while rewarding initiative and forward thinking. This development really does help reflect the realities of the tactical battlefield of the time. Suffice it to say that this is NOT just another set of Napoleonic rules – it represents a real step forward in reflecting Napoleonic warfare on the wargame table' - Charles S. Grant

Monday, January 5, 2015

Building a Wargames Army 101, Part 1 - An Introduction

The lead elements of the army of King William III at the Battle of the Boyne
Clarence Harrison - This article is is the first in an ongoing series that will document the continuation of a project I started long ago and have recently returned to. I've been collecting forces for the war in Ireland between King James II and King William III for a long time. I recently reached the initial goal I set for Williamite army and am now ready to start on the Jacobites. These articles are aimed at newcomers to the hobby, though should prove useful to gamers wading into this period for the first time as well. Although I'll primarily be discussing my LoA armies, I follow the basic same outline when building forces for any new project (you can check out my growing AWI project over on the Quindia Studios blog).

My first step is always research. This means hunting through appropriate military history books, sorting through my Wargames Illustrated collection, asking questions at the Fighting Talk forum, and surfing the web sites of other gamers and painters who share an interest in the period. You can avoid a lot of mistakes and get some great ideas at the same time by seeing what other wargamers have done!

The first stop for me were Mark Allen's articles in Wargames Illustrated. The primary books I used were Michael McNally's Aughrim and Battle of the Boyne 1690, The Boyne Water by Peter Ellis, and Sapherson's titles on the period. 

I also read through various rule sets and searched for reviews of these online as well. The rules you intend to use will have some bearing on your collection since you need to determine how many figures you need to a regiment. Of course, I'm building my armies primarily for Beneath the Lily Banners, but my units will work for most modern sets and some old ones (like an old favorite of mine, Piquet) as well by using rosters rather than model removal for casualties.

You also need to consider the realities of wargaming. Are you going into the project with friends or will you need to collect armies for both sides. How big is your wargame table? If you want to play games in 28mm and only have a 4x6' table, your initial collection doesn't need to be thirty units a side!

After reading a general overview of the period and details about the armies, I try to find a small battle with a good mix of troop types that I can use as a model for the collection of a core force. I don't often intend to refight historical battles and may have fictional units mixed with actual ones in my army, but choosing a historical action helps me come up with a more realistic force. For the LoA period, I chose the Battle of the Boyne. There were large armies present, but only relatively small forces that actually engaged in the fighting. The entire Jacobite force engaged in the main battle around Old Bridge was six battalions of foot (some sources say seven... more on that in a future post), four regiments of horse, and two regiments of dragoons.

The Blue Guard of King William III
As I mentioned at the outset, I started with the Williamite army. Basically I wanted to paint the Dutch Gadre te Voet or Blue Guard. I used the order of battle from Michael McNalley's Battle of the Boyne 1690 campaign book from Osprey as my guide, supplemented by The Huguenot Soldiers of William of Orange by Matthew Glozier, Danish Troops in the Williamite Army by Kjeld Galster and direct correspondence with Dan Schorr. I also sought advice from Barry and the Fighting Talk Forum. 

Unlike the Jacobite army, there are a pile of Williamite units that ford the Boyne. However, not all were directly engaged and most of the horse arrive late in the contest. It is conceivable that if Tyrconnel managed to break the Blue Guard and initial wave of Huguenots and Danes that the battle may have been over before the arrival of the Williamite horse. You could set up a convincing refight with only part of the Williamite force and add a time limit for the Jacobites... If they can't win by turn x, King Billy will arrive from the south and sweep them from the field!

Next week I will run through the units in my Williamite army and the reason behind my initial choices.

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