Monday 31 July 2017

More new stuff......

Some photos of a couple more new units for my French Revolutionary Wars project. As a project it is spreading its parameters rapidly! I originally focussed solely on Suvarov's campaign in Switzerland, then shifted to include his earlier North Italian campaign with the Austrians, then I moved to the 1799 Helder campaign with the addition of some British, and now I appear to have gone back in time to 1793-5 or thereabouts to include a few more very randomly selected emigre units. I suppose I ought to do some Dutch next?

I picked up a few Austrian jäger on eBay so decided they would do nicely as a couple of emigre regiments of light infantry. The uniforms on the figures are not quite right (i.e. not sure about the backpacks) but will do with the appropriate paint job. The Chasseurs de Damas appeared in the last post, but here we have the Chasseurs of the Beon Legion and the Chasseurs de Lowenstein-Wertheim. These units were originally in Dutch service but I believe transferred to British control when Holland was overrun.

 Chasseurs de Lowenstein-Wertheim
 Chasseurs of the Beon Legion

I also finally managed to get my last French demi-brigade that have been sitting around painted for ages finally based up. These are Elite Miniatures from the Collectors' range and I do really like them lots.

I seem to have done these with 28 figures rather than the normal 20 or 24 but once the grenadiers are detached they'll be the same size as all my other French. I have another four-gun foot artillery battery, a coastal battery, and some cavalry left to do along with some vignettes and other tabletop ephemera, then the army will be complete........? Really?

Saturday 29 July 2017

Game off! Some new stuff.

Well, John the Red was supposed to be coming up today for a French Revolutionary War game set in Flanders in 1794, but I had to cancel as I could barely stand up let alone get downstairs and walk around or finish setting up the figures this morning.  John was very understanding though. I was really looking forward to pitting my Austrians and British against the French as well as getting another new windmill on the table. I had even managed to finally base up a squadron of Austrian hussars and an assortment of French emigre units in preparation for the game. Some pictures for your delectation.....

 My new windmill. I do like it but it is a little large to do anything other than sit in a corner and add to the atmosphere of the battle.
 Elite Miniatures Austrian hussars from their collectors' range. I have another dozen to base up to complete the regiment, as well as two squadrons painted as the Legion Rohan hussars. I don't know  what it is but I suddenly had a 'thing' about emigre units.
 Legion Damas - Chasseurs.A very pretty unit of dubious value on the table.
 The Legion Damas fusiliers. The figures are Casting Room Miniatures 1806 Saxons but they do the trick. They were in a sale too so not too expensive. I need to give them a flag though.
 Another French telegraph station. I just need to paint up some telegraphists now. Hummmmm?

 Armee de Bourbon Cavalerie de Noble. (something like that). I had some spare Trent Austrian dragoons so.....
My last Russian line infantry units, two battalions of Regiment Apcheron

Friday 28 July 2017

The Battle of Chotusitz, 17 May 1742

This week's game was the first at home for a while, but it was a cracker though I say so myself. Conrad, Dave, Paul S and Paul T came up for a refight of the Battle of Chotusitz, the last major battle of the 1st Silesian War, using the Honours of War rules. Although I'd played this battle before, as indeed had Dave, it was a while ago and none of the others had, so I expected an interesting, exciting even, game. I was not to be disappointed, and neither I trust, were the others. Dave was Frederick, assisted by Paul T as Dessau, while Conrad was Charles of Lorraine, assisted by Paul S as von Daun. I umpired and did the catering which by the end of the day was enough to have me flat on my back, albeit happily so with a gin and (not much) tonic reflecting on the game.

For those not familiar with the battle, the Austrians had managed to catch Frederick on the back foot and had surprised his greatly outnumbered rearguard under Anhalt-Dessau deployed around the village of Chotusitz. In reality, the Prussians were slowly pushed back and much of their cavalry destroyed, before Frederick with the main body arrived and turned the tide, halting the Austrian advance in its tracks. The latter withdrew, leaving the Prussians in possession of the battlefield.

Prussian Army:

CinC Frederick II King of Prussia (Dependable)

1st Line: GL von Kalckstein (Dependable)
Musketeers x 2 
Grenadiers  x 2 
6pdr bty x 1
2nd Line: GL von Schmetau (Dependable)
Musketeers x 3 
Guard  x 1
6pdr bty x 1

Gen der Inf Leopold von Anhalt Dessau (Dashing) [Lt.General for brigades below]

Cavalry, left flank:  GL von Waldow   (Dependable)
Cuirassiers x 3
Dragoons x 2
Hussars x 1

Infantry: GL Jeetze (Dependable)
Musketeers x 3 

Cavalry, right flank: GL von Buddenbrock (Dashing)
Cuirassiers x 3
Dragoons x 2

Artillery: Independent unit
Heavy artillery:  2 x 12pdr

       i.         All Prussian infantry were classed as superior in the rules. Their cavalry was classed as standard. I made Frederick 'Dependable' in this game rather than the more usual (for the SYW anyhow) 'dashing'.  

Austrian Army: Prince Charles of Lorraine (Dependable…..just!)

Light troops: [Independent units]
Croats x 4 (Inferior - 2 on right and 2 on left flank)

Infantry, 1st Line: GL von Daun (Dependable)
Musketeers x 5
12pdr x 2 (superior for firing)
Howitzer x 1 (superior for firing)

Infantry, 2nd Line: GL von Konigsegg (Dependable)
Musketeers x 5

Right wing Cavalry: GL Leichtenstein (Dashing)
Cuirassiers x 2 
Dragoons x 2 

Left Wing Cavalry: GM Batthyanyi (Dashing)
Cuirassiers x 4 
Dragoons x 3
Hussars x 2 

Austrian cuirassiers and dragoons were classed as 'superior' while the Croats and hussars were 'inferior'.

And so to the battle, one punctuated by some amazingly bad luck dice rolls, mainly from Dave, but not a few from Paul T, while the Austrians were slow to advance and got in a right pickle trying to control their extended infantry lines in the centre. Amazingly, it was turn 7 or 8 before the Prussians won the initiative for moving, and more often than not they also lost the shooting initiative test, despite their inherent advantage!

 The Prussian right, facing superior numbers of superior quality cavalry. 
 The Prussian left, facing around half of the Austrian army!
 Prussians holding Chotusitz are pounded by the Austrian artillery.
 The isolated Prussian artillery battery in the centre. They did valiant work denying much of the centre to the Austrian army.
 The rather disjointed Austrian attack in the centre, struggling to keep going as several battalions were out of command and failed to move.
 The Austrian front line finally started to take shape positioned nicely as they were within cannister range of the Prussian guns.
 The Prussian right under Buddenbrock holds its ground in the face over overwhelming, but stationary, odds.
 For some reason the Austrians decided to hold their cavalry back on their left flank, which may have lost them the chance to overwhelm the Prussians before Frederick arrived.
 Some annoying and pesky Croats are driven off by a regiment of Prussian dragoons. Both Croat battalions were forced to evade and played no further part in the battle.
 Venerable Hinchliffe Austrian hussars valiantly avoiding contact with the enemy!

 The Austrians finally let loose their cuirassiers and drove back the outnumbered Prussians, but not without loss.

 Paul T managed to get his cavalry on the table but a few failed command rolls meant that they were caught in column by the Austrian artillery and took severe damage, one regiment being broken, who quickly overtook the battalion of infantry that had broken the move before.
 Turn 5 and Frederick arrives at last. Only the front line managed to get on the table, in time to see the Austrian cavalry bearing down on them at great speed!
 The Austrian cavalry on their left rallied and reformed a line facing the oncoming Prussian reinforcements.
 Dave moved his infantry close to the Austrians, daring them to charge. 
 Would they? Wouldn't they? Conrad wasn't sure, but then threw a 6, so as a dashing commander they had to charge! All six regiments!
 The first wave survived the closing fire but was repulsed in the 'melee'.
The second wave however hit the sorely wounded and somewhat unsupported Prussian infantry and both battalions were broken. That seemed about right as two battalions were overwhelmed by six regiments of cuirassiers and dragoons. If the Prussians had been supported then the outcome would have been very different, subject to the dice rolls of course.

At that point we called it a day. The Austrians still had significant numbers of cavalry available, as their right wing had remained rooted to the spot for most of the game. However, the Prussians still had a marked superiority in infantry quantity and quality so were more likely to be able to gain and retain possession of the field. I reckoned it had gone more or less as in the real fight in 1742, so declared it a minor Prussian victory.

It was a great game, and it was pretty close in the end. The superiority of the Austrian cavalry over their Prussian foes was a potential battle winner, as was the superiority of the Prussian infantry. The artillery was pretty effective in denying portions of the field to the enemy, but as I said when Conrad queried the effectiveness I said that the two Prussian models represented 20 12pdrs and four 24pdrs so blowing away an infantry battalion with canister wasn't too unrealistic.

Next time we're all together we shall attempt Hohenfriedberg (part 1 v the Saxons as this can be fought as a discrete game). 

Saturday 15 July 2017

Some more Bob Marrion originals

I was extremely fortunate to have the opportunity a couple of weeks ago to purchase a few more original paintings by the late Bob Marrion. These ones cover subjects from the War of Spanish Succession and with three exceptionsfirst appeared in the two Charles S Grant books (since reprinted and available in a single volume) on the Armies of the War of the Spanish Succession. I have to thank Charles for brokering the sale of these and the other pieces of work by Bob that I've managed to acquire. Some of the paintings are getting on for 20 years old but they all look fresh and absolutely stunning!

A special note about this French Dragoon. It was on the back of another painting but Bob didn't think it was up to standard so he scribbled over it and used the other side of the canvas for another painting.

The two English regiments shown are from Colonel Wynn's regiment, which is quite a coincidence as her Grandfather's name was also Wynne, but with an 'e'. It's highly unlikely that there's any link as we know that one ancestor was a senior surgeon in the Peninsular War attached to the Portugese army, and that in the previous century the family had some significant trading interests (mainly wine) in Lisbon, and indeed settled there until the late 19th century.

Now they just need framing!!!!

Sunday 9 July 2017

French Revolutionary War reinforcements

Production has been somewhat slow over the last couple of weeks. However, a few items have arrived in barracks ready to take to the table.

First up is a gift from my friend David Bickley, painted by his son Matt - a gorgeous command stand for my French Revolutionary Wars cavalry.
Next, two companies of the 5th Btn, 60th Rifles for my 1799 Helder Campaign. The regiment had been raised for barely a year but after some time in Ireland a few (I don't know how many) companies were sent to Holland as reinforcements. They will each be classed as 'tiny' units in Black Powder so I'm not sure how much use they will be. We shall see....
Third up is a unit of the French 2nd Carabiniers. An 'elite' regiment prior to the revolution, I wonder how much their 'eliteness' had been diluted by the events and aftermath of the revolution. The French cavalry came out of it very badly in terms of quality of men and horseflesh, some regiments deserting en masse, but I expect that by 1799 they wouldn't have been any worse or better than the rest. Of course, they didn't serve in Holland in 1799 but I like the figures, so....
Finally, two broken down beer carts from Alternative Armies. These are great little pieces from their fantasy range and would be perfectly at home on any historical war-game from the 16th to 19th centuries I reckon. Of course, my armies are often to be seen in retreat so this will look especially great to the rear of my lines as the army crumbles around them in defeat. I just need to find my two drunken soldiers to add to the overall image.